In this chapter are given the genealogies of the tribes of Issachar, 1 Chronicles 7:1 of Benjamin, 1 Chronicles 7:6 Naphtali, 1 Chronicles 7:13, of Manasseh, 1 Chronicles 7:14 of Ephraim, 1 Chronicles 7:20 and of Asher, 1 Chronicles 7:30, even of the chief men of them; and their numbers are reckoned as in the times of David. The tribes of Dan and Zebulun are omitted.
Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father's house, to wit, of Tola; the principal man of his family:
they were valiant men of might in their generations, famous for their courage and military exploits, though they sprang from Tola, whose name signifies "a worm"; and which name Bochart (k) conjectures was given him by his parents, because he was so weakly that they had no hopes of raising him; and yet from him sprung such mighty men, and from them such a numerous race, as follows:
whose number was, in the days of David, two and twenty thousand and six hundred; besides those of the posterity of Uzzi, after mentioned. This was at the time Joab took the number of Israel, by the order of David, 1 Chronicles 21:5.
(k) Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 4. c. 21. col. 630.
and the sons of Izrahiah; Michael, and Obadiah, and Joel, Ishiah, five; together with their father, all reckoned the sons of Uzzi:
all of them chief men; in their father's house, heads of families.
six and thirty thousand men; besides the 22,600 Tolaites, 1 Chronicles 7:2,
for they had many wives and sons; having many wives, they had many sons; polygamy was the cause of their large numbers; and that they gave into for the sake of the multiplication of Abraham's seed, according to the divine promise.
were men of might; valiant and courageous:
reckoned in all, by their genealogies, fourscore and seven thousand; that is, including with these those of Tola and Uzzi before given.
heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valour; principal men in their tribe and families, and of great courage:
and were reckoned by their genealogies twenty and two thousand and thirty and four; who sprung from these men.
Zemira, and Joash, and Eliezer and Elioenai, and Omri, and Jerimoth, and Abiah, and Anathoth, and Alameth; the two last of these, according to Kimchi, gave names to two cities in Benjamin, built by them; Anathoth, the native place of Jeremiah the prophet, and Alameth, the same with Bahurim, 2 Samuel 16:5.
all these are the sons of Becher; before named.
after their genealogy by their generations, heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valour; as they increased in succeeding ages, and at the time of David:
was twenty thousand and two hundred.
and the sons of Bilhan; Jeush, and Benjamin; called so after his great grandfather:
and Ehud; who was the second judge in Israel, Judges 3:15.
and Chenaanah, and Zethan, and Tharshish, and Ahishahar; of whom we nowhere else read.
Hushim, the sons of Aher: either the same with Aharah, the third son of Benjamin, 1 Chronicles 8:1 or Ahiram, Numbers 26:38, though some read the words, "the sons of another"; whom they suppose to be Dan, who otherwise is omitted; and Hushim is the only son of Dan, Genesis 46:23, where the same plural word is used as here; who, they think, is called another, by way of detestation, that tribe being guilty of gross idolatry; but he rather seems to belong to Benjamin.
the sons of Bilhah; Jacob's concubine; her grandsons; for Naphtali, the father of them, was her son; from these sprung so many families, after their names, Numbers 26:48.
and then adds:
who also bare Machir the father of Gilead; so that Ashriel and Machir were brethren; from which Ashriel sprung the family of the Ashrielites, Numbers 26:29 as from Machir the Machirites, Numbers 26:29.
and the name of the second was Zelophehad; the second son of Manasseh, or of his posterity mentioned; for he was not his immediate son; for he was the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, Numbers 27:1.
and Zelophehad had daughters; but no sons, the names of his daughters are given, Numbers 26:33.
and his sons were Ulam and Rakem, that is, either the sons of Peresh or Sheresh, the nearest, as Kimchi observes.
these were the sons of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh; that is, were of his posterity, or belonged to his family; for Ulam and Rakem were sons of a brother of Gilead, 1 Chronicles 7:16.
were, Ahian, and Shechem, and Likhi, and Aniam; from Shechem came the family of the Shethemites, as from Likhi, if he is the same with Helek, as probably he may be, was the family of the Helekites, Numbers 26:30.
and Shuthelah; his son, the son of Zabad, called after his uncle's name, 1 Chronicles 7:20.
and Ezer, and Elead; two other sons of Zabad:
whom the men of Gath that were born in that land slew: that is, Zabad and his three sons; these the men of Gath slew, who were Philistines that dwelt there, and were originally of Egypt, and were born in that land, but had removed into Palestine, which had its name from them, of which Gath was one of its cities; and this bordering upon the land of Goshen, or being near it, where the Israelites dwelt, they made inroads upon them, and plundered them:
because they came down to take away their cattle; and the sons, the grandsons of Ephraim, resisted them, and so were slain: and that the aggressors were not the Ephraimites, who went out of Egypt before their time, and fell upon the men of Gath, born in the land of the Philistines, in order to dispossess them of their land and substance, and were slain by them, which is the sense of the Targum and other writers, both Jewish and Christian; but the men of Gath, as is clear from this circumstance, that they
came down, as men did when they went from Palestine to Egypt, not when they went from Egypt to Palestine, then they "went up"; which would have been the phrase used, if this had been an expedition of the Ephraimites into Palestine; besides, it is not reasonable to think, that the Ephraimites, addicted to husbandry and cattle, and not used to war, should engage in such an enterprise; but rather the men of Gath, or the Philistines, who were a warlike people, and given to spoil and plunder; this, according to a learned chronologer (l), was seventy four years after Jacob went down to Egypt, and one hundred and forty years before the children of Israel came from thence.
(l) Nic. Abrami Pharus, l. 9. c. 21. p. 242.
and his brethren came to comfort him; some of the heads of the other tribes of Israel, particularly Manasseh, with some of his family.
she conceived and bare a son; which in some measure made up for the loss he had sustained:
and he called his name Beriah; which signifies being "in evil" or calamity, he being born in an evil time:
because it went evil with his house; or evil was in his house, as Noldius (m), in his family; a great calamity had befallen it.
(m) Ebr. Concord. Part. No. 750. p. 165.
who built Bethhoron the nether, and the upper; which were cities on the border of the tribe of Ephraim; which the Israelites having taken from the Canaanites, and destroyed, she rebuilt, see Joshua 16:3.
and Uzzensherah; which was called after her own name, and to distinguish it from another place called Uzzen; though of neither of them do we read elsewhere.
were Bethel, and the towns thereof; the villages belonging to it, which was formerly called Luz, and was the border of Ephraim, Joshua 16:7.
and eastward Naaran: the same with Naarath, Joshua 16:7.
and westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; of which see Joshua 16:3,
and Shechem also, and the towns thereof; which was a city of refuge in Mount Ephraim, Joshua 20:7
unto Gaza, and the towns thereof; not Gaza, a city of the Philistines, for the tribe of Ephraim did not reach so far; the Targum calls it Aiah; it may be read Adaza, as in the margin of our Bibles.
Bethshean and her towns, Taanach and her towns, Megiddo and her towns, Dor and her towns; of all which places see Joshua 17:11,
in these dwelt the children of Joseph the son of Israel; the Ephraimites, in those mentioned in 1 Chronicles 7:28, and the Manassites, in those that are here mentioned; who were both the children or posterity of Joseph, the beloved son of Israel.
who is the father of Birzavith; which Jarchi interprets, prince of a city of this name, which signifies pure oil; which it might have from the abundance of olives about it, Asher being a tribe which abounded with them, see Deuteronomy 33:24 though some of the Rabbins take it to be the name of a man, whose daughters, they say, as Jarchi observes, were very beautiful, having much oil to anoint with, and were married to kings and priests anointed with oil.
begat Japhlet, and Shomer, and Hotham, and Shuah their sister; a place on the borders of Ephraim is called the coast of Japhleti; but whether from this Japhlet is uncertain.
Ahi, and Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram; of whom nothing is known but their names.
Zophah, and Imna, and Shelesh, and Aram; nowhere else mentioned.
(n) Onomastic. Sacr. p. 551.
Suah, and Harnepher, and Shual, and Beri, and Imrah, Bezer; and Hod, and Shamma, and Shilshah, and Ithran, and Beera; in all eleven.
Jephunneh, and Pispah, and Ara; not Jephunneh the father of Caleb; he was not of the tribe of Asher, but of Judah.
Arah, and Haniel, and Rezia; here ends the genealogy of Asher; the last of the tribes; Dan and Zebulun not being reckoned at all.