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Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament

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Chapter 6
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Verses 1-10
And the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel (for he was the first-born; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's couch, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the prince; but the birthright was Joseph's:) the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel: Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, Beerah his son, whom Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria carried away captive: he was prince of the Reubenites. And his brethren by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned: the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah, and Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelt in Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baal-meon: and eastward he dwelt even unto the entrance of the wilderness from the river Euphrates, because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead. And in the days of Saul, they made war with the Hagrites, who fell by their hand; and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the [land] east of Gilead.

Verses 11-17
And the sons of Gad dwelt over against them, in the land of Bashan unto Salecah: Joel the chief, and Shapham the second, and Janai, and Shaphat in Bashan. And their brethren of their fathers' houses: Michael, and Meshullam, and Sheba, and Jorai, and Jacan, and Zia, and Eber, seven. These were the sons of Abihail, the son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz; Ahi the son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, chief of their fathers' houses. And they dwelt in Gilead in Bashan, and in its towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, as far as their borders. All these were reckoned by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.

Verses 18-22
The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were forty and four thousand seven hundred and threescore, that were able to go forth to war. And they made war with the Hagrites, with Jetur, and Naphish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagrites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them; for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them, because they put their trust in him. And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men a hundred thousand. For there fell many slain, because the war was of God. And they dwelt in their stead until the captivity.

Verses 23, 24
And the children of the half-tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land: they increased from Bashan unto Baal-hermon and Senir and mount Hermon. And these were the heads of their fathers' houses: even Epher, and Ishi, and Eliel, and Azriel, and Jeremiah, and Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty men of valor, famous men, heads of their fathers' houses.

Verses 25, 26
And they trespassed against the God of their fathers, and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God destroyed before them. And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river of Gozan, unto this day.

Of him came the prince
(1 Chronicles 5:2). Despite the fact of the double portion, normally the right of the first-born, having been transferred to Joseph, The Chronicler thought that the birthright of Joseph was nullified by the apostasy of North Israel,F1 and that the blessing of the leadership of God's people was transferred to Judah.

Pul, and Tilgath-pilneser
(1 Chronicles 5:6,26). The name of this ruler is given as Tiglath-pileser in 2 Kings 15:29. The variation in name could have come about by different pronunciations in diverse languages, or by difficulties some copyist might have found in copying it! If the latter had anything to do with it, this writer can identify with the problem; because copying all of these names has been indeed a painstaking and difficult assignment! Pul and Tilgath-pilneser are the same man, Pul being his personal name which he retained as king of Babylon, and Tiglath-pileser his throne name as king of Assyria.F2

The Hagrites
(1 Chronicles 5:10). These were the same as the Arabs.F3

(1 Chronicles 5:17). This was Jeroboam II.F4

1 Chr. 5:18-22 record an important victory over their enemies by the trans-Jordanic tribes, no record of which is found elsewhere in the Bible. This should warn us against assuming that the Bible records any such thing as a complete history of God's people. "There may be many other gaps in Samuel and Kings which Chronicles does not fill."F5

Many of the events mentioned in this chapter are recorded in Gen. 25; Gen. 35; and Gen. 49; Exo. 6; Josh. 22:11, and in Num. 1:20; 26:5.F6 See our comments under those references in our commentaries.

The king of Assyria. carried them away
(1 Chronicles 5:26). This was the captivity of the tribes of Israel which inhabited the country east of Jordan. `It took place eleven years prior to the fall of Samaria (722 B.C.), that is, in 733 BC.F7

Footnotes for 1 Chronicles 5
1: The Anchor Bible, Chronicles, p. 36.
2: The New Bible Commentary, Revised, p. 373.
3: The Anchor Bible, op. cit., p. 37.
4: J. R. Dummelow's Commentary, p. 251.
5: Ibid.
6: The Anchor Bible, Chronicles, p. 35.
7: Wycliffe Old Testament Commentary, p. 372.

Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". <>. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.  


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