1 Chronicles 1
This chapter and many that follow it repeat the genealogies we have
hitherto met with in the sacred history, and put them all together,
with considerable additions. We may be tempted, it may be, to think it
would have been well if they had not been written, because, when they
come to be compared with other parallel places, there are differences
found, which we can scarcely accommodate to our satisfaction; yet we
must not therefore stumble at the word, but bless God that the things
necessary to salvation are plain enough. And since the wise God has
thought fit to write these things to us, we should not pass them over
unread. All scripture is profitable, though not all alike profitable;
and we may take occasion for good thoughts and meditations even from
those parts of scripture that do not furnish so much matter for
profitable remarks as some other parts. These genealogies,
1. Were then of great use, when they were here preserved, and put into
the hands of the Jews after their return from Babylon; for the
captivity, like the deluge, had put all into confusion, and they, in
that dispersion and despair, would be in danger of losing the
distinctions of their tribes and families. This therefore revives the
ancient landmarks even of some of the tribes that were carried captive
into Assyria. Perhaps it might invite the Jews to study the sacred
writings which had been neglected, to find the names of their
ancestors, and the rise of their families in them.
2. They are still of some use for the illustrating of the
scripture-story, and especially for the clearing of the pedigrees of
the Messiah, that it might appear that our blessed Saviour was,
according to the prophecies which went before of him, the son of David,
the son of Judah, the son of Abraham, the son of Adam. And, now that he
has come for whose sake these registers were preserved, the Jews since
have so lost all their genealogies that even that of the priests, the
most sacred of all, is forgotten, and they know not of any one man in
the world that can prove himself of the house of Aaron. When the
building is reared the scaffolds are removed. When the promised Seed
has come the line that was to lead to him is broken off. In this
chapter we have an abstract of all the genealogies in the book of
Genesis, till we come to Jacob.
I. The descents from Adam to Noah and his sons, out of Gen. v.,
1 Chronicles 1:1-4.
II. The posterity of Noah's sons, by which the earth was repeopled, out
of Gen. x.,
1 Chronicles 1:5-23.
III. The descents from Shem to Abraham, out of Gen. xi.,
1 Chronicles 1:24-28.
IV. The posterity of Ishmael, and of Abraham's sons by Keturah, out of
1 Chronicles 1:29-35.
V. The posterity of Esau, out of Gen. xxxvi.,
1 Chronicles 1:36-54.
These, it is likely, were passed over lightly in Genesis; and
therefore, according to the law of the school, we are made to go over
that lesson again which we did not learn well.
1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh,
2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,
3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,
4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
5 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan,
and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
6 And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
7 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and
8 The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
9 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and
Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
10 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth.
11 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and
12 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,)
13 And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth,
14 The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite,
15 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
16 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.
17 The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud,
and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.
18 And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber.
19 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was
Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his
brother's name was Joktan.
20 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and
21 Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah,
22 And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
23 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons
24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah,
25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,
26 Serug, Nahor, Terah,
27 Abram; the same is Abraham.
This paragraph has Adam for its first word and Abraham
for its last. Between the creation of the former and the birth of the
latter were 2000 years, almost the one-half of which time Adam himself
lived. Adam was the common father of our flesh, Abraham the common
father of the faithful. By the breach which the former made of the
covenant of innocency, we were all made miserable; by the covenant of
grace made with the latter, we all are, or may be, made happy. We all
are, by nature, the seed of Adam, branches of that wild olive. Let us
see to it that, by faith, we become the seed of Abraham
that we be grafted into the good olive and partake of its root and
I. The first four verses of this paragraph, and the last four, which
are linked together by Shem
(1 Chronicles 1:4,24),
contain the sacred line of Christ from Adam to Abraham, and are
inserted in his pedigree,
the order ascending as here it descends. This genealogy proves the
falsehood of that reproach, As for this man, we know not whence he
is. Bishop Patrick well observes here that, a genealogy being to be
drawn of the families of the Jews, this appears as the peculiar glory
of the Jewish nation, that they alone were able to derive their
pedigree from the first man that God created, which no other nation
pretended to, but abused themselves and their posterity with fabulous
accounts of their originals, the Arcadians fancying that they were
before the moon, the people of Thessaly that they sprang from stones,
the Athenians that they grew out of the earth, much like the vain
imaginations which some of the philosophers had of the origin of the
universe. The account which the holy scripture gives both of the
creation of the world and of the rise of nations carries with it as
clear evidences of its own truth as those idle traditions do of their
own vanity and falsehood.
II. All the verses between repeat the account of the replenishing of
the earth by the sons of Noah after the flood.
1. The historian begins with those who were strangers to the church,
the sons of Japhet, who were planted in the isles of the Gentiles,
those western parts of the world, the countries of Europe. Of these he
gives a short account
(1 Chronicles 1:5-7),
because with these the Jews had hitherto had little or no dealings.
2. He proceeds to those who had many of them been enemies to the
church, the sons of Ham, who moved southward towards Africa and those
parts of Asia which lay that way. Nimrod the son of Cush began to be an
oppressor, probably to the people of God in his time. But Mizraim, from
whom came the Egyptians, and Canaan, from whom came the Canaanites, are
both of them names of great note in the Jewish story; for with their
descendants the Israel of God had severe struggles to get out of the
land of Egypt and into the land of Canaan; and therefore the branches
of Mizraim are particularly recorded
(1 Chronicles 1:11,12),
and of Canaan,
1 Chronicles 1:13-16.
See at what a rate God valued Israel when he gave Egypt for their
and cast out all these nations before them,
3. He then gives an account of those that were the ancestors and allies
of the church, the posterity of Shem,
1 Chronicles 1:17-23.
These peopled Asia, and spread themselves eastward. The Assyrians,
Syrians, Chaldeans, Persians, and Arabians, descended from these. At
first the originals of the respective nations were known; but at this
day, we have reason to think, the nations are so mingled with one
another, by the enlargement of commerce and dominion, the transplanting
of colonies, the carrying away of captives, and many other
circumstances, that no one nation, no, nor the greatest part of any, is
descended entire from any one of these fountains. Only this we are sure
of, that God has created of one blood all nations of men; they
have all descended from one Adam, one Noah. Have we not all one
father? Has not one God created us?
Our register hastens to the line of Abraham, breaking off abruptly from
all the other families of the sons of Noah but that of Arphaxad, from
whom Christ was to come. The great promise of the Messiah (says bishop
Patrick) was translated from Adam to Seth, from him to Shem, from him
to Eber, and so to the Hebrew nation, who were entrusted, above all
nations, with that sacred treasure, till the promise was performed and
the Messiah had come, and then that nation was made not a
28 The sons of Abraham; Isaac, and Ishmael.
29 These are their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael,
Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,
30 Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema,
31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael.
32 Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bare
Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and
Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan.
33 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and
Abida, and Eldaah. All these are the sons of Keturah.
34 And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel.
35 The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and
36 The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam,
Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek.
37 The sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.
38 And the sons of Seir; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and
Anah, and Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan.
39 And the sons of Lotan; Hori, and Homam: and Timna was
40 The sons of Shobal; Alian, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi,
and Onam. And the sons of Zibeon; Aiah, and Anah.
41 The sons of Anah; Dishon. And the sons of Dishon; Amram, and
Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
42 The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, and Jakan. The sons
of Dishan; Uz, and Aran.
43 Now these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom
before any king reigned over the children of Israel; Bela the
son of Beor: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
44 And when Bela was dead, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah
reigned in his stead.
45 And when Jobab was dead, Husham of the land of the Temanites
reigned in his stead.
46 And when Husham was dead, Hadad the son of Bedad, which
smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the
name of his city was Avith.
47 And when Hadad was dead, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his
48 And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river
reigned in his stead.
49 And when Shaul was dead, Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned
in his stead.
50 And when Baal-hanan was dead, Hadad reigned in his stead: and
the name of his city was Pai; and his wife's name was
Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
51 Hadad died also. And the dukes of Edom were; duke Timnah,
duke Aliah, duke Jetheth,
52 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
53 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
54 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram. These are the dukes of Edom.
All nations but the seed of Abraham are already shaken off from this
genealogy: they have no part nor lot in this matter. The Lord's
portion is his people. Of them he keeps an account, knows them by
name; but those who are strangers to him he beholds afar off. Not that
we are to conclude that therefore no particular persons of any other
nation but the seed of Abraham found favour with God. It was a truth,
before Peter perceived it, that in every nation he that feared God
and wrought righteousness was accepted of him. Multitudes will be
brought to heaven out of all nations
and we are willing to hope there were many, very many, good people in
the world, that lay out of the pale of God's covenant of peculiarity
with Abraham, whose names were in the book of life, though not
descended from any of the following families written in this book.
The Lord knows those that are his. But Israel was a chosen
nation, elect in type; and no other nation, in its national capacity,
was so dignified and privileged as the Jewish nation was. That is the
holy nation which is the subject of the sacred story; and therefore we
are next to shake off all the seed of Abraham but the posterity of
Jacob only, which were all incorporated into one nation and joined to
the Lord, while the other descendants from Abraham, for aught that
appears, were estranged both from God and from one another.
I. We shall have little to say of the Ishmaelites. They were the
sons of the bondwoman, that were to be cast out and not to be heirs
with the child of the promise; and their case was to represent that of
the unbelieving Jews, who were rejected
&c.), and therefore there is little notice taken of that nation.
Ishmael's twelve sons are just named here
(1 Chronicles 1:29-31),
to show the performance of the promise God made to Abraham, in answer
to his prayer for him, that, for Abraham's sake, he should become a
great nation, and particularly that he should beget twelve princes,
II. We shall have little to say of the Midianites, who descended
from Abraham's children by Keturah. They were children of the
east (probably Job was one of them), and were separated from Isaac,
the heir of the promise
and therefore they are only named here,
1 Chronicles 1:32.
The sons of Jokshan, the son of Keturah, are named also, and the sons
(1 Chronicles 1:32,33),
who became most eminent, and perhaps gave denomination to all these
families, as Judah to the Jews.
III. We shall not have much to say of the Edomites. They had an
inveterate enmity to God's Israel; yet because they descended from
Esau, the son of Isaac, we have here an account of their families, and
the names of some of their famous men,
1 Chronicles 1:35
to the end. Some slight differences there are between some of the names
here, and as we had them in
whence this whole account is taken. Three of four names that were
written with a Vau there are written with a Jod here,
probably the pronunciation being altered, as is usual in other
languages. We now write many words very differently from what they were
written but 200 years ago. Let us take occasion, from the reading of
these genealogies, to think,
1. Of the multitudes that have gone through this world, have acted
their part in it, and then quitted it. Job, even in his early day, saw
not only every man drawing after him, but innumerable before
All these, and all theirs, had their day; many of them made a mighty
noise and figure in the world; but their day came to fall, and their
place knew them no more. The paths of death are trodden paths, but
vestigia nulla retrorsum--none can retrace their steps.
2. Of the providence of God, which keeps up the generations of men, and
so preserves that degenerate race, though guilty and obnoxious, in
being upon earth. How easily could he cut it off without either a
deluge or a conflagration! Write but all the children of men
childless, as some are, and in a few years the earth will be eased of
the burden under which it groans; but the divine patience lets the
trees that cumber the ground not only grow, but propagate. As one
generation, even of sinful men, passes away, another comes
and will do so while the earth remains. Destroy it not, for a
blessing is in it.