The Word Made Fresh
1Israel’s family tree:
Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 3Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, 4Noah, Shem, Ham. and Japheth. 5After Japheth came Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech. and Tiras.
6Gomer’s descendants were Ashkenaz, Diphath, and Togarmah. 7Javan’s descendants were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.
8Ham’s descendants were Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan.
9The descendants of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Saba, Raama, and Sabteca.
The descendants of Raama were Sheba and Dedan.
10Cush was also the father of Nimrod, the first man to be acclaimed as a mighty warrior.
11Egypt’s descendants were the Ludim, the Anamim, the Lehabim, the Naphtuhim, 12the Pathrusim, the Casluhim and the Caphtorim from whom the Philistines came.
13Canaan was the father of Sidon and Heth, and from that family came 14the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 15the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 16the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.
17Shem’s descendants were Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech. 18Arpachshad was the father of Shelah and Shelah was the father of Eber.
19Eber had two sons: Peleg (so named because the people of the earth were separated in those days), and his brother Joktan.
20Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the children of Joktan.
24Abraham’s ancestors were Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, 25Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26Serug, Nahor, and Terah, 27who was the father of Abram, whose name was changed to Abraham.
28The sons of Abraham were Isaac and Ishmael.
29Ishmael’s sons were Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
32Abraham’s concubine, Keturah, gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.
The sons of Jokshan were Sheba and Dedan.
33The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these descended from Keturah.
34Abraham’s other son was Isaac. Isaac’s sons were Esau and Israel.
35The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.
36The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna, and Amalek.
37Reuel’s sons were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.
38Seir’s sons were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan.
39Lotan’s sons were Hori and Homam. His sister was Timna.
40Shobal’s sons were Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi, and Onam.
Zibeon’s sons were Aiah and Anah.
41Anah had one son: Dishon.
Dishon’s sons were Hamran, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran.
42Ezer’s sons were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Jaakan.
Dishan’s sons were Uz and Aran.
43Before the Israelites had a king, there were kings in the land of Edom. Bela, son of Beor, ruled in Dinhabah. 44When he died, Jobab son of Zerah of Bozrah succeeded him. 45Jobab was succeeded by Husham the Temanite. 46When he died, Hadad son of Bedad became king. He defeated the Midianites in the land of Moab. His capital city was Avith. 47Hadad was succeeded by Samlah from Masrekah. 48He died and was followed by Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates. 49Shaul died and was succeeded by Baal-Hanan son of Achbor. 50When he died Hadad succeeded him. His capital was at Pai. His wife’s name was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, daughter of Me-zahab.
The family heads of Edom were Timna, Aliah, Jehtheth, 52Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54Magdiel, and Iram.
Some notes before we begin:
Scholars generally agree that the Chronicles were compiled later than Samuel and Kings. Although in Chronicles we retrace much of the history we have already read in the earlier books, there are significant differences which we will encounter throughout. These two books are a gold mine of historical information, but more importantly they are a treasure trove of spiritual wisdom. The main problem for casual readers is that the opening chapters with their extensive genealogical lists are so difficult to pronounce and read that many people never get to the meat of the book. Yet, even in those lists of hard-to-pronounce names, there are gems to mine. Here is a simple guide to pronouncing the names: They are generally stressed on the first syllable (names with more than four syllables are stressed on the third from the end). So,
1-4: A-dam; SETH; E-nosh; KE-nan, ma-HA-la-lel, JA-red, E-noch, me-THU-se-lah, LA-mech, NO-ah, SHEM, HAM, JA-pheth. This is the list of Adam’s lineage through the first nine chapters of Genesis, choosing the most prominent member from each generation (usually the eldest, but Seth is an exception because Cain, the oldest, fell from grace).
5-7: It is usually assumed that since Japheth is listed last among Noah’s sons, he must be the youngest, but here his line is given first. The names follow Genesis 10:3-5 with some changes in spelling. Beginning with Noah’s grandchildren the names are of cities in the ancient world, or of tribal groups known to later times (names ending “-im” usually denote a tribal group). Elishah, not to be confused with the prophet Elisha, was a coastal region (Ez. 27:7) and Tarshish is thought to have been on the Atlantic coast of Spain. Kittim is thought to be an ancient name for Cyprus, and Rodanim (sometimes Dodanim) is the Island of Rhodes off the southwest coast of Turkey.
8-10: Again, the grandchildren of Noah are names of places. Cush is Ethiopia, I won’t use the space here to identify all of them, but it is a fascinating exercise to Google the names. Nimrod is often identified as one of the early Assyrian kings, Tikulti-Ninurta. In Genesis, Nimrod is the ruler of Shinar, an Assyrian province.
11-12: The names in this section are of peoples known to the Israelites in ancient times. The Ludim are from Lydia. Caphtor is usually equated with Crete, and is considered the place of origin of the Philistines.
13-16: More indigenous peoples are explained as having arisen from Canaan, Noah’s grandson.
17-23: Now we come to Shem, Noah’s eldest son who was with him on the ark. Shem’s sons are all listed. Then, beginning with the next generation beyond them the text concentrates on the line which will lead directly to Abraham. An exception is the list of the descendants of Joktan (his brother Peleg is the ancestor of Abraham). Joktan’s lineage is named here because of the importance of many of these names as place names in the Middle East in ancient times. The importance of all these lists to this point is, of course, to demonstrate that from those who survived the Flood sprang all the peoples of the world.
24-27: Now the record backs up to Shem again and lists only those descendants who lead us directly to Abram/Abraham.
28-33: Abraham’s lineage will receive special attention, of course. His firstborn was Ishmael, but Isaac is listed here first because Isaac is the one who leads us to Jacob/Israel. Ishmael’s sons are listed. Some of the names are unknown elsewhere; some are names of cities in the region. Keturah’s descendants are listed for several generations. Keturah was Abraham’s wife after Sarah died. Again, most of the names are of cities or regions such as Midian and Sheba.
34-37: Isaac’s sons were Esau and Israel (Jacob), but the chronicler takes the time and space to honor Esau’s line.
38-42: Seir has not been mentioned above, but is part of Esau’s line. Esau settled in the “hill country of Seir,” part of Edom (see Deut. 2:8, for example). In fact, every other reference to Seir in the Bible is clearly as a place name. This is the only verse where it seems to represent the name of a descendant of Esau. Most of the other names listed in this section are either unknown or names of cities or other locales.
43-54: The list of the kings of Edom given in these verses generally follows the record that was given in Genesis 36:31-42 with a few differences in the spelling of names.
We’re off to a great start! Don’t give up!