The Word Made Fresh
1The sons of Israel were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, 2Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
3Judah’s sons by his Canaanite wife Bath-Shua were Er, Onan, and Shelah. Judah’s first-born, Er, was judged by the LORD to be wicked and was put to death. 4He also had sons by his daughter-in-law Tamar; Perez and Zerah. So, Judah had five sons in all.
5The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
6Zerah’s five sons were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara.
7Carmi’s son was Achar, who disturbed Israel when he stole some of the spoils taken from their enemy that were devoted to the LORD.
8Ethan’s son was Azariah.
9Hezron’s sons were Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai.
10Ram was Amminadab’s father, and Amminadab was Nahshon’s father, a leader in Judah.
11Nahshon’s son was Salma. Salma was the father of Boaz. 12Boaz was the father of Obed and Obed the father of Jesse.
13Jesse’s seven sons were Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, 14Nethanel, Raddai, 15Ozem, and David. 16Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail.
Zeruiah’s three sons were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel.
17Abigail married Jether the Ishmaelite, and their son was Jether.
18Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wives Azubah and Jerioth. Azubah bore Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19When Azubah died he married Ephrath, and they had a son, Hur.
20Hur’s son was Uri, and Uri’s son was Bezalel.
21When Hezron was sixty years old he married the daughter of Machir, who was Gilead’s father. She became pregnant and gave birth to Segub. 22Segub’s son was Jair, who ruled over twenty-three towns in Gilead. 23But then Geshur and Aram took over Havvoth-Jair and Kenath with its outlying villages – sixty towns in all. These were the descendants of Machir, father of Gilead. 24Hezron died in Caleb-Ephrathah, and after he died his wife Abijah bore him Ashhur who became the father of Tekoa.
25Hezron’s eldest son, Jerahmeel, was the father of Ram, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. 26He also had another wife, Atarah, who was the mother of his son Onam. 27The sons of Ram, Jerahmeel’s eldest son, were Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. 28Onam’s sons were Shammai and Jada. Shammai’s sons were Nadab and Abishur. 29Abishur married Abihail, and their sons were Ahban and Molid. 30Nadab’s sons were Seled and Appaim. Seled died childless. 31Appaim was the father of Ishi; Ishi was the father of Sheshan; Sheshan was the father of Ahlai. 32The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother, were Jether and Jonathan. Jether died without children. 33Jonathan’s sons were Peleth and Zaza. All these were descended from Jerahmeel.
34Sheshan had no sons, only daughters, but he had an Egyptian slave named Jarha, 35so he gave a daughter in marriage to him, and they had a son whom they named Attai. 36 Attai was the father of Nathan and Nathan was the father of Zabad.
37Zabad’s son was Ephlal. Ephlal’s son was Obed. 38Obed’s son was Jehu, who in turn was the father of Azariah. 39Azariah was the father of Helez, and Helez was the father of Eleasah. 40Eleasah’s son was Sismai, who was the father of Shallum, 41who in turn became the father of Jekamiah, and Jekamiah’s son was Elishama.
42Jerahmeel’s brother, Caleb, was the father of Mesha, his firstborn, and Mesha’s son was Hebron. 43Hebron’s sons were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44Shema’s son was Raham and Raham’s son was Jorkeam. Rekem’s son was Shammai. 45Shammai was the father of Maon. Maon’s son was Beth-Zur. 46Caleb had other sons with his concubine, Ephah: Haran and Moza, and Haran’s son was Gazez. 47Jahdai’s sons were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph. 48Caleb also had another concubine, Maacah, who gave birth to Sheber and Terhanah. 49She also bore Shaaph, who was the father of Madmannah, and Sheva, who was the father of Machbenah and Gibea. Achsah was Caleb’s daughter. 50All these were the descendants of Caleb.
Ephrathah’s firstborn was Hur. Hur was the father of Shobal, who was the father of Kiriath-Jearim; 51Salma, father of Bethlehem; and Hereph, father of Beth-Gader. 52Shobal also had other sons: Haroeh, and half of those who settled Menuhoth. 53The clans of Kiriath-Jearim were the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; and from these came the Zorathites and Eshtaolites. 54Salma’s offspring were Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-Beth-Joab, half of the Manahathites and the Zorites. 55He was also the progenitor of the families of the scribes who resided at Jabez – the Tirathites, Ahimeathites, and Sucathites. These were the Kenites who came from Hammath, who was the father of Rechab.
1-4: Chapter 2 traces the lineage of Jacob’s son Judah. Judah was the fourth son born to Jacob (with Leah) but the tribe of Judah became the most prominent and last remaining tribe before the exile to Babylon. In tracing the lineage from Judah to David the chronicler follows the genealogical records we saw in Genesis. There is no attempt to hide the “skeletons in the closet.” David descended from the line that descended through the union of Judah and his own daughter-in-law Tamar, even though such a union is specifically forbidden in the Law (Lev. 18:15 and 20:12). Judah and Tamar’s twin sons were Perez and Zerah (see Genesis 38 for more details).
5-8: Perez is the one who interests us as the direct ancestor of King David, but space is given here to record the children of his twin brother Zerah as well. In the various listings in the Bible there is some confusion with regards to Zerah’s offspring. Five are listed here in verse 6, but in verse 7 Carmi is named, who is not in the list of five. Carmi was listed as a son of Reuben in previous lists (Gen. 46:9 and Ex. 6:14), but in Joshua is named as a grandson of Zerah by Zabdi, who is not mentioned here as a son of Zerah (see Joshua 7:1). The reference to the “devoted things” involves the story of the battle of Jericho. In that story, Achan (the same as the Achan named here), son of Carmi, stole some of the religious icons he found in Jericho, and for that Israel was defeated in their next battle. Achan was found to be the cause for their having lost God’s favor and was stoned to death by all the people. Go back and read Joshua 7 if you want the whole story.
9-17: This section returns to the line that runs through Perez, continuing with his son Hezron. We are taken on a direct lineage to David and his brothers and sisters. The nephews are listed as well, who played a role in David’s administration when he was king.
18-20: We take another side trip; Caleb (not the one who teamed with Joshua) is named as a fourth son of Hezron, and his lineage is followed to his great-grandson Bezalel, the craftsman who made the Ark of the Covenant (Ex. 37:1).
21-24: In his old age Hezron married again and this line is traced in order to fit in some other significant (though now obscure) events involving towns in the land of Gilead.
25-41: A complicated account of the family tree of Jerahmeel is given here, but there is nothing of particular note.
42-50: Another version of the family tree of Caleb, fourth son of Hezron, is given, but none of the names here match the ones in verses 18-20.
50-55: Hur is the son of Ephrath and Caleb (see verse 19). This list, too, is complicated and most of the names are obscure, but they seem to be an attempt to account for the existence of groups of people (Shumathites, Mishraites, etc.) who settled somewhere in or near Israel and had dealings with the descendants of Jacob.
These lists were compiled after the Exile to Babylon when Israel was desperately trying to hang on to their lineage. Yes, it is tedious reading for us, but these records were used by New Testament writers in their attempt to trace the lineage of Jesus.
You don’t have to struggle with these lists. Glance through them, and you’ll see a few names you recognize, which will help you appreciate the continuum that began in Genesis.