|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-55 Genealogies. - We are now come to the register of the children of Israel, that distinguished people, who were to dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations. But now, in Christ, all are welcome to his salvation who come to him; all have equal privileges according to their faith in him, their love and devotedness to him. All that is truly valuable consists in the favour, peace, and image of God, and a life spent to his glory, in promoting the welfare of our fellow-creatures.
Verses 50-55. - The opening sentence of these verses has also been already discussed. It may be now added (see Keil, 'Commentary,' in loc.) that some would understand the words as though they meant, These were the sons of Caleb, in the descending line of Hur, Ephratah's firstborn. This rendering is got at by altering "the son of Hut" into "the sons of Hur," which seems to have been the reading of the Septuagint manuscripts, and which, at all events, their rendering has. The remainder of ver. 50, with the following four, give three sons of Caleb:
1. Shobal, prince of Kirjath-jearim (city of woods; Joshua 9:17; Joshua 18:15; Joshua 15:9, 60; cf. 18:14), on the border-hind of Judah and Benjamin, and about ten miles from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus (Nicopolis). It is to be identified, almost with certainty, with the modern Kuriet-el-Enab. Other references of exceeding interest are 1 Samuel 6:21; 1 Samuel 7:2; 2 Samuel 6:5; Ezra 2:25; Nehemiah 7:29; 1 Chronicles 13:6; 2 Chronicles 1:4; Jeremiah 26:20; Psalm 132:6. This Shobal (ver. 52) had two sons, Haroeh, i.e. Reaiah (1 Chronicles 4:5), and the progenitor, whatever his name, of half of the people called Manahethites (Authorized Version) - a form probably suggested by the Masoretic pointing of ver. 54 - or Chatsi-hammenon-choth (Hebrew text), which Gesenius treats as a proper name, and which means "the midst of quiet places" (Psalm 23:2), from which comes the patronymic of the next verse but one (Barrington, 'Genealogies,' 1:213). From the Kirjath-jearim family were derived (ver. 53), the Ithrites, Puhites, Shumathites, and Mishraites, of none of whom, except probably the Ithrites (2 Samuel 23:38; 1 Chronicles 11:40), do we find other mention; and from the Mishraites again were derived two offshoots, the Zareathites and Eshtaulites, the towns of both of whom are with great probability to be tracked (Joshua 15:33; Joshua 19:41; Judges 13:25; Judges 18:2). They were situated in that part of Judah called the "low" country, or the Shefelah, stretching from Joppa to Gaza on the Mediterranean.
2. Salma, prince of Bethlehem. The so-called "sons" here attributed to him, six in number, including Bethlehem, evidently betoken families rather than the names of individuals. The town Netophah (Ezra 2:21; Nehemiah 7:26) gave the gentile noun Netophathites (2 Samuel 23:28; Jeremiah 40:8). Ataroth, the house of Joab (i.e. "crowns" of the house of Joab), is not mentioned elsewhere; but the reason of its being distinguished thus may be due to the fact that there was another Ataroth of Gad (Numbers 32:3, 34), and yet another of Ephraim (Joshua 14:5; Joshua 18:13). The Zorites (צִרְעִי) Gesenius thinks to be another gentile form from צָרְעה with צִרְעָתִי, but of them we do not read elsewhere.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah,.... This is another Caleb, the grandson of Caleb the son of Hezron, called after his name; he was the son of Hur, the firstborn of his wife Ephratah, 1 Chronicles 2:19.
Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim: of the inhabitants of that place; they sprung from him; or, as the Targum, he was prince of Kirjathjearim, a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:60.
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