1 Chronicles 1:43
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.
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(43-54) The ancient kings and chiliarchs of Edom, a transcript of Genesis 36:31-43, with only such differences as are incidental to transcribing.

(43) Before any king reigned over the children of Israel.—Comp. Numbers 20:14-21, the message of Moses to the king of Edom, asking for a free passage for Israel through his domains. As the older people, and as having been earlier established in its permanent home, Edom was naturally a stage beyond Israel in political development. Unhappily brief as it is, this notice is very appropriately inserted here in an introduction to the history of the kings of the house of David.

Bela the son of Beor.—Curiously like “Balaam the son of Beor,” Numbers 22:5. In Hebrew, Bela and Balaam are essentially similar words, the terminal m of the latter being possibly a mere formative. (Perhaps, however, Balaam—Heb. Bil’am = “Bel is a kinsman”) comp. Eliam. The prophet whose strange story is read in Numbers 22-24 may, like Isaiah, have been of royal extraction.

Dinhabah.Doom-giving, that is, the place where the king gave judgment (1Samuel 8:5).

28-54 The genealogy is from hence confined to the posterity of Abraham. Let us take occasion from reading these lists of names, to think of the multitudes that have gone through this world, have done their parts in it, and then quitted it. As one generation, even of sinful men, passes away, another comes. Ec 1:4; Nu 32:14, and will do so while the earth remains. Short is our passage through time into eternity. May we be distinguished as the Lord's people.The slight differences favor the view, that the writer of Chronicles has here, as elsewhere, abridged from Genesis (see the marginal references). 37. Reuel—a powerful branch of the great Aeneze tribe, the Rowalla Arabs.

Shammah—the great tribe Beni Shammar. In the same way, the names of the other kings and dukes are traced in the modern tribes of Arabia. But it is unnecessary to mention any more of these obscure nomads, except to notice that Jobab (1Ch 1:44), one of the kings of Edom, is considered to be Job, and that his seat was in the royal city of Dinahab (Ge 36:32; 1Ch 1:43), identified with O'Daeb, a well-known town in the center of Al Dahna, a great northern desert in the direction of Chaldea and the Euphrates [Forster].

Of this and the following verses, See Poole "Genesis 36:31", &c., whence this whole relation is taken. Now these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom,.... Which had its name from Esau, who was so called, Genesis 25:30. From hence, to the end of the chapter, an account is given of the kings and dukes of Edom, in the same order as in Genesis 30:31. Now these are the {m} 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.

(m) He makes mention of the kings that came from Esau according to God's promise made to Abraham concerning him, that kings would come from him. These eight kings reigned one after another in Idumea to the time of David who conquered their country.

43–51a. The early Kings of Edom. (Cp. Genesis 36:31-39.)

43. in the land of Edom] Edom continued to play an important part in the history of Israel till long after the Chronicler’s lifetime. See (e.g.) 1Ma 5:65; 2Ma 10:14-17. Moreover the Herods were of Edomite descent.To Reuel, the son of Esau by Bashemath, four sons were born, whose names correspond to those in Genesis 36:13. These ten (6 + 4) grandsons of Esau were, with his three sons by Aholibamah (Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah, Genesis 36:35), the founders of the thirteen tribes of the posterity of Esau. They are called in Genesis 36:15 עשׂו בּני אלּוּפי, heads of tribes (φύλαρχοι) of the children of Esau, i.e., of the Edomites, but are all again enumerated, Gen. 3615-19, singly.

(Note: The erroneous statement of Bertheau, therefore, that "according to Genesis the Edomite people was also divided into twelve tribes, five tribes from Eliphaz, four tribes from Reuel, and the three tribes which were referred immediately to Aholibamah the wife of Esau. It is distinctly stated that Amalek was connected with these twelve tribes only very loosely, for he appears as the son of the concubine of Eliphaz," - must be in so far corrected, that neither the Chronicle nor Genesis knows anything of the twelve tribes of the Edomites. Both books, on the contrary, mention thirteen grandsons of Esau, and these thirteen grandsons are, according to the account of Genesis, the thirteen phylarchs of the Edomite people, who are distributed according to the three wives of Esau; so that the thirteen families may be grouped together in three tribes. Nor is Amalek connected only in a loose way with the other tribes in Genesis: he is, on the contrary, not only included in the number of the sons of Adah in Genesis 36:12, probably because Timna stood in the same relationship to Adah the wife of Esau as Hagar held to Sarah, but also is reckoned in Genesis 36:16 among the Allufim of the sons of Eliphaz. Genesis therefore enumerates not five but six tribes from Eliphaz; and the chronicler has not "completely obliterated the twelvefold division," as Bertheau further maintains, but the thirteen sons and grandsons of Esau who became phylarchs are all introduced; and the only thing which is omitted in reference to them is the title עשׂו בּני אלּוּפי, it being unnecessary in a genealogical enumeration of the descendants of Esau.)

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