And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Shaul.—Saul, the name of the first king of Israel.
Rehoboth by the river.—Probably the same as Rehoboth Ir in Genesis 10:11, i.e., the suburbs of Nineveh. The river is Euphrates.
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].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. And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)48. Rehoboth by the River] The Euphrates is meant. See Map 6 in the Cambridge Companion to the Bible.Verse 48. - Rehoboth by the river; i.e. the Euphrates, to distinguish it probably from "the city Rehoboth" of Genesis 10:11. Genesis 36:20-30 the tribal princes of the Seirite inhabitants of the land are noticed; and in our chapter also, 1 Chronicles 1:38, the names of these seven שׂעיר בּני, and in 1 Chronicles 1:39-42 of their sons (eighteen men and one woman, Timna), are enumerated, where only Aholibamah the daughter of Anah, also mentioned in Genesis 36:25, is omitted. The names correspond, except in a few unimportant points, which have been already discussed in the Commentary on Genesis. The inhabitants of Mount Seir consisted, then, after the immigration of Esau and his descendants, of twenty tribes under a like number of phylarchs, thirteen of whom were Edomite, of the family of Esau, and seven Seirite, who are called in the Chronicle שׂעיר בּני, and in Genesis חרי, Troglodytes, inhabitants of the land, that is, aborigines.
If we glance over the whole posterity of Abraham as they are enumerated in 1 Chronicles 1:28-42, we see that it embraces (a) his sons Ishmael and Isaac, and Isaac's sons Israel and Esau (together 4 persons); (b) the sons of Ishmael, or the tribes descended from Ishmael (12 names); (c) the sons and grandsons of Keturah (13 persons or chiefs); (d) the thirteen phylarchs descended from Esau; (e) the seven Seirite phylarchs, and eighteen grandsons and a granddaughter of Seir (26 persons). We have thus in all the names of sixty-eight persons, and to them we must add Keturah, and Timna the concubine of Eliphaz, before we get seventy persons. But these seventy must not by any means be reckoned as seventy tribes, which is the result Bertheau arrives at by means of strange calculations and errors in numbers.
(Note: That the Chronicle gives no countenance to this view appears from Bertheau's calculation of the 70 tribes: from Ishmael, 12; from Keturah, 13; from Isaac, 2; from Esau, 5 sons and 7 grandchildren of Eliphaz (Timna, 1 Chronicles 1:36, being included in the number), and 4 grandsons by Reuel - 16 in all; from Seir 7 sons, and from these 20 other descendants, 27 in all, which makes the sum of 70. But the biblical text mentions only 19 other descendants of Seir, so that only 26 persons came from Seir, and the sum is therefore 12 + 13 + 2 + 16 + 26 equals 69. But we must also object to other points in Bertheau's reckoning: (1) the arbitrary change of Timna into a grandchild of Esau; (2) the arbitrary reckoning of Esau and Israel ( equals Jacob) without Ishmael. Was Esau, apart from his sons, the originator of a people? Had the author of the Chronicle cherished the purpose attributed to him by Bertheau, of bringing the lists of names handed down by tradition to the round or significant number 70, he would certainly in 1 Chronicles 1:33 not have omitted the three peoples descended from Dedan (Genesis 25:3), as he might by these names have completed the number 70 without further trouble.)
Upon this conclusion he founds his hypothesis, that as the three branches of the family of Noah are divided into seventy peoples (which, as we have seen before is not the case), so also the three branches of the family of Abraham are divided into seventy tribes; and in this again he finds a remarkable indication "that even in the time of the chronicler, men sought by means of numbers to bring order and consistency into the lists of names handed down by tradition from the ancient times."
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