And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Chronicles 2:13-15. Eliab — Called also Elihu, 1 Chronicles 27:18, unless that was another son of Jesse, as some think, not mentioned elsewhere; which would make the number to be eight, according to 1 Samuel 16:10; 1 Samuel 17:12. Or that Elihu, although there called the brother of David, might perhaps only be his kinsman, according to the usual language of Scripture. David the seventh — David was certainly the youngest son of Jesse, 1 Samuel 16:11. And if, as seems probable, one of them died soon after the time when they were said to he eight, he would of course be reckoned as the seventh.Joshua 7:1 seems to have become "Achar," in order to assimilate the word more closely to the Hebrew term for "troubler," which was from the time of Achan's sin regarded as the true meaning of his name Joshua 7:25-26. Eliab, called also Elihu. 1 Chronicles 27:18 unless that was another person, and the word brother to be taken largely for a kinsman, as is frequently used. 1 Samuel 16:10, one of them therefore is not reckoned, either because he was by another woman, and the writer only mentions those that were of the same mother with David; this is the opinion of Aben Ezra and Kimchi; some say he was dead before David came to the kingdom; Kimchi mentions a Midrash, or exposition of theirs, according to which his name was Elihu, and was younger than David, who is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 27:18, and Jarchi observes, that the writer, having found the pearl (David), reckons not the eighth son Elihu, though the Syriac and Arabic versions have inserted him in this order, "Elihu the seventh, David the eighth"; some take the eighth to be a grandson of Jesse, Jonathan the son of Shimea, 2 Samuel 21:21 the third son of Jesse, here called Shimma, as he is Shammah, 1 Samuel 16:9. And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. Shimma] R.V. Shimea, as in 1 Chronicles 20:7. His name is written “Shammah” in 1 Samuel 16:9. In 2 Samuel 21:21 “Shimei” (R.V.).Verses 13-15 give us what we have not elsewhere, the names of the fourth, fifth, and sixth sons of Jesse, viz. Nathaneel, Raddai (but see 1 Kings 1:8), and Ozem. But, on the other hand, they make it appear that David was the seventh of seven, instead of (1 Samuel 14:10, 11; 1 Samuel 17:12) the eighth of eight sons. The missing son, any way, belongs to the seventh place. The Syriac and Arabic versions have taken the Elihu of 1 Chronicles 27:18, and put him in this place. Others, following the Septuagint, suppose this Elihu, if strictly a brother of David, to be Eliab, the oldest. The explanation of the absence of the name here may be that he died early and without issue, and would accordingly be the less wanted in a genealogical register. 1 Chronicles 2:6, five names are grouped together as בּנים of Zerah, which are found nowhere else so united. The first, Zimri, may be strictly a son; but זמרי may perhaps be a mistake for זבדּי, for Achan, who is in 1 Chronicles 2:7 the son of Carmi, is in Joshua 7:1 called the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah. But זבדּי (Josh.) may also be an error for זמרי, or he may have been a son of Zimri, since in genealogical lists an intermediate member of the family is often passed over. Nothing certain can, however, be ascertained; both names are found elsewhere, but of persons belonging to other tribes: Zimri as prince of the Simeonites, Numbers 25:14; as Benjamite, 1 Chronicles 8:36; 1 Chronicles 9:42; and as king of Israel, 1 Kings 16:9; Zabdi, 1 Chronicles 8:19 (as Benjamite), and 1 Chronicles 27:27, Nehemiah 11:17. The four succeeding names, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara, are met with again in 1 Kings 5:11, where it is said of Solomon he was wiser than the Ezrahite Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Machol, with the unimportant variation of דרדע for דרע. On this account, Movers and Bertheau, following Clericus on 1 Kings 4:31 (1 Kings 5:11), hold the identity of the wise men mentioned in 1 Kings 5:11 with the sons (descendants) of Zerah to be beyond doubt. But the main reason which Clericus produces in support of this supposition, the consensus quatuor nominum et quidem unius patris filiorum, and the difficulty of believing that in alia familia Hebraea there should have been quatuor fratres cognomines quatuor filiis Zerachi Judae filii, loses all its force from the fact that the supposition that the four wise men in 1 Kings 5:11 are brothers by blood, is a groundless and erroneous assumption. Since Ethan is called the Ezrahite, while the last two are said to be the sons of Machol, it is clear that the four were not brothers. The mention of them as men famous for their wisdom, does not at all require that we should think the men contemporary with each other. Even the enumeration of these four along with Zimri as זרח בּני in our verse does not necessarily involve that the five names denote brothers by blood; for it is plain from 1 Chronicles 2:7, 1 Chronicles 2:8 that in this genealogy only single famous names of the family of Zerah the son of Judah and Tamar are grouped together. But, on the other hand, the reasons which go to disprove the identity of the persons in our verse with those named in 1 Kings 5:11 are not of very great weight. The difference in the names דרע and דרדע is obviously the result of an error of transcription, and the form העזרחי (1 Kings 5:11) is most probably a patronymic from זרח, notwithstanding that in Numbers 26:20 it appears as זרחי, for even the appellative עזרח, indigena, is formed from זרח. We therefore hold that the persons who bear the same names in our verse and in 1 Kings 5:11 are most probably identical, in spite of the addition מחול בּני to Calcol and Darda (1 Kings 5:11). For that this addition belongs merely to these two names, and not to Ezrah, appears from Psalm 88:1 and Psalm 89:1, which, according to the superscription, were composed by the Ezrahites Heman and Ethan. The authors of these psalms are unquestionably the Heman and Ethan who were famed for their wisdom (1 Kings 5:11), and therefore most probably the same as those spoken of in our verse as sons of Zerah. It is true that the authors of these psalms have been held by many commentators to be Levites, nay, to be the musicians mentioned in 1 Chronicles 15:17 and 1 Chronicles 15:19; but sufficient support for this view, which I myself, on 1 Kings 5:11, after the example of Hengstenberg, Beitrr. ii. S. 61, and on Psalm 88 defended, cannot be found. The statement of the superscription of Psalm 88:1 - "a psalm of the sons of Korah" - from which it is inferred that the Ezrahite Heman was of Levitic origin, does not justify such a conclusion.
(Note: The above quoted statement of the superscription of Psalm 88:1 can contain no information as to the author of the psalm, for this reason, that the author is expressly mentioned in the next sentence of the superscription. The psalm can only in so far be called a song of the children of Korah, as it bears the impress peculiar to the Korahite psalms in contents and form.)
For though the musician Heman the son of Joel was Korahite of the race of Kohath (1 Chronicles 6:18-23), yet the musician Ethan the son of Kishi, or Kushaiah, was neither Korahite nor Kohathite, but a Merarite (1 Chronicles 6:29.). Moreover, the Levites Heman and Ethan could not be enumerated among the Ezrahites, that is, the descendants of Zerah, a man of Judah.
The passages which are quoted in support of the view that the Levites were numbered with the tribes in the midst of whom they dwelt, and that, consequently, there were Judaean and Ephraimite Levites - as, for example, 1 Samuel 1:1, where the father of the Levite Samuel is called an Ephrathite because he dwelt in Mount Ephraim; and Judges 17:7, where a Levite is numbered with the family of Judah because he dwelt as sojourner (גּר) in Bethlehem, a city of Judah - certainly prove that the Levites were reckoned, as regards citizenship, according to the tribes or cities in which they dwelt, but certainly do not show that they were incorporated genealogically with those tribes because of their place of residence.
(Note: Not even by intermarrying with heiresses could Levites become members of another tribe; for, according to the law, Numbers 36:5., heiresses could marry only men of their own tribe; and the possibility of a man of Judah marrying an heiress of the tribe of Levi was out of the question, for the Levites possessed no inheritance in land.)
The Levites Heman and Ethan, therefore, cannot be brought forward in our verse "as adopted sons of Zerah, who brought more honour to their father than his proper sons" (Hengstb.). This view is completely excluded by the fact that in our verse not only Ethan and Heman, but also Zimri, Calcol, and Dara are called sons of Zerah, yet these latter were not adopted sons, but true descendants of Zerah. Besides, in 1 Chronicles 2:8, there is an actual son or descendant of Ethan mentioned, and consequently בּני and בּן cannot possibly be understood in some cases as implying only an adoptive relationship, and in the others actual descent. But the similarity of the names is not of itself sufficient to justify us in identifying the persons. As the name Zerah again appears in 1 Chronicles 6:26 in the genealogy of the Levite Asaph, so also the name Ethan occurs in the same genealogy, plainly showing that more than one Israelite bore this name. The author of the Chronicle, too, has sufficiently guarded against the opinion that Zerah's sons Ethan and Heman are identical with the Levitical musicians who bear the same names, by tracing back in 1 Chronicles 6 the family of those musicians to Levi, without calling them Ezrahites.
(Note: The supposition of Ewald and Bertheau, that these two great singers of the tribe of Judah had been admitted into their guild by the Levitic musical schools, and on that account had been received also into their family, and so had been numbered with the tribe of Levi, is thus completely refuted, even were it at all possible that members of other tribes should have been received into the tribe of Levi.)
But to hold, with Movers, S. 237, that the recurrences of the same names in various races are contradictions, which are to be explained only on the supposition of genealogical combinations by various authors, will enter into the head of no sensible critic. We therefore believe the five persons mentioned in our verse to be actual descendants of the Judaean Zerah; but whether they were sons or grandsons, or still more distant descendants, cannot be determined. It is certainly very probable that Zimri was a son, if he be identical with the Zabdi of Joshua 7:1; Ethan and Heman may have been later descendants of Zerah, if they were the wise men mentioned in 1 Kings 5:11; but as to Calcol and Dara no further information is to be obtained. From 1 Chronicles 2:7 and 1 Chronicles 2:8, where of the sons (בּני) of Zimri and Ethan only one man in each case is named, it is perfectly clear that in our genealogy only individuals, men who have become famous, are grouped together out of the whole posterity of Zerah. The plural בּני in 1 Chronicles 2:7 and 1 Chronicles 2:8, etc., even where only one son is mentioned, is used probably only in those cases where, out of a number of sons or descendants, one has gained for himself by some means a memorable name. This is true at least of Achan, 1 Chronicles 2:7, who, by laying hands on the accursed spoils of Jericho, had become notorious (Joshua 7). Because Achan had thus troubled Israel (עכר), he is called here at once Achar. As to Carmi, vide on 1 Chronicles 4:1.
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