1 Chronicles 2:42
Now the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel were, Mesha his firstborn, which was the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron.
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(42-55) These verses revert to the Calebite stocks. Interpreted as merely bearing upon the extraction of individuals about whom, for the most part, nothing whatever is known beyond what these brief notices reveal, the section presents great difficulties. The key to it appears to be the assumption that it is an ancient record of the relations between certain great branches of the tribe of Judah, and their various settlements; in other words, these lists are tribal and topographical, rather than genealogical.

I.—1Chronicles 2:42-45 : Caleb brother of Jerahmeel = Caleb son of Hezron (1Chronicles 2:18) = Chelubai (1Chronicles 2:9).

(42) Mesha.—The name of a king of Moab (2Kings 3:4), whose monument of victory, the famous Moabite stone, was found in 1868 at Dibou. Here the name is probably that of a principal Calebite clan, settled at Ziph, near Hebron (Joshua 15:54-55; 1Samuel 23:14).

Father of Ziph.—Comp. 1Chronicles 2:21, “father of Gilead,” and 24.

And the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron.—The statement of the verse is, “the sons of Mareshah were sons of Caleb,” that is, the Mareshathites, or people of Mareshah (Joshua 15:44), a town in the Shephelah, were a Calebite clan. This branch of Caleb is called “father of Hebron,” because it had the chief part in colonising that old Canaanite city.

(43) Korah.—Elsewhere the name of a subdivision of the Kohathite Levites; in 1Chronicles 1:35 it was a tribe of Edomites. In this place, therefore, it may be a clan of Hebronites.

Tappuah.—A town in the Shephelah (Joshua 15:34; Joshua 16:8).

Rekem.—A Benjamite city (Joshua 18:27); in 1Chronicles 7:16, a Machirite chieftain or clan.

Shema.—Occurs several times in the chronicle. In 1Chronicles 5:8; 1Chronicles 8:13 it appears to be the name of a clan; in 1Chronicles 11:44 and Nehemiah 8:4 a person is meant.

(44) Jorkoam.—Occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament. The LXX. (Alex.) has Ἰεκλάν, Jeklan. Probably, therefore, the correct reading is Jokdeam. (For the change of Hebrew d to Greek l see 1Kings 5:11, where Hebrew Darda is represented by Δαραλά.) Jokdeam was a town in the hill-country of Judah (Joshua 15:56). The chief or clan Raham is here called its father or founder.

Rekem.—The LXX. (Alex.) again has Jeklan (Jokdeam), which is as likely to be right as Rekem.

Shammai.—See 1Chronicles 2:28.

(45) Maon . . . Beth-zur.—Towns in the hill-country of Judah (Joshua 15:55; Joshua 15:58). Maon, now Main, south of Hebron. Beth-zur (2Chronicles 11:7), now Beit-sûr. In Judges 10:12 Midianites, not Maonites, is the better reading.

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.A third line of descent from Caleb, the son of Hezron, the issue probably of a different mother, perhaps Jerioth 1 Chronicles 2:18. The supposed omissions in this verse have been supplied as follows:

(1) "Mesha, the father of Ziph; and the sons of Ziph, Mareshah, the father of Hebron;" or

(2) "Mareshah, the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah, the father of Ziph, Hebron."

Ziph, like Jorkoam 1 Chronicles 2:44 and Beth-zur 1 Chronicles 2:45, is the name of a place where the respective chiefs ("fathers") settled. Similarly Madmannah, Machbenah, and Gibea 1 Chronicles 2:49, Kirjath-jearim (Joshua 9:17 note), Bethlehem and Beth-gader (Jedur, 1 Chronicles 2:51) are unmistakeable names of places in the list, names which it is not probable were ever borne by persons.

42. the sons of Caleb—(compare 1Ch 2:18, 25). The sons here noticed were the fruit of his union with a third wife. The sons of Caleb, to wit, of that Caleb mentioned 1 Chronicles 2:18, as appears by comparing that verse with 1 Chronicles 2:21. And these are his sons by another and his third wife. See Poole "1 Chronicles 2:18".

Ziph; the name either of a man, or of a place, of which see Joshua 15:24,55; and then father is to be understood here, as 1 Chronicles 2:23,24.

The father of Hebron; not the place so called, but a man, as is evident, because his sons here follow. Now the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel,.... Called Chelubai, 1 Chronicles 2:9 and is the same Caleb spoken of in 1 Chronicles 2:18 and his sons next reckoned were by a third wife, Azubah, Ephrath being dead, 1 Chronicles 2:19 and these sons were

Mesha his firstborn, which was the father of Ziph; who gave name to the city of Ziph; there were two of this name in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:24 or this is the title of Mesha, governor of the city of Ziph; so the Targum calls him, prince of the Ziphites:

and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron; according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, the words are to be supplied thus, "and the sons of Ziph were Mareshah the father of Hebron"; which, though sometimes the name of a city in the tribe of Judah, is here the name of a man, from whom, perhaps, the city had its name, since Hebron is said to have sons in the next verse; Jarchi makes Mesha to be the prince of Ziph, and prince of the children of Mareshah, and prince of Hebron.

Now the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel were, Mesha his firstborn, which was the {l} father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron.

(l) That is, the chief governor or prince of the Ziphims, because the prince should have a fatherly care and affection for his people.

42–49. The Descendants of Caleb

42. Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel] Called Chelubai (1 Chronicles 2:9) and Caleb the son of Hezron (1 Chronicles 2:18). There is nothing to shew what relationship existed between this Caleb and Caleb son of Jephunneh (1 Chronicles 4:15 and Numbers 13:6). Perhaps they are to be identified; cp. 1 Chronicles 2:49, note. Both are assigned to the tribe of Judah.

Several of the names, viz. Ziph (Joshua 15:24 or 55), Mareshah (2 Chronicles 11:8), Hebron, Tappuah (Joshua 15:34), Maon (Joshua 15:55), and Beth-zur (Joshua 15:58) are names of towns in the S. or S.W. of Judah, and consequently may represent here the respective populations of those towns, and not individual descendants of Caleb.

Mesha] The Moabite king whose deeds are recorded on the Moabite stone bore this name. It means Victory, enlargement. LXX. reads Mareshah (Μαρεισά) as in the latter part of the verse.Verses 42-49. - These verses are occupied with the resumption of descendants of Caleb - the Caleb apparently of vers. 9 and 18, though, this being so, the last clause in ver. 49, the daughter of Caleb, Achsa, will require accounting for. This statement would lead us to suppose that we were assuredly reading of Caleb the son of Jephunneh; but it cannot be so. The name of Caleb, with the questions gathering round it, will be best considered here. Of the nine times in which it occurs in this chapter, the mere duplicates (of vers. 20, 46, 48) may be at once counted off. The compound "Caleb-ephratah" of ver. 24 has been already dealt with. Nor need we for the present suppose ver. 50 to have any real meaning inconsistent with its apparent meaning, viz. that Caleb is the name of a grandson (son of Hut) as well as of the grandfather. There remain the occasions of the occurring of the word in vers. 9, 18, 42, 49.

1. The first appearance, then, of the name in this chapter (ver. 9) exhibits it in a form different from that in which it appears the other times in this chapter or elsewhere, viz. as כְלוּבַי, instead of כָלֵב (or once as a patronymic, 1 Samuel 25:3, כּלִֹבִּי). The Vulgate follows the Hebrew, but the Septuagint has at once substituted Caleb. The Syriac Version has Salchi, and the Arabic Sachli, both of them, no doubt, mere transcribers' errors through the mistake of a letter. This form "Chelubai" is, then, an ἅπαξ λεγόμενον, and no different account has yet been given of the name appearing thus on this one occasion. It may be described, with Lange ('Comm. Old Testament,' in loc.), as "adjectivus gentilis" to כְלוּב, which word, however, occur where it will, is never treated as a synonym with Caleb except by the Septuagint, and then but once (1 Chronicles 4:11), making Lange's further claim of three forms for the name of Caleb wrong. The name might be translated the "Cheluban" or "Chelubite."

2. The Caleb called here first "Chelubai," again" Caleb the son of Hezron," and now "Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel," some, and Keil among them, have endeavoured to identify with Caleb the son of Jephunneh. This latter is a well-known figure in history. He, together with Joshua, was among those who, departing from Egypt, were pursued of Pharaoh, and of all the host these two alone lived to enter into the promised land. This is enough to give him distinction and a prominent place before the eye. To this Caleb unmistakable reference is made in twenty-eight passages, in sixteen of which he is called "son of Jephunneh," and in three of those sixteen "son of Jephunneh the Kenazite." Now, he tells us himself (Joshua 14:7) that he was forty years old in the seceded year after the Exodus. But it seems (Genesis 46:12, 26) that Hezron, grandson of Judah, and the father of the Caleb of this chapter, was, however young, one of those who went down into Egypt with Jacob, at a date, according to any chronology, which must render it impossible for any son of his to have been alive and only forty years of age at the time of the Exodus. This being so, either the statement already referred to, found at the close of ver. 49, that "the daughter of Caleb was Achsa," must be an interpolation from some ignorant transcriber's marginal annotation, or, unlikely as it is, Caleb the son of Hezron and Caleb the son of Jephunneh both named a daughter Achsa. It is, moreover, likely enough that the frequent describing of Caleb the son of Jephuuneli in this style was occasioned by the desire to distinguish him from some other Caleb, not a contemporary, indeed, but already well known m a generation preceding but not too remote. Other considerations decidedly concur with this view: e.g. Ram is brother of Caleb the son of Hezron; he has a grandson, Nahshon, of great distinction," a prince of the children of Judah," whose sister Aaron married; he was the elect of the Judah tribe to assist Moses and Aaron in the first numbering of the people (Numbers 1:7). Great prominence is given to him (Numbers 7:12; Numbers 10:14). He was clearly (Matthew 1:4; Luke 3:32) fifth in descent from Judah, in perfect agreement with the table of this chapter. Now, it was this grandson of the elder brother of Caleb who was contemporary with Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Similarly, the Bezaleel of this chapter (ver. 20), a great-grandson of Caleb the Hezronite, is spoken of (Exodus 31:1; Exodus 35:30) at the same date exactly at which Caleb the son of Jephunneh says he was still but forty years of age l

3. The identity of the Caleb of ver. 50, son of Hut, with Caleb the son of Jephuuneh is supposed by some, but is not clear. It appears to be asserted, without explanation, in the arts. "Caleb" and "Ephrath," signed A. C. H., Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' though in the second part of the latter article it is alluded to as only possible. On the other hand, it may rather be that Caleb the son of Jephunneh, instead of being identical with this Caleb the son of Hur, is so called in order to distinguish him from this latter as a contemporary. Again, it has been happily conjectured ('Speaker's Commentary,' in loc.) that just as ver. 33 closes the table of Jerahmeel with "These were the sons of Jerahmeel," so ver. 49 should close the table of Caleb (ver. 42) with the words, These were the Boris of Caleb. With a slight alteration, ver. 50 would then begin The sons of Hur, etc. This is, however, only conjecture. Ver. 42, then, must be considered to give us another family of Caleb, i.e. a family by another wife, of name not given, just possibly the Jerioth unaccounted for in ver. 18. The first statement lauds us in perplexity. Mesha (מֵישַׁע) is the firstborn (i.e. by the wife or woman in question), and the founder of Ziph. And amid some omission or corruption of text, we are then confronted with the words, and the sons of Marsehah (מָרֵישָׁה) the father (or again, perhaps founder) of Hebron. The reading of the Septuagint gives Mareshah in both of these passages, and may come from a Hebrew text that we have not. The substitution could, however, scarcely be accounted for as a mere clerical error, considering both the omission of a resh and the replacing of an he with an ayin. The sentence refuses at present any treatment except the unsatisfactory one of pure conjecture. But employing this, it may be noted that the omitting of the words, "the sons of," before Mareshah would most help to clear the verse of confusion. In this and following verses, Ziph, Hebron, Tappuah, Jorkoam, and Beth-zur, are all names of places certainly, whether or not they are all of persons. The descendants of Jada, the brother of Shammai, in two generations, after which this genealogy closes with the subscription, "these were the sons of Jerahmeel."

(Note: Bertheau reckons up to "the concluding subscription in 1 Chronicles 2:33" the following descendants of Judah: "Judah's sons equals 5; Hezron and Hamul equals 2; Zerah's sons equals 5; Karmi, Akar, and Azariah equals 3; Ram and his descendants (including the two daughters of Jesse, and Jeter the father of Amasa) equals 21; Kaleb and his descendants equals 10; Jerahmeel and his descendants equals 24: together equals 70." But this number also is obtained only by taking into account the father and mother of Amasa as two persons, contrary to the rule according to which only the father, without the mother, is to be counted, or, in case the mother be more famous than the father, or be an heiress, only the mother.)

- In 1 Chronicles 2:34-41 there follows the family of Sheshan, which was originated by the marriage of his daughter with his Egyptian slave, and which is continued through thirteen generations. The name of this daughter is in 1 Chronicles 2:25. not mentioned, but she is without doubt the Ahlai mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:31. But since this Ahlai is the tenth in descent from Judah through Pharez, she was probably born in Egypt; and the Egyptian slave Jarha was most likely a slave whom Sheshan had in Egypt, and whom he adopted as his son for the propagation of his race, by giving him his daughter and heir to wife. If this be the case, the race begotten by Jarha with the daughter of Sheshan is traced down till towards the end of the period of the judges. The Egyptian slave Jarha is not elsewhere met with; and though the names which his posterity bore are found again in various parts of the Old Testament, of none of them can it be proved that they belonged to men of this family, so as to show that one of these person shad become famous in history.

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