1 Chronicles 2:50
These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah; Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim.
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III.—1Chronicles 2:50-55 : A third register of Calebite clans and settlements.

(50) The sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah.—See 1Chronicles 2:19-20 and Notes. The statement “These were the sons of Caleb” should be connected with 1Chronicles 2:49, as a subscription or concluding remark to the list, 1Chronicles 2:42-49. (Comp. 1Chronicles 2:33.) A fresh start is then made with “the sons (so the LXX.) of Hur, firstborn of Ephratah,” reverting to the Caleb of 1Chronicles 2:19 seq., just as 1Chronicles 2:34 returns to Jerahmeel in the Sheshanite branch.

Shobal the father of Kirjath-jearim.—Shobal is named at 1Chronicles 4:1 as a chief clan or sub-tribe of Judah, along with Hur.

Kirjath-jearim.—“City of woods,” one of the four cities of the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:17), also called Kirjath-Baal and Baalah (Joshua 15:9; Joshua 15:60), in the hill-country of Judah.

(51) Salma the father of Beth-lehem.—See 1Chronicles 2:11, where Salma may be the feather-house (clan) of which Boaz was a member. The present Salma, however, is a Calebite, whereas the Salma of 1Chronicles 2:11 is a Ramite.

Beth-gader (géder).—Joshua 12:13, Geder; Joshua 15:36, Gederah; or perhaps Gedor (Joshua 15:58).

(52) Haroeh, and half of the Manahethites.—Haroeh is probably a relic of Jehoraah (LXX., Ἀραά) =Reaiah (see 1chron iv 2) and perhaps hatsi-hammenuhoth should be altered to hatsi-hammanahti (see 1Chronicles 2:54), which would give the sense of the Authorised Version. As the Hebrew stands, the Vulg. is a literal rendering of it: qui videbat dimidium requietionum (!). The Manahathites were the people of Manahath (1Chronicles 8:6). a town near the frontier of Dan and Judah (1Chronicles 2:54).

(53) This verse is really a continuation of the last, and a comma would be better than a full stop after the word Manahathites. The “families” (clans or groups of families, mishpehôth) dwelling in the canton of Kirjath-jearim, viz., the Ithrites, Puhites (Heb., Puthites), &c, were also sons of Shobâl. Two of David’s heroes, Ira and Gareb (1Chronicles 11:40), were Ithrites. The three other clans are nowhere else mentioned.

Of them came the Zareathites, and the Eshtaulites.—Rather, from these went forth the Zorathites, &c. The men of Zorah and Eshtaôl were subdivisions of the clans of Kirjath-jearim. Zorah (Judges 13:2), a Danite town, the home of Samson, now Sura. Eshtaôl, also a Danite town, near Zorah (Judges 16:31; Judges 18:11-12), the present Um-Eshteiyeh. Both were on the western border of Judah, a few miles west of Kirjath-jearim.

(54) The sons of Salma; Beth-lehem.—In 1Chronicles 2:51 Salma is called “father of Bethlehem,” and according to 1Chronicles 2:50, Salma is a son of Hur and a grandson of Ephratah, i.e., Beth-lehem (see 1Chronicles 2:19, Note). The recognition of the ethnographical and geographical significance of these expressions at once removes all difficulty. Salma was the principal clan established in Bethlehem-Ephratah; branches of which were settled at Netophah, a neighbouring township (1Chronicles 9:16; 2Samuel 23:28-29), important after the return (Ezra 2:22; Nehemiah 7:26).

Ataroth, the house of Joab.—Rather, Atroth-beth-Joab (comp. Abel-beth-Maachah); an unknown town, whose name means “ramparts of the house of Joab,” i.e., “Joab’s castle,” perhaps a strong city where Joab’s family was settled. (See 1Chronicles 2:26.)

Half of the Manahethites were sons of Salma, the other half sons of Shobal (1Chronicles 2:52).

The Zorites.—A by-form of Zorathites (1Chronicles 2:53). The word really belongs to the next verse, as the sons of Salma are arranged in pairs.

(55) The families (mishpehôth=clans) of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez.—Among the clans calling themselves sons of Salma were three groups of Sopherim (Authorised version, “scribes”) settled at Jabez (Heb., Ia‘bêç), a town of northern Judah, near to Zorah. (See 1Chronicles 4:9, Note.) The three clans were known as those of Tir‘ah, Shimeah, and Suchah. The Vulg. treats these names as appellatives, and renders canentes atque resonantes et in tabernaculis commorantes, that is, “singing and resounding, and dwelling in tents.” This translation is assumed to be due to Jerome’s Rabbinical teachers, and is justified by reference to the words terû‘āh, “trumpet-blare;” shim‘āh, “report;” or the Aramaic Shema‘tâ “legal tradition” and sûkāh (= sukkah), “a booth.” Hence the conclusion has been drawn that the Sopherim of Jabez were, in fact, ministers of religion, discharging functions precisely like those of the Levites. So Wellhausen, who refers to Jeremiah 35:19, and the title of Psalms 70 in the LXX., and to one or two late fragmentary notices of the Rechabites. On the face of it the supposition is unlikely; nor does it derive any real support from the Kenite origin of these Sopherim, for it is a mere fancy that the house of Jethro, the Kenite priest of Midian, became temple-ministers in Israel. Besides, the etymologies of the names are hardly cogent; and if we try to extract history from etymology here, we might as well do so in the case of the clans of Kirjath-jearim (1Chronicles 2:53), and make the Ithrites a guild of ropers (yether, “cord, bowstring”), the Puthites hinge-makers (pôthôth1Kings 1:50—“hinges”), and the Shumathithes garlic-eaters (shûm, “garlic,” Numbers 11:5). The Vulg. often makes the blunder of translating proper names. (See 1Chronicles 2:52; 1Chronicles 2:54).

These are the Kenites that came of Hemath (Heb., Hammath), the father of the house of (Beth-) Rechab.—The three clans of Sopherim were originally Kenites, and traced their descent from Hammath, the traditional founder of the Rechabite stock. When, or under what circumstances these Rechabite Kenites amalgamated with the Calebite clan of Salma is unknown; but comp. Judges 1:11-16.

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.Caleb the son of Hur - Hur was the son, not the father, of Caleb 1 Chronicles 2:19. The text should perhaps be read: "These (the list in 1 Chronicles 2:42-49) were the sons of Caleb. The sons of Hur, the first-born of Ephratah, were Shobal, etc." 42. the sons of Caleb—(compare 1Ch 2:18, 25). The sons here noticed were the fruit of his union with a third wife. No text from Poole on this verse. 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.

These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah; Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim.
50. These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur] Read with LXX., These were the sons of Caleb. The sons of Hur (Cp. R.V.). Hur was the son of Caleb (1 Chronicles 2:19).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. Other renowned descendants of Caleb. - First of all there are enumerated, in 1 Chronicles 2:42-49, three lines of descendants of Caleb, of which the two latter, 1 Chronicles 2:46-49, are the issue of concubines. - The first series, 1 Chronicles 2:42-45, contains some things which are very obscure. In 1 Chronicles 2:42 there are menitioned, as sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel, Mesha his first-born, with the addition, "this is the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah, the father of Hebron," as it reads according to the traditional Masoretic text. Now it is here not only very surprising that the sons of Mareshah stand parallel with Mesha, but it is still more strange to find such a collocation as "sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron." The last-mentioned difficulty would certainly be greatly lessened if we might take Hebron to be the city of that name, and translate the phrase "father of Hebron," lord of the city of Hebron, according to the analogy of "father of Ziph," "father of Tekoa" (1 Chronicles 2:24), and other names of that sort. But the continuation of the genealogy, "and the sons of Hebron were Korah, and Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema" (1 Chronicles 2:43), is irreconcilable with such an interpretation. For of these names, Tappuah, i.e., apple, is indeed met with several times as the name of a city (Joshua 12:17; Joshua 15:34; Joshua 16:8); and Rekem is the name of a city of Benjamin (Joshua 18:27), but occurs also twice as the name of a person - once of a Midianite prince (Numbers 31:8), and once of a Manassite (1 Chronicles 7:16); but the other two, Korah and Shema, only occur as the names of persons. In 1 Chronicles 2:44., moreover, the descendants of Shema and Rekem are spoken of, and that, too, in connection with the word הוליד, "he begat," which demonstrably can only denote the propagation of a race. We must therefore take Hebron as the name of a person, as in 1 Chronicles 6:2 and Exodus 6:18. But if Hebron be the name of a man, then Mareshah also must be interpreted in the same manner. This is also required by the mention of the sons of Mareshah parallel with Mesha the first-born; but still more so by the circumstance that the interpretation of Mareshah and Hebron, as names of cities, is irreconcilable with the position of these two cities, and with their historical relations. Bertheau, indeed, imagines that as Mareshah is called the father of Hebron, the famous capital of the tribe of Judah, we must therefore make the attempt, however inadmissible it may seem at first sight, to take Mareshah, in the connection of our verse, as the name of a city, which appears as father of Hebron, and that we must also conclude that the ancient city Hebron (Numbers 13:23) stood in some sort of dependent relationship to Mareshah, perhaps only in later time, although we cannot at all determine to what time the representation of our verse applies. But at the foundation of this argument there lies an error as to the position of the city Mareshah. Mareshah lay in the Shephelah (Joshua 15:44), and exists at present as the ruin Marasch, twenty-four minutes south of Beit-Jibrin: vide on Joshua 15:44; and Tobler, Dritte Wanderung, 129 and 142f. Ziph, therefore, which is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 11:8 along with Mareshah, and which is consequently the Ziph mentioned in our verse, cannot be, as Bertheau believes, the Ziph situated in the hill country of Judah, in the wilderness of that name, whose ruins are still to be seen on the hill Zif, about four miles south-east from Hebron (Joshua 15:55). It can only be the Ziph in the Shephelah (Joshua 15:24), the position of which has not indeed been discovered, but which is to be sought in the Shephelah at no great distance from Marasch, and thus far distant from Hebron. Since, then, Mareshah and Ziph were in the Shephelah, no relation of dependence between the capital, Hebron, situated in the mountains of Judah, and Mareshah can be thought of, neither in more ancient nor in later time. The supposition of such a dependence is not made probable by the remark that we cannot determine to what time the representation of our verse applies; it only serves to cover the difficulty which renders it impossible. That the verse does not treat of post-exilic times is clear, although even after the exile, and in the time of the Maccabees and the Romans, Hebron was not in a position of dependence on Marissa. Bertheau himself holds Caleb, of whose son our verses treat, for a contemporary of Moses and Joshua, because in 1 Chronicles 2:49 Achsa is mentioned as daughter of Caleb (Joshua 15:16; Judges 1:12). The contents of our verse would therefore have reference to the first part of the period of the judges. But since Hebron was never dependent on Mareshah in the manner supposed, the attempt, which even at first sight appeared so inadmissible, to interpret Mareshah as the name of a city, loses all its support. For this reason, therefore, the city of Hebron, and the other cities named in 1 Chronicles 2:43., which perhaps belonged to the district of Mareshah, cannot be the sons of Mareshah here spoken of; and the fact that, of the names mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:43 and 1 Chronicles 2:44, at most two may denote cities, while the others are undoubtedly the names of persons, points still more clearly to the same conclusion. We must, then, hold Hebron and Mareshah also to be the names of persons.

Now, if the Masoretic text be correct, the use of the phrase, "and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron," instead of "and Mareshah, the sons of the father of Hebron," can only have arisen from a desire to point out, that besides Hebron there were also other sons of Mareshah who were of Caleb's lineage. But the mention of the sons of Mareshah, instead of Mareshah, and the calling him the father of Hebron in this connection, make the correctness of the traditional text very questionable. Kimchi has, on account of the harshness of placing the sons of Mareshah on a parallel with Mesha the first-born of Caleb, supposed an ellipse in the expression, and construes מר ובני, et ex filiis Ziphi Mareshah. But this addition cannot be justified. If we may venture a conjecture in so obscure a matter, it would more readily suggest itself that מרשׁה is an error for מישׁע, and that חברון אבי is to be taken as a nomen compos., when the meaning would be, "and the sons of Mesha were Abi-Hebron." The probability of the existence of such a name as Abihebron along with the simple Hebron has many analogies in its favour: cf. Dan and Abidan, Numbers 1:11; Ezer, 1 Chronicles 12:9, Nehemiah 3:19, with Abi-ezer; Nadab, Exodus 6:23, and Abinadab. In the same family even we have Abiner, or Abner, the son of Ner (1 Samuel 14:50.; 2 Samuel 2:8; cf. Ew. 273, S. 666, 7th edition). Abihebron would then be repeated in 1 Chronicles 2:43, in the shortened form Hebron, just as we have in Joshua 16:8 Tappuah, instead of En-tappuah, Joshua 17:7. The four names introduced as sons of Hebron denote persons, not localities: cf. for Korah, 1 Chronicles 1:35, and concerning Tappuah and Rekem the above remark. In 1 Chronicles 2:44 are mentioned the sons of Rekem and of Shema, the latter a frequently recurring man's name (cf. 1 Chronicles 5:8; 1 Chronicles 8:13; 1 Chronicles 11:44; Nehemiah 8:4). Shema begat Raham, the father of Jorkam. The name יקעם is quite unknown elsewhere. The lxx have rendered it Ἰεκλὰν, and Bertheau therefore holds Jorkam to be the name of a place, and conjectures that originally יקדעם (Joshua 15:56) stood here also. But the lxx give also Ἰεκλὰν for the following name רקם, from which it is clear that we cannot rely much on their authority. The lxx have overlooked the fact that רקם, 1 Chronicles 2:44, is the son of the Hebron mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:43, whose descendants are further enumerated. Shammai occurs as a man's name also in 1 Chronicles 2:28, and is again met with in 1 Chronicles 4:17. His son is called in 1 Chronicles 2:45 Maon, and Maon is the father of Bethzur. בּית־צוּר is certainly the city in the mountains of Judah which Rehoboam fortified (2 Chronicles 11:7), and which still exists in the ruin Bet-sur, lying south of Jerusalem in the direction of Hebron. Maon also was a city in the mountains of Judah, now Main (Joshua 15:55); but we cannot allow that this city is meant by the name מעון, because Maon is called on the one hand the son of Shammai, and on the other is father of Bethzur, and there are no well-ascertained examples of a city being represented as son (בּן) of a man, its founder or lord, nor of one city being called the father of another. Dependent cities and villages are called daughters (not sons) of the mother city. The word מעון, "dwelling," does not per se point to a village or town, and in Judges 10:12 denotes a tribe of non-Israelites.

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