1 Chronicles 2:51 Commentaries: Salma the father of Bethlehem and Hareph the father of Beth-gader.
1 Chronicles 2:51
Salma the father of Bethlehem, Hareph the father of Bethgader.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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. Salma the father of Beth-lehem, to wit, in part; for Boaz descended from another Salmon, who was the son of Nahshon, 1 Chronicles 2:11.

Hareph the father of Beth-gader, called also Penuel the father of Gedor, 1 Chronicles 4:4. Salma the father of Bethlehem,.... Or prince of Bethlehem, as the Targum; not the same as in 1 Chronicles 2:11 he was the son of Nahshon, this of the younger Caleb:

Hareph, the father of Bethgader; prince of a place of that name called Gedor, 1 Chronicles 4:4, and where this man's name is Penuel; Gedor was in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:58.

Salma the father of Bethlehem, Hareph the father of Bethgader.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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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