1 Chronicles 2:55
And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.
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1 Chronicles 2:55. The families of the scribes — Either civil, who were public notaries, that wrote and signed legal instruments; or ecclesiastical. And these were either Levites or Simeonites, or rather Kenites, and are here mentioned not as if they were of the tribe of Judah, but because they dwelt among them, and probably were allied to them by marriages, and so in a manner incorporated with them.

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.Kenites - It is remarkable that Kenites - people of a race quite distinct from the Israelites Genesis 15:19 - should be attached to, and, as it were, included in the descendants of Judah. It seems, however, that the friendly feeling between the two tribes - based on the conduct of the Kenites at the time of the Exodus Exo 18:10-19; Numbers 10:29-32; 1 Samuel 15:6 - led to their intermixture and almost amalgamation with the Israelites, Kenite families not only dwelling among them but being actually regarded as of one blood with them. 55. the families of the scribes—either civil or ecclesiastical officers of the Kenite origin, who are here classed with the tribe of Judah, not as being descended from it, but as dwelling within its territory, and in a measure incorporated with its people.

Jabez—a place in Judah (1Ch 4:9).

Kenites that came of Hemath—who settled in Judah, and were thus distinguished from another division of the Kenite clan which dwelt in Manasseh (Jud 4:11).

The scribes; either civil, who were public notaries, who wrote and signed legal instruments; or ecclesiastical. And these were either Levites, or Simeonites, or rather Kenites, and are here mentioned not as if they were of the tribe of Judah, but because they dwelt among them, and probably were allied to them by marriages, and so in a manner incorporated with them.

Which dwelt, or rather, dwelt; Heb. were dwellers. For the other translation, which dwelt, may seem to insinuate that these were descendants of Judah, which they were not; but this translation only signifies their cohabitation with them, for which cause they are here named with them.

At Jabez; a place in Judah, so named probably from that famous Jabez of that tribe, 1 Chronicles 4:9.

The Kenites that came of Hemath; who dwelt in Judah, Judges 1:16. Thus they are distinguished from the other branch of the Kenites, who dwelt in the tribe of Manasseh, Judges 4:11.

And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez,.... A city in Judah, the founder of which, perhaps, was Jabez, mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4:9 in which learned men dwelt:

the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites; who sprung from men whose names were Tira, Shimea, and Sucha; and if they were not the posterity of Salma, yet dwelt among his, and so are reckoned with them; perhaps the latter might have their name from dwelling in tents; the former clause may be rendered, "that dwelt with Jabez", who was their master, and they his scholars; in the Vulgate Latin version the words are rendered as appellatives, "singing and resounding, and dwelling in tents": Conrad Pellican, on the place, goes a middle way, and interprets these families as dwelling with Jabez their master, and they his scholars, and that they were called by their progenitors Tirathites, because learned and ingenious, and praecentors of the divine oracles; Shimeathites, because they diligently hearkened to the sacred songs, and the doctrines of the law of God; and Suchathites, because they dwelt not in cities, but in tents, despisers of all worldly things, that they might freely attend to learn:

these are the Kenites; that is, the Suchathites are the Kenites, who, it is well known, dwelt in tents, and not in cities; though Jarchi takes these Kenites to be the inhabitants of Cain, a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:57 but they seem rather to be the Kenites that sprung from Jethro, here made mention of, because some of them dwelt in the tribe of Judah, and among the posterity of Salma, see Judges 1:16.

that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab; the prince of that family, and who from Rechab were called Rechabites, Jeremiah 35:2.

And the families of the {o} scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the {p} Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.

(o) Who were men learned and expert in the law.

(p) Read Nu 10:29, Jud 1:16.

55. at Jabez] Jabez occurs as the name of a man of the tribe of Judah in 1 Chronicles 4:9.

the Kenites that came] Render, the Kenites who came in, i.e. attached themselves to Israel.

of Hemath] Render, who were of Hammath.

the house of Rechab] The Rechabites (2 Kings 10:15; Jeremiah 35:2 ff.) are here traced to a non-Israelite source. On the incorporation of non-Israelites into Israel see Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible, ii. 508 a.

Verse 55 should not have been separated from the last word of the previous verse. The families of the scribes is linked on by the conjunction and (which has coupled the former sons of Salma also two and two) with "the Zorites." This sixth set of descendants from Salma is exhibited to us in the shape of a trio of scribe families, the heads of which will have been, presumably, Tira, Shimea, and Suchah. They are said to have dwelt at Jabez, a place not ascertained; and scarcely to be put into connection with the Jabez of 1 Chronicles 4:9. The Vulgate has translated the names of these three families: Canentes et resonantes et in tabernaculis commorantes;" and Bertheau advocates the interpretation. These families, it appears, were not purely of Judah; but very interesting it is that, though of the people whose land and possessions were to yield to the descendants of Abraham (Genesis 15:18-21), yet friendship and intermarriage had found them apparently a lasting place in Judah (Judges 1:16), while Saul was careful to urge them to save themselves when he was about to smite the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:6). Though nothing is known of the link of connection given here in the name Hemath (of which the Vulgate gives the rendering, Qui venerunt de celose patris), yet the house of the Rechabites is well known (2 Kings 10:15, 23; Jeremiah 35:2, 5, 18; and cf. 2 Samuel 4:2, particularly 3).

3. In ver. 51 Hareph (חָרֵפ) only here; though הָריִפ, found Nehemiah 7:24; Nehemiah 10:20; Ezra 2:18, may possibly he connected with it. There is nothing further said of any people derived from him except that he was father of Beth-gader. The identification of this place is not certain. Gesenius thinks it perhaps the same with Gederah (Joshua 15:36), but it is more probably the Gedor of same chapter (fifty-eighth verse), on the road between Hebron and Jerusalem.

1 Chronicles 2:55"And the families of the writers (scribes) who inhabited Jabez." The position of the town Jabez, which is mentioned only here, and which derived its name from a descendant of Judah, has not yet been discovered, but is to be sought somewhere in the neighbourhood of Zoreah. This may be inferred from the fact that of the six שׂלמא בּני, two are always more closely connected with each other by ו cop.: (1) Bethlehem and Netophathite, (2) Ataroth-beth-Joab and Hazi-Hammanahath, (3) the Zoreites and the families of the Sopherim inhabiting Jabez. These last were divided into three branches, תּרעתים, שׁמעתים, שׂוּכתים, i.e., those descended from Tira, Shimea, and Suchah. The Vulgate has taken these words in an appellative sense of the occupations of these three classes, and translates canentes et resonantes et in tabernaculis commemorantes. But this interpretation is not made even probable by all that Bertheau has brought forward in support of it. Even if שׂוּכתים might perhaps be connected with סכּה, and interpreted "dwellers in tabernacles," yet no tenable reason can be found for translating תּרעתים and שׁמעתים by canentes et resonantes. שׁמעתי, from שׁמעה, "that which is heard," cannot signify those who repeat in words and song that which has been heard; and תּרעתי no more means canentes than it is connected (as Bertheau tries to show) with שׁערים htiw , "doorkeepers" (the Chaldee תּרע being equivalent to the Hebrew שׁער); and the addition, "These are the Kenites who came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab" (מן בּוא, to issue from any one, to be descended from any one), gives no proof of this, for the phrase itself is to us so very obscure. קינים are not inhabitants of the city Kain (Joshua 15:57) in the tribal domain of Judah (Kimchi), but, judging from the succeeding relative sentence, were descendants of Keni the father-in-law of Moses (Judges 1:16), who had come with Israel to Canaan, and dwelt there among the Israelites (Judges 4:11, Judges 4:17; Judges 5:24; 1 Samuel 15:6; 1 Samuel 27:10; 1 Samuel 30:29); and Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab, i.e., of the Rechabites (Jeremiah 35:6), is probably the grandfather of Jonadab the son of Rechab, with whom Jehu entered into alliance (2 Kings 10:15, 2 Kings 10:23). But how can the families of Sopherim inhabiting Jabez, which are here enumerated, be called descendants of Salma, who is descended from Hur the son of Caleb, a man of Judah, if they were Kenites, who issued from or were descendant of the grandfather of the family of the Rechabites? From lack of information, this question cannot be answered with certainty. In general, however, we may explain the incorporation of the Kenites in the Judaean family of the Calebite Salma, on the supposition that one of these Kenites of the family of Hobab, the brother-in-law of Moses, married an heiress of the race of Caleb. On this account the children and descendants sprung of this marriage would be incorporated in the family of Caleb, although they were on their father's side Kenites, and where they followed the manner of life of their fathers, might continue to be regarded as such, and to bear the name.
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