1 Chronicles 2:55
And the families of the scribes which dwelled 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.

Another concubine of Caleb was called Maachah, a not uncommon woman's name; cf. 1 Chronicles 3:2; 1 Chronicles 7:16; 1 Chronicles 8:29; 1 Chronicles 11:43, etc. She bore Sheber and Tirhanah, names quite unknown. The masc. ילד instead of the fem. ילדה, 1 Chronicles 2:46, is to be explained by the supposition that the father who begat was present to the mind of the writer. 1 Chronicles 2:49. Then she bore also Shaaph (different from the Shaaph in 1 Chronicles 2:47), the father of Madmannah, a city in the south of Judah, perhaps identical with Miniay or Minieh, southwards from Gaza (see on Joshua 15:31). Sheva (David's Sopher scribe is so called in the Keri of 2 Samuel 20:25), the father of Machbenah, a village of Judah not further mentioned, and of Gibea, perhaps the Gibeah mentioned in Joshua 15:57, in the mountains of Judah, or the village Jeba mentioned by Robinson, Palest. ii. p. 327, and Tobler, Dritte Wanderung, S. 157f., on a hill in the Wady Musurr (vide on Joshua 15:57). This list closes with the abrupt remark, "and Caleb's daughter was Achsah." This notice can only refer to the Achsah so well known in the history of the conquest of the tribal domain of Judah, whom Caleb had promised, and gave as a reward to the conqueror of Debir (Joshua 15:16.; Judges 1:12); otherwise in its abrupt form it would have no meaning. Women occur in the genealogies only when they have played an important part in history. Since, however, the father of this Achsah was Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who was about forty years old when the Israelites left Egypt, while our Caleb, on the contrary, is called in 1 Chronicles 2:42 the brother of Jerahmeel, and is at the same time designated son of Hezron, the son of Pharez (1 Chronicles 2:9), these two Calebs cannot be one person: the son of Hezron must have been a much older Caleb than the son of Jephunneh. The older commentators have consequently with one voice distinguished the Achsah mentioned in our verse from the Achsah in Joshua 15:16; while Movers, on the contrary (Chron. S. 83), would eliminate from the text, as a later interpolation, the notice of the daughter of Caleb. Bertheau, however, attempts to prove the identity of Caleb the son of Hezron with Caleb the son of Jephunneh. The assertion of Movers is so manifestly a critical tour de force, that it requires no refutation; but neither can we subscribe to Bertheau's view. He is, indeed, right in rejecting Ewald's expedient of holding that 1 Chronicles 2:18-20 and 1 Chronicles 2:45-50 are to be referred to Chelubai, and 1 Chronicles 2:42-49 to a Caleb to be carefully distinguished from him; for it contradicts the plain sense of the words, according to which both Chelubai, 1 Chronicles 2:9, and Caleb, 1 Chronicles 2:18 and 1 Chronicles 2:42, is the son of Hezron and the brother of Jerahmeel. But what he brings forward against distinguishing Caleb the father of Achsah, 1 Chronicles 2:49, from Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel, 1 Chronicles 2:42, is entirely wanting in force. The reasons adduced reduce themselves to these: that Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the conqueror and possessor of Hebron, might well be called in the genealogical language, which sometimes expresses geographical relations, the son of Hezron, along with Ram and Jerahmeel, as the names Ram and Jerahmeel certainly denote families in Judah, who, originally at least, dwelt in other domains than that of Caleb; and again, that the individual families as well as the towns and villages in these various domains may be conceived of as sons and descendants of those who represent the great families of the tribe, and the divisions of the tribal territory. But we must deny the geographical signification of the genealogies when pressed so far as this: for valid proofs are entirely wanting that towns are represented as sons and brothers of other towns; and the section 1 Chronicles 2:42-49 does not treat merely, or principally, of the geographical relations of the families of Judah, but in the first place, and in the main, deals with the genealogical ramifications of the descendants and families of the sons of Judah. It by no means follows, because some of these descendants are brought forward as fathers of cities, that in 1 Chronicles 2:42-49 towns and their mutual connection are spoken of; and the names Caleb, Ram, and Jerahmeel do not here denote families, but are the names of the fathers and chiefs of the families which descended from them, and dwelt in the towns just named. We accordingly distinguish Caleb, whose daughter was called Achsah, and whose father was Jephunneh (Joshua 15:16.), from Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel and the son of Hezron. but we explain the mention of Achsah as daughter of Caleb, at the end of the genealogical lists of the persons and families descended by concubines from Caleb, by the supposition that the Caleb who lived in the time of Moses, the son of Jephunneh, was a descendant of an older Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel. But it is probable that the Caleb in 1 Chronicles 2:49 is the same who is called in 1 Chronicles 2:42 the brother of Jerahmeel, and whose descendants are specified 1 Chronicles 2:42-49; and we take the word בּת, "daughter," in its wider sense, as signifying a later female descendant, because the father of the Achsah so well known from Joshua 15:16. is also called son of Jephunneh in the genealogy, 1 Chronicles 4:15.
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