1 Chronicles 4:11
And Chelub the brother of Shuah begat Mehir, which was the father of Eshton.
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(11-12) A fragment relating to the “men of Rechah,” a name which occurs nowhere else, and for which Rechab appears a plausible correction. So the Vat., LXX. Ρηχάβ. Compare 1Chronicles 2:55, where the Sopherim of Jabez are called Rechabites, and see Notes on the passage. These Rechabites united with the Salmaite branch of Hurites; and Hur was a son of Caleb, 1Chronicles 2:19. Hence it is likely that the Chelub of 1Chronicles 4:11 is identical with the Caleb-Chelubai of 1 Chronicles 2, who represents a main division of the Hezronites. Others suppose that the epithet, “brother of Shuah” (Shuhah), is meant to obviate this identification. The other names in this short section are wholly unknown. But their form shows at once that Beth-rapha and Ir-nahash (serpent city) are towns.

Paseah (lame; comp. Latin Claudius as a family name) recurs Nehemiah 3:6; and as the name of a clan of Nethinim, Ezra 2:49, Nehemiah 7:51. The subscription, “these are the men of Rechah” (Rechab), probably looks back as far as 1Chronicles 4:8.

(13–15) The sons of Kenazi.e., the Kenizzite element in Judah. Kenaz was the name of an Edomite clan, 1Chronicles 1:53, and of an old Canaanite race.

Othniel.Judges 1:13, one of the heroes of the conquest; Judges 3:9, he vanquishes Chushan-rishathaim, king of Aram-naharaim. In both passages he is called “son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.” The Kenizzites, who cast in their lot with the Calebites of Judah, were naturally called “younger brothers” of their new kindred.

Seraiah is unknown.

The sons of Othniel, Hathath.—Eathath means dread, Job 6:21. Comp. the name Hittites, from the same root. The sons of Othniel (lion of God) would be a terror to their foes.

“And Meonothai” has perhaps been accidentally omitted at the end of this verse, before the same phrase in 1Chronicles 4:14. Or the genealogist may have purposely omitted it, as implied by what follows 1Chronicles 4:14. Meonothai is apparently a gentilic name, i.e., Meonothites. The name Maon occurs Joshua 15:55 as a Judcan town; and Maon was the residence of the Calebite Nabal, 1Samuel 25:2-3.

Ophrah.—Occurs several times as the name of a town; in Jude 1:7 as the city of Gideon, who belonged to Manasseh; in Joshua 18:23, as a place in Benjamin. The latter may be meant here, as the boundaries of the tribes varied at different epochs.

Joab, father of the valley of Charashim.—Charashim means workers in wood, or metal, or stone, 1Chronicles 14:1, 2Chronicles 24:12, 1Chronicles 22:15. This valley of craftsmen (Val-aux-forges, as Reuss translates it) is mentioned again, Nehemiah 11:35. Lod, that is Lydda-Diospolis of Roman times, was situate here; a place occupied by Benjamites after the return. In Nehemiah 7:11, Ezra 2:6, in a list of those who returned with Zerubbabel, mention is made of some “sons of Joab.” For the term father in this connection, comp. Genesis 4:20-21.

Theyi.e., the sons of Joab, were craftsmen or smiths.

4:1-43 Genealogies. - In this chapter we have a further account of Judah, the most numerous and most famous of all the tribes; also an account of Simeon. The most remarkable person in this chapter is Jabez. We are not told upon what account Jabez was more honourable than his brethren; but we find that he was a praying man. The way to be truly great, is to seek to do God's will, and to pray earnestly. Here is the prayer he made. Jabez prayed to the living and true God, who alone can hear and answer prayer; and, in prayer he regarded him as a God in covenant with his people. He does not express his promise, but leaves it to be understood; he was afraid to promise in his own strength, and resolved to devote himself entirely to God. Lord, if thou wilt bless me and keep me, do what thou wilt with me; I will be at thy command and disposal for ever. As the text reads it, this was the language of a most ardent and affectionate desire, Oh that thou wouldest bless me! Four things Jabez prayed for. 1. That God would bless him indeed. Spiritual blessings are the best blessings: God's blessings are real things, and produce real effects. 2. That He would enlarge his coast. That God would enlarge our hearts, and so enlarge our portion in himself, and in the heavenly Canaan, ought to be our desire and prayer. 3. That God's hand might be with him. God's hand with us, to lead us, protect us, strengthen us, and to work all our works in us and for us, is a hand all-sufficient for us. 4. That he would keep him from evil, the evil of sin, the evil of trouble, all the evil designs of his enemies, that they might not hurt, nor make him a Jabez indeed, a man of sorrow. God granted that which he requested. God is ever ready to hear prayer: his ear is not now heavy.It has been conjectured from the strangeness of all the names in this list, that we have here a fragment of Canaanite record, connected with the family of the "Shua," whose daughter Judah took to wife 1 Chronicles 2:3; Genesis 38:2, and whose family thus became related to the tribe of Judah. 10. God granted him that which he requested—Whatever was the kind of undertaking which roused his anxieties, Jabez enjoyed a remarkable degree of prosperity, and God, in this instance, proved that He was not only the hearer, but the answerer of prayer. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Chelub the brother of Shuah begat Mehir,.... If Shuah is the same with Hushah, 1 Chronicles 4:4, then Chelub was the son of Ezer:

which was the father of Eshton; not the prince of a place called Eshton, as Vatablus; for it is the name of a man, the son of Mehir, and who in the next verse is said to beget sons.

And Chelub the brother of Shuah begat Mehir, which was the father of Eshton.
Verses 11, 12. - Of the whole of the group of names, contained in these two verses, it must be said that we are in the dark. The suggestion of Grove, in his art. "Ir-enahash" (Smith's 'Bible Dictionary'), is worth notice, that possibly the versos may be a reminiscence of some Canaanitish graft on Judah - the Shuah (שׁוּחָה) of ver. 11 pointing to the Shua (שׁוַּע)of 1 Chronicles 2:3; Genesis 38:2. Beth-rapha (the house of the giant) looks more like the name of a place than of a person, though the text needs a person, and such may be covered possibly by this name, though it be of a place. Ir-nahash (the city of the serpent). Jerome, in his 'Quaestiones Hebraicae in Parah,' asserts or repeats the assertion of some one else that this is no other place than Bethlehem; taking Nahash as a synonym with Jesse. Unlikely as this is, no place of the name is known. 1 Chronicles 4:11The genealogy of the men of Rechah. - As to their connection with the larger families of Judah, nothing has been handed down to us. Chelub, another form of the name Caleb or Chelubai (see 1 Chronicles 2:9 and 1 Chronicles 2:18), is distinguished from the better known Caleb son of Hezron (1 Chronicles 2:18 and 1 Chronicles 2:42), and from the son of Jephunneh (1 Chronicles 4:15), by the additional clause, "the son of Shuah." Shuah is not met with elsewhere, but is without reason identified with Hushah, 1 Chronicles 4:4, by the older commentators. Mehir the father of Eshton is likewise unknown. Eshton begat the house (the family) of Rapha, of whom also nothing further is said; for they can be connected neither with the Benjamite Rapha (1 Chronicles 8:2) nor with the children of Rapha (1 Chronicles 20:4, 1 Chronicles 20:6, 1 Chronicles 20:8). Paseah and Tehinnah are also unknown, for it is uncertain whether the sons of Paseah mentioned among the Nethinim, Ezra 2:49; Nehemiah 7:51, have any connection with our Paseah. Tehinnah is called "father of the city of Nahash." The latter name is probably not properly the name of a town, but rather the name of a person Nahash, not unlikely the same as the father of Abigail (2 Samuel 17:25), the step-sister of David (cf. 1 Chronicles 2:16). The men (or people) of Rechah are unknown.
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