1 Chronicles 4:32
And their villages were, Etam, and Ain, Rimmon, and Tochen, and Ashan, five cities:
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(32) And their villages.—This belongs to 1Chronicles 4:31. The verb should be cancelled.

Etam, and Ain, Rimmon . . .—Why are these five cities separated from the former thirteen? The old Jewish expositors Rashi and Kimchi assert, that whereas the thirteen were lost to the Simeonites from the time of David, these five remained in their possession. The separation is made in Joshua 19 as well as here. (Many MSS. read “and Rimmon.”)

Five cities.Joshua 19:7 : “Ain, Rimmon, and Ether, and Ashan; four cities and their villages.” Etam may be a mistake for Ether. But there were two Etams, one in the hills of Judah, south of Bethlehem (see 1Chronicles 4:3, Note; 2Chronicles 11:6), and one in the south of Judah (Judges 15:8)—perhaps the place intended here. Ether occurs in Joshua 15:42 along with Ashan. Both were in the lowlands of Judah. Ain and Rimmon are spoken of as one place (Nehemiah 11:29): they must have been close to each other (comp. Buda-Pesth). Tochen only here.

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.Unto the reign of David - It is not quite clear why this clause is added. Perhaps the writer is quoting from a document belonging to David's reign. Or, he may mean that some of the cities, as Ziklag 1 Samuel 27:6, were lost to Simeon about David's time. 31-43. These were their cities unto the reign of David—In consequence of the sloth or cowardice of the Simeonites, some of the cities within their allotted territory were only nominally theirs. They were never taken from the Philistines until David's time, when, the Simeonites having forfeited all claim to them, he assigned them to his own tribe of Judah (1Sa 27:6). No text from Poole on this verse. And their villages were Etam, and Ain, Rimmon, and Tochen, and Ashan, five cities. There are but four mentioned in Joshua 19:7 one might be added since, or new built, namely, Tochen; these, according to Kimchi, were all that remained for them to dwell in, in the times of David; and therefore they were obliged to seek out for new settlements for themselves and flocks, as in 1 Chronicles 4:39, &c. And their villages were, Etam, and Ain, Rimmon, and Tochen, and Ashan, five cities:
32. And their villages were] These villages (ḥǎçêrîm) are called at the end of the verse cities, but sometimes ḥǎçêrîm are described as un-walled (Leviticus 25:31) and sometimes as dependencies of cities (1 Chronicles 4:33 of this ch.). In these two cases ḥǎçêrîm would be distinguished from cities.

Etam] In the parallel passage, Joshua 19:7, Etam is omitted and the villages (“cities”) are reckoned as four not five."Shallum (was) his son;" without doubt the son of the last named Shaul, who in Genesis and Exodus is called the son of a Canaanitish woman, and is thereby distinguished from the other sons. His family is traced down, in 1 Chronicles 4:25, 1 Chronicles 4:26, through six generations to one Shimei. But this list is divided into two groups by the words "and the sons of Mishma," inserted at the beginning of 1 Chronicles 4:26, but the reasons for the division are unknown. The plural, sons of Mishma, refers to Hammuel and his descendants Zacchur and Shimei. Perhaps these two together form, with the sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4:25, a single larger family.
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