And his brothers by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned, were the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Tilgath - pilneser.—The Assyrian monarch known as Tiglath Pileser II. See 2Kings 15:29, for his deportation of the people of the northern and trans-Jordanic districts of Israel, in the reign of Pekah. Some MSS., with LXX. and Syriac, read Tiglath, which is more correct than Tilgath. Vat., LXX., ΘαγλαΦαλλασὰρ, Syr., Teglath-Palsar. The Assyrian name, of which these forms are transcripts, is Tu-kulti-pal-Esarra, “the servant of the son of Esarra.” (The “Son of Esarra” is a title of the god Ninip.) Tilgath-Pilneser (Vulg., Thelgath-Phalnasar) is the invariable spelling of Chronicles.
He was prince of the Reubenites.—Beerah was tribal prince of Reuben, and not merely chief of a Reubenite clan, as some will have it. The Hebrew construction is parallel to that of Numbers 7:24; Numbers 7:30 seq., with which comp. Numbers 7:18.
(7) And his brethren by their families.—“And his fellow-tribesmen, each after his clan (Numbers 2:34), in the registration after their pedigrees, were the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah.” Jeiel was the chief of the second Reubenite clan, as Beerah of the first. Zechariah and Bela were heads of the other chief houses. It appears that these four chieftains correspond to the four divisions of Reuben mentioned in 1Chronicles 5:3. Numbers 26:7 says expressly that “the Hanochite, the Palluite, the Hezronite, and the Carmite” were “the clans of the Reubenite.”1 Chronicles 5:7-8. And his brethren — The other sons of Reuben, and their posterity. Were the chief — Hebrew, the head: each was the head of his family. Who dwelt in Aroer, even, &c. — Namely, the Reubenites, all those here before mentioned, as appears, both by the following verses, which relate to the whole tribe, and by the agreement of this description of their inheritance with that Joshua 13:15-16.
1Ch 5:1-10. The Line of Reuben.
1. Now the sons of Reuben—In proceeding to give this genealogy, the sacred historian states, in a parenthesis (1Ch 5:1, 2), the reason why it was not placed first, as Reuben was the oldest son of Jacob. The birthright, which by a foul crime he had forfeited, implied not only dominion, but a double portion (De 21:17); and both of these were transferred to Joseph, whose two sons having been adopted as the children of Jacob (Ge 48:5), received each an allotted portion, as forming two distinct tribes in Israel. Joseph then was entitled to the precedency; and yet, as his posterity was not mentioned first, the sacred historian judged it necessary to explain that "the genealogy was not to be reckoned after the birthright," but with a reference to a superior honor and privilege that had been conferred on Judah—not the man, but the tribe, whereby it was invested with the pre-eminence over all the other tribes, and out of it was to spring David with his royal lineage, and especially the great Messiah (Heb 7:14). These were the two reasons why, in the order of enumeration, the genealogy of Judah is introduced before that of Reuben.His brethren, i.e. the other sons of Reuben, and their posterity.
The chief, Heb. the head; each was the head of his family.
(when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned;) either in the times of Jotham and Jeroboam, 1 Chronicles 5:17 or at the time of their captivity, as in the preceding verse:And his brethren by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned, were the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. was reckoned, were the chief, Jeiel] R.V. was reckoned; the chief; Jeiel.Verses 7, 8. - Of Jeiel, Zechariah, Bela, and Asaz nothing further is known. Shema and Joel may be those of ver. 4, as above. The expression, his brethren, i.e. the brethren of Beerah, must be read generally. The intimation, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned, is probably explained by the contents of ver. 17 (of which hereafter). Aroer (עֲרֹעֵר or עְרועֵר); a place east of the Jordan, overhanging the torrent of Arnon, which was a boundary between Moab and the Amorites, and afterwards between Moab and Reuben. There is little doubt that Burckhardt has identified the ruins of Aroer (see Numbers 32:38; Deuteronomy 2:24, 36; Deuteronomy 3:8, 12, 16; Joshua 12:1, 2; Joshua 13:9, 16; Judges 11:13, 26, where note transposition of letters in the Hebrews 1; 2 Kings 10:33). Moab seems to have regained it later (Jeremiah 48:1-47; see interesting arts. "Amen" and "Areer," Smith's' Bible Dictionary'). Nebo and Baal-meon are also mentioned together in Numbers 32:38; and Baal-meon with Moab in Ezekiel 25:9. This Nebo, the town, is distinct from Mount Nebo. It is remarkable that it is not mentioned, unless under one of the "changed" names (Numbers 32:38), in the list of the towns of Reuben (Joshua 13:15-23). Nebo was the name of a heathen deity, known among the Chaldeans (Isaiah 46:1), Babylonians, and Assyrians; and this constituted one reason, if not the reason, for changing its name when it had been affixed to the Moabite city. 1 Chronicles 5:1, 1 Chronicles 5:2. Reuben is called the first-born of Israel, because he was the first-born of Jacob, although, owing to his having defiled his father's bed (Genesis 49:4), his birthright, i.e., its privileges, were transferred to the sons of Joseph, who were not, however, entered in the family register of the house of Israel according to the birthright, i.e., as first-born sons. The inf. התיחשׂ with ל expresses "shall" or "must," cf. Ew. 237, e., "he was not to register," i.e., "he was not to be registered." The subject is Joseph, as the Rabbins, e.g., Kimchi, have perceived. The clauses after הוּא כּי form a parenthesis, containing the reason of Reuben's being called ישׂראל בּכור, which is still further established by its being shown (in 1 Chronicles 5:2) how it happened that Joseph, although the birthright was given to him, according to the disposition made by the patriarch (Genesis 48:5.), yet was not entered in the family registers as first-born. The reason of this was, "for Judah was strong among his brethren, and (one) from him became the Prince;" scil. on the strength of the patriarchal blessing (Genesis 49:8-12), and by means of the historic fulfilment of this blessing. The "prevailing" of Judah among his brethren showed itself even under Moses at the numbering of the people, when the tribe of Judah considerably outnumbered all the other tribes (cf. t. i. 2, S. 192). Then, again, it appeared after the division of the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel, Judah being called by a declaration of the divine will to be the vanguard of the army in the war against the Canaanites (Judges 1:1.); and it was finally made manifest by the נגיד over Israel being chosen by God from the tribe of Judah, in the person of David (cf. 1 Chronicles 28:4 with 1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Samuel 25:30). From this we gather that the short, and from its brevity obscure, sentence ממּנוּ וּלנגיד bears the signification we have given it. "But the birthright was Joseph's;" i.e., the rights of the progenitor were transferred to or remained with him, for two tribal domains were assigned to his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, according to the law of the first-born (Deuteronomy 21:15-17).
After this parenthetic explanation, the words "the sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel," 1 Chronicles 5:1, are again taken up in 1 Chronicles 5:3, and the sons are enumerated. The names of the four sons correspond to those given in Genesis 46:9; Exodus 6:14, and Numbers 26:5-7.
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