1 Chronicles 5:8
And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelled in Aroer, even to Nebo and Baalmeon:
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(8) Bela.—His descent is traced, like that of Beerah. but through fewer names. This does not necessarily imply that Bela and Beerah were not contemporaries. Intermediate names are often omitted in genealogies. (See Joshua 7:18 : “Achan son of Carmi son of Zabdi son of Zerah,” and 1Chronicles 5:24, “Achan son of Zerah,” and the different lengths of the pedigrees of Heman, Asaph, and Ethan in 1Chronicles 6:33-47.) It is not likely that the Joel of 1Chronicles 5:8 is the same as the Joel of 1Chronicles 5:4, in spite of the further coincidence of Shema-Shemiah.

Who dwelt.He was dwelling, that is, he and his clan.

Aroer.—Now Arā’ir, on the north bank of the Arnon (Joshua 12:2).

Nebo, a place on the famous mount Nebo, in the region east of the Dead Sea (now Jebel Neba, Deuteronomy 34:1), over against Jericho (Numbers 32:38).

Baal-meon.—Or, Beth-bqal-meon, now Ma’in, about two miles south-east of Heshbon. Aroer gives the southern Nebo, and Baalmeon the northern, limits of the tribe. All three places are mentioned on the Stone of Mesha, kings of Moab (2Kings 3:4-27).

5:1-26 Genealogies. - This chapter gives some account of the two tribes and a half seated on the east side of Jordan. They were made captives by the king of Assyria, because they had forsaken the Lord. Only two things are here recorded concerning these tribes. 1. They all shared in a victory. Happy is that people who live in harmony together, who assist each other against the common enemies of their souls, trusting in the Lord, and calling upon him. 2. They shared in captivity. They would have the best land, not considering that it lay most exposed. The desire of earthly objects draws to a distance from God's ordinances, and prepares men for destruction.The sons of Joel - The line of succession here given must be broken by one great gap or several smaller ones, since nine generations before Tiglath-pileser would carry us back no further than the reign of Rehoboam. CHAPTER 5

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.

Who dwelt, to wit, the Reubenites, all these 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. And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel,.... The pedigree of Bela, another principal man in the tribe of Reuben, is traced up to Joel the father of Shema; the same with Shemaiah, according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, 1 Chronicles 5:4

who dwelt in Aroer; which belonged to the tribe of Gad, and was rebuilt by them, Numbers 32:34 wherefore Kimchi observes, it may be interpreted, either from Aroer, or on the border of it, Bela dwelt:

even unto Nebo, and Baalmeon; of which See Gill on Numbers 32:38.

And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelt in {d} Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baalmeon:

(d) These places were beyond Jordan toward the east in the land given to the Reubenites.

8. Aroer] now ‘Ar‘âir, a heap of ruins near the wâdy Mojib, i.e. the Arnon (Joshua 12:2). It passed from Sihon king of the Amorites into the hands of the Reubenites at the Conquest (ib. Joshua 13:16). See Bädeker, p. 191.

Nebo and Baal-meon] A line drawn due N. from Aroer (see last note), passes close first to Ma‘in (which may be Baal-meon) and then to Jebel Nebâ, which evidently preserves the name of Mount Nebo.

Baal-meon] called more correctly Beth-baal-meon Joshua 13:17.The families of the tribe of Reuben. - 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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