1 Chronicles 6:20
Of Gershom; Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,
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(20, 21) The genealogy of the Gershonites in seven successive generations. It does not occur in the Pentateuch. This and the two following lists of Kohathites and Merarites are symmetrical in plan, but not in the number of names included.

(20) Of Gershom.—Literally, toi.e., belonging to Gershom.

Libni his son.—See Numbers 3:21, “To Gershon, the clan of the Libnite, and the clan of the Shimeite; these are the clans of the Gershonite.”

The names Jahath, Zimmah, and Zerah recur in the line of Asaph, 1Chronicles 6:41-43 below (see the Note there). Jeaterai, in whom the present series culminates, is wholly unknown. At the time when the list was first drawn up, the name may have represented a famous chieftain or family. It has the ending of a patronymic or gentilic term, and perhaps should be read with different vowels, we ‘Ithrai, or ‘Ithri, “and the Ithrite” (comp. ‘Ishai for Yishai), a clan of which came two of David’s heroes (1Chronicles 11:40).

6:1-81 Genealogies. - We have an account of Levi in this chapter. The priests and Levites were more concerned than any other Israelites, to preserve their descent clear, and to be able to prove it; because all the honours and privileges of their office depended upon their descent. Now, the Spirit of God calls ministers to their work, without any limit as to the families they came from; and then, as now, though believers and ministers may be very useful to the church, none but our great High Priest can make atonement for sin, nor can any be accepted but through his atonement.Of Gershom - The names in this list are curiously different from those in 1 Chronicles 6:41-43, which yet appear to represent the same line reversed. Probably both lists are more or less corrupted, and, as in many genealogies, omission is made, to reduce the number of the names to seven. Compare e. g. 1 Chronicles 6:22-28 with 1 Chronicles 6:33-38. Compare the other genealogy ties of this chapter; and see also Matthew 1:1-17. 20. Zimmah his son—his grandson (1Ch 6:42). i.e. His grandson, by his son Shimei, as appears from 1 Chronicles 6:42,43, the names of father and son being oft used in scripture of more remote progenitors or successors.

Of Gershon, Libni his son,.... Whose genealogy runs thus, Jahath, called Jehiel, 1 Chronicles 23:8. Zimmah, between whom was Shimei, 1 Chronicles 6:42. Joah, the same with Ethan, 1 Chronicles 6:42. Iddo, called Adaiah, 1 Chronicles 6:41. Zerah, Jeaterai, whose name was also Ethni, 1 Chronicles 6:41, the posterity of Shimei, the brother of Libni, are omitted. Of Gershom; Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,
Verses 20, 21. - (A) These verses apparently give seven lineal descendants of Gershom, through his eldest son Libni. The question is whether this list of seven is part of the longer list of thirteen from Gershom (vers. 39-43). terminating with Asaph; and it seems impossible to decide the question satisfactorily. From the occurrence of the name Shimei in this latter, though in the wrong place, viz. after Jahath in the descending order, instead of before him, some think, Keil and Zockler among them, that it is a line from Shimei, the brother of Libni, and second son of Gershom. If this be so, the occurrence of three names, the same and in the same order, is a thing to be remarked, though possible enough in itself. But if not, then either the names Joah, Iddo, Jeaterai, in the former list, must be interchangeable with Ethan, Adaiah, Ethni, respectively in the latter (a thing which the similarity of the Hebrew letters might render credible), while the Shimei of ver. 42 is omitted from ver. 20, and the Libni of ver. 20 from ver. 43; or the one list must pick up some links and leave others, and the other do likewise, whilst those taken the same by both are in the minority. This last supposition may be the more probable, though not free from difficulty. Zimmah. Beside the uncertainty of the identity of this Zimmah with the same name in ver. 42, it is very remarkable that we find a Zimmah, also father of a Joah, in 2 Chronicles 29:12; also in this same passage we find three other reproductions of a similar kind - father and son-of what have first been found in this sixth chapter, viz. "Mahath, son of Amasai" (ver. 35); "Joel, son of Azariah" (ver. 36); "Kish, son of Abdi" (ver. 44). It seems as though the individual descendant was quoted in these instances by the name of the ancestor at a certain point. 1 Chronicles 6:20(1 Chronicles 6:5-15). The three lists of the descendants of Gershon, Kohath, and Merari are similar to one another in plan, and in all, each name is connected with the preceding by בּנו, "his son," but they differ greatly in the number of the names.

1 Chronicles 6:20-21

(6:5-6). The ל before גּרשׁום is introductory: "as to Gershom." Those of his descendants who are here enumerated belong to the family of his oldest son Libni, which is traced down through seven generations to Jeaterai, a name not elsewhere met with. Of the intermediate names, Johath, Zimmah, and Zerah occur also among the descendants of Asaph, who is descended from the line of Shimei, 1 Chronicles 6:39.

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