1 Chronicles 6:29
The sons of Merari; Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzza his son,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29, 30) A short list of Merarite names. (Comp. Numbers 3:20, and 1Chronicles 6:14, supra, for the two sons of Merari, Mahli and Mushi, after whom the clans of the Merarites were designated. The present list traces the line of Mahli to the seventh generation; all the names are alike unknown. Below, 1Chronicles 6:44-47, we have another line going back to Mushi, brother of Mahli. Why has the chronicler preserved the three lists of 1Chronicles 6:19-30? The process from Levi to the worthless sons of Samuel, and the utterly unknown names of Jeaterai and Asaiah, reads like an anti-climax. But it is not to be forgotten that these no longer significant fragments are genuine relics of ancient family registers, and as such may have had more than a merely antiquarian value in the days of the chronicler.

1Chronicles 6:31-32 are a prelude to the pedigrees of Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, the three great masters of David’s choirs (33-48). The nature, time, and place of their special duties are described.

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.Vashni - The true name of Samuel's first-born, which was "Joel" (see the margin and references), has here dropped out; and the word properly meaning "and his second (son)" has been taken as the name of the first. 28. the sons of Samuel—The sons of Samuel are here named Vashni and Abiah. The first-born is called Joel (1Sa 8:2); and this name is given to him in 1Ch 6:33. It is now generally thought by the best critics that, through an error of the copyists, an omission has been made of the oldest son's name, and that Vashni, which is not the name of a person, merely signifies "and the second." This critical emendation of the text makes all clear, as well as consistent with other passages relating to the family of Samuel. No text from Poole on this verse. The sons of Merari; Mahli,.... The posterity of his brother Mushi are omitted; his genealogy is drawn thus, Libni, Shimei, Uzza, Shimea, Haggiah, Asaiah. The sons of Merari; Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzza his son,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 29, 30. - (C) In ver. 19 the two sons of Merari, viz. Mahli and Mushi, are given. Here one of them, Mahli, is repeated, with six descendants, of no one of whom have we any other information. From comparison of Numbers 3:20 and Numbers 26:58 there can be no doubt that Mahli and Mushi were brothers, each of whom founded a family. The descending line of Mushi, unalluded to here, comes to the surface in vers. 44-47. (1 Chronicles 6:7-13). The genealogy of the descendants of Kohath consists of three lists of names, each of which commences afresh with בּני, 1 Chronicles 6:22, 1 Chronicles 6:35, and 1 Chronicles 6:38; yet we learn nothing from it as to the genealogical connection of these three lines. The very beginning, "The sons of Kohath, Amminidab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son," is somewhat strange. For, according to Exodus 6:18, Exodus 6:21, and Exodus 6:24, Kohath's second son is called Izhar, whose son was Korah, whose sons were Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. Amminidab is nowhere met with as a son of Kohath; but among the descendants of Uzziel, a prince of a father's-house is met with in the time of David who bore this name. The name Amminidab occurs also in the time of Moses, in the genealogies of the tribe of Judah, 1 Chronicles 2:10; Numbers 1:7; Ruth 1:19, as that of the father of the prince Nahshon, and of Elisheba, whom Aaron took to wife, Exodus 6:23. But since the names Korah and Assir point to the family of Izhar, the older commentators supposed the Amminidab of our verse to be only another name for Izhar; while Bertheau, on the contrary, conjectures "that as an Amminidab occurs in the lists of the descendants of Kohath as father-in-law of Aaron, Amminidab has been substituted for Izhar by an ancient error, which might very easily slip into an abridgment of more detailed lists." But we have here no trace of an abridgment of more detailed lists. According to Exodus 6:21 and Exodus 6:24, Korah was a son of Izhar, and Assir a son of Korah; and consequently in our genealogies only the name Izhar is wanting between Korah and Kohath, while instead of him we have Amminidab. An exchange or confusion of the names of Izhar and Amminidab the father-in-law of Aaron, is as improbable as the supposition that Amminidab is another name for Izhar, since the genealogies of the Pentateuch give only the name Izhar. Yet no third course is open, and we must decide to accept either one or the other of these suppositions. For that our verses contain a genealogy, or fragments of genealogies, of the Kohathite line of Izhar there can be no doubt, when we compare them with the genealogy (1 Chronicles 6:33) of the musician Heman, a descendant of Kohath, which also gives us the means of explaining the other obscurities in our register. In 1 Chronicles 6:22 and 1 Chronicles 6:23 the names of Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph, and again Assir, follow that of Korah, with בּנו after each. This בּנו cannot be taken otherwise than as denoting that the names designate so many consecutive generations; and the only peculiarity in the list is, that the conjunction w is found before Abiasaph and the second Assir, while the other names do not have it. But if we compare the genealogy in Exodus 6 with this enumeration, we find that there, in 1 Chronicles 6:39, the same three names, Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph, which are here enumerated as those of the son, grandson, and great-grandson of Korah, were said to be the names of the sons of the Izharite Korah. Further, from Heman's genealogy in 1 Chronicles 6:37, we learn that the second Assir of our list is a son of Abiasaph, and, according to 1 Chronicles 6:37 and 1 Chronicles 6:23, had a son Tahath. Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph must consequently be held to have been brothers, and the following Assir a son of the last-named Abiasaph, whose family is in 1 Chronicles 6:9 further traced through four generations (Tahath, Uriel, Uzziah, and Shaul). Instead of these four, we find in 1 Chronicles 6:37 and 1 Chronicles 6:36 the names Tahath, Zephaniah, Azariah, and Joel. Now although the occurrence of Uzziah and Azariah as names of the same king immediately suggests that in our register also Uzziah and Azariah are two names of the same person, yet the divergence in the other names, on the one hand Zephaniah for Joel, and on the other Uriel for Shaul, is strongly opposed to this conjecture. The discrepancy can scarcely be naturally explained in any other way, than by supposing that after Tahath the two genealogies diverge-ours introducing his son Uriel and his descendants; the other, in 1 Chronicles 6:36, mentioning a second son of Tohath, Zephaniah, of whose race Heman came.
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