All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father's house, choice and mighty men of valor, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)eximii, and chiefs of the princes or emirs. The clans appear to be identified with their chieftains.
And the number throughout the genealogy.—Better, and their census, in the host, in the battle—their number in men was 26,000.” Perhaps we should render in the case of service in war. The census here given has reference only to the number of males qualified for military service. In the Mosaic census (Numbers 1:41) the total of males of the tribe of Asher was 41,500; and a generation later, the fighting men were 53,000 (Numbers 26:47). The date of the present census is not assigned. If it be that of David, which appears likely, the tribe may have declined in numbers and importance by his day. (Comp. Judges 5:17. “Asher continued at the sea-shore, and abode on his creeks;” i.e., did not bestir himself for the war).1 Chronicles 7:32, his brother, Rohgah, etc."
choice and mighty men of valour; these were some selected from others, being eminent for their courage and valour:
chief of the princes; or chief princes; the Vulgate Latin version is, dukes of dukes, they were heads of their fathers' families:
and the number throughout the genealogy that were apt to war, and to battle, was twenty and six thousand men; that is, in the days of David, 1 Chronicles 7:4, this was the number, not of their chief men, nor of all the people in the tribe, but of their militia.All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father's house, choice and mighty men of valor, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)40. of their fathers’ house] R.V. of the fathers’ houses.
the number … to battle was] R.V. the number of them reckoned by genealogy for service in war was, etc.
twenty and six thousand] In 1 Chronicles 12:36 the men of war of Asher are reckoned at forty thousand (cp. Numbers 1:41; Numbers 26:47, where still higher reckonings are given). The numbers here and in 1 Chronicles 7:5; 1 Chronicles 7:7; 1 Chronicles 7:9; 1 Chronicles 7:11 (as well as in 1 Chronicles 7:2, which see) seem to refer to the time of David. The numbers may be based on family traditions, but it would be unsafe to draw any important conclusions from them.Verse 40. - Twenty and six thousand. The number of Asherites, "of twenty years old and upwards, able to go forth to war," given in Numbers 1:40, 41, was forty-one thousand five hundred. Forty years later (Numbers 26:44-47; comp. ver. 2) the number was fifty-three thousand four hundred. But it is supposed that the twenty-six thousand of this verse may refer only to a portion of the tribe, i.e. to the large and distinguished family of Heber. It is to be noticed that the name of the tribe of Asher is not found in the list of the "chief rulers" lower down in this book (1 Chronicles 27:16-22). The tone also in which reference is made to Asher and Manasseh and Zebulun coming to Jerusalem to Hezekiah's Passover (2 Chronicles 30:11) is very noticeable. This tribe, with Simeon, gave no judge to the nation, and of all the tribes west of the Jordan they stand by themselves in this respect. There is an ancient legend that the parents of St. Paul lived within the territories of Asher, at the place called Ahlab in Judges 1:31, otherwise Giscala, or Gush Chaleb. Against the uncertainty of the legend we may gratefully remember the certainty of the history of the "Anna,... daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser" (Luke 2:36).
Genesis 46:17 and Numbers 26:45 as the heads of two families; but the further statement, "he (i.e., Malchiel) the father of Birzavith," is found only here. How ברזות, the Kethibh, is to be pronounced, cannot be with certainty determined. Gesen. in Thes. p. 239 makes it בּרזות, and considers the word to be the name of a woman; Bertheau, on the contrary conjectures that it is a compound of בר equals בּאר and זית, "well of the olive-tree," and so the name of a place. In 1 Chronicles 7:32-34 the descendants of Heber are enumerated in three generations, which are mentioned nowhere else. In 1 Chronicles 7:32 we have four sons and one daughter. The name יפלט is not to be connected with יפלטי, Joshua 16:3, "because a family of Asher is not to be sought for in the neighbourhood there referred to" (Berth.). In 1 Chronicles 7:33 we have four sons of Japhlet, and in 1 Chronicles 7:34 the sons of his brother Shemer. It is somewhat remarkable that שׁומר, 1 Chronicles 7:32, is called here שׁמר. אחי is not an appellative, but a proper name, as the ו before the following name shows; cf. another Ahi in 1 Chronicles 5:15. For יחבּה we should read וחבּה.
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