1 Chronicles 7:40
All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father's house, choice and mighty men of valour, 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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(40) The summing up of the list. “All these were sons of Asher, picked chiefs of the father-houses, valiant warriors, chiefs of the princes.” This declares that the names in the foregoing series are those of the chiefs of the different Asherite clans. They are called “choice,” picked men, 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 battletheir 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).

7:1-40 Genealogies. - Here is no account either of Zebulun or Dan. We can assign no reason why they only should be omitted; but it is the disgrace of the tribe of Dan, that idolatry began in that colony which fixed in Laish, and called it Dan, Jud 18 and there one of the golden calves was set up by Jeroboam. Dan is omitted, Re 7. Men become abominable when they forsake the worship of the true God, for any creature object.Shamer; Ahi, and Rohgah - Translate as: "The sons of Shamer 1 Chronicles 7:32, his brother, Rohgah, etc." 21. whom the men of Gath … slew, &c.—This interesting little episode gives us a glimpse of the state of Hebrew society in Egypt; for the occurrence narrated seems to have taken place before the Israelites left that country. The patriarch Ephraim was then alive, though he must have arrived at a very advanced age; and the Hebrew people, at all events those of them who were his descendants, still retained their pastoral character. It was in perfect consistency with the ideas and habits of Oriental shepherds that they should have made a raid on the neighboring tribe of the Philistines for the purpose of plundering their flocks. For nothing is more common among them than hostile incursions on the inhabitants of towns, or on other nomad tribes with whom they have no league of amity. But a different view of the incident is brought out, if, instead of "because," we render the Hebrew particle "when" they came down to take their cattle, for the tenor of the context leads rather to the conclusion that "the men of Gath" were the aggressors, who, making a sudden foray on the Ephraimite flocks, killed the shepherds including several of the sons of Ephraim. The calamity spread a deep gloom around the tent of their aged father, and was the occasion of his receiving visits of condolence from his distant relatives, according to the custom of the East, which is remarkably exemplified in the history of Job (Job 2:11; compare Joh 11:19). No text from Poole on this verse.

All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father's house,.... Principal men in their tribe, and respective families:

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.
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).

1 Chronicles 7:401 Chronicles 7:40 contains a comprehensive concluding statement as to the descendants of Asher: "All these (those just mentioned by name) were heads of fathers'-houses, chosen valiant heroes (חילים, as in 1 Chronicles 7:5), chief of the princes," Vulg. duces ducum, i.e., probably leaders of the larger divisions of the army, under whom were other נשׂיאים. "And their genealogical register is for service of the host in war," i.e., was prepared with reference to the men capable of bearing arms, and had not, like other registers, reference to the number of inhabitants of the various localities; cf. 1 Chronicles 9:22. It amounted to 26,000 men. According to Numbers 1:41, Asher numbered 41,500, and according to Numbers 26:47, 53,000 men. But we must observe that the number given in our verse is only that of the men capable of bearing arms belonging to one of the greater families of Asher, the family of Heber, of which alone a register had been preserved till the time of the chronicler.
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