Exodus 6:14
These be the heads of their fathers' houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben.
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(14) These be the heads of their fathers’ houses.—Genealogies have always had a special interest for the Semitic races. They occupy quite as prominent a position in Arabian as in Jewish history. The descent of a man who aspired to be a leader would be a subject of curiosity, with a Semitic people, to all those who submitted themselves to his guidance; and Moses naturally inserts his at the point where, fully accepting the post of leader, he came forward and commenced his struggle with Pharaoh for the emancipation of his nation. A “father’s house” is a family. (See Numbers 1:2; Numbers 1:18.)

(14, 15) Reuben . . . Simeon.—It fixes the position of the family of Levi in the house of Jacob to commence the genealogy with a mention of the two elder brothers. As, however, the writer is really concerned only with the Levites, the families of Reuben and Simeon are dismissed with the briefest possible notice. Nothing new is rocorded of them. (See Genesis 46:9-10.)

Exodus 6:14. This genealogy ends in those two great patriots, Moses and Aaron, and comes in here to show that they were Israelites, bone of the bone, and flesh of the flesh of those whom they were sent to deliver; raised up unto them of their brethern, as Christ also should be, who was to be the Prophet and Priest, the Redeemer and Lawgiver of the house of Israel, and whose genealogy also, like this, was to be carefully preserved. The heads of the houses of three of the tribes are here named, agreeing with the accounts we had, Genesis 46. Reuben and Simeon seem to be mentioned only for the sake of Levi, from whom Moses and Aaron descended, and all the priests of the Jewish Church.6:14-30 Moses and Aaron were Israelites; raised up unto them of their brethren, as Christ also should be, who was to be the Prophet and Priest, the Redeemer and Lawgiver of the people of Israel. Moses returns to his narrative, and repeats the charge God had given him to deliver his message to Pharaoh, and his objection against it. Those who have spoken unadvisedly with their lips ought to reflect upon it with regret, as Moses seems to do here.Uncircumcised, is used in Scripture to note the unsuitableness there may be in any thing to answer its proper purpose; as the carnal heart and depraved nature of fallen man are wholly unsuited to the services of God, and to the purposes of his glory. It is profitable to place no confidence in ourselves, all our sufficiency must be in the Lord. We never can trust ourselves too little, or our God too much. I can do nothing by myself, said the apostle, but I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.These be the heads - We have in the following verses, not a complete genealogy, but a summary account of the family of the two brothers. Moses records for the satisfaction of Hebrew readers, to whom genealogical questions were always interesting, the descent and position of the designated leaders of the nation. See Exodus 6:26-27. Ex 6:14-30. The Genealogy of Moses.

14, 15. These be the heads of their fathers' houses—chiefs or governors of their houses. The insertion of this genealogical table in this part of the narrative was intended to authenticate the descent of Moses and Aaron. Both of them were commissioned to act so important a part in the events transacted in the court of Egypt and afterwards elevated to so high offices in the government and Church of God, that it was of the utmost importance that their lineage should be accurately traced. Reuben and Simeon being the oldest of Jacob's sons, a passing notice is taken of them, and then the historian advances to the enumeration of the principal persons in the house of Levi [Ex 6:16-19].

This genealogy he describes here, to show the lineage of Moses and Aaron, by. whom this great work was to be effected. Only he promiseth in brief the genealogy of his two elder brethren. Reuben and Simeon, to make way for the third, which he intended more largely to insist upon. And he mentions them rather than any other, either to advance the favour of God in preferring that tribe before the descendants of their elder brethren; or to show that, although the parents were sharply censured, and rather cursed than blessed by Jacob, Ge 49, yet their posterity was not rejected by God, but received to mercy, and admitted to the same privilege with their brethren. These be the heads of their father's houses,.... Not of the families of Moses and Aaron, but of the children of Israel, though only the heads of three tribes are mentioned; and some think that these three are taken notice of, to show that they were not rejected of God, though they seem to be rather cursed than blessed by Jacob; and that though they were guilty of very great crimes, as Reuben of incest, and Simeon and Levi of murder, yet they truly repented, and obtained mercy of God, and were honoured in their offspring, of whom an account is here given; but the two first seem to be taken notice of for the sake of the third, and that order might be observed, and that it might plainly appear that the deliverers of Israel were Israelites:

the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel, Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; whose names, and the order in which they are put, are the same as in Genesis 46:9 these be the families of Reuben; the heads of them, or from whence they sprung.

These be the heads {e} of their fathers' houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben.

(e) This genealogy shows whom Moses and Aaron came from.

14. These are the heads of their fathers’ houses] The form of superscription, as often in P; e.g. Genesis 10:1; Genesis 11:10; Genesis 25:13; Genesis 46:8, Exodus 1:1, Numbers 1:5; Numbers 13:4, &c. ‘Fathers’ house’ is an expression which occurs frequently in P and Chronicles, especially in connexion with genealogies. It means the ‘house,’ or family, descended,—or reputed to be descended,—from a single ancestor; it may thus denote even an entire tribe, as Numbers 17:2; but usually it denotes either the main subdivision of a tribe, which we might call a ‘clan,’ as Numbers 3:24, or the subdivision of a clan, i.e. a family, Exodus 12:3. Here it denotes a clan: Ḥănôch, Pallu, Ḥeẓron, and Carmi, were the reputed ancestors of the four main subdivisions of the tribe of Reuben, which were called by the corresponding patronymics Ḥanochites, Palluites, &c. (Numbers 26:5 f., where ‘family’ is used in the largest sense of the word, equivalent to ‘clan’). Cf. here, ‘these are the families of Reuben.’

these are the families of Reuben] The closing subscription to such enumerations, even where it might seem superfluous, is also in the manner of P: cf. vv. 15b, 19b, 24b, 25b, Genesis 10:20; Genesis 10:31-32; Genesis 25:16, Numbers 1:13; Numbers 13:16, &c.

14–27. Genealogies are frequent in P (Genesis 5, 11, Genesis 25:12-16, Genesis 46:8-27, &c.); and here, at his first mention of Moses and Aaron, he is careful to define their position among the descendants of Jacob: they belonged to the tribe of Levi, which claimed descent from Jacob’s third son, Levi, and the particulars about the descendants of the two elder sons, Reuben and Simeon (vv. 14b–15), are introduced merely for the purpose of leading up to Levi, about which tribe more circumstantial particulars are given (vv. 16–25). The particulars in vv. 14, 15, 16a are identical with those given in the list of Jacob’s descendants who came down into Egypt, Genesis 46:9-11.Verse 14. - These be the heads of their fathers' houses. By "fathers' houses" are meant families (see 1 Chronicles 4:38; 1 Chronicles 5:13; 1 Chronicles 7:40; 1 Chronicles 9:9, etc.); and "the heads of fathers' houses" are simply the acknowledged chiefs and founders of families. The main families of the tribe of Reuben were those of Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carrel, actual sons of the patriarch (See Genesis 46:9; and compare 1 Chronicles 5:3.) The adoption of Israel as the nation of God took place at Sinai (Exodus 19:5). וגו נשׁאתי אשׁר, "with regard to which I have lifted up My hand to give it" (Exodus 6:8). Lifting up the hand (sc., towards heaven) is the attitude of swearing (Deuteronomy 32:40 cf. Genesis 14:22); and these words point back to Genesis 22:16. and Genesis 26:3 (cf. Genesis 24:7 and Genesis 50:24).
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