Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Now the sons of Issachar were, Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four.
1Ch 7:1-5. Sons of Issachar.
1. Jashub—or Job (Ge 46:13).
And the sons of Tola; Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father's house, to wit, of Tola: they were valiant men of might in their generations; whose number was in the days of David two and twenty thousand and six hundred.
2. whose number was in the days of David two and twenty thousand and six hundred—Although a census was taken in the reign of David by order of that monarch, it is not certain that the sacred historian had it in mind, since we find here the tribe of Benjamin enumerated [1Ch 7:6-12], which was not taken in David's time; and there are other points of dissimilarity.
And the sons of Uzzi; Izrahiah: and the sons of Izrahiah; Michael, and Obadiah, and Joel, Ishiah, five: all of them chief men.
3. five: all of them chief men—Four only are mentioned; so that as they are stated to be five, in this number the father, Izrahiah, must be considered as included; otherwise one of the names must have dropped out of the text. They were each at the head of a numerous and influential division of their tribe.
And with them, by their generations, after the house of their fathers, were bands of soldiers for war, six and thirty thousand men: for they had many wives and sons.
And their brethren among all the families of Issachar were valiant men of might, reckoned in all by their genealogies fourscore and seven thousand.
5. fourscore and seven thousand—exclusive of the 58,600 men which the Tola branch had produced (1Ch 7:24), so that in the days of David the tribe would have contained a population of 45,600. This large increase was owing to the practice of polygamy, as well as the fruitfulness of the women. A plurality of wives, though tolerated among the Hebrews, was confined chiefly to the great and wealthy; but it seems to have been generally esteemed a privilege by the tribe of Issachar, "for they had many wives and sons" [1Ch 7:4].
The sons of Benjamin; Bela, and Becher, and Jediael, three.
1Ch 7:6-12. Of Benjamin.
6. The sons of Benjamin—Ten are named in Ge 46:21, but only five later (1Ch 8:1; Nu 26:38). Perhaps five of them were distinguished as chiefs of illustrious families, but two having fallen in the bloody wars waged against Benjamin (Jud 20:46), there remained only three branches of this tribe, and these only are enumerated.
Jediael—Or Asbel (Genesis 46. 21).
And the sons of Bela; Ezbon, and Uzzi, and Uzziel, and Jerimoth, and Iri, five; heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valour; and were reckoned by their genealogies twenty and two thousand and thirty and four.
7. the sons of Bela—Each of them was chief or leader of the family to which he belonged. In an earlier period seven great families of Benjamin are mentioned (Nu 26:38), five of them being headed by these five sons of Benjamin, and two descended from Bela. Here five families of Bela are specified, whence we are led to conclude that time or the ravages of war had greatly changed the condition of Benjamin, or that the five families of Bela were subordinate to the other great divisions that sprang directly from the five sons of the patriarch.
And the sons of Becher; Zemira, and Joash, and Eliezer, and Elioenai, and Omri, and Jerimoth, and Abiah, and Anathoth, and Alameth. All these are the sons of Becher.
And the number of them, after their genealogy by their generations, heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valour, was twenty thousand and two hundred.
The sons also of Jediael; Bilhan: and the sons of Bilhan; Jeush, and Benjamin, and Ehud, and Chenaanah, and Zethan, and Tharshish, and Ahishahar.
All these the sons of Jediael, by the heads of their fathers, mighty men of valour, were seventeen thousand and two hundred soldiers, fit to go out for war and battle.
Shuppim also, and Huppim, the children of Ir, and Hushim, the sons of Aher.
12. Shuppim also, and Huppim—They are called Muppim and Huppim (Ge 46:21) and Hupham and Shupham (Nu 26:39). They were the children of Ir, or Iri (1Ch 7:7).
and Hushim, the sons—"son."
of Aher—"Aher" signifies "another," and some eminent critics, taking "Aher" as a common noun, render the passage thus, "and Hushim, another son." Shuppim, Muppim, and Hushim are plural words, and therefore denote not individuals, but the heads of their respective families; and as they were not comprised in the above enumeration (1Ch 7:7, 9) they are inserted here in the form of an appendix. Some render the passage, "Hushim, the son of another," that is, tribe or family. The name occurs among the sons of Dan (Ge 46:23), and it is a presumption in favor of this being the true rendering, that after having recorded the genealogy of Naphtali (1Ch 7:13) the sacred historian adds, "the sons of Bilhah, the handmaid, who was the mother of Dan and Naphtali." We naturally expect, therefore, that these two will be noticed together, but Dan is not mentioned at all, if not in this passage.
The sons of Naphtali; Jahziel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shallum, the sons of Bilhah.
1Ch 7:13. Of Naphtali.
13. Shallum—or Shillem (Ge 46:24).
sons of Bilhah—As Dan and Naphtali were her sons, Hushim, as well as these enumerated in 1Ch 7:13, were her grandsons.
The sons of Manasseh; Ashriel, whom she bare: (but his concubine the Aramitess bare Machir the father of Gilead:
1Ch 7:14-40. Of Manasseh.
14, 15. The sons of Manasseh—or descendants; for Ashriel was a grandson, and Zelophehad was a generation farther removed in descent (Nu 26:33). The text, as it stands, is so confused and complicated that it is exceedingly difficult to trace the genealogical thread, and a great variety of conjectures have been made with a view to clear away the obscurity. The passage [1Ch 7:14, 15] should probably be rendered thus: "The sons of Manasseh were Ashriel, whom his Syrian concubine bare to him, and Machir, the father of Gilead (whom his wife bare to him). Machir took for a wife Maachah, sister to Huppim and Shuppim."
And Machir took to wife the sister of Huppim and Shuppim, whose sister's name was Maachah;) and the name of the second was Zelophehad: and Zelophehad had daughters.
And Maachah the wife of Machir bare a son, and she called his name Peresh; and the name of his brother was Sheresh; and his sons were Ulam and Rakem.
And the sons of Ulam; Bedan. These were the sons of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh.
And his sister Hammoleketh bare Ishod, and Abiezer, and Mahalah.
And the sons of Shemida were, Ahian, and Shechem, and Likhi, and Aniam.
And the sons of Ephraim; Shuthelah, and Bered his son, and Tahath his son, and Eladah his son, and Tahath his son,
And Zabad his son, and Shuthelah his son, and Ezer, and Elead, whom the men of Gath that were born in that land slew, because they came down to take away their cattle.
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).
And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him.
And when he went in to his wife, she conceived, and bare a son, and he called his name Beriah, because it went evil with his house.
(And his daughter was Sherah, who built Bethhoron the nether, and the upper, and Uzzensherah.)
And Rephah was his son, also Resheph, and Telah his son, and Tahan his son,
Laadan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son,
Non his son, Jehoshua his son.
And their possessions and habitations were, Bethel and the towns thereof, and eastward Naaran, and westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; Shechem also and the towns thereof, unto Gaza and the towns thereof:
And by the borders of the children of Manasseh, Bethshean and her towns, Taanach and her towns, Megiddo and her towns, Dor and her towns. In these dwelt the children of Joseph the son of Israel.
The sons of Asher; Imnah, and Isuah, and Ishuai, and Beriah, and Serah their sister.
And the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel, who is the father of Birzavith.
And Heber begat Japhlet, and Shomer, and Hotham, and Shua their sister.
And the sons of Japhlet; Pasach, and Bimhal, and Ashvath. These are the children of Japhlet.
And the sons of Shamer; Ahi, and Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram.
And the sons of his brother Helem; Zophah, and Imna, and Shelesh, and Amal.
The sons of Zophah; Suah, and Harnepher, and Shual, and Beri, and Imrah,
Bezer, and Hod, and Shamma, and Shilshah, and Ithran, and Beera.
And the sons of Jether; Jephunneh, and Pispah, and Ara.
And the sons of Ulla; Arah, and Haniel, and Rezia.
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.