These be the heads of their fathers' houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi…
I. THAT IT WAS, HUMANLY SPEAKING, OF VERY UNPRETENTIOUS ORIGIN.
II. THAT IT WAS, MORALLY SPEAKING, OF A VERY MISCELLANEOUS CHARACTER. We have names in this list of very varied moral worth. Some noted for their piety, others remark, able for their profanity. The Church has now a mixed genealogy. All down through the ages the tares and wheat have been growing together, and they will do so until the harvest, which is the end of the world. The miscellaneous character of the Church is accounted for —
1. By the diversified temperaments of men.
2. By the diversified thinkings of men.
3. By the diversified character of men.
4. By the diversified alliances of men.
III. THAT IT WAS, SOCIALLY SPEAKING, OF VERY GREAT INFLUENCE. It had a great political influence. The Jewish nation was for a long time a theocracy. God was its king. Heaven was its parliament. The priests were of supreme influence in the nation. The community was eminently religious in idea and sentiment. Hence, from the names here recorded there comes out a great stream of social, moral, and political influence upon humanity to-day.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.