New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary

1Ch 1:1 Adam, Seth, Enosh-
We have to ask why these genealogies were prepared. It is quite likely that they were first formalized in the time of Hezekiah, but I would suggest that they were completed at the time of the restoration, when there was a problem in finding a High Priest and priesthood because it was hard to prove who was descended from Aaron, presumably because the genealogies were destroyed when the temple was burnt. The genealogies give much emphasis to the descendants of Aaron, far more than to the other tribes. There are a number of references to faithless men being punished by invasions (e.g. 1 Chron. 5:6). Ezra 8 contains a genealogy recorded in similar style and language to these in Chronicles. Nehemiah made a special study of the genealogies in order to find an acceptable priesthood (Neh. 7:5,64). So there were Israel returning from captivity, led by a faithful remnant of the priests, looking back through their history, right back to Abraham and beyond, and seeing that their history was shot through with failure. Such self-examination extended even to considering the names parents gave their children. Marriage out of the faith was a problem at the time of the restoration, and therefore the records of the genealogies stress how this had been a problem in the past- and had still not been forgotten by God (Ezra 9:1,2). The prophets foretold that Israel's restoration would only come once they achieved a suitable recognition of their sinfulness. And  Isaiah's prophecies of the restoration from Babylon are without doubt applicable to the establishment of the Kingdom at Christ's return; which means that Israel at the time of the restoration should represent us now, on the brink of the second coming and the full re-establishment of Israel's Kingdom. The coming of that blessed time may well be dependent upon our self-examination, to the point of really taking a breath when we realize the extent of our personal and collective shortcomings all down the years. The priests who wrote those records in Chronicles were writing down the result of their national self-examination. This was the record of their lessons from Chronicles. Each of the genealogies say something about the people they are concerned with; and thus 2 Chron. 12:15 RVmg. speaks of how the acts of Rehoboam are reflected in the reckoning of the genealogies.

1Ch 1:2 Kenan-
Perhaps this was from whom the faithful Heber the Kenite was descended (Jud. 4:11,17; Jud. 5:24).  

Mahalalel, Jared-
Mahalalel is "Praise of God". It's questionable how much significance we should attach to the meaning of names; but this meaning would encourage us to again see some spirituality in the line of Seth.  Jared had a child somewhat later in life (Gen. 5:18). Perhaps this reflects a lengthy search for a Godly wife; or perhaps his earlier children were spiritual failures and weren't therefore the ones through whom the seed was to be preserved.

1Ch 1:3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech-
Adam Clarke and others see "Methuselah" as meaning something to the effect of "When he dies, it [or judgment] shall come". And he died in the year the flood came. Jude 14 mentions that Enoch prophesied of judgment to come upon the world of his day. This would suggest that there had been a revelation about the flood before Noah received the command to build the ark. He would've obeyed, encouraged by Methuselah. The threat of judgment was therefore hanging over the earth for many centuries before the flood came; they were a society without excuse, and the gradual falling away of the faithful until only Noah was left would've been an awful period to live through. And the days of Noah are as our last days.

We wonder why Lamech was not saved in the ark, and why he died relatively young (Gen. 5:26). We can assume that he fell away from the faith, whilst his father and son [Noah] remained faithful. To hold to the faith amidst such mass apostacy, including amongst your immediate family, is notable indeed. Or it could simply be that he died younger than the others because of persecution or natural causes.

 Another alternative is that we are to understand 'comfort' in Gen. 5:29 as only one possible translation; the idea could be that Lamech hoped that his son Noah would be the one who would bring about repentance / changing in God regarding the curse upon the earth. In this case, we see Lamech hoping that this son of his would be the promised "seed of the woman" of Gen. 3:15, a Messiah figure. However, the Lamech of Gen. 5:28 may well be the Lamech of Gen. 4:18-22; both Lamechs are described as having Methuselah as their father. As often in early Genesis, this would be a case of one history being recorded in one chapter and then another one in the next- as with the two creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2. In this case, if Lamech is the same Lamech, then Noah had very gifted and high flying siblings. His brother Jabal was the leader of the cattle owners (Gen. 4:20); his brother Jubal was the leading musician of the age (Gen. 4:21); Tubalcain his other brother was the leader of all the metalworkers. Lamech was the first polygamist, who killed a young man for a slight insult and boasted about it; and whose wife Adah means 'decorated / adorned'. These were people of the world. And Noah was the sidekick brother who was to do all the menial farm work so the rest of them could pursue their careers and social lives. Against this of course it can be argued that there are differences in the genealogies of Genesis chapters 4 and 5. However, in the context, Gen. 6:1-4 describes how the lines of Seth and Cain intermarried [the sons of God married the daughters of men] and it could be argued that the genealogies we have aren't complete, generations are skipped, and 'having a son' could be understood in a wider sense than referring to a son directly fathered by the person concerned. 'Lamech' in Hebrew is comprised of the three central letters of the Hebrew alphabet and it could be argued that this reflects his 'joining' function [as it does in other Semitic literature], in joining the Sethite and Cainite lines together. The resemblances between the six names in Gen. 4:17,18 with six in chapter 5 is striking, and they both culminate in Lamech, as if he was the one in whom the lines mixed. Interestingly, Lamech in Gen. 4:24 speaks of 77 fold vengeance coming upon him; and the Lamech of Gen. 5:30 [the same Lamech?] dies at 777 years old. It also needs to be carried in mind that Semitic 'genealogies' aren't always chronological; they are constructed in order to make various points or develop themes, as in the genealogies of the Lord in Matthew and Luke.

1Ch 1:4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth-
Did Noah's parents expect Noah to be the child who would do all the hard menial work for them, so that they would suffer less from the curse placed upon the ground in Eden? This might explain why Noah had children when he was 500, far older than others of his time (Gen. 5:32- Noah's father had had his first children at 182, Gen. 5:28; Seth had his first child at 105, Gen. 5:6; Enos at 95, Gen. 5:9; Cainan at 70, Gen. 5:12; Mahalalel at 65, Gen. 5:15; Jared at 162, Gen. 5:18; Enoch at 65, Gen. 5:21; Methuselah at 187, Gen. 5:25); Gen. 6:18 implies that Noah only had three sons, whereas for people with such long life spans we'd have expected him to have had far more than that. He only had three children- for he prepared the ark to save "his house" (Heb. 11:7) and Gen. 7:1 is quite clear: "Go into the ark, you and all your household"- his whole household was his wife, three sons and their wives. Period. Perhaps we get the picture of a man who was the underdog, the farm worker, the sidekick of the family, whose own family life was delayed and limited by this background. Perhaps he turned to alcohol for comfort (hence Gen. 9:21). But it was he whom God chose to save, he alone who was righteous in that generation which perished. It was the quiet, broken man who was saved. The Hebrew word for "Comfort" [a play on 'Noah'] occurs later, when we read how God "repented" that He had made man (Gen. 6:6,7). Lamech's desire for 'comfort' was fulfilled but not as he imagined; not through his son being his personal slave, but rather in God changing His mind about humanity and making a new start. We get what we desire, in essence; and so we need to desire the right thing.

1Ch 1:5 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras-
These and other names here occur in the list of nations in Ez. 38 who will invade Israel in the latter days, and we see that they are therefore all within the territory of the eretz promised to Abraham. And that is precisely the situation we see developing there today. The idea that "Japheth" refers to western Europe is mere fancy; the context here clearly explains that these are the nations living in the eretz. "Madai" refers to the Medes. "Tiras" is Tyre; and clearly Meshech refers to an area within the eretz and not to Moscow; and likewise with Tubal.

We note that out of Noah's three sons, fewest descendants are listed for Japheth. And there is no suggestion in this genealogy that they lived "in the tents of Shem", as Noah had predicted in his half drunken cursing of Ham and blessing of Japheth. This would suggest that his cursings were just that, the cursings of a man awaking with a hangover... and are not to be taken as actual prophecies of the future relationships between the sons.

1Ch 1:6 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Diphath and Togarmah-
Ashkenaz was one of the nations which overthrew Babylon (Jer. 51:27). Again, we're dealing with a people within the eretz and not outside of it. I would argue that the Bible has very little to specifically say about the peoples beyond the eretz.

1Ch 1:7 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Rodanim-
Tarshish is a relative of Togarmah (:6), Meshech and Tubal (:5). This confirms my suggestion on Ez. 38 that Tarshish is with the other invaders and not against them. Tarshish may be another name for Tyre. The Tel Amarna tablets mention some of these names as peoples in the eretz promised to Abraham.

1Ch 1:8 The sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan-
The Canaanites were therefore under Noah's curse to be subservient to Shem. But as discussed on Gen. 9, it's hard to know whether to take Noah's cursings as any more than the cursings of a man awaking from a drunken stupor.

Pan-Arabism will in the end come to its full term (however short-lived), in the final invasion of Israel. The Hebrew word translated “Libya” is also translated “Phut” or “Put”, which was another name for Libya in Bible times. “Mizraim” likewise is the Biblical name for Egypt. Significantly, Phut, Mizraim and Canaan were brothers (Gen. 10:6). There is therefore a strong and valid idea of Arab brotherhood between the Palestinian Arabs [i.e. the Arabs living in Canaan or the land of Israel] and the Arabs of Libya, Egypt and the other countries in the surrounding Arab world. The Babylonian invasion of Judah was a type of the invasion of Israel by latter day ‘Babylon’, which will bring on the return of Christ. But this invasion [as at the time of the Assyrian invasion of Israel] was really by a confederacy of nations- including the Ethiopians, Lydians, Egyptians and Libyans (Jer. 46:8,9 cp. Nahum 3:9). And history will repeat itself- in that these nations along with Babylon will invade Israel in the last days. But where history shall stop, the red line of human time come to a terminus, will be in the simple fact that this time, the Lord Jesus shall return to earth to establish God’s Kingdom here.


1Ch 1:9 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba, and Dedan-
Sheba and Dedan are found in Ez. 38 as amongst the enemies of Israel in the last days; see on Ez. 38:13. The impression is given that all the nations surrounding Israel in the eretz, descendants of all three sons of Noah, will invade her in the last days.

1Ch 1:10 Cush became the father of Nimrod, who began to be a mighty one in the earth-
Nimrod founded Babel or Babylon (Gen. 10:10). The "top" or rosh of the Babel tower was to reach to heaven; as in Ez. 38:2, the rosh refers to a person who was being elevated, and we assume this person was Nimrod. Ham and his descendants were not therefore black Africans, as proposed by 19th century racist theologians. The connection is clearly with the "mighty ones" of Gen. 6:4, for whose sake the earth was destroyed by the flood. Again, the potential for restoring Eden was messed up by human dysfunction. The term is used of the 'mighty ones' of Canaan who were to be subdued (Josh. 6:2; Jud. 5:13,23). Israel in the wilderness listening to Moses' teaching would have learnt that there had been 'mighty ones in the land', the very land they were now approaching, who likewise would ultimately come to nothing.

The "mighty in the land" or eretz promised to Abraham had been the likes of the "giants" of Gen. 6:4; Nimrod / Assyria (Gen. 10:8); Babylon (Gen. 46:12) and indeed all the Gentile nations of the eretz (Ez. 32:27); but the hope of the promises to Abraham was and is that "his seed will be mighty in the land" (Ps. 112:2). There is to be a radical inversion of all things upon the earth.

Nimrod "the mighty hunter against the Lord" (Gen. 10:9 Heb.) uses a word related to 'Gibbor', the title of Christ used in Is. 9:6. Nimrod appears to be a prototype anti-God and anti-Christ, and for this he was well known even then. Gen. 10:10,11 shows his characteristic of building cities in the Babylon/Assyria area. Seeing that "the beginning of his kingdom was Babel" (Gen. 10:10), it is not unreasonable to assume that when "a man said to his neighbour, Go to, let us make brick" to build the tower of Babel, this is in fact referring to Nimrod (Gen. 11:3 A.V. mg.).  

1Ch 1:11 Mizraim-

This is the usual word for "Egypt". The eretz extended to the river of Egypt, and so we can assume that this person lived in Egypt east of the Nile, rather than referring to "Egypt" as it is now defined.

Became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim-
Anamim may be related to the "anakim", the giant people who inhabited Canaan. This material reminded Israel of the origin of the peoples they were to encounter in Canaan. These people were mere men, descendants from the same Noah whom they too were descended from; and whatever their size or physical features, they were not to be unduly feared. We note the absence of Divine names in nearly all the descendants of Noah here listed; in contrast to the way that they feature in the names of those before the flood. The impression we get is that Noah's descendants failed to keep the faith, until it had totally died out and God called Abram and revealed Himself to him.

1Ch 1:12 Pathrusim, Casluhim (where the Philistines came from) and Caphtorim-
As noted on :12, one intention of this genealogy was to assure Israel that the enemies they were encountering in the eretz, such as the Philistines, were mere men; there was nothing superhuman about them.

1Ch 1:13 Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn, Heth-
Sidon is known as a town in northern Palestine. Constantly, we encounter evidence that this genealogy describes the peoples of the eretz promised to Abraham. Heth likewise lived in the land of Canaan (Gen. 25:3).

1Ch 1:14 the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgashite-
The Jebusites inhabited Jerusalem (2 Sam. 24:18), and so often the Hivites, Jebusites and Amorites are spoken of as the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. There is no way that Canaan therefore refers to Africa and negroid peoples.

1Ch 1:15 the Hivite, the Arkite, the Sinite-
These were the tribes through whom the Israelites would've travelled on their wilderness journeys; the Sinites lives around mount Sinai.

1Ch 1:16 the Arvadite, the Zemarite and the Hamathite-
Gen. 10:18 adds: "Afterward the families of the Canaanites were spread abroad". The same word is used for how the builders of Babel feared being "spread abroad" (Gen. 11:8), and yet they were "spread abroad" after the confusion of languages (Gen. 11:9). Again this is evidence that the genealogy of chapter 10 is descriptive of what came to pass after the Babel incident in chapter 11. We read there of how the situation in chapter 10 came about; see on :20. The same word is frequently translated "scattered", and usually refers to Divine judgment. So we could read this as meaning that the Canaanites were scattered, spread abroad, after Babel, in judgment for wanting to resist that judgment; and for wanting to build the blasphemous ziggurat, a massive temple system intending to place themselves as God Himself. There is reason to think that in the last days a similar structure will be built by the same ethnic groups in the same land... and likewise judged.

If we include Canaan himself, we have here a description of 12 tribes of Canaan. They were a fake, imitation Israel; and were to be superseded by the 12 tribes of Israel.

1Ch 1:17 The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshech-
Wherever these peoples later lived, they were at this time all within the eretz promised to Abraham. "Aram" is the word usually translated "Syria". Job lived in the land of Uz. The Meshech of Ez. 38 is to be interpreted as some people within the eretz promised to Abraham.

1Ch 1:18 Arpachshad became the father of Shelah, and Shelah became the father of Eber-
"Shelah" like most of the names in this genealogy has a rather negative spiritual meaning; in this case, "missile". The impression given is that spirituality died out over these generations, until God started again with the call of Abram.

1Ch 1:19 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; for in his days the land was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan-
This "division" refers not to plate tectonics, but to the division of the earth according to language which we read of in Genesis chapter 11. The division of the eretz at Babel is therefore presented here as occurring four generations after the flood; although the Biblical genealogies frequently skip generations, and in this case, they must be compared with the information provided in Genesis 5 and 10.

1Ch 1:20 Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah-
More sons of Joktan are recorded than for any other in this genealogy. Yet his name means "made little"; perhaps we are to understand that the one who was somehow made little was the one who became great, in terms of descendants.

1Ch 1:21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah-
"Hadoram" meaning "high place", we again get the impression of unspirituality amongst these peoples. This genealogy is explaining how indeed the descendants of Noah were scattered throughout the eretz promised to Abraham after Babel; where they later may have migrated to isn't in view here. But it is also noteworthy that the children of Joktan would appear to be located in the Arabian peninsular and what is now Yemen. The southern borders of the eretz are hard to define; perhaps we are to include these areas within it.

1Ch 1:22 Ebal, Abimael, Sheba-

Most commentaries focus upon where these tribes ended up living later. But let's remember that we are here reading of how the descendants of Noah were scattered throughout the eretz promised to Abraham after the events of Babel. Where they may have migrated to afterwards is not what is in view here.

1Ch 1:23 Ophir, Havilah and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan-
There is a "Havilah" in :9, which may suggest that the lines of Ham and Joktan intermarried. This again would be evidence that the curses of Noah didn't come into effect; for he presupposed that the lines of descent from his sons would be distinct, especially between Ham and the others. According to LXX notes, this "Jobab" is the Job of the book of Job.

1Ch 1:24 Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah-
It should be noted that the Septuagint gives different ages and inserts other generations in genealogies such as this one. Yet the Septuagint is usually the version quoted by the inspired New Testament writers, including for passages where the Masoretic Text reads quite differently. This has large implications for the theory that Adam was created 4000 BC, and the six thousand year plan theory.

1Ch 1:25 Eber, Peleg, Reu-
The genealogies of Genesis 11 reveal how some human lives repeat according to the same outline schema. See on Gen. 11:10,14. Both Arphachsad and Shelah each lived 403 years after the births of the eldest sons.

1Ch 1:26 Serug, Nahor, Terah-
Peleg, Serug and Shelah were each 30 when their first sons were born (Gen. 11:14,18,22). We too can find uncanny similarities between our lives and those of others in the faith; or between our lives and Biblical characters. The same Divine hand is at work. Nahor therefore died at 148 (Gen. 11:25), the shortest liver among the post-flood patriarchs. We wonder why exactly that was... seeing that his grandson Abram was to be the one chosen. It perhaps made Abram reflect upon the brevity of life and the failure of idolatry to offer real salvation. It's a very strange 'co-incidence' (if that's indeed what it is) that Noah, Peleg and Nahor all died in the same year- when Abraham was about 50 years old, living in Ur. Whilst we have no evidence that these men were all living together, it's not impossible that they were. Perhaps they died in some calamity in Ur. So it could well be that the motive for leaving Ur in the first place was therefore mixed- it was fleeing from a material threat more than plain obedience to a Divine command. This would explain why the family settled in relatively nearby Haran, and remained there for so long.

1Ch 1:27 Abram (the same is Abraham)-
The meanings of Abraham's immediate ancestors all have associations with idolatry, confirming the note in Josh. 24:2 that Abram and his ancestors were idolaters. Out of that background, God chose a man who had the potential to be different. Another reading of "Terah" is that it means "One who tarries / remains", which would fit with his remaining in Haran and not going further towards Canaan.

1Ch 1:28 The sons of Abraham: Isaac, and Ishmael-
Ishmael was born before Isaac, but clearly Isaac is presented as Abraham's lead descendant.

1Ch 1:29 These are their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam-
I suggested on :1 that these genealogies were written up at the time of the exile, making them contemporary with the prophecies of later Isaiah about Nebaioth and Kedar being reconciled with Abraham's seed through Isaac and Jacob, and worshipping Yahweh together in a restored, multiethnic Kingdom of God in Israel (Is. 60:7).  

1Ch 1:30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema-
Dumah intermarried with the Edomites (Is. 21:11,12). These 12 tribes of Ishmael make them a pseudo Israel, and yet also, as Paul develops in Gal. 4, representatives of unbelieving Israel after the flesh.

The names of Ishmael's sons make a statement about their final acceptance in God's Kingdom, in language which is picked up in the later prophecies about them in Is. 60:6,7; 43:19,20: "In the high places a powerful people will experience a miracle of God. For they shall cause sweet odours to ascend, calling His fame to remembrance. Their burden will be lifted, they will become mighty in power, conquerors of the desert, strong in defence, numerous in population, at the forefront of the nations".

1Ch 1:31 Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael-
Ishmael is recorded as having 12 sons, who grew into tribes. This makes them a kind of parallel with the 12 sons and tribes of Jacob. But as noted on :29, one of the purposes of these genealogies was to persuade the exiles against their tendency to racial elitism, and to accept that all the tribes of the eretz promised to Abraham were Divinely intended to reconcile around Him in a restored kingdom of God. They were being reminded that they were in fact all very similar in their roots.

Abraham's prayer that Ishmael might be accepted into the covenant was heard [his name means 'God has heard']. The same promises were made to him as to Isaac; his 12 tribes (Gen. 17:20) could also have become some kind of people of God. But in this world, they chose not to; although for Abraham's sake, their latter day representatives will finally be saved.

1Ch 1:32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: she bore Zimran, Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan-
These records seem to stress the weakness and occasional strength of these children of God. This is one of the major lessons from Chronicles. Every now and then, the list of names is interrupted by a piece of information which indicates God's awareness of their spirituality. For example, the fact some men had more than one wife or a wife from a nation other than Israel is often recorded (1 Chron. 1:32; 2:3,26,35,48; 4:18; 5:1; 7:14; 8:8). The way these interruptions occur in the lists of names stands out. This is surely to indicate two things: that many faithful men (e.g. Abraham and Caleb, 1 Chron. 1:32; 2:46) made mistakes in this area of life, and secondly that all down the centuries God has not forgotten that they married out of the faith, or that they allowed the pressures of their surrounding world to influence them to break away from the ideal one man: one woman standard of Eden. These two facts provide us with both warning and comfort, in that although God is sensitive to failure, He is still able to justify men, to count them as if they are righteous for the sake of their covenant relationship with Him, even though (e.g.) their married life was not completely in order.

1Ch 1:33 The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah-
Is. 60:6 and Ps. 72:10 envisage Ephah and other children of Keturah as ultimately saved along with Israel in the Kingdom age. The blessing upon Abraham will ultimately come true upon all his seed, by grace alone.

1Ch 1:34 Abraham became the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel-
Isaac had no other recorded children, which is unusual for a wealthy man who lived a long time. This would reflect a great loyalty to Rebekah, in an age of polygamy.

1Ch 1:35 The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah-
The Eliphaz the Temanite of the book of Job, who it seems eventually came to know God through Job's forgiveness of him and prayer for him. So we see here how relationship with God skipped a generation, as often happens. Reuel is "Friend of God". We wonder if as with Eliphaz, this was another example of a spiritual person emerging from an unspiritual background and genealogy.

1Ch 1:36 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna and Amalek-
Amalek became a major enemy of Israel; but his father Eliphaz was a believer, if as suggested on :35 he is the Eliphaz of the book of Job. And so we see what is apparent in the records of the kings of Judah; good men have bad sons and bad men have good sons. Spirituality is personal and not inherited; and bad background is not an insurmountable handicap to faith and spirituality.

1Ch 1:37 The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizza-
Reuel, "friend of God", may have been a believer, despite having a father and mother (Gen. 36:10) and maternal grandmother who didn't want the things of the Kingdom promises. The new creation in Christ means that we are free of such background influences if we truly respond to the word of promise. But his sons weren't. For the names of the sons are distinctly unspiritual, especially bearing in mind the Semitic way of giving a name to a person which reflects their character. Respectively, these names mean "declining", "sun rising" and "wasting". Their birth names could have been recorded, but instead the names they were known by later are recorded.

1Ch 1:38 The sons of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan-
Again the names are hardly suggestive of true spirituality; Dishon and Ezer respectively mean "the trampler", "man of treasure". "Dishan" is another form of "Dishon"; it would be likely that Dishon died prematurely and so was as it were replaced by Dishan. Anah could be a female name.

Gen. 36:20 adds: "These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah". The idea is that they were formerly the inhabitants of that land, but were driven out by the Edomites (Dt. 2:12,22), an encouragement to Israel in the wilderness who first heard Genesis to likewise drive out the tribes from their allotted possession as Edom / Esau had done. The sons of Seir are listed amongst the descendants of Esau perhaps on the basis of the idea that Gentile peoples were counted as his descendants, just as was to be true, in a different sense, of Abraham's true seed. As noted on :30, Esau's nation is portrayed as an imitation of the true people of God. Or it could be argued that the similarities are because God chose to bless Isaac's son in this life, but without the eternal and Messianic dimension which was attached to the line through Jacob.

1Ch 1:39 The sons of Lotan: Hori, and Homam; and Timna was Lotan’s sister-
"Homam" means "raging anger", continuing the uncontrolled passion of the moment which was seen in Esau. We note the uncommon mention of a woman. Why this special mention of Timna ["restraint"] as being the aunty of "Heman", "raging anger"? Perhaps to continue the theme developed here- that out of all this unspirituality and unrestrained human nature, there were various individuals who were different and rose above their surrounding environment. This is of huge encouragement to us today.

1Ch 1:40 The sons of Shobal: Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi and Onam. The sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah-
Shobal = 'overflowing'; Alian = 'haughty'; Manahath = 'rest / peace'; Ebal = 'naked'; Shephi = 'naked'; Onam = 'strong man'. As noted on :39, in the midst of these names with sexual and other very human connotations, Manahath has a much nicer meaning. Perhaps again we have one spiritual person amongst unspiritual siblings.

1Ch 1:41 The son of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hamran, Eshban, Ithran and Cheran-
Hamran = 'desirable wine' (s.w. Is. 27:2 AV "red wine"); Eshban = 'vigorous growth'; Ithran = 'excess'; Cheran = 'angry'. We have the same idea as noted on :37,38; in the midst of very unspiritual names, we have one which speaks of something positive, of growth. Out of all this unspirituality and unrestrained human nature, there were various individuals who were different and rose above their surrounding environment. This is of huge encouragement to us today.

1Ch 1:42 The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan and Jaakan. The sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran-
Bilhan = 'humble'; Zaavan = 'not at peace'; Jaakan = 'twister'. As noted on :41, we again have here one spiritual name in the midst of very unspiritual ones, remembering that names were attached to individuals according to what they were known well for. See on :39.

1Ch 1:43 Now these are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel: Bela the son of Beor; and the name of his city was Dinhabah-
This seems a rather irrelevant statement- until it is appreciated that the point is being made that Israel's desire for a king was influenced by the fact the surrounding peoples had them. However, the reference could be to Moses as "king" of Israel effectively (Dt. 33:5), and the idea may simply be that this was how things were before the time of Moses. The list of kings we now have could be a chronological list of those who reigned in the area up until the time of Moses and the book of Genesis being completed.

1Ch 1:44 Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his place-
The Septuagint states that Job was the "Jobab" of 1 Chron. 1:44,45, who lived five generations after Abraham. Again we see how individuals amongst the otherwise unspiritual line of Esau did turn to the true God and were accepted in covenant relationship; some of the names and localities of his three friends also occur in this list of Esau's descendants and associates. In this case we marvel at the spiritual growth of Job, coming from such an unspiritual background, with the previous king living in a city called "Robbers' den" (:43).

1Ch 1:45 Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his place-
Teman is apparently near Petra and Mount Paran (Hab. 3:3), as is Dinhabah (:43). We can therefore assume that Job lived in that area too.

1Ch 1:46 Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who struck Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his place; and the name of his city was Avith-
Israel in the wilderness also smote Midian (Num. 31:8; Josh. 13:21). The fact others had "struck Midian" was therefore recorded as encouragement to them; and we too are intended to be inspired by Biblical history, realizing that our experiences are not totally unique, but in essence are repetitions of Biblically recorded situations and past victories.

1Ch 1:47 Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place-
Masrekah means "vineyards" and we assume he was famed for his wine; contributing to the generally negative spiritual tone found in most of these names. "Samlah" likewise means 'mantle', perhaps a referring to the mantles used in religious rituals.

1Ch 1:48 Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth by the River reigned in his place-
"The river" is the Euphrates, which formed the boundary of the promised land; again the impression is given that the people of Esau chose to live outside the promised land. 

1Ch 1:49 Shaul died, and Baal Hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his place-
Strong offers "possessor of grace" as the meaning of Baal Hanan, which would fit in with the theme of there being occasionally very spiritual people amongst the otherwise unspiritual line of Edom, encouraging us also to rise up against the factors of environment and hereditary; for his father Achbor means 'attacker'. But it could equally mean the Baal or Lord of Canaan, even though they were not in Canaan.

1Ch 1:50 Baal Hanan died, and Hadad reigned in his place; and the name of his city was Pai: and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab-
More detail is given about this Hadad. I suggested on :43 that  this list of kings could be a chronological list of those who reigned in the area up until the time of Moses and the book of Genesis was completed. Hadad would be "the king of Edom" with whom Israel had dealings in Num. 20:14.

1Ch 1:51 Hadad died. The chiefs of Edom were: chief Timna, chief Aliah, chief Jetheth-
There are only 11 recorded here compared to the 14 earlier in this chapter and in Gen. 36. This could be because some were assimilated into others; or because what we now read is a list of their localities rather than of individuals, and there may have been more than one "chief" within the same single locality.

1Ch 1:52 chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon-
Oholibamah ['tent of the high places'] was a woman, and I suggested on :38 that Anah was also a female chief. Elah = 'oak tree', associated with paganic shrines; Pinon = 'distracted'. All evidence of paganism and unspirituality.

1Ch 1:53 chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar-
Kenaz = 'hunter'; Teman = 'stronger', Mibzar = 'strong hold'; all the language of human strength and prowess. See on :54.

1Ch 1:54 chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These are the chiefs of Edom
Iram = 'wisdom of the city'. The names of the other chiefs in :52 and :53 were all very unspiritual and some have definite paganic hints. Therefore Magdiel, 'precious to God', stands out in its meaning. Again, we are being shown that out of an unspiritual lineage, family and environment, individuals can be transformed and overcome all that to be part of God's covenant purpose. This is significant encouragement for we today who can feel swamped by unspiritual environments.