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I Chronicles – Chapter 10
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This chapter begins the historical narrative. Since the focal point of the Book is the Davidic dynasty, we start with the end of Saul’s reign and David’s acceptance as king. Saul died during the Philistine wars, as detailed in I Samuel chapter 31. There was a crushing defeat in which Saul’s sons were killed and […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 9
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This chapter describes the returnees to Jerusalem in the time of Ezra, paralleling the account in Nehemiah chapter 11. We are told that all of Israel had their genealogical records (presumably lost in the Assyrian exile of the northern kingdom), but Judah was exiled to Babylonia, which is why Ezra had access to their records. […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 8
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Here, the text deals with the families of the Tribe of Benjamin. This chapter is far more straightforward than the previous one (especially if one assumes that the Benjamin discussed in chapter 7 is a family in the Tribe of Issachar). Benjamin the son of Israel had ten sons, though only five families are chronicled, […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 7
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This chapter is deceptively complicated as the family lists go. It starts with the sons of Issachar. After naming them (Tola, Pu’ah, Yashuv and Shimron), the text specifies that there are four of them, a fact the reader could easily discern. Any explanation for why Chronicles occasionally does this is purely speculative, though one possibility […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 6
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The previous chapter concluded with the genealogy of the priestly line; this chapter gives a more general accounting of the Tribe of Levi. Verse 6:1, which names the sons of Levi, is identical to 5:27 except that in chapter 5 Gershom is called Gershon. (The Radak explains that the end letters Mem and Nun in […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 5
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Next, the text lists the descendants of Reuben. Though he was Israel’s first-born, he lost the birthright of a double portion because he disrupted his father’s sleeping arrangements. Therefore, the birthright was given to Joseph (firstborn of Rachel), which is why two Tribes come from him (Ephraim and Menashe). Judah, the mightiest of the Tribes, […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 4
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After diverging to discuss the descendants of David in the previous chapter, the narrative now resumes with the rest of the descendants of Judah. In verses 9-10, we are told about Yavetz (Jabez), whom the Talmud in Temura (16a) identifies with the Judge Osniel (from the Book of Judges, natch!). Yavetz was the most honored […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 3
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Chapter 3 starts by naming the sons of David by their mothers. From there, it lists the royal line, starting with Solomon, who succeeded David as king. After Tzidkiyahu, who was the last king of Judah, it continues by enumerating the descendants of Yehoyachin. (The situation with the last three kings of Judah was a […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 2
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Chapter 2 starts with a list of Israel’s sons, for whom the Tribes were named. Here, they are grouped in order by their mothers, though Dan is out of place. (When Rachel did not initially conceive, she altruistically gave her servant Bilha to Jacob – see Genesis 30. For this reason, Dan, the product of […]
I Chronicles – Chapter 1
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The first chapter of Chronicles traces the ten generations from Adam to Noah, then the descendants of Noah’s sons, including the progenitors of the 70 nations of the world. (These include Mitzrayim, Cush and Yavan – better known in English as Egypt, Ethiopia and Greece.) Verse 10 pauses to tell us that Nimrod was the […]