Read 1 Chronicles 4
Other Clans of Judah
4 The descendants of Judah:
Perez, Hezron, Karmi, Hur and Shobal.
2 Reaiah son of Shobal was the father of Jahath, and Jahath the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites.
3 These were the sons of Etam:
Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi.4 Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah.
These were the descendants of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah and fatherof Bethlehem.
5 Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.
6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Haahashtari. These were the descendants of Naarah.
7 The sons of Helah:
Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan, 8 and Koz, who was the father of Anub and Hazzobebah and of the clans of Aharhel son of Harum.
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
11 Kelub, Shuhah’s brother, was the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton. 12 Eshton was the father of Beth Rapha, Paseah and Tehinnah the father of Ir Nahash. These were the men of Rekah.
13 The sons of Kenaz:
Othniel and Seraiah.
The sons of Othniel:
Hathath and Meonothai. 14 Meonothai was the father of Ophrah.
Seraiah was the father of Joab,
the father of Ge Harashim. It was called this because its people were skilled workers.
15 The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh:
Iru, Elah and Naam.
The son of Elah:
16 The sons of Jehallelel:
Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel.
17 The sons of Ezrah:
Jether, Mered, Epher and Jalon. One of Mered’s wives gave birth to Miriam, Shammai and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18 (His wife from the tribe of Judah gave birth to Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soko, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah.) These were the children of Pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah, whom Mered had married.
19 The sons of Hodiah’s wife, the sister of Naham:
the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maakathite.
20 The sons of Shimon:
Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-Hanan and Tilon.
The descendants of Ishi:
Zoheth and Ben-Zoheth.
21 The sons of Shelah son of Judah:
Er the father of Lekah, Laadah the father of Mareshah and the clans of the linen workers at Beth Ashbea, 22 Jokim, the men of Kozeba, and Joash and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and Jashubi Lehem. (These records are from ancient times.) 23 They were the potters who lived at Netaim and Gederah; they stayed there and worked for the king.
24 The descendants of Simeon:
Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah and Shaul;
25 Shallum was Shaul’s son, Mibsam his son and Mishma his son.
26 The descendants of Mishma:
Hammuel his son, Zakkur his son and Shimei his son.
27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers did not have many children; so their entire clan did not become as numerous as the people of Judah. 28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar Shual,29 Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, 30 Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, 31 Beth Markaboth, Hazar Susim, Beth Biri and Shaaraim. These were their towns until the reign of David. 32 Their surrounding villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Token and Ashan—five towns— 33 and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath. These were their settlements. And they kept a genealogical record.
34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel, 36 also Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 and Ziza son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah.
38 The men listed above by name were leaders of their clans. Their families increased greatly, 39 and they went to the outskirts of Gedor to the east of the valley in search of pasture for their flocks. 40 They found rich, good pasture, and the land was spacious, peaceful and quiet. Some Hamites had lived there formerly.
41 The men whose names were listed came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. They attacked the Hamites in their dwellings and also the Meuniteswho were there and completely destroyed them, as is evident to this day. Then they settled in their place, because there was pasture for their flocks.42 And five hundred of these Simeonites, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, invaded the hill country of Seir. 43 They killed the remaining Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day.
Our journey through the genealogies of 1 Chronicles brings us to 1 Chronicles 4, describing the descendants of Judah and Simeon. Jacob had twelve sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel. Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and Simeon was the second. Why so much focus on Judah? If we look back to Genesis 49, we read what Jacob said would happen to his sons in the days to come. In Genesis 49:10 Jacob says, “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.” From the line of Judah will eventually come David, and from David will eventually come Jesus, the King of kings and the Lord of Lords who will reign forever.
In these genealogies and detailed descriptions, we see God’s redemptive plan playing out through generations. There is a bigness about God that we see when we take a bird’s eye view through history and see God’s sovereign hand over the lives and coming and going of his people. Imagine how each of these people probably didn’t know exactly their role or significance in the grand scheme during their lifetime, but God saw it all and planned it all and knew them all personally.
Amidst the list of genealogies, a short description of Jabez stands out in the line of Judah (4:9-10). It’s interesting how his life is described in just a couple verses. He was “more honorable than his brothers.” His mother didn’t name him in a way that would suggest honor or blessing – his name (similar to the Hebrew for pain) was given because she “gave birth to him in pain.” Yet despite this beginning, he didn’t wallow in self pity and sit paralyzed by the pain that marked his name. Instead, he cried out to God for help. He prayed for God to bless him, to enlarge his territory, for God’s hand to be with him, and for God to protect him from harm and pain. Those were big prayers, hoping for big things. And “God granted his request.” His sad history and name didn’t determine his future–God is bigger and stronger than the pain of his past.
- Is there anything in your history that makes you doubtful about what God might do in and through you? How would you live or pray differently if you fully trusted that God’s plans and power are bigger than your past?
- Would you characterize your prayers as sparse and small or frequent and big? What does that suggest about your dependence on God to provide all the blessing and protection you need?
- Reflect on a time in your life when you couldn’t see God’s perspective at the time, but only later could see how He was working in the circumstances and trials to bring about his good purposes. Consider how you could share that story with others to proclaim God’s goodness and greatness.
How do we know if our prayers for blessing, protection, etc. are selfish or whether they are honoring God? Check out this sermon (or transcript, if you prefer) on prayer.
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2 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 4”
As we trudge through the recorded names of the ancestry of a nation, we see that God is interested not only in nations but individuals. Psalm 147:4 declares “He determines the number of the stars; he calls them each by name.” That’s how grand our God is! How much more valuable is humanity than a star! He surely knows your name, values you beyond anything you can comprehend, desires a relationship with you, and most importantly gave his Son to pay the price for your sins. Of all the places our names must be recorded is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Names recorded here acknowledge Jesus as Savior, belong to God and have received eternal life.
So in this chapter we get to hear a prayer and see some of the occupations that God that were note worthy. There were skilled workers, linen workers, potters, keeper of genealogy, and keepers of flocks listed in this chapter. As young people we think about what to do as a career when “we grow up”. These people didn’t have much choice. They learned their fathers trade and did that, whatever that was. BUT GOD thought these skills were worthy enough to tell about through this book, so what should be our take away? Will those still be skills we will use in “heaven”? Maybe.
I enjoyed John Pipers sermon on prayer. “The words of Jesus abiding in us make us the kind of persons who are not dominated by natural desires, but are devoted to fruit-bearing for God’s glory.” I want to be a fruit bearing tree that is showing people who God is and His Glory!!!
God thank You for Your word. Thank You for learning more details and indepthness about You! Thank You for my prayers being for Your glory. Thank Your for comprehending abiding more completely everyday!! Thank You God that You and I stay connected by and through Holy Spirit. That You are with me constant and continuously. God I give You glory for this day in Jesus name amen.