Read 1 Chronicles 7
7 The sons of Issachar:
Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron—four in all.
2 The sons of Tola:
Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam and Samuel—heads of their families. During the reign of David, the descendants of Tola listed as fighting men in their genealogy numbered 22,600.
3 The son of Uzzi:
The sons of Izrahiah:
Michael, Obadiah, Joel and Ishiah. All five of them were chiefs.4 According to their family genealogy, they had 36,000 men ready for battle, for they had many wives and children.
5 The relatives who were fighting men belonging to all the clans of Issachar, as listed in their genealogy, were 87,000 in all.
6 Three sons of Benjamin:
Bela, Beker and Jediael.
7 The sons of Bela:
Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri, heads of families—five in all. Their genealogical record listed 22,034 fighting men.
8 The sons of Beker:
Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth and Alemeth. All these were the sons of Beker. 9 Their genealogical record listed the heads of families and 20,200 fighting men.
10 The son of Jediael:
The sons of Bilhan:
Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Kenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish and Ahishahar.11 All these sons of Jediael were heads of families. There were 17,200 fighting men ready to go out to war.
12 The Shuppites and Huppites were the descendants of Ir, and the Hushites the descendants of Aher.
13 The sons of Naphtali:
Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem—the descendants of Bilhah.
14 The descendants of Manasseh:
Asriel was his descendant through his Aramean concubine. She gave birth to Makir the father of Gilead. 15 Makir took a wife from among the Huppites and Shuppites. His sister’s name was Maakah.
Another descendant was named Zelophehad, who had only daughters.
16 Makir’s wife Maakah gave birth to a son and named him Peresh. His brother was named Sheresh, and his sons were Ulam and Rakem.
17 The son of Ulam:
These were the sons of Gilead son of Makir, the son of Manasseh.18 His sister Hammoleketh gave birth to Ishhod, Abiezer and Mahlah.
19 The sons of Shemida were:
Ahian, Shechem, Likhi and Aniam.
20 The descendants of Ephraim:
Shuthelah, Bered his son,
Tahath his son, Eleadah his son,
Tahath his son, 21 Zabad his son
and Shuthelah his son.
Ezer and Elead were killed by the native-born men of Gath, when they went down to seize their livestock. 22 Their father Ephraim mourned for them many days, and his relatives came to comfort him. 23 Then he made love to his wife again, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. He named him Beriah, because there had been misfortune in his family. 24 His daughter was Sheerah, who built Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah.
25 Rephah was his son, Resheph his son,
Telah his son, Tahan his son,
26 Ladan his son, Ammihud his son,
Elishama his son, 27 Nun his son
and Joshua his son.
28 Their lands and settlements included Bethel and its surrounding villages, Naaran to the east, Gezer and its villages to the west, and Shechem and its villages all the way to Ayyah and its villages. 29 Along the borders of Manasseh were Beth Shan, Taanach, Megiddo and Dor,together with their villages. The descendants of Joseph son of Israel lived in these towns.
30 The sons of Asher:
Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah. Their sister was Serah.
31 The sons of Beriah:
Heber and Malkiel, who was the father of Birzaith.
32 Heber was the father of Japhlet, Shomer and Hotham and of their sister Shua.
33 The sons of Japhlet:
Pasak, Bimhal and Ashvath.
These were Japhlet’s sons.
34 The sons of Shomer:
Ahi, Rohgah, Hubbah and Aram.
35 The sons of his brother Helem:
Zophah, Imna, Shelesh and Amal.
36 The sons of Zophah:
Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah, 37 Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran and Beera.
38 The sons of Jether:
Jephunneh, Pispah and Ara.
39 The sons of Ulla:
Arah, Hanniel and Rizia.
40 All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders. The number of men ready for battle, as listed in their genealogy, was 26,000.
1 Chronicles 7 lists lots of names. But when is a name more than just a name? Each person is a complex being, with a story, emotions, thoughts, friends, and family members (just like you). So, too, are the names listed in 1 Chronicles 7, outlining the tribes of Issachar, Naphtali, half of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Asher. The listing in this chapter highlights two main points for the historian: the continuation of Israel and the number of “fighting men” from each tribe.
In Genesis 22, we read that God told Abraham:
“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
The continuation of Israel through the tribes’ children demonstrates God’s faithfulness to Abraham. And the number of fighting men is one of the tools God uses to help Israel “take possession of the cities of their enemies.” The historian of Chronicles is listing more than names; he is listing evidence that God did what He said He would do.
In addition to the listing of names, the writer of Chronicles calls out a few, so let’s take a closer look at two of these. Verse 24 specifically mentions that Ephraim’s granddaughter, Sheerah, “built Lower and Upper Beth Horon, as well as Uzzen Sheerah.” Not only did she build these cities, she built them well. While many cities were destroyed or lost with time, Lower and Upper Beth Horon may be found as Beit Ur al-Fauqa and Beit Ur al-Tahta in Palestine. Beth Horon becomes an important place for Israel’s success over the Amorites (Joshua 10). The writer of Chronicles knows this is coming and knows its importance, so he sets the stage with the establishment of this location here in 1 Chronicles 7.
Verse 40 offers commentary on the descendants of Asher:
“All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders.”
The tribe of Asher played a crucial role in the conquest of Canaan and was among the first to receive its inheritance in the Promised Land. They settled along the Mediterranean Coast with excellent natural resources that became known for its abundance of olive trees, which provided them with a valuable resource for trade and commerce. The tribe provided warriors during the time of Judges, including the prophetess Deborah, who led the Israelites to victory against the Canaanites. During the reign of King David, the tribe of Asher was among the tribes that pledged their allegiance to him and supported him in his efforts to establish a unified kingdom of Israel. The writer of Chronicles foreshadows the importance of this tribe with this shoutout in this chapter.
As you read more of Chronicles, reference these first few chapters of genealogy. These names will begin to mean more than just names. They will begin to take the shape of God’s promises and provisions.
- The list of names in 1 Chronicles 7 is evidence of God’s faithfulness to Israel. What names would be on your list as evidence of God’s faithfulness in your life?
- If your name was on someone else’s list, how would you be described as contributing to the Kingdom of God?
- Pick one of the tribes listed to follow through 1 Chronicles. Draw a family tree, make notes, and see how God uses them in His bigger story.
When studying history, it’s helpful to understand the end when you start to study the beginning. The tribes outlined in 1 Chronicles 7 all belong to the “lost tribes of Israel.” To learn more about these groups, check out this video on GotQuestions.org.
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2 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 7”
It’s amazing to me how God preserved these specific names throughout centuries of history, and that we can open our copy of scripture today and read of them. (Something I’ve found helpful is using the YouVersion bible app to listen to the chapter read aloud and hearing the correct pronunciation of the names.) As we piece together bits and pieces of narratives, we see that God was/is relevant, relational and a faithful father. He is worthy of our deepest trust and affections. Let’s set our hearts on the good path knowing that where it leads will bring our ultimate fulfillment. He knows your name!
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. They had men ready for battle, theirs was more physical if I am understanding correctly, ours my be sometimes physical but mostly spiritual. Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? I Timothy 2:3-4 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. We are to speak the truth to people so that God can do the work in them. Then to come along side them and help make disciples to multiple so that all can have the chance to come to the knowledge of truth.
God thank You for helping me show, speak, and be the person that would edify You. Thank You for Your words that would build up someone to know You better coming out of my mouth. Thank You that I can give, prayers, time, money, love, hugs, words, quietness, whatever it is that would glorify You today in Jesus name amen.