1 Chronicles 1

The Argument-The laws comprehend both these books in one, which the Grecians because of the length, divide into two: and they are called Chronicles, because they note briefly the history from Adam to the return from their captivity in Babylon. But these are not the books of Chronicles which are mentioned in the books of the kings of Judah and Israel, which set forth the story of both kingdoms, and later perished in the captivity, but an abridgement of the same, and were gathered by Ezra, as the Jews write after their return from Babylon. This first book contains a brief rehearsal of the children of Adam to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the twelve patriarchs, chiefly of Judah, and the reign of David, because Christ came from him according to the flesh. Therefore it sets forth more amply his acts both concerning civil government, and also the administration and care of things concerning religion, for the good success of which he rejoices and gives thanks to the Lord. (Genevah)

THESE Books of the CHRONICLES are not the same which are so called, #1Ki 14:19, and elsewhere, (because some passages said to be there mentioned are not found here,) but other books, and written by other persons, and for other ends. Yet this same writer took out of those books such historical passages as were most useful or necessary. They were written after the Babylonish captivity, as appears from #2Ch 36:20, &c., by Ezra; as may be gathered not only from the same words used in the place now quoted, and in the beginning of that book which goeth under the name of Ezra, but also from some other passages, which we may observe hereafter, and from the exactness and diligence here used in making catalogues of persons and families, which also is used in the Book of Ezra. If one or two passages seem to be of a later date, those were added by some other prophets; there being some few such additional passages in the Books of Moses. The chief design of these books is, to complete the history of the kings of Judah, and to gather up the fragments of sacred history which were omitted in the Books of Samuel and Kings, and to explain some passages there mentioned, and to give an exact account of the genealogies; which (though ignorant or inconsiderate persons may think trivial and useless) was a work of great necessity, to preserve the distinction of the tribes and families, that so it might appear that Christ came of that nation, and tribe, and family, of which he was to be born. And this account having been hitherto neglected, is most seasonably mentioned in these books, because this was to be in a manner the last part of the sacred and canonical history of the Old Testament, and therefore the fittest place to record those genealogies, upon which the truth and authority of the New Testament ill some sort depends. And whereas many things in these genealogies to us are obscure and doubtful, they were not so to the Hebrews; and all the persons here named were known to them by those very particular and exact genealogies, which they kept in their several families and in public registers; from whence this sacred penman, by the direction of God's Spirit, took those things which were of most importance. (Pool)

This and the following book were reckoned by the Jews as one book, as appears by the Masoretic note at the end of the second book, and as is affirmed by Origen {a} and Jerom {b}; and they were by the ancients {c} called Chronicles, as they are by us; but they are different from the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel and Judah, so often mentioned in the preceding books, seeing several things there referred to, as in them, are not to be found here; though no doubt many things here recorded were taken from thence under a divine direction. In the Greek version, and so in the Vulgate Latin version after that, they are called "Paralipomena", that is, things passed over or omitted, because they contain several anecdotes which are not to be found in the books of Samuel and Kings. The Hebrew title of them is, "Dibre Hayamim", words of days, day books or diaries, and what the Greeks call "Ephemerides"; though, as "yamim" sometimes signifies years, they may be named "annals"; and so the Arabic inscription is,

"the Books of Annals;"

and because they chiefly respect the kings of Judah, the Syriac inscription is,

"the Book of the Things that were done in the Times of the Kings of Judah."

The Targum is,

"the Book of Genealogies, the Words of Days, which were from the Days of the World;"

because the first ten chapters consist of genealogies beginning from Adam. The inspired penman of these books must live after the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, since he carries down the genealogy of the kings and princes of Judah beyond that time, #1Ch 3:17-19 9:1. It is generally thought by the Jews and Christians that Ezra was the writer of them, with which agrees the age in which he lived; and as it may seem, from the last of these books ending with the same words with which that under his name begins: so the Talmudists {d} say, that Ezra wrote his own book, and the genealogy of the chronicles unto his own, or unto Velo, "and he had brethren", #2Ch 21:2 and Jarchi affirms that he wrote them by the hand or means of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, inspired prophets; though some Jewish writers {e} suppose they were written partly by him, and partly by Nehemiah; that all to #2Ch 21:2 were written by Ezra, and the rest by Nehemiah. Kimchi thinks that Ezra was not the first author and writer of these books, but that the books of Chronicles and Annals of the kings of Judah, and of the kings of Israel, were separately written before him; but that he only revised them, and with the men of the great synagogue added the genealogies, and put them into the canon of the Scriptures {f}. Spinosa {g} fancies they were written after Judas Maccabaeus had restored the temple, since the historian tells what families dwelt in Jerusalem in the times of Ezra, #1Ch 9:1 and speaks of the porters, #1Ch 9:17 two of which are mentioned, #Ne 11:19 as if Ezra could not describe the families that lived when he did, or name the porters of the temple, since it was finished and dedicated in his time, #Ezr 6:15, but however there is no doubt to be made of the authenticity of these books, since not only they have always been acknowledged by the Jews as a part of the canonical Scripture, and by ancient Christians, as appears by the catalogues of Melito {h} and Origen {i}; but there are plain references to them in the New Testament. The genealogy of Christ, by the evangelists, is formed out of them; the doxology in #Re 5:12 as some have observed, comes very near to what is used by David, #1Ch 29:11 and the passages in #Ac 7:48 17:24 contain the sense of what is expressed in #2Ch 2:5,6 6:18. The use and design of these books are chiefly to give a larger account of the kingdom of Judah, especially after the division of it from the ten tribes, and of the kings thereof, than what is given in the preceding books, as in the last of these books; and particularly they ascertain the genealogy of Christ, that it might be clear and plain of what tribe and family the Messiah came, that he descended from the tribe of Judah, and from the kings of the house of David, as in this first book. They both contain an history from Adam, to the deliverance of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon. The first of these books reaches, according to Hottinger {k}, to A. M. 2985, and the latter is an history of four hundred and seventy two years. According to Bishop Ussher {l} the former contains a course of 2990 years, and the latter of four hundred and seventy eight. (Gill)

This book is devoted to bringing up to date the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the line of David. The Northern Kingdom, Israel, had gone to Assyria, and had never returned. See 2 Kings 19:33.

This book (1 & 2) traces Zerabbale's family down through two grandsons, Pelatiah & Jashiah, about 500 BC.

The Books of the Kings is from man's point of view of history. The Books of Chronicles is from God's point of view of history.

V. 5,

The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.

Japheth - the people of Europe and Northern Asia. Gomer – Celts; Medes – Madai; Javan – Ionians or Greeks, all are identified as the Aryan race.


The eldest son of Japheth, and father of Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah #Ge 10:2,3 whose descendants formed the principal branch of the population of South-eastern Europe. He is generally regarded as the ancestor of the Celtae and the Cimmerii, who in early times settled to the north of the Black Sea, and gave their name to the Crimea, the ancient Chersonesus Taurica. Traces of their presence are found in the names Cimmerian Bosphorus, Cimmerian Isthmus, etc. In the seventh century B.C. they were driven out of their original seat by the Scythians, and overran western Asia Minor, whence they were afterwards expelled. They subsequently reappear in the times of the Romans as the Cimbri of the north and west of Europe, whence they crossed to the British Isles, where their descendants are still found in the Gaels and Cymry. Thus the whole Celtic race may be regarded as descended from Gomer. (Eaton's Revised Bible Dictionary, OLB)


Region of Gog, the second of the "sons" of Japheth #Ge 10:2 1Ch 1:5 In Ezekiel #Eze 38:2 39:6 it is the name of a nation, probably some Scythian or Tartar tribe descended from Japheth. They are described as skilled horsemen, and expert in the use of the bow. The Latin father Jerome says that this word denotes "Scythian nations, fierce and innumerable, who live beyond the Caucasus and the Lake Maeotis, and near the Caspian Sea, and spread out even onward to India." Perhaps the name "represents the Assyrian Mat Gugi, or ‘country of Gugu,' the Gyges of the Greeks" (Sayce's Races, etc.). (Ibid.)


Middle land, the third "son" of Japheth #Ge 10:2 the name by which the Medes are known on the Assyrian monuments.


The fourth "son" of Japheth #Ge 10:2 whose descendants settled in Greece, i.e., Ionia, which bears the name of Javan in Hebrew. Alexander the Great is called the "king of Javan" (rendered "Grecia," #Da 8:21 10:20 comp. #Da 11:2 Zec 9:13 This word was universally used by the nations of the East as the generic name of the Greek race.


A nation, probably descended from the son of Japheth. It is mentioned by Isaiah #Isa 66:19 along with Javan, and by Ezekiel #Eze 27:13 along with Meshech, among the traders with Tyre, also among the confederates of Gog #Eze 38:2,3 39:1 and with Meshech among the nations which were to be destroyed #Eze 32:26 This nation was probably the Tiberini of the Greek historian Herodotus, a people of the Asiatic highland west of the Upper Euphrates, the southern range of the Caucasus, on the east of the Black Sea.


Drawing out, The sixth son of Japheth #Ge 10:2 The founder of a tribe #1Ch 1:5 Eze 27:13 38:2,3 They were in all probability the Moschi, a people inhabiting the Moschian Mountains, between the Black and the Caspian Seas. In #Ps 120:5 the name occurs as simply a synonym for foreigners or barbarians. "During the ascendency of the Babylonians and Persians in Western Asia, the Moschi were subdued; but it seems probable that a large number of them crossed the Caucasus range and spread over the northern steppes, mingling with the Scythians. There they became known as Muscovs, and gave that name to the Russian nation and its ancient capital by which they are still generally known throughout the East"


A nation which traded in horses and mules at the fairs of Tyre #Eze 27:14 38:6 probably an Armenian or a Scythian race; descendants of No. 1


The oldest of the four sons of Javan #Ge 10:4 whose descendants peopled Greece. It has been supposed that Elishah's descendants peopled the Peloponnesus, which was known by the name of Elis. This may be meant by "the isles of Elishah" #Eze 27:7


The name of a place which first comes into notice in the days of Solomon. The question as to the locality of Tarshish has given rise to not a little discussion. Some think there was a Tarshish in the East, on the Indian coast, seeing that "ships of Tarshish" sailed from Eziongeber, on the Red Sea #1Ki 9:26 22:48 #2Ch 9:21 Some, again, argue that Carthage was the place so named. There can be little doubt, however, that this is the name of a Phoenician port in Spain, between the two mouths of the Guadalquivir (the name given to the river by the Arabs, and meaning "the great wady" or water-course). It was founded by a Carthaginian colony, and was the farthest western harbour of Tyrian sailors. It was to this port Jonah's ship was about to sail from Joppa. It has well been styled "the Peru of Tyrian adventure;" it abounded in gold and silver mines. It appears that this name also is used without reference to any locality. "Ships of Tarshish" is an expression sometimes denoting simply ships intended for a long voyage #Isa 23:1,14 ships of a large size (sea-going ships), whatever might be the port to which they sailed. Solomon's ships were so styled #1Ki 10:22 22:49


Or Kittim, a plural form #Ge 10:4 the name of a branch of the descendants of Javan, the "son" of Japheth. Balaam foretold #Nu 24:24 "that ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and afflict Eber." Daniel prophesied #Da 11:30 that the ships of Chittim would come against the king of the north. It probably denotes Cyprus, whose ancient capital was called Kition by the Greeks. The references elsewhere made to Chittim #Isa 23:1,12 Jer 2:10 Eze 27:6 are to be explained on the ground that while the name originally designated the Phoenicians only, it came latterly to be used of all the islands and various settlements on the sea-coasts which they had occupied, and then of the people who succeeded them when the Phoenician power decayed. Hence it designates generally the islands and coasts of the Mediterranean and the races that inhabit them.


Leaders, a race descended from Javan #Ge 10:4 They are known in profane history as the Dardani, originally inhabiting Illyricum. They were a semi-Pelasgic race, and in the ethnographical table #Ge 10:1ff. they are grouped with the Chittim (q.v.). In #1Ch 1:7 they are called Rodanim. The LXX. and the Samaritan Version also read Rhodii, whence some have concluded that the Rhodians, the inhabitants of the island of Rhodes, are meant.


Shem - Asshur – Assyrians; Aram – Syrians; Eber – Hebrews; Joktan – Arabs, all are identified as the Semitic race.

Ham - Ethiopians – Cush; Egypt – Mizraim; certain of the Southern Arabs – Sheba & Dedan; Babylon – Nimrod.


Warm, hot, and hence the south; also an Egyptian word meaning "black", the youngest son of Noah #Ge 5:32 comp. #Ge 9:22,24 The curse pronounced by Noah against Ham, properly against Canaan his fourth son, was accomplished when the Jews subsequently exterminated the Canaanites. One of the most important facts recorded in #Ge 10:1ff. is the foundation of the earliest monarchy in Babylonia by Nimrod the grandson of Ham #Ge 10:6,8,10. The primitive Babylonian empire was thus Hamitic, and of a cognate race with the primitive inhabitants of Arabia and of Ethiopia. The race of Ham were the most energetic of all the descendants of Noah in the early times of the post-diluvian world. (Easton Bible Dictionary.)


A son, probably the eldest, of Ham, and the father of Nimrod #Ge 10:8 1Ch 1:10 From him the land of Cush seems to have derived its name. The question of the precise locality of the land of Cush has given rise to not a little controversy. The second river of Paradise surrounded the whole land of Cush #Ge 2:13 R.V. The term Cush is in the Old Testament generally applied to the countries south of the Israelites. It was the southern limit of Egypt #Eze 29:10 A.V. "Ethiopia," Heb. Cush), with which it is generally associated #Ps 68:31 #Isa 18:1 Jer 46:9 etc. It stands also associated with Elam #Isa 11:11 with Persia #Eze 38:5 and with the Sabeans #Isa 45:14 From these facts it has been inferred that Cush included Arabia and the country on the west coast of the Red Sea. Rawlinson takes it to be the country still known as Khuzi-stan, on the east side of the Lower Tigris. But there are intimations which warrant the conclusion that there was also a Cush in Africa, the Ethiopia (so called by the Greeks) of Africa. Ezekiel speaks #Eze 29:10 comp. #Eze 30:4-6 of it as lying south of Egypt. It was the country now known to us as Nubia and Abyssinia #Isa 18:1 Zep 3:10 Heb. Cush. In ancient Egyptian inscriptions Ethiopia is termed _Kesh_. The Cushites appear to have spread along extensive tracts, stretching from the Upper Nile to the Euphrates and Tigris. At an early period there was a stream of migration of Cushites "from Ethiopia, properly so called, through Arabia, Babylonia, and Persia, to Western India." The Hamite races, soon after their arrival in Africa, began to spread north, east, and west. Three branches of the Cushite or Ethiopian stock, moving from Western Asia, settled in the regions contiguous to the Persian Gulf. One branch, called the Cossaeans, settled in the mountainous district on the east of the Tigris, known afterwards as Susiana; another occupied the lower regions of the Euphrates and the Tigris; while a third colonized the southern shores and islands of the gulf, whence they afterwards emigrated to the Mediterranean and settled on the coast of Palestine as the Phoenicians. Nimrod was a great Cushite chief. He conquered the Accadians, a Tauranian race, already settled in Mesopotamia, and founded his kingdom, the Cushites mingling with the Accads, and so forming the Chaldean nation.


The dual form of matzor, meaning a "mound" or "fortress," the name of a people descended from Ham #Ge 10:6,13 1Ch 1:8,11 It was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land of Egypt (q.v.), and may denote the two Egypts, the Upper and the Lower. The modern Arabic name for Egypt is Muzr.

Put, Phut

A land or people from among whom came a portion of the mercenary troops of Egypt, #Jer 46:9 (A.V., "Libyans," but correctly, R.V., "Put"); #Eze 27:10 30:5 (A.V., "Libya;" R.V., "Put"); #Eze 38:5 Na 3:9


The country which derived its name from the preceding. The name as first used by the Phoenicians denoted only the maritime plain on which Sidon was built. But in the time of Moses and Joshua it denoted the whole country to the west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea #De 11:30. In #Jos 5:12 the LXX. read, "land of the Phoenicians," instead of "land of Canaan." The name signifies "the lowlands," as distinguished from the land of Gilead on the east of Jordan, which was a mountainous district. The extent and boundaries of Canaan are fully set forth in different parts of Scripture #Ge 10:19 17:8 Nu 13:29 34:8


...They were called Phoenicians by the Greeks and Poeni by the Romans. By race the Canaanites were Semitic. They were famous as merchants and seamen, as well as for their artistic skill. The chief object of their worship was the sun-god, who was addressed by the general name of Baal, "lord." Each locality had its special Baal, and the various local Baals were summed up under the name of Baalim, "lords."

Seba — probably north-eastern Africa.
Havilah — the sand region. "It may perhaps be identified with the sandy tract which skirts Babylonia along the whole of its western border, stretching from the lower Euphrates to the mountains of Edom."

Nimrod ("rebellion") – "Firm, a descendant of Cush, the son of Ham. He was the first who claimed to be a "mighty one in the earth." Babel was the beginning of his kingdom, which he gradually enlarged #Ge 10:8-10 The "land of Nimrod" #Mic 5:6 is a designation of Assyria or of Shinar, which is a part of it"


Highland, the son of Shem #Ge 10:22 and the name of the country inhabited by his descendants #Ge 14:1,9 Isa 11:11 21:2 etc., lying to the east of Babylonia, and extending to the shore of the Mediterranean, a distance in a direct line of about 1,000 miles. The name Elam is an Assyrian word meaning "high." "The inhabitants of Elam, or ‘the Highlands,' to the east of Babylon, were called Elamites. They were divided into several branches, speaking different dialects of the same agglutinative language. The race to which they belonged was brachycephalic, or short-headed, like the pre-Semitic Sumerians of Babylonia. "The earliest Elamite kingdom seems to have been that of Anzan, the exact site of which is uncertain; but in the time of Abraham, Shushan or Susa appears to have already become the capital of the country. Babylonia was frequently invaded by the Elamite kings, who at times asserted their supremacy over it (as in the case of Chedorlaomer, the Kudur-Lagamar, or ‘servant of the goddess Lagamar,' of the cuneiform texts). "The later Assyrian monarchs made several campaigns against Elam, and finally Assur-bani-pal (about B.C. 650) succeeded in conquering the country, which was ravaged with fire and sword. On the fall of the Assyrian Empire, Elam passed into the hands of the Persians" (A.H. Sayce). This country was called by the Greeks Cissia or Susiana.


Second son of Shem #Ge 10:22 1Ch 1:17 He went from the land of Shinar and built Nineveh, etc. #Ge 10:11,12 He probably gave his name to Assyria, which is the usual translation of the word, although the form Asshur is sometimes retained #Nu 24:22,24 Eze 27:23 etc. In #Ge 2:14 "Assyria" ought to be "Asshur," which was the original capital of Assyria, a city represented by the mounds of Kalah Sherghat, on the west bank of the Tigris. This city was founded by Bel-kap-kapu about B.C. 1700 At a later date the capital was shifted to Ninua, or Nineveh, now Koyunjik, on the eastern bank of the river.


Son of Shem, born the year after the Deluge. He died at the age of 438 years #Ge 11:10-13 1Ch 1:17,18 Lu 3:36 He dwelt in Mesopotamia, and became, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, the progenitor of the Chaldeans. The tendency is to recognize in the word the name of the country nearest the ancient domain of the Chaldeans. Some regard the word as an Egypticized form of the territorial name of Ur Kasdim, or Ur of the Chaldees.

Lud – a people of Africa.

Vv. 12-16, all of these nations wee either destroyed by Israel or put under servitude by Israel, fulfilling Genesis 9:26.

Vv. 24-27, the nations of 12-16 were cursed in Genesis 9:25 to serve Shem.

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