Posterity of Judah by Caleb the Son of
1. the sons of Judah—that is, "the
descendants," for with the exception of Pharez, none of those here
mentioned were his immediate sons. Indeed, the others are mentioned
solely to introduce the name of Shobal, whose genealogy the historian
intended to trace (1Ch 2:52).
Of Jabez, and His Prayer.
9, 10. Jabez—was, as many think, the son
of Coz, or Kenaz, and is here eulogized for his sincere and fervent
piety, as well, perhaps, as for some public and patriotic works which
he performed. The Jewish writers affirm that he was an eminent doctor
in the law, whose reputation drew so many scribes around him that a
town was called by his name (1Ch 2:55); and to the piety of his character this
passage bears ample testimony. The memory of the critical circumstances
which marked his birth was perpetuated in his name (compare Ge 35:15); and yet, in the development of
his high talents or distinguished worth in later life, his mother must
have found a satisfaction and delight that amply compensated for all
her early trials. His prayer which is here recorded, and which, like
Jacob's, is in the form of a vow (Ge 28:20), seems to have been uttered when he was
entering on an important or critical service, for the successful
execution of which he placed confidence neither on his own nor his
people's prowess, but looked anxiously for the aid and blessing of God.
The enterprise was in all probability the expulsion of the Canaanites
from the territory he occupied; and as this was a war of extermination,
which God Himself had commanded, His blessing could be the more
reasonably asked and expected in preserving them from all the evils to
which the undertaking might expose him. In these words, "that it may
not grieve me," and which might be more literally rendered, "that I may
have no more sorrow," there is an allusion to the meaning of his name,
Jabez, signifying "grief"; and the import of this petition is, Let me
not experience the grief which my name implies, and which my sins may
10. God granted him that which he
requested—Whatever was the kind of undertaking which roused
his anxieties, Jabez enjoyed a remarkable degree of prosperity, and
God, in this instance, proved that He was not only the hearer, but the
answerer of prayer.
13. the sons of Kenaz—the grandfather of
Caleb, who from that relationship is called a Kenezite (Nu 32:12).
14. Joab, the father of the valley of
Carashim—literally, "the father of the inhabitants of the
valley"—"the valley of craftsmen," as the word denotes. They
dwelt together, according to a custom which, independently of any law,
extensively prevails in Eastern countries for persons of the same trade
to inhabit the same street or the same quarter, and to follow the same
occupation from father to son, through many generations. Their
occupation was probably that of carpenters, and the valley where they
lived seems to have been in the neighborhood of Jerusalem (Ne 11:35).
17, 18. she bare Miriam—It is difficult,
as the verses stand at present, to see who is meant. The following
readjustment of the text clears away the obscurity: "These are the sons
of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took, and she bare
Miriam, and his wife Jehudijah bare Jezreel," &c.
18. Jehudijah—"the Jewess," to
distinguish her from his other wife, who was an Egyptian. This passage
records a very interesting fact—the marriage of an Egyptian
princess to a descendant of Caleb. The marriage must have taken place
in the wilderness. The barriers of a different national language and
national religion kept the Hebrews separate from the Egyptians; but
they did not wholly prevent intimacies, and even occasional
intermarriages between private individuals of the two nations. Before
such unions, however, could be sanctioned, the Egyptian party must have
renounced idolatry, and this daughter of Pharaoh, as appears from her
name, had become a convert to the worship of the God of Israel.
1Ch 4:21-23. Posterity of
21. Laadah … the father … of the house
of them that wrought fine linen—Here, again, is another
incidental evidence that in very early times certain trades were
followed by particular families among the Hebrews, apparently in
hereditary succession. Their knowledge of the art of linen manufacture
had been, most probably, acquired in Egypt, where the duty of bringing
up families to the occupations of their forefathers was a compulsory
obligation, whereas in Israel, as in many parts of Asia to this day, it
was optional, though common.
22, 23. had the dominion in Moab, and
Jashubi-lehem—"And these are ancient things" seems a strange
rendering of a proper name; and, besides, it conveys a meaning that has
no bearing on the record. The following improved translation has been
suggested: "Sojourned in Moab, but returned to Beth-lehem and
Adaberim-athekim. These and the inhabitants of Netaim and Gedera were
potters employed by the king in his own work." Gedera or Gederoth, and
Netaim, belonged to the tribe of Judah, and lay on the southeast border
of the Philistines' territory (Jos 15:36; 2Ch 28:18).
1Ch 4:24-43. Of
24. The sons of Simeon—They are classed
along with those of Judah, as their possession was partly taken out of
the extensive territory of the latter (Jos 19:1). The difference in several particulars
of the genealogy given here from that given in other passages is
occasioned by some of the persons mentioned having more than one name
[compare Ge 46:10; Ex 6:15; Nu 26:12].
27. his brethren had not many
children—(see Nu 1:22; 26:14).
31-43. These were their cities unto the reign of
David—In consequence of the sloth or cowardice of the
Simeonites, some of the cities within their allotted territory were
only nominally theirs. They were never taken from the Philistines until
David's time, when, the Simeonites having forfeited all claim to them,
he assigned them to his own tribe of Judah (1Sa 27:6).
38, 39. increased greatly, and they went to the
entrance of Gedor—Simeon having only a part of the land of
Judah, they were forced to seek accommodation elsewhere; but their
establishment in the new and fertile pastures of Gederah was soon
broken up; for, being attacked by a band of nomad plunderers, they were
driven from place to place till some of them effected by force a
settlement on Mount Seir.