Sons of Issachar.
1. Jashub—or Job (Ge 46:13).
2. whose number was in the days of David two and
twenty thousand and six hundred—Although a census was taken
in the reign of David by order of that monarch, it is not certain that
the sacred historian had it in mind, since we find here the tribe of
Benjamin enumerated [1Ch 7:6-12], which was not taken in David's time;
and there are other points of dissimilarity.
3. five: all of them chief men—Four only
are mentioned; so that as they are stated to be five, in this number
the father, Izrahiah, must be considered as included; otherwise one of
the names must have dropped out of the text. They were each at the head
of a numerous and influential division of their tribe.
5. fourscore and seven
thousand—exclusive of the 58,600 men which the Tola branch
had produced (1Ch 7:24), so
that in the days of David the tribe would have contained a population
of 45,600. This large increase was owing to the practice of polygamy,
as well as the fruitfulness of the women. A plurality of wives, though
tolerated among the Hebrews, was confined chiefly to the great and
wealthy; but it seems to have been generally esteemed a privilege by
the tribe of Issachar, "for they had many wives and sons" [1Ch 7:4].
6. The sons of Benjamin—Ten are named in
46:21, but only five later
(1Ch 8:1; Nu 26:38). Perhaps five of them were
distinguished as chiefs of illustrious families, but two having fallen
in the bloody wars waged against Benjamin (Jud 20:46), there remained only three branches of
this tribe, and these only are enumerated.
Jediael—Or Asbel (Genesis 46. 21).
7. the sons of Bela—Each of them was
chief or leader of the family to which he belonged. In an earlier
period seven great families of Benjamin are mentioned (Nu 26:38), five of them being headed by these
five sons of Benjamin, and two descended from Bela. Here five families
of Bela are specified, whence we are led to conclude that time or the
ravages of war had greatly changed the condition of Benjamin, or that
the five families of Bela were subordinate to the other great divisions
that sprang directly from the five sons of the patriarch.
12. Shuppim also, and Huppim—They are
called Muppim and Huppim (Ge 46:21)
and Hupham and Shupham (Nu 26:39).
They were the children of Ir, or Iri (1Ch 7:7).
and Hushim, the sons—"son."
of Aher—"Aher" signifies "another,"
and some eminent critics, taking "Aher" as a common noun, render the
passage thus, "and Hushim, another son." Shuppim, Muppim, and Hushim
are plural words, and therefore denote not individuals, but the heads
of their respective families; and as they were not comprised in the
above enumeration (1Ch 7:7, 9)
they are inserted here in the form of an appendix. Some render the
passage, "Hushim, the son of another," that is, tribe or family. The
name occurs among the sons of Dan (Ge 46:23), and it is a presumption in favor of
this being the true rendering, that after having recorded the genealogy
of Naphtali (1Ch 7:13) the
sacred historian adds, "the sons of Bilhah, the handmaid, who was the
mother of Dan and Naphtali." We naturally expect, therefore, that these
two will be noticed together, but Dan is not mentioned at all, if not
in this passage.
13. Shallum—or Shillem (Ge 46:24).
sons of Bilhah—As Dan and Naphtali
were her sons, Hushim, as well as these enumerated in 1Ch 7:13, were her grandsons.
1Ch 7:14-40. Of
14, 15. The sons of Manasseh—or
descendants; for Ashriel was a grandson, and Zelophehad was a
generation farther removed in descent (Nu 26:33). The text, as it stands, is so confused
and complicated that it is exceedingly difficult to trace the
genealogical thread, and a great variety of conjectures have been made
with a view to clear away the obscurity. The passage [1Ch 7:14, 15] should probably be rendered thus:
"The sons of Manasseh were Ashriel, whom his Syrian concubine bare to
him, and Machir, the father of Gilead (whom his wife bare to him).
Machir took for a wife Maachah, sister to Huppim and Shuppim."
21. whom the men of Gath … slew,
&c.—This interesting little episode gives us a glimpse of the
state of Hebrew society in Egypt; for the occurrence narrated seems to
have taken place before the Israelites left that country. The patriarch
Ephraim was then alive, though he must have arrived at a very advanced
age; and the Hebrew people, at all events those of them who were his
descendants, still retained their pastoral character. It was in perfect
consistency with the ideas and habits of Oriental shepherds that they
should have made a raid on the neighboring tribe of the Philistines for
the purpose of plundering their flocks. For nothing is more common
among them than hostile incursions on the inhabitants of towns, or on
other nomad tribes with whom they have no league of amity. But a
different view of the incident is brought out, if, instead of
"because," we render the Hebrew particle "when" they came down to take
their cattle, for the tenor of the context leads rather to the
conclusion that "the men of Gath" were the aggressors, who, making a
sudden foray on the Ephraimite flocks, killed the shepherds including
several of the sons of Ephraim. The calamity spread a deep gloom around
the tent of their aged father, and was the occasion of his receiving
visits of condolence from his distant relatives, according to the
custom of the East, which is remarkably exemplified in the history of
2:11; compare Joh 11:19).