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Verses 1-54


The writer begins his history with a series of genealogies, without introduction or heading, which embraces the descendants of Adam to Noah, the descendants of Noah through Japheth, Ham and Shem, the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael and the sons of Keturah, the descendants of Isaac through Esau and the rulers of Edom. These genealogies, which occupy the first nine chapters of this book, and occur frequently throughout the remaining chapters, relate to (a) peoples, (b) localities, (c) families. Those which refer to peoples (1 Chronicles 1:5.) and to localities (1 Chronicles 2:42-43, 1 Chronicles 2:50; 1 Chronicles 7:8) for the most part imply nearness of position, not blood relationship; it is only those which refer to families which are genealogies in the strict sense. Such became extremely important after the exile when descent from Aaron was rigorously required as a condition for the priesthood (Ezra 2:61-62; Nehemiah 7:63-64), and when efforts were made to secure the purity of the Jewish race as a whole against contamination by prohibiting intermarriage with foreigners (Ezra 9, 10 Nehemiah 13:23.). In certain places there are gaps in the lines of descent, some names having fallen out (e.g. 1 Chronicles 2:47; 1 Chronicles 3:22; 1 Chronicles 4:8-9, etc.), whilst others have undergone textual corruption.

If. The names that are enumerated are taken, with a few unimportant variations, from various chapters of the book of Genesis: see Genesis 5, 10, 11, 16, 21, 25, 36.

5. The sons of Japheth] Where several children of one father are mentioned, the descendants of the son through whom the main line of descent is transmitted are reserved until the collateral branches have been described and dismissed: cp. 1 Chronicles 1:29, 1 Chronicles 1:32, 1 Chronicles 1:35.

38. The sons of Seir] These were aboriginal Horite families (Genesis 36:20) who dwelt in Seir (Edom) before the descendants of Esau.

51. And the dukes of Edom were] better, ’and there arose dukes of Edom, to wit, duke Timnah,’ etc. The writer implies that after Hadad’s death, kings were replaced by dukes.

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