It is with great excitement that I start the book of Chronicles today! We are covering the descendants of Adam all the way to David. While the topic of the first two chapters goes into explicit detail concerning the genealogical lines from Adam to David, there’s far more here than meets the eye. Won’t you join us?
In Case You Missed It
My latest post in our “Blogging Through the Bible” venture can be found HERE, covering 2 Kings 19 & 20.
You can find Angela’s Bible Blogging HERE, with 2 Kings 21 & 22.
Tammy does an excellent job with her breakdown of 2 Kings 23 & 24 HERE.
I’d also like to introduce the newest member of our Blogging endeavor. Tatiana, who covers 2 Kings 25 HERE.
Chapter 1: A Genealogy of Descendants
The first chapter of 1 Chronicles reads like the genealogical history that it is. The Bible contains more of them too, as we see in Genesis chapters 5 and 11, Matthew chapter 1, and Luke chapter 3.
The truth is, history has a meaning. While countless people have often pondered “the meaning of life” and been lost to what seems to be a dead-end for those that don’t believe, it’s important to remember that life is NOT random. It’s not a random conglomeration of experiences, adventures, and mistakes that make it the whole of a person.
Life, rather, is a specific plan from the heart of God, and our link between generations IS the tie that binds. You may have heard, Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. That’s just what Ezra, the Scribe, set out to do in reminding the people of who they were, what they came from, and where they could easily be headed again!
The First Lineage
The first thing you’ll notice in the lineage listed here in the first verse is that Cain and Abel are left out of the lineup. You might be interested to know that it’s not the first instance of this happening.
Cain and Abel are also not mentioned in the genealogy listed in Genesis 5, or Luke 3. The omission has much to do with proving the lineage of Jesus Christ. And this is an important thing to remember.
Abel, having been murdered early on, could not have had any descendants, so he was left out for this reason. Cain and his descendants were wiped out with the flood, so his descendants didn’t factor into the divine lineage either. The first listed descendant of Adam is “Seth,” who was an ancestor to Noah, and thus the story begins.
From Adam to Noah, there was a great restructuring. From Noah to Abraham, that restructuring continued as nations were formed. There are many ideas about who was first in specific regional areas. One such account lists the descendants of Japheth, Noah’s son, as those that founded Europe and Asia.
Greek Ionia is believed to have been founded by Javan. Ancient Russia and Cimmerians might have been from Gomer. Iran was likely formed by Madai, while Turkey has ties to Tubal and Meshech. Finally, Cyprus and Rhodes, both islands, are linked to Kittim and Rodanim.
Ham is linked to Africa and the far East, Cush to Babylon and Ethiopia, and Mizraim to Libya and North Africa.
There are two main descendants of Abraham listed: Isaac, who was the promised child, and Ishmael, who was blessed even though he was not an heir to the promise nor the covenant. These two lines remain of incredible importance throughout history.
In the 34th verse, we see the lineage focus on that of Isaac. Of his first two sons, only Isaac was promised, and it was this lineage from which Jesus came. That lineage continued through Isaac’s son, Israel, even though Esau’s sons also had a place in the plan.
This chapter goes on to list Abraham’s descendants through Keturah. Keturah was Abraham’s second wife, whom he married after the passing of Sarah. You can read more about that in Genesis 25:1-4.
Edom’s Kings and Chiefs
There has been great controversy over the claims made in this chapter concerning the kings of Edom. For those who would not accept the Bible’s Word alone, recent archaeological discoveries are giving more and more credence to the facts, and the truth they hold.
Not only were pottery remnants and Egyptian artifacts found to support this section of Scripture, but there was also some carbon dating (which is highly debated and of which I have little confidence myself) of olive pits that pointed to this specific time.
More importantly, archaeologists have uncovered compelling pieces of evidence from the digs located at Khirbat en-Nahas. There, they found thousands of tons of copper slag, pointing towards a copper-mining operation so big, no tribal village could have pulled it off.
The only feasible answer to finding the massive amount of copper slag was that it must surely have been a by-product of a royal magnitude, hence supporting the Word concerning kings.
Chapter 2: Starting With Israel
In chapter two, we pick up with more of Abraham’s descendants. The patriarchal line began with Abraham. It was passed on from there to Issac, but not Ishmael. From there, the line continued through Jacob (also known as Israel), but not Esau. With Jacob’s sons, however, we see a shift.
All twelve of Jacob’s sons were a part of the great patriarchs revered throughout Jewish history. They became the thirteen tribes of Israel since Joseph had two lines of his own, Manasseh and Ephraim.
Jacob’s twelve sons were:
Below is an excellent pdf file that breaks this down into immense detail if you’d like to download it. It is taken from Jeff, over at Overview Bible.
From Judah to Jesse
The line of Judah is the one that always gets attention first by those mentioning genealogies, especially where David is concerned. This line is his central line and the author here goes into great detail covering the line of Judah.
Even those who are “less than perfect” are listed in the lineup, including Achar, Tamar, Onan, and Er, who each have their own dark secrets. However, those descendants who were not considered keynote figures in David’s line still get an honorable mention. Some of these were said to follow the Lord with their whole hearts (Numbers chapters 14 and 32, and Joshua chapter 14.
The Rest of the Story
If you have time to read and study these genealogies in detail, it certainly makes a very interesting read! You will start to see plans, lines, and the “how things happened” behind the scenes. It all comes together in the end, although these lineages often aren’t broken down quite so methodically.
Still, if we can catch a glimpse of this massively important history, it often makes other stories plainer and easier to understand.
What do you think about genealogies? Do you skip over them because they’re “boring” or do you dive in to find out the significance of the information that lies ahead?
How about your own genealogy? Are there “skeletons” in your ancestral line that you really don’t care to discuss? Jesus’ line is the same way and I don’t know about you, but I’ve often wondered why the “scoundrels” were listed.
In reality, I think they’re put there to let us know that we are all human. We all make mistakes. Some more than others, while some we guage from our own fleshly ideas. Still, the point is, while mistakes ARE always a fact of life, it’s what we can learn from history that will truly determine what our future holds.
Let’s not forget that.
Lord Jesus, thank you for not hiding the dirty little secrets, even within your own genealogy! Thank you for letting us know that your ancestors were no so unlike our very own. We ask that you allow us to keep our eyes open as we browse the Scriptures, and remind us of who we are in You. I thank and praise You for adopting me, and making me descendant, a joint-heir of the Kingdom, and an Ambassador of the same. In Jesus mighty Name, Amen!