1 Chronicles Chapter 1
The penman of Chronicles is unknown, but some believe that Ezra compiled it. Actually, in the beginning 1 and 2 Chronicles was one continuous book. Chronicles was, also known as “The Words Of The Days”. These books of Chronicles were the last book of the Hebrew Bible. Chronicles cover the time period that we have just gone through in the books of Samuel and Kings. It differs from Samuel and Kings, in that it primarily deals with David, and then with Judah, more than with the ten tribes of Israel. It also contains genealogies going back to Adam. The book carries us from Adam through the Babylonian captivity. It seems, it was compiled just after the Babylonian captivity. The Hebrews were very good record keepers, so there was a great deal of information available for this. Chronicles speaks of historical facts that have been recorded. It leaves no doubt of the sovereignty of God.
Verses 1:1 – 9:44: This abbreviated genealogy summarizes the divinely selected course of redemptive history:
(1) From Adam to Noah (1:1-4; Gen. Chapters 1-6);
(2) From Noah’s son Shem to Abraham (1:4-27; Gen. Chapters 7-11);
(3) From Abraham to Jacob (1:28-34; Gen. Chapters 12-25);
(4) From Jacob to the 12 tribes (1:34-2:2; Gen. Chapters 25-50); and
(5) From the 12 tribes to those who had returned to Jerusalem after the 70 year captivity (2:3 – 9:44; Exodus 1:1 – 2 Chron. 36:23).
This genealogical listing is unique to the purposes of “the chronicler” and is not intended to necessarily be an exact duplication of any other list(s) in Scripture.
1 Chronicles 1:1 “Adam, Sheth, Enosh,”
The genealogical lists begin by demonstrating the place of the line of David, from whom the Messiah would come, among the families of mankind (1:1-3:24).
This genealogy is based on Gen. 5 and was recorded to show who Israel is and how she relates to other nations. Because the focus is on Israel, the names of Cain and Abel are omitted and only the third son of Adam, “Seth,” is included (Gen. 4:25-26).
These first four verses exactly agree with the account of the time (before the flood), of patriarchs (in Genesis 5:1).
The book begins with a genealogy beginning with Adam. It is interesting that Cain and Abel are left out of this genealogy. Seth (Sheth), was born when Adam was 130 years old. There may be an explanation for this in the next verse. Cain killed Abel. Abel was in the spiritual line from Adam. Seth replaced Abel in the spiritual line.
Genesis 4:25 “And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, [said she], hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.”
1 Chronicles 1:2 “Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,”
Kenan mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus (in Luke 3:36-37). Mahalaleel was a great-grandson of Seth, also a man of Judah. Jared was the sixth link in the ten pre-flood generations between Adam and Noah; he was the son of Mahalaleel and the father of Enoch, and lived 962 years (per Genesis 5:18).
Kenan is the same as Cainan. He lived 910 years. Mahalaleel lived 895 years. Jered lived 962 years and was, also, known as Jared.
1 Chronicles 1:3 “Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,”
Henoch] “Enoch,” the spelling given in Gen. (A.V. and R.V.) is less correct. (In 1 Chronicles 1:33), the R.V. gives the still better form “Hanoch,” but it does not venture to alter the form of the name of the famous Enoch (Genesis 5:21).
Henoch is the same as Enoch. This is the same Enoch, who walked with God and was not, because God took him. He was the first one recorded to go to heaven without benefit of the grave. This Enoch is from the spiritual line of Adam. There was also, another Enoch who was descended from Cain. He was in the line of the flesh. There was a Methuselah in the spiritual line from Seth who lived longer on the earth than anyone else ever recorded. He lived 969 years. There was a Methuselah descended from Cain also. Lamech, descended from Seth lived 777 years. Cain had a descendent with the name of Lamech as well.
1 Chronicles 1:4 “Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
There is no doubt that Ham means black, or sunburnt, and Japheth (Heb., Yepheth) is probably the fair-skinned. Shem has been compared with an Assyrian word meaning brownish (sa’mu). Thus, the three names appear to allude to differences of racial complexion.
The three sons of this patriarch are enumerated, partly because they were the founders of the new world, and partly because the fulfilment of Noah’s prophecy (Ge 9:25-27), could not otherwise appear to have been verified.
Noah is the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. During Noah’s life, the earth was flooded, and he, and his three sons, and all their wives were the only ones saved. He built an ark on instructions from God, and saved his family from the flood. The earth was re-populated by their families.
Verses 5-23: This genealogy is based on “the sons” of those listed (in Gen. 10:2-29).
1 Chronicles 1:5 “The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.”
The genealogical record moves from the list of righteous individuals who lived before the flood, to the sons of Noah, from the widest circle of dispersion, Japheth, to Ham (verse 8), and then to the messianic line in Shem (verse 17). This line is then traced to Abraham (verse 27).
“Japheth” means wide spreading, and that is just what his family did. Gomer began the Celtic tribes and probably Germany. Magog was said to have inhabited modern Russia. Madai settled in the land later known as the Medes. Javan was believed to settle in Syria and Greece. Tubal settled in the south of the Black Sea in the area of Spain. Meshech was in the area of Moscow. Tiras probably settled the coasts of the Aegean Sea. The Gentile nations are from Japheth’s descendants.
1 Chronicles 1:6 “And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.”
Here begins the genealogy of the sons of Noah after the flood; of the sons of Japheth the elder, in this and the two following verses. Next of the sons of Ham, the younger brother (1 Chron. 1:8), then of Shem, whose posterity are mentioned last, because from him, in the line of Heber, sprang Abraham. The ancestor of the Jewish nation, of whom the Messiah was to come, for whose sake this genealogy is given (1 Chron. 1:17).
Ashchenaz was the beginning of the Assyrians. At the time of Jeremiah, some of them lived near Ararat. They were spoken of as barbarians. Riphath is called Diphath in one Scripture. Very little is known of him. Togarmah was believed to have settled in Turkey. They were said to have traded with Tyre in horses and mules. In Ezekiel, they are spoken of as followers of Gog.
1 Chronicles 1:7 “And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.”
Elishah settled Cyprus. They were known for their scarlet and purple material they sold. Tarshish is a word we heard a lot in connection with merchants of Tarshish. It appears, they were merchants, who shipped goods by water. One meaning for the name Tarshish is melting plant, or refinery. They could have been involved in the melting of metals. Very little else is known of them. Kittim is the same as Chittim. It appears, they settled on the Mediterranean Sea. Dodanim is the same as Dardani. Troy and Illyricum were two cities which came from them.
1 Chronicles 1:8 “The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.”
The Dark-skinned or swarthy (1 Chron. 1:8-16).
Cush was the father of Nimrod, who founded Babylon. “Cush” means black. Mizraim could have been the founder of Egypt. They were also, believed to be the founders of Philistia. Put seemed to settle in Africa. He is associated with Somaliland. Canaan was the founder of the Canaanites which included the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and the Hamathites.
1 Chronicles 1:9 “And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.”
“Sheba and Dedan”: The same two names occur together (in 1 Chronicles 1:32), as descendants of Shem through Jokshan. Possibly the same two tribes are meant in both places, and Sheba and Dedan were of mixed origin, Hamitic and Semitic.
Seba lived in the land of Babylon. Havilah also, settled in the area of Babylon. Sabta was also, spelled Sabtah. He possibly settled in Babylon, nothing is known of his settlements for sure. Raamah were known as traders from southwest Arabia. There is nothing more known of Sabtecha. Sheba settled on the shores of the Persian Gulf. “Dedan” means depression, or low country. That is all we know of Dedan.
1 Chronicles 1:10 “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth.”
At times, special notices of importance regarding certain key people are tucked into the genealogies (verses 19, 43, 46). For “Nimrod” (see Genesis 10:8-12).
The mention of “Nimrod” includes a short explanation: “he began to be mighty on the earth.” According to (Genesis 10:8-9), Nimrod become known as a great hunter. In Hebrew, his name most likely means “Rebel.” He was likely the founder of Babylon, a city that became a symbol of human arrogance.
Nimrod founded Babylon. He is known as the father of Babylon. We must notice that his power is not spiritual power, but earthly power. He was a flesh man, not a spirit man. “Nimrod” means strength, or rebel. The descendants of Ham brought the first earthly kings into being. Babylon and Nimrod seem to be spoken of with evil. They were opposed to the LORD from the beginning. Nimrod was a mighty warrior.
Verses 11-12: For more on Israel’s history with the “Philistines” (see Judges Chapter 13 and 1 Sam. Chapter 4).
1 Chronicles 1:11 “And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,”
Ludim seemed to have fathered the African nations near Egypt. Anamim formed an Egyptian tribe, of which nothing more is known. Lehabim seemed to father the fair-haired, blue-eyed Libyans. These particular people fought for Egypt. Naphtuhim settled in Egypt, or immediately west of it. Nothing more is known of them.
1 Chronicles 1:12 “And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim.”
“Of whom came the Philistines”: Of which See Poole (“Genesis 10:14”).
Pathrusim founded Pathos. Casluhim’s descendants became the Philistines. Caphthorim, possibly, founded Caphtor, and the Philistines came from there too.
1 Chronicles 1:13 “And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth,”
Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn. Or, in modern phrase, Zidon is the oldest city of Canaan. It is usually mentioned along with Tyre, the ruling city in later times. Sennacherib speaks of the flight of Lulî, “king of Zidon,” from Tyre. Esarhaddon mentions Baal of Tyre as a tributary. Of the eleven “sons of Canaan all but three or four have been identified in the cuneiform inscriptions of Assyria.
And Heth, that is, the Hittite race, called Heta by the Egyptians, and Hatti by the Assyrians. The Hittites were once the dominant race of Syria and Palestine. Carchemish, on the Euphrates, and Kadesh, as well as Hamath, appear to have been Hittite cities. Their kings had commercial relations with Solomon (1Kings 10:29). Inscriptions, in a kind of mixed hieroglyph, have been found at Hamath and Carchemish, but they still await deciphering.
1 Chronicles 1:14 “The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite,”
The names which follow (until 1 Chronicles 1:17), are not the names of particular persons, but of people, or nations. And all these descended from Canaan, though some of them were afterward extinct. Or confounded with others of their brethren by cohabitation or mutual marriages, whereby they lost their names. Which is the reason why they are no more mentioned, at least under these names.
1 Chronicles 1:15 “And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,”
The Hivites are placed in the extreme north of the land, “the Hivite under Hermon” (Heb. not the LXX.). The Arkite and Sinite lived in Lebanon, the Arvadite (compare Ezekiel 27:8), on the sea-coast north of Gebal (Byblus), the Zemarite a little to the south of the Arvadite, and the Hamathite furthest to the north on the Orontes.
1 Chronicles 1:16 “And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.”
“The Zemarite” (Gen. 10:18). The inscriptions of the Assyrian monarch, Sargon (720 B.C.), mention Zimira, which is joined with Arpad (Arvad). And there can be little doubt that it is the city indicated by the term “Zemarite.”
Heth was the father of the Hittites. “Zidon” means fishing. All of the Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites, and Hamathites descended from Ham through Canaan. They settled the land of the Canaanites that would later become the holy land.
1 Chronicles 1:17 “The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.”
Shem is the son of Noah. It is in his lineage that the Lord Jesus Christ comes. The ark was finished when he was 98 years old. Elam settled the land beyond the Tigris River and east of Babylon. Asshur founded the land of Assyria. Arphaxad would be the son of Shem the lineage of Jesus will come through, He settled north, northeast of Nineveh. This Lud settled probably in the Asian nations. Aram was the father of the Armenians, who were located in Syria and Mesopotamia. They extended into Lebanon. The maternal ancestry of Jacob’s children was Aramaic. Uz was a grandson of Shem, through Aram. Hul, Gether, and Meshech (Mash), were grandsons also through Aram.
1 Chronicles 1:18 “And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber.”
Arphaxad begat Shelah; either immediately, or by his son Cainan, who is expressed (Luke 3:35), of which, God assisting, I shall speak in its proper place.
We must trace Arphaxad’s family even closer, because he is in the lineage of Jesus. It appears, that he was born very soon after the flood. Shelah is also spoken of as Salah. He is the only son of Arphaxad that is mentioned. “Salah” means missile, or javelin. Eber, is sometimes called Ebet. “Eber” means the region beyond.
1 Chronicles 1:19 “And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one [was] Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother’s name [was] Joktan.”
“Days … divided”: Peleg, which means “divided,” apparently lived when the Lord divided, or scattered the human race. This division refers to the scattering of the people at the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:8-9).
“Peleg” means division. Could it be, that during the days of Peleg the earth actually separated? We must remember several things. Before the flood, it had never rained upon the earth. We know that the days of Peleg are not long after that great event. The continents did break apart at some time in history. Is it possible this is speaking of that? It is very interesting to me that “Eber” means region beyond. What is it beyond? I do not believe the statement “the earth divided” means a scattering of the people. It did not say the people of the earth divided. If the continents did separate, that is why there were people in the Americas. That could be why the American Indians tell of a great flood, as well as the people of the Mediterranean. That would even answer why there are pyramids in South America. “Joktan” means small. Very little else is known of him, except that he had numerous sons listed below.
1 Chronicles 1:20 “And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,”
“Joktan begat Almodad”: All the names of the sons of Joktan here given, so far as they have been identified, represent peoples situated in south Arabia or on the West coast of the Red Sea lying over against South Arabia.
1 Chronicles 1:21 “Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah,”
Hadoram is the son of Joktan mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Uzal, in the Hebrew Bible, is a descendant of Joktan, whose settlements are clearly traced in the ancient name of Sana, the capital city of the Yemen (see Genesis 10:27).
1 Chronicles 1:22 “And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba,”
“Ebal”, or Obal, as it is (in Genesis 10:28); such proper names being often differently written, according to the difference of times, and people, and writers.
1 Chronicles 1:23 “And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these [were] the sons of Joktan.”
Almodad was the father of an Arabian tribe. Sheleph’s descendants were Arab’s also. “Hazarmaveth” means village of death. “Jerah” means moon or month. Hadoram was another Arab tribe founder. Uzal probably founded Yemen. Nothing else is known of Diklah. “Ebal” means bare or stone. Sheba was one of the sons of Joktan, who founded tribes of Arabia. The country became known as Sheba. Nothing more is known of Ophir, except they were Arabs. Havilah founded an area north of Sheba. They were Arabs also. “Jobab” means desert howler, one who calls shrilly. It appears that all of the sons of Joktan were Arabs.
1 Chronicles Chapter 1 Questions
1. Who do most people believe compiled Chronicles?
2. What is another name for Chronicles?
3. What period of time does Chronicles cover?
4. When was it compiled?
5. What does the book begin with?
6. How old was Adam, when Seth was born?
7. Why does verse 1, of this lesson, skip Cain and Abel?
8. What is another name for Kenan?
9. Henoch is the same as ________.
10. What was he the first to do?
11. What is special about Methuselah from Seth’s line?
12. Who are Shem, Ham, and Japheth?
13. What does “Japheth” mean?
14. Where did Gomer settle?
15. Cush was the father of _________.
16. Who founded Babylon?
17. What does “Cush” mean?
18. Canaan was the founder of what people?
19. What kind of a man was Nimrod?
20. Who is Shem?
21. How old was he, when the ark was finished?
22. Why is Arphaxad important?
23. What does “Eber” mean?
24. Who was Eber’s son mentioned here?
25. What special thing happened in his lifetime?
26. What does the author ask about this time?
27. Who were Joktan’s descendants?