1 Chronicles 4:9-43

Jabez was a better man than his brothers, a man of honor. His mother had named him Jabez (Oh, the pain!), saying, “A painful birth! I bore him in great pain!” Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: “Bless me, O bless me! Give me land, large tracts of land. And provide your personal protection—don’t let evil hurt me.” God gave him what he asked.

Kelub, Shuhah’s brother, had Mehir; Mehir had Eshton; Eshton had Beth Rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah, who founded Ir Nahash (City of Smiths). These were known as the men of Recah.

The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah.

The sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.

Meonothai had Ophrah; Seraiah had Joab, the founder of Ge Harashim (Colony of Artisans).

The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam.

The son of Elah: Kenaz.

The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel.

The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. One of Mered’s wives, Pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah, gave birth to Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. His Judean wife gave birth to Jered father of Gedor, Heber father of Soco, and Jekuthiel father of Zanoah.

The sons of Hodiah’s wife, Naham’s sister: the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maacathite.

The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-Hanan, and Tilon.

The sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-Zoheth.

The sons of Shelah son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah and the family of linen workers at Beth Ashbea, Jokim, the men of Cozeba, and Joash and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and Jashubi Lehem. (These records are from very old traditions.) They were the potters who lived at Netaim and Gederah, resident potters who worked for the king.

The Family of Simeon

The Simeon family tree: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, and Shaul; Shaul had Shallum, Shallum had Mibsam, and Mibsam had Mishma.

The sons of Mishma: Hammuel had Zaccur and Zaccur had Shimei.

Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers were not nearly as prolific and never became a large family like Judah. They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar Shual, Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susim, Beth Biri, and Shaaraim. They lived in these towns until David became king. Other settlements in the vicinity were the five towns of Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Token, and Ashan, and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath. These were their settlements. And they kept good family records.

Meshobab; Jamlech; Joshah the son of Amaziah; Joel; Jehu the son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel; Elioenai; Jaakobah; Jeshohaiah; Asaiah; Adiel; Jesimiel; Benaiah; and Ziza the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah—all these were the leaders in their families. They prospered and increased in numbers so that they had to go as far as Gedor (Gerar) to the east of the valley looking for pasture for their flocks. And they found it—lush pasture, lots of elbow room, peaceful and quiet.

Some Hamites had lived there in former times. But the men in these family trees came when Hezekiah was king of Judah and attacked the Hamites, tearing down their tents and houses. There was nothing left of them, as you can see today. Then they moved in and took over because of the great pastureland. Five hundred of these Simeonites went on and invaded the hill country of Seir, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. They killed all the escaped Amalekites who were still around. And they still live there.

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1 Chronicles 5

The Family of Reuben

The family of Reuben the firstborn of Israel: Though Reuben was Israel’s firstborn, after he slept with his father’s concubine, a defiling act, his rights as the firstborn were passed on to the sons of Joseph son of Israel. He lost his “firstborn” place in the family tree. And even though Judah became the strongest of his brothers and King David eventually came from that family, the firstborn rights stayed with Joseph.

The sons of Reuben, firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

The descendants of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, and Beerah his son, whom Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria took into exile. Beerah was the prince of the Reubenites.

Beerah’s brothers are listed in the family tree by families: first Jeiel, followed by Zechariah: then Bela son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel. Joel lived in the area from Aroer to Nebo and Baal Meon. His family occupied the land up to the edge of the desert that goes all the way to the Euphrates River, since their growing herds of livestock spilled out of Gilead. During Saul’s reign they fought and defeated the Hagrites; they then took over their tents and lived in them on the eastern frontier of Gilead.

The family of Gad were their neighbors in Bashan, as far as Salecah: Joel was the chief, Shapham the second-in-command, and then Janai, the judge in Bashan.

Their brothers, by families, were Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia, and Eber—seven in all. These were the sons of Abihail son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz. Ahi son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, was head of their family.

The family of Gad lived in Gilead and Bashan, including the outlying villages and extending as far as the pastures of Sharon.

They were all written into the official family tree during the reigns of Jotham king of Judah and Jeroboam king of Israel.

The families of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 men trained for war—physically fit and skilled in handling shield, sword, and bow. They fought against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. God helped them as they fought. God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during the battle. God answered their prayers because they trusted him. They plundered the Hagrite herds and flocks: 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep, and 2,000 donkeys. They also captured 100,000 people. Many were killed, because the battle was God’s. They lived in that country until the exile.

The half-tribe of Manasseh had a large population. They occupied the land from Bashan to Baal Hermon, that is, to Senir (Mount Hermon). The heads of their families were Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel—brave warriors, famous, and heads of their families. But they were not faithful to the God of their ancestors. They took up with the ungodly gods of the peoples of the land whom God had gotten rid of before they arrived. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria (Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria) to take the families of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into exile. He deported them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river of Gozan. They’ve been there ever since.

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