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1 Chronicles Chapter 14

The reign of King David in Israel began with things such as attempting to relocate the ark of the covenant. It continued with those things found in this chapter. David had already made a well-known name for himself, by leading armies with great strength and having many victories over their enemies. Moreover, he had reigned in Judah for 7 1/2 years. Once he was anointed king of Israel, he and his family, including his two wives Ahinoam and Abigail, had relocated from Hebron to Jerusalem. This chapter begins with the following:

1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.
2 And David perceived that the Lord had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel.

Workers from Tyre were sent along with messengers of the king, Hiram, who was a friend of King David. They brought cedar to build David a house in Jerusalem. David could tell that he was being blessed by the Lord and therefore knew his anointing as their king was confirmed by God.

3 And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters.
4 Now these are the names of his children which he had in Jerusalem; Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon,
5 And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpalet,
6 And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
7 And Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphalet.

David married more wives while in Jerusalem, in addition to his two wives from before becoming king of Israel. These wives bore him children, including Shammua (Shimea, of Bathsheba), Shobab (of Bathsheba), Nathan (of Bathsheba), Solomon (of Bathsheba and successor of David), Ibhar, Elishua, Elpalet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada (Eliada), and Eliphalet (Eliphelet). (see also 2 Samuel 5 and 1 Chronicles 3)

Modern revelation teaches that the wives were given to David in a manner acceptable by God, by a prophet of God called Nathan, except for the case of Bathsheba, who was the wife of Uriah (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:38-39). In our current times, this act of having multiple wives has, in His wisdom, not been considered acceptable to the Lord.

8 And when the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David. And David heard of it, and went out against them.
9 And the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
10 And David inquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand.
11 So they came up to Baal-perazim; and David smote them there. Then David said, God hath broken in upon mine enemies by mine hand like the breaking forth of waters: therefore they called the name of that place Baal-perazim.
12 And when they had left their gods there, David gave a commandment, and they were burned with fire.
13 And the Philistines yet again spread themselves abroad in the valley.
14 Therefore David inquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
15 And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.
16 David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer.
17 And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.

The Philistines heard of David’s anointing and decided to go after him. David went against them and found them spread about in the valley of Rephaim (the giants). David asked the Lord if he should fight the Philistines, and if he did, if the Lord would deliver them into his hands. This was something that had happened a number of times before, because David turned to the Lord for his strength. The Lord answered David and told him to go against them, because the Lord would deliver them into his hand. David led his men and they were victorious in Baal-perazim, recognizing that God had done this for him and his people (see also 2 Samuel 5:19-20). The idols that the Philistines had brought with them, were burned at David’s command. Once again, the Philistines were in the valley and David went to God again. However, this time, God told him not to go after them in that valley. Instead, he was to go to a place that had mulberry trees. Once he heard the sound of their going, or marching, from the tops of the trees, he was to take his army against them. This would be a sign that God had gone before them to destroy the Philistines. David followed the commandments of God, and they were able to defeat the Philistines (see also 2 Samuel 5:22-25). Then the fame of David spread to all the nations and others feared him.

The message of faith and trust in God rather than in the arm of the flesh, that is found in this story of David, is such a good example to us today. David had already shown that he was a skilled fighter and leader of armies. He had grown in these talents over the years and had been continually successful in it. However, he was meek in his own power and in humility, turned to the Lord for guidance, knowing that God would help him if it was the right thing to do. God blesses the meek and humble with the power to overcome their challenges. It may not happen in the timing or way that we would expect. I imagine that David’s wisdom would not have led him to listen from the trees before attacking the Philistines. I don’t imagine that this was how he had initially expected to have victory over his enemies. However, it was God’s wisdom and it proved successful. We will be greatly blessed if we can demonstrate a level of faith and trust in God compared with our own challenges in life.

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1 Chronicles Chapter 13

At this point in the books of Chronicles, David was anointed as the King of Israel and the people of Israel recognized that he was the next leader of Israel chosen by God. David led in righteousness and felt the need for the ark to be moved to the tabernacle where it belonged. In the beginning of his reign, the ark was located in a place called Kirjath-jearim. It had come to be there, because the Philistines had stolen it when they defeated the Israelites in the time that Eli judged Israel (see 1 Samuel 4). Word of loosing the ark was so awful, that it had brought the death of Eli. The Philistines removed the ark to one of their temples, where it brought trouble on them. They decided to move it to Gath, where again, it brought destruction to the Philistines. They moved it then to Ekron, where the people begged for it to be sent back to the Israelites (see 1 Samuel 5). After about seven months of it being in the hands of the Philistines, they took it by cart to the border of Beth-shemesh in the land of the Israelites (see 1 Samuel 6). The Israelite men in Beth-shemesh were tempted to look into the ark, and had been cursed by the Lord, so they asked the men of Kirjath-jearim to retrieve the ark from them. The ark was finally moved to Kirjath-jearim until this time in David’s reign (see 1 Samuel 7). It had remained there for about 20 years.

1 And David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader.
2 And David said unto all the congregation of Israel, If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God, let us send abroad unto our brethren every where, that are left in all the land of Israel, and with them also to the priests and Levites which are in their cities and suburbs, that they may gather themselves unto us:
3 And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.
4 And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.
5 So David gathered all Israel together, from Shihor of Egypt even unto the entering of Hemath, to bring the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim.
6 And David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kirjath-jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up thence the ark of God the Lord, that dwelleth between the cherubims, whose name is called on it.
7 And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.
8 And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

David called for the men of Israel to be gathered together and for the ark of the covenant to be brought from Kirjath-jearim (a city not too far from Jerusalem by today’s standards, about 7 1/2 miles). The congregation of Israel agreed that they should do this, so they gathered together and prepared to move the ark. David went to Kirjath-jearim and had it brought out by a cart driven by Uzza (Uzzah) and Ahio. The musicians played and sang for the Lord as they went.

Reading that David gathered the Israelites together to ask for their consent to move the ark to the tabernacle, is an example of his efforts to lead as the Lord wanted instead of by his own design. It is the way of the Lord, for there to be common consent among his people. If the voice of the people were to choose wickedness, the Lord would not force them otherwise. The voice of the people had chosen to be led by a king rather then judges as was prescribed by the Lord, and then the Lord allowed for a king to be their leader. When the voice of the people choose to sustain the Lord’s chosen leader and then follow that leaders inspired course, they will be blessed. This is true in these modern days as well as it was in ancient times.

9 And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.
10 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God.
11 And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perez-uzza to this day.
12 And David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?
13 So David brought not the ark home to himself to the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.
14 And the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that he had.

In the area of Chidon, the oxen stumbled and Uzza tried to steady the ark. Uzza was smitten by the Lord and died (see also 2 Samuel 6:6-7). This was against strict commandment to the men of the priesthood, that no one (unauthorized by God) was to touch anything holy from the tabernacle, or they would die (see Numbers 4:15). David was concerned for how they could move the ark if this could happen to his men, so he decided to leave the ark there, at the house of Obed-edom, who was a Gittite or a levite of Gath-rimmon. The ark was left there for three months, and brought the blessings of the Lord to the house and family of Obed-edom. (see also 2 Samuel 6)

This story seems like such a strong act of God against one who thought he was doing something good, but it is more important to see that the Lord keeps His word with strictness. They had been given the commandment long before, and as men of the priesthood they knew these things. The promise had been death and the Lord had to keep that word or men would doubt the power and actions of God. The Lord would have protected the ark as needed and it was to be kept completely holy, but sometimes men use their own wisdom and act upon it instead of trusting completely in the Lord. I am sure we all do this at times, and there are always consequences of some type. The ways of men are not the ways of God, but if we can learn to place complete trust in Him, our ways can become more like His and we will see amazing blessings in our lives.

1 Chronicles Chapter 12

David had spent several years as a leader of the armies of Israel while Saul was the king in Israel. When Saul was filled with envy and jealousy, he wanted to destroy David, so David had been made to hide from Saul to preserve his life. At one point, David was in a place called Gath, which was a city of the Philistines at the time. David had gained favor with the king, so he asked the king for land there and was given a place called Ziklag. (see 1 Samuel 27) While in this land, he had a host of men of war that were with him. This chapter begins with a listing of these men.

1 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
2 They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin.
3 The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite,
4 And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,
5 Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite,
6 Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,
7 And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.

The mighty men of David were skilled men. Those of Benjamin, were able to shoot with the bow and arrow, and throw stones. The leader of these men, was Ahiezer. Others among them were Joash, the sons of Shemaah, Jeziel, Pelet, Berachah, Jehu, Ismaiah, Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Josabad, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shermariah, Shephatiah, Elkanah, Jesiah, Azareel, Joezer, Jashobeam, Joelah, and Zebadiah.

8 And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
9 Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,
10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,
11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,
12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,
13 Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh.
14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.
15 These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.

There were some of Gad, who were skilled with the shield and buckler. They included Ezer, Obadiah, Eliab, Mismannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel, Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbanai. They were captains over many men and had led the armies over the Jordan and scattered those in the land.

16 And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.
17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.
18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
19 And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.
20 As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh.
21 And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host.
22 For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.

Men came from Benjamin and Judah to join David while he was in the hold. David met them and told them he would join with them in heart, if they came to him in peace, but if not, God would be against them because he had done no wrong. The chief of the captains, Amasai, spoke by the spirit with an agreement of peace with David. David allowed them to join his men and made them captains. Likewise, there were some men of Manasseh who joined him after he went with the Philistines against Saul. They had not helped the Philistines because the leaders of the Philistines had sent David away fearing that he would join with Saul against them. David had gone to Ziklag, and that is where those of Manasseh joined him. They included Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zilthai. David’s army became great in number as more mighty men came to help him.

23 And these are the numbers of the bands that were ready armed to the war, and came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord.
24 The children of Judah that bare shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war.
25 Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valour for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.
26 Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred.
27 And Jehoiada was the leader of the Aaronites, and with him were three thousand and seven hundred;
28 And Zadok, a young man mighty of valour, and of his father’s house twenty and two captains.
29 And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul.
30 And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous throughout the house of their fathers.
31 And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were expressed by name, to come and make David king.
32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.
34 And of Naphtali a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand.
35 And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.
36 And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand.
37 And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand.

These men wanted to fight along side David, because they knew the Lord had chosen him to be their next king. There were 6,800 men from Judah; 7,100 from Simeon; 4,600 from Levi; 3,700 men of Aaron, led by Jehoiada; 22 captains of the family of Zadok, along with Zadok; 3,000 from Benjamin, where most men kept their allegiance with Saul who was of their tribe; 20,800 from Ephraim; 18,000 of half of Manasseh, who were specifically called to make David the king; 200 leaders and their men from Issachar; 50,000 from Zebulun; 1,000 captains over 37,000 from Naphtali; 28,600 from Dan; 40,000 from Asher; and 120,000 from Reuben, Gad and the other half of Manasseh.

38 All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.
39 And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.
40 Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.

These warriors were in full allegiance with David and were prepared to make him the king of Israel, along with much of the whole of Israel. They gathered for three days and ate and drank the things which were prepared for them by their brothers. Those who had been nearer to Hebron had also brought preparations for food and drink in abundance, because this was a time of celebration for Israel.

Many of the Israelites gathered to support David, because they recognized him for his calling by God. Those who lead for the Lord, are often called to other responsibilities or even called Home to the Lord, and others who have been prepared by the Lord, are called to fill that responsibility. It is great that so many were able to recognize the calling given to David and to discern for themselves where their allegiance should be at that time. Those who are followers of Christ today, have this same responsibility. If we live faithfully and rely on the Lord to help us recognize truth, we will have eyes to see whom we should heed. The Lord calls men today, to lead his people. They, along with the words of the prophets before them, will guide us back to live with God again. We have our choice to recognize these or not, but we will be blessed if we follow the example of these mighty men and follow after the leaders chosen by God.

1 Chronicles Chapter 11

After the death of Saul and his sons, the path for David to become the king of the children of Israel was opened to him. Up to that point, David had honored the role of Saul as the king, even though Saul had sought to kill him for several years. David had waited upon the Lord and was not the cause of Saul’s demise, even though there had been moments when he could have taken Saul’s life himself. This chapter of Chronicles begins with the following:

1 Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
2 And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.
3 Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel.

The elders of Israel recognized that David had been chosen by God to rule them. They knew it was David who had been a leader in Israel even during the reign of Saul. They gathered together where David ruled in Hebron, and David made a covenant with them and was anointed to be their king. (see also 2 Samuel 5) This was fulfillment of the prophecy of Samuel the prophet. (see 1 Samuel 16:1, 11-13)

4 And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.
5 And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.
6 And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
7 And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.
8 And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.
9 So David waxed greater and greater: for the Lord of hosts was with him.

David took the host of Israel to Jerusalem, which was know as Jebus at the time. The Jebusites, who had lived there since before the time of the Israelites entering the land, refused to let David into the land, but David took Zion, known afterwards as the city of David. He called upon his army to destroy the Jebusites and offered the role of chief and captain to whomever was willing to be the first to do it. Joab, David’s nephew through Zeruiah, led the people in the call and became the chief of the army of Israel. David lived in Jerusalem and built up the city around the castle or fort he lived in, with Joab’s assistance. David grew in greatness with the support of the Lord.

10 These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.
11 And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.
12 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.
13 He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.
14 And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord saved them by a great deliverance.

David had men of might, who were leaders in Israel under King David and were strengthened because of the Lord. Among those that were with him, was Jashobeam (Adino), who killed 300 enemies at one time with his spear. Also, Eleazar, who served with David at Pas-dammim. They had put themselves in the middle of a field of barley, claiming it and killing the Philistines there with deliverance from the Lord. (see also 2 Samuel 23)

15 Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.
16 And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines’ garrison was then at Beth-lehem.
17 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth-lehem, that is at the gate!
18 And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth-lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord,
19 And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.

Three of David’s captains went to a cave where David was, while the Philistines camped in the valley of Rephaim (giants). The army of the Philistines were in Bethlehem. David was in a fortress and wished for a drink from the well in Bethlehem. The three went through the army of the Philistines and drew water from the well. When they brought it back to David, he refused it and poured it out with the words that he could not drink of the water that the men risked their lives to get for him. These were three of the mightiest men of David. (see also 2 Samuel 23:13-17)

20 And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three.
21 Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.
22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.
23 And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear.
24 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.
25 Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.

Of the three men, the leader was Abishai, the brother of Joab, who had killed three hundred with his spear and was the most honorable of them and therefore their captain. Next, was Benaiah, a descendant of Jehoiada and Kabzeel. Among the many things he had done, he had killed two fierce Moabites, as well as a lion. He killed a large Egyptian by using his staff to take the Egyptian’s spear from him and then slayed him with the spear. Benaiah was honorable among his men, so David made him the leader of his guard. (see also 2 Samuel 23:18-23)

26 Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Beth-lehem,
27 Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,
28 Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abi-ezer the Antothite,
29 Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,
30 Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,
31 Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,
32 Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,
33 Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
34 The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,
35 Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,
36 Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,
37 Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,
38 Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,
39 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,
40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,
41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,
42 Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,
43 Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,
45 Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,
46 Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,
47 Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite.

Those among the guard and armies of David, who were valiant men, are listed here. Asahel (the other brother of Joab, who pursued after Abner, an enemy of David, and was killed by him and later avenged by Joab), Elhanan, Shammoth (Shammah), Helez, Ira, Abi-ezer, Sibbecai (Mebunnai), Ilai (Zalmon), Maharai, Heled (Heleb), Ithai (Ittai), Benaiah, Hurai (Hiddai), Abiel (Abi-albon), Azmaveth, Eliahba, the sons of Hashem, Jonathan, Ahiam, Eliphal, Hepher, Ahijah, Hezro (Hezrai), Naarai, Joel (the brother of Nathan, possibly the prophet Nathan who did things like rebuke David), Mibhar, Zelek, Naharai,the man who bore the armor of Joab, Ira, Gareb, Uriah (the husband of Bath-sheba, whom David planned to kill to hide his own transgressions and in doing so, sinned against God), Zabad, Adina, a Reubenite captain and 30 of his men, Hanan, Joshaphat, Uzzia, Shama and Jehiel, Jediael and Joha, Eliel, Jeribai, Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, Ithmah, Eliel, Obed, and Jasiel. (see also 2 Samuel 23:24-39 – other names listed there include Elika, Shammah, Eliphelet, Eliam, Paarai, Igal, and Bani)

This chapter is a second witness to the happenings found in the second book of Samuel. It is another witness that prophecy from the Lord to his prophets, will be fulfilled. It includes a list of mighty men who were there to protect and support David as he began his rule as king in Israel. Moreover, it is a second witness of the blessing of waiting upon the Lord, even when you know something is meant to happen. The Lord has His own timing and it is perfectly wise and will provide the greatest opportunities for growth for those effected. It can be one of the most difficult things in this life, to have patience for changes in our lives to come to us. The Lord will keep his promises to us in His time and when he does, it will be a far greater blessing than if we try to force these kind of things to happen by our own design. I have seen the Lord’s hand in my life and in hindsight I am always blessed to see how perfectly things work out. I am grateful for David’s example of this principle found in chapters such as this.

1 Chronicles Chapter 10

The children of Israel had been led by judges, chosen by God and under His direction. This went on for many years, until the Israelites allowed the influence of surrounding nations to persuade them to have a king instead of following after the Lord’s pattern. This was around 1095 B.C. As their first king, the Lord chose a Benjamite named Saul. He was a very good, humble, young man when chosen by God. However, he gave in to personal weaknesses over time, and lost the favor of God (see 1 Samuel 15:23).

The Philistines had risen in power during the reign of Saul and he became afraid. He tried to pray for answers, but because of his disobedience, they were not answered. He went to the witch of Endor, and the spirit of Samuel told Saul he and his sons would die (see 1 Samuel 28). This chapter of Chronicles occurs somewhere around 1047 B.C. (according to the chronology of the Bible), after Saul had been told he would die. It begins as follows:

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa.
2 And the Philistines followed hard after Saul, and after his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul.
3 And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him, and he was wounded of the archers.
4 Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
5 And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword, and died.
6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and all his house died together.
7 And when all the men of Israel that were in the valley saw that they fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, then they forsook their cities, and fled: and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

The Philistines went against Israel and fought them hard. The Israelite army retreated to mount Gilboa, but the Philistines pursued them and killed many, including the sons of Saul. The Philistines chased after Saul and he was shot by an arrow. Saul asked his servant to kill him, so that he would not be tortured by their enemies, but the servant refused to do it because he was afraid. Saul chose to do it himself (see also 1 Samuel 31). Once the servant saw it, he also killed himself. The men of the land where this happened, saw that Saul and his sons were dead, and they ran away, leaving their cities for the Philistines to take and live in them. (see also 2 Samuel 1:10 for another witness of Saul’s death)

8 And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his sons fallen in mount Gilboa.
9 And when they had stripped him, they took his head, and his armour, and sent into the land of the Philistines round about, to carry tidings unto their idols, and to the people.
10 And they put his armour in the house of their gods, and fastened his head in the temple of Dagon.

The Philistines went to the dead to take what they could from them, and they found the bodies of Saul and his sons. They stripped Saul, took his head and armor, and sent word to their people. They displayed his armor in their temple (the house of Ashtaroth) and his head in the temple of Dagon. (see also 1 Samuel 31:8-10 – his body was displayed on the wall of Beth-shan).

11 And when all Jabesh-gilead heard all that the Philistines had done to Saul,
12 They arose, all the valiant men, and took away the body of Saul, and the bodies of his sons, and brought them to Jabesh, and buried their bones under the oak in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

The men of Jabesh-gilead heard of the things that the Philistines had done to body of Saul. The valiant men went to the place where the bodies of Saul and his sons had been disrespected, and took their bodies to Jabesh where they buried them. Then they fasted for seven days, which was tradition according to the law of Moses. In the law, the Lord declared that any who touched the dead, were unclean for seven days. (see Numbers 19:11)

13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord, even against the word of the Lord, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;
14 And inquired not of the Lord: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

The reason that the Lord allowed Saul to die in battle, was because he had transgressed and gone against the word of the Lord. He had knowingly turned to the forbidden choice of seeking after speaking with the dead, instead of turning to the Lord. In the law found in Leviticus 20:6, we read, “And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.” As a result, Saul was not protected in battle and the kingdom was then given to David, the son of Jesse, whom the Lord had chosen to be his successor. This was fulfillment of the prophecy of Samuel to Saul which said, “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.” (see 1 Samuel 13:14)

I have been thinking about the description of the men in verse 12, which says they were valiant men. Which means men showing courage and determination. At first glance, it may seem to mean that these men had the courage necessary to enter the land of the Philistines, at the risk of their own lives, to gather the bodies of their royal family. This would indeed make them men worthy of the description of being valiant. However, I think it is possible that the recorder of this event felt something more about these men. As I said above, it was law that a person who touched the dead were considered unclean. It would seem that more often than not, those who could avoid even looking upon a dead body, would avoid it, so as to avoid all possibility of uncleanliness. Yet these men had such a respect for Saul and his sons (this does not mean they supported him or followed him, but that they respected that he was their leader who had been chosen for them by the Lord), that they were willing to make a personal sacrifice of cleanliness, in order to give them the honor they deserved and no longer be mistreated by their enemies. They were valiant men, because they honored the law of Moses in a time when many of their brethren were not faithful to the law. They made their choice knowing it would have personal consequences both physical and spiritual, but also knowing that their leaders deserved more in death then they had received. They were definitely valiant men of Israel.

1 Chronicles Chapter 9

When the children of Israel entered the promised land under the direction of Joshua, Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jebusites. (One of the ancient names of the land was Jebus and those who lived there were Jebusites.) Because it was a stronghold in the land, they did not completely conquer it until David took it for his capital. Up to that that time, it remained an unclaimed area between Judah and Benjamin, though not without attempts from the Israelites to capture it. It became more than a stronghold and capital, when Solomon was instructed to build the temple there. The kings of Israel lived in Jerusalem until the kingdom divided, at which point it remained the capital of Judah. It was the last part of Israel that held strong in the days when the children of Israel were carried away captive into Babylon. This chapter includes some of those who lived in Jerusalem.

1 So all Israel were reckoned by genealogies; and, behold, they were written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah, who were carried away to Babylon for their transgression.
2 Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions in their cities were, the Israelites, the priests, Levites, and the Nethinims.
3 And in Jerusalem dwelt of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin, and of the children of Ephraim, and Manasseh;
4 Uthai the son of Ammihud, the son of Omri, the son of Imri, the son of Bani, of the children of Pharez the son of Judah.
5 And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.
6 And of the sons of Zerah; Jeuel, and their brethren, six hundred and ninety.
7 And of the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, the son of Hasenuah,
8 And Ibneiah the son of Jeroham, and Elah the son of Uzzi, the son of Michri, and Meshullam the son of Shephathiah, the son of Reuel, the son of Ibnijah;
9 And their brethren, according to their generations, nine hundred and fifty and six. All these men were chief of the fathers in the house of their fathers.

Genealogy records of the Israelites were kept in the books of the kings of Israel and Judah. Those who lived in the lands of Israel were the Israelites, the priests and Levites, and the Nethinims. The Nethinims were servants of the temple. In Jerusalem, there were those from different tribes. There were men from Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Manasseh. The list begins with a line of Judah, through his son Pharez, who was the father of Bani, who was the father of Imri, who was the father of Omri, who was the father of Ammihud. The son of Ammihud was Uthai, who lived in Jerusalem. Also in Jerusalem, was Asaiah if the Shilonites, and his family. Jeuel and 690 of his family, the sons of Zerah, lived there. From the tribe of Benjamin, Sallu, who was the son of Meshullam, the son of Hodaviah, theson of Hasenuah; Ibneiah, who was the son of Jeroham; Elah, who was the son of Uzzi, who was the son of Michri; and Meshullam, who was the son of Shephathiah, who was the son of Reuel, who was the son of Ibnijah. The men were 956 in number and were the leaders in their tribes.

10 And of the priests; Jedaiah, and Jehoiarib, and Jachin,
11 And Azariah the son of Hilkiah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok, the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub, the ruler of the house of God;
12 And Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pashur, the son of Malchijah, and Maasiai the son of Adiel, the son of Jahzerah, the son of Meshullam, the son of Meshillemith, the son of Immer;
13 And their brethren, heads of the house of their fathers, a thousand and seven hundred and threescore; very able men for the work of the service of the house of God.

The priests were Jedaiah, Jehoiarib (Joiarib), Jachin, and Azariah, who was the son of Hilkiah, who was the son of Meshullam, who was the son of Zadok, who was the son of Meraioth, who was the son of Ahitub, the leader in the temple. Also, Adaiah who was of the line of Jeroham, Pashur, Malchijah (Malchiah), Maasiai, Adiel, Jahzerah, Meshullam, Meshillemith (Meshillemoth), and Immer. Along with these priests were their families and leaders of their tribe, including 1,760 men, who were capable of serving in the temple.

14 And of the Levites; Shemaiah the son of Hasshub, the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, of the sons of Merari;
15 And Bakbakkar, Heresh, and Galal, and Mattaniah the son of Micah, the son of Zichri, the son of Asaph;
16 And Obadiah the son of Shemaiah, the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun, and Berechiah the son of Asa, the son of Elkanah, that dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites.

Among the Levites, were Shemaiah, who was the son of Hasshub (Hashub), who was the son of Azrikam, who was the son of Hashabiah, the son of Merari; Bakbakkar; Heresh; Galal; Mattaniah, who was the son of Micah, who was the son of Zichri (Zabdi), who was the son of Asaph; and Obadiah, who was the son of Shemaiah (Shammua), the son of Galal, who was the son of Jeduthun, who was the son of Berechiah, who was the son of Asa, who was the son of Elkanah. These were those who lived in the villages of the Netophathites (possibly those who lived in Neophah, a town in Judah).

17 And the porters were, Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren: Shallum was the chief;
18 Who hitherto waited in the king’s gate eastward: they were porters in the companies of the children of Levi.
19 And Shallum the son of Kore, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah, and his brethren, of the house of his father, the Korahites, were over the work of the service, keepers of the gates of the tabernacle: and their fathers, being over the host of the Lord, were keepers of the entry.
20 And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the ruler over them in time past, and the Lord was with him.

One of the responsibilites of the Levites, was to be porters (a keeper of the port, or a gate keeper). This job was held by Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, Ahiman, and their families. Shallum was the leader. These men served in the king’s gate to the east, which was the entraced used by the king. A man named Shallum (Meshelemiah, Shelemiah), who was the son of Kore, who was of the line of Ebiasaph and Korah; and his family of the Korahites (Korhites), were the leaders of those who served and keepers of the tabernacle gates. Their fathers were keepers of the entry, as they were responsible for the host of the Lord when they were encamped near the tabernacle. Phinehas, the son of Eleazar (son of Aaron, and high priest in his day), had been their leader and was guided by the Lord (Phinehas was the high priest, and the grandson of Aaron).

21 And Zechariah the son of Meshelemiah was porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
22 All these which were chosen to be porters in the gates were two hundred and twelve. These were reckoned by their genealogy in their villages, whom David and Samuel the seer did ordain in their set office.
23 So they and their children had the oversight of the gates of the house of the Lord, namely, the house of the tabernacle, by wards.
24 In four quarters were the porters, toward the east, west, north, and south.
25 And their brethren, which were in their villages, were to come after seven days from time to time with them.
26 For these Levites, the four chief porters, were in their set office, and were over the chambers and treasuries of the house of God.

Zechariah, who was the son of Meshelemiah, was the porter of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. He, along with the other porters who had been chosen to watch the gates, were 212 in number. David and Samuel, the seer, ordained them in their priesthood offices, and each were also counted in the genealogies of their villages. Their families held the offices which watched over the gates of the temple in four sections. These sections were the directional quarters of the house of the tabernacle, including east, west, north, and south. Each of their brethren from their villages, went to serve there for seven days on rotation. There were four chief porters, called to their office over the chambers and treasuries of the temple.

27 And they lodged round about the house of God, because the charge was upon them, and the opening thereof every morning pertained to them.
28 And certain of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, that they should bring them in and out by tale.
29 Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.
30 And some of the sons of the priests made the ointment of the spices.
31 And Mattithiah, one of the Levites, who was the firstborn of Shallum the Korahite, had the set office over the things that were made in the pans.
32 And other of their brethren, of the sons of the Kohathites, were over the shewbread, to prepare it every sabbath.
33 And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites, who remaining in the chambers were free: for they were employed in that work day and night.
34 These chief fathers of the Levites were chief throughout their generations; these dwelt at Jerusalem.

When serving, the Levites lived in the area around the temple, so that they could open the temple each morning. Some of them were in charge of the ministering vessels that were taken in and out in total. Some were placed in charge of the vessels, instruments of the sanctuary, flour, wine, oil, frankincense and spices. Some were given the responsibility to make the ointment of spices. Mattithiah, who was the firstborn son of Shallum (Meshelemiah or Shelemiah) the Korahite, was placed in charge of those things made in the pans. Men of the Kohathites were responsible for the preparation of the shewbread for the sabbath. There were also singers (those responsible for the service of song or the music of the Lord’s house), chief of the patriarchs, who stayed in the chambers and worked day and night. The long-time leaders of the Levites, lived in Jerusalem.

The duties of those responsible for the house of the Lord, were of great value to the children of Israel. Without those who served each day, the people would not have been able to continue with offerings and sacrifices that were acceptable to the Lord. They may not have done anything else of note for the children of Israel, but this was a service that is worthy of remembering.

35 And in Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jehiel, whose wife’s name was Maachah:
36 And his firstborn son Abdon, then Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Ner, and Nadab,
37 And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zechariah, and Mikloth.
38 And Mikloth begat Shimeam. And they also dwelt with their brethren at Jerusalem, over against their brethren.
39 And Ner begat Kish; and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal.
40 And the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal: and Merib-baal begat Micah.
41 And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tahrea, and Ahaz.
42 And Ahaz begat Jarah; and Jarah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza;
43 And Moza begat Binea; and Rephaiah his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son.
44 And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan: these were the sons of Azel.

Just north of Jerusalem, was a city named Gibeon. The father of Gibeon was Jehiel. His wife was Maachah, and their sons were Abdon, Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah, and Mikloth. Mikloth was the father of Shimeam. They lived in Jerusalem next to their brethren. Ner was the father of Kish, who was the father of Saul, the first king of Israel. Saul was the father of Jonathan (the dear friend of David), Malchi-shua, Abinadab, and Esh-baal. Jonathan was the father of Merib-baal, who was the father of Micah. Micah was the father of Pithon, Melech, Tahrea, and Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Jarah, who was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri. Zimri was the father of Moza, who was the father of Binea, Rephaiah, Eleasah, and Azel. Azel was the father of six sons named Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. This is the family of Saul.

It amazes me that we can have records of families from ancient times. The idea that some of these records were included as part of the book of kings, and that most of our scriptures include some portion of a genealogy, shows that a remembrance of those who have come before us has been important throughout the ages. I can only barely imagine what the full record of names would look like for the complete history of the earth, but I believe that record will exist and every person will be remembered for the role they played in this life. I know that keeping a record of our genealogies or doing our family history for this purpose is important, and on of the reasons is for remembering and having a love and gratitude for those who lived before us and gave us the life we have.

1 Chronicles Chapter 8

Benjamin was the son of Jacob and his beloved wife Rachel. His mother died just after his birth. He was the brother of Joseph, and made a bargaining chip for Joseph before he revealed himself in Egypt. This chapter of Chronicles (which I have done my best to understand, but it may not be a perfect understanding) lists the sons of Benjamin and it begins with the following:

1 Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third,
2 Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth.
3 And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera, and Abihud,
4 And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah,
5 And Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram.
6 And these are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, and they removed them to Manahath:
7 And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud.
8 And Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara were his wives.
9 And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcham,
10 And Jeuz, and Shachia, and Mirma. These were his sons, heads of the fathers.
11 And of Hushim he begat Abitub, and Elpaal.

Benjamin had five sons named Bela, Ashbel, Aharah, Nohah, and Rapha. His firstborn, Bela, was the father of Addar, Gera, Abihud, Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, Gera, Shephuphan, and Huram. Bela’s sons were the sons of Ehud, who lived in Geba. In the Bible Dictionary, it says that Ehud was the son of Gera. Ehud was raised up by the Lord, to deliver Israel. They had been oppressed by Eglon, king of Moab, for 18 years. Ehud took a present to Eglon, but when left alone after he delivered it, he killed the king and then escaped. He went on to lead Israel to subdue Moab and have peace for 80 years. (see Judges 3-4) The sons of Ehud were relocated to Manahath. Naaman, Ahiah, and Gera were removed, and he became the father of Uzza and Ahihud. After they were sent away, Shaharaim had children in Moab. He was married to Hushim and Baara. Shaharaim was the father of Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcham, Jeuz, Shachia, and Mirma, by his wife Hodesh. By his wife Hushim, he was the father of Abitub and Elpaal.

12 The sons of Elpaal; Eber, and Misham, and Shamed, who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof:
13 Beriah also, and Shema, who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who drove away the inhabitants of Gath:
14 And Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth,
15 And Zebadiah, and Arad, and Ader,
16 And Michael, and Ispah, and Joha, the sons of Beriah;
17 And Zebadiah, and Meshullam, and Hezeki, and Heber,
18 Ishmerai also, and Jezliah, and Jobab, the sons of Elpaal;
19 And Jakim, and Zichri, and Zabdi,
20 And Elienai, and Zilthai, and Eliel,
21 And Adaiah, and Beraiah, and Shimrath, the sons of Shimhi;
22 And Ishpan, and Heber, and Eliel,
23 And Abdon, and Zichri, and Hanan,
24 And Hananiah, and Elam, and Antothijah,
25 And Iphedeiah, and Penuel, the sons of Shashak;
26 And Shamsherai, and Shehariah, and Athaliah,
27 And Jaresiah, and Eliah, and Zichri, the sons of Jeroham.
28 These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.

Elpaal was the patriarch of Eber, Misham, Shamed (builder of Ono and Lod), Beriah and Shema (fathers of the people who lived in Aijalon, who drove away the people of Gath); Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, Zebadiah, Arad, Ader, Michael, Ispah, and Jona (sons of Beriah); Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hezeki, Heber, Ishmerai, Jezliah, and Jobab (sons of Elpaal); Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, Elienai, Zilthai, Eliel, Adaiah, Beraiah, and Shimrath (sons of Shimhi); Ishpan, Heber, Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Antothijah, Iphedeiah, and Penuel (sons of Shashak); and Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, Jaresiah, Eliah, and Zichri (sons of Jeroham). These men were the chiefs of the tribe of Benjamin, and they lived in Jerusalem.

29 And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon; whose wife’s name was Maachah:
30 And his firstborn son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Nadab,
31 And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zacher.
32 And Mikloth begat Shimeah. And these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them.

The father of Gibeon, who lived there, was married to Maachah. He was the father of Abdon, Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, and Zacher. Mikloth was the father of Shimeah, and they lived in Jerusalem with their family.

33 And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal.
34 And the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal; and Merib-baal begat Micah.
35 And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz.
36 And Ahaz begat Jehoadah; and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza,
37 And Moza begat Binea: Rapha was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son:
38 And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.
39 And the sons of Eshek his brother were, Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third.
40 And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour, archers, and had many sons, and sons’ sons, an hundred and fifty. All these are of the sons of Benjamin.

Ner was the father of Kish, who was the father of Saul. (In 1 Samuel 9:1, we learn that Kish was the son of Abiel, who was the son of Zeror, who was the son of Bechorath, who was the son of Aphiah. Then in chapter 14, it says that Ner was the uncle of Saul, not the grandfather. This would make Ner the son of Abiel as well.) Saul was the first king of Israel, who was eventually rejected by the Lord for disobedience to counsel and was succeeded by David. Saul was the father of Jonathan, Malchishua, Abinadab, and Esh-baal. (In 1 Samuel 14:49, it says that Saul was the father of Jonathan, Ishui, and Melchi-shua.) Jonathan was the beloved friend of David. (see 1 Samuel 18:1) Jonathan was the father of Merib-baal (Mephibosheth), who was the father of Micah. Merib-baal was the surviving son after the death of Jonathan and his father Saul. (see 2 Samuel 4) Micah was the father of Pithon, Melech, Tarea, and Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Jehoadah, who was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Zimri was the father of Moza, who was the father of Binea. Binea was the patriarch of Rapha, Eleasah, and Azel. Azel was the father of Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. Eshek, the brother of Azel, was the father of Ulam, Jehush, and Eliphelet. Ulam was the father of mighty men of valor. His sons and their sons totaled 150, and they were archers.

There were not a lot of men from Benjamin who were mentioned in the scriptures other than being named on this list, but the few of note were significant in the history of the children of Israel. Ehud, Saul and Jonathan were all men of valor, who led the people in battles and served to deliver Israel from their enemies. While, Saul’s personal ambitions and weaknesses led him down a path of self-destruction, he did lead for years as the Lord had intended him to do. It shows again, that leadership, strength, and courage came from more than just one tribe in Israel. The Lord continues to raise people from different families, groups, and nations to lead his people today. He is no respecter of persons, but looks within for those who have faith and courage to follow Him.

1 Chronicles Chapter 7

A Family Tree

So far in the book of Chronicles, the genealogy of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been mentioned. The book has specifically mentioned the families of Reuben, Simeon, Judah, and Levi. The list has been far from conclusive, but has mentioned some of those who would have an impact on the lives of the children of Israel. Of the remaining tribes of Israel, this chapter will mention some of the genealogy of Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh and Ephraim (both of Joseph), and Asher. It begins:

1 Now the sons of Issachar were, Tola, and Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four.
2 And the sons of Tola; Uzzi, and Rephaiah, and Jeriel, and Jahmai, and Jibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their father’s house, to wit, of Tola: they were valiant men of might in their generations; whose number was in the days of David two and twenty thousand and six hundred.
3 And the sons of Uzzi; Izrahiah: and the sons of Izrahiah; Michael, and Obadiah, and Joel, Ishiah, five: all of them chief men.
4 And with them, by their generations, after the house of their fathers, were bands of soldiers for war, six and thirty thousand men: for they had many wives and sons.
5 And their brethren among all the families of Issachar were valiant men of might, reckoned in all by their genealogies fourscore and seven thousand.

Issachar was the patriarch to Tola (of the Tolaites), Puah (Phuvah; of the Punites), Jashub (Job; of the Jashubites), and Shimron (of the Shimronites). (see also Genesis 46:13 and Numbers 26:23-24) Tola was the father of Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmi, Jibsam, and Shemuel. The men of Tola were valiant men of might and in the time of David there were 22,600 of them among the children of Israel. Uzzi was the father of Izrahiah, Michael, Obadiah, Joel and Ishiah. They were soldiers for war and their families were 36,000 men. The men of Issachar were about 87,000.

6 The sons of Benjamin; Bela, and Becher, and Jediael, three.
7 And the sons of Bela; Ezbon, and Uzzi, and Uzziel, and Jerimoth, and Iri, five; heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valour; and were reckoned by their genealogies twenty and two thousand and thirty and four.
8 And the sons of Becher; Zemira, and Joash, and Eliezer, and Elioenai, and Omri, and Jerimoth, and Abiah, and Anathoth, and Alameth. All these are the sons of Becher.
9 And the number of them, after their genealogy by their generations, heads of the house of their fathers, mighty men of valour, was twenty thousand and two hundred.
10 The sons also of Jediael; Bilhan: and the sons of Bilhan; Jeush, and Benjamin, and Ehud, and Chenaanah, and Zethan, and Tharshish, and Ahishahar.
11 All these the sons of Jediael, by the heads of their fathers, mighty men of valour, were seventeen thousand and two hundred soldiers, fit to go out for war and battle.
12 Shuppim also, and Huppim, the children of Ir, and Hushim, the sons of Aher.

Benjamin was the father of Bela (Belah; of the Belaites), Becher, and Jediael. Bela was the father of Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They were also men of valour and came to about 22,034. (The blessing from Jacob, described the children of Benjamin as fierce fighters, who would enjoy the spoils of victory.) Becher was the father of Zemira, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jerimoth, Abiah, Anathoth, and Alameth. When numbered, they were 20,200 men. Jediael was the father of Bilhan, Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tharshish and Ahishahar. Ehud, of Gera, was raised up by the Lord to deliver the Israelites from the Moabites by killing the Moabite king. (see also Judges 3) They were also men of valour and totaled about 17,200 soldiers when numbered. Also, among the children of Benjamin, were Shuppim (Shupham of the Shuphamites), Huppim (Hupham of the Huphamites), the children of Ir, Hushim and the sons of Aher (Ahiramites). (In Genesis 46, it also mentions other sons of Benjamin along with the first three, namely Ashbel (Ashbelites), Gera, Naaman (Naamites), Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, and Ard (Ardites).) (see also Numbers 26)

13 The sons of Naphtali; Jahziel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shallum, the sons of Bilhah.

Naphtali was the father of Jahziel (Jahzeel), Guni, Jezer, and Shallum (Shillem), the sons of Bilhah (possibly referring to being her posterity through her son Naphtali). (see also Genesis 46:24)

14 The sons of Manasseh; Ashriel, whom she bare: (but his concubine the Aramitess bare Machir the father of Gilead:
15 And Machir took to wife the sister of Huppim and Shuppim, whose sister’s name was Maachah;) and the name of the second was Zelophehad: and Zelophehad had daughters.
16 And Maachah the wife of Machir bare a son, and she called his name Peresh; and the name of his brother was Sheresh; and his sons were Ulam and Rakem.
17 And the sons of Ulam; Bedan. These were the sons of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh.
18 And his sister Hammoleketh bare Ishod, and Abiezer, and Mahalah.
19 And the sons of Shemida were, Ahian, and Shechem, and Likhi, and Aniam.

Manasseh was the father of Ashriel (Asriel; of the Asrielites) and then Machir (of the Machirites) by his concubine. (see also Genesis 50:23) Machir was the father of Gilead (of the Gileadites). He married the sister of Huppim and Shuppim, whose name was Maachah. Manasseh, I believe, was also the father of Zelophehad, who had daughters. (In Numbers 26, Zelophehad was the son of Hepher who was a son of Gilead.) Machir and Maachah were the parents of Peresh and Sheresh. Sheresh was the father of Ulam and Rakem. Ulam was the father of Bedan. Gilead’s sister was Hammeloketh, and she bore Ishod, Abiezer, and Mahalah. Shemida (of the Shemidaites) was the father of Ahian, Shechem, Likhi, and Aniam.

20 And the sons of Ephraim; Shuthelah, and Bered his son, and Tahath his son, and Eladah his son, and Tahath his son,
21 And Zabad his son, and Shuthelah his son, and Ezer, and Elead, whom the men of Gath that were born in that land slew, because they came down to take away their cattle.
22 And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him.

Ephraim was the father of Shuthelah, Bered, Tahath, Eladah, Tahath, Zabad, Shuthelah, Ezer, and Elead. The men of Gath killed his sons when they tried to steal their cattle. Ephraim mourned for a long time, and his brothers tried to comfort him.

23 And when he went in to his wife, she conceived, and bare a son, and he called his name Beriah, because it went evil with his house.
24 (And his daughter was Sherah, who built Beth-horon the nether, and the upper, and Uzzen-sherah.)
25 And Rephah was his son, also Resheph, and Telah his son, and Tahan his son,
26 Laadan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son,
27 Non his son, Jehoshua his son.

He later had another son named Beriah. His daughter was Sherah, builder of Beth-horon the nether (below), the upper, and Uzzen-sherah. Beth-horon was a vital pass, or road, in Israel. Beriah was the father of Rephah, the father of Resheph, the father of Telah, the father of Tahan, the father of Laadan, the father of Ammihut, the father of Elishama, the father of Non, and the father of Jehoshua (Oshea, Joshua). Jehoshua was the successor to Moses and was responsible for leading Israel into the promised land, to claim the lands of their inheritance. (See also Numbers 11:28, Numbers 13:16, Numbers 27:18-19, and Deuteronomy 3:28)

28 And their possessions and habitations were, Beth-el and the towns thereof, and eastward Naaran, and westward Gezer, with the towns thereof; Shechem also and the towns thereof, unto Gaza and the towns thereof:
29 And by the borders of the children of Manasseh, Beth-shean and her towns, Taanach and her towns, Megiddo and her towns, Dor and her towns. In these dwelt the children of Joseph the son of Israel.

The sons of Ephraim inherited Beth-el, Naaran, Gezer, Shechem, and Gaza. Bethel was a sacred place, where Abraham built his altar when he first arrived and where Jacob had his well-known dream and built a pillar to the Lord. (see Genesis 12:8 and Genesis 28:18-19) Shechem was also a place where Abraham visited when he came to the promised land. It was the land where he received the promise of God that the land would one day belong to his seed. (see Genesis 12:6-7) Also, they inherited Beth-shean, Taanach, Megiddo, and Dor. These places belonged to the children of Joseph.

30 The sons of Asher; Imnah, and Isuah, and Ishuai, and Beriah, and Serah their sister.
31 And the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel, who is the father of Birzavith.
32 And Heber begat Japhlet, and Shomer, and Hotham, and Shua their sister.
33 And the sons of Japhlet; Pasach, and Bimhal, and Ashvath. These are the children of Japhlet.
34 And the sons of Shamer; Ahi, and Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram.
35 And the sons of his brother Helem; Zophah, and Imna, and Shelesh, and Amal.
36 The sons of Zophah; Suah, and Harnepher, and Shual, and Beri, and Imrah,
37 Bezer, and Hod, and Shamma, and Shilshah, and Ithran, and Beera.
38 And the sons of Jether; Jephunneh, and Pispah, and Ara.
39 And the sons of Ulla; Arah, and Haniel, and Rezia.
40 All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father’s house, choice and mighty men of valour, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men.

Asher was the father of Imnah, Isuah, Ishuai, Beriah, and their sister, Serah. Beriah was the father of Heber and Malchiel, the father of Birzavith. Heber was the father of Japhlet, Shomer, Hotham, and their sister, Shua. Japhlet was the fatherof Pasach, Bimhal, and Ashvath. Shamer was the father of Ahi, Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram. Helem, the brother of Shamer, was the father of Zophah, Imna, Shelesh, and Amal. Zophah was the father of Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah, Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran, and Beera. Jether was the father of Jephunneh, Pispah, and Ara. Ulla was the father Arah, Haniel, and Rezia. The children of Asher were mighty men of valour. When they were numbered for battle, they totaled 26,000 men.

There were not many of note in these families of the children of Israel, but the one that may stand out the most is Joshua. In the history of the Israelites, he played a very important role. When nearly all of the generation of Israelites, who had been delivered from Egypt, had lost faith in the Lord’s power to lead them, Joshua was one of the two loyal and faithful men who were allowed to remain with those permitted to enter the promised land. He led the Israelites, under the direction of the Lord, to claim the promised land from other nations. Joshua was not the only righteous man among these tribes. Good men were raised from the different tribes of Israel, to do good works for the Lord. I am sure that among those, that we don’t really know anything about, there were probably a decent number who were good men, striving to do what the Lord wanted. We live in a time when those who are true followers of the Lord, Jesus Christ, are scattered throughout the world. We all come from different backgrounds, but with one common goal to do what is right. Most will not be of note in the histories of the world, but if we live our best, we can make a huge difference to the generations that follow, just as Joshua did in his day. Moreover, our good works will be known by God, no matter how insignificant they may seem today, and that is what really matters.

1 Chronicles Chapter 6

A Family Tree

Levi was the third son of Jacob after Reuben and Simeon. He was the son of Leah, Jacob’s first wife. He and his brother Simeon had killed the Shechemites for the actions of Shechem against their sister Dinah. Because of this they were cursed to be divided and scattered in Israel. The family of Levi are listed in this chapter, beginning with the following:

1 The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
2 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.
3 And the children of Amram; Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam. The sons also of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

Levi had three sons named Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. (See also Genesis 46:11, Exodus 6:16, and Numbers 3:17) Levi’s son Kohath, was the father of Amram (Amramites), Izhar (Izeharites), Hebron (Hebronites) and Uzziel (Uzzielites). (See also Numbers 3:27) Amram, married Jochebed and became the father of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam. (see also Exodus 6:20 and Numbers 26:59) Aaron was called to assist Moses and he became his spokesman. Moses was the prophet whom the Lord called to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt and lead them to the promised land. Miriam, their sister, was a prophetess who was humbled by the Lord when judged Moses for his choice in his wife. (see Exodus 3, 4, 15, and Numbers 12) Aaron was the father of Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. Nadab and Abihu died without sons, because they offered strange fire against the commandment of the Lord. (see Leviticus 10:1-2) The line of Aaron, was then continued on through Eleazar and Ithamar. Eleazar was given the duties of Aaron after he died. (See also Numbers 3:2, 26:60-61, Deuteronomy 10:6, and 1 Chronicles 24:2)

4 Eleazar begat Phinehas, Phinehas begat Abishua,
5 And Abishua begat Bukki, and Bukki begat Uzzi,
6 And Uzzi begat Zerahiah, and Zerahiah begat Meraioth,
7 Meraioth begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,
8 And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Ahimaaz,
9 And Ahimaaz begat Azariah, and Azariah begat Johanan,
10 And Johanan begat Azariah, (he it is that executed the priest’s office in the temple that Solomon built in Jerusalem:)
11 And Azariah begat Amariah, and Amariah begat Ahitub,
12 And Ahitub begat Zadok, and Zadok begat Shallum,
13 And Shallum begat Hilkiah, and Hilkiah begat Azariah,
14 And Azariah begat Seraiah, and Seraiah begat Jehozadak,
15 And Jehozadak went into captivity, when the Lord carried away Judah and Jerusalem by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.

Eleazar was the father of Phinehas. He saved Israel from the curse of a plague, and was blessed with a covenant of peace and the priesthood for his posterity. (see Numbers 25 and Psalm 106) He became the high priest. Phinehas was the father of Abishua, who was the father of Bukki. Bukki was the father of Uzzi, who was the father of Zerahiah. Zerahiah was the father of Meraioth, who was the father of Amariah, who was the father of Ahitub. Ahitub was the father of Zadok, who was one of the priests for King David and later Solomon. He remained faithful to David during rebellion in Jerusalem. Zadok was the father of Ahimaaz. Ahimaaz was assigned to deliver messages to David during the rebellion, and at one point was even hidden in a well. (see 2 Samuel 17 and 18) He was the father of Azariah. Azaraiah was a prince in Solomon’s court. Azariah was the father of Johanan, who was the father of Azariah. Azariah was the priest at the time when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem. He was serving when king Uzziah trespassed against the Lord by burning incense in the temple, and was then cursed with leprosy.

Azariah (possibly the same as already mentioned) was the father of Amariah, who was the father of Ahitub, who was the father of Zadok. Zadok was the father of Shallum, who was the father of Hilkiah. He was the priest who found the book of the law, which was given to Josiah, who then restored the knowledge of the law to the people of Judah and made covenants with the Lord. Hikliah was the father of Azariah, who was the father of Seraiah. Seraiah was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar’s captain of the guard, and slain by the king. He had been the father of Jehozadak. When Judah and Jerusalem was taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, Jehozadak went into captivity. (see also 2 Samuel 8, 1 Kings 1, 2, 4:2, 2 Kings 22, 25, and 2 Chronicles 26)

16 The sons of Levi; Gershom, Kohath, and Merari.
17 And these be the names of the sons of Gershom; Libni, and Shimei.
18 And the sons of Kohath were, Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel.
19 The sons of Merari; Mahli, and Mushi. And these are the families of the Levites according to their fathers.

Again, Levi had three sons. Gershom became the father of Libni and Shimei. Kohath became the father of Amram, Izhar, Hebrom, and Uzziel (mentioned above). Merari became the father of Mahli and Mushi. These were the patriarchs of the tribe of Levi.

20 Of Gershom; Libni his son, Jahath his son, Zimmah his son,
21 Joah his son, Iddo his son, Zerah his son, Jeaterai his son.

Libni was the father of Jahath, Zimmah, Joah, Iddo, Zerah, and Jeaterai.

22 The sons of Kohath; Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son,
23 Elkanah his son, and Ebiasaph his son, and Assir his son,
24 Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son.
25 And the sons of Elkanah; Amasai, and Ahimoth.

Kohath was the patriarch of Amminadab, Korah, Assir, Elkanah, Ebiasaph, Assir, Tahath, Uriel, Uzziah and Shaul. Korah rebelled against Moses and Aaron, believing they were not the leaders for them called by God, and he and his family were destroyed when the Lord opened up the ground beneath them. (see Numbers 16) Elkanah was the father of Amasai and Ahimoth by his wife Peninnah. Elkanah was also the husband of Hannah, who was barren and prayed to God for a child, while she was in the temple. Her prayers were answered and she bore Samuel, who was given to the Lord by Hannah. (See also 1 Samuel 1)

26 As for Elkanah: the sons of Elkanah; Zophai his son, and Nahath his son,
27 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son.
28 And the sons of Samuel; the firstborn Vashni, and Abiah.

Elkanah was the patriarch of Zophai, Nahath, Eliab, Jeroham, and Elkanah. Samuel, the son of Elkanah mentioned above, was the father of Vashni (Joel) and Abiah. They became judges over Israel, but they were not righteous judges and so the people turned against the Lord, and asked for a king to be over them instead. (See also 1 Samuel 8)

29 The sons of Merari; Mahli, Libni his son, Shimei his son, Uzza his son,
30 Shimea his son, Haggiah his son, Asaiah his son.
31 And these are they whom David set over the service of song in the house of the Lord, after that the ark had rest.
32 And they ministered before the dwelling place of the tabernacle of the congregation with singing, until Solomon had built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem: and then they waited on their office according to their order.

Mahli, the grandson of Levi through Merari, became the patriarch of Libni, Shimei, Uzza, Shimea, Haggiah, and Asaiah. These were the men of the Levites, who were assigned to be over the service of song in the tabernacle, once the ark was placed there. They served in front of the tabernacle of the congregation by singing. They did this until Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, where they served according to the order of their office.

33 And these are they that waited with their children. Of the sons of the Kohathites: Heman a singer, the son of Joel, the son of Shemuel,
34 The son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah,
35 The son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai,
36 The son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah,
37 The son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah,
38 The son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, the son of Israel.
39 And his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, even Asaph the son of Berachiah, the
son of Shimea,
40 The son of Michael, the son of Baaseiah, the son of Malchiah,
41 The son of Ethni, the son of Zerah, the son of Adaiah,
42 The son of Ethan, the son of Zimmah, the son of Shimei,
43 The son of Jahath, the son of Gershom, the son of Levi.
44 And their brethren the sons of Merari stood on the left hand: Ethan the son of Kishi, the son of Abdi, the son of Malluch,
45 The son of Hashabiah, the son of Amaziah, the son of Hilkiah,
46 The son of Amzi, the son of Bani, the son of Shamer,
47 The son of Mahli, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi.
48 Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.

Those that waited with their children, were Heman, a singer of the Kohathites, his brother Asaph, who stood on his right hand, and the son of Merari, Ethan who stood on the left hand. They played the cymbals in David’s choir. (see 1 Chronicles 15) These were each descendants of Levi, the son of Israel. Heman’s descendancy included by parentage, Joel, Shemuel, Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliel, Toah, Zuph, Elkanah, Mahath, Amasai, Elkanah,Joel, Azariah, Zephaniah, Tahth, Assir, Ebiasaph, Korah (mentioned above), Izhar, Kohath (mentioned above), and then through Levi to Israel. Asaph’s descendancy included by parentage, Berachaih, Shimea, Michael, Baaseiah, Malchiah, Ethni, Zerah, Adaiah, Ethan, Zimmah, Shimei, Jahath, Gershom, Levi. Ethan’s descendancy included by parentage, Kishi, Abdi, Malluch, Hashabiah, Amaziah, Hilkiah, Amzi, Bani, Shamer,Mahli, Mushi, Merari (mentioned above), and also through Levi. The Levites were given all kinds of duties in and with the tabernacle.

49 But Aaron and his sons offered upon the altar of the burnt offering, and on the altar of incense, and were appointed for all the work of the place most holy, and to make an atonement for Israel, according to all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.
50 And these are the sons of Aaron; Eleazar his son, Phinehas his son, Abishua his son,
51 Bukki his son, Uzzi his son, Zerahiah his son,
52 Meraioth his son, Amariah his son, Ahitub his son,
53 Zadok his son, Ahimaaz his son.

Aaron, who was ordained a priest by Moses, and his line, were annointed and specifically given the duty of performing offerings on the altar of burnt offerings and the altar of incense, and the responsibilities of the holy of holies, and the making of atonement for Israel, just as they were directed by Moses, under the direction of the Lord. As mentioned above, the line with these duites consisted of the Aaron, along with his sons and grandsons: Eleazar, who became chief over the chiefs of the Levites, Phinehas, Abishua, Bukki, Uzzi, Zerahiah, Meraioth, Amariah, Ahitub, Zadok, and Ahimaaz. (There is more family to the line mentioned in verses 9-15 above. See also Exodus 28, Leviticus 8 and Numbers 3)

54 Now these are their dwelling places throughout their castles in their coasts, of the sons of Aaron, of the families of the Kohathites: for theirs was the lot.

The sons of Aaron of the Kohathites lived in these designated areas of the different tribes of Israel, which were given to them by lot.

55 And they gave them Hebron in the land of Judah, and the suburbs thereof round about it.
56 But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh.
57 And to the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of Judah, namely, Hebron, the city of refuge, and Libnah with her suburbs, and Jattir, and Eshtemoa, with their suburbs,
58 And Hilen with her suburbs, Debir with her suburbs,
59 And Ashan with her suburbs, and Beth-shemesh with her suburbs:
60 And out of the tribe of Benjamin; Geba with her suburbs, and Alemeth with her suburbs, and Anathoth with her suburbs. All their cities throughout their families were thirteen cities.

From Judah, they were given the cities of Hebron (which was well-known because of Abraham and later became the location for David’s original reign over Judah), the city of refuge, Libnah, Jattir, Eshtemoa, Hilen, Debir, Ashan and Beth-shemesh (once the location of the ark) with all the land and suburbs, except for the fields and villages of Hebron, which were given to Caleb, the son of Jephunneh. Then, from Benjamin, they were given Geba, Alemeth, and Anathoth, which included thirteen cities. (see also 2 Samuel 5 and 1 Samuel 6)

61 And unto the sons of Kohath, which were left of the family of that tribe, were cities given out of the half tribe, namely, out of the half tribe of Manasseh, by lot, ten cities.

The rest of the family of Kohath, were given ten cities by lot, from half of the tribe of Manasseh.

62 And to the sons of Gershom throughout their families out of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.

The family of Gershom, were given thirteen cities by lot, from Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and Manasseh.

63 Unto the sons of Merari were given by lot, throughout their families, out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities.

The family of Merari, were given twelve cities by lot, from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.

64 And the children of Israel gave to the Levites these cities with their suburbs.
65 And they gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities, which are called by their names.
66 And the residue of the families of the sons of Kohath had cities of their coasts out of the tribe of Ephraim.
67 And they gave unto them, of the cities of refuge, Shechem in mount Ephraim with her suburbs; they gave also Gezer with her suburbs,
68 And Jokmeam with her suburbs, and Beth-horon with her suburbs,
69 And Aijalon with her suburbs, and Gath-rimmon with her suburbs:
70 And out of the half tribe of Manasseh; Aner with her suburbs, and Bileam with her suburbs, for the family of the remnant of the sons of Kohath.

All these cities and suburbs were given to the Levites. The tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin, gave cities by lot. The rest of the family of Kohath, was given cities in the border of Ephraim, including the cities of refuge and Shechem (a portion of mount Ephraim was given to Phinehas, the son of Eleazar). Shechem was an ancient town, mentioned when Abram (Abraham) first went to the promised land. (see Genesis 12) They also were given Gezer, Jokmean, Beth-horon (where the lord had brought a deadly hailstorm down upon the Amorites), Aijalon, and Gath-rimmon. Then from the half of Manasseh, they were given the city of Aner and Bileam. (see also Joshua 10)

71 Unto the sons of Gershom were given out of the family of the half tribe of Manasseh, Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, and Ashtaroth with her suburbs:
72 And out of the tribe of Issachar; Kedesh with her suburbs, Daberath with her suburbs,
73 And Ramoth with her suburbs, and Anem with her suburbs:
74 And out of the tribe of Asher; Mashal with her suburbs, and Abdon with her suburbs,
75 And Hukok with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs:
76 And out of the tribe of Naphtali; Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, and Hammon with her suburbs, and Kirjathaim with her suburbs.

The sons of Gershom were also given cities from half of the tribe of Manasseh. They were Golan and Ashtaroth. From Issachar, they were given Kedesh, Daberath, Ramoth, and Anem. From Asher, they were given Mashal, Abdon, Hukok and Rehob. From Naphtali, they were given Kedesh in Galilee, Hammon, and Kirjathaim.

77 Unto the rest of the children of Merari were given out of the tribe of Zebulun, Rimmon with her suburbs, Tabor with her suburbs:
78 And on the other side Jordan by Jericho, on the east side of Jordan, were given them out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer in the wilderness with her suburbs, and Jahzah with her suburbs,
79 Kedemoth also with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs:
80 And out of the tribe of Gad; Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, and Mahanaim with her suburbs,
81 And Heshbon with her suburbs, and Jazer with her suburbs.

The remainder of the family of Merari, were given the cities of Rimmon and Tabor from the tribe of Zebulon. From Rueben, on the Eastern side of the Jordan, they were given the cities of Bezer, Jahzah, Kedemoth, and Mephaath. From Gad, they were given Ramoth in Gilead (a very important Israelite city of refuge, where Ahab fought against Syria and died), Mahanaim, Heshbon and Jazer. (see also 1 Kings 22)

This chapter includes a record of the family who was responsible for the discharge of the duties relating to the tabernacle, and later to the temple of the Lord built by Solomon. Some did the work of the priesthood, while the remainder of the tribe of Levi, were called upon to serve the priests and care for the tabernacle. I think it would have been such a privilege to serve the Lord in this way. They were not perfect men, and they were not even all worthy to hold their office or do their duties, as seen in some of the stories of those who served the Israelites in the temple, but those who did their best to serve the Lord, would have had great opportunities in their work. I think that we can grow by leaps and bounds, when we are given ways or called to serve the Lord. (see more about the blessings of priesthood service in Doctrine and Covenants 84:18-34) Their lives were not the easiest of the tribes of Israel, especially seeing as they had no inheritance in the land, and were sustained by the tithes and some of the offerings given by the children of Israel. Additionally, because they were given cities out of all the other tribes, in which to live, they were spread out among all of Israel and never living gathered together the way each of the other tribes were gathered geographically. However, one of the significant blessings of the tribe of Levi, is that they had and continue to have an important role to play in the work of the Lord, all the way to the end the mortal world. In Doctrine and Covenants 13, the prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were ordained to the priesthood. The words of the ordination were, “Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.” It is an honor and privilege to be ordained to the priesthood of Aaron, and those of the children of Levi who honored their priesthood or even those related duties done by those who served the priests, were surely blessed.

1 Chronicles Chapter 5

A Family Tree

A genealogy record of the children of Israel is given in this chapter of Chronicles. A record of the sons of Judah and Simeon were recorded already, and this chapter will list some of the line of Reuben. (Note: The wording of these genealogies is not always easily understood, but this is what I gather from these verses.) It begins as follows:

1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:)
3 The sons, I say, of Reuben the firstborn of Israel were, Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
4 The sons of Joel; Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son,
5 Micah his son, Reaia his son, Baal his son,
6 Beerah his son, whom Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria carried away captive: he was prince of the Reubenites.
7 And his brethren by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned, were the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah,
8 And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelt in Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baal-meon:
9 And eastward he inhabited unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates: because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead.
10 And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east land of Gilead.

Reuben was the firstborn son of Israel (Jacob), by his first wife Leah, but his birthright was taken from him when he slept with his father’s concubine, Bilhah. The birthright, which as the firstborn was a double-portion, was given to the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. Joseph was the firstborn of Jacob’s second wife. The genealogy is not continued with the birthright, because the tribe of Judah became the chief tribe. It is the tribe of the King of Kings, even Jesus the Christ. The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron and Carmi. The sons of Joel were Shemaiah, Gog, Shimei, Micah, Reaia, Baal, and Beerah. Beerah, prince or leader of the Reubenites, was carried away captive by Tilgath-pilneser of Assyria. The genealogy continued with the leader, Jeilel, Zechariah, and Bela, the son of Azaz, who was the son of Shema, who was the son of Joel of Aroer. At the time of the rule of Saul, the Reubenites made war with the Hagarites, who were defeated. They lived in the eastern part of the land of Gilead, which was apart from the majority of the land belonging to the tribes of Israel and separated by the Jordan.

11 And the children of Gad dwelt over against them, in the land of Bashan unto Salchah:
12 Joel the chief, and Shapham the next, and Jaanai, and Shaphat in Bashan.
13 And their brethren of the house of their fathers were, Michael, and Meshullam, and Sheba, and Jorai, and Jachan, and Zia, and Heber, seven.
14 These are the children of Abihail the 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;
15 Ahi the son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, chief of the house of their fathers.
16 And they dwelt in Gilead in Bashan, and in her towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders.
17 All these were reckoned by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.

The descendants of Gad lived near them, in he land of Bashan. Their leader were Joel, Shapham, Jaanai, and Shapha in Bashan. Their seven brothers were Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jachan, Zia, and Heber. Abihail, son of Huri, was the patriarch of the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jehishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz, Ahi the son of Abdiel, and the son of Guni who was the leader of their family. These people lived in Gilead. They were counted in the days of Jotham of Judah and Jeroboam of Israel.

18 The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war.
19 And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab.
20 And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them; because they put their trust in him.
21 And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand.
22 For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.

A war was made with the Hagarites, Jetur, Nephish and Nodab. 44,760 valiant and able fighters from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, gathered together to fight this war. They cried to God and were helped for putting their trust in Him. The Hagarites were delivered into their hands. They also took their cattle, 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep, 2,000 donkeys and 100,000 men. Many of their enemy died because God fought for them. They lived in their homes, until captivity.

23 And the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land: they increased from Bashan unto Baal-hermon and Senir, and unto mount Hermon.
24 And these were the heads of the house of their fathers, even Epher, and Ishi, and Eliel, and Azriel, and Jeremiah, and Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty men of valour, famous men, and heads of the house of their fathers.

The children of the half tribe of Manasseh lived in the land and increased in number. Their leaders were Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel. There were famous and mighty men.

25 And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.
26 And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.

Eventually, the Reubenites, Gadites and half of Massaeh, transgressed against God. They turned to idolatry, as did so many of the children of Israel. The spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, was stirred up against these tribes, and he carried them away captive to Assyria, to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan.

It is important that every tribe of the children of Israel recorded a genealogy of their family, however the reason why there is little in this record of the Reubenites, is because the tribe of Judah became the leaders of the land. King David was from Bethlehem and his kingdom was established in Jerusalem. A king reigned in Judah until the time of capture when Zedekiah reigned. Most ancient records that we have of genealogy, contain records of kings and leaders. As for the tribe of Reuben, I think that this chapter includes those who were leaders of the tribe as well. Not much can be learned of these individuals of the children of Reuben, from the Bible, but this chapter teaches me the importance of keeping these records for all people, even if all we have is a name. A single name can connect us to the generations of the past, all the way back to Adam and Eve. I may not become anything great in the grand picture of mankind, but I hope that my name is at least known to my family in the generations to come.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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