Posts Tagged 'Family'

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.

Advertisements

1 Chronicles Chapter 3

A Family Tree

A genealogy of a portion of the Israelites was recorded in the book of Chronicles. The first two chapters of 1 Chronicles, covered the family from Adam down to David, King of Israel. This chapter covers the family from the sons of David through the kings being taken captive to Babylon and when they were allowed to return. Mainly it is a record of the kings of the people of Judah. The genealogy continues with the following:

1 Now these were the sons of David, which were born unto him in Hebron; the firstborn Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second Daniel, of Abigail the Carmelitess:
2 The third, Absalom the son of Maachah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur: the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith:
3 The fifth, Shephatiah of Abital: the sixth, Ithream by Eglah his wife.
4 These six were born unto him in Hebron; and there he reigned seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years.
5 And these were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shimea, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, four, of Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel:
6 Ibhar also, and Elishama, and Eliphelet,
7 And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
8 And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine.
9 These were all the sons of David, beside the sons of the concubines, and Tamar their sister.

David had several sons. When King David began his reign in Judah, he lived in Hebron. While there he became the father to six sons beginning with Amnon, whose mother was the Jezreelite wife of David, named Ahinoam. Amnon was killed by the servants of his brother, because he took advantage of his sister (see 2 Samuel 13). The next sons were Daniel (Chileab), whose mother was a Carmelite named Abigail (the wife of Nabal, who was an evil man that did wrong to David and was slain by the Lord); and Absalom, whose mother was Maachah, daughter of the king of Geshur, Talmai. Absalom was the son who conspired against David and took over his kingdom in Israel. (See 2 Samuel 15) He was eventually killed for this. (See 2 Samuel 18)

The next son of David was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith. He had tried to take the kingdom for himself, before David had announced his successor, but failed. When his brother, Solomon, became king, he tried to gain from it because he would have been next in line for the throne. He used Bathsheba (see below) to ask to be given one of David’s wives. Solomon saw through his tricks and Adonijah was put to death for his attempts. (See 1 Kings 1 and 2)

David’s next son was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abita, and then Ithream, whose mother was the wife of David, Eglah. After David had reigned for seven and a half years in Hebron, he began to rule in Jerusalem. While there, he became the father to four sons, including Shimea (Shammua), Shobab, Nathan (the ancestor of Joseph, as in Mary and Joseph), and Solomon, whose mother was Bath-shua (Bathsheba), the daughter of Ammiel (Eliam) and wife of Uriah (Urias) Solomon was a righteous leader and was blessed with great wisdom and understanding. He was also given the duty to build the temple in Jerusalem. (see 2 Samuel 11:3, 1 Kings 3, 6, and Matthew 1:6). David also fathered nine other sons named Ibhar, Elishama (Elishua), Eliphelet (Elpalet), Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada (Beeliada), and Eliphelet. There were other sons born by his concubines and he had a daughter, named Tamar. Tamar was the sister of Absalom, who was taken advantage of and shamed by Amnon (see above). (See also 1 Samuel 25, 2 Samuel 3, 5, and 1 Chronicles 14)

10 And Solomon’s son was Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son,
11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,
12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,
13 Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son,
14 Amon his son, Josiah his son.
15 And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.
16 And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.

Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba, and successor of the kingdom, had hundreds of wives and concubines in his life. He specifically was the father of Rehoboam (Roboam), whose mother was Naamah. Rehoboam was king of Israel, when ten of the tribes of Israel revolted and the kingdom was divided. Rehoboam was then the king of Judah. Rehoboam was the father of Abia (along with 27 other sons and 60 daughters), and Abia was the father of Asa. Asa, son of Maachah, was the third king of Judah, and he reigned in righteousness. Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat (Josaphat). Jehoshaphat also ruled in righteousness.

Jehosphat was the father of Joram (Jehoram). Joram married the daughter of Ahab, king of Israel, which led him to ruling in wickedness. He was cursed for his wicked leadership. He was the father of Ahaziah (also called Azariah and Jehoahaz). Ahaziah was the son of Athaliah, the daughter of Omri, king of Israel. Ahaziah ruled in wickedness. He made league with Joram, king of Israel, and because of it he was killed by Jehu, a man who conspired against the king of Isreal. His mother, Athaliah, destroyed all the royal seed, except for Joash, who was hidden until he was seven years old. Joash, the only remaining son of Ahaziah, and son of Zibiah of Beer-sheba, became the king at seven. He ruled in righteousness, doing things like repairing the temple. His servants conspired against him and killed him.

Joash was the father of Amaziah, son of Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. Amaziah became king when he was twenty-five. He ruled in righteousness for 29 years. He destroyed those who went against his father. Later he was overcome by the king of Israel. His people conspired against him, he fled and was killed. Amaziah was the father of Azariah (Uzziah, also called Ozias, according to the Bible Dictionary), son of Jecholiah of Jerusalem. The people made him the king when he was sixteen. In his 52-year reign, he ruled in righteousness and prospered. However, pride led him to transgress in the temple and he was cursed to become a leper. Then his son, Jotham (Joatham), took over the reign of king. (Side note: Isaiah, Amos, and Hosea lived at the time of Uzziah, as well as his posterity through Hezekiah) Jotham was the son of Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. He ruled in righteousness. (Side note: Michah lived at the time of Jotham, as well as his posterity through Hezekiah)

Jotham was the father of Ahaz (Achaz). Ahaz did not rule in righteousness, but did great wickedness such as sacrificing his own son to heathen gods. He defiled the temple of the Lord. Ahaz was the father of Hezekiah (Ezekias), son of Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. He ruled in righteousness, to the point of removing all the high places where idolatry was practiced. He was known for trusting in the Lord, keeping the commandments, and helping Judah to be free from serving other nations for several years. Moreover, the people of Judah trusted King Hezekiah. He sought the word of the Lord from the prophet, Isaiah. When Hezekiah prayed for help in the temple, the Lord blessed him with a promise that his enemy would not attack Jerusalem. Hezekiah was also blessed to live when he was deathly ill. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh (Manasses), son of Hephzi-bah. He ruled in wickedness and undid the work of his father to remove idolatry from the land. He sacrificed his own sons to heathen gods and defiled the House of the Lord. He was among the most wicked leaders of the people of Judah, if not the worst, and caused that a great curse was placed upon his people, which would bring their destruction.

The son of Manasseh was Amon, who was the son of Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. He followed after his father and ruled in wickedness until his servants conspired against him and killed him. His son, Josiah (Josias), was made king by the people. He was the son of Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. He ruled in righteousness and studied the law of Moses. He was promised to live in peace, but the curse of Manasseh would remain. He read the law to the people and made covenants with the Lord. He destroyed all things related to idolatry and reinstituted the passover. He was killed by the king of Egypt. He was the father of Johanan (possibly Jehoahaz), Jehoiakim (Eliakim), Zedekiah (Mattaniah), and Shallum. Jehoahaz was made king when Josiah died. Jehoahaz was the son of Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. He was wicked and only ruled for 3 months, when the king of Egypt captured him and caused Jerusalem to pay tribute. Jehoahaz died in captivity. Pharaoh made Jehoiakim the next king in Jerusalem. Jehoiakim was the son of Zebudah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. He did not rule in righteousness. He became a servant to Babylon, rebelled against them after three years of being in bondage to them. Several nations came against him, as fulfillment of the curse against them. He killed prophets, such as Urijah, who spoke against Jerusalem. It was prophesied that Babylon would come against him and that his seed would not rule in Jerusalem. He was carried away captive by Nebuchadnezzar. (Side note: Jehoiakim lived at the time of the prophet Jeremiah.)

Jehoiakim was the father of Jeconiah (Jehoiachin, Coniah, Joachin, Jechonias) and Zedekiah. Jeconiah was the son of Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He ruled in Judah and was an evil king (though he was mentioned as being 8 when he became king), who was taken captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. (37 years after his captivity, he was raised as a king in Babylon) When he was taken captive, his uncle (according to 2 Kings 24, or brother, acccording to 2 Chronicles 36), Zedekiah, was made king by Nebuchadnezzar. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. Zedekiah was the last king of Judah and he did not rule in righteousness. (Side note: Zedekiah lived at the time of Jeremiah. He was the king, when Lehi and his family left Jerusalem.) He rebelled against Babylon. Jerusalem was besieged and eventually Zedekiah was taken captive to Babylon. (See also 1 Kings 11, 12, 14, 15, 22, 2 Kings 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 2 Chronicles 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, Jeremiah 22, 26, 36, and Matthew 1)

17 And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son,
18 Malchiram also, and Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah.
19 And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister:
20 And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushab-hesed, five.
21 And the sons of Hananiah; Pelatiah, and Jesaiah: the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shechaniah.
22 And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah: and the sons of Shemaiah; Hattush, and Igeal, and Bariah, and Neariah, and Shaphat, six.
23 And the sons of Neariah; Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam, three.
24 And the sons of Elioenai were, Hodaiah, and Eliashib, and Pelaiah, and Akkub, and Johanan, and Dalaiah, and Anani, seven.

Jeconiah, the captive king of Judah, was the father of Assir, Salathiel, Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. Pedaiah was the father of Zerubbabel (Zorobabel or Sheshbazzar) and Shimei. In the footnote to verse 19, it reads, “According to these verses, Zerubbabel was the grandson of Jeconiah through Pedaiah; elsewhere he is called the son of Shealtiel.” (Salathiel) (See Ezra 3:2, Ezra 5:2, Haggai 1:1, and Matthew 1:12) Zerubbabel was the appointed leader (governor) when Cyrus allowed the people of Judah to return. In his leadership, he did things such as rebuild the temple.

Zerubbabel was the father of Meshullam, Hananiah, and a daughter named Shelomith. He was also the father of five sons named Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed. Hananiah, son of Zerubbabel, was the father of Pelatiah and Jesaiah. He was also the patriarch of the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, and the sons of Shechaniah. Shechaniah was the father of six sons named Shemaiah (who helped Nehemiah to build east gate of Jeruselem), Hattush, Igeal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat. Neariah was the father of three sons named Elioenai, Hezekiah and Azrikam. Elioenai was the father of seven sons named Hodaiah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Dalaiah, and Anani.

At least one record of my own family is recorded to include, “Salomao de Israel” (Solomon), “Roboao de Juda” (Rehoboam), “Abias de Juda” (Abia), “Asa de Juda”, “Jeosafa de Juda” (Jehoshaphat), “Jorao de Juda” (Joram), “Ocozias de Juda” (Ahaziah), “Joas de Juda” (Joash), “Amasias Rei de Juda” (Amaziah), “Uzias de Juda” (Azariah), “Jotao Rei de Juda” (Jotham), “Acaz Rei de Juda” (Ahaz), “Ezequias Rei de Juda” (Hezekiah), “Manassah 14th king of Judah” (Manasseh), Amon, “Josiah o Jose Rey de Judah” (Josiah), “Jehoikin Eliaquim o Joaqim” (Jehoiakim), “Joaquín de Judá o Jeconíah primer Exilarca en Babilonia” (Jeconiah), “King Shealtiel” (Salathiel), “(Pedaiah) ben Neri” (Pedaiah), and then to “Esli Zerubbabel” (Zerubbabel). My line returns to Jerusalem with “Naum Abiud ben Zerubbabel Ha David” (Abuid as in Matthew 1:13), “Amos Eliakim … ben Abiud” (Eliakim), and here is where I no longer have my line following that in the scriptures. It instead continues on in Jerusalem through the time of Christ, until it eventually breaks off to my ancestors from Wales in about 85 AD, when the Romans began to rule there. This, of course, makes a study of the individuals in this chapter seem more interesting and personal to me.

I am grateful for the records of genealogy included in the scriptures. I know that they have purpose and are of great value. Many of these men will be brought up again as my study of the Old Testament continues, and I am glad to have taken this time to make connections in my own personal understanding, so that the stories of their lives can have a place in my heart.

1 Chronicles Chapter 1

A Family Tree

The books of Chronicles are a record of the history from the creation of man to the time when the Jews were allowed to return to the promised land. Much of what is included is another record of things that had already been included in the earlier books of the Old Testament. In that way, they are a second witness of the events recorded. This first chapter follows the pattern of records of ancient times, in that the people often began records with a genealogy of the families. One may wonder why this is. There is no given answer for this, so far as I can tell, but it is a testimony to the importance of maintaining a record of our own genealogies. Personally, I believe that these records are a part of the work of the Lord. With these records, people today can connect themselves directly to our first parents, Adam and Eve, and therefore to all who have ever lived on this earth. This is a wonder and a blessing to all mankind.

The list found in this chapter, really is simply a list of names broken into families. It does not contain all the children of the earth, and only contains the sons born. With that, only some sons are listed here, which shows that not all records were passed down in the same way. The names listed were possibly those who had lineage to those keeping the records generations later. There are likely other records that have been made, which record different genealogies leading back to father Adam.

1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh,
2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,
3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,
4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

This book begins with Adam, who was the first man on earth and the father of all men, but in his lifetime, he was the father of Sheth (Seth*), who is recorded here. Sheth was the father of Enosh (Enos) and Enosh was the father of Kenan (Cainan). Both Seth and Enos were good men who followed after Adam, were ordained to the priesthood, and taught the people during difficult times of evil and war. Kenan, which the land of Canaan was named after, was the father of Mahalaleel, Mahalaleel (Maleleel) was the father of Jered (Jared) and Jered was the father of Henoch (Enoch). Jered had been a good father to Henoch and taught him “all the ways of God”. This lead Henoch to becoming a good ruler, who taught his people and led them to righteousness and the reward of his city being lifted up and translated by God. Henoch was the father of Methuselah (Mathusala) and Methusaleh, who was left when the city was taken to fulfill prophecy, was the father of Lamech. Lamech was the father of Noah (Noe). Noah was called to be a prophet to the people of the world, who were living in wickedness, to call them to repentance and warn them of the coming destruction. Noah was the father of Shem (Sem), Ham, and Japheth. Noah and his sons were called the sons of God, because they lived according to the word of God. They, along with their father, were delivered from the flood. (See also Genesis 5, Luke 3, Hebrews 11:5, Doctrine and Covenants 107, and Moses 6) These are the patriarchs known from before the flood, and the line directly to Adam for all who have been born since the flood.

5 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
6 And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
7 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

Each of the three sons of Noah are listed with their sons. Japheth, who was actually the oldest of the three sons, was the father of Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. Gomer was then the father of Ashchenaz (Ashkenaz), Riphath, and Togarmah, While Javan was the father of what is believed to be the greek nations. His sons were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. (See also Genesis 10) These are the patriarchs of the gentile nations (modern day Europe and Asia).

8 The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
9 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
10 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth.
11 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
12 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim.
13 And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth,
14 The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite,
15 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
16 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.

The second son of Noah was Ham. After the flood, he was cursed for disrespecting his father. His descendants were those of the southern nations, such as Africa, specifically Egypt, and the orginal inhabitants of Canaan. He was the father of Cush, Mizraim, Put (Phut), and Canaan. The sons of Cush who lived in upper Egypt, were Seba, Havialh, Sabta (Sabtah), Raamah, and Sabtecha. The sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. Cush was also the father of Nimrod, who was a mighty hunter and the ruler and builder many cities, such as Babel and Nineveh. Ham’s son Mizraim was the father of lower Egypt. His sons were Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim (father of the Philistine nation), and Caphthorim. The last son of Ham, Canaan, was the father of Zidon (Sidon), Heth (father of the Hittites), the Jebusite (ancient Jerusalem), Amorite, Girgashite (Girgasite), Hivite, Arkite, Sinite, Arvadite, Zemarite, and Hamathite. The children of Canaan were known as the Canaanites. (See also Genesis 10)

17 The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.
18 And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber.
19 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother’s name was Joktan.
20 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
21 Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah,
22 And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
23 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan.

Shem, the final son of Noah listed here, is believed to be the father of the semetic races, which included the Hebrews, Syrians, Babylonians and Assyrians. He was the great high priest“, and was the father of Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram (father of the Syrians, possibly). Then, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech (Mash), which may have been the children of Aram according to Genesis 10. Shem’s third son, Arphaxad, was the father of Shelah (Salah/Sala), who was the father of Eber (Heber). (In Luke 3, it says that Sala was the son of Cainan, who was the son of Arphaxad.) Eber’s line were known as the children of Eber and among that line were the Hebrews. This line started with his sons, Peleg (Phalec) and Joktan. Peleg was called such, because he lived at the time when the continents were divided. Joktan was the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Ebal (Obal), Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. The children of Joktan were from the south of Arabia. (See also Genesis 10, Genesis 11, and Luke 3)

24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah,
25 Eber, Peleg, Reu,
26 Serug, Nahor, Terah,
27 Abram; the same is Abraham.
28 The sons of Abraham; Isaac, and Ishmael.

Peleg, great-great grandson of Shem, was the father Reu (Ragau). Reu was the father of Serug (Saruch), Serug was the father of Nahor (Nachor), Nahor was the father of Terah, and Terah (Thara) was the father of Abram, who became known as Abraham. He was regarded as the father of the covenant people of God. Abraham was the father of Isaac (the child of promise) and Ishmael. (see also Genesis 11, Genesis 16, Genesis 21, and Luke 3)

29 These are their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,
30 Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema,
31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael.

Ishmael, who was Abraham’s firstborn, but not of Abraham’s first wife, was the father of the Ishmaelites, who were nomadic. Ishmael was the father of Nebaioth (Nebajoth), Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad (Hadar), Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These sons became princes of 12 nations. (see also Genesis 25)

32 Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan.
33 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these are the sons of Keturah.
34 And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel.

Abraham’s first wife died and he later married again. His other sons were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Abraham’s son, Jokshan, was the father of Sheba and Dedan. Another of his sons, Midian, was the father of Ephah, Epher, Henoch (Hanoch), Abida, and Eldaah. Abraham’s son Isaac, was the father of twins named Esau and Israel, who was actually given the name of Jacob at birth. Israel became the father of the Israelite nation. (see also Genesis 25)

35 The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
36 The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek.
37 The sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.
38 And the sons of Seir; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, and Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan.
39 And the sons of Lotan; Hori, and Homam: and Timna was Lotan’s sister.
40 The sons of Shobal; Alian, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. And the sons of Zibeon; Aiah, and Anah.
41 The sons of Anah; Dishon. And the sons of Dishon; Amram, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
42 The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, and Jakan. The sons of Dishan; Uz, and Aran.

Abraham’s older son, Esau (known also as Edom, for asking food of Jacob and then selling his birthright for that food), was the father of the Edomites located in Mount Seir. His sons were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jaalam, and Korah. Jeush, Jaalam and Korah became chiefs. Eliphaz was the father of Teman, Omar, Zephi (Zepho), Gatam, Kenaz, (Timna is listed here, but this was the name for the concubine of Eliphaz) and Amalek. Teman, Omar, Zephi, Kenaz, Gatam and Amalek became chiefs. Reuel, son of Esau, was the father of Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. All four became chiefs in the land of Edom.

Seir, who was a Horite living in the land of Edom, was the father of Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. The were all chiefs of the children of Seir. Timna was the sister of Lotan. Lotan was the father of Hori, and Homam (Hemam). Shobal was the father of Alian (Alvan), Manahath, Ebal, Shephi (Shepho), and Onam. Zibeon was the father of Aiah (Ajah) and Anah. Anah, son of Seir, was the father of Dishon. Dishon, son of Seir, was the father of Amram (Hemdan), Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. Ezer was the father of Bilhan, Zavan (Zaavan) and Jakan (Akan). Dishan, son of Seir, was the father of Uz and Aran. (See also Genesis 36)

43 Now these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the children of Israel; Bela the son of Beor: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
44 And when Bela was dead, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
45 And when Jobab was dead, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead.
46 And when Husham was dead, Hadad the son of Bedad, which smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.
47 And when Hadad was dead, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
48 And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
49 And when Shaul was dead, Baal-hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
50 And when Baal-hanan was dead, Hadad reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pai; and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.

There were rulers in the land before it became the land of the Edomites. The list of the kings was Bela of Dinhabah, Jobab, Husham, Hadad of Avith, Samlah of Masrekah, Shaul of Rehoboth, Baal-hanan, Hadad (Hadar) of Pai (Pau). Hadad of Avith, was known for smiting the Midians in Moab. (See also Genesis 36)

51 Hadad died also. And the dukes of Edom were; duke Timnah, duke Aliah, duke Jetheth,
52 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
53 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
54 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram. These are the dukes of Edom.

The chiefs of Edom were Timnah, Aliah (Alvah), Jetheth, Aholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram. (See also Genesis 36)

(Note: Names found in parenthesis are variations found in other books of the bible.)

Genealogy is the record that ties all people on the earth to one another. It shows that we are all family no matter what race or religion we are today. There are multiple records combined in the bible, which witness to the same heritage of the Israelite people. This book of Chronicles is a record of certain things that happened with the generations of Israel.

I have always had an interest in my own family line, and recently have followed a few lines back to Adam. Chapters like this in the scriptures, hold more personal meaning to me now, because I can see names of those who are likely my ancestors. So, if all the information that has been collected is correct, I am related to the Israelite people on at least two lines and specifically those who lived in Jerusalem during the times that the record will cover. Related to this first chapter of Chronicles, my genealogy shows I am related Israel, Isaac, and Abraham. Then back through Shem to Noah and on from there. I imagine that someday when all things are revealed and our knowledge is made sure, I will have a greater love for my ancient ancestors because I have come to know them through studying the scriptures.

2 Samuel Chapter 19

Joab was the captain of the armies of David. He had been serving in this capacity for quite some time at this point. He had seen to the death of Absalom, the son of David, who had made himself an enemy to the king. David had commanded his captains, to allow Absalom to live through their battle, but Joab had gone against this command. Upon learning of the death of his son, David went to his room and mourned.

1 And it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and mourneth for Absalom.
2 And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day how the king was grieved for his son.
3 And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
4 But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
5 And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines;
6 In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well.
7 Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now.
8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.

Joab learned that David was mourning his son, and instead of celebrating their victory over the armies of Absalom, the people of David mourned. They secretly went back into the city, as if they had fled in battle. David continued to mourn for his son. Joab went to David and told him that he had brought shame to his servants who had fought for him and their people. Joab accused him of caring more for his enemy, than he did for those that had supported him and were his friends. Joab felt that if Absalom had been left alive, their people would have died, and David would have been okay with that. He told David to go and comfort his servants, be grateful to them for their service, or his people would not stay with him, and that would be the worse thing to happen to him since the days of his youth. David, got up and went to the gate of his house, where the people came to him from their own homes.

9 And all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines; and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom.
10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?

There was a confusion and conflict in the land of Israel, because David had brought them peace from their enemies and then was forced to flee because of Absalom. Then, the king they had chosen, Absalom, was dead, and they were not sure if they were to bring David back as the king of Israel.

11 And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house.
12 Ye are my brethren, ye are my bones and my flesh: wherefore then are ye the last to bring back the king?
13 And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab.
14 And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants.
15 So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan.

David sent a message to the elders of Judah, to ask why they had not asked for him to return to his home in Jerusalem. They were his people and yet, they did not bring him back. His messengers, Zadok and Abiathar, were to ask Amasa to be the new captain of his army, in place of Joab. Amasa was family to both Joab and David. I think that Amasa was the cousin to Joab and the nephew to David. The men of Judah were unified and asked David and his people to return to Jerusalem. David met the men of Judah at the Jordan River, be escort the king over the river.

16 And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, which was of Bahurim, hasted and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David.
17 And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they went over Jordan before the king.
18 And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king’s household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, as he was come over Jordan;
19 And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it to his heart.
20 For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.
21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said, Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?
22 And David said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me? shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel? for do not I know that I am this day king over Israel?
23 Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die. And the king sware unto him.

A man of the tribe of Benjamin, Shimei, who had been the man to throw stones at David and his family as he had fled from Jerusalem, quickly went to the Jordan to meet the king, bringing a thousand of his men. Ziba and his family and sons, crossed over the Jordan before David, and a ferry was there to carry David and his household across the river. Shimei met the king and bowed down to him, begging to be forgiven for what he had done. Abishai advised David that Shimei should be put to death for cursing David, the Lord’s anointed king of Israel. In the laws given to Moses, the people had been commanded not to curse their leaders, or those that had been chosen by the Lord to lead them. However, David did not want to have any man put to death that day, so he pardoned Shemei for his actions against him. Many men in David’s position, would have followed the counsel of Abishai, but David was a more forgiving man. He has shown this quality as part of his character from his youth, especially with Saul. I am sure, that knowing his own need to be forgiven, David was more willing to forgive those who offended him.

24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace.
25 And it came to pass, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Mephibosheth?
26 And he answered, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me: for thy servant said, I will saddle me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the king; because thy servant is lame.
27 And he hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king; but my lord the king is as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in thine eyes.
28 For all of my father’s house were but dead men before my lord the king: yet didst thou set thy servant among them that did eat at thine own table. What right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king?
29 And the king said unto him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land.
30 And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace unto his own house.

Mephibosheth, who had been falsely accused by his servant, met David, having waited for this day when the king would return in peace. David asked why Mephibosheth had not gone with him, and he told him how his servant, Ziba, had deceived him and then lied to the king. He told David to do what he would with him, because he knew he had been blessed by David when he took him in as one of his own family. David told him that he didn’t need to beg anymore, because he had been promised to have the land divided between him and Ziba. Mephibosheth said that Ziba could have it all, because the king had returned in peace. The header for this chapter says that in these words, Mephibosheth pledged allegiance to David.

31 And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan.
32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man.
33 And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.
34 And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem?
35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?
36 Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward?
37 Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee.
38 And the king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee.
39 And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king was come over, the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place.
40 Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him: and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel.

David was escorted by an aged man named Barzillai, who had been one to give provisions to David in the wilderness. David told him to return with him to Jerusalem, but he did not want to be a burden to David, as an old man with not much of a life left to live. He planned to escort the king for a little while, but not to be repaid for it. He asked instead to be allowed to return to his home, where he could be buried with his family, and he offered Chimham as a servant to David. David accepted the offer and offered to do what he could for Barzillai. The people crossed the Jordan, and David said goodbye to Barzillai and blessed him. David took Chimham with him, to Gilgal, and the people of Judah and some of Israel, escorted them back to Jerusalem.

41 And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David’s men with him, over Jordan?
42 And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, Because the king is near of kin to us: wherefore then be ye angry for this matter? have we eaten at all of the king’s cost? or hath he given us any gift?
43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

The men of Israel wanted to know why the men of Judah had been the ones to escort the king. The men of Judah said that it was because King David was family to them. They felt the others had no reason to be upset with them, because the king had not given them any special treatment or reward for doing this thing. The men of Israel responded that they had more of a right to the honor, and that they should have been consulted before the king was brought back. This started contention between the men of Israel and Judah.

With all that had happened leading up to this decision in bringing King David back, it seems that the nation of Israel was a broken nation. Many were deceived into thinking that David was not supportive of them, through the works of his son. Since they had peace with their surrounding nations and enemies, they turned to finding opportunities to fight from within. It seems that at this point, the people were working themselves up to greater contentions in the land. This has been a tool that Satan uses to break down the strong. Often times throughout the scriptures, people unite together in the cause to protect their nation from outside influences. Then once their issues with others are resolved and they have peace, they begin to find ways to fight between themselves. It often seems to come from a place of pride, or in other words, one group feeling they are better or deserve more than another. Satan knows that if people can be divided from within, the fall will be greater than anything that could happen from without. A lesson in this for us personally, is that we need to look to ourselves and our families, and be watchful for this tactic of the adversary. Contention within the home will break down the strongest family. This is the most effective way for the adversary to break down the good, righteous influences of society, because the family is the most basic unit in society. Our families deserve our greatest efforts. We should be working to strengthen our families in all times and seasons of our lives. I am so grateful for the family that God has given to me. I hope that I can and will do all that I am able to protect it and keep it whole, so that my family will have a greater chance to stand strong in the face of any trials and difficulties that may come our way.

2 Samuel Chapter 13

David had many wives and concubines during his life. His first wife named Michal, who was the daughter of Saul, was not able to have children with him, but with his other wives he had several sons, namely Amnon, Chilean, Absalom, Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, Eliphalet, and Solomon (See chapters 3, 5, and 12 of 2 Samuel). He had at least one daughter as well, but I cannot recall if she was not mentioned in the previous chapters. This chapter is about two of his sons who were born before he ruled in Israel, Amnon, his firstborn, and Absalom. These two were half-brothers, who only shared David as their father. The chapter begins:

1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
2 And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.
3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.
4 And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.
5 And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.

Amnon loved the daughter of David, Tamar, who happened to be the fair virgin sister of Absalom. He desired to have her so much that he became sick over it. His friend and cousin, Jonadab, the nephew of David, saw that he was sick and possibly loosing weight, and asked why. Amnon told him his problem, and Jonadab, who is described as a subtil, or clever man, told him to lay in his bed sick. When his father would come to see him, he planned to ask him for his Tamar to bring food to his bedside, and then prepare it for him and feed him. I don’t think that the love Amnon felt for Tamar, was real love, but rather a physical attraction and a desire to be with her. He knew this was not right.

6 So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand.
7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon’s house, and dress him meat.
8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
9 And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him.
10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.
12 And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.
13 And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee.
14 Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.

Amnon went through with his plan, and when Tamar followed the instructions of her father, Amnon refused to eat the cakes she had made. Instead, he asked all the men to leave him and told Tamar to bring the food into his room. When she did, he took hold of her and told her to lie with him. She refused and told him not to force her because it would bring her shame, and he would look like a fool. It was strictly against the statutes of God, for a man to be with the daughter of his father. Tamar pleaded with him to ask their father, David, if he could have her, but Amnon would not listen and using his strength against her, forced Tamar to be with him.

15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.
16 And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her.
17 Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.
18 And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.

After this, Amnon’s love turned into an even stronger hatred for her. He told her to leave him, and even though she told him sending her away was worse than he had already done to her, he forced her out. Amnon took a bad situation and made it worse by doing this.

19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.
20 And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.

Tamar mourned the unholy loss of her virginity. Her brother, Absalom, asked what had happened with Amnon, as she was crying over it. He told her not to regard this thing, because this was her brother. She stayed in Absalom’s house, and remained desoloate, or in a state of emptiness. Being a worthy and holy woman for your possible future husband, was mainly what a woman had to live for in the times of the bible. Amnon, had taken that from Tamar and then refused to keep her as his own. In effect, I think he made her feel worthless and likely very hopeless in her situation. Perhaps Absalom’s words were a way of saying that he would take care of things for her.

21 But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth.
22 And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.

King David heard what had happened and it made him angry. Not only had his son ruined the life of his daughter, but he had brought shame to his name as well. Absalom, hated his brother for doing this, and would not speak to him.

23 And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.
24 And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant.
25 And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him.
26 Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee?
27 But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

Two years passed and Absalom invited all his brothers, the sons of king David, to the sheepshearers. Absalom went to David and told him of the sheepshearers, asking him to join them. David refused, saying they should not all go. After trying hard to persuade him, and David still refusing, he blessed him instead. Then, Absalom asked that Amnon go with them, but David did not want to allow it. Absalom asked again, for David to allow all of his sons to go along.

28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
29 And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

Absalom had made a plan, which is probably why he had pressed the king so hard to allow Amnon to join his brothers. Absalom told his servants by his command, to kill Amnon when he was drunk. He told them to have courage and be valiant, when he himself was not being a man of courage. If he truly felt this was an act of courage, he should have been willing to do it with his own hand, but he asked others to do it instead. The servants obeyed, and when the sons of David got up, everyone fled. The reason may have been different, but I think that they may have felt that their own lives were in danger, so they hurried to get away from Absalom.

I don’t think that revenge and planned murder of another person, could ever be considered a courageous thing. I think it would have been more courageous for the servants to stand up for what was right and tell Absalom that this thing was not right, but that there were better ways to handle the situation. And yet, the servants were obedient to his command and followed through with his plan.

30 And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left.
31 Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
32 And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
33 Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
34 But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him.
35 And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king’s sons come: as thy servant said, so it is.
36 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.

David heard that all of his sons were dead at the hand of Absalom, and he mourned for his sons. Jonadab, David’s nephew, who had helped Amnon come up with his original idea to be with Tamar, told him that only Amnon was dead and that Absalom had had his heart set on this since Amnon had taken advantage of Tamar. Absalom had fled, and the king’s sons returned. David and his servants wept at their return, along with David’s sons.

37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.
38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
39 And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

Absalom fled to Geshur for three years. Geshur was where his mother was from, and Talmai was family to him. Meanwhile, David had received comfort over Amnon, and so he mourned for his son and desired to go to Absalom.

I think this may have been a beginning to the fulfillment of promises made to David through the prophet Nathan. He had said that the sword would never depart from his family (see chapter 12). Here we have fighting and death among his family members and also continued mourning for David.

There is, has been, and will continue to be, times of drama within families. We are all human and we will make mistakes, especially with those whom we love the most. That is the nature of families. Even our eternal family has a bit of drama in it, with a great war and an eternal separation between family members. In this life, the hope is that as individuals, we can rely more on help from the Lord. This applies especially when we have temptations, difficulties, sorrows and struggles. In this story, things would have been different for everyone if they had relied upon God rather than seek for solutions from men. Amnon had temptation and sickness that could have been healed by turning to the Lord, rather than listening to the plan of a friend. Tamar had pain that though hard and really not her fault, could have been healed by God. Absalom had anger and temptations that could have been calmed, had he turned to God, rather than to his own plan to kill another. It would not have been easy for them. It will not always be easy for us, and it is not meant to be, but relying on the Lord, can keep families whole and intact. I believe that families which are whole, are our greatest hope for having the strength to return to our Father in Heaven and receive the eternal rewards prepared for us there.

Ruth Chapter 3

Ruth was a young Moabite widow, who had left her family and home, to care for her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi. In caring for her, she had gone out to glean from the harvest in the field of a man named Boaz. He had shown kindness to her as she worked in his fields. Boaz was family to Naomi and had the power to redeem them, and so Ruth had been encouraged by Naomi to continue working in his fields.

1 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.

In an attempt to allow Ruth to have a better life than that of a poor widow, Naomi came up with a plan of marriage for Ruth. She told Ruth, that Boaz would work with the barley that evening. Naomi told her to prepare herself and secretly go to the threshing floor. When he had lied down for the night, she was to uncover his feet and lay at them, until he told her what she should do. Ruth agreed to do as Naomi had instructed her. Ruth honored her mother-in-law, by her service and her willingness to do all that Naomi asked of her.

6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

Ruth did as she had been told. I think the reason for laying at his feet, was possibly to make a symbolic gesture of service. I’m not sure if this was an Israelite custom, but I believe that any time one placed themselves at the feet of another, it was a sign of their humility. A servant or even a follower, would place themselves at the feet of their master, to show they were willing to serve or follow them. Ruth, was in a humble position at this time. She was bound to her position in Israel, because of the death of her husband and father-in-law. This seems like a plea to Boaz, to care for her, as a master would care for those willing to serve him. Had she done it publicly, there may have been some other outcome, especially seeing as she was a foreigner. Instead, Naomi suggested to do it privately, and the only way to do this, was to do it secretly in the night.

8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman’s part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the Lord liveth: lie down until the morning.

Boaz was startled by her, and when he saw that a woman was there, he asked who it was. She told him and asked that he provide for her as her near kinsman, meaning I think, that she asked him to offer her marriage. He called her blessed of the Lord, for her kindness. He told her that he would do all he could for her, because it was known that she was a virtuous woman. He was her near kinsman, but he knew of one who was closer in relation, and he wanted to allow that man the opportunity to do the service of a kinsman to her. If, in the morning, Boaz went to the man and he did not want the responsibility, then Boaz would take care of her as her husband.

14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.
15 Also he said, Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.
16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
17 And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.
18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

Ruth remained with Boaz that night, and she woke early. Boaz asked that she keep her visit to him a secret. He gave her plenty of his harvest of barley and she left with it, to return to Naomi. Ruth told Naomi all that had happened. Naomi told her to patiently wait, because Boaz would not rest until he had done what he had promised her.

Boaz continued to show kindness to Ruth. He gave her a kind compliment, when he said that she was known as a virtuous woman. She was known for her standards or values, even being a foreigner in the Israelite land. I think that he was saying to her, that he would be honored to have her as his wife. Ruth and Boaz are examples of kindness, charity, selflessness, service and loyalty. I am grateful for examples such as these, because it shows that while Israel as a whole, may have been repeatedly turning from righteousness and living unworthy of the blessings of the Lord, there were good individuals among them, who were still striving to do good and live righteously. We may live in a time of great wickedness as well, but there is hope for continued blessings from the Lord, because there are still good, righteous people, who are striving to do what is right.

Ruth Chapter 1

The writings in the book of Ruth, took place during the time of the judges, but is an account that is different from those preceding it. In the Bible Dictionary we read, “The book appears to be intended to connect the history of David with the earlier times, and also to form a contrast, in its peaceful and pastoral simplicity, to the disorders of which we read so continually in the Book of Judges.” (see Bible Dictionary:Ruth) The book of Ruth begins:

1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Beth-lehem-judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

There was a famine in the land of Israel, which had become so bad, that a man named Elimelech felt the need to leave and go to the land of Moab. He took his family with him, which consisted of his wife, Naomi, and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. There is no indication as to whether this famine was this bad all over Israel, but it was bad enough in the area of Beth-lehem-judah, that they needed to leave. While living in Moab, Elimelech died, leaving Naomi and her two sons. Her sons married women of Moab, namely Orpah and Ruth. They lived in Moab for 10 years, during which Mahlon and Chilion also died. They left all three women as widows.

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread.
7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.
9 The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.
11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;
13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.
14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.
15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.
16 And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
18 When she saw that she was steadfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

Naomi had heard that the famine was over in the land of Israel, and she intended to return there, along with her daughters-in-law. They headed for Judah. Naomi told her daughters-in-law, to go back to their parents homes with a blessing from the Lord, and wished them well with their future husbands. She kissed each of them, and they cried at this farewell parting. They both loved her, and did not desire to leave her. They said they would stay with her. Naomi wondered why they would go with her, seeing as she had nothing more to offer her, and had no more sons for them to marry. It was an Israelite custom, for brothers of the deceased, to marry his widow and care for her. Naomi was too old to get married again, and though she hoped for a miracle of sorts, it was unlikely to happen for her. Even if she was married that day, and had sons, these women could not be expected to wait until those sons were old enough to marry them. In those days, life as a widow was hard. Women were supported by the husbands, and once their husbands were gone, they could no longer expect to be sheltered and fed, or loved by a man. If they chose to be with Naomi, they chose this life along side her, which meant they would be far less likely to remarry and live a decent life. Out of love, Naomi desired for these women to have better lives than her own, which was that of a beggar. Orpah chose to return to her family, but Ruth chose to continue with Naomi. Ruth told her not to plead with her to return to her people and their gods. She chose to go with Naomi, to be a part of the people of Israel, and to be converted and follow after the god of Israel.

19 So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Beth-lehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi?
20 And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
21 I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Beth-lehem in the beginning of barley harvest.

Naomi and Ruth traveled to Beth-lehem at the time of the barley harvest, and the people there remembered Naomi. She told the people to call her Mara, because she was widowed and felt she was being humbled by God through her afflictions.

The book of Ruth begins by showing us the character of Ruth. She had married into a family of a different faith and background. Ruth had come to love her new family, and when the men were no longer with them, she had love and compassion for her mother-in-law. She chose to follow Naomi to the Israelite land and take care of her, rather than leave for what would have seemed to be better chances at a good life. Likewise, we learn that Naomi had a great love for her daughters-in-law. She was willing to live alone and in poverty, so that they could have better chances for a decent future. This love and willingness to sacrifice personal desires, should be a great example to us of how we should feel towards our family, including those whom we are not related to by blood. When we are married, we become one with our spouse and become a part of their family just as much as our own. Our families, especially our parents, deserve our love, compassion, care and companionship. I do not think this kind of love is fostered in many families today, when it should be. I am grateful to feel the love of my own mother-in-law and I have a desire to have a good and loving relationship with her as well.

Judges Chapter 12

Jephthah was a mighty man, who was raised to be a judge in Israel. He had led the Israelites to victory over the children of Ammon. He recognized the Lord’s hand in causing them to be victorious in battle. The story of Jephthah continues in this chapter.

1 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.
2 And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands.
3 And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the Lord delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?
4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites.
5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay;
6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.
7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

The men of the tribe of Ephraim, were offended by Jephthah because he had not gathered them to fight against the Ammonites. They threatened to destroy his house. Jephthah reminded the men of Ephraim, that they had not given them aid when the Ammonites had been causing them strife. Instead, he had to take control and fight the battle without their help. The men of Gilead gathered with Jephthah, to fight against the men of Ephraim. Gilead struck at the Ephraimites, which called them fugitives of the people of Ephram and Manasseh. Then the men of Gilead went on to the passages of Jordan and blocked the path. If an Ephramite came, they asked if he was an Ephramite. If he said no, they told him to say the word or language of Shibboleth. He would not speak correctly, so they would kill him. They killed 42,000 men of Ephraim in this manner. Jephthah was the judge over Israel for six years before he died.

8 And after him Ibzan of Beth-lehem judged Israel.
9 And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years.
10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Beth-lehem.
11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years.
12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.

Following the death of Jephthah, Ibzan judged Isreal. He had 30 sons and 30 daughters. He sent his 30 daughters off to be married, and took in 30 women for his sons. He was the judge for seven years. Then, a man named Elon judged Israel for ten years.

13 And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel.
14 And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years.
15 And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.

A Pirathonite, of Ephraim, called Abdon, was the next judge of Israel for eight years. He had 40 sons and according to the footnote, 30 grandsons, who, it would seem, ruled with him in Israel.

This story of Jephthah and the people of Ephraim is an example which shows that Israel was not one united nation. They were twelve tribes who descended from the same family, but who were separated at this point. They refused to help one another in times of great need, which led them to fight each other. The nation of Israel would not be a strong nation, if they continued to live like this. If they had chosen to follow the Lord with all their hearts, the Lord could have brought them together as the strongest nation. This principle applies to people today, and it can be easily seen in the family unit. When we unite as a family, strong in the gospel of Christ, we can have the strength to get through any trial and face any temptation. If we are not united and choose to focus on our personal needs and desires rather than the needs of other family members, we can become weak as a whole and will likely be effected badly when difficulties arise. Our families need the strength that comes from gathering together in righteousness and love. This is the blessing that comes to those who strive to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

Deuteronomy Chapter 25

The law of Moses, was given by the Lord to the Israelites, in order to give them the way to be the Lord’s chosen people. Through these many laws and statutes, they would be able to learn how to love God and love others. If they lived the law, and did not turn back to the ways of some of their ancestors, they would be greatly blessed by God. Moses continued to teach the newer generation, all that had been given to him, in preparation for their entrance into the promised land. His sermon continues with the following:

1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.
2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number.
3 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.

A punishment for the wicked, was explained by Moses. Judges were to decide the cases brought before them, and then do right by the innocent and condemn the wicked. Next, they were to give a punishment worthy of their wrong-doing. If a condemned man was worthy of being beaten, they were to charge him with up to 40 stripes, and no more. Anything over that, was cruel and unnecessary for any man. Our works will determine our own reward as well. God is our ultimate judge and eventually we will face him. In the most perfect and just way, He will determine if we have done righteous works or wicked works. After the Savior has mediated for us, if have repented and turned to the Lord, we will receive the punishment or blessings we deserve, according to the demands of justice. No punishment will be greater than is necessary according to the law.

4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.

My understanding, is that this means that in that day, they would place a muzzle on an ox, so that it would not eat as it worked the field of grain. The law here is, that they were not to place the muzzle on the ox. This is one of those laws that does not give its explanation and may seem strange to include in the law of Moses. I am sure there is a deeper meaning in its use, though I am not sure what it is. I don’t know that it really was about whether or not they stopped the animal from eating while working, but rather that they were to take care of those that worked for them and allow them their due.

5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.
6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
7 And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.
8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;
9 Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.
10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

In the law of marriage, a widow who was without children, was to be taken as a wife by any living brothers of her late husband. If she was to have a son by her second husband, that son was to represent her first husband by name. If the widow was refused by the brother, she could take her plea to the elders of her city. The elders were to talk to the man. If he confirmed her claim, and would not take her as his wife, then the widow was to remove his shoe, and spit in his face. Then he would be known throughout the nation as one who had denied this duty to his family.

11 When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draweth near for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him, and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets:
12 Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her.

If a woman defended her husband during a fight he had with another man, she was not to grab him in any indecent way. If she did, she would be punished by loosing her hand.

13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.
14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.
15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
16 For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God.

All things were to be done justly, including how they handled measurements and weights. I think that this referred to how they handled the giving and receiving of money and payments.

17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
18 How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God.
19 Therefore it shall be, when the Lord thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.

The Israelites were called to remember how the Amlekites had been wicked and attacked them in their journey to the land of inheritance. This was the time, when Moses held up the rod and with the power of God, the Israelites were successful against them. God had promised Moses then, that the nation of Amalek would be destroyed. In Exodus 17:14 we read, “And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” Therefore, because the Amlekites had done wrong to the Israelites, they were not going to be peace between their nations. When the Israelites had settled in the land, and were no longer fighting against those that had inhabited it before them, they were to destroy the remaining Amalekites and remember how and why they had been called to do it.

***

We are shown example after example, throughout the scriptures, of how important it is to take care of widows. The manual I am studying, Scripture Study for the Latter-Day Saint Families: The Old Testament, places a focus on this, based on the Lord’s law found in this chapter. This custom is not one that is heard of today in the society I live in, but there is evidence of just how important this is to the Lord. It is never an easy thing, for a woman to loose her husband. In ancient times, a widow would have been left without the means to provide for her own needs, and I believe it was much less likely for them to remarry, than it would be today. It has always been a god-given duty for men to provide for the women in their lives, especially those who loose their husbands. This applies also, to supporting their mothers, grandmothers, and even extended family members. When the responsibility exists, it should not be taken lightly by anyone. Our first priority, should be to take care of our families to the best of our ability. If we truly intend for families, even extended families, to be eternal in nature, we need to do all that is needed to nurture them in this life.

The church, as it was established after the Savior’s resurrection, included the idea of taking care of the widows of their human family. In James 1:27 it reads, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This teaches us that we cannot be true disciples of Christ, if we do not do what we can to help the widows we know. Likewise, in modern times, the Lord has commanded that all faithful members of His church, do what they can to provide for those who are widows or who have lost their fathers. In Doctrine and Covenants 136:8 we read, “Let each company bear an equal proportion, according to the dividend of their property, in taking the poor, the widows, the fatherless, and the families of those who have gone into the army, that the cries of the widow and the fatherless come not up into the ears of the Lord against this people.”

It seems that the higher law, does not extend only to family members, or even strictly to those whose husbands or fathers have died. This law to care for these women and children, even applies to those who are without their husbands and fathers for a season of time, such as happens when men serve in the armed forces. Moreover, it is a law to provide for those who are in need, to the best of our ability. I know that this is a good reason, for all those who are able to give generous offerings. In the case of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have this opportunity through our fast offerings and donations. There are many opportunities for us to visit and provide the support of our company as well. I think of the great example of President Thomas S. Monson, who has taken care of so many widows in his life. He has blessed their lives, and I know they have blessed his as well. I am grateful for the opportunity to do what we can, to help others in need.

Lost Sheep

Today is a bit of a departure from my regular study. I ask that my regular readers please forgive the more personal nature of this post. I have been pondering on thoughts of lost sheep today, because my extended family is experiencing this as a very literal moment in their lives. The feelings I have in my heart are a bit consuming and I feel the need to share some of my thoughts. I have a family member who is missing. My 16-year old niece ran away this week, and I feel helpless in the situation, because I am far away from my sister and her family. I have thought and prayed for her and her family, with a heart full of concern and love for this young woman. Because I have chosen to fill my life with a study of the word of the Lord, I can’t help but think of the lost sheep, so often spoken about in the scriptures. In Matthew 18, we read the words of the Savior:

11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Related to this particular personal situation, I know that my Father in Heaven is also her Father in Heaven. He loves her more than I can even begin to understand, just as He loves every one of his children. We are his little ones. For some reason, his little child has forgotten this. She has forgotten the love of God. She has forgotten what she is worth. I know this must be true, because I know that the closest thing we can experience to the love that our Father in Heaven has for us, is to experience the love that our earthly parents and other family members have for us. It reminds me of a song that my kids have learned at church, called “The Family Is of God”. The first verse and chorus have the following words:

Our Father has a family. It’s me!
It’s you, all others too: we are His children.
He sent each one of us to earth, through birth,
To live and learn here in families.
God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—
This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God.

I believe these words, and that part of the reason that He has established families here on earth, is so that we can feel a portion of his love, in a way that cannot be duplicated by anything outside of family.

The Lord also speaks of lost sheep in Ezekiel 34:16, which reads, “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick:”. I know that the Lord knows where she is and is mindful of her. I also know that she has been given the amazing gift of agency, and that if she chooses it, she may continue to be apart from her family. However, I believe, that God desires for her to find happiness within her family. I know that He is there for her, to save her, to heal her, and to strengthen her. He is there for her, just as He is there for each of us, when we have moments of doubt or fear, when we loose our way, or when we think that there is some other pasture which will bring us the things we seek. He is our shepherd, and his greatest desire is to find us and give us everything he has to offer, especially his love.

I pray that my beautiful niece can by physically found and given the help and love that she needs. I have a hope that there is a portion of her heart and mind, that will recognize or remember the things I have pondered about. I have a wish in my heart, that a moment may come when she will open herself up more, to feel the love of the Lord. In the deeper sense, I know that only he can truly save her from whatever is causing her to be his lost little child. I also know that it may take the efforts, inspiration, and love of others, to help her recognize this. I pray that there will be people out there, who will follow the inspirations they receive to find and help this precious daughter of God. I hope there is someone out there, who can be an instrument in the Lord’s hands, and help to bring her home. I hope there are those out there who can help to do this in more than just the physical sense, so that she can feel an outpouring of God’s love for her.

I know that God is real. I know that we are His children. I know that He loves each and every one of us. I know that we are the sheep of his fold and He will do all that He can to show us that love.

Update:
As of last night, she has been found and as I have been told, she is getting some much needed help. My heart if full of gratitude to all those who offered prayers, support to the family, to those who offered tips that led to her being found, and especially to God, who I am sure was watching over her and helped all those involved.


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.
Testimony

Testimony

I made an album with my dad in 2011. Check it out!

Testimony

NEW!!! Digital Downloads (mp3) available directly from the site.

Current Study

Currently I am studying the The Old Testament. I will be studying from the LDS - King James Version of the Bible (see link below). I am studying along with the book, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Old Testament by Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen.

Learn More:

I'm a Mormon

The Book of Mormon

You can order a free copy of the Book of Mormon here:

Book of Mormon Request

Archives

Follow me on Facebook:

My Wonderful Husband and Artist

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: