THE PROMINENT ROLE OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH (AS FOCUSED IN KING DAVID) IN GOD’S KINGDOM AGENDA EMPHASIZED
August Konkel: The genealogy of Judah is the longest and most complex genealogical unit in the Bible [Genealogy, p. 461]. It provides the history of the royal family of Judah down to the Chronicler’s day. The promise to David, the anointed descendant of Judah (1 Sam 16:1–14), was of paramount importance to the Chronicler, since this promise pointed the way to the future for his community. Judah was also the most important tribe in the postexilic community. The tribal history of Judah is arranged to put the family history of David at the center. It is arranged in the form of a chiasm [Chiasm, p. 465]. . .
The goal of the Chronicler was to link the families of his own day with those who preceded the exile to Babylon. In the central section, the descendants of David are given in segmented and linear genealogies, providing clear lines of succession for all periods. Linear genealogies were sufficient during the period of the monarchy. Segmented genealogies were used to relate status and relationships within the Davidic family. These include the relationship between David’s sons in the early period, and relationships between Davidic families living in the exilic and postexilic times.
Iain Duguid: Surrounded by the outer frame (A, A’) of branches of the line from Judah to Hezron (2:3–9; 4:1–23), the descendants of Hezron’s second son, Ram, have priority due to David. Ram’s tree is separated into two sections: the first (B) stops at the time of David (2:10–17), while the second (B’) resumes with the descendants of David through to the postexilic period (3:1–24). This separation serves to emphasize the Davidic dynasty. Central in the chiasm, however, are blocks of names for the other sons of Hezron: Caleb’s two blocks (2:18–24, 42–55 [C, C’]) surround two for Jerahmeel, the oldest son (2:25–33, 34–41 [D, D’]). David may be emphasized, but other descendants are not forgotten.
Michael Wilcock: The framework of history is … seen to comprise three pairs of events.
– God creates all things; in due course Adam procreates the rest of mankind.
– God calls Abraham; in due course Israel sires the twelve patriarchs.
– God calls Moses; in due course David sets up the kingdom.
In each of these three pairs, it is with the second member that the Chronicler is concerned.
I. (2:3-9) INTRODUCTION – SONS OF JUDAH UP TO HEZRON AND HIS SONS
Frederick Mabie: The Chronicler gives the lineage of the tribe of Judah a position of literary and theological preeminence by his “fronting” of the genealogical summary of the fourth-born Judah together with his extended treatment of the descendants of Judah. This initial section gives the genealogical information for the five sons of Judah (v.4), building on earlier lists given in Genesis and Numbers (cf. Ge 46:12; Nu 26:19–22).
J.A. Thompson: From a genealogical perspective, the royal clan of Judah did not show much promise. His eldest son Er died because of wickedness. As a familiarity with the account would show (Gen 38), it did not get much better since Judah’s second and third sons did not bear sons either. It was rather through the sordid incident of Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar, disguised as a prostitute, that the promised heritage was perpetuated through their twin sons, Perez and Zerah. Ironically, the Chronicler could in one and the same breath show the consequences of sin (death of Er) and also the grace of God abounding in the midst of it as two sons were born by means of Judah’s wicked deed. Out of this union came the ancestral father of Israel’s greatest king (Ruth 4:18–22).
A. (:3-4) Sons of Judah Introduced
“The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, and Shelah; these three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanitess. And Er, Judah’s first-born, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, so He put him to death. 4 And Tamar his daughter-in-law bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all.”
Thomas Constable: A long list of Judah’s descendants follows (2:3—4:23). This list begins by naming Judah’s five sons (vv. 3-4; cf. Gen. 38:3-5, 29-30; 46:12). Of these, three founded significant families: Shelah, Perez, and Zerah.
B. (:5-8) Sons of Perez
“The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 6 And the sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara; five of them in all. 7 And the son of Carmi was Achar, the troubler of Israel, who violated the ban. 8 And the son of Ethan was Azariah.”
Iain Duguid: Achan’s story is told in Joshua 7. In summarizing it here, the Chronicler introduces a major theme for the book: “breaking faith” (Hb. maʻal; translated elsewhere also as “be faithless”). The Chronicler will recount numerous examples of Israel’s breaking faith, commonly stated explicitly as worshiping other gods. The results were always catastrophic, leading to defeat, death, or exile (1 Chron. 5:25; 9:1; 10:13; 2 Chron. 12:2; 26:16, 18; 28:19, 22; 29:6, 19; 30:7; 33:19; 36:14).
C. (:9) Sons of Hezron: Jerahmeel, Ram, and Caleb
“Now the sons of Hezron, who were born to him were Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai.”
Iain Duguid: Perez’s son Hezron had three sons. The chiastic arrangement of 2:10–3:24 gives prominence to David by dividing the line of the middle son, “Ram,” into two parts, respectively ending and starting with the time of David (2:10–17; 3:1–24).
II. (2:10 – 3:24) DESCENDANTS OF SONS OF HEZRON
A. (2:10-17) Sons of Ram
“And Ram became the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, leader of the sons of Judah; 11 Nahshon became the father of Salma, Salma became the father of Boaz, 12 Boaz became the father of Obed, and Obed became the father of Jesse; 13 and Jesse became the father of Eliab his first-born, then Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, 14 Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, 15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh; 16 and their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. And the three sons of Zeruiah were Abshai, Joab, and Asahel. 17 And Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.”
Frederick Mabie: Although Ram was not the oldest son of Hezron, he is treated with priority by the Chronicler, given his connection with David (v.15). Note that vv.10–12 in this section reflect the genealogy leading to David given in Ruth 4:18–22. For more on the theology of divine grace and sovereignty reflected in these genealogical summaries, see comments on vv.3–8. Lastly, note that this genealogical summary shows that the military leaders Joab, Abishai, and Amasa (vv.16–17) were related to each other as well as to King David.
August Konkel: Having established Ram as central in the families of Judah, the Chronicler provides a linear genealogical link to Jesse, father of David (1 Chron 2:10–12). The list provides ten generations from Judah to Jesse. Aside from the note about Nahshon being a chief in Judah (v. 10), and several variations in spelling of names, this is the same genealogy found in Ruth (4:19b-22). The Chronicler varies the ending in a segmented genealogy of Jesse, which makes David his seventh son.
John Schultz: The rather unusual feature in this genealogical list is the mention of Jesse’s three daughters and of the mother of Amasa.
B. (2:18-24) Sons of Caleb
“Now Caleb the son of Hezron had sons by Azubah his wife, and by Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 And Hur became the father of Uri, and Uri became the father of Bezalel. 21 Afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub. 22 And Segub became the father of Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. 23 But Geshur and Aram took the towns of Jair from them, with Kenath and its villages, even sixty cities. All these were the sons of Machir, the father of Gilead. 24 And after the death of Hezron in Caleb-ephrathah, Abijah, Hezron’s wife, bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa.”
August Konkel: The Chronicler returns to the descendants of Hezron to show the integration of different families in the region of Bethlehem, the home of Jesse, the father of David (1 Chron 2:18; cf. v. 9). These include the descendants of Caleb in the regions of Ephrath and Hebron to the south (vv. 19, 42). The introduction of Hur brings in another tribal relationship (v. 20). Hur is the grandfather of Bezalel, the chosen craftsman in the building of the tabernacle (Exod 31:2; 35:30). In the time of the exodus, Hur is the fourth generation from Judah. This is consistent with the genealogies found in the books of Exodus through Joshua, all of which are three to six generations from Jacob’s sons (Rendsburg: 186–89). The relationship of Judah to the sons of Aaron is found in his marriage to Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab (Exod 6:23). Amminadab is a leader of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron 2:10; cf. Ruth 4:19–20).
Iain Duguid: “Caleb the son of Hezron” (“Chelubai,” v. 9, is a variant form) is to be distinguished from the Caleb of the conquest stories, also a Judahite (“son of Jephunneh”; 4:15; 6:56; Num. 13:64). His line ends here with “Bezalel,” who had a key role in the construction of the tabernacle and was “filled . . . with the Spirit of God” (Ex. 31:1–5; 35:30–36:2).
C. (2:25-33) Sons of Jerahmeel, Firstborn Son of Hezron
“Now the sons of Jerahmeel the first-born of Hezron were Ram the first-born, then Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. 26 And Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27 And the sons of Ram, the first-born of Jerahmeel, were Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. 28 And the sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. And the sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur. 29 And the name of Abishur’s wife was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid. 30 And the sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim, and Seled died without sons. 31 And the son of Appaim was Ishi. And the son of Ishi was Sheshan. And the son of Sheshan was Ahlai. 32 And the sons of Jada the brother of Shammai were Jether and Jonathan, and Jether died without sons. 33 And the sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel.”
J.A. Thompson: The ominous repetition of “died without children” (2:30, 32) and the absence of male offspring for Sheshan (2:34) spoke volumes to readers anxious about their future. The linkage from Adam to Abraham to Jacob-Israel to David and so forth was never automatic. The harsh realities of life were that some families did not enjoy perpetuation. These startling exceptions to the rule showed how the genealogical survival of the appointed, such as the royal and high priestly houses, were a tribute to the sustaining grace of God’s hand across the ages. This was the case for the house of Jesse and his “seventh son” David (2:13) whose male offspring were also numerous (3:1–9). There must have been a growing sense of confidence in the Lord’s sovereignty as each clan and family’s names resounded in the mind of the ancient reader. No person was incidental to Israel’s life, past or present. The Church has always experienced the same triumphant note in a future for God’s people because of the testimony of the past.
Frederick Mabie: vv. 25-41 — The section outlining the descendants of Jerahmeel provides genealogical information on this little known family that is mostly situated in the southern regions of Judah (cf. “the Negev of Jerahmeel,” 1Sa 27:10). Particular attention seems given to women, even non-Israelite women, in this section (cf. Hill, 81). Note the inclusion of an Egyptian (Jarha) in this broader family line of Judah (recall Tamar [probably a Canaanite] and Ruth [Moabitess]). As Isaiah proclaims, God’s ultimate redemptive plan includes Israelites, Egyptians, and Assyrians serving him shoulder to shoulder, with God saying of the Egyptians, “Blessed be Egypt my people” (cf. Isa 19:18–25).
August Konkel: Having dealt with the sons of Ram and Caleb (1 Chron 2:10–17, 18–24), the Chronicler turns his attention to Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron (vv. 25–33). Because Jerahmeel was the oldest descendant of Hezron, his descendants may be regarded as among the most established of Judah’s families. They divide into two groups. The first is a total of eight families, but only the eldest son, Ram, extends to a second generation in the genealogy. A second wife, whose name means “crown” (Atarah, v. 26), provided him only one son (v. 26), but the genealogy extends as far as six generations through Appaim (v. 31). In the latter group, two families became extinct: Seled and Jether died without descendants.
C1. (2:34-41) Supplementary Material On Jerahmeel
“Now Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. And Sheshan had an Egyptian servant whose name was Jarha. 35 And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant in marriage, and she bore him Attai. 36 And Attai became the father of Nathan, and Nathan became the father of Zabad, 37 and Zabad became the father of Ephlal, and Ephlal became the father of Obed, 38 and Obed became the father of Jehu, and Jehu became the father of Azariah, 39 and Azariah became the father of Helez, and Helez became the father of Eleasah, 40 and Eleasah became the father of Sismai, and Sismai became the father of Shallum, 41 and Shallum became the father of Jekamiah, and Jekamiah became the father of Elishama.”
B1. (2:42-55) Supplementary Material On Caleb, Brother of Jerahmeel
“Now the sons of Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel, were Mesha his first-born, who was the father of Ziph; and his son was Mareshah, the father of Hebron. 43 And the sons of Hebron were Korah and Tappuah and Rekem and Shema. 44 And Shema became the father of Raham, the father of Jorkeam; and Rekem became the father of Shammai. 45 And the son of Shammai was Maon, and Maon was the father of Bethzur. 46 And Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Haran, Moza, and Gazez; and Haran became the father of Gazez. 47 And the sons of Jahdai were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph. 48 Maacah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah. 49 She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbena and the father of Gibea; and the daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 50 These were the sons of Caleb. The sons of Hur, the first-born of Ephrathah, were Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim, 51 Salma the father of Bethlehem and Hareph the father of Beth-gader. 52 And Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim had sons: Haroeh, half of the Manahathites, 53 and the families of Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; from these came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. 54 The sons of Salma were Bethlehem and the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites. 55 And the families of scribes who lived at Jabez were the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. Those are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.”
Frederick Mabie: The Chronicler continues his summary of the family line of Caleb begun earlier (cf. vv.18–24). A number of these descendants are connected with cities in the southern areas of Judah that play a significant role in the broader history of Israel (e.g., Hebron, v.42; Kiriath Jearim, v.53; Bethlehem, v.54). The Netophathites (v.54) are later associated with two of David’s mighty men (cf. 2Sa 23:28–29; 1Ch 11:30), and the town of Netophah (about three miles south of Jerusalem) later served as a home to Levitical singers during the postexilic period (cf. Ne 12:27–28). Note that the Kenites (v.55) were not ethnically Israelites (cf. Ge 15:18–21) but were eventually “grafted in” to the tribe of Judah and the family of Israel, demonstrating God’s transethnic redemptive plan (cf. Ge 12:1–3; Eph 2:19–22).
Eugene Merrill: Of particular interest are the references to Bethlehem (1 Chon. 2:51, 54), birthplace of both David and Jesus. The town was founded by or named after the great-grandson of Caleb through Caleb’s wife Ephrathah (v. 50, spelled Ephrath in v. 19). The combination of Bethlehem and Ephrath(ah) appears also in the story of Rachel’s death in childbirth (Gen. 35:19), where it is used anachronistically; in Ruth 4:11 in reference to blessing on Ruth; and in Micah 5:2 with respect to the birth of the Messiah.
A1. (3:1-24) Davidic Family
August Konkel: The Davidic genealogy documents an unbroken succession of Davidides for approximately seven centuries. The genealogy names these descendants without distinction. There is no reference as to which were monarchs, nor to the tumultuous events that divided Israel and finally ended the monarchy of Judah. A pedigree of seven centuries is in itself a testimony to the divine preservation of the house of David. The survival of the Davidic house testifies to God accomplishing his divine purpose through David. All the other lineages of Judah merged in various ways to form new entities, as indicated in the records of Judah. The return from exile did not bring about a restoration of Davidic rule within the community of Israel. The absence of political authority made it all the more important to demonstrate the continuation of a particular line of succession within the Davidic house. The capital had been conquered, the temple burned, and members of the dynasty humiliated, exiled, or executed, but the concept of an eternal Davidic kingdom survived (1 Chron 28:4). Though history might seem to have refuted the promise to David, it was the Chronicler’s conviction that God had elected Judah, and within Judah had chosen David to bring about his eternal kingdom.
Andrew Hill: The family of David is the feature attraction of Judah’s genealogy. The Chronicler’s emphasis on David stems from his knowledge of prophetic statements about the unbreakable covenant God made with David and the reestablishment of Davidic kingship in Israel (cf. Jer. 33:19–22). He then offers this hope to his audience through the repetition of the word of the Lord to Nathan announcing the Davidic covenant (1 Chron. 17:4–14, esp. vv. 10–14; cf. 2 Sam. 7:4–16). The record of the royal line continues the genealogy tracing David’s ancestry from Ram to Jesse (1 Chron. 2:10–17). The chapter divides naturally into three distinct sections:
– David’s children (3:1–9),
– the kings of Judah (3:10–16), and
– the postexilic descendants of David (3:17–24).
1. (:1-9) Listing of Actual Sons of David
a. (:1-4a) Sons Born in Hebron
“Now these were the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the first-born was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second was Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelitess; 2 the third was Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth was Adonijah the son of Haggith; 3 the fifth was Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth was Ithream, by his wife Eglah. 4 Six were born to him in Hebron, and there he reigned seven years and six months.”
b. (:4b-8) Sons Born in Jerusalem
“And in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years. 5 And these were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon, four, by Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel; 6 and Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7 Nogah, Nepheg, and Japhia, 8 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine.”
c. (:9) Summary
“All these were the sons of David, besides the sons of the concubines; and Tamar was their sister.”
2. (:10-24) Listing of Davidic Kings of Judah
a. (:10-16) Up to the Fall of Jerusalem
“Now Solomon’s son was Rehoboam, Abijah was 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 Johanan the first-born, and the second was Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16 And the sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.”
John MacArthur: Jeconiah – God’s curse resulting in no royal descendants from the line of Jeconiah (a.k.a. Jehoiachin), as given by Jeremiah (Jer 22:30), was enforced by God. Even though Jeconiah was in the line of Christ, the Messiah was not a physical child of that line, thus affirming the curse, yet sustaining the legality of His kingship through Joseph, who was in David’s line. His blood birthright came through Mary, who traced her line to David through his son Nathan, not Solomon (cf. Lk 3:31).
b. (:17-24) During and after the Exile
“And the sons of Jeconiah, the prisoner, were Shealtiel his son, 18 and Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. 19 And the sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel and Shimei. And the sons of Zerubbabel were Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20 and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed, five. 21 And the sons of Hananiah were Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shecaniah. 22 And the son of Shecaniah was Shemaiah, and the sons of Shemaiah were Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat, six. 23 And the sons of Neariah were Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam, three. 24 And the sons of Elioenai were Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani, seven.”
Frederick Mabie: For the Chronicler, the ability to trace these “sons” of David was important for facilitating hope in God’s present and future plans for the house of David. This list clearly extends into the postexilic period, perhaps even to the time of the Chronicler. The leadership of Zerubbabel (v.19) corresponded with renewed prophetic hope that God was restoring the Davidic line in Judah (cf. Zec 4:1–14; Hag 2:20–23), a hope ultimately fulfilled in Christ (cf. Mt 22:42; Lk 1:32; Ac 15:16).
Iain Duguid: What stands out is that the Davidic family continues. Although no Davidic heir succeeded Zerubbabel as governor, hope of dynastic renewal is suggested in the way the Davidic line is focused on and traced. Thus in 1 Chronicles 3:17–24 each generation takes up just one son from the preceding generation (Zerubbabel, Hananiah, Shecaniah, Shemaiah, Neariah, Elioenai). Hope of restoration is also expressed in Zerubbabel’s sons’ names: Meshullam (“repaid, restored”), Hananiah (“the Lord is merciful”), Hashubah (“considered”), Ohel (“[God’s] tent”), Berechiah (“the Lord blesses”), Hasadiah (“The Lord is steadfast love”), and Jushab-hesed (“May steadfast love return”).
III. (4:1-23) CONCLUSION – MORE RECORDS OF JUDAH
Eugene Merrill: Having traced the Davidic line specifically and in detail (chap. 3), the chronicler returned to that of Judah generally. His intent here was:
(a) to provide genealogical and geographical information and
(b) to show the preeminence of the role of the Davidic tribe of Judah among the tribes by dealing with Judah first and by appealing to the antiquity of here residence in her allotted area (4:22b).
H.L. Ellison: This chapter is a collection of fragments which have little or no connection one with another or with the lists in ch. 2.
A. (:1-20) Sons of Judah
“The sons of Judah were Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. 2 And Reaiah the son of Shobal became the father of Jahath, and Jahath became the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the families of the Zorathites. 3 And these were the sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash; and the name of their sister was Hazzelelponi. 4 And Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, the first-born of Ephrathah, the father of Bethlehem. 5 And Ashhur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah. 6 And Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7 And the sons of Helah were Zereth, Izhar and Ethnan. 8 And Koz became the father of Anub and Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum. 9 And Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother named him Jabez saying, “Because I bore him with pain.” 10 Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that Thou wouldst bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that Thy hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldst keep me from harm, that it may not pain me!” And God granted him what he requested. 11 And Chelub the brother of Shuhah became the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton. 12 And Eshton became the father of Beth-rapha and Paseah, and Tehinnah the father of Ir-nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13 Now the sons of Kenaz were Othniel and Seraiah. And the son of Othniel was Hathath. 14 And Meonothai became the father of Ophrah, and Seraiah became the father of Joab the father of Ge-harashim, for they were craftsmen. 15 And the sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh were Iru, Elah and Naam; and the son of Elah was Kenaz. 16 And the sons of Jehallelel were Ziph and Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel. 17 And the sons of Ezrah were Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. (And these are the sons of Bithia the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took) and she conceived and bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18 And his Jewish wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. 19 And the sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20 And the sons of Shimon were Amnon and Rinnah, Benhanan and Tilon. And the sons of Ishi were Zoheth and Ben-zoheth.”
Eugene Merrill: As a Judahite and ancestor of David, it seems quite likely that Jabez was a type of David and that his fervent appeal was made in anticipation of God’s selection and blessing of the yet unborn house of David.
John Schultz: The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, published in 2000 became an instant bestseller.
B. (:21-23) Sons of Shelah
“The sons of Shelah the son of Judah were Er the father of Lecah and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of the linen workers at Beth-ashbea; 22 and Jokim, the men of Cozeba, Joash, Saraph, who ruled in Moab, and Jashubi-lehem. And the records are ancient. 23 These were the potters and the inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah; they lived there with the king for his work.”
Iain Duguid: The concluding section of “the sons of Judah” demonstrates again openness to all who are prepared to be identified with God’s people. After the preceding focus on the Davidic line, which will find its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the recognition of a great diversity of named people and families is important. Later chapters will turn to religious leaders, but here the specification of “craftsmen,” “linen workers,” and “potters” is a reminder of the variety of gifts that enable the well functioning of a community (1 Corinthians 12).