1 Chronicles 2:1–17

Read the passage.

The genealogy continues with the sons of Israel. However the Chronicler’s focus is the line of David, so only Judah’s sons are listed afterwards. Let me just say, the Bible doesn’t pull any punches when it talks about how bad people are, and the patriarchs aren’t very good role models. Judah’s most important sons in this record are actually by his daughter-in-law Tamar. She tricked him into it, but it worked because he thought she was a prostitute, which doesn’t make him sound any better.

Of the two sons of Tamar, Perez and his son Hezron are part of David’s line, so Zerah and his descendants are detailed first. The most famous of the Zerahites was Achan, who took things from Jericho that were supposed to be devoted to the Lord.

The sons of Hezron are given next, and this time David’s ancestors come first. From here, we aren’t given any names besides direct decendants from Ram all the way down to Jesse, the father of David. We also learn the names of David’s brothers, when we only get three of them in 1 Samuel. But there’s a problem. David is listed as the seventh son born to Jesse, but 1 Samuel mentions a few times that David was the youngest of eight sons. This is especially strange because 1 Chronicles 27 mentions Elihu, David’s brother, who isn’t in this list. How do we reconcile this while maintaining the truthfulness and inerrancy of the inspired word of God? By splitting hairs and saying Elihu was Jesse’s son but not begotten by him. In other words, Elihu was adopted. He was would have older than David, but maybe joined the family after David was born. When Samuel journeyed to Bethlehem to anoint a new king, Jesse brought out seven sons, including Elihu, but not David who was out tending the sheep.

No one ever talks about David’s sisters, but apparently he had two. I learned today that the commander of David’s armies, Joab the son of Zeruiah, was thus David’s nephew. That puts a new color on all of their interactions in 2 Samuel, particularly the incidents with Uriah and Absalom.

And you thought genealogies were boring.

Your goodness is so amazing that it can take our colossal screw-ups and make them work into Your plan.

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