Verses 18–55

The persons mentioned in the former paragraph are most of them such as we read of, and most of them such as we read much of, in other scriptures; but very few of those to whom this paragraph relates are mentioned any where else. It should seem, the tribe of Judah were more full and exact in their genealogies than any other of the tribes, in which we must acknowledge a special providence, for the clearing of the genealogy of Christ. 1. Here we find Bezaleel, who was head-workman in building the tabernacle, Exod. 31:2. 2. Hezron, who was the son of Pharez (1 Chron. 2:5), was the father of all this progeny, his sons, Caleb and Jerahmeel, being very fruitful, and he himself likewise, even in his old age, for he left his wife pregnant when he died, 1 Chron. 2:24. This Hezron was one of the seventy that went down with Jacob into Egypt, Gen. 46:12. There his family thus increased, as other oppressed families there did. We cannot but suppose that he died during the Israelites’ bondage in Egypt; and yet it is here said he died in Caleb-Ephratah (that is, Bethlehem), in the land of Canaan, 1 Chron. 2:24. Perhaps, though the body of the people continued in Egypt, yet some that were more active than the rest, at least before their bondage came to be extreme, visited Canaan sometimes and got footing there, though afterwards they lost it. The achievements of Jair, here mentioned (1 Chron. 2:22, 23), we had an account of in Num. 32:41; and, it is supposed, they were long after the conquest of Canaan. The Jews say, Hezron married his third wife when he was sixty years old (1 Chron. 2:21), and another afterwards (1 Chron. 2:24), because he had a great desire of posterity in the family of Pharez, from whom the Messiah was to descend. 3. Here is mention of one that died without children (1 Chron. 2:30), and another (1 Chron. 2:32), and of one that had no sons, but daughters, 1 Chron. 2:34. Let those that are in any of these ways afflicted not think their case new or singular. Providence orders these affairs of families by an incontestable sovereignty, as pleaseth him, giving children, or withholding them, or giving all of one sex. He is not bound to please us, but we are bound to acquiesce in his good pleasure. To those that love him he will himself be better than ten sons, and give them in his house a place and a name better than of sons and daughters. Let not those therefore that are written childless envy the families that are built up and replenished. Shall our eye be evil because God’s is good? 4. Here is mention of one who had an only daughter, and married her to his servant an Egyptian, 1 Chron. 2:34, 35. If it be mentioned to his praise, we must suppose that this Egyptian was proselyted to the Jewish religion and that he was very eminent for wisdom and virtue, otherwise it would not have become a true-born Israelite to match a daughter to him, especially an only daughter. If Egyptians become converts, and servants do worthily, neither their parentage nor their servitude should be a bar to their preferment. Such a one this Egyptian servant might be that she who married him might live as happily with him as if she had married one of the rulers of her tribe. 5. The pedigree of several of these terminates, not in a person, but in a place or country, as one is said to be the father of Kirjath-jearim (1 Chron. 2:50), another of Bethlehem (1 Chron. 2:51), which was afterwards David’s city, because these places fell to their lot in the division of the land. 6. Here are some that are said to be families of scribes (1 Chron. 2:55), such as kept up learning in their family, especially scripture-learning, and taught the people the good knowledge of God. Among all these great families we are glad to find some that were families of scribes. Would to God that all the Lord’s people were prophets—all the families of Israel families of scribes, well instructed to the kingdom of heaven, and able to bring out of their treasury things new and old!