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The sons of our ancestor Israel (the brother of Esau) were the forefathers of the twelve tribes: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

The sons of Judah (Er, Onan, and Shelah) were born to his wife Bath-shua of Canaan. Er (Judah’s firstborn) was wicked in the eyes of the Eternal One, so He put him to death. Er’s widow (and Judah’s own daughter-in-law), Tamar, gave birth to Judah’s youngest children, Perez and Zerah, giving Judah a total of five sons. Perez fathered Hezron and Hamul. Zerah fathered five sons: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara. The son of Carmi (the grandson of Zimri) was Achar, the troublemaker in Israel who violated the ban against taking the spoils of Jericho. The son of Ethan was Azariah.

King David descended from Perez’s first son. Hezron fathered Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. 10 Ram fathered Amminadab, and Amminadab fathered Nahshon, the leader of the tribe of Judah. 11 Nahshon’s son was Salma, who fathered Boaz. 12 Boaz fathered Obed, and Obed’s son was Jesse. Jesse had seven sons: 13 Eliab (his firstborn), Abinadab (the second), Shimea (the third), 14 Nethanel (the fourth), Raddai (the fifth), 15 Ozem (the sixth), and David (the seventh). 16 David had two sisters: Zeruiah and Abigail. The three sons of Zeruiah were Abshai, Joab, and Asahel. 17 Abigail married Jether the Ishmaelite and gave birth to Amasa.

18 Hezron’s son Caleb had sons by his wife, Azubah, and by Jerioth. Jerioth’s sons were Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who gave birth to Hur. 20 Hur fathered Uri, and Uri’s son was Bezalel.

21 After that Hezron married the daughter of Machir (the father of Gilead) when he was 60 years old. She gave birth to Segub. 22 Segub fathered Jair, who had 23 cities in the land of Gilead. 23 But Geshur and Aram conquered the 23 cities of Jair and the villages of Kenath—60 cities total. The conquerors were the sons of Machir (the father of Gilead). 24 After Hezron died in Caleb-ephrathah, Abijah (Hezron’s wife) gave birth to Ashhur, the leader of Tekoa.

25 Jerahmeel (the firstborn of Hezron) had five sons: Ram (the firstborn), Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. 26 Jerahmeel had another wife, Atarah, who gave birth to Onam. 27 Ram fathered Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. 28 Onam fathered Shammai and Jada. Shammai’s sons were Nadab and Abishur. 29 Abishur’s wife was Abihail, and she gave birth to Ahban and Molid. 30 Nadab’s sons were Seled and Appaim. Seled died without sons, 31 but Appaim fathered Ishi. The son of Ishi was Sheshan, who fathered Ahlai. 32 Shammai’s brother, Jada, fathered Jether and Jonathan. Jether died without sons, but 33 Jonathan fathered Peleth and Zaza. They were the generation of Jerahmeel.[a] 34 Sheshan had no sons, only daughters, and he had a servant named Jarha, who was Egyptian.

Although many of the Jews’ female ancestors are influential in the development of the nation of Israel—women such as Rahab, Jael, and Deborah who perform feats even men are too faint of heart to accomplish—the men are the ones who build wealth and power over the generations. Because of the way inheritances work, only a son can continue his family’s lineage. When a father dies, his property is divided among his sons, with the first son inheriting a double portion of the assets. Daughters are typically married off and take on the identities of their husbands’ families; so when a man dies without any sons, his family line ends and his assets are disbursed to the nearest male relatives.

35 Sheshan married one daughter to Jarha (his Egyptian servant), and she gave birth to Attai. 36 Attai fathered Nathan, and here are the 11 generations that descended from Nathan: Zabad, 37 Ephlal, Obed, 38 Jehu, Azariah, 39 Helez, Eleasah, 40 Sismai, Shallum, 41 Jekamiah, and Elishama.

42 Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel and son of Hezron, fathered Mesha (his firstborn and the father of Ziph) and Mareshah (the father of Hebron). 43 Hebron fathered Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema. 44 Shema’s son, Raham, fathered Jorkeam, and his brother Rekem fathered Shammai. 45 The son of Shammai was Maon, and Maon fathered Bethzur. 46 Ephah (Caleb’s concubine) gave birth to Haran, Moza, and Gazez. Haran fathered Gazez. 47 The sons of Jahdai were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph. 48 Maacah (another of Caleb’s concubines) bore Sheber, Tirhanah, 49 Shaaph (the father of Madmannah), Sheva (the father of Machbena and Gibea), and a daughter, Achsah.

50 These were the generations of Caleb through Hur (the firstborn of Caleb’s second wife Ephrathah) were Shobal (the father of Kiriath-jearim), 51 Salma (the father of Bethlehem), and Hareph (the father of Beth-gader). 52 Shobal, the father of Kiriath-jearim governed 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 Salma governed Bethlehem and the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab, and the Zorites (half of the Manahathites). 55 Families of scribes lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. Those are the Kenites who came from Hammath (the father of Rechab).


  1. 2:33 Verses 25–33

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