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1 Chronicles 2:18-4:4

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).

The tradition of firstborn rights in inheritance and genealogy is often the norm in the ancient world, but God sees fit to rearrange customs and alter expectations. In such an important listing of Israel like the book of Chronicles—which marks out in detail the Israelite people all the way to Adam—Jacob’s firstborn Reuben is not mentioned until the third spot! The genealogy starts in chapter 4 with Judah and then moves to Simeon, Reuben, Gad, Manasseh, and Levi.

The prominence of David from Judah’s line goes back to the Genesis stories that told of how Reuben, Simeon, and Levi all committed horrible sins that removed them from royal contention and headship over their brothers, who would later become twelve tribal groups. In a way, everything in Chronicles (from ancestry lists to temple building) is set around King David from Judah and his lineage up to the Babylonian exile, which concludes the book of Chronicles.

The great king David fathered 6 sons during his 7½ years reigning in Hebron. Ahinoam the Jezreelitess gave birth to his first son, Amnon. Abigail the Carmelitess birthed his second son, Daniel. Maacah, the daughter of Talmai (king of Geshur) bore his third son, Absalom. His fourth son, Adonijah, was born to Haggith. Abital bore his fifth son, Shephatiah. Ithream was his sixth son, and was born to his wife, Eglah.

These were the 6 sons born to him in Hebron during his 7½-year reign there. David then ruled from Jerusalem for 33 years. There, Bath-shua (the daughter of Ammiel) gave him 4 sons: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon; 6-8 and 9 other sons also were born there: Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet. These were David’s sons, in addition to their sister, Tamar, and his concubines’ children.

10 David’s son and successor, Solomon, had 15 generations of descendants: Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, 11 Joram, Ahaziah, Joash, 12 Amaziah, Azariah, Jotham, 13 Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, 14 Amon, and Josiah.

15 Josiah’s sons were, in order from the firstborn to the last: Johanan, Jehoiakim, Zedekiah, and Shallum. 16 The sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah and Zedekiah. 17 The sons of Jeconiah (who was taken prisoner by Nebuchadnezzar) were Shealtiel, 18 Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. 19 The sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel and Shimei. Zerubbabel fathered Meshullam and Hananiah, and their sister, Shelomith. 20 He had five other children, Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed. 21 Hananiah fathered Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, and the sons of Shecaniah. 22 Shecaniah had six descendants: his son Shemaiah, and his grandsons Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat. 23 Neariah fathered three sons: Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam. 24 Elioenai fathered seven sons: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani.

Each tribe is influential in the nation of Israel and has the honor of being descended from the Jews’ ancestor Jacob, but the tribe of Judah has prominence and power. From this tribe comes Israel’s monarchy, even though their forefather Judah was not the oldest son and therefore not the one who would have been expected to father kings. The selection of Judah as the progenitor of kings demonstrates that God is in control of His people even when tradition and convention are contrary to His ways.

Judah’s lineage descended as so: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. Shobal fathered Reaiah (the father of Jahath and grandfather of Ahumai and Lahad). They were the families of the Zorathites. Etam fathered three sons, Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash, and their sister, Hazzelelponi. Penuel fathered Gedor, and Ezer fathered Hushah. These are the sons of Hur, who was the firstborn of Ephrathah, who fathered Bethlehem.

Footnotes:

  1. 2:33 Verses 25–33
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Acts 24

24 The high priest Ananias came north to Caesarea five days later, accompanied by some elders and an attorney named Tertullus. They explained their case to Felix without Paul present. When Paul was brought in, Tertullus launched into an accusation.

Tertullus: Most Excellent Felix, through your esteemed leadership we have enjoyed a long and happy peace. Your foresight in governance has brought many reforms for the people I represent. We always and everywhere welcome every thought of you with high and deep gratitude. But knowing how busy you are and how limited your time must be, I beg you to hear us briefly present our case to you with the legendary graciousness for which you are known everywhere.

Here are the facts: this man is a disease to the body politic. He agitates trouble in Jewish communities throughout our empire as a ringleader of the heretical sect known as the Nazarenes. He even tried to desecrate the temple, so we seized him. [Our aim was to try him by the Jewish law, but Commandant Lysias interfered and removed this man from our control. Because of his meddling, you are now forced to hear those making the accusation.][a] You will find, through your own examination, that everything we say of Paul is true.

The Jewish opponents present added their vigorous testimony in support of the lawyer’s opening statement. 10 The governor didn’t say anything, but he motioned for Paul to speak.

Paul: I am happy now to make my defense to you, sir, knowing that you have been a judge over this nation for many years. 11 Just 12 days ago, I went up to Jerusalem to worship, as you can easily verify. 12 I wasn’t arguing with anyone in the temple. I wasn’t stirring up a crowd in any of the synagogues. I wasn’t disturbing the peace of the city in any way. They did not find me doing these things in Jerusalem, 13 nor can they prove that I have done any of the things of which they have accused me. 14 But I can make this confession: I believe everything established by the Law and written in the Prophets, and I worship the God of our ancestors according to the Way, which they call a heretical sect.

15 Here is my crime: I have a hope in God that there will be a resurrection of both the just and unjust, which my opponents also share. 16 Because of this hope, I always do my best to live with a clear conscience toward God and all people. 17 I have been away for several years, so recently I brought gifts for the poor of my nation and offered sacrifices. 18 When they found me, I was not disturbing anyone, nor was I gathering a crowd. No, I was quietly completing the rite of purification. Some Jews from Asia are the ones who started the disturbance 19 and if they have an accusation, they should be here to make it. 20 If these men here have some crime they have found me guilty of when I stood before their council, they should present it. 21 Perhaps my crime is that I spoke this one sentence in my testimony before them: “I am on trial here today because I have hope that the dead are raised.”

22 Felix was quite knowledgeable about the Way. He adjourned the preliminary hearing.

Felix: When Lysias the commandant comes to Caesarea, I will decide your case.

23 He then ordered the officer to keep Paul in custody, but to permit him some freedom and to allow any of his friends to take care of his needs.

24 A few days later, Felix sent for Paul and gave him an opportunity to speak about faith in the Anointed One. Felix was accompanied by his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. 25 As Paul spoke of justice, self-control, and the coming judgment, Felix became fearful.

Felix: That’s enough for now. When I have time, I will send for you again.

26 They had a number of conversations of this sort; but Felix actually was hoping that, by having frequent contact with him, Paul might offer him a bribe. 27 As a favor to the Jews, he did nothing to resolve the case and left Paul in prison for two years. Then Felix completed his assignment as governor, and Porcius Festus succeeded him.

Footnotes:

  1. 24:6-8 Some early manuscripts omit this portion.
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Psalm 4

Psalm 4

For the worship leader. A song of David accompanied by strings.

Answer my prayers, O True God, the righteous, who makes me right.
    I was hopelessly surrounded, and You rescued me.
Once again hear me; hide me in Your favor;
    bring victory in defeat and hope in hopelessness.

How long will you sons of Adam steal my dignity, reduce my glory to shame?
    Why pine for the fruitless and dream a delusion?

[pause][a]

Understand this: The Eternal One treats as special those like Him.
    The Eternal will answer my prayers and save me.

Think long; think hard. When you are angry, don’t let it carry you into sin.
    When night comes, in calm be silent.

[pause]

From this day forward, offer to God the right sacrifice from a heart made right by God.
    Entrust yourself to the Eternal.

Crowds of disheartened people ask, “Who can show us what is good?”
    Let Your brilliant face shine upon us, O Eternal One, that we may know the undeniable answer.
You have filled me with joy, and happiness has risen in my heart, great delight and unrivaled joy,
    even more than when bread abounds and wine flows freely.
Tonight I will sleep securely on a bed of peace
    because I trust You, You alone, O Eternal One, will keep me safe.

Footnotes:

  1. 4:2 Literally, selah, likely a musical direction from a Hebrew root meaning “to lift up”
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Proverbs 18:16-18

16 The right gift at the right time can open up new opportunities
    and gains access to influential people.
17 The first ones to tell their side of a story seem right
    until cross-examined by their peers.
18 Casting lots can settle conflicts
    and decide between powerful opponents.

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The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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