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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 11–23
Verses 11–23

We may observe in these verses, 1. That here is a whole family of craftsmen, handicraft tradesmen, that applied themselves to all sorts of manufactures, in which they were ingenious and industrious above their neighbours, 1 Chron. 4:14. There was a valley where they lived which was, from them, called the valley of craftsmen. Those that are craftsmen are not therefore to be looked upon as mean men. These craftsmen, though two of a trade often disagree, yet chose to live together, for the improving of arts by comparing notes, and that they might support one another’s reputation. 2. That one of these married the daughter of Pharaoh (1 Chron. 4:18), which was the common name of the kings of Egypt. If an Israelite in Egypt before the bondage began, while Joseph’s merits were yet fresh in mind, was preferred to be the king’s son-in-law, it is not to be thought strange: few Israelites could, like Moses, refuse an alliance with the court. 3. That another is said to be the father of the house of those that wrought fine linen, 1 Chron. 4:21. It is inserted in their genealogy as their honour that they were the best weavers in the kingdom, and they brought up their children, from one generation to another, to the same business, not aiming to make them gentlemen. This Laadah is said to be the father of those that wrought fine linen, as before the flood Jubal is said to be the father of musicians and Jabal of shepherds, etc. His posterity inhabited the city of Mareshah, the manufacture or staple commodity of which place was linen-cloth, with which their kings and priests were clothed. 4. That another family had had dominion in Moab, but were now in servitude in Babylon, 1 Chron. 4:22, 23. (1.) It was found among the ancient things that they had the dominion in Moab. Probably in David’s time, when that country was conquered, they transplanted themselves thither, and were put in places of power there, which they held for several generations; but this was a great while ago, time out of mind. (2.) Their posterity were now potters and gardeners, as is supposed in Babylon, where they dwelt with the king for his work, got a good livelihood by their industry, and therefore cared not for returning with their brethren to their own land, after the years of captivity had expired. Those that now have dominion know not what their posterity may be reduced to, nor what mean employments they may be glad to take up with. But those were unworthy the name of Israelites that would dwell among plants and hedges rather than be at the pains to return to Canaan.