1 Chronicles 5


The genealogies of Reuben, 1-10.

Of Gad, 11-17.

The exploits of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh,


The genealogy of the half tribe of Manasseh, 23, 24.

The idolatry of these tribes and their captivity by the

Assyrians, 25, 26.


Verse 1. The sons of Reuben the first-born] As Reuben was the

eldest son of Jacob, why was not his genealogy reviewed first?

This verse answers the question; he lost the birth-right because

of the transgression mentioned Ge 35:22; 49:4, and the

precedency was given to Judah; from him therefore came the chief

ruler. This appears to be the meaning of the place.

Verse 2. And of him came the chief ruler] This is, by both the

Syriac and Arabic, understood of Christ: "From Judah the King

Messiah shall proceed." The Chaldee paraphrases the verse thus:

"Seeing Judah prevailed over his brethren, so the kingdom was

taken from Reuben and given to Judah; and because he was strong,

so was his kingdom. Levi also was godly, and did not transgress in

the matter of the golden calf; therefore the high priesthood was

taken away from the children of Reuben, and on their account from

all the first-born, and given to Aaron and his sons. The custody

of the sanctuary belonged to the Levites, but the birthright to


Verse 6. Beerah his son] After their separation from the house

of David the ten tribes continued to have princes of the tribes;

and this continued till the time that Tiglath-pileser carried them

captives into Assyria. At that time Beerah was their prince or

chief; and with him this species of dominion or precedency

terminated. According to the Targum, Beerah was the same as Baruch

the prophet.

Verse 8. Who dwelt in Aroer] This town was situated on the river

Arnon; and Nebo was both a city and a mountain in the same

country. They both lay on the other side of Jordan.

Verse 10. And they dwelt in their tents] The Hagarites were

tribes of Nomade, or Scenite, Arabs; people who lived in tents,

without any fixed dwellings, and whose property consisted in

cattle. The descendants of Reuben extirpated these Hagarites,

seized on their property and their tents, and dwelt in their


Verse 12. Joel the chief] "Joel, prince of the Sanhedrin; and

Shapham, master of the college; and Jaanai and Shaphat, judges in


Verse 13. And their brethren] This verse is wanting both in the

Syriac and in the Arabic.

Verse 16. The suburbs of Sharon] There were three places of this

name: that mentioned here was a district in the country of Bashan

beyond Jordan, (see Jos 12:18;) there was another that lay

between Caesarea of Palestine and Joppa; and there was a third

between Mount Tabor and the Sea of Tiberias. See Calmet.

Verse 19. They made war with the Hagarites] This is probably the

same war that is mentioned 1Ch 5:10. Those called

Hagarites in the text are everywhere denominated by the Targum

Hongaraai, Hongarites.

Verse 20. They put their trust in him.] Or, as the Targum says,

"Because they trusted bemeymriah, in his WORD."

Verse 21. They took away their cattle] This was a war of

extermination as to the political state of the people, which

nothing could justify but an especial direction of God; and this

he could never give against any, unless the cup of their iniquity

had been full. The Hagarites were full of idolatry: see 1Ch 5:25.

Verse 22. For there fell down many slain] The hundred thousand

men mentioned above were probably made slaves, and were not slain.

The Targum says, one hundred thousand souls of men.

The war was of God.] The Targum says, the war was

min meymera dayai, "from the WORD of the Lord."

Verse 25. The gods of the people of the land] We see the reason

why God delivered the Hagarites into the hands of these tribes;

they were abominable idolaters, and therefore God destroyed them.

Verse 26. Tilgath-pilneser] Many MSS. have Tiglath

instead of Tilgath. The Syriac, the Septuagint, and the

Chaldee, have the same reading as in 2Ki 15:29, &c.

Brought them unto Halah] See the notes on the parallel places

marked in the margin, for many particulars of these wars, and

consequent captivity. It is a pity that some method were not found

out to harmonize the books of Kings with the books of Chronicles,

that the variations might be seen at one view.

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