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1Ch 5:1-10. THE LINE OF REUBEN.
1. Now the sons of Reuben--In proceeding to give this genealogy, the sacred historian states, in a parenthesis (1Ch 5:1, 2), the reason why it was not placed first, as Reuben was the oldest son of Jacob. The birthright, which by a foul crime he had forfeited, implied not only dominion, but a double portion (De 21:17); and both of these were transferred to Joseph, whose two sons having been adopted as the children of Jacob (Ge 48:5), received each an allotted portion, as forming two distinct tribes in Israel. Joseph then was entitled to the precedency; and yet, as his posterity was not mentioned first, the sacred historian judged it necessary to explain that "the genealogy was not to be reckoned after the birthright," but with a reference to a superior honor and privilege that had been conferred on Judah--not the man, but the tribe, whereby it was invested with the pre-eminence over all the other tribes, and out of it was to spring David with his royal lineage, and especially the great Messiah (Heb 7:14). These were the two reasons why, in the order of enumeration, the genealogy of Judah is introduced before that of Reuben.
9. Eastward he inhabited unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates--The settlement was on the east of Jordan, and the history of this tribe, which never took any part in the public affairs or movements of the nation, is comprised in "the multiplication of their cattle in the land of Gilead," in their wars with the Bedouin sons of Hagar, and in the simple labors of pastoral life. They had the right of pasture over an extensive mountain range--the great wilderness of Kedemoth (De 2:26) and the Euphrates being a security against their enemies.
1Ch 5:11-26. THE LINE OF GAD.
11-15. the children of Gad dwelt over against them--The genealogy of the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh (1Ch 5:24) is given along with that of the Reubenites, as these three were associated in a separate colony.
16. Sharon--The term "Sharon" was applied as descriptive of any
place of extraordinary beauty and productiveness. There were three
places in Palestine so called. This Sharon lay east of the Jordan.
17. All these were reckoned . . . in the days of Jotham--His long
reign and freedom from foreign wars as well as intestine troubles were
favorable for taking a census of the people.
18-22. Hagarites--or, "Hagarenes," originally synonymous with
"Ishmaelites," but afterwards applied to a particular tribe of the Arabs
26. the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul--the Phalluka of
the Ninevite monuments