August 21, 2015
11. 1-2 Chronicles, Bible, Old Testament
1 Chronicles, Abiezer, Abijah, Aher, Ahi, Ahian, Ahishahar, Alemeth, Amal, Ammihud, Anathoth, Aniam, Ara, Arah, Aram, Aramean, Asher, Ashvath, Asriel, Ayyah, Becher, Bedan, Beera, Bela, Benjamin, Bered, Beri, Beriah, Beth-horon, Beth-shean, Bethel, Bezer, Bible, Bilhah, Bilhan, Bimhal, Birzaith, Chenaanah, David, Dor, Ehud, Elead, Eleadah, Eliezer, Elioenai, Elishama, Ephraim, Ezbon, Ezer, Gath, Gezer, Gilead, Guni, Hammolecheth, Hanniel, Harnepher, Heber, Helem, Hod, Hotham, Hubbah, Huppim, Hushim, Ibsam, Imna, Imnah, Imrah, Ir, Iri, Ishhod, Ishvah, Ishvi, Israel, Issachar, Isshiah, Ithran, Izrahiah, Jahmai, Jahziel, Japhlet, Jashub, Jediael, Jephunneh, Jeremoth, Jeriel, Jerimoth, Jether, Jeush, Jezer, Joash, Joel, Joseph, Joshua, Ladan, Likhi, Maacah, Machir, Mahlah, Malchiel, Manasseh, Manassite, Megiddo, Michael, Naaran, Naphtali, Nun, Obadiah, Old Testament, Omri, Pasach, Peresh, Pispa, Puah, Rekem, Rephah, Rephaiah, Resheph, Rizia, Rohgah, Serah, Shallum, Shamma, Shechem, Sheerah, Shelesh, Shemer, Shemida, Shemuel, Sheresh, Shilshah, Shimron, Shomer, Shua, Shual, Shuppim, Shuthelah, Suah, Taanach, Tahan, Tahath, Tarshish, Telah, Tola, Ulam, Ulla, Uzzen-sheerah, Uzzi, Uzziel, Zabad, Zelophehad, Zemirah, Zethan, Zophah
We continue our tour of Israel’s genealogical history with the northern tribes: Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Ephraim, and Asher. These get much more of a cursory treatment than we’ve seen previously, likely because of the Chronicler’s dismissive attitude toward the tribes who rebelled against David’s dynasty to form what would eventually become Samaria.
The first part of Issachar’s portion corresponds to Genesis 46:13 and Numbers 26:23-25, with some variations. The sons of Issachar are listed as:
- Puah, who is listed as Puvah in both Genesis and Numbers
- Jashub, whom the Masoretic Text calls Iob in Genesis
In the next generation, Tola’s sons are: Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam, and Shemuel. They are identified as mighty warriors, with 22,600 of them in David’s time.
The line then goes through Tola’s son Uzzi, to Izrahiah. Izrahiah’s sons are: Michael, Obadiah, Jowl, and Isshiah, which the text claims are five, rather than the four we see (1 Chron. 7:3). Along with them (presumably meaning down through their descendants) were 36,000 men ready to fight, “for they had many wives and sons” (1 Chron. 7:4).
Issachar as a whole produced 87,000 mighty warriors.
Benjamin’s inclusion here is a bit weird, since the tribe’s genealogy will be revisited in more detail – getting a whole chapter to itself – in 1 Chron. 8. Some commentaries argue that the Chronicler was simply continuing the source that was used for Issachar, then moved on to a different source later for Benjamin, which would explain why the two version differ so greatly.
Other commentaries argue that a textual corruption or initial error led to this section being misnamed, and that it was originally meant to be Zebulun. This theory is reinforced by the fact that Zebulun is otherwise not represented, and because this coverage of Benjamin occurs where Zebulun “might be expected from the geographical point of view” (New Bible Commentary, p.374).
The problem with the Zebulun theory is , of course, that there are no similarities between the lineage listed here and the ones attributed to Zebulun in Gen. 46:14 and Num. 26:26-27. There are quite a few discrepancies with what we’ve seen so far as Benjamin, but at least there are some points of similarity.
We begin with the sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, and Jediael. Jediael is missing from the Gen. 46:21 version, and eight of Benjamin’s sons listed there are missing here. Only Bela is listed in the Num. 26:38-41 version, with the other four sons listed there being absent here.
Bela’s sons: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth, and Iri, who became the heads of their houses and who are described as mighty warriors. Their number was 22,034. In support of the theory that the Chronicler simply kept copying from whatever source he was using for Issachar, I noticed that the formula is clearly the same between these two sections.
Becher’s sons: Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth, and Alemeth. They were also mighty warriors, and they numbered 20,200.
Jediael’s sons: Bilhan. Tracing down through Bilhan, we get Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish, and Ahishahar. These, too, were mighty warriors, and their number was 17,200.
At the very end of the section, we get a single verse identifying Shuppim and Huppim as the sons of Ir, and Hushim as the son of Aher. I think. The phrasing is very awkward and likely a corruption. My New Bible Commentary proposes that these may have been intended as a genealogy of Dan, since that tribe doesn’t appear here either (p.374).
Arguing against, we have the fact that the names are rather similar to ones previously connected to Benjamin: Shuppim could be related to Muppim and Huppim appears directly in Gen. 46:21. Then, in Numbers 26:38-41, we get Shephupham and Hupham.
Arguing in favour, we have Hashum listed as the son of Dan in Gen. 46:23, and Shuham in Num. 26:42. On a phonetic basis alone, it seems like a toss up.
If it really is the case that 1 Chron. 7:12 was meant to be a summary of Dan, it wouldn’t have gotten any less of a treatment than Naphtali. Of this tribe, we are told only that the sons of Naphtali are named Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shallum, and that Bilhah (Jacob’s concubine, a slave belonging to his wife Rachel) is their tribal matriarch.
This is notable only because it is the first time the tribal mother is named. Though it is likely just because it was in the Chronicler’s source, rather than for any particular intentional reason. (It is perhaps worth noting that Gen. 46:24-25 specifically mentions Bilhah.)
The names are the same as those found in Gen. 46:24-25 and Num. 26:48-49, with only a spelling variation for Jahziel (Jahzeel) and Shallum (Shillem).
Manasseh’s records are split in half, with the Transjordan portion of the tribe having been covered in 1 Chron. 5:23-26. Here, we get the half from the western bank of the Jordan. Manasseh’s lineage is also discussed in Num. 26:29-33 and Jos. 17:1-13, but there are only passing similarities to this one.
Jacob Blessing His Sons, by Harry Anderson
Manasseh seems to have found himself an Aramean concubine, which is rather strange. According to James Pate, Manasseh should have spent his whole life in Egypt. “Egypt is far away from Aram: Egypt is to the south of Palestine, whereas Aram (Syria) is to Palestine’s north.” The obvious solution, which Pate points to, is that she came to Egypt through a trade route.
When we get to the genealogy, it’s rather convoluted, and I suspect that we have another instance of corruption. Manasseh, apparently via his Aramean concubine, had two sons: Asriel and Machir. Machir went on to become the father of Gilead, and he seems to have taken a wife from Huppim and one from Shuppim. I think. The phrasing is very odd, and it’s doubly odd to encounter that pair of names again.
Of the mention of Gilead, we can either take that as the literal son of Machir, or as an indication that it is through the descendants of Machir that the location of Gilead would be founded (even though Gilead is named as a literal son who fathers literal children in Num. 26:29-33).
Machir had a sister named Maacah, who was also his wife, or perhaps there are two women named Maacah. It wouldn’t be implausible for him to have married his sister (or half-sister), though. Abraham did it (Gen. 20:12), and Moses hasn’t delivered the laws prohibiting it yet. In any case, Machir and his wife Maacah bore Peresh, and Peresh had a brother by the name of Sheresh (who may or may not have been Maacah’s).
In the middle of this, there is a fragment of a sentence identifying a “second” by the name of Zelophehad who had daughters (1 Chron. 7:15).One possibility that I can see is that Manasseh had one son with a woman who was not Aramean (Asriel), and two sons with woman who was Aramean (Machir and Zelophehad). Zelophehad had only daughters, whereas we shall continue on down Machir’s lineage. Except, of course, that there is a Zelophehad in Num. 26:29-33 who also has only daughters, but he is the son of Hepher, who is the son of Gilead, who is the son of Machir (it is Zelophehad’s daughters who prompt Moses to include women in his inheritance laws in Numbers 27, with an amendment in Numbers 36). That’s the best sense I can make of this passage.
Back to Machir’s sons, Peresh and Sheresh. One of them – it’s unclear which – fathered Ulam and Rakem. Ulam then fathered Bedan.
Machir also had another sister, by the name of Hammolecheth. She bore Ishhod, Abiezer, and Mahlah.
Someone named Shemida apparently had four sons: Ahian, Shechem, Likhi, and Aniam. This doesn’t jive particularly well with Num. 26:29-33, where Machir is the father of Gilead, and both Shechem and Shemida are the sons of Gilead.
Ephraim’s genealogy appears to be a vertical genealogy, from father to son to grandson and so on, but there are hints that this may not be the case. That, instead, all the names are intended to be Ephraim’s direct sons. For now, I’ll proceed with the assumption that we are dealing with a vertical lineage, beginning with Ephraim:
- Shuthelah, who is the only of Ephraim’s descendants to make the list in Num. 26:35-37.
From Shuthelah, we get Ezer and Elead. These two were killed by the native Gathites in a failed cattle raid. Here is where things get complicated, as we are told that “Ephraim their father mourned many days” (1 Chron. 7:22).
If Ezer and Elead are meant to be Ephraim’s direct sons, then we have a couple problems. Firstly, it would suggest that all the other names I have listed so far are also Ephraim’s sons. Second, we might ask ourselves what sons of Ephraim were doing in Gath. It’s rather far to go for a cattle raid! James Pate discusses the issue in more detail.
After Ezer and Elead, we move on to another of Ephraim’s sons (this time, the formulation of how he “went in to” his wife makes it quite clear that we are dealing with a literal son), Beriah. Beriah was so named “because evil had befallen his house” (1 Chron. 7:23). Apparently, Beriah can either mean “a gift” or “in evil,” which seems rather ambiguous to me.
Beriah had a daughter, named Sheerah (no, not that one), who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, as well as Uzzen-sheerah. If she is historical, it sounds like she might have been a Deborah-like figure, perhaps a local leader or judge.
Down through Beriah’s sons, we get the same problem as above where the grammar lends itself to both vertical and horizontal interpretations. However, since we end with Joshua, it seems likely that this is a vertical lineage. From Beriah, we get:
The Joshua who served Moses was also identified as a son of Nun (e.g. Num. 11:28), indicating that this is a lineage of that figure.
We finish up the section with a list of settlements belonging to Ephraim and Manasseh.
Ephraim’s list bears little resemblance, as far as I can tell, to the one found in Jos. 16:5-10. My sources, however, claim that the two lists are generally in agreement. I’m assuming that the territory described must be similar, even if the markers named are different:
- Naaran (a Naarah appears in Jos. 16:7)
- Gezer (Gezer appears in Jos. 16:10)
Manasseh’s list corresponds to Jos. 17:11, and the match is much more comfortable:
Asher’s genealogy mostly corresponds to those found in Gen. 46:17 and Num. 26:44-46. The sons of Asher are listed as: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. The only variation here is that Ishvah does not appear in Numbers (though I think it plausible that Ishvah is a duplication of Ishvi that became canon).
In the next generation, we get the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. Again, this is in agreement.
After that, 1 Chron. 7 gives us new material. Malchiel fathered Birzaith, and Heber fathered Japhlet, Shomer, Hotham, and a daughter, Shua.
Japhlet, in turn, fathered Pasach, Bimhal, and Ashvath, while his brother Shomer (here named Shemer – 1 Chron. 7:32-34) fathered Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram.
Another man, here called “his brother” (1 Chron. 35) Helem fathered Zophah, Imna, Shelesh, and Amal. It’s possible that Japhlet and Shemer had another brother who was not listed above, but given the corruption of Shomer/Shemer in the space of just two verses, I think it probable that Helem is a corruption of Hotham (or vice versa).
From there, we get the sons of Zophah: Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah, Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran, and Beera.
After that, we skip over to someone named Jether, whose sons are Jephunneh, Pispa, and Ara. Then someone named Ulla fathered Arah, Hanniel, and Rizia.
We return to the formula of Issachar and Benjamin to learn that the men of of Asher were mighty warriors, and that they had 26,000 men enrolled by genealogies as ready to fight.
May 5, 2014
06. Joshua, Bible, Old Testament
Aaron, Abiezer, Achsah, Achshaph, Achzib, Adadah, Adamah, Adaminekeb, Addar, Adithaim, Adullam, Adummim, Ahiman, Aijalon, Ain, Akrabbim, Allammelech, Almon, Amad, Amam, Ammonite, Amorite, Anab, Anaharath, Anak, Anakim, Anathoth, Anim, Aphek, Aphekah, Arab, Arabah, Arba, Archite, Aroer, Ashan, Ashdod, Asher, Ashkelon, Ashnah, Ashtaroth, Asriel, Ataroth, Atarothaddar, Avvim, Azekah, Azmon, Aznothtabor, Baalah, Baalath, Baalathbeer, Baalgad, Balaam, Balah, Bamothbaal, Bashan, Bealoth, Beeroth, Beersheba, Beeshterah, Beneberak, Benjamin, Beor, Beten, Beth-hoglah, Beth-horom, Beth-shaen, Beth-shean, Beth-shemesh, Bethanath, Bethanoth, Betharabah, Betharabahb, Bethaven, Bethbaalmeon, Bethdagon, Bethel, Bethemek, Bethjeshimoth, Bethlebaoth, Bethlehem, Bethmarcaboth, Bethpazzez, Bethpelet, Bethpeor, Bethtappuah, Bethul, Bethzur, Bezer, Bible, Biziothiah, Bozkath, Cabbon, Cabul, Caleb, Canaanite, Carmel, Chepharammoni, Chesalon, Chesil, Chesulloth, Chinnereth, Chislothtabor, Chitlish, Dabbesheth, Daberath, Dan, Dannah, Debir, Dibon, Dilan, Dimnah, Dimonah, Dor, Dumah, Ebez, Ebron, Eder, Edom, Edrei, Eglon, Ekron, Eleazar, Elon, Elteke, Eltekeh, Eltekon, Eltolad, Emek-keziz, Enam, Endor, Engannim, Engedi, Enhaddah, Enhazor, Enrogel, Enshemesh, Entappuah, Ephraim, Eshan, Eshtaol, Eshtemoa, Eshtemon, Esthaol, Ether, Ethkazin, Evi, Exem, Ezem, Gad, Gath, Gath-hepher, Gathrimmon, Gaza, Geba, Gebalite, Gederah, Gederoth, Gederothaim, Gedor, Gershonite, Geshurite, Gezer, Gibbethon, Gibeah, Gibeon, Gilead, Gilgal, Giloh, Golan, Goshen, Great Sidon, Hadashah, Haeleph, Halhul, Hali, Hammath, Hammon, Hammothdor, Hannathon, Hapharaim, Hazar-gaddah, Hazarshual, Hazarsusah, Hazor, Hazor-hadattah, Hebron, Helek, Heleph, Helkath, Hepher, Heshbon, Heshmon, Hezron, Hinnom, Hoglah, Holon, Horem, Hormah, Hosah, Hukkok, Humtah, Hur, Ibleam, Idalah, Iim, Iphtah, Iphtah-el, Iron, Irpeel, Irshemesh, Issachar, Ithlah, Ithnan, Jabneel, Jagur, Jahaz, Jahzah, Jair, Janim, Janoah, Japhia, Japhletite, Jarmuth, Jattir, Jazer, Jebus, Jebusite, Jehud, Jephunneh, Jericho, Jerusalem, Jezreel, Jokdeam, Jokneam, Joktheel, Joppa, Jordan, Joseph, Joshua, Judah, Juttah, Kabzeel, Kadesh, Kadeshbarnea, Kain, Kanah, Karka, Kartah, Kartan, Kattath, Kedemoth, Kedesh, Keilah, Kenaz, Kenizzite, Kerioth-hezron, Kibzaim, Kinah, Kiriath-jearim, Kiriathaim, Kiriatharba, Kiriathbaal, Kiriathsannah, Kiriathsepher, Kishion, Kohathite, Lachish, Lahmam, Lakkum, Lebanon, Lebaoth, Lebo-hamath, Leshem, Levi, Libnah, Lower Beth-horon, Luz, Maacathite, Maarath, Machir, Machirite, Madmannah, Mahalab, Mahanaim, Mahlah, Makkedah, Manasseh, Maon, Maralah, Mareshah, Mearah, Medeba, Megiddo, Mejarkon, Mephaath, Merarite, Michmethath, Middin, Midian, Migdalel, Migdalgad, Milcah, Mishal, Misrephothmaim, Mizpeh, Moladah, Moses, Mount Baalah, Mount Ephron, Mount Hermon, Mount Jearim, Mount Seir, Naamah, Naarah, Nahalal, Naphath, Naphtali, Neah, Negeb, Neiel, Nephtoah, Nexib, Nibshan, Noah, Nun, Og, Old Testament, Ophni, Ophrah, Othniel, Parah, Perizzite, Philistine, Pisgah, Rabbah, Rabbith, Rakkath, Rakkon, Ramah, Ramoth, Reba, Rehob, Rekem, Remeth, Rephaim, Reuben, Rimmon, Salecah, Sansannah, Sarid, Sepher, Sexacah, Shaalabbin, Shaaraim, Shahazumah, Shamir, Sharuhen, Sheba, Shechem, Shema, Shemida, Sheshai, Shihor, Shihorlibnath, Shikkeron, Shilhim, Shiloh, Shimron, Shion, Shunem, Sibmah, Sidonian, Sihon, Simeon, Socoh, Stone of Bohan, Taanach, Taanath-shiloh, Tabor, Talmai, Tanaach, Tappuah, Taralah, Telem, Timnah, Timnathserah, Tirzah, Tyre, Ummah, Upper Beth-horon, Valley of Achor, Valley of Jazreel, Wadi Arnon, Wadi Kanah, Wadi of Egypt, Wilderness of Zin, Zaanannim, Zanoah, Zebulun, Zela, Zelophehad, Zemaraim, Zenan, Zer, Zerethshahar, Ziddim, Ziklag, Zior, Ziph, Zorah, Zur
Always a bit of a Debbie Downer, God begins by telling Joshua that he’s getting old and that there is still much land to be conquered. He then proceeds to list these lands in Josh. 13:2-6.
The narrator follows up by describing the boundaries of the land under Israelite control on the east side of the Jordan, reminding us once more about how Moses defeated King Og and King Sihon (will he ever stop going on about that?). We are told that the Israelites had failed to drive out the Geshurites and Maacathites, who still live within Israel “to this day” (Josh. 13:13).
The actual allocation sections are a little scattered, so I’ll deal with the content out of order. In Josh. 18, Joshua tells the tribes who still require lands to each send out three men to scout the land and write descriptions of it. When they return, Joshua will use a lottery system to divide it among the tribes. This all takes place at Shiloh.
Because the place names are extremely boring, I will just list verse references plus any detail that happens to attract my interest. Here are the tribal allocations:
Judah: Josh. 15:1-12, 20-63. Though God had promised to Joshua that no one would be able to stand against him (Josh. 1:5), the people of Judah were not able to drive out the Jebusites, who were the people living in Jerusalem. Because of this, “the Jebusites live with the people of Judah in Jerusalem to this day” (Josh. 15:63).
Reuben: Josh. 13:15-23. Amid the listing of territories, we are reminded that the Israelites killed Balaam, “who practiced divination” (Josh. 13:22). This was, if you remember, a totally awkward twist from Numbers 31.
Gad: Josh. 13:24-28. In Josh. 13:27, we are told that Gad gets “the rest of the kingdom of King Sihon. This conflicts with Josh. 13:21, where we are told that Reuben is to receive “all the kingdom of King Sihon.” The biblical penchant for exaggeration is all well and good, but probably a terrible idea when relating tribal land allocations…
Manasseh (eastern half/Machir): Josh. 13:29-31, 17:3-6. In Josh. 17, we are reminded of Zelophehad’s daughters – Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah – who are to receive an inheritance in their own right. Here, the women are given their lands.
Manasseh (western half): Josh. 17:7-13. Once more, the Israelites are unable to kill off all the native inhabitants, so that the Manassites have to wait until they strong enough to enslave the Canaanites.
Ephraim: Josh. 16:1-10. Once again, we are told that they were unable to drive some people out – the Canaanites of Gezer remain and, we are told, have been enslaved.
Benjamin: Josh. 18:11-26.
Simeon: Josh. 19:1-9. Though the apportioning of land was supposed to have been fair, for some reason Joseph had given too much to Judah. So when he gets to Simeon, he doesn’t have enough territory to give and has to carve pieces out from Judah and give them over. Mastermind Joshua strikes again. You’d think he’d have planned ahead a little…
Zebulun: Josh. 19:10-16.
Issachar: Josh. 19:17-23. Excavations began on what is believed to be Anaharath, one of Issachar’s towns, somewhat recently!
Asher: Josh. 19:24-31.
Naphtali: Josh. 19:32-39.
Dan: Josh. 19:40-48. We are told that Dan took land from Leshem, renaming it “Dan” after their ancestor. Unfortunately, they are given Zorah and Eshtaol, which had already been given to Judah back in Josh. 15:33. Poor Joshua just cannot wrap his head around how this stuff works…
Levi: Josh. 21:1-45. Though they get no territory per se, the Levites do get cities, as well as a little pasture land. A portion of the Kohathites are given thirteen towns from Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin. The rest of the Kohathites get ten towns from Ephraim, Dan, and Manasseh. The Gershonites get thirteen towns from Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and Manasseh. The Merarites get twelve towns from Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun. We are told that Caleb had been given the fields and villages of one of the towns now being given to the Levites.
Caleb and Joshua
Caleb: Josh. 14:6-15, 15:13-19. You’ll remember Caleb has the scout who (with or without Joshua) stood against the other scouts in their position that the Israelites should not rush into the Promised Land. I can’t recall if Moses promised him his own land as a reward at the time, but the text here says that he did. And so, while Joshua is drawing all his lots, Caleb approaches and demands his reward. Though he is 85 years old now, he claims that he is still strong enough to fight and, therefore, would like to be granted the hill country where he had initially seen the Anakim (the giants he saw in Numbers 13). Joshua agrees, giving him Hebron – previously named Kiriatharba. The Arba in the name is the “greatest man among the Anakim” (Josh. 14:15). Incidentally, there’s a discussion over at Remnant of Giants about whether “Anakim” here should refer to a specific group of people, or whether it is used more broadly as a term for giants.
We have to wait until the next chapter and half of Judah’s allotment before we find out what happens next. Caleb heads up to Hebron and defeats Anak’s three sons, Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. Having now a taste for blood, he heads off to fight Debir, offering his daughter, Achsah, as a wife for anyone who conquers it for him. Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, takes him up on the offer and marries his niece. She tells her new husband to ask her father for a field and they are given some land in the Negeb. Later, while dismounting a donkey (presumably not an unflattering nickname for Othniel), she asks her father for water springs as well. Caleb gives her a few.
It’s a cute story, but we were told in Josh. 11:21 that it was Joshua who had defeated the Anakim in Hebron and Debir.
Joshua: Josh. 19:49-51. Now that all the lands are distributed, God tells the Israelites to give Joshua some land, too. I love this little detail – we are specifically told that the Israelites gave Joshua his land (on God’s command), just in case anyone dared to wonder if perhaps Joshua was skimming a little from the top for himself! Of course, we’re also told that he specifically asked for the town they gave him, so it still feels a little like a stacked deck. Either way, he receives Timnathserah, which is in his tribe’s – Ephraim – land.
In Josh. 20, the cities of refuge are appointed. You will remember these cities from Numbers 35. We had been told that there should be six of them in total, and they are:
- Kedesh in Naphtali’s territory
- Shechem in Ephraim’s territory
- Kiriatharba (Hebron) in Judah’s territory
- Bezer in Reuben’s territory
- Ramoth in Gad’s territory
- Golan in Manasseh’s territory
The latter three had already been appointed in Deuteronomy 4.
The tribe of Joseph (composed of Manasseh and Ephraim) complain to Joshua that they are too numerous for the amount of land they were given. Joshua, who sadly lacks a head for numbers, also managed to muck up Judah’s portion (giving them too much) in Josh. 19:9. To solve the problem, Joshua sends them into the forests belonging to the Perizzites and Rephaim to clear some space for themselves.
But, reply Manasseh and Ephraim, those guys have chariots of iron! (Josh. 17:16) Joshua reassures them that they will be fine, and that they will drive out the Canaanites even though they have chariots of iron and are very strong.
May 2, 2014
06. Joshua, Bible, Old Testament
Achshaph, Adullam, Ai, Ammonite, Amorite, Anakim, Aphek, Arabah, Arad, Aroer, Ashdod, Ashtaroth, Baalgad, Bashan, Beth-jeshimoth, Bethel, Bible, Canaanite, Carmel, Chinneroth, Debir, Dor, Edrei, Eglon, Galilee, Gath, Gaza, Geder, Geshurite, Gezer, Gilead, Gilgal, Goi'im, Goshen, Great Sidon, Hazor, Hebron, Hepher, Hermon, Heshbon, Hittite, Hivite, Hormah, Jabbok, Jabin, Jarmuth, Jebusite, Jericho, Jerusalem, Jobab, Jokneam, Jordan, Joshua, Kedesh, Lachish, Lasharon, Libnah, Maacathite, Madon, Makkedah, Megiddo, Merom, Misrephothmaim, Mizpah, Moses, Mount Halak, Mount Hermon, Naphath-dor, Naphothdor, Negeb, Og, Old Testament, Perizzite, Pisgah, Rephaim, Salecah, Seir, Shimron, Shimron-meron, Sihon, Taanach, Tappuah, Tirzah, Valley of Lebanon, Valley of Mizpeh, Wadi Arnon
Having heard of, but not learned from, the Israelite conquests in the south, Jabin king of Hazor decides to form a new defensive pact with Jobab king of Madon and the unnamed kings of Shimron, Achshaph, the northern hill country, the Arabah south of Chinneroth, the lowlands, and Naphothdor. Altogether, he calls in Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, and Hivites, and they all encamp “at the waters of Merom, to fight with Israel” (Josh. 11:5).
God gives Joshua a quick pep talk, reminding him not to be afraid, oh and also to make sure that he hamstrings all the enemies’ horses and burns their chariots. Joshua and his army barely have to lift a finger until after the battle is over because God rushes ahead and smites all their enemies, scattering whatever survivors remain. Then Joshua and his men spring into action, hamstringing all the horses (seriously?) and burning all the chariots.
These seem like strange details to add, especially given how many times they are repeated. I still don’t understand why the horses needed to be hamstrung rather than, say, simply killed, but Victor Matthews provides some possible explanation for the burning of the chariots:
Israelites also used bronze weapons, but their lack of metallurgical knowledge, and the Philistine monopoly over the tin trade, probably forced many of their soldiers to use slings and farm implements to defend themselves. Some iron weapons were undoubtedly captured during raids by Israelite forces, but without the knowledge of metallurgy to repair and fabricate new weapons out of scrap metal, they would have become useless eventually. This may explain why the forces under Joshua chose to burn the chariots of the northern coalition of Canaanite kings rather than use them themselves (Josh 11:9). The Israelites could not repair the chariots, and they did not want to leave them behind for Canaanites to use against them in the future. Also, the chariots would have been of little use to Israelite bands operating out of the rugged hill country. (Manners & Customs in the Bible, p.59-60)
On to Hazor
Having removed the feet of the king of Hazor (get it? defeated? de-feeted? Oh, I slay me!), Joshua turns his sword toward the city itself – killing all its inhabitants and burning it down to the ground.
On Hazor, my study Bible indicates that it “was one of the largest cities of Galilee. Excavations have impressively demonstrated its importance in antiquity and confirmed the fact that it was captured at about the time indicated in this narrative” (p.277).
On the subject, Collins writes:
Similar results were obtained at Jericho and Ai, the two showpieces of the conquest in Joshua. Neither was a walled city in the Late Bronze period. Of nearly twenty [page break] identifiable sites that were captured in the biblical account, only two, Hazor and Bethel, have yielded archaeological evidence of destruction at the appropriate period. Ironically, Hazor is said to be still in Canaanite hands in Judges 4-5. (A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, p.96-98)
With Hazor out of the way, they move on to a bunch of other cities. These, however, they do not burn to the ground. Rather, they kill all the people but keep the stuff for themselves. As if to fudge over that this is a clear violation of the rules governing holy war laid out in Deut. 20, the narrator tells us that in doing this, Joshua “left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses” (Josh. 11:15).
Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites, by Nicolas Poussin, c.1625
I also noticed that the narrative construction seems to flip-flop between this God>Moses>Joshua chain and the Moses>Joshua chain that we get, for example, in Josh. 11:12 (“[…] as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded”).
We are told that God “hardened” the hearts of the enemies so that they should seek to fight rather than make peace as Gibeon did, but I have to wonder, whose hearts did he harden, really? According to God’s instructions to the Israelites, they are forbidden from making peace, and have done so only when tricked into it. The consistency of the natives’ hearts seems somewhat irrelevant, given that God has already commanded that they all be slaughtered.
As a final note, we are told that Joshua also managed to kill most of the Anakim (except those in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod), fulfilling the promise made in Deut. 9:3. If you’ll remember, the Anakim were first met by the Israelite scouting party way back in Numbers 13.
That done, Joshua was finished “and the land had rest from war” (Josh. 11:23). With that, I am given to understand that the narrative portion of Joshua is essentially over. Booo!
According to Collins, the Deuteronomistic Histories favour certain narrative devices, such as speeches and narrative summaries (A Short Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, p.94-95). We’ve seen this, of course, in Deuteronomy. Most notably, all of Deut. 1-3 is a recap of Moses’s story.
The summary begins with Moses’s exploits on the eastern side of the Jordan, describing his defeating of King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan, because we cannot ever be allowed to forget that Moses beat these two guys. Like, ever. These lands, we are told once again, were given over to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh.
The rest of the chapter covers Joshua’s exploits, who are helpfully listed:
- The king of Jericho
- The king of Ai (which we are told once more is next to Bethel)
- The king of Jerusalem
- The king of Hebron
- The king of Jarmuth
- The king of Lachish
- The king of Eglon
- The king of Gezer
- The king of Debir
- The king of Geder
- The king of Hormah
- The king of Arad
- The king of Libnah
- The king of Adullam
- The king of Makkedah
- The king of Bethel
- The king of Tappuah
- The king of Hepher
- The king of Aphek
- The king of Lasharon
- The king of Madon
- The king of Hazor
- The king of Shimron-meron
- The king of Achshaph
- The king of Taanach
- The king of Megiddo
- The king of Kedesh
- The king of Jokneam in Carmel
- The king of Dor in Naphath-dor
- The king of Goiim in Galilee (which my study Bible tells me is Gilgal’s Greek name)
- The king of Tirzah
November 8, 2013
04. Numbers, Bible, Old Testament
Aaron, Abihu, Abiram, Ahiram, Ahiramite, Amram, Ard, Ardite, Areli, Arelite, Arod, Arodite, Ashbel, Ashbelite, Asher, Asriel, Asrielite, Bachrite, Becher, Bela, Belaite, Benjamin, Beriah, Beriite, Caleb, Canaan, Carmi, Carmite, Dan, Dathan, Eleazar, Eliab, Elon, Elonite, Ephraim, Er, Eran, Eranite, Eri, Erite, Gad, Gershon, Gershonite, Gilead, Gileadite, Guni, Gunite, Haggi, Haggite, Hamul, Hamulite, Hanoch, Hanochite, Heber, Heberite, Hebronite, Helek, Helekite, Hepher, Hepherite, Hezron, Hezronite, Hoglah, Hupham, Huphamite, Israel, Issachar, Ithamar, Jachin, Jachinite, Jahleel, Jahleelite, Jahzeel, Jahzeelite, Jamin, Jaminite, Jashub, Jashubite, Jeezer, Jeezerite, Jephunneh, Jericho, Jesui, Jesuite, Jezer, Jezerite, Jimna, Jimnite, Jochebed, Jordan, Joseph, Joshua, Judah, Kohath, Kohathite, Korah, Korathite, Levi, Levite, Libnite, Machir, Machirite, Mahlah, Mahlite, Malchiel, Malchielite, Manasseh, Merari, Merarite, Milcah, Miriam, Moab, Moses, Mushite, Naaman, Naamite, Nadab, Naphtali, Nemuel, Nemuelite, Noah, Onan, Ozni, Oznite, Pallu, Palluite, Pharez, Pharzite, Pua, Punite, Reuben, Reubenite, Sarah, Sardite, Sered, Shaul, Shaulite, Shechem, Shechemite, Shelah, Shelanite, Shemida, Shemidaite, Shillem, Shillemite, Shimron, Shimronite, Shuham, Shuhamite, Shuni, Shunite, Shupham, Shuphamite, Shuthalhite, Shuthelah, Simeon, Simeonite, Sinai, Tahan, Tahanite, Tirzah, Tola, Tolaite, Zarhite, Zebulun, Zebulunite, Zelophehad, Zephon, Zephonite, Zerah
Between the plagues, food poisoning, gaping chasms, spontaneous combustions, etc, the usefulness of the census taken in Numbers 1 is rather obsolete. As we near the end of our journey, God decides that it’s time to take another head count of eligible soldiers.
The other purpose for conducting the census is to help with dividing up the lands once they get into Canaan. This seems a little pre-emptive to me, but what do I know. There’s also some talk of lots. If I’m interpreting v.53-56 correctly, all the head of house names are to go in a big hat, and the lot will be used to decide which spot each should get.
We’re also reminded that none of the men counted were adults when they originally left Egypt with Moses and Aaron (those guys having all since died), with the exception of Caleb, son of Jephunneh, and Joshua, son of Nun.
Reuben, if you remember, was the eldest of Israel’s sons. Unfortunately for him, a little indiscretion lost him his primacy. He had four sons:
- Hanoch, sire of the Hanochites
- Pallu (or Phallu), sire of the Palluites
- Hezron, sire of the Hezronites
- Carmi, sire of the Carmites
Pallu’s son, Eliab, had three sons: Nemuel, Dathan, and Abiram. We’re reminded that these are the Dathan and Abiram who rebelled with Korah back in Numbers 16. We’re told here that Dathan and Abiram were killed along with Korah, though their deaths weren’t mentioned.
There’s also a little note telling us that “the children of Korah died not” (v.11). This seems to contradict what we were told in Numbers 16:31-32:
As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions.
Granted, his children aren’t specifically mentioned, but it does seem implied.
The total number of Reubenites eligible for military service is 43,730.
Back in Genesis 46, the Simeon’s sons are named as: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul. Here, however, the list is:
- Nemuel, sire of the Nemuelites
- Jamin, sire of the Jaminites
- Jachin, sire of the Jachinites
- Zerah, sire of the Zarhites
- Shaul, sire of the Shaulites
For whatever reason, the lines of Jemuel, Ohad, and Zohar seem not to have survived, and Simeon apparently picked up Nemuel and Zerah somewhere.
I find it interesting that Jemuel and Nemuel, and Zohar and Zerah are quite similar. I wonder if these are equivalents from two different narrative traditions.
The total number of Simeonites eligible for military service is 22,200.
We get some more name funkiness with Gad. According to Genesis 46, his sons are: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. Here, however, they are:
- Zephon, sire of the Zephonites
- Haggi, sire of the Haggites
- Shuni, sire of the Shunites
- Ozni, sire of the Oznites
- Eri, sire of the Erites
- Arod, sire of the Arodites
- Areli, sire of the Arelites
The lists seem to match, but quite a few spellings have changed.
The total number of Gad’s descendants eligible for military service is 40,500.
Judah’s story matches up with the genealogy in Genesis 46. I guess they kept better records, or something. His sons were:
- Er (deceased, no kids)
- Onan (deceased, no kids)
- Shelah, sire of the Shelanites
- Pharez, sire of the Pharzites
- Zerah, sire of the Zarhites
We get some further subdivision with the sons of Pharez:
- Hezron, sire of the Hezronites
- Hamul, sire of the Hamulites
Total eligible soldiers from Judah: 76,500.
Issachar’s sons, according to Genesis 46, are Tola, Phuvah, Job, and Shimron. Once again, there’s quite substantial differences. His sons here are:
- Tola, sire of the Tolaites
- Pua, sire of the Punites
- Jashub, sire of the Jashubites
- Shimron, sire of the Shimronites
Again, the names are kinda similar, just enough to suggest that they come from different oral traditions.
Total descendants of Issachar eligible for military service: 64,300.
Zebulun’s family kept better records. In both versions, his sons are:
- Sered, sire of the Sardites
- Elon, sire of the Elonites
- Jahleel, sire of the Jahleelites
There are 60,500 eligible soldiers among the Zebulunites.
Joseph, of course, had two sons: Manasseh and Ephraim. Both are kinda sorta heads of their own tribes, depending on how the count is made.
Manasseh’s sons are:
- Machir, sire of the Machirites
Machir, in turn, fathered Gilead, sire of the Gileadites.
Gilead’s sons are:
- Jeezer, sire of the Jeezerites
- Helek, sire of the Helekites
- Asriel, sire of the Asrielites
- Shechem, sire of the Shechemites
- Shemida, sire of the Shemidaites
- Hepher, sire of the Hepherites
It’s unclear through which of these sons the Gileadites are counted.
Hepher also had a son: Zelophehad. Unfortunately, Zelophehad only had daughters:
So if the line of Hepher is getting named as a land recipient, that implies that there’s some way for these women to pass their father’s land to their own children.
Total soldier-able descendants of Manasseh: 52,700.
Ephraim’s sons are:
- Shuthelah, sire of the Shuthalhites
- Becher, sire of the Bachrites
- Tahan, sire of the Tahanites
Shuthelah sired Eran, who sired the Eranites. Did Shuthelah have other sons, or are all Shuthalhites also Eranites and vice versa?
There are 32,500 eligible soldiers among the descendants of Ephraim.
With Benjamin, we get some genealogical issues. Benjamin’s sons are:
- Bela, sire of the Belaites
- Ashbel, sire of the Ashbelites
- Ahiram, sire of the Ahiramites
- Shupham, sire of the Shuphamites
- Hupham, sire of the Huphamites
Only Bela (named Belah) and Ashbel are found in Genesis 46, listed along with their brothers: Becher, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
Then, from Bela, we get his sons:
- Ard, sire of the Ardites
- Naaman, sire of the Naamites
Notice that both of these were listed as Benjamin’s sons, not his grandsons, in Genesis 46.
The total military contingent provided by the tribe of Benjamin is 45,600.
In Genesis 46, Dan’s only son is named Hushim. Here, of course, his son’s name is Shuham (sire of the Shuhamites).
Descendants of Dan, you only had one name to remember! Sheesh!
Total descendants of Dan eligible for military service: 64,400.
In Genesis 46, Asher’s children are named Jimnah, Ishuah, Ishni, Beriah, and a daughter named Serah. Here, his children are named:
- Jimna, sire of the Jimnites
- Jesui, sire of the Jesuites
- Beriah, sire of the Beriites
Back in Genesis 46, Beriah’s sons are Heber and Malchiel, which matches the names given here (sires of the Heberites and Malchielites, respectively).
Not that I’m complaining, but I find it interesting that Serah/Sarah is named in both genealogies, especially given that there’s no mention of anything special about her. She’s not sire to any sub-tribe, so there’s really no reason to mention her in this census.
I’m apparently not the only one to be confused. It seems that some early midrash composers felt that she wouldn’t be mentioned unless there was something pretty special about her, so there’s a fairly substantial collection of fanfic that’s been written about her.
The total number of Asher’s descendants who are eligible for military service is 53,400.
Naphtali’s sons are:
- Jahzeel, sire of the Jahzeelites
- Guni, sire of the Gunites
- Jezer, sire of the Jezerites
- Shillem, sire of the Shillemites
The total number of eligible soldiers among the descendants of Naphtali is 45,400.
Adding them up
That’s a total of 601,730, only 1,820 fewer people than counted in the last census. That’s a pretty amazing reproduction rate, considering the fact that God’s been killing these people by the thousands for a few years now.
What’s interesting to me is to compare the two censii and see how the various tribes made out. Reuben, Gad, Ephraim, and Naphtali all saw a reduction, mostly in the 2,000-8,000 range.
Some tribes actually grew, albeit modestly: Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, and Asher.
But the really surprising ones are Simeon and Joseph. Simeon, apparently, really ticked God off, because at 37,100, they took the heaviest losses. As for Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim appear to have traded places, with Manasseh going from 32,200 to 52,700, and Ephraim going from 40,500 to 32,500. A rather impressive feat from Manasseh!
The Levites, not being eligible for receiving land, are counted separately. They are divided into three groups, after Levi’s sons:
- Gershon, sire of the Gershonites
- Kohath, sire of the Kohathites
- Merari, sire of the Merarites
We’re also given a list of “the families of the Levites” (v.58), though there’s not indication of how they are connected to the original three branches:
We’re also told that Kohath had one son, Amram, who married his aunt, Jochebed. They are the parents of Aaron, Moses, and Miriam.
Aaron’s sons are Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. The first two, of course, were killed in Leviticus 10.
While the rest of the tribes are counted by how useful they’d be as soldiers, Levites are counted for that whole weird redemption business we heard about in Numbers 3. Because of this, all Levite males a month old or over are counted. Yet still, the total only comes to 23,000.
August 9, 2011
01. Genesis, Bible, Old Testament
Ard, Areli, Arodi, Asenath, Ashbel, Asher, Becher, Beersheba, Belah, Benjamin, Beriah, Bible, Bilhah, Canaan, Canaanite, Carmi, Dan, Ehi, Elon, Ephraim, Er, Eri, Gad, Genesis, Gera, Gershon, Guni, Haggi, Hamul, Hanoch, Heber, Hezron, Huppim, Hushim, Imnah, Iob, Ishni, Ishuah, Ishvah, Israel, Issachar, Jachin, Jacob, Jahleel, Jahzeel, Jamin, Jemuel, Jezer, Jimnah, Job, Joseph, Judah, Kohath, Leah, Levi, Malchiel, Manasseh, Merari, Muppim, Naaman, Naphtali, Ohad, Old Testament, Onan, Perez, Phallu, Pharez, Phuvah, Potipherah, Puvah, Rachel, Reuben, Rosh, Serah, Sered, Shaul, Shelah, Shillem, Shimron, Shuni, Simeon, Tola, Zebulun, Zerah, Zilpah, Ziphion, Zohar
The meeting of Jacob and Joseph in Egypt by William Brassey Hole
Before heading into Egypt, Jacob/Israel makes a quick pit stop in Beersheba to chat with God. “Jacob, Jacob,” begins God, apparently forgetting all about Genesis 35:10 and 32:28.
God tells Jacob/Israel not to worry about going into Egypt, for “I will also bring you up again” (Gen. 46:4). Spoiler alert: He doesn’t. My study bible tries to explain away the lie by saying that Jacob/Israel technically lives on in his descendants, who are then brought out of Egypt. But let’s get real – would an old man concerned about a big move really interpret God’s statement in that way?
The sons of Jacob/Israel
And now we get another genealogy. At least this time, they did try to make it fit with the story by positioning it as a list of dudes who are entering Egypt (making me feel something like a border guard, honestly).
Jacob/Israel’s descendants by Leah:
- Reuben’s sons: Hanoch, Phallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
- Simeon’s sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul (this later being the son of a Canaanite woman).
- Levi’s sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
- Judah’s sons: Shelah, Pharez, and Zerah (plus Er and Onan, who have died). The sons of Pharez are: Hezron and Hamul.
- Issachar’s sons: Tola, Phuvah, Job, and Shimron.
- Zebulun’s sons: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
Zebulun, by the way, always makes me think of Zabulon, the leader of the Day Watch in Sergei Lukyanenko’s Night Watch series. Just sayin’.
Jacob/Israel’s sons by Zilpah:
- Gad’s sons: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
- Asher’s kids: Jimnah, Ishuah, Ishni, Beriah, and a daughter named Serah. Beriah’s sons: Heber and Malchiel.
Jacob/Israel’s sons by Rachel:
- Joseph’s sons: Manasseh and Ephraim.
- Benjamin’s sons: Belah, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
Jacob/Israel’s sons by Bilhah:
- Dan’s son: Hushim.
- Naphtali’s sons: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
We’re also given a bit of math. We’re told how many people are in each of Jacob/Israel’s wives’ parties, so of course I had to double check!
- Leah’s party: Bible says 33 (including Dinah). My count is also 33. So far so good!
- Zilpah’s party: Bible says 16, but I count 17. The only way I get the same number as the Bible is if I discount Serah, who is female. But then, shouldn’t we have discounted Dinah as well?
- Rachel’s party: Bible says 14. The only way I get the right number is if I discount Rachel (for being dead), but then I would have to ignore Genesis 46:27 that says that we’re to tack Joseph and his sons on to the very end.
- Bilhah’s party: Bible says 7. I get 8.
At the end of this, we’re told that we should come out with 66 people. We add to this Jacob/Israel himself, and then Joseph&Sons who will be met with in Egypt, and we should come out to a nice auspicious 70.
Unfortunately, both the Bible’s numbers and mine add up to 70 before I ever add the four additional people! So what we end up with is a decidedly inauspicious 74.
Judah rides out ahead to fetch Joseph so that he can meet them on the road. When Joseph and Jacob/Israel see each other, they embrace and weep. Jacob/Israel announces that he can die now that he’s seen his son.
This next bit is a bit confusing, even with the study bible’s help. Joseph tells his family to say that they are shepherds, “for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians” (Gen. 46:34). Now, when I am relying on someone’s hospitality, I try to avoid making them think that I’m an abomination…
The study bible explanation is that Joseph wants them to settle in Goshen, which would put them near him. Convincing the Egyptians that they are abominations would make them more likely to settle the Hebrews “apart in the land of Goshen.” I can’t figure out if that means that the land of Goshen is otherwise uninhabited and that settling them there would make them apart, or if this is a trick to get them a spot of land all to themselves within Goshen.
Now, granted, the Hebrews are shepherds, and I’m sure that the Egyptians would have found out about it eventually. So it makes good sense to state it right up front. But the way it’s phrased is really awkward for this interpretation.