Poole on 1 Chronicles 1:17-27: The Sons of Shem

Verse 17:[1] The sons of (Gen. 10:22; 11:10) Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech (or, Mash, Gen. 10:23[2]).



[The sons of Shem…Uz and Hul, etc.] But these were not sons of Shem, but grandsons by Aram, as it is found in Genesis 10:23. But under the name of son a grandson is often understood, as in Genesis 29:5; 2 Samuel 19:24. Louis Cappel[3] maintains that here, after וַאֲרָם, and Aram, וּבְנֵי אֲרָם, and the children of Aram, is to be supplied out of Genesis 10:23, which words were omitted because of ὁμοίοπτωτον/homoioptoton.[4] Let it pass to other judges (Bochart’s Sacred Geography “Phœnicia” 2:7:90).


The sons of Shem; either the name of sons is so taken here as to include grandsons, who are called sons, Genesis 29:5; 2 Samuel 19:24; or, these words, the children of Aram, are understood and inserted before Uz, out of Genesis 10:23, where they are expressed.


[Mosoch] Hebrew: Meshech.[5] In Genesis 10:23, he is called Mash: therefore, he appears to have had two names (Bochart’s Sacred Geography “Phœnicia” 2:11:93).


Verse 18:[6] And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber.


[Arphaxad begat Shelah] It is strange then, that Cainan is inserted by Luke between Arphaxad and Shelah, Luke 3:36, as if Shelah were not Arphaxad’s son, but rather grandson by Cainan (Bochart’s Sacred Geography “Phœnicia” 2:15:101). [But that question belongs to the other passage.]


Arphaxad begat Shelah; either immediately, or mediately by his son Cainan, who is expressed, Luke 3:36, of which, God assisting, I shall speak in its proper place.


Verse 19:[7] And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg (that is, Division, Gen. 10:25[8]); because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother’s name was Joktan.


[The earth was divided] That is, the inhabitants of the earth were dividec according to the divisions of their tongues, as it is written on Genesis 11:7 (Vatablus) [see the things noted there].


The earth was divided in their languages and habitation; of which see Genesis 11:7.


Verse 20:[9] And (Gen. 10:26) Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah…


Verse 21:[10] Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah…


Verse 22:[11] And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba…


[Ebal, עֵיבָל] Who in Genesis 10:28 is called עוֹבָל/Obal. Then one or the other passage has been corrupted, says Cappel. As if it were unknown with what mutations proper names, according to the diversity of regions or of times, were expressed. And so Moses was able to follow the manner of designation that was used in his times; the writer of Chronices, that likewise in his own (Buxtorf’s[12] Vindication[13] 2:2:374).


Ebal, or Obal, as it is Genesis 10:28; such proper names being oft differently written, according to the difference of times, and people, and writers.


Verse 23:[14] And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan.


Verse 24:[15] (Gen. 11:10, etc.; Luke 3:34, etc.) Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah…


[Shem, etc.] It is a repetition of verse 17, in which he shows through whom Abraham descended from Shem. Wherefore, with the others omitted, the series is uninterrupted, as if you should thus speak, Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, etc. (Vatablus).


Arphaxad: having given a brief and general account of the original of the world, and the people in it, he now returns to a more large and particular account of the genealogy of Shem, from whom the Jews were descended.


Verse 25:[16] (Gen. 11:15) Eber, Peleg, Reu…


Verse 26:[17] Serug, Nahor, Terah…


Verse 27:[18] (Gen. 17:5) Abram; the same is Abraham.


[The same is Abraham] That is, whose name was changed into Abraham; concerning which see Genesis 17:5 (Dutch).

[1] Hebrew: בְּנֵ֣י שֵׁ֔ם עֵילָ֣ם וְאַשּׁ֔וּר וְאַרְפַּכְשַׁ֖ד וְל֣וּד וַאֲרָ֑ם וְע֥וּץ וְח֖וּל וְגֶ֥תֶר וָמֶֽשֶׁךְ׃ [2] Genesis 10:23: “And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash (וָמַשׁ).” [3] Louis Cappel (1585-1658) was a Huguenot divine of broad and profound learning. He served as a minister of the gospel and Professor of Hebrew and Theology at Saumur. Although his expertise in the Hebrew language was beyond question, his denial of the authority of the vowel points and of the absolute integrity of the Hebrew texts were hotly contested. [4] That is, because of the repetition of the word, the eye accidentally skips the intervening word(s). [5] Hebrew: וָמֶשֶׁךְ. [6] Hebrew: וְאַרְפַּכְשַׁ֖ד יָלַ֣ד אֶת־שָׁ֑לַח וְשֶׁ֖לַח יָלַ֥ד אֶת־עֵֽבֶר׃ [7] Hebrew: וּלְעֵ֥בֶר יֻלַּ֖ד שְׁנֵ֣י בָנִ֑ים שֵׁ֣ם הָאֶחָ֞ד פֶּ֗לֶג כִּ֤י בְיָמָיו֙ נִפְלְגָ֣ה הָאָ֔רֶץ וְשֵׁ֥ם אָחִ֖יו יָקְטָֽן׃ [8] Genesis 10:25: “And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg (פֶּלֶג); for in his days the earth was divided (נִפְלְגָה); and his brother’s name was Joktan.” [9] Hebrew: וְיָקְטָ֣ן יָלַ֔ד אֶת־אַלְמוֹדָ֖ד וְאֶת־שָׁ֑לֶף וְאֶת־חֲצַרְמָ֖וֶת וְאֶת־יָֽרַח׃ [10] Hebrew: וְאֶת־הֲדוֹרָ֥ם וְאֶת־אוּזָ֖ל וְאֶת־דִּקְלָֽה׃ [11] Hebrew: וְאֶת־עֵיבָ֥ל וְאֶת־אֲבִימָאֵ֖ל וְאֶת־שְׁבָֽא׃ [12] John Buxtorf, Jr. (1599-1664) succeeded his father as Professor of Hebrew at Basel (1629-1664), and was perhaps the equal of his father in learning. [13]Anticritica: seu Vindiciæ Veritatis Hebraicæ Adversus Ludovici Cappelli Criticam quam Vocat Sacram. [14] Hebrew: וְאֶת־אוֹפִ֥יר וְאֶת־חֲוִילָ֖ה וְאֶת־יוֹבָ֑ב כָּל־אֵ֖לֶּה בְּנֵ֥י יָקְטָֽן׃ [15] Hebrew: שֵׁ֥ם׀ אַרְפַּכְשַׁ֖ד שָֽׁלַח׃ [16] Hebrew: עֵ֥בֶר פֶּ֖לֶג רְעֽוּ׃ [17] Hebrew: שְׂר֥וּג נָח֖וֹר תָּֽרַח׃ [18] Hebrew: אַבְרָ֖ם ה֥וּא אַבְרָהָֽם׃

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