1 Chronicles 7 Commentary
Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Manasseh and Ephraim. In what would appear as a sampling process, the chapter quickly runs through selected lines from the listed tribes. Notable figures like Jeroboam, son of Nebat, are conspicuously missing from Ephraim’s list. The ‘who’ of ‘who’ list of heaven will be a real shocker!
Joshua would lead God’s people into the Promised Land. His line is included on Ephraim’s list. Gilead was an important leader during the conquest. He is mentioned on Manasseh’s list.
Issachar’s brave men in uniform had impressive numbers. Key family heads have been listed. During the days of David, the men of Issachar are said to have understood the times.
Shechem and Bethel were occupied by the sons of Joseph. Bethel was the place where the patriarch Jacob laid down for a night. The LORD appeared to him in a dream and repeated the history-long blessing. Under Jeroboam, king of the northern kingdom of Israel, Bethel would host the golden calf. The sacred Bethel in the days of Jacob would be a place of sin. We have seen sin where a blessing stood.
Bear in mind that the opening section of the Book of Chronicles is summarizing Israel’s history by highlighting key personalities and important places. By just looking at these many names, we are reflecting on the blessing of multiplication that the LORD repeated to Jacob at Bethel. One Jacob had become multiple communities of peoples.
Zelophehad’s name is quite famous in the Book of Numbers, for his named daughters. He didn’t have any sons. Who was going to inherit Zelophehad’s land since he didn’t have any sons but only daughters? The LORD amended the Law because of Zelophehad’s daughters.
But what would happen if they married men from other tribes? Won’t Zelophehad’s land eventually be lost to the tribe of the men they marry? Again the LORD intervened with another revision of the Law.
We want these thoughts, popping up here and there, to enrich our experiences. Zelophehad’s daughters, and their multiple petitions, would be an easy pick for the main thought of the chapter. Like the daughters of Zelophehad, we too can petition heaven for a better situation. That is the essence of prayer. Saints must learn to pray.
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