sons of Judah

1 Chronicles 4:1

4:1 sons of Judah. The descendants of Judah (note especially I Chronicles 2–4) and Levi (I Chronicles 6, 9) are given in more detail than those from the other ten tribes. This correlates with the fact that one was the kingly tribe (Genesis 49:10), the other the priestly tribe (Deuteronomy 33:8-10). All of these genealogies, however, seem superficially incomplete, sometimes even contradictory and unorganized. No doubt most of the problems could be solved if they had been preserved in complete form, recognizing that many different men had identical names in ancient Israel, just as in modern America. These lists were apparently compiled by Ezra the scribe (or at least someone of his time) after the return from the Babylonian captivity, using all the available records he could find still preserved. It was important for him to establish the inheritance of the various families as accurately as possible, since they had originally been given by God in perpetuity (Leviticus 25:23-55). Incomplete though these may have been on the human level, they do give us assurance that God does not forget His promises and that He has kept these genealogies in complete form on the divine level. Furthermore, their inclusion in the divinely inspired Scriptures of the Old Testament (note Paul’s testimony in II Timothy 3:16, 17), assures us that these lists of names are “profitable” to the “man of God.” If nothing else, they show us that God does care about all individuals—not just nations or leaders of nations—and also that these Old Testament records are not just myths or allegories but are real historical records of real people and events.

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