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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1 Chronicles 7

This chapter contains fragmentary genealogies of the tribes of Benjamin, Issachar, Naphtali, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Asher, with some observations on the valour of the sons of Issachar and Asher, and on a certain calamity of Ephraim. This last named incident (1 Chronicles 7:21-22) is a mere fragment of tradition, and has been variously explained. The statement is, that two sons of Ephraim, Ezer and Elead, were slain by the men of Gath that were born in that land… because they came down to take away their cattle. And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him. When did this event take place? Two answers only demand our notice: 1.) The older interpreters generally refer it to the time of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, while the patriarch Ephraim was still alive. Ezer and Elead went from Goshen in Egypt, down to Gath, and were slain in an attempt to drive off the cattle of the Gathites. 2.) Keil, with other modern critics, object that an excursion from Goshen to Gath could not properly be called a going down, and they suppose the event occurred after Israel’s settlement in the Land of Promise. Thus the men of Gath are said to be born in the land, in distinction from the Ephraimites and other Israelites, who were not born in Palestine; and an excursion from Mount Ephraim to the Philistine plain would be a descent. Accordingly, the Ephraim here named was not the son of Joseph, who was born in Egypt, but a later descendant, who, like many others, bore the name of the father of their tribe; and the genealogy of 1 Chronicles 7:25-27, from Rephah to Joshua, is not to be understood as running on from this Ephraim. This latter view is, perhaps, the most probable, but the obscure and fragmentary character of this document is such that no conclusive argument can be brought for or against either of these views.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.