Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reading David in the I Chronicles Genealogies

I have just come to that place in my Bible reading that at points can seem to be laborious, if not engaged with the right perspective. The section I am referring to is I Chronicles 1--11, you know, pretty much pure genealogy. So it requires extra concentration to stay focused while reading through here. A couple things that help provide focus is to ask "why" God felt it so important to include this genealogical section in the Scriptures in the first place? I think the primary answer to that is to realize, as with everything else in Scripture (cf. Jn. 5:39), that the genealogy provides the Messianic/Davidic line; or, Jesus' line. Note:
King David
5. The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 6. The sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara--five of them in all. 7. The son of Carmi was Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the accursed thing. 8. The son of Ethan was Azariah. 9. Also the sons of Hezron who were born to him were Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. 10. Ram begot Amminidab, and Amminidab begot Nahshon, leader of the children of Judah; 11. Nahashon begot Salma, and Salma begot Boaz; 12. Boaz begot Obed, and Obed begot Jesse; 13. Jesse begot Eliab his firstborn, Abinidab the second, Shimea the third, 14. Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth. 15. Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh. ~I Chronicles 2:5-15
An interesting note, that David is the "seventh," is that 7 is the number of perfection or completion. Let's also cross reference this genealogy with another one:
18. Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; 19. Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; 20. Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahashon begot Salmon; 21. Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David. ~Ruth 4:18-21 
And then one more cross reference:
3. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. 4. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahashon, and Nahashon begot Salmon. 5. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, 6. and Jesse begot David the king. . . . ~Matthew 1:3-6a
Who said genealogies couldn't be fun to read? For me, this helps as I approach I Chronicles 1--11 in particular; knowing that in fact the primary line being established is that of Jesus' Messianic Davidic line that is the line that brings salvation to the nations, thus making Abraham the Father of many nations. This is good stuff. One other important thing about these genealogies, is to bear in mind that what God has established in salvation history, over centuries of time, through multitudes and multitudes of faceless normal people; is his anointed line, and this line comes through everyday people who end up getting listed in a genealogy in the Bible. That is, pastorally, encouraging to me. This demonstrates how significant each of our lives are, because they are tied to the line of David in Christ.

I hope this brief little reflection on I Chronicles 1--11 helps provide you with some more perspective the next time you are faced with reading through this section of Scripture.


  1. Yeah, I was asking again as I was going through the geneo's, why. I asked "Lord isn't there more important info I should be spending my time getting out of Scripture? He didn't answer my question, not directly anyhow. But it did come to mind that in that day that it was written and on into the intertestemental period,it would have been helpful for the rank and file Hebrews to connect with their faith:
    "Son, your great great great grandfather was Hilkiah the priest under Josiah, King of Judah. He found the Torah that had been lost many years which when it was read to the king, He rent his clothes for dismay that they were so far from the God of their fathers..."
    It also occurred to me that since a billion "years" in Heaven will just be the beginning, we will have eternity to meet and get to know...maybe everyone.
    "Oh, are you that Kore, who was a porter under Hezekiah?" So I try to read the seemingly trite lists in Scripture, bearing in mind that I'm going to meet these people some day. It was embarassing enough going to my 20 year class re-union and not recognizing a bunch of people who recognized me. I won't be memorizing lists of names, but maybe in our glorified bodies, we will remember what we studied in faith. :)

  2. Duane,

    It will be amazing to meet all of this people. It is crazy to think that they are real people too, not just "Bible people."

  3. I especially liked this part - "knowing that in fact the primary line being established is that of Jesus' Messianic Davidic line that is the line that brings salvation to the nations, thus making Abraham the Father of many nations."

    Good post, Bobby!

  4. Hey Mark,

    Thank you; great to hear from you! Lots of life has happened since we had contact last. Hope to hear from you more! Blessings my brother in Christ.