Dwelling places for Joel (1 Chr 5:7-5:10)

“Joel’s kindred by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned were the chiefs, Jeiel, with Zechariah and Bela the son of Azaz, son of Shema, son of Joel, who dwelt in Aroer, as far as Nebo and Baal-meon. Joel also lived to the east as far as the entrance of the desert, this side of the Euphrates, because their cattle had multiplied in the land of Gilead. In the days of Saul they made war on the Hagrites, who fell by their hand. They dwelt in their tents throughout the whole region east of Gilead.”

The kindred folk of Joel had as its chief Jeiel. There were 8 different people with this name, mostly Levites. There 28 people with the popular name of Zachariah, with probably the most famous the prophet whose book was Zachariah. Bela was the name of a town, an Edomite king, the eldest son of Benjamin, and this Bela. This, however, is the only mention of Azaz. There are 3 other people with the name Shema. This Shema is the son of Joel, but he is not listed among the 7 sons of Joel above. Aroer was an ancient city on the north side of the Arnon that became the southern border of the tribe of Reuben. Nebo is the mountain from which Moses took his first and last view of the Promised Land in the land of Moab, facing Jericho. Baal-meon was a town built by the children of Reuben along with Nebo as described in Numbers, chapter 32. Eastward they went as far as the desert right before the Euphrates River. They lived mostly in tents in the land of Gilead. The term Gilead appears more than 130 times in the biblical literature, referring to a mountainous region east of Jordan, bounded on the north by Bashan, and on the south by Moab. These people of Reuben also defeated the Hagrites, an Arab tribe, supposedly the descendants, of Ishmael, based on his mother’s name Hagar, Sarah’s slave. They were mentioned in an inscription of King Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria.

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