The sons of Manasseh (1 Chr 7:14-7:14)

“The sons of Manasseh were Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore, and Machir the father of Gilead.”

The 2 sons of Joseph included Manasseh, the 1st son who was not favored over Ephraim. The name of Manasseh was both a person and place so that it appears over 140 times in the biblical literature. Apparently he had only 1 son, Machir, so that Manasseh’s grandson Gilead is listed with 6 sons in Numbers, chapter 26. Machir was the father of Gilead, the clan of the Gileadites. The sons of Gilead were (1) Iezer, the clan of the Iezerites, (2) Helek, the clan of the Helekites, (3) Asriel, the clan of the Asrielites, (4) Shechem, the clan of the Shechemites, (5) Shemida, the clan of the Shemidaites, (6) Hepher, the clan of the Hepherites. Gilead was also both a mountain and an area east of the Jordan, a name that appears quite often. However, here Asriel is listed as the direct son of Manasseh, via an Aramean concubine, while in Numbers Asriel was the son of Gilead or the great grandson of Manasseh, a big difference.   It is what it is. There is no indication of why this biblical writer put Asriel on a par with Machir, because Machir certainly dominated.


The other descendents of Hezron (1 Chr 2:21-2:23)

“Afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old. She bore him Segub. Segub was the father of Jair, who had twenty-three towns in the land of Gilead. But Geshur and Aram took from them Havvoth-jair, Kenath and its villages, sixty towns. All these were descendants of Machir, the father of Gilead.”

The oldest son of Manasseh was called Machir, who became the father of Gilead in Joshua, chapter 17. He also was active in the conquest of Gilead in Numbers, chapter 32. Thus his daughter would be a cousin of Hezron and make Hezron more powerful. There is another Segub who rebuilt Jericho, but otherwise this Segub goes unmentioned. However, there were a lot of people named Jair. First there was the 7th judge who had 30 sons, judged for 32 years, and had 30 cities in Gilead in Judges, chapter 10. Obviously this is the reference here but there was no mention of his father in Judges. There is a reference to the Geshurites and the Arameans who took these 60 towns from Gilead in the period before the Exile. The main reason for this mention was to relate Hezron to Machir and the land of Gilead.

David and his men get treated well at Mahanaim (2 Sam 17:27-17:29)

“When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, with wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds. They also brought sheep and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat. They said. ‘The troops are hungry, weary, and thirsty in the wilderness.”

David was taking refuge at Mahanaim, which was in the territory of Gad, and had been mentioned in Genesis and Joshua. Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai were taking care of David, by bringing him all kinds of stuff, furniture, food, and animals. They said that David and his troops must be hungry, weary, and thirsty. Machir had helped David with Mephibosheth, the crippled son of Jonathan.