The descendants of Hur (1 Chr 2:51-2:55)

“The sons of Hur the first-born of Ephrathah were Shobal father of Kiriath-jearim, Salma father of Bethlehem, and Hareph father of Beth-gader. Shobal father of Kiriath-jearim had other sons, Haroch, half of the Menuhoth. The families of Kiriath-jearim were the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, and the Mishraites. From these came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. The sons of Salma were Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab, and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites. The families were also of the scribes that lived at Jabez, the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, father of the house of Rechab.”

Hur was the grandson of Hezron, via Caleb and Ephrath. Thus his family will become known as the Ephrathites, the area around Bethlehem, since this genealogy is an attempt to find the ancestors of Bethlehem. (1) Hur’s son mentioned earlier was Uri with his grandson the famous ark artisan Bezalel. Here the emphasis is on (2) Shobal, who seems to be the founder or father of Kiriath-jearim which is mentioned over 17 times in the biblical literature. This town was a famous Israelite sanctuary or high place, somewhere around the border of Judah and Benjamin. There also was a Horite named Shobal. Shobal had other sons, but there is mention of (3) Haroch or Haroeh, which is half of Menuhoth. This is the only time that these names appear in the biblical literature. There are 6 families or clans that come out of Kiriath-jearim with this the only mention of the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Mishraites, the Shumathites, the Zorathites, and the Eshtaolites. The brother of Shobal was Salma, who is considered to be the father or founder of Bethlehem. This is the only mention of Salma, but Bethlehem becomes an important biblical place since it is mentioned nearly 50 times in the biblical literature because of David and Jesus much later. The original name of this ancient town may have been Ephrath. Another 6 groups or clans come from Bethlehem. Netophathites is mentioned twice besides here as a village around Bethlehem. This is the only mention of Atroth-beth-joab, the Zorites, the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites. The half of Manahathites mentioned here may be the other half of the group from his brother Shobal. Jabez is both a place and a person. This is the only mention of the 3rd son Hareph and the town of Beth-gader, which might be near or the same as the town of Geder in Joshua, chapter 12, but no groups come from there or him. The Kenites appear 8 times in the biblical literature as a group around the Dead Sea area. Moses’ father-in-law and his wife were Kenites. Hammath was a northern city that only appears twice. However, Rechab appears over 13 times as a group called the Rechabites who like the Kenites were friendly to the Israelites. The most prominent Rechabite may have been Jehonadab in 2 Kings, chapter 10, where he joined with King Jehu in helping wipe out the family of King Ahab.

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