Various tribal leaders (1 Chr 27:16-27:22)

“Over the tribes of Israel,

For the Reubenites Eliezer son of Zichri was chief officer.

For the Simeonites, Shephatiah son of Maacah was chief officer.

For Levi, Hashabiah son of Kemuel was chief officer.

For Aaron, Zadok was chief officer.

For Judah, Elihu, one of David’s brothers was chief officer.

For Issachar, Omri son of Michael was chief officer.

For Zebulun, Ishmaiah son of Obadiah was chief officer.

For Naphtali, Jeremoth son of Azriel was chief officer.

For the Ephraimites, Hoshea son of Azaziah was chief officer.

For the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joel son of Pedaiah was chief officer.

For the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo son of Zechariah was chief officer.

For Benjamin, Jaasiel son of Abner was chief officer.

For Dan, Azarel son of Jeroham was chief officer.

These were the leaders of the tribes of Israel.”

Notice first, that there is no leader for Gad or Asher. Aaron also had a separate leader. Although there are 10 different people with the name of (1) Eliezer, this son of Zichri is only mentioned here. Even though there are 7 different people with the name of (2) Shephatiah, this son of Maacah is only mentioned here. This (3) Hashabiah son of Kemuel may be the same as the Levite mentioned earlier in this book, but there were a lot of Levites with this name. (4) Zadok was the high priest. (5) Elihu was not really a blood brother of King David. There were 3 others with the name of (6) Omri, but this Omri was not a king. (7) Ishmaiah son of Obadiah may have been one of the “Thirty” warriors of David. (8) Jeremoth son of Azriel may have been one of the warriors mentioned in chapter 25. There were 3 other people with the name of Hoshea, including a king, but not this (9) Hoshea son of Azaziah. Although Joel was a popular name of over 14 people, including a prophet, this (10) Joel son of Pedaiah only appears here. 6 different biblical people have the name of Iddo, but this (11) Iddo son of Zechariah only appears here. There is only 1 other Jaasiel besides this (12) Jaasiel son of Abner. This (13) Azarel son of Jeroham may be the same one mentioned in chapter 25.

 

The wars of the Transjordan people (1 Chr 5:18-5:22)

“The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had valiant men, who carried shield and sword and drew the bow. As experts in war, forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty men were ready for service. They made war upon the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. When they received help against them, the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hands. They cried to God in the battle. He granted their entreaty because they trusted in him. They captured their livestock, fifty thousand of their camels, two hundred and fifty thousand sheep, two thousand donkeys, and a hundred thousand captives alive. Many fell slain, because the war was of God. They lived in their territory until the exile.”

These Transjordan people were great warriors with a standing army of about 44,760 armed men with shields, swords, bows and arrows. The exact number is a little strange. The 3 groups were the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. They prayed to God and God heard their cry. They defeated the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. The Reubenites had also defeated the Hagrites, an Arab tribe, supposedly the descendants, of Ishmael, based on his mother’s name Hagar, Sarah’s slave. Jetur and Naphish were the sons of Ishmael also. Nodab is only mentioned here but he may have been connected to the Ishmael clan in some way. They really seem to be against the descendents of Ishmael. They captured their land, their livestock with 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep, and 2,000 donkeys. They also captured about 100,000 men. Once again, we have some amazing numbers. It is not clear what they did with these 100,000 captives. Of course, all this lasted until the 8th century BCE exile.