1 Chronicles 1:34-54 (Part 2) – One Thing Leads to Another and Nobody Remembers Why

Posted: November 6, 2019 in 13-1 Chronicles

1 Chronicles 1:34-54 (Part 2 of 3)

Descendants of Isaac

Yesterday, we talked about how one comment in 1966 from my grandfather to one of my uncles set in motion a history of enmity between my uncle and the rest of his blood family that lasted over 5 decades. There are cousins out there that I know nothing about other than meeting them one time in the mid-1970s when my father was trying to mediate the rift between my grandfather and my uncle. These cousins most likely have their own version of history as to who we of the Ralph Bowling, Sr. clan (my grandfather, his four other sons and their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren). They do not know the real us and do not know the real story behind the family rift. Stubbornness on the part of my grandfather and my uncle caused most likely a continental drift between the truth of what happened in 1966 and the reality that my uncle most likely constructed for his family (his children and their progeny). It is a sad tale of stubbornness that led to a leg of my grandfather’s genealogical tree that was chopped off and became an independent tree. It is a sad tale of where the lack of reconciliation led to reasons being piled on reasons for hatred, distrust and a forever wound that would never heal. It led to a litany of reasons why the relationships could never be joined again. All because of a stupid comment, a lack of forgiveness, pride, and a series of actions that piled up that would forever prevent reconciliation to the point that the current generations within our family. There are cousins I have out there that I met once but who have a completely different version of history to support their dad’s idea of who we are and why he had to continue his hatred of his own blood family.

Sometimes in today’s America, we wonder why the Middle East is such a volatile powder keg of a region of the world. We just don’t get sometimes why everyone there just can’t get along. No matter how many peace accords Western nations have tried to broker in the Middle East, the region seems to be forever a place of war and that it is hopelessly lost in conflict. The hatred in the region is so completely embedded in the psyche of groups of people that it seems hopeless to ever combat these fundamental hatreds. We wonder why. This is where the Old Testament intersects with our modern age. If you wonder why the region is so embroiled in hatred. It goes back over 6,000 years and thousands of generations of differing versions of the truth. The roots of the hatred go back to Jacob and Esau and Ishmael and Isaac. The Old Testament is more than just a construct of interesting stories. It is the basis of who we are as a world of people groups. It is a testament to the fractured world in which we live in which pride and arrogance are at the root of all the conflict in the world and how we have gotten to where we are today. We are all cousins dating back to the genealogies here 1 Chronicles. Yet, things happened during these early genealogies forever caused diversions of paths of people. To justify hatred among brothers and cousins for generations, versions of truth were developed to justify the diversions of family trees.

It’s that idea of justifying hatred that becomes institutionalized in families is what I thought of this morning. Let’s read the passage now, 1 Chronicles 1:34-54 for the second of three blogs about this passage.

34 Abraham was the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel.[a]

Descendants of Esau

35 The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.

36 The descendants of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho,[b] Gatam, Kenaz, and Amalek, who was born to Timna.[c]

37 The descendants of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

Original Peoples of Edom

38 The descendants of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan.

39 The descendants of Lotan were Hori and Hemam.[d] Lotan’s sister was named Timna.

40 The descendants of Shobal were Alvan,[e] Manahath, Ebal, Shepho,[f] and Onam.

The descendants of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah.

41 The son of Anah was Dishon.

The descendants of Dishon were Hemdan,[g] Eshban, Ithran, and Keran.

42 The descendants of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.[h]

The descendants of Dishan[i] were Uz and Aran.

Rulers of Edom

43 These are the kings who ruled in the land of Edom before any king ruled over the Israelites[j]:

Bela son of Beor, who ruled from his city of Dinhabah.

44 When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah became king in his place.

45 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites became king in his place.

46 When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Avith. He was the one who destroyed the Midianite army in the land of Moab.

47 When Hadad died, Samlah from the city of Masrekah became king in his place.

48 When Samlah died, Shaul from the city of Rehoboth-on-the-River became king in his place.

49 When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Acbor became king in his place.

50 When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king in his place and ruled from the city of Pau.[k] His wife was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred and granddaughter of Me-zahab. 51 Then Hadad died.

The clan leaders of Edom were Timna, Alvah,[l] Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel, and Iram. These are the clan leaders of Edom.

In this passage, we see that Amalek. He is the grandson of Esau and was the son of his father’s (Timma’s) concubine (see Genesis 36:12). He was the ancestor of the wicked tribe known as the Amalekites, the first people to attack Israel on their way to the Promised Land. To understand, the significance of this genealogical reference, we first must review some biblical history.

For ancient Jewish readers, Amalek is swept into the long story of God’s faithfulness to Israel, the complicated choosing of a king, and the protection of God’s people from their enemies. That the Amalekites became an evil and wicked people that had deep hatred of the Israelites take us back to the root of it, Jacob and Esau. Scripture records the long-lasting feud between the Amalekites and the Israelites and God’s direction to wipe the Amalekites off the face of the earth (Exodus 17:8–13; 1 Samuel 15:2; Deuteronomy 25:17). Why God would call His people to exterminate an entire tribe is a difficult question, but a look at history may give some insight.

Like many desert tribes, the Amalekites were nomadic. Numbers 13:29 places them as native to the Negev, the desert between Egypt and Canaan. The Babylonians called them the Sute, Egyptians the Sittiu, and the Amarna tablets refer to them as the Khabbati, or “plunderers.” The Amalekites’ unrelenting brutality toward the Israelites began with an attack at Rephidim (Exodus 17:8–13). This is recounted in Deuteronomy 25:17–19 with this admonition: “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind [typically women and children]: they had no fear of God. When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!”

The Amalekites later joined with the Canaanites and attacked the Israelites at Hormah (Numbers 14:45). In Judges they banded with the Moabites (Judges 3:13) and the Midianites (Judges 6:3) to wage war on the Israelites. They were responsible for the repeated destruction of the Israelites’ land and food supply.

In 1 Samuel 15:2–3, God tells King Saul, “I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them, put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.”

In response, King Saul first warns the Kenites, friends of Israel, to leave the area. He then attacks the Amalekites but does not complete the task. He allows the Amalekite King Agag to live, takes plunder for himself and his army, and lies about the reason for doing so. Saul’s rebellion against God and His commands is so serious that he is rejected by God as king (1 Samuel 15:23). The escaped Amalekites continued to harass and plunder the Israelites in successive generations that spanned hundreds of years. First Samuel 30 reports an Amalekite raid on Ziklag, a Judean village where David held property. The Amalekites burned the village and took captive all the women and children, including two of David’s wives. David and his men defeated the Amalekites and rescued all the hostages. A few hundred Amalekites escaped, however. Much later, during the reign of King Hezekiah, a group of Simeonites “killed the remaining Amalekites” who had been living in the hill country of Seir (1 Chronicles 4:42–43).

The last mention of the Amalekites is found in the book of Esther where Haman the Agagite, a descendant of the Amalekite king Agag, connives to have all the Jews in Persia annihilated by order of King Xerxes. God saved the Jews in Persia, however, and Haman, his sons, and the rest of Israel’s enemies were destroyed instead (Esther 9:5–10). The Amalekites’ hatred of the Jews by this point was institutionalized and was just part of the psyche of the people. At some point, they just hated the Jews because it was part of the engrained culture of the people, not really knowing why. It just was. You find that this state of affairs continue to this day in the Middle East.

So, the takeaway this morning is to stop the madness before it becomes institutionalized hatred. The Amalekites and the Israelites were related to each other. But ultimately the separation of the family trees led to different lifestyles, different histories, and institutionalized hatred that just is part of who you are. To unravel that is difficult when it becomes part of the basis of the culture.

Each of us may have people in our lives that we have come to dislike and even hate. And we are passing those hatreds along to our children. It just becomes part of the family culture deeply engrained. To unravel it is difficult. Is there someone you need to forgive before it becomes layered into the generations of your family? Are you constructing a reality that justifies hating someone as being OK? Let us take hold of ourselves and realize that God could easily hate us and give us no chance. He could write us off and be justified in it. We have constructed our version of ourselves that is far from the real truth of the real us that God knows. He could just write us off. However, He loves us even when we are flaunting our rebellion in his face. He loves us so much that He made a way for us to be reconciled to Him. His name is Jesus. He made a way for us to end the animosity between us and Him. He made a way.

Is there someone that you should show the same forgiveness? Is there someone that you have constructed a reality where your hatred is justified? Is there someone with whom you may be creating a generational hatred between your family and theirs? Is there someone you just need to lay down your pride and forgive? God has done no less for us? Let us end the war right here. Let us show the same love for others that God has shown us through Jesus Christ!

Amen and Amen.

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