1. 1 Chronicles 1:34–42 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

Summary - Descendants of Abraham

1 Chronicles 1:34–42 (ESV)

34 Abraham fathered Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel.

Abraham fathered Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel (1 Chronicles 1:34). With regard to the line of Isaac, the Chronicler again records that Abraham fathered Isaac, something already stated in 1 Chronicles 1:28, thus emphasising the line of the covenant promise. The Chronicler consistently uses Israel, the name the Lord gave him on the banks of the Jabbok, rather than Jacob, when naming Isaac’s sons; the one exception is 1 Chronicles 16:13, 1 Chronicles 16:17, where Jacob and Israel are in parallel in a song (Psalm 105:10). This highlights both the promise behind the name as well as the solidarity of the twelve tribes as contained in the term all Israel.1,2

The genealogy of Isaac, like that of Abraham, considers first the son who does not occupy a place in covenant succession, namely, Esau. Many of the names in this list indicate a Transjordanian and even an Arabian settlement. Esau seems to have had a preference for the eastern territories; he married an Ishmaelite woman (Genesis 28:9), settled in Seir (that is, Edom, Genesis 32:3, Genesis 33:16), and eventually became the father of the Edomites (Genesis 36:9).

1 Chronicles 1:35 notes that Esau had five sons, one of whom was Eliphaz. The name Eliphaz is important because one of Job’s counsellors, a Temanite from Arabia (Job 2:11) bore the same name, thus suggesting a Transjordanian or eastern location of each. One of Eliphaz’s sons was Amalek, the son of Timna, a concubine of Eliphaz (Genesis 36:12). Timna bore Amalek to Eliphaz.

The Amalekites were undoubtedly an eastern people (Genesis 14:7; Exodus 17:8–16; Judges 6:3, Judges 6:33; Judges 7:12) as were the “sons of Seir," the earlier name for Edom (Genesis 14:6; Genesis 36:9, Genesis 36:21; 2 Chronicles 20:10; Ezekiel 35:15). The Amalekites became one of Israel’s most bitter enemies; they were the first nation to wage war with the Israelites after departure from Egypt (Exodus 17:8–16).

Uz (1 Chronicles 1:42) is famous as the home of Job (Job 1:1).