Issachar1 The sons of Issachar:
Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron—four in all.
Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam and Samuel—heads of their families. During the reign of David, the descendants of Tola listed as fighting men in their genealogy numbered 22,600.
Michael, Obadiah, Joel and Ishiah. All five of them were chiefs. 4 According to their family genealogy, they had 36,000 men ready for battle, for they had many wives and children.
5 The relatives who were fighting men belonging to all the clans of Issachar, as listed in their genealogy, were 87,000 in all.
Benjamin6 Three sons of Benjamin:
Bela, Beker and Jediael.
Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri, heads of families—five in all. Their genealogical record listed 22,034 fighting men.
Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth and Alemeth. All these were the sons of Beker. 9 Their genealogical record listed the heads of families and 20,200 fighting men.
Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Kenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish and Ahishahar. 11 All these sons of Jediael were heads of families. There were 17,200 fighting men ready to go out to war.
12 The Shuppites and Huppites were the descendants of Ir, and the Hushites the descendants of Aher.
Naphtali13 The sons of Naphtali:
Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem—the descendants of Bilhah.
Manasseh14 The descendants of Manasseh:
Asriel was his descendant through his Aramean concubine. She gave birth to Makir the father of Gilead. 15 Makir took a wife from among the Huppites and Shuppites. His sister’s name was Maakah.
Another descendant was named Zelophehad, who had only daughters.
16 Makir’s wife Maakah gave birth to a son and named him Peresh. His brother was named Sheresh, and his sons were Ulam and Rakem.
These were the sons of Gilead son of Makir, the son of Manasseh. 18 His sister Hammoleketh gave birth to Ishhod, Abiezer and Mahlah.
Ahian, Shechem, Likhi and Aniam.
1 Chronicles 7:1-19
Ephraim20 The descendants of Ephraim:
Shuthelah, Bered his son,
Tahath his son, Eleadah his son,
Tahath his son, 21 Zabad his son
and Shuthelah his son.
Ezer and Elead were killed by the native-born men of Gath, when they went down to seize their livestock. 22 Their father Ephraim mourned for them many days, and his relatives came to comfort him. 23 Then he made love to his wife again, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. He named him Beriah, because there had been misfortune in his family. 24 His daughter was Sheerah, who built Lower and Upper Beth Horon as well as Uzzen Sheerah.
Telah his son, Tahan his son,
26 Ladan his son, Ammihud his son,
Elishama his son, 27 Nun his son
and Joshua his son.
28 Their lands and settlements included Bethel and its surrounding villages, Naaran to the east, Gezer and its villages to the west, and Shechem and its villages all the way to Ayyah and its villages. 29 Along the borders of Manasseh were Beth Shan, Taanach, Megiddo and Dor, together with their villages. The descendants of Joseph son of Israel lived in these towns.
Asher30 The sons of Asher:
Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah. Their sister was Serah.
Heber and Malkiel, who was the father of Birzaith.
32 Heber was the father of Japhlet, Shomer and Hotham and of their sister Shua.
Pasak, Bimhal and Ashvath.
These were Japhlet’s sons.
Ahi, Rohgah, Hubbah and Aram.
Zophah, Imna, Shelesh and Amal.
Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah, 37 Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran and Beera.
Jephunneh, Pispah and Ara.
Arah, Hanniel and Rizia.
40 All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders. The number of men ready for battle, as listed in their genealogy, was 26,000.
We have here an account, I. Of the tribe of Ephraim. Great things we read of that tribe when it came to maturity. Here we have an account of the disasters of its infancy, while it was in Egypt as it should seem; for Ephraim himself was alive when those things were done, which yet is hard to imagine if it were, as is here computed, seven generations off. Therefore I am apt to think that either it was another Ephraim or that those who were slain were the immediate sons of that Ephraim that was the son of Joseph. In this passage, which is related here only, we have, 1. The great breach that was made upon the family of Ephraim. The men of Gath, Philistines, giants, slew many of the sons of that family, because they came down to take away their cattle, v. 21. It is uncertain who were the aggressors here. Some make the men of Gath the aggressors, men born in the land of Egypt, but now resident in Gath, supposing that they came down into the land of Goshen, to drive away the Ephraimites’ cattle, and slew the owners, because they stood up in the defense of them. Many a man’s life has been exposed and betrayed by his wealth; so far is it from being a strong city. Others think that the Ephraimites made a descent upon the men of Gath to plunder them, presuming that the time had come when they should be put in possession of Canaan; but they paid dearly for their rashness and precipitation. Those that will not wait God’s time cannot expect God’s blessing. I rather think that the men of Gath came down upon the Ephraimites, because the Israelites in Egypt were shepherds, not soldiers, abounded in cattle of their own, and therefore were not likely to venture their lives for their neighbours’ cattle: and the words may be read, The men of Gath slew them, for they came down to take away their cattle. Zabad the son of Ephraim, and Shuthelah, and Ezer, and Elead (his grandchildren), were, as Dr. Lightfoot thinks, the men that were slain. Jacob had foretold that the seed of Ephraim should become a multitude of nations (Gen. 48:19), and yet that plant is thus nipped in the bud. God’s providences often seem to contradict his promises; but, when they do so, they really magnify the promise, and make the performance of it, notwithstanding, so much more illustrious. The Ephraimites were the posterity of Joseph, and yet his power could not protect them, though some think he was yet living. The sword devours one as well as another. 2. The great grief which oppressed the father of the family hereupon: Ephraim mourned many days. Nothing brings the aged to the grave with more sorrow than their following the young that descend from them to the grave first, especially if in blood. It is often the burden of those that live to be old that they see those go before them of whom they said, These same shall comfort us. It was a brotherly friendly office which his brethren did, when they came to comfort him under this great affliction, to express their sympathy with him and concern for him, and to suggest that to him which would support and quiet him under this sad providence. Probably they reminded him of the promise of increase which Jacob had blessed him when he laid his right hand upon his head. Although his house was not so with God as he hoped, but a house of mourning, a shattered family, yet that promise was sure, 2 Sa. 23:5. 3. The repair of this breach, in some measure, by addition of another son to his family in his old age (v. 23), like Seth, another seed instead of that of Abel whom Cain slew, Gen. 4:25. When God thus restores comfort to his mourners, makes glad according to the days wherein he afflicted, setting the mercies over against the crosses, we ought therein to take notice of the kindness and tenderness of divine Providence; it is as if it repented God concerning his servants, Ps. 90:13, 15. Yet joy that a man was born into his family could not make him forget his grief; for he gives a melancholy name to his son, Beriah—in trouble, for he was born when the family was in mourning, when it went evil with his house. It is good to have in remembrance the affliction and the misery, the wormwood and the gall, that our souls may be humbled within us, Lam. 3:19, 20. What name more proper for man that is born of a woman than Beriah, because born into a troublesome world? It is added, as a further honor to the house of Ephraim, (1.) That a daughter of that tribe, Sherah by name, at the time of Israel’s setting in Canaan, built some cities, either at her own charge or by her own care; one of them bore her name, Uzzen-Sherah, v. 24. A virtuous woman may be as great an honor and blessing to a family as a mighty man. (2.) That a son of that tribe was employed in the conquest of Canaan, Joshua the son of Nun, v. 27. In this also the breach made on Ephraim’s family was further repaired; and perhaps the resentment of this injury formerly done by the Canaanites to the Ephraimites might make him more vigorous in the war. II. Of the tribe of Asher. Some men of note of that tribe are here named. Their militia was not numerous in comparison with some other tribes, only 26,000 men in all; but their princes were choice and mighty men of valor, chief of the princes (v. 40), and perhaps it was their wisdom that they coveted not to make their trained bands numerous, but rather to have a few, and those apt to the war and serviceable men.