So, this is still genealogy. The NIB commentator quoted another as describing these long genealogies as a fortress or price of admission to the compelling narrative found within Chronicles. We’ll see.
This selection, however, has little narratives woven into the genealogies. The first that struck me is the story of Jabez. The Prayer of Jabez was a popular movement that intrigued me in the early 2000’s. A friend of mine at Church introduced me to the idea of asking for more as a first step in achieving more. Here’s the entire story of Jabez.
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
Next, I noticed that Pharaoh’s daughter is in the genealogy of Judah. This is an interesting detail. More evidence of cultural heterogeneous blood line, perhaps. The NIB Commentary tells me that these folks were from the Southern territory of Judah, i.e. Egypt adjacent.
Finally, according to the Chronicler, Reuben controlled the territory all the way to the Euphrates. There is even a story of him kicking the butt of some Bedouins living there. This was new to me, that in some sense the larger Promised land had been realized.
Interesting note: It is fascinating that the lists are almost entirely male dominated, almost. Wives, and even daughters, get the occasional mention.