Saturday, May 03, 2014

1 Chronicles 7-8 Hebrews and their names

From 1 Chronicles 7-8

1 Chr 7.1-5; Genealogy; Descendants of Issachar
1 Chr 7.6-12; Genealogy; Descendants of Benjamin
1 Chr 7.13; Genealogy; Descendants of Naphtali
1 Chr 7.14-19; Genealogy; Descendants of Manasseh
1 Chr 7.20-29; Genealogy; Descendants of Ephraim
1 Chr 7.30-40; Genealogy; Descendants of Asher
1 Chr 8.1-40; Genealogy; A Genealogy of Saul

Passage and Comments
The genealogies are about to finish. Some of the genealogies capture the details of their lives.

20 The sons of Ephraim: Shuthelah, and Bered his son, Tahath his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, 21 Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead, whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to raid their livestock. 22 And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brothers came to comfort him. (1 Chr 7.20-22)

Normally we might flick past sections like this rushing ahead to story. For the people involved in this genealogy I suspect they would not. The account would bring back memories of various events and of their family. It seems when they settled in the land they attacked some of the locals. Two of Ephraim son’s were killed in the raid and he mourned their loss.

23 And Ephraim went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son. And he called his name Beriah, because disaster had befallen his house. (1 Chr 7.23)

Ephraim had another son and he was named in memory of his mourning for the earlier two sons. His name was Beriah. I will chat about him below.

24 His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah. 25 Rephah was his son, Resheph his son, Telah his son, Tahan his son, 26 Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, 27 Nun his son, Joshua his son. (1 Chr 7.24-27)

Joshua, son of Nun of the house of Ephraim. The same Joshua who lead Israel into the promised land and who the LORD commanded to be strong and courageous.

28 Their possessions and settlements were Bethel and its towns, and to the east Naaran, and to the west Gezer and its towns, Shechem and its towns, and Ayyah and its towns; 29 also in possession of the Manassites, Beth-shean and its towns, Taanach and its towns, Megiddo and its towns, Dor and its towns. In these lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel. (1 Chr 7.28-29)

It seems from most of this record the tribe of Ephraim has an eventful beginning. Reading between the lines were the Egyptian captivity, the Exodus under Moses, the giving of the Law at Sinai and the entry into the promised land under Joshua.

Story of Israel
The Hebrews quite often named their children after events and circumstances they were born into. Sometimes the names themselves sound like other words in Hebrew. The Hebrew noun for Beriah for instance sounds like the Hebrew for disaster. I’m not so sure what it would be like introducing yourself with a name like this to others. Probably it would lead to the story behind it.

The Hebrew for the name of Joshua means ‘the LORD is salvation’. Quite a powerful reminder to take refuge in the LORD, to rely and trust in him.

Story of Jesus
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: . “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. (Mt 1:18–25)

What does your name mean?