Good morning! Today is another good day for those who want unique baby-name suggestions! 1 Chronicles 6-7 continue the lists of descendants from the various tribes of Israel. Among the Levites, notice Aaron, Moses, and Miriam, plus a host of other characters we heard about in the Pentateuch. In the list of which musicians and other Levites served in the tabernacle, the writer emphasizes again that only Aaron and his descendants make offerings on the tabernacle altars, underscoring the separation of duties we learned earlier. Among those in Benjamin’s tribe, Saul is curiously not listed (though there’s a different list in chapter 8 that includes him). I also wonder why the Naphtali list is so short, and Bilhah his mother is uniquely listed as their ancestor also. Surely, there must be a story there! The same is true of the daughter of Ephraim (or Beriah), who in 7:24 is described as building “both Lower and Upper Beth-horon” plus some other places. Unfortunately, we don’t get the stories here, so are left to wonder and speculate.
Though there’s almost nothing by way of narrative in these chapters and they fit the stereotype of why people think the Bible is impossible to understand, I also find something beautiful in this impulse of tracking each name and relations. I see in this a witness to God who cares about every person, no matter how historically insignificant she or he might seem to others. Hence, the Bible captures the everyday as well as the extraordinary, and this becomes a book of family memory for generations. Ancestry trees were often kept in Bibles, after all, as though to acknowledge the central role of this Scripture. If God cares for the small and barely-named people whose names ended up in a book treasured as inspired Word, there’s no telling what will happen with our apparently-insignificant lives, when placed in God’s care. Happy reading!
Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is 1 Chronicles 8-9. Thanks for reading!