1 Chronicles 1-7 are very important to Jewish history and property rights. Many times Christians come to genealogical records and just skip over all the unpronounceable names. Here in our reading we are privileged to read the multiple records of Judah/Israel ancestries. Genesis is broken-down into various “Record books” of lineage. I just did the 23 and Me genealogy test to find out more about my ancestry. Some people are afraid to do such a thing for fear of what they might find out about their relatives. The capturing of Israel/Judah history speaks to the authenticity of the Bible. If man were writing the Bible we would have left out a lot of the negative shenanigans of the people and cleaned it up to make us look favorable. The writer of 1/2 Chronicles has been attributed to Ezra, the scribe. All of the names and lineages begin with Adam and include the Patriarchal Fathers like Noah, Seth, Abraham, Isaac and Israel [Jacob]. We are given the lines of Isaac and Ishmael and the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s second wife. Quickly the writer delves into the 12 sons of Jacob and their ancestors. We are given extensive accounting of King David’s line, to include his many wives and children. There is a method to all the names; in that the writer is getting to a point of identifying the ancestry line of Jesus Christ. This line can be found in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. It becomes obvious to the reader that the line from Judah is most important; for from that line will come the Messiah.
A question I am sure everyone asks while reading the myriad of names is WHY are they so important? Well, 1 Chronicles gives us the historical line from creation to Abraham, then through Jacob’s son’s then through David’s line. The Messianic Line; the line of Promise and perpetual covenant. David was promised that there would always be one of his line on the throne of Judah. Jesus being the final King to sit upon the throne – as He becomes the Lion of Judah. While there is prophetic and Messianic connections there is one more point that makes the lineage connections important.
With the deportation of all the nobles, craftsmen and skilled people to Babylon and only the poorest of people left remaining; how can the Jews [as they are now called] reestablish their inheritance in the Promise Land when they return? In other words who is rightful owner of the property, what tribe do they belong to and what authority do they have to inhabit the Land? The problem comes when “rightful” owners had to prove their ancestry and inheritance lines. During the 70 years of deportation and exile, the left behind people inter-married with the Assyrian “imported” people. Understanding the rightful owner had to prove purity of line. Ezra condemned the inter-marrying that occurred; not on racial basis, but spiritual lines. [Ezra 9]
The extensive details of who begat who was the litmus test to proving ones line and right to the land upon returning from Babylon. If you could not prove you lineage, you forfeited any claim to the Promised Land. So what does all this mean for us today? While there is growing interest in where we came from, as Believers the ability to prove our lineage/ancestry enables us to know Where we are going.
We are [those by faith in Jesus Christ] now the Sons of God, heirs and joint-heirs with Jesus. There will be a similar requirement of identification. It is found in Revelation 20:11-15. In this verification of lineage; those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter into an inheritance of Eternal Life in the New Jerusalem. Those whose names are missing, will be cast out of the Hold City and exiled to Gehenna Hell. Our heavenly ancestry avails us to all rights and privileges of the King – King of Kings and Lord of Lords – Jesus Christ the Son of God who died and gave Himself for me.
It is interesting to know where one came from; but more important to know where was is bound! There are many I am sure that think that because they hang around with heirs of Salvation, that they get to come along, but sadly, only those whom the King recognizes as His will obtain the unsearchable riches of God.