Sermon on the Mount, The Emmaus View

Precedents for adopted a heritage. (Version 1.6)

Precedents for adopting a heritage

Symptoms and benefits

It is an inconvenient truth that Jesus, whilst a ‘seed’ of David through Mary’s line1, claimed the throne of Israel only through his adoptive father. Yet Matthew tackles this head on. Nor should we be embarrassed by it, for anomalies in other biblical genealogies suggest that the precedents already existed for such God-ordained transference of hereditary rights by adoption. Moreover, taking account of Jesus’ adoption can also help us reconcile the apparent inconsistencies between Matthew’s genealogy and that in Luke.

Take a closer look at one of Matthew’s missing monarchs, Jehoiakim, and it seems adoption provided the solution to a knotty spiritual problem. Furthermore, by understanding how God used a hierarchy of authorities to preserve the legacy of Eve, then spotting the symptoms of adoption, it becomes apparent how it aided first Moses, then Caleb, and finally David, to secure a future for that heritage.

The problematic curse on Jehoiakim’s seed

Jehoiakim represented a problem for the Davidic line, for the curse he carried (Jer 36:30) was in sharp contrast to the promise of an eternal kingdom and heirs to sit upon its throne (1 Kgs 9:4-5). Furthermore, just as God reiterated to Solomon the promise given to David (1 Kgs 9:4-7), so the curse pronounced over Jehoiakim was reiterated to his son Jehoiachin, “Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jer 22:30, KJV).

Paradoxically, Jehoiachin’s ascent to David’s throne confirmed that there would be no divine u-turn to save the day. During his eight years as co-regent, his father still occupied David’s throne in Jerusalem (). However, once Jehoiakim died, Jehoiachin ruled in Jerusalem for just three months before Nebuchadnezzar removed him (2 Kgs 24:8-12). This brief time-span is a critical detail, for the ancient Israelites assessed any apparent change of heart for four-month before accepting that it was genuine (see Appendix F). Thus, the brief reign and prompt removal of Jehoiachin simply confirmed God’s intent.

A solution for Zerubbabel

Jeremiah portrayed the loss of the throne from Jehoiakim’s line as the removal of God’s signet ring (Jer 22:24). Thus, the throne never fully passed to either Jehoiachin or his son Shealtiel (1 Chr 3:17). However, then Zerubbabel arrived as governor of Judah and the prophets, whilst they avoided overtly calling him one, nevertheless affirmed him in the role of king. Haggai portrayed him as God’s signet ring replaced (Hag 2:23)2 and Zechariah pictured him as the branch of David and a royal priest on his throne (Zech 3:8, 6:11-15). Yet, Zerubbabel has the appearance of being from Jehoiakim’s line, for the Hebrew Bible gives his father as Shealtiel (Hag 2:2) or Shealtiel’s brother Pedaiah (1 Chr 3:19)3. Matthew, although he omits Jehoiakim from his genealogy follows suit with Zerubbabel as son of Shealtiel, son of Jeconiah i.e. Jehoiachin (Matt 1:12, cf. 1 Chr 3:16).

God’s role for Zerubbabel may seem to contradict his earlier assurance to Jehoiakim. However, Luke, by giving Shealtiel as son of Neri (Luke 3:27), rather than Jeconiah, provides a clue to what was going on. For genealogists, the records left by an individual can often make it appear as if they have two fathers. When that happens, it is usually because one party has adopted the name of another to ensure the survival of their hereditary rights. For example, in eighteenth century England it was commonplace for a childless man to leave his title or land to a relative on condition that they took his surname with it. This suggests a solution to the curse upon Jehoiakim’s family, for, as it applied to his ‘seed’, i.e. his biological descendants, it would not affect the legal entitlement of an adopted son. Thus, by adoption, the right to David’s throne could bypass compromised individuals and be conferred instead upon an alternate, safer, line.

Adoption provided a way for God’s promises to re-unite in Zerubbabel. Furthermore, on the sort of timeline of ancestors that a historian might devise, both the natural and the adopted fathers would appear in sequence. Thus, Luke’s genealogy can be reconciled with Matthew’s by suggesting it means ‘Zerubbabel, son by adoption of Shealtiel and before that, natural son of Neri’. The same approach also resolves the differences between Matthew and Luke concerning the parentage of Joseph, where Matthew has Jacob as the father of Mary’s husband (Matt 1:16), but Luke would omit Mary and treat Jesus’ adoption similarly to that of Zerubbabel, giving ‘Jesus, son by adoption of Joseph and before that natural son of Mary, the natural daughter of Eli’.

David’s dual ancestry

Luke’s genealogy, whilst exposing adoption’s role in the transfer of title between Shealtiel and Zerubbabel, fails to notice that David also has the sort of schizophrenic ancestry associated with an adopted heritage. This is hardly surprising, for the genealogy given in Ruth was already well established (Ruth 4:18-22, 1 Chr 2:9-15). However, begin to take a look at spiritual authority and the significance, for David, of rights acquired by adoption and marriage, becomes a bit more apparent. Understanding the authority structure within early Israel will also help us in the next chapter, when we look at events in the time of the Judges.

From the earliest times, spiritual authority amongst the Semitic peoples rested squarely upon a foundation of covenants, paternal blessings and commitments to serve. Hence, it’s transmission frequently failed to parallel the inheritance of material wealth. Whilst men would usually leave a double portion of their land to their eldest son (Deut 21:17), God’s choice to accept Abel over Cain (Gen 4:4-5) and Isaac over Ishmael (Gen 17:18-21) suggested that the Lord preferred the younger son as priest. Thus, although Isaac favoured Esau over Jacob, Rebekah’s intervention ensured he followed godly convention (Gen 27:2-10, 37). Similarly, Jacob insisted that the right-hand of spiritual blessing lay on Ephraim in preference to his elder brother (Gen 48:14-19).

Given the significance that Jacob attached to Benjamin, it is reasonable to assume that, in accord with the youngest-son precedent, the authority over Abraham’s altars should have passed from Jacob to his ‘son of the right hand’ (Gen 35:184). Moses’ hinted as much when he declared of the tribe of Benjamin, that “the beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders” (Deut 33:12, KJV)5. Benjamin was special, though other considerations effectively camouflaged that fact, for, by the time Jacob and his family moved to Egypt, Israel had submitted first to Esau (Gen 32:18, see Appendix H) and then to Joseph (Gen 37:9-10).

The emissaries of Esau

After Jacob returned to Canaan and submitted to his brother, the two initially occupied the land together. However, when Canaan became too small a territory for Isaac’s sons to share, Esau emulated Ishmael and moved eastward (Gen 36:6-8), leaving his younger brother to continue overseeing the family’s priestly interests in the west. In this Esau was serving Jacob’s interests in line with Isaac’s blessing (Gen 27:2). However, just as when a trustee serves the interests of a child until they come of age, Esau served his charge as a merciful overlord and faithful agent of Godly judgement. Within this relationship, the successful operation of which depended upon a servant model of leadership, Benjamin’s descendants remained under the watchful eye of Esau’s heirs.

It seems that Esau’s descendants administered their newfound spiritual responsibility from a God-granted bridgehead amongst the promised territorial legacy of Abraham (Gen 15:18-216). Isaac inherited Abraham’s promised range of territories (generically at Gen 26:4). However, the lands of the Kenites, Kenizzites and Kadomonites, were never promised afresh to Israel, nor mentioned in the conquest of Canaan (cf. Exod 3:8). At least part of this unaccounted for share in the estate appears to have ended up with Esau (aka Edom), for amongst his descendents, who often took the name of the places in which they settled (Gen 36:40), we find Kenaz (Gen 36:42). Later references to the Kenites also hint at a strong relationship with Edom. For example, Kenites chose to live amongst the Amalakite descendants of Esau (1 Sam 15:6). Balaam called Amalak “first of the nations” (Num 24:20 KJV) and addressed the Kenites in a prophecy concerning them (Num 24:21). Then, when the wife of a Kenite makes an end of Sisera, it is described figuratively as God marching to the aid of Israel from Edom (Judg 5:4). Thus, the later Kenites and Kenizzites, for which I propose using Kenite as a generic label, appear to represent emissaries of Esau, tasked with the oversight of Israel.

One further strand of evidence for a Kenite connection with Esau deserves mention. The Kenites associated with Amalek and Midian (1 Sam 15:6, Judg 1:16), and their name implies a relationship with craftsmanship and metalworking (cf. 1 Chr 4:13)7. Between the fourteenth and twelfth centuries B.C.E., Timna in Edom was the centre of an extensive copper mining industry. The name Timna also appears, listed between Kenaz and Amalek, amongst the sons of the Edomite Eliphaz. Established by Egyptians in collaboration with the Midianites and the local Amalakites8, this commercial site also operated an Egytian shrine to Hathor, from which has come handiwork reminiscent of the Exodus account, notably a bronze serpent and the use of fabrics in the shrine’s construction9.

Moses and his in-laws

As Israel’s family deserted Palestine for a life in Egypt, God brought them under Joseph’s benign authority, which in turn left them under the authority of Pharaoh (c.f. Gen 47:19), effectively relieved the Kenites of their oversight responsibility, at least until God’s promise to Abraham dictated that Israel should return (Gen 15:13-16, Exod 12:4010). As Israel’s new overlord, Joseph still served Benjamin’s interests in keeping with the youngest-son precedent. Thus, he was keen to establish the safety of his brother (Gen 42:15-16, 20, 43:30) and he tested how his siblings would react to their youngest receiving greater honour (Gen 43:33-34). As Judah offered to lay down his life to preserve the freedom of the child, Joseph found the reaction that he had hoped for. Jacob evidently also noted Judah’s commitment, for he blessed him with authority over his brothers ‘until Shiloh comes’ (Gen 49:9). The interpretation of that phrase is difficult11, but it seems to imply that Judah’s authority was temporary, pending another being put in place, by the establishment of the place Shiloh; or the coming of a ruler; or the receipt of tribute; or the appearance of one with right of possession.

Whilst Israel dwelt in Egypt the legacy of Abraham lived on amongst the sons of Esau in Edom, but, as Israel’s moment to return approached, the sons of Jacob were in no state to start planning a return to Canaan. With Joseph forgotten, God needed an Israelite with the authority of Pharaoh’s household to set Israel free, so he arranged for Moses’ adoption by Pharaoh’s daughter to achieve precisely that. It was about three hundred and ninety years after God spoke to Abraham that Moses’ stand against an Egyptian offered Israel the opportunity to accept him as their judge (Exod 2:13)12. However, when that generation rejected him, the forty-year delay, saw Pharaoh’s authority over Israel expire and the Kenites needing to return to their former role. Therefore, before instructing Moses to return, God gave him the appropriate authority, arranged for him to marry into the family of Reuel, a Kenite ministering on Midianite soil (Ex 2:16, Judg 1:16)13.

As Israel organised themselves in Sinai, they did so with Levites answerable to the Kenites, Ephraimites (i.e. Joseph’s descendants) answerable to Levites, and Benjamites to Ephraimites. Moreover, the tribe of Judah were still expected to lay down their lives in the service of Benjamin. The numbering in Sinai, the role of Hur, and the visit of Jethro reveal how some of this worked in practice. The tribe of Judah travelled at the front (Num 2:3), to bear the brunt of battle and protect Benjamin from whatever lay ahead. The next line of defence was Levi, whilst the tribe of Benjamin marched at the rear, as part of Ephraim’s company (Num 2:18-22). Joshua, heir designate to Ephraim’s leader, answered directly to Moses (1 Chr 7:26-27, Num 11:28, 13:8,16)14. Hur’s presence ensured impartiality in Moses’ intercessions when Israel confronted the Kenite’s sibling tribe, the Amalekites, (Exod 17:11-12). The battle may well have triggered the visit from the Moses’ Kenite in-law Jethro (Exod 18:7)15, during which the prophet bowed to the Kenite’s superior authority. Then, Hur was trusted during Moses’ second forty days on the mountain, to prevent another debacle like that of the golden calf (Exod 24:14).

Caleb and the Kenites

When Moses requested that his Kenite in-law Hobab accompany Israel (Num 10:29-31), he was to show Israel the safe places to dwell and be their eyes, a job description that mirrored the Kenite’s spiritual role. However, the first spying mission demonstrated that Hobab was not the only one equipped to see things God’s way, for so did Joshua and Caleb (Num 14:6-9).

The genealogies in First Chronicles are not the clearest, but from them the picture emerges of three individuals called Caleb, a son of Hezron, a son of Hur and a son of Jephunneh (see Appendix G). The elder Caleb son of Hezron probably died before the Exodus, though possibly not before marrying his father’s widow, Ephrath (1 Chr 2:18, 2416), and making sons of his brothers. However, there are indications that both Caleb son of Hur and Caleb son of Jephunneh represent the same individual, a Caleb junior who was grandson of the elder Caleb. Numbers identifies this later Caleb as of the tribe of Judah but also as the son of a Kenizzite (Num 13:6, 12). Similarly, in First Chronicles, he occurs in what appears to be a list of the sons of Hur (1 Chr 2: 42-49), whilst in Joshua he is portrayed as the son of a Kenizzite (Josh 14:6). Here are the telltale dual lines of descent associated with adoption. As a member of Judah17, Caleb could be their spy, yet as an adopted Kenite he was bound to see things differently.

Hur was clearly close to Moses and his Kenite relatives, but to what extent such a relationship arose because of his son Caleb’s adoptive status, or vice versa, remains unclear.

Although Joshua was Moses’ protégé, there was something different about Caleb18, for, in the Wilderness of Paran, God singled out Caleb as the only individual with the spirit to possess Canaan’s unclean land (Num 14:22-24)19. In other words, he looked like the only valid heir to the promise of the Seed. Somewhere, between Jacob’s vow at Bethel (Gen 28:20-21) and Judah’s rescue from idolatry (Gen 38:24-26), the legacy of Eve had clearly departed from its anticipated route. Whilst Joseph did not take Judah up on his offer to redeem Benjamin on a life for life basis (Gen 43:9, 44:32-33), it seems that God did. Thanks to Tamar’s actions, Judah’s spiritual legacy was then diverted into Perez’ line, for as Zerah, his twin brother, withdrew the mark of his firstborn status, so the last became the first and the first the last (Gen 38:29). From Perez the legacy of Judah had passed down to Caleb, who clearly exhibited it during that first spying mission, for God granted him the hill country around Hebron (Josh 14:12-13, Num 13:33, 14:24). This gave his family control of Abraham’s only territorial possession, the patriarch’s tomb at the Cave of Machpelah, but more importantly, the altar site of Mamre, the focus of both the Abrahamic covenant and Israel’s claim to the land (Gen 15:7, Num 13:22, 14:22-24).

Judges juxtaposes the account of Caleb’s relatives acquiring their land (round Hebron and Ephrathah) with that of Moses’ Kenite in-laws going up from the City of Palms with Judah (Judg 1:14-16). Hence, through Caleb and his relatives, God ensured that Israel continued to benefit from both Esau’s oversight and the Kenite’s artisan expertise. Caleb’s relative, Bezalel (Exod 35:30-31), had been the faithful craftsman who oversaw the work on the tabernacle. Now Caleb’s relatives included the settlers of Ge-harashim, the valley of craftsmen (1 Chr 4:13-15).

Entering Canaan

As Israel stood ready to enter Canaan, Moses empowered the Levites to continue his trustee role, instructing them to serve as teachers and judges. He then honoured Joseph’s blessing by commissioning the Ephraimite Joshua to coordinate the conquest. Joshua in turn oversaw an allotting of territory that respected Jacob’s wishes, granting the Benjamites the two of Abraham’s altars not already spoken for, together with Melchizedek’s former sanctuary of Salem (i.e. Jerusalem).

With the conquest of the land, Shiloh had arguably come (Josh 18:1). However, thanks to Caleb, Judah’s significance was undiminished. The authority structures become less apparent during the period of the Judges. However, with the request for a king, Edom’s physical stake in the spiritual affairs of Israel would once again play a vital part.

David’s roots

From Judah the leadership of the tribe passed through Perez, Hezron, Ram, Admin (according to Luke), to Amminadab, then Nashon (Ruth 4:18-20, 1 Chr 2:10, Luke 3:32-33). A couple of these names help orientate us chronologically, for Amminadab’s daughter married Aaron and her brother (Exod 6:23), Nashon, was the military leader of Judah at the time of the census in the wilderness (Num 1:2-3, 2:3, 10:14). It is from this Nashon that the official genealogy of David descends, via Salma, Boaz of Bethlehem, Obed and Jesse the Ephrathite (1 Chr 2:11, Ruth 1:2).

So much for the official story. However, the role Caleb’s land at Hebron played in David’s rise, his ability to mimic the Kenizzite’s giant slaying antics, and even his association with Bethlehem, all appear to link David with Caleb. Indeed the structure of Judah’s genealogy in 1 Chr makes the same connection, grouping details of David and his descendants under an entry focussing on Caleb and his son Salma (1 Chr 2:50-3:1, see also Appendix G). In the first spying mission, Caleb had proved the merit of his Kenite heritage, but through the second that legacy was to find its way into David’s line.

If you seek to filter out the noise of names from First Chronicles and then merge both son of Jephunneh and son of Hur into a composite Caleb (see Appendix G), the results reveal a gem within that difficult genealogical ground. The composite Caleb was a descendant of Ephrathah and a son of Hur, the ‘father20’ of Bethlehem, a city synonymous with Ephrath (Gen 35:16). Moreover, his son, Salma, also became the ‘father’ of Bethlehem21. Here, once again, are the telltale signs of dual ancestry, for David’s father, Jesse, was an Ephrathite from Bethlehem (1 Sam 17:12), as were the family of Elimelech, Boaz’ close relatives (Ruth 1:2). Moreover, Boaz was also from Bethlehem (Ruth 2:4) and son of a man called Salma. Yet, Boaz’ father appears descended from Hezron’s son Ram, via Amminadab and Nahshon, rather than from Hur via Caleb.

Matthew’s genealogy provides a hefty hint that we are dealing with one Salma rather than two, for it marries Salma son of Nahshon to Rahab of Jericho (Matt 1:5, see Chapter 8). If one thinks about the practicalities of the second spying mission, it makes perfect sense for the Salma who married Rahab to be Salma son of Caleb. For Joshua, avoiding another debacle like the first, called for dependable individuals and positive attitudes to defeating giants. It was also sensible to send men who had learned from the earlier spies. The obvious candidates were therefore a child of Caleb and a child of his own. Moreover, to the spies, Rahab would have appeared a most desirable bride, being God-fearing, wise and willing to risk her life for her family.

The supposition, that Rahab married Salma son of Caleb, finds support from two additional sources. The first is the way Joshua accepted the spy’s authority to overrule Moses’ explicit command and guarantee Rahab safety. Caleb’s Kenite ancestry, coupled with God’s comments at the time of the earlier spying mission, meant his family were probably the only ones with the authority to act like that. The second comes from the account of Nabal and Abigail (1 Sam 25:2-39), wherein the text portrays Abigail, like a latter day Rahab, appreciating the threat, then risking her life to save her family. In the end, again like Rahab, she does so by supporting those who had intended her family’s destruction. The author notes ironically that Abigail’s foolish husband was a Calebite, even though elsewhere the scriptures call him a Carmelite (2 Sam 3:3). The account then has David endorsing the choice to marry such a woman, by marrying Nabal’s widow himself.

As Salma is the only descendant mentioned for Nahshon’s line, it seems that it was condemned to die out in the wilderness22. Therefore, Nahshon adopting the son of Caleb was a smart move. It ensured a future for his name in the land whilst consolidating his status with the evident blessing of Caleb’s line. Moreover, Nahshon’s name hints that, as with the adoption of Zerubbabel, it may also have circumvented a curse. The name Nahshon (meaning ‘Enchanter’) derived from the same root as Nachash (meaning serpent) as, coincidentally, did the name of Jehoiachin’s mother Nehushta.

The coming of a king

The authority structure, established during the lifetime of Jacob (of Benjamites, Ephraimites, Levites and Kenites), is evident again in Samuel’s lifetime as the sons of Aaron fall from grace. With the Levites compromised, God brought the Ephraimite Samuel to the fore (1 Sam 1:1, 19-20). Then, as his sons walking unfaithfully and demand for a king grew (1 Sam 8:1-4), it was time for God to hand Israel over to the Benjamite Saul. Saul remained accountable to the Ephraimite Samuel until he died, yet his refusal to faithfully accept the godly chain of command precipitated his rejection, and the appointment of David in his stead.

Several generations after Nashon tapped into Caleb’s line, this merger bore fruit in David’s life. For, when David, alone out of all Israel, was prepared to go against Goliath (Gen 14:8-15, 1 Sam 17:10-11, 32), his unique willingness, to regain Israel’s land by defeating a giant of Anakim descent23, was nothing more than a continuation of his forefather’s Spirit-empowered escapades (Josh 14:12)24. No wonder Saul began to earnestly question afresh who David’s father was (1 Sam 17:55-58).

With the Levitical, Ephraimite and Benjamite tiers of authority all hopelessly compromised, David’s authority, inherited from Esau’s role via the Kenites, Caleb and Salma, coupled with the authorisation of Judah through Jacob’s blessing, left him lord of lords and answerable to God alone in his service of Benjamin. That gave David’s line the ultimate authority on matters spiritual, not only to correct the actions of Saul, but also to call the other tribes to account.

In keeping with Jacob’s expressed desire and Judah’s example, David continued to serve the interests of the Benjamite line. However, as he entered Saul’s service, made a covenant with Jonathan and married Saul’s daughter, so the Lion of Judah also acquired a share in the hereditary rights of Benjamin (2 Sam 9:3-8)25. In turn, that opened the road to legitimate control of Jerusalem.

Within the law, to fulfil the law

In the guise of Melchizedek, the authority of the Seed once established Abraham’s priesthood at Mamre. Through Moses’ adoption of a heritage, it then delivered Israel from Egypt. Through Caleb’s adoption of a heritage, it established a foothold in Canaan. Then through Salma’s adoption of a heritage, it found its way into David’s line. Thus, working within human authority structures, established by men seeking to implement divine judgements, God brought one individual under another to secure a place for the Seed amongst the oaks at Mamre, re-establish the sanctuary of Salem and preserve the way to the tree of life.

Whenever God intervenes to uphold his word, he also honours it. Thus, by Nashon’s adoption of Salma, God found a way to inject the life giving promise of Gen 3:15 into a lifeless lineage. Through Shealtiel’s adoption of Zerubbabel, God made a way for his promise to bypass Jehoiakim’s accursed dynasty. Then, finally, through that same legitimate, God-approved, and life transforming legal loophole, he conferred the precious Davidic rights upon his Son, that he could walk in the Spirit of Abraham, Isaac, Caleb and David, that we who accept him as our lord may too experience the mighty Spirit of adoption (Eph 1:5).

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1 David J. MacLeod, "The Virginal Conception of Our Lord in Matthew 1:18-25," Emmaus Journal 8:1 (Summer 1999 ):3-43. In particular, page 28.

2 See also Sirach 49:11.

3 Both may be true if Shealtiel died childless and so his brother took his wife, with whom to raise an heir for Shealtiel.

4 See footnote for Genesis 35:18 in the NET.

5 The beloved was Israel. Maintaining both safety and a covering were a priestly role. There is also an oblique reference here to Noah’s priestly garment (Gen 9:23).

6 This lists the land of the Kenizzite, Kenite, Kadomonite, Hittite, Perizzite, Rephaim, Amorite, Canaanite, Girgishite & Jebusite, to which list the LXX adds Hivite.

7 Baruch Halpern, “Kenites,” ABD, 4:17-22.

8 "Timna," n.p. (Israeli Foreign Ministry). [cited 30 Jan 2009]. Online:http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Archaeology/timna.html.

9 Dale W. Manor, “Timnah”, ABD, 6:553-556.

10 The LXX (Exod 12:40) suggests this includes the preceding time in Canaan.

11 See footnote for Genesis 49:9 in the NET.

12 His authority to judge Israel was not recognised prior to his flight from Egypt (see Exod 2:14).

13 Reuel is an Edomite name (Gen 36:4) and the Midianites were descendants of Abraham (Gen 25:1-2). Jethro’s response to the Exodus (Exod 18:9) confirms this family served the God of Israel.

14 Elishama led Ephraim at the numbering, his heir was Nun, whose heir in turn was Joshua.

15 The word often rendered ‘father in law’ could also mean mother-in-law (Deut 27:23) and son-in-law (1 Sam 18:26), so implies no more than close ‘relative by marriage’.

16 See footnote in the NET, which offers the possibility that this was the original reading. I prefer this version, as it suggests why judges may have arisen amongst those linked to Machir (1 Chr 2:21-22) (see next chapter).

17 As he carried the name of Hur’s brother / step-father it seems safe to assume he was Hur’s natural child.

18 Only after establishing this are we told that Joshua would accompany him (Num 14:28-38).

19 Moses and Aaron, were disqualified from the category of ‘faithful’ at Meribah (Num 20:11-12). Joshua is added only later, as entering the land but without reference to possession (Num 14:30).

20 I.e. benevolent ruler.

21 The precise relationship hinges on verse 50 where the LXX gives ‘Caleb, the sons of Hur’ whilst the Hebrew text gives the KJV’s ‘Caleb the son of Hur’. However, either reading implies that Salma is some sort of descendant of Caleb. As Hur was the father of Bethlehem (1 Chr 4:4 ) the former seems preferable.

22 Hezron was of the last generation born before Israel went to Egypt and Nahshon (at least according to Luke 3:32-33) was part of the generation Moses liberated (Gen 15:16).

23 Goliath was from Gath (1 Sam 17:4), one of only three towns in which Anakim remained (Josh 11:22).

24 The Anakim were renowned as men of great stature (Num 13:32-33, Deut 9:2)

25 In the covenant making (1 Sam 18:1), the reference to one soul bound to another harks back to Genesis (Gen 44:33) and reason why David was committed to Saul’s family in the first place.