Dave Burnette's Commentary

1 Chronicles Chapter 5

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezra
Date Penned: (430 BC)
Overview: A History of God's Chosen People (c 1-29)
Theme: The Genealogies of Israel (c 1-9)
Message: Ruben, Gad, and Manasseh's Descendants (v 1-26)

1 Chronicles 5 Commentary 

(5:1) The Account of Reuben - Reuben's sin of incest was recorded for all future generations to read. The purpose of this epitaph was not to smear Reuben's name but to show that painful memories aren't the only results of sin. The consequences of sin produce great shame and in the case of Reuben, loss of status and privilege. As the oldest son, Reuben was the rightful heir to both a double portion of his father's estate and the leadership of Abraham's descendants, who had grown into a large tribe. But his sin stripped away his rights and privileges and brought shame to his family. Before you give in to temptation, consider the harmful and painful consequences sin may produce in your life and the lives of others.

(5:2) A Lineage to Christ - The mention of a ruler from the tribe of Judah here is a reference to David and his royal line. Ultimately David's royal line led to Jesus, the Messiah--David's greatest descendant and the true ruler of all.

(5:18-22) A Plan for Success - The armies of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh succeeded in battle because they trusted God. Although they had instinct and skill as soldiers, they prayed and sought God's direction. The natural and developed abilities God gives us are meant to be used for him, but they should never replace our dependence on him. When we trust in our own cleverness, skill, and strength rather than in God, we open the door for pride. When facing difficult situations, seek God's purpose and ask for his guidance and strength. Psalm 20:7 says 'Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God."

(5:22) The Exile of Israel - The captivity mentioned here was the exile of the ten northern tribes (the northern kingdom of Israel) to Assyria in 722 BC. These tribes never returned to their homeland. This story is found in 2 Kings 15:29-17:41.

(5:24-25) Faithfulness is Rewarded - As warriors and leaders, these men had established excellent reputations for their great skill and leadership qualities. Although these tribes had leaders with great reputations, they all still failed in the most important quality faithfulness to God. If you try to measure up to society's standards for fame and success or let yourself be distracted by idolatry, you may neglect your true purpose to please and obey God. In the end, God alone examines our hearts and determines our final standing. How is your present reputation with God?


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Freedom in Obeying the Lord


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of 1 Chronicles with Chapter 5. In our text today we see Reuben's descendants, Gad's descendants, and Manasseh's descendants. What catches my eye is the sin of Reuben as he lost his double portion of his fathers estate due to him giving into temptation and making a decision to sin. I am sure if Reuben thought about the personal consequences and the consequences to his family he would have never sinned. The truth is that the enemy would have you think on the one thing you can't have verses the many things you can have in obedience to the Lord. In making application we see that there is freedom in the Lord with His provisions verses the lies of the enemy with him attempting you to focus on the one thing you cant have which is a sin. How about you? Do you see the freedom in the Lord that you have in obedience to Christ? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Reuben to remember the Biblical Truth that sin has consequences but there is freedom in obeying Jesus-Christ.  


1 Chronicles 5

1 Chronicles 5

 1Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

 2For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's:)

 3The sons, I say, of Reuben the firstborn of Israel were, Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

 4The sons of Joel; Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son,

 5Micah his son, Reaia his son, Baal his son,

 6Beerah his son, whom Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria carried away captive: he was prince of the Reubenites.

 7And his brethren by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was reckoned, were the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah,

 8And Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who dwelt in Aroer, even unto Nebo and Baalmeon:

 9And eastward he inhabited unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates: because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead.

 10And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east land of Gilead.

 11And the children of Gad dwelt over against them, in the land of Bashan unto Salcah:

 12Joel the chief, and Shapham the next, and Jaanai, and Shaphat in Bashan.

 13And their brethren of the house of their fathers were, Michael, and Meshullam, and Sheba, and Jorai, and Jachan, and Zia, and Heber, seven.

 14These are the children of Abihail the son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz;

 15Ahi the son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, chief of the house of their fathers.

 16And they dwelt in Gilead in Bashan, and in her towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders.

 17All these were reckoned by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.

 18The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war.

 19And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab.

 20And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.

 21And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand.

 22For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.

 23And the children of the half tribe of Manasseh dwelt in the land: they increased from Bashan unto Baalhermon and Senir, and unto mount Hermon.

 24And these were the heads of the house of their fathers, even Epher, and Ishi, and Eliel, and Azriel, and Jeremiah, and Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty men of valour, famous men, and heads of the house of their fathers.

 25And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.

 26And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.