As I’ve said before, whenever I’ve studied the Bible, I skimmed through the genealogies. But these last few months, I’ve been slowing down to read each of these names. Names with stories, and names that stand alone between the “begets”. Each of these names was a person, a person who affected their child who affected the next one, and on down the line. And they weren’t perfect.
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
I find it personally interesting that the first three’s wives all dealt with infertility. I talked at length about Sarah and Rachel and Leah in February, but I skipped over Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, who also dealt with infertility. There wasn’t much about her infertility story other than the fact that Isaac prayed for her and then she had twins (which is a lesson in being careful when you ask God for something).
Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,
Perez the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Then, the next on the list included the mother – Judah and Tamar who I talked about last month. This is interesting because Tamar was never his wife, but she was included in the genealogy, specifically by name.
And here is where we get into unfamiliar territory with a lack of story, but there is still a story there.
Perez, along with his son Hezron, is part of the family that moves to Egypt (Genesis 46: 12). There is this …verse in Ruth 4: 12 that says, “…May your family be like that of Perez…” which was considered a blessing. The only reason I can gather that it was a blessing was the sheer amount of descendants that Perez had after returning from Egypt. In Numbers 26, there is a census of all of the tribes while they were in the desert, and Judah’s tribe was the largest of them all in number.
Hezron probably had his three sons in Egypt – Jerahmeel, Ram, and Caleb. I find the name Ram particularly interesting in the Egyptian setting since the Egyptians had a god with a Ram like head. It might have just been a coincidence, but the tribes of Israel are known to assimilate to their surrounding cultures. And it’s through Ram that the story of Jesus continues.
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon
Amminadab’s life was during the slavery and deliverance of Egypt. He has, of course, Nahshon. But he also had a daughter, Elisheba, who is married to Aaron, the brother of Moses (Genesis 6:23). Their children would end up becoming ordained as priests (two of them dying for wickedness). And I talked about this line of priests in my post about Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah, how this line was the only one to maintain the tabernacle and light the incense, a duty that led to Zechariah’s encounter with an angel.
The last person I will talk about today is Nahshon. Nahshon has a small description in 1 Chronicles 2:10, calling him the leader of the people of Judah. He was the head of the family when Moses and Aaron took a census to arrange the tribal camps in the wilderness. He actually helped Moses and Aaron with that census. So this was a man with leadership power among his tribe. Of course, we know (spoilers) that he would be the father to many great leaders, including Christ.
The next few include women in the story of Jesus’s genealogy, but that would make this post a little too long, so I’m going to save that for next week. I am just fascinated with the history and the stories of these men and women. They had no idea of their legacy.
Hezron was probably busy escaping a famine to feed his family. Amminadab was worried about his daughter’s husband, Aaron, getting involved with Moses in the foolishness of trying to free the Israelite people. And Nahshon was probably more concerned with finding a home for his clan. None of them realized their footprint in history leading to Christ, the redeemer of all people.
This reminds me that even in my own life, in my daily worries and struggles, that I have no idea about the bigger plan. The experiences in my own life, the people I encounter, and the children I will someday raise, each of these things interweaves into the tapestry of God’s plan. It helps me stay faithful to His Word, to be still to His voice, and trust that the plan is more beautiful than I could ever imagine.