God’s Word for You – 1 Chronicles 1:35-42 The Amalekites

1 CHRONICLES 1:35-42

Click to listen to this devotion.

(The line of Esau)
35 The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. 36 The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz; and by Timna: Amalek. 37 The sons of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

Eliphaz seems to mean “God is pure” or “God is (like) pure gold.” Ruel means “friend of God.” Jeush means “helper.” Jalam means “The Lord conceals (or) hides.” Korah means “bald.” From these definitions, we see that Esau was still interested in giving his children godly names in many or most cases.

(The people of Seir in Edom)
38 The sons of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. 39 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Homam. Timna was Lotan’s sister.
40 The sons of Shobal were Alian, Manhath, Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. The sons of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah. 41 The son of Anah was Dishon. The sons of Dishon were Hamran, Eshban, Ithran, amd Keran. 42 The sons of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Jaakan. The sons of Dishan were Uz and Aran.

The author is careful to point out that the people of Edom– also descended from Abraham through Esau– had a royal line that predated the time of the Israelite kings (1:43). A few names may catch our attention: Uz (1:42) is a name that is frequently associated with Edom and the land generally south and east of Canaan. As a place name it is the home of Job. Lotan (1:38,39) is one letter away from “Leviathan,” the mysterious sea monster that we find in the book of Job.

The chiefs of Edom are presented in three groups, in reverse order. The first group (verses 35-37 above) is the one that relates to the Israelites through Esau. The hinge here is Timna, the concubine of Eliphaz and mother of Amalek (verse 36). Timna was also the sister of Lotan, who appears in verse 38 as the eldest son of Seir the Horite. Although Amalek was Timnah’s son, Moses says that Esau’s wife Adah claimed him. Luther explains that Adah adopted Amalek, “and for this reason Amalek is numbered among the sons of Adah” (LW 6:291).

The list that follows Amalek (verses 38-42) shows the sons of all of Lotan’s brothers through Seir’s other wife (or wives). These would all have been chiefs at the same time that Esau’s family was growing up.

There is no record of Esau’s death in the Bible; not even in the special chapter that tells his family story (Genesis 36). But we know that he was born around 2006 BC, and since Jacob died in 1859 BC, we can guess that his twin brother Esau died at about the same time, but whether before or after Jacob died we cannot say. Three hundred years later, when Moses led Israel out of Egypt, the tribe of Amalek had grown into a powerful nation.

God permitted Balaam to prophesy in his fifth oracle: “First among nations was Amalek, but in the end he will come to destruction” (Numbers 24:20). He had a very distinguished heritage. Esau was his grandfather (and his adoptive father); Isaac was his great-grandfather. Abraham was his great-great-grandfather. But his Hittite side was powerful and sinfully strong. The Amalekites swept down to attack Israel when God’s people camped at Rephidim, their last stop before reaching Mount Sinai. This was when Aaron and Hur helped hold up the arms of Moses as he held up the staff of God. “As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up… So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword” (Exodus 17:11-13).

Later, God commanded his people: “Wipe away the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. Do not forget!” (Deuteronomy 25:19). One of the kings of the Amalekites was named Agag (1 Samuel 15:8), and although he was put to death by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 15:32-33), it seems that although this act left Agag’s mother childless, Agag himself was already the father of a line. If this is correct, then the very last Agagite (Amalekite) we read about in the Bible is wicked Haman, who is put to death along with all of his ten sons (Esther 7:10; 9:10).

The punishment of the wicked is punishment in hell. John teaches us that “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all” (1 John 1:5). So when his creatures (women and men) turn away from God and from his holy word, they fall into darkness. Therefore they also fall into the pit and punishment of hell, for hell is described as “darkness” (Mathew 8:12; 22:13; 2 Peter 2:17). Such people have cheated themselves out of all good things and fall into God’s just judgment, which is hell, the second death, the lake burning with fire and sulfur (Revelation 2:11; 20:14; 21:8). As our confession reminds us: “To the godly and elect he will give eternal life and endless joy, but ungodly men and devils he will condemn to be tormented without end” (Augsburg Confession).

Be delighted and thankful that God has planted faith in your heart, and strive to nurture your faith with worship, reading your Bible, spending time within your dear church family, and sharing God’s word with the people you love.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Listen or watch Bible classes online.

Archives at St Paul’s Lutheran Church and Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel:

Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, New Ulm, Minnesota
God’s Word for You – 1 Chronicles 1:35-42 The Amalekites

Scroll to Top