The Clan of Reuben (1 Chronicles 5:1 – 10)

Scripture Text:

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1 Chronicles 5:1 – 10

Questions:

1. Do you keep photos of distant relatives you’ve never met? Why?

2. Chapter 5 records the “trans-Jordan tribes” – those who settled east of the Jordan, while Joshua led the Hebrews west into Canaan. What privilege did big brother Reuben forfeit? What does this say about God’s justice and mercy?

3. Imagine Beerah, cut off from the bulk of Israel by a water barrier, defeated by a pagan king and taken captive: How does he explain his share in the covenant to his children?

4. What special skill do the Reubenites possess (verses 9ff)? Reuben shows that “as you sow, so shall you reap”. How does son Hanoch suffer, also?

5. How has your spiritual inheritance been affected, for good or for bad, by your actions? Your parents’ decisions?

6. Your family may also have felt cut off by natural boundaries: How so?

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The Clan of Simeon (1 Chronicles 4:24 – 43)

Scripture Text:

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1 Chronicles 4:24 – 43

Questions:

1. That loaf of bread: How many hands contributed to its getting to the grocery store?

2. Your last hotel stay: How many workers were involved in making it so pleasant?

3. Why doesn’t the little guy ever hear, “what a great sandwich” or “what a good night’s sleep”?

4. The little clan of Simeon was absorbed by the bigger tribe of Judah some 400 years after the Exodus. Yet by this genealogy, the chronicler keeps their memory alive. What impresses you from this record of “lost Simeon”?

5. From other lists of Simeon’s sons (see Genesis 46; Exodus 6; Numbers 26), you geneatectives face the conundrums? Will the real third son of Simeon please stand up? How long before the Simeon clan intermarries with native women? Why do Shaul’s son seem so familiar (1 Chronicles 1:29, 30)?

6. How would you feel if all your heritage was lost in a bigger crowd, as was Simeon’s? What would you do to recover your lost identity?

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The Sons of David and the Kings of Judah (1 Chronicles 3)

Scripture Text:

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1 Chronicles 3

Chronicles was written to a people who no longer had a Davidic king ruling them. However, verses 17 – 24 preserve the royal line subsequent to Judah’s last reigning king, Jeconiah. God’s promise to provide them with kingly leadership forever still held. They could expect a son of David to someday become king again. This is one reason why the New Testament takes the trouble to show that Jesus was descended from David.

Questions:

1. If tragedy is the bookmark of history, separating chapters into lessons learned and unlearned, then what tragic-type “bookmarks” have shaped your life? Any casualties of war? Any tragic family feuds? Any natural disaster striking close to home?

This chapter divides neatly into three parts, but those who lived in the divisions likely did not think life was too neat at all.

2. From verses 1 – 9 (also 2 Samuel 3:2 – 5; 2 Samuel 5:13 – 16), what can you tell about David’s family life? What must relations among the 19 siblings and the 7+ sets of half-brothers have been like?

3. Why do you think the lists vary in name and number between Samuel’s account and the chronicler?

4. From the story of David’s sin with Bathsheba, Solomon seems to be the first child of that union (2 Samuel 12:24, 25). In Chronicles, what is Solomon’s apparent place?

5. Why are children of concubines named in other royal family lines (1 Chronicles 1:32; 1 Chronicles 2:46), but not in David’s (1 Chronicles 3:9; 1 Chronicles 14:3 – 6)? And why list Tamar alone of all his daughters (see 1 Chronicles 14:3 – 6)?

6. David was a “parent in pain”, with open disdain, rebellion and sibling rivalry rampant among his sons. How is that evident in the stories of Amnon (2 Samuel 13), Absalom (2 Samuel 16:15ff; 2 Samuel 18:31 – 33) and Adonijah (1 Kings 1)?

7. In verses 10 – 14, we are introduced to the kings of Judah, any of whom could provide interesting tangents to pursue in 1 and 2 Kings. From the heavy-handed reign of Rehoboam, “Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day” (1 Kings 12:19). Forced labor, foreign invaders, idol worship, assimilation of their neighbor’s worldly values, foreign alliances – all such “evil in the sight of the Lord” spelled doom for Israel. What parallels in modern history seem to replay this Rehoboam to Zedekiah’s reign of folly, tyranny and evil?

8. Now we come back to Jehoiachin (verse 17): What happened to him, to Jerusalem and to the royal line thereafter?

9. As did many of the Israelites after Solomon died, what legacy of family troubles did you inherit? What have you in turn passed along to others?

10. When facing conflict such as these sons of David and kings of Judah must have faced, what kind of bird are you:

  • hawk – flying above it all and ready to pounce on mistakes?
  • dove – waging peace instead of war?
  • ostrich – with your head in the sand, waiting for the conflict to blow over?
  • turkey – easily ruffled, always squawking?

11. What troubles have you tried tacking this year? Any of your own making? Any you’ve inherited? What help have you had? What disappointments? What will you do differently from here on?

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