While all twelve of Israel’s tribes are represented in these lists, the lists have been carefully arranged to emphasize the royal tribes of Judah was the name of Jacob's fourth son and one of the 12 tribes. More (producing Second king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More) and A son of Jacob and tribe of Israel. More (producing The first king of Israel More), as well as the priestly tribe of Levi.
Once again the Chronicler has skillfully arranged the data to suit his purposes. The order of the tribes in Genesis 29-30 is The eldest son of Jacob and Leah, and forefather of one of the twelve tribes of Israel More, Simeon, Levi, Judah, A son of Jacob and tribe of Israel. More, Naphtali was the name of Jacob's sixth son and one of the 12 tribes More, A son of Jacob and one of the 12 tribes. More, The name of a son of Jacob and tribe of Israel. More, Issachar was name of a son of Jacob and one of the 12 tribes of Israel More, The name of a son of Jacob and one of the tribes of Israel More, Joseph, and Benjamin (compare 1 Chronicles 2:1-2). In 1 Chronicles 2:3-8:40, however, we are presented with a different order. Three tribes are emphasized by this reordering:
- Judah is given pride of place at the head of the list and is by far the longest Genealogy involves the study and tracing of families through the generations - in short, family history. One genealogy in Genesis traces the nations descended from Noah. In the New Testament Matthew traces the ancestry of Jesus back to Abraham, while Jesus' genealogy in Luke goes... More (2:3-4:23), thereby emphasizing the importance of the largest tribe that remained faithful to David’s line when the north broke away in 922 B.C.E. and the tribe that produced David (see 5:2 “a ruler came from him [Judah]”).
- Benjamin concludes the list (8:1-40, but see 7:6-12 as well). Benjamin was the only other tribe to remain faithful at the time of the schism, and its royal pedigree in having produced Saul, Israel’s first king, is a further link with Judah. The Chronicler’s community is directly descended from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
- Finally, the priestly tribe of Levi anchors the center (6:1-81). Their descendants serve the The Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More in the Chronicler’s day.
These three tribes provide the framework for the Chronicler’s presentation. Also of interest, however, is the placement of the northern tribes that broke away in the schism of 922 B.C.E. One group–Simeon, Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh that occupied the east bank of the Jordan–has been placed between Judah and Levi (4:24-5:26). They are carefully balanced by the placement of the northern tribes that occupied the west bank of the Jordan: Issachar, Benjamin (considered a northern tribe in the civil war between David’s followers and Saul’s in 2 The judge who anointed the first two kings of Israel More 2:8-9), Naphtali, the other half-tribe of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Asher between Levi and Benjamin (7:1-40). The resulting concentric arrangement looks like this:
Royal tribe of Judah
Northern tribes east of Jordan
Priestly tribe of Levi
Northern tribes west of Jordan
Royal tribe of Benjamin
In this way the Chronicler tips his hand:
- Judah and Benjamin will be the focus of his presentation for their royal ties and links to the postexilic community.
- The work will center on the importance of proper worship as represented by the central position of the Levites.
- Nevertheless, “all Israel” and the concern for an inclusive view of Israel have not been forgotten, as shown by the inclusion of the northern tribes.