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God’s Word for You

1 Chronicles 2:18-24 great but brief accomplishments

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, September 29, 2023

18 Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wife Azubah, and also by Jerioth. Her sons were these: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 Hur was the father of Uri, and Uri was the father of Bezalel.  21 After this, Hezron went to the daughter of Machir father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub. 22 Segub was the father of Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead.  23 Then Geshur and Aram took the towns of Jair from them, along with Kenath and its villages—sixty towns in all. All these were descendants of Machir, father of Gilead. 24 After Hezron died in Caleb Ephrathah, Abijah, Hezron’s wife bore him Ashhur, the father of Tekoa.

Hur is the man who, with Aaron, held up the arms of Moses during the battle with the Amalekites at Rephedim. He suddenly appears in Exodus 17:10-12 without any introduction, and then he is mentioned as a reliable leader in Exodus 24:14. He was the grandfather of Bezalel.

Bezalel was a marvelous craftsman in the days of Moses. The LORD chose him by name, telling Moses, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and with skill in all kinds of crafts. He has the ability to create designs. He works with gold, silver, and bronze. He is able to cut and engrave precious stones and mount them. He can also carve wood. He works skillfully in all kinds of crafts” (Exodus 31:3-5). Together with the engraver and embroiderer Oholiab, Bezalel physically constructed the tabernacle, and taught the workers who helped them. He made the tent and its poles and fittings, the coverings for the holy place and the most holy place, the lampstand, the table of the bread, the altar, the water stands and the portable “sea,” and all of the tools, shovels, tongs and everything physically needed for the operation of the sacrifices in the tabernacle of God. He personally made the ark of the covenant (Exodus 37:1). He personally mixed the holy anointing oil, “the work of a perfume maker” (Exodus 37:29). His work is described with the purest language: “He made all that the Lord had commanded Moses” (Exodus 38:22).

Later in life, at sixty, Hezron was a widower, and married once again. His young wife bore him two sons. The first was Segub, who was the father or ancestor of one of the judges from the Book of Judges: Jair.

Jair was a prince of his own territory in Bashan. He controlled many cities and villages. In all, there were sixty “tent villages” at the peak of his power; the land that had formerly been controlled by Og the giant, the king of Bashan (Joshua 13:30). When he became a judge (one or two generations after Gideon), Jair had thirty villages (Judges 10:4). Twenty-three of these were in Gilead. Were the other cities in other parts of Bashan? But the whole region was later overrun by Arameans from Syria to the northeast. They had attacked the north many times, but they were defeated by David (2 Samuel 10) and by armies aided by Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 20; 2 Kings 6-9). But Israel became unfaithful. In the days of Jehu King of Israel, “The Lord began to break off pieces from Israel… east of the Jorden, all the land of Gilead and Bashan” (2 Kings 10:32-33). The cities and villages of Jair fell before the rest of Israel fell, for the Aramean raids ended when the Assyrian conquest began (2 Kings 15:19).

The other son that Hezron’s second wife bore was born shortly after Hezron’s death. His name was Tekoa. The first mention of Tekoa as a place is in Joshua 15:59, and this man’s name may not be related to the place at all.

This group of names tells the story of law and gospel, faithfulness and failure, all in its brief list. Here is the mighty Hur who held up the arms of Moses. Here is the great Bezalel who did everything exactly as the Lord commanded, so that there was no error, no mistake, in the construction of the tabernacle. His bronze altar was carried from place to place for decades and was in constant use, and lasted from 1446 BC until the time of Solomon (970 BC), who still used it before the construction of the temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 1:5). But here, too, are the villages and towns of Jair, which the Lord tore away from Israel to show the people their sins, to warn them of the coming judgment, and all of this remains in the Scriptures as a reminder to us all that what we accomplish in our lives is merely a part of the world’s brief existence, not eternity at all. What goes on to heaven are our bodies and souls, not our tents and poles. Look to your faith! See that your heart is repentant and right before God, and he will bring you home in the resurrection to the cities and villages of paradise with their many mansions, their rivers and groves of trees, and the banquet of the wedding feast of the Lamb.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith
About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please visit the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church website.


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