Verse 1 – These lists of Adam’s descendants, demonstrate God is not only interested in a nation but the individual as well. Each of us is more than a name on a list; we are special persons whom God knows, remembers, and loves. This list reconstructed the family tree for both Judah, the southern kingdom, and Israel, the northern kingdom, and served as proof for those who claimed to be Abraham’s descendants. This long genealogy is important for us today because it supports the Old Testament promise that Jesus the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham and David.
Verses 2-4 – Each of these men, Adam and Noah, had a son early in life, but they lived many centuries afterwards. Enoch never actually died but was taken to heaven (Genesis 5:24). Methuselah lived the longest with a total age of 969 years; he died after 1,650 years since the birth of Adam. This is also the year in which Noah’s flood occurred.
Verse 5 – Japheth’s offspring moved to a more northern region than those of his brothers.
Verses 8-15 – Many of Ham’s sons lent their names to various nations, several of which became the chief opponents of Israel in the promised land.
Verse 11 – These descends are where the Philistines came from.
Verse 13 – Canaan was the ancestor of the Canaanites who inhabited the promise land before the Israelites entered under Joshua’s leadership.
Verse 17 – The line of Shem was the most important one for the Chronicles because it includes Abraham.
Verse 19 – ‘The earth was divided’ refers to when the earth was divided by different languages. Two son’s were born to Eber, Peleg and Joktan. “Peleg” means “division.” This is the time the Tower of Babel was built. The people became proud and gathered to build a monument to themselves. God stopped the building by causing the people to speak different languages. They could no longer communicate with one another. God showed them their greatest efforts were useless. If we allow pride to enter into any of our accomplishments, we will think we no longer need God.
Verse 28 – Although Isaac is mentioned in this verse, we are still a long way off from the line that will eventually lead up to Judah. Ishmael and his sons came first.
Verse 32 – Abraham waited an entire century to have a son with Sarah. Then after Sarah’s death Keturah gave Abraham many more sons.
Verse 34 – Israel is another name for Jacob because Jacob’s 12 sons became the nation of Israel. Esau’s descendants became the nation of Edom, a constant enemy of Israel.
Verse 36 – Amalek, Esau’s grandson, was the son of his father’s concubine (Genesis 36:12). He was the ancestor of the wicked tribe known as Amalekites, the first people to attack the Israelites on their way to the promise land.
Verses 43-54 – It was through Esau’s marriages to pagan women that the nation of Edom began. The nations were not part of the direct lineage of King David, and thus of the Messiah.