A Complete Genealogy of The Israelites

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Confirmation

This passage gives a complete genealogy of the Israelites and the list begins by mentioning Reuben and Simeon, the two oldest of the twelve sons of Jacob (vv. 14-15). The next name to appear is Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah and the prominence given to him becomes apparent. The remainder of the genealogy traces Levi’s descendants exclusively to the fifth generation with the primary focus not being on Moses but Aaron (vv. 16-25). Although other names are mentioned, the clear focus of the genealogy is the levitical lineage from Levi to Phinehas and Aaron stands in the midway position.

You may ask, What is the significance of this genealogy in this context? I am not certain but perhaps it is to show that God’s purpose reaches both backward and forward. Perhaps the significance of Phinehas as the termination point of this genealogy is to draw attention to the covenant faithfulness of the line of Levi to Phinehas, which includes Aaron, who had several short comings. The point of this genealogy seems to confirm Aaron as a worthy partner of Moses in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and particularly in his role as Moses’ mouthpiece. By the time we get to the end of the genealogy Aaron’s authority is firmly established and the stage is set for the series of encounters with Pharaoh that leads to the release of the Israelites (vv. 26-27). Next the author picks up where he left off before the genealogy emphasizing God’s decisive role in bringing the Israelites out of Egypt (vv. 28-30). Moses is to be an authority figure to Pharoah and not just to Aaron.

Application

When opportunity comes for me to take a stand for the Lord I am not to soft-pedal what I believe but to speak up boldly for Him?

Exodus 6:14-30 (English Standard Version)

These are the heads of their fathers' houses: the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these are the clans of Reuben. The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the clans of Simeon. These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, the years of the life of Levi being 137 years. The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their clans. The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, the years of the life of Kohath being 133 years. The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites according to their generations. Amram took as his wife Jochebed his father's sister, and she bore him Aaron and Moses, the years of the life of Amram being 137 years. The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. Aaron took as his wife Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the clans of the Korahites. Eleazar, Aaron's son, took as his wife one of the daughters of Putiel, and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites by their clans. These are the Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said: "Bring out the people of Israel from the land of Egypt by their hosts." It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the people of Israel from Egypt, this Moses and this Aaron. On the day when the LORD spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, the LORD said to Moses, "I am the LORD; tell Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say to you." But Moses said to the LORD, "Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips. How will Pharaoh listen to me?"

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