The Descendants of Issachar
7 The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron, four. 2 The sons of Tola: Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam, and Shemuel, heads of their fathers’ houses; for Tola, mighty warriors of their generations, their number in the days of David were twenty-two thousand six hundred. 3 The sons of Uzzi: Izrahiah. And the sons of Izrahiah: Michael, Obadiah, Joel, and Isshiah; all five of them were chiefs. 4 And in addition to them, according to their generations, according to the house of their fathers, were troops of the army for war: thirty-six thousand. For they had many wives and sons. 5 Now their kinsmen belonging to all the clans of Issachar were in all eighty-seven thousand mighty warriors, enrolled according to their genealogy.
The Descendants of Benjamin
6 The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Beker, and Jediael, three. 7 The sons of Bela: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth, and Iri, five, the heads of the house of the fathers, mighty warriors. And their enrollment by genealogy was twenty-two thousand thirty-four. 8 The sons of Beker: Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth, and Alemeth. All these were the sons of Beker. 9 And their enrollment by genealogy according to their generations, as heads of the house of their fathers, mighty warriors, was twenty thousand two hundred. 10 The sons of Jediael: Bilhan. And the sons of Bilhan: Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Kenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish, and Ahishahar. 11 All these were the sons of Jediael according to the heads of the families, mighty warriors, seventeen thousand two hundred, able to go to war. 12 And Shuppim and Huppim were the sons of Ir; Hushim, the son of Aher.
The Descendants of Naphtali
13 The sons of Naphtali: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shallum, the descendants of Bilhah.
The Descendants of Manasseh
14 The sons of Manasseh: Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore; she gave birth to Makir the father of Gilead. 15 And Machir took a wife for Huppim and for Shuppim. And the name of his sister was Maacah. And the name of the second, Zelophehad. And Zelophehad had daughters. 16 And Maacah the wife of Machir gave birth to a son, and she called his name Peresh. And the name of his brother was Sheresh, and his sons were Ulam and Rekem. 17 The sons of Ulam: Bedan. These were the sons of Gilead the son of Makir, son of Manasseh. 18 And his sister, Hammolecheth, gave birth to Ishhod, Abiezer, and Mahlah. 19 The sons of Shemida were Ahian, Shechem, Likhi, and Aniam.
The Descendants of Ephraim
20 The sons of Ephraim: Shuthelah and Bered his son, Tahath his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, 21 Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead. And the men of Gath who were born in the land killed them because they came down to take their livestock. 22 And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brothers came to comfort him. 23 And Ephraim went in to his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to a son. And he called his name Beriah because disaster had been upon his house. 24 And his daughter was Sheerah, and she built Lower and Upper Beth-Horon and Uzzen-Sheerah. 25 And Rephah was his son, and Resheph, and Telah his son, Tahan his son, 26 Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, 27 Nun his son, Joshua his son. 28 And their property and their dwellings were Bethel and its towns. And to the east, Naaran. And to the west, Gezer and its towns, and Shechem and its towns, up to Aija and its towns. 29 And along the borders of the sons of Manasseh: Beth-Shean and its towns, Taanach and its towns, Megiddo and its towns, and Dor and its towns. In these lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel.
The Descendants of Asher
30 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. 31 The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malkiel, who was the father of Birzayith. 32 And Heber fathered Japhlet, Shomer, Hotham, and their sister Shua. 33 The sons of Japhlet: Pasach, Bimhal, and Ashvath. These were the sons of Japhlet. 34 The sons of Shemer: Ahi, Rohgah, Jehubbah, and Aram. 35 The sons of Helem his brother: Zophah, Imna, Shelesh, and Amal. 36 The sons of Zophah: Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri, Imrah, 37 Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran, and Beera. 38 The sons of Jether: Jephunneh, Pispah, and Ara. 39 The sons of Ulla: Arah, Hanniel, and Rizia. 40 All of these were the sons of Asher, heads of the house of the fathers, chosen mighty warriors, heads of the princes. And their number enrolled by genealogy, in the army for the war, was twenty-six thousand men.
Instructions About Widows
5 Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. 3 Honor widows who are truly widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must learn to show profound respect for their own household first, and to pay back recompense to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 5 But the widow who is one truly, and is left alone, has put her hope in God and continues in her petitions and prayers night and day. 6 But the one who lives for sensual pleasure is dead even though she lives. 7 And command these things, in order that they may be irreproachable. 8 But if someone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially the members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 Let a widow be put on the list if she is not less than sixty years old, the wife of one husband,
30 They had not yet turned aside from their craving,
while their food was still in their mouth,
31 the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed some of the stoutest of them,
even the young men of Israel he caused to bow down in death.
32 In spite of all this they sinned further
and did not believe his wonders.
33 And he consumed their days with futility
their years with terror.
34 When he killed some of them, then they sought him,
and repented and earnestly sought God.
35 And they remembered that God was their rock,
and God Most High their redeemer.
36 But they enticed him with their mouth
and lied to him with their tongue.
37 For their heart was not steadfast with him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant.
38 But he was compassionate; he pardoned their guilt
and did not destroy them.
And many times he turned back his anger
and did not stir up all his wrath,
39 for he remembered that they were flesh,
a passing wind that does not return.
40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and vexed him in the wasteland!
41 So they again tested God
and distressed the Holy One of Israel.
42 And they did not remember his power
when he redeemed them from the enemy,
43 how he performed his signs in Egypt
and his wonders in the region of Zoan,
44 when he turned their rivers to blood
so they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent among them flies that devoured them
and frogs that destroyed them.
46 And he gave their crop to the locusts
and their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail
and their sycamore trees with sleet.
48 He also handed their cattle over to the hail
and their livestock to the lightning bolts.
49 He sent against them his fierce anger,
rage and indignation and trouble,
a band of destroying angels.
50 He cleared a path for his anger.
He did not spare them from death
but handed their life over to the plague.
51 And he struck down all the firstborn in Egypt,
the first of their virility in the tents of Ham.
52 Then he led out his people like sheep
and guided them like a herd in the wilderness.
In most Western cultures today, we’ve lost our connection with the elderly. With one grandparent living halfway across the country and the others having died before I was born, I wasn’t around older people until I met my wife and her family. Unlike me, my wife had the privilege of knowing her great-grandparents. She has a strong sense of tradition and respect for the elderly, as well as a deep desire to help them in all aspects of life, and she has been able to teach me to do the same. Paul is dealing with a similar experience in his first letter to Timothy.
Paul says to Timothy, “Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. Honor widows who are truly widows” (1 Tim 5:1–3). By “honor,” Paul means showing a deep sense of concern and an earnest, regular desire to help them financially and with their daily needs. What Paul says is revolutionary for his time. It wasn’t that the elderly were disrespected culturally, but they weren’t sought out as teachers and people to help. Paul commanded not just equality in this scenario, but assistance and compassion. Widows, who were of the lowest rank of society, were to be loved as equals. And older men, at the higher rank, were to be respected for their understanding.
We don’t make these connections as readily in Western society. Instead, we see someone’s need as something to pray for, not to act on. And we see older men’s perspectives as simply “old guard” rather than a legitimate opinion we should take into consideration. Paul doesn’t say older people are always right, just as our fathers are not always right, but he does encourage Timothy to show them the respect they deserve “as a father.” Paul’s outline for honor was as powerful then as it is now.
How can you make the elderly and widowed a part of your life and church community?
Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord
Publisher: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2012
This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.