Biblical and post-biblical genealogies are more than simple pedigrees, yet the wealth of their content is couched in such plain and uninviting format that many of us simply skim them. In this article you will discover how exciting such genealogies can be.
The interrelationship between God, land and man is established in the Book of Genesis. God and land are constants, while man is a variable. The relationship between the three is contractual, and biblical genealogy provides the means through which man, limited by his mortality, is able to maintain his relationship with God and land from one generation to the next.
The lands God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel), patriarchs of the Israelites, and to Esau, patriarch of the Edomites (later known as the Idumaeans) were to be their descendants’ “everlasting possession” (Gen. 17:8; Deut. 2:5). Moses and Joshua divided the inheritance of the sons of Israel among the tribes, and the leader of each tribe subdivided the tribal inheritance among that tribe’s families (Num. 32:33, 34:16-29; Josh. 14:1-5, 18:1ff.). The inheritance of each family was to pass from father to son(s), from generation to generation (Gen. 17:8; Num. 27:8-11; 36:7, 9).