Original Research

The fulfilment of God’s promises: A literary-homiletic reading of 1 Chronicles 7:20–27

Hee-Sook Bae
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2054 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2054 | © 2020 Hee-Sook Bae | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 October 2019 | Published: 03 June 2020

About the author(s)

Hee-Sook Bae, Department of Old Testament, Faculty of Theology, Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary, Seoul, Korea, Republic of


In ancient history, individual lives paralleled nations in their rise and fall, thereby reflecting their destiny; however, individuals were overshadowed by the glorified history of a collective entity. Therefore, familial or tribal traditions reflected in genealogies sometimes contradicted official history; a good example in this regard is 1 Chronicles 7:20–27. An initial reading of the genealogy contained therein focused on its literary and rhetorical implications; subsequently, its homiletical implications were extended. From a literary perspective, the ending of Ephraim’s genealogy with Joshua was the Chronicler’s special device that placed the first unsuccessful exploitation by Ephraim’s sons as an overture to the long history of conquest that followed. The scriptural text contextualised Joshua’s positive judgement regarding the Promised Land and his election as Moses’ successor. From a homiletical perspective, Ephraim’s genealogy generated insights about failure and tragedy and hope for the fulfilment of God’s promise, also likening the life of faith to a journey of perseverance. Research findings revealed similarities in the literary and homiletic meaning of Ephraim’s genealogy with that of Terah in Genesis 11:27–32.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Homileticians used to complain that biblical studies were more oriented towards historic-critical interest than towards preaching. Results of this research, which relate to the discipline of Old Testament Studies, show how a genealogical text can be relevant for homiletic and pastoral use in church ministry.


1 Chronicles 7:20–27; Ephraim genealogy; Beriah; Joshua; tradition of conquest


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