1 Chronicles 5:1

1 The family of Reuben the firstborn of Israel: Though Reuben was Israel's firstborn, after he slept with his father's concubine, a defiling act, his rights as the firstborn were passed on to the sons of Joseph son of Israel. He lost his "firstborn" place in the family tree.

1 Chronicles 5:1 Meaning and Commentary

1 Chronicles 5:1

Now the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel
Are as follow in ( 1 Chronicles 5:3 ) where the account begins; for what comes between this and that is in a parenthesis:

for he was the firstborn;
of Jacob by his wife Leah; that must be owned, and Jacob allows it, ( Genesis 49:3 ) and yet the genealogy in this book begins not with him, as might on that account be expected; the reason follows:

but forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed:
by lying with Bilhah his concubine:

his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel;
his beloved son by his beloved wife Rachel and so had a double portion given him; his two sons being equally ranked with the other sons of Jacob, and became distinct tribes, and each had their lot in the land of Canaan, see ( Genesis 48:5 Genesis 48:22 ) compared with ( Deuteronomy 21:17 )

and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright;
or, "but the genealogy" F15; neither after the birthright of Reuben, which he had by nature, being Jacob's firstborn; nor after the birthright of Joseph, which be had by his father's gift, as it might be thought it should; the reason of which follows.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 "Nee tamen", Tigurine version.

1 Chronicles 5:1 In-Context

1 The family of Reuben the firstborn of Israel: Though Reuben was Israel's firstborn, after he slept with his father's concubine, a defiling act, his rights as the firstborn were passed on to the sons of Joseph son of Israel. He lost his "firstborn" place in the family tree.
2 And even though Judah became the strongest of his brothers and King David eventually came from that family, the firstborn rights stayed with Joseph.
3 The sons of Reuben, firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
4 The descendants of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son,
5 Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son,