14 These are the heads of their fathers’ households: the sons of Reuben, the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi; these represent the clans of Reuben. 15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the clans of Simeon. 16 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. 17 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, by their clans. 18 The sons of Kohath: Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, the years of the life of Kohath being 133 years. 19 The sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the clans of the Levites according to their generations. 20 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. 21 The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 Aaron took as his wife Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab and the sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 The sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the clans of the Korahites. 25 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. 26 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.” 27 It was they who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing out the people of Israel from Egypt, this Moses and this Aaron.
This genealogy helped the original readers and hearers of the Exodus story connect its events to their own lives. They could identify which clan the characters of the story came from. They could make the connections between the Exodus events and the tribal and national traditions that they participated in. Through the genealogy, the original audience of Exodus could make the story about “us” instead of “them.”
This is all the more important for the Israelites because the rescue is more than an individual matter. God is rescuing families and clans. He has the same desire today. He wants to give me eternal life through Jesus Christ, but he has the same desire for my parents, children, and grandchildren. It is my story that will help them see the connections. Some of my descendants may first see God in a history of my life. That makes it so important that I leave a legacy of obedience to his call.
LORD, we want to obey you because you are God. We also want to obey because of all those who are watching, and all those who will be watching.