fun with genealogies

Yes, I just said “fun” and “genealogies” in the same sentence. I don’t know about you, but if I skim over anything, it’s the genealogies. The “so-and-so-begat-so-and-so’s” that go on for pages and pages. {Well, those and the ark measurements and the temple décor.}

If the Bible is the inspired, holy Word of God preserved for us, every word of it, for a sacred purpose, then why does it include genealogies?

One thing’s for certain. We’ve decided those run-on lists of names and titles and places aren’t very important. Really – when’s the last time you read them slowly, pondering each one? It’s almost laughable.

Now of course you know those genealogies must be important {though you may not be able to explain their importance}. But would you believe me if I told you that even those boring, pointless lists of names can be transformed into something quite purposeful and fun?

Well, believe it. {Or stop wasting your time reading this post.}

I’ve yet to dig into very many of those fascinating genealogies myself, as I haven’t exactly jumped into an in-depth study of the book of Numbers or
1 Chronicles {I will one day, you just wait and see}. But I thought I’d pass along a few ideas. Most of these are not original with me. Just sharing the bursts of creativity I have witnessed.

  1. Chart It – This is the most helpful, I think, because then you can actually attempt to sort out who’s who. Start a Genealogy Notebook, and every time you come across a list of names, map it out, family-tree style. Then you can easily refer back to it when you can’t remember who’s related to whom.
  2. Sing It – Match a short, familiar tune with the sons of Jacob, for example, and now it’s getting to be really fun. “Dan, Reuben, Benjamin; Levi, Simeon; Issachar, Naphtali, and Judah. Asher, Zebulun; Gad and Joseph; these are the sons of Jacob.” Sing it to the tune of “Yankee Doodle.” {My friends have a better version, but there’s my quick attempt.}
  3. Save It – The point of all of this is to remember people, places, relations, titles, etc. Quiz each other. Create a memory game. When you read a genealogy in the Bible, you want it to be familiar. When you see the name of a person, you want to know some things about that person.

Why? Because, as strange as it may seem, there’s something important about it. God preserved all those genealogies for a reason, and the reason is not so that we can skim over chunks of the Bible or avoid them altogether. So get to work learning what you can.

Did I say “work”? Well, I guess it might take a little work, but it’s also loads of fun. Awesome. Delightful. Entertaining. A good ole time. Etc.

One day, I’ll show you my charts, songs, quizzes, and games. For now, I’ll be nice and give you a head start.

 [image credit:,]

4 thoughts on “fun with genealogies

  1. I think I and my church have probably beat you to the charting business hehe. We’ve been studying through those and have a chart going from Adam to Christ with P.A. (Post-Adam) dates showing exactly (or about as close as we can figure) when Christ was born among other important events. We also have a massive chart bigger than one of our fellowship hall walls that goes from “things before Adam” all the way to the heaven ages of eternity future. It is awesome! Suffice to say that we like to get down deep and study in our church hehe.

    The genealogies and timelines in the Bible are important for a number of reasons. Christ’ genealogy shows the love, mercy, and forgiveness of God just for starters. There’s a TON that can be learned just from His genealogy. Other times and dates and genealogies are important because such detail is evidence at least to me of the authenticity of the Word.

    When you get to the dimensions of things like the temple and ark those are vitally important. Again, they prove the authenticity of the account. If I’m not mistaken we even used the dimensions of the ark in modern times to know how to build some of our larger ships! Yes indeed, God knew what He was doing 😉 The decor of the tabernacle and temple was important because the pieces of decor, the color of things, and the material it was made of all mean something special. I try not to “over spiritualize” things (give practically everything under the sun a spiritual meaning), but when it comes to the tabernacle and temple, how much more spiritual can you get? Obviously those things, those details, were given for a reason – spiritual pictures for a spiritual places.

    Well, anyway, if you are interested in this stuff, I can probably find some way to get some of it to you 🙂


  2. I am on Ancestry today. Genealogies are so important. In doing my own, I was surprised to see a rich heritage of faith. I believe God knew that they established foundations for faith to build upon. Thanks for sharing on the #LMMLinkup.


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