A man named Tragedy 

Old Testament: 1Ch 7.20–29

To read the Bible in a year, read First Chronicles 6–7 on May 22, In the year of our Lord Christ 2023

By Don Ruhl 

As Ezra wrote what we label as First Chronicles 7, starting at verse 20, he named the men of the family of Ephraim. 

However, as he wrote of that family, he wanted to explain why one man had the name of Beriah, which in Hebrew means, In Tragedy. Why would parents give their son such a name? 

Ezra wrote that, “The men of Gath who were born in that land killed them because they came down to take away their cattle. Then Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brethren came to comfort him. And when he went in to his wife, she conceived and bore a son; and he called his name Beriah, because tragedy had come upon his house” (1 Chronicles 7.20–29). 

What a tragedy Ephraim had experienced! Having lost his sons, and then having gained a new one, the poor man mourned deeply and even gave his new son the name that reflected the horrible event that happened in his life. 

Most of us experience some kind of tragedy in life, but some experience more than the rest of us. In this case, Ephraim would see his new son, but then also think of the tragedy that had come into his family. Therefore, In Tragedy was an appropriate name for the new son. 


  • How do you remember suffering that has happened in your family? 
  • Has tragedy made you a bitter person or a better person? 

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Don preaches with the Savage Street Church of Christ in Grants Pass, Oregon. 

Listen to his sermons here: GrantsPassChurchOfChrist.com

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