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Nahshon is found in the Old Testament

Nahshon was the Chief of the Tribe of Judah, brother-in-law of Aaron and father of Salmon. According to the Book of Numbers he lead Judah during the census of Israel among other events. He was also the grandfather of Boaz, making him an ancestor of both David and Jesus Christ.


Early life[]

Nahshon was born to Amminadab, the son of Ram in Egypt under slavery. He also had a sister named Elisheba. During Moses time in Midian his sister married Moses brother, Aaron. At one point in his life he had his son Salmon.

After Israel was released from Egypt, Nahshon was made the very first Chief of the Tribe of Judah. While it is not known how Israelite tribal chiefs were selected, he may have been designated by Moses himself. Possibly the Office of Tribal Chief was created by the invention of Jethro. Jethro helped Moses devise a more efficient judicial system to govern Israel and he asked him to appoint various judges, one of them may have been Nahshon.[1]

Chief of Judah[]

Tabernacle Sacrifices[]

Once the Tabernacle was finished the Chiefs of Israel were required to give sacrifices on behalf of their tribe to consecrate it. Nahshon gave the required offering on the same day and was the first to give his sacrifice.[2] This offering would not have come from Nahshon's personal possessions, but it would have belonged to the Tribe. Nahshon gave his sacrifice first, because Judah had the right of Jacob's inheritance;[verse needed] thus the "first son" would give their offering first.

The Census[]

On the first day of the second month, two years after Israel's Exodus, God ordered a census to be taken over all of Israel. In order to more effectively take the census, God instructed Moses and Aaron to delegate tasks the chief of each tribe. Nahshon is listed as the representative for Judah. He oversaw the taking of the census and accurate reporting of the men twenty-years or older in Judah.[3]

Position around the Tabernacle[]

Sometime after the census the Tribes of Israel were delegated to different locations surrounding the Tabernacle. Once again the Tribe of Judah was listed and had to obey first, meaning Nahshon was the first of the chiefs to perform his duty. Judah was assigned an eastern location to the Tabernacle along with the Tribes of Issachar and Zebulun. Once Nahshon received his orders he obeyed and led his seventy-four thousand military able men and the rest of the tribe to their location near the Tabernacle.[4]

Death and Forty Years[]

After the assignment of tribal locations around the Tabernacle, there is no further direct mention of Nahshon in Scripture. It is likely that he remained the Chief of Judah for some time, while no certainties can be inferred. Nahshon may have been Tribal Chief when the Chieftains set their staffs before the Tabernacle. In this case Nahshon would have given his personal staff.

It is known for certain that Nahshon was among the original Israelites who left Egypt, so he would have died sometime within the forty years of wandering and before the second census. He would not live to his son Salmon marry Rahab and bear their son, Boaz.


  1. Exodus 18:17-26 (Link)
  2. Numbers 7:12-17 (Link)
  3. Numbers 1:2-4, 7 (Link)
  4. Numbers 2:3-9 (Link)