8 Now these were the names of the children of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn.
9 The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
10 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.
11 The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13 The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puvah, Job, and Shimron.
14 The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
15 These were the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Padan Aram, with his daughter Dinah. All the persons, his sons and his daughters, were thirty-three.
16 The sons of Gad were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
17 The sons of Asher were Jimnah, Ishuah, Isui, Beriah, and Serah, their sister. And the sons of Beriah were Heber and Malchiel.
18 These were the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bore to Jacob: sixteen persons.
19 The sons of Rachel, Jacob’s wife, were Joseph and Benjamin.
20 And to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him.
21 The sons of Benjamin were Belah, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
22 These were the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob: fourteen persons in all.
23 The son of Dan was Hushim.
24 The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
25 These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, and she bore these to Jacob: seven persons in all.
26 All the persons who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, were sixty-six persons in all.
27 And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two persons. All the persons of the house of Jacob who went to Egypt were seventy.
A discrepancy has been imagined between v.26 and v.27. The “souls that came with Jacob” were sixty-six. The “souls of the house of Jacob” (i.e., the entire Jacobean family) were seventy, i.e., the sixty-six who came with Jacob, plus Joseph and Joseph’s two sons, who were already in Egypt, which equals sixty-nine, plus Jacob himself, which equals seventy. — Scofield, page 65.
[Leah’s offspring] total thirty-one. However Er and Onan died in Canaan, leaving only twenty-nine of Leah’s sons and grandsons who went to Egypt. Presumably, therefore, Leah also had four daughters or granddaughters, making a total of thirty-three (v.15). One of these was, of course, Dinah, whose unique contribution to Israel’s history (chapter 34) warrants her name being given.
The two sons of Pharez, Hezron and Hamul, are also mentioned by name (v.12), even though they could hardly have been born in Canaan. Pharez himself was born after his brother Shelah was a grown man (Genesis 38:14, 29). Since Judah could not have been more than about forty-seven at this time, Pharez was still only a boy. The names of his sons are evidently included to point out that, so far as Judah’s inheritance was to be reckoned, they had taken the place of Er and Onan, who had died in Canaan.
It is also noted that Simeon’s son Shaul was the “son of a Canaanitish woman” (v.10). This suggests that the wives of Jacob’s other sons (with the exception of Tamar) were not women of the Canaanites. Probably the other sons of Israel had married women who were descendants of Ishmael or Esau, or possibly of Keturah.
One of the sons of Levi, Kohath, was to become Moses’ ancestor. One of the grandsons of Judah, namely Hezron, was destined to be in the lineage of Christ. — Morris, pages 630-631.
A daughter of Asher, Serah by name, and two sons of Beriah (therefore great-grandsons of Jacob)—Heber and Malchiel—are listed. These are presumably included because they were the only great-grandsons of Zilpah that had been born prior to the move into Egypt. All of these names [from Zilpah, Leah’s maid] total sixteen (v.18). — Morris, page 632.
Fourteen names are listed as descendants of Rachel. Seven names are listed as descendants of Bilhah, Rachel’s maid.
The numbers do not include any of the wives of Jacob’s sons and grandsons (nor the husbands of his daughters and granddaughters), but only those who were of his own seed.
Even though the ten sons of Benjamin may not actually have been born in Canaan, they are listed in order to make this role of founders parallel and complete, since all of Jacob’s grandsons were to be reckoned among these founders. [Although] they all could have been born while Benjamin was still in Canaan. Though Benjamin was not more than twenty-five at this time, at the most, it is conceivable that he could have married while in his teens and then his wife, or wives, could have borne him ten sons (including multiple births) within this relatively brief period.
The seventy original Israelites, summing up, included Jacob and his twelve sons, fifty-one grandsons, two great-grandsons, one daughter (Dinah), one granddaughter (Serah), one other unnamed daughter of Leah, and one unnamed granddaughter of Leah (v.7). It is unusual—though certainly such things are known to happen occasionally—for one sex to be so predominant in a family throughout two generations. It seems probable that, in this case, providential intervention actively produced an abnormally large percentage of males in order to provide a foundation for rapid enlargement of the Israeli nation. … It may also be that other daughters existed but had married and so did not migrate to Egypt. — Morris, page 633.