“The sons of Jeconiah, the captive were Shealtiel. His other sons were Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. The sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel and Shimei. The sons of Zerubbabel were Meshullam and Hananiah. Shelomith was their sister. Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed were five other brothers.”
King Jeconiah was the son of King Jehoiakim and grandson of King Josiah who ruled Judah in 598 BCE. He was taken captive and in exile for 37 years as indicated in 2 Kings, chapter 25. (1) Shealtiel was his oldest son. His brothers Malchiram, Shenazzar, Hoshama, Jekamiah, and Nedabiah are only mentioned here, while Shealtiel is mentioned over 17 times in biblical literature, including the 2 genealogies of Jesus. There are 6 other people with the name of Pedaiah, and he is usually referred to as the uncle of Zerubbabel, but was in fact his father since Shealtiel had no children. The biblical text says here that Zerubbabel was the son of (2) Pedaiah. (3) Zerubbabel was the leader of the tribe of Judah at the time of the return from captivity as his names appears over 25 times. The Persian king appointed him the governor of Judea, where he rebuilt the Jerusalem temple. He also had a Persian name of Sheshbazzar as described in 1 Esdras, chapters 1-3. This is the only mention of Zerubbabel’s brother Shimei, but there are over 15 different people with the same name in biblical literature. Zerubbabel had at least 7 sons and 1 daughter. The 2 oldest sons (4) Meshullam and (4) Hananiah had 21 and 13 other people with same name. Their sister Shelomith had 6 other people with the same name. Four of the other five brothers are unique and only mentioned here, Hashubah, Ohel, Hasadiah, and Jushab-hesed. Berechiah, on the other hand, had 6 other people with the same name. This biblical author only mentions 4 generations after the Exile, so that we are in the mid-5th century BCE.