The descendents of Sheshan (1 Chr 2:31-2:41)

“Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. But Sheshan had an Egyptian slave, whose name was Jarha. So Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to his slave Jarha. She bore him Attai. Attai became the father of Nathan. Nathan became the father of Zabad. Zabad became the father of Ephlal. Ephlal became the father of Obed. Obed became the father of Jehu. Jehu became the father of Azariah. Azariah became the father of Helez. Helez became the father of Eleasah. Eleasah became the father of Sismai. Sismai became the father of Shallum. Shallum became the father of Jekamiah. Jekamiah became the father of Elishama.”

Now this lineage takes a new twist as we go through 13 generations from Sheshan who was 11 generations removed from Jacob or Israel. The son of (1) Sheshan was (2) Ahlai or Attai. First the son of Sheshan was Ahlai. Then the biblical author says that he had no sons, only daughters, so that one of the daughters married an Egyptian slave who bore a son named Attai. Is Ahlai the same as Attai, his grandson?   His son was (3) Nathan, while his son was (4) Zabad, who in turn had a son called (5) Ephlal. His son was (6) Obed, who in turn had a son called (7) Jehu. His son was (8) Azariah, while his son was (9) Helez. His son was (10) Eleasah who had a son named (11) Sismai. His son was (12) Shallum, who in turn had a son (13) Jekamiah, who had a son named (14) Elishama. There were 4 biblical characters with the name of Nathan. It is not clear whether this Nathan is the prophet at the time of David, or one on his men in his army, or neither. King David had a son named Nathan also. Nathan’s son Zabad may have been one of David’s mighty men. Obed was the grandfather of David, but this Obed may have been one of his mighty men, which is more probable. This Jehu is not King Jehu (841-814 BCE) of Israel, since there were 5 biblical characters with the name Jehu. There were 25 biblical people with the name of Azariah, a very popular name. The names Helez and Eleasah appear once elsewhere but the name Sismai is unique here. Shallum is another popular name with over 15 people with that name that also included a King of Israel (743 BCE), but not this Shallum. Jekamiah is not that popular, but Elishama is the name of 7 biblical people. Certainly, this biblical author had a lot of interest in this lineage.




The descendents of Jerahmeel (1 Chr 2:25-2:31)

“The sons of Jerahmeel, the first-born of Hezron, were Ram, his first-born, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. Jerahmeel also had another wife, whose name was Atarah, the mother of Onam. The sons of Ram, the first-born of Jerahmeel were Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. The sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur. The name of Abishur’s wife was Abihail. She bore him Ahban and Molid.  The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim. Seled died childless. The son of Appaim was Ishi. The son of Ishi was Sheshan. The son of Sheshan was Ahlai. The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother were Jether and Jonathan. Jether died childless. The sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel.”

Now this genealogy goes over 11 generations starting with Jacob. It is very precise over time starting with (5) Jerahmeel, who was the son of (4) Hezron, who was the son of (3) Perez, who was the son of (2) Judah, who was the son of (1) Jacob. In fact, we see in 1 Samuel, chapter 27, that there was a group of people called the Jerahmeelites. Jerahmeel had 6 sons, Ram, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, Ahijah, and their step brother Onam. Although Ram had 3 sons, Maaz, Jamin, and Eker, this genealogy followed the sons of (6) Onam, whose mother was Atarah. His sons were (7) Shammai and Jada. Shammai’s sons were (8) Nadab and Abishur. The sons of Abishur were Ahban and Molid, while the sons of Nadab were Seled and (9) Appaim. His son was (10) Ishi, while his son was (11) Sheshan. The other son of Onam, Jada had 2 sons Jether and Jonathan. The 2 sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. Who are some of these people? Rather than follow Ram, whose uncle with the same name led to David, this genealogy follows Onam, the son of the second wife of Jerahmeel, although he does not seem important enough to be mentioned elsewhere. This Ram is less well known that his uncle, since David was not considered among the Jerahmeelites. His 3 sons are not that well know since this is the only mention of Maaz and Eker, while Jamin was also the name of one of Simeon’s sons. The names of Bunah and Oren only appear here. Ozem is the same name as one of David’s brothers, while the name of Ahijah appears to be the name of 6 other biblical characters.