Tobit (Tob 1:1-1:2)

“This book tells the story of Tobit son of Tobiel, son of Hananiel, son of Aduel, son of Gabael, of the descendants of Asiel, of the tribe of Naphtali. In the days of King Shalmaneser of the Assyrians, he was taken into captivity. Tobit was taken from the town of Thisbe. This town was south of Kedesh, in Naphtali, in Upper Galilee, above Asher, toward the west, north of Phogor.”

This book is about Tobit. It is not in the Hebrew Bible, but is in the Greek Septuagint. Thus it is here, since I am following the structure in the Bible of Jerusalem. Who is Tobit? He was from Naphtali in the north region of Galilee. This was east of Asher near Manasseh at Kedesh. This is the only mention of any of Tobit’s ancestors, Tobiel, Hananiel, Aduel, and Gabael. There is one mention of Asiel in 1 Chronicles, chapter 4. There is no other mention of Thisbe or Phogor in biblical literature. King Shalmaneser V probably ruled Assyria from 727-722 BCE at the time of King Hoshea of Israel, the last king of Israel before the captivity. This would put this in the 8th century BCE at the time of the Assyrian captivity. It probably was his successor, King Sargon (710-705 BCE) who completed the captivity. The other Babylonian kings mentioned in the biblical literature were King Tiglath Pileser III (729-727 BCE) and Sennacherib (689-681 BCE). Nevertheless, the context is the northern Israel captivity by Assyria. Tobit must have been important to be deported in captivity, because they left the poor people behind.

The leaders of Simeon (1 Chr 4:34-4:38)

“The leaders of the Simeon families were Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah. Their clans increased greatly.”

Some of the more successful families were only mentioned here and not elsewhere, like Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah, Joshibiah, Asiel, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Jesimiel, and Shiphi. Many of the other names appear elsewhere but they are the not the most well know people with this name. The most famous Amaziah was the king of Judah (796-781 BCE), although there are a couple of other Levites with this name. There were 14 people with the name of Joel, with the most famous being the minor prophet whose book is Joel. There were 5 people with the name of Jehu, the most famous being King Jehu of Israel (841-814 BCE). 11 people had the name Seraiah, some of them Levites. 6 people had the name of Elioenai, while only 4 people had the name of Asaiah or Jedaiah. 3 people had the name Adiel or Shimri, while 2 had the name of Ziza. Although 9 people had the name of Benaiah, the most famous was the son of the priest Jehoiada, who played a major role in the rule of David. Allon was both a person and the name of a town. However, the most prevalent name was Shemaiah, because there were 25 different biblical persons with that name.