The kings of Judah from Solomon to the gap (Mt 1:7-1:8)

“Solomon was

The father of Rehoboam.

Rehoboam was

The father of Abijah.

Abijah was

The father of Asaph.

Asaph was

The father of Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat was

The father of Joram.”

 

Σολομὼν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ῥοβοάμ, Ῥοβοὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀβιά, Ἀβιὰ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀσάφ, Ἀσὰφ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσαφάτ, Ἰωσαφὰτ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωράμ.

I Chronicles, chapter 3 lists the kings of Judah, based on 1 Kings and 2 Kings.  Based on those 2 books, there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile, since there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah.  The son of Solomon (Σολομὼν) was Rehoboam (Ῥοβοάμ) who ruled from about 931-913 BCE.  His son Abijah (Ἀβιά,) or Abijam ruled from about 913-911 BCE.  His son Asaph (Ἀσάφ) or Asa ruled from about 911-870 BCE.  His son Jehoshaphat (Ἰωσαφάτ) ruled from about 870-848 BCE.  His son Joram (Ἰωράμ) or Jehoram ruled from about 848-841 BCE.  The Greek text used the term “begat” (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these 5 men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”  Now there was a gap in this genealogy from 841-781 BCE, since there was no mention of Ahaziah, Azariah or Jehoahaz who only ruled for less than a year in 741 BCE.  Actually, his mother Athaliah, ruled for about 6 years until her grandson Joash or Jehoash ruled from about 835-796 BCE.  Joash’s son, Amaziah ruled from about 796-781 BCE.  Perhaps this gap in the chronology of the kings was done to keep the numbers down to 14.

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The three men should bless God (Dan 3:66-3:66)

“Bless the Lord!

Hananiah!

Azariah!

Mishael!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!

He has rescued us

From Hades.

He has saved us

From the power

Of death.

He has delivered us

From the midst

Of the burning fiery furnace.

From the midst

Of the fire,

He has delivered us.”

Finally, the 3 young men, using their Judean names and not their Babylonian names, Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, would bless, praise, and exalt the Lord. However, they had a particular reason to bless God, because he had rescued them from hell or hades. He had saved them from the power of death itself. He had delivered them and kept them safe. Right in the middle of this fiery furnace, God had saved their lives.

The three companions pray together (Dan 3:28-3:28)

“Then the three,

With one voice,

Praised,

Glorified,

Blessed God

In the furnace.”

After this brief description about the events in the furnace, this prayer then continued with all 3 companions together, not just Azariah. All 3 of them, Azariah, called Abednego, Shadrach who was Hananiah, and Meshach, originally Mishael, prayed together in the furnace, blessing, praising, and glorifying God.

The angel of the Lord and the useless fire (Dan 3:26-3:27)

“But the angel

Of the Lord

Came down

Into the furnace

To be with Azariah,

As well as his companions.

He drove the fiery flame

Out of the furnace.

He made the inside

Of the furnace

Like a moist wind,

That went whistling

Through it.

The fire did not touch

Them at all.

It caused them

No pain,

No distress.”

The angel of the Lord came down into the furnace to be with Azariah and his 2 companions. This angel made the inside of the furnace like a moist wind whistling through the center of the furnace. This drove the flames out of the furnace, so that the fire did not touch any of them. Thus, they were in no pain or distress. Everything was fine with them, since they were not burning.

 

The call for deliverance (Dan 3:20-3:22)

“Deliver us

In accordance

With your marvelous works!

Bring glory

To your name!

O Lord!

Let all who do harm

To your servants

Be put to shame!

Let them be disgraced!

Let them be deprived

Of all power!

Let their strength

Be broken!

Let them know

That you alone are

The Lord God!

Glorious!

Over the whole world!”       

Finally, Azariah got to the point. He wanted to be saved from this flaming furnace. He wanted God to show his marvelous works. He wanted him to bring glory to his name. On the other hand, anyone who was trying to bring harm to his servants should be shamed, disgraced, and lose all power and strength. They should all know that the glorious God alone is the lord over the whole world.

 

The call for mercy (Dan 3:18-3:19)

“Now with all our heart,

We follow you!

We fear you!

We seek your presence!

Do not put us to shame!

Deal with us

In your patience!

Deal with us

In your abundant mercy!”

Azariah pointed out that they were going to follow God with all their heart. They feared him and were seeking his presence. However, they did not want to be put to shame. They wanted God’s patience and mercy to come to them.

The spiritual worship (Dan 3:16-3:17)

“Yet with a contrite heart,

With a humble spirit,

May we be accepted,

As though it were

With burnt offerings

Of rams,

Of bulls,

With tens of thousands

Of fat lambs!

Such may our sacrifice be

In your sight,

Today!

May we unreservedly

Follow you!

No shame

Will come

To those

Who trust in you!”

Thus, Azariah pointed out that their religion must become more spiritual than cultic, without a Temple to offer sacrifices. With a contrite heart and humble spirit, Azariah asked that his attitude might take the place of the cultic burnt offerings of rams, bulls, and lambs. He wanted his attitude to be the equivalent of ritual sacrifices. He did not want shame to come to those who trusted in God and followed his commandments. This is a clear movement away from the ritual temple worship.