“Some of the Benjaminites, Sallu son of Meshullam, son of Hodaviah, son of Hassenuah, with Ibneiah son of Jeroham, Elah son of Uzzi, son of Michri, with Meshullam the son of Shephatiah, son of Reuel, son of Ibnijah returned to Jerusalem. Along with all their kinsmen according to their generations, there were nine hundred fifty-six. All these were heads of ancestral houses according to their ancestral houses.”
Some of the Benjaminites were returning. There was another Levite Sallu, but this Sallu was the son of Meshullam. Although there were over 21 people with the name of Meshullam, 3 of them were Benjaminites. There are 2 others with the name of Hodaviah, while there was 1 other person with the name of Hassenuah. Although this is the only mention of Ibneiah, his father Jeroham may have been the one mentioned in the previous chapter as a chief of Jerusalem with 6 sons. There were 6 different people with the name of Elah including a King of Israel (886-885 BCE). There were 5 people with the name of Uzzi. Michri and Ibnijah only appear here. There were 9 people with the name of Shephatiah, but only 3 people with the name of Reuel. There were 960 Benjaminites who returned to Jerusalem with their families. These were mostly the chiefs of the families.
“The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh were Iru, Elah, and Naam. The son of Elah was Kenaz.”
This Caleb is not the son of Hezron but the son of Jephunneh as in Numbers. There were 2 people with the name Jephunneh, but this Jephunneh seems to be part of the Kenizzites, thus the relationship to Kenaz. He is always mentioned as the father of Caleb in Numbers. 2 of the 3 sons of this Caleb, Iru and Naam are only mentioned here. Elah, on the other hand, was a fairly common name, with 6 people sharing 24 occurrences, with most of the citations about the Babylonian Captivity. This Kenaz was the grandson of Caleb, who might have had a brother with the same name.
“The clans of Edom are Timna, Aliah, Jetheth, Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram. These are the clans of Edom.”
These are the names of the eleven clans of Esau, so don’t say that Esau had no descendants. Incidentally a few are women, Timna and Oholibamah. Timna was the concubine of Eliphaz, the grandson of Esau. Oholibamah was the wife of Esau. Kenaz and Teman were the sons of Eliphaz. Aliah or Alvah in Genesis might have been a son of Shobal. However, we do not know much about the others mentioned here, Jetheth, Elah, Pinon, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram. This is almost the exact same as mentioned in Genesis, chapter 36.
“But his servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against Elah. When Elah was at Tirzah, drinking to get drunk in the house of Arza, who was in charge of the palace at Tirzah, Zimri came in and struck him down. He killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of King Asa of Judah. Zimri succeeded Elah. When he began to reign, as soon as he had seated himself on his throne, he killed all the house of King Baasha. He did not leave a single male of his kindred or his friends. Thus Zimri destroyed all the house of King Baasha, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spoke against King Baasha by the prophet Jehu. All the sins of King Baasha and his son Elah that they committed, plus what they had caused Israel to commit, provoked Yahweh, the God of Israel to anger because of their idols. Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?”
Zimri was the commander of half the chariots for King Elah. I wonder who had the other half. He conspired against King Elah. One night when Elah and Arza, the guy in charge of the palace were over indulging in drink, Zimri killed Elah. Zimri immediately took over. He then killed all the males in the household of King Baasha, so that there could not be any heirs in that family. Of course, this was because the prophet Jehu speaking for Yahweh had prophesized so earlier in this chapter. The idol worship of Baasha, his son Elah, and what they had made Israel do had provoked the anger of Yahweh. Thus Zimri was only fulfilling the prophecy of Jehu that Yahweh had given him. If you want to know more about Elah, the lost “Book of the Annals of the kings of Israel” was available.
“Now the rest of the acts of King Baasha, what he did, and his power, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? King Baasha slept with his ancestors. He was buried at Tirzah. His son Elah succeeded him. Moreover the word of Yahweh came by the prophet Jehu son of Hanani against King Baasha and his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of Yahweh, provoking him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and also because he destroyed it.”
If you want to know more about King Baasha and his exploits check with the lost “Annals or Chronicles about the Kings of Israel.” Clearly this was the source for this biblical writer with the constant mention of these 2 books about the kings of Israel and Judah. Interesting enough these kings get buried instead of being eaten by dogs and birds. He also had an heir to the throne, his son Elah. Jehu the prophet had 2 reasons why Yahweh was angry. First, Baasha was just as evil as Jeroboam and his son. Secondly, he had killed Jeroboam’s son and wiped out his entire family. Once again there is the continuing interplay of the prophet or man of God versus the king that started with the prophet Samuel and King Saul. This will be a repetitious theme of the good prophet versus the bad king.