Those who came with Ezra (Ezra 8:1-8:14)

“These are the family heads. This is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylonia, in the reign of King Artaxerxes. There was the descendent of Phinehas, Gershom. There was the descendent of Ithamar, Daniel. There was the descendent of David, Hattush. There were the descendents of Shecaniah. There were the descendents of Parosh, Zechariah with one hundred fifty registered men. There were the descendents of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah with two hundred men. There were the descendents of Zattu, Shecaniah son of Jahaziel with three hundred men. There were the descendents of Adin, Ebed son of Jonathan with fifty men. There were the descendents of Elam, Jeshaiah son of Athaliah with seventy men. There were the descendents of Shephatiah, Zebadiah son of Michael with eighty men. There were the descendents of Joab, Obadiah son of Jehiel with two hundred eighteen men. There were the descendents of Bani, Shelomith son of Josiphiah with one hundred sixty men. There were the descendents of Bebai, Zechariah son of Bebai with twenty-eight men. There were the descendents of Azgad, Johanan son of Hakkatan with one hundred ten men. There were the descendents of Adonikam, those who came later, their names being Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah with sixty men. There were the descendents of Bigvai, Uthai and Zaccur with seventy men.”

Once again, we have the use of the singular personal pronoun “with me.” This no longer is a story about someone else but a personal eye witness account. It is the story of Ezra himself, or someone pretending to be him. These are the people who were with him, about 1,500 men. If you count women and children then this would be about 5,000, about a 10% the size of the group that set out under King Cyrus in 537 BCE, under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua. A number of these families seem to have only 1 person since there is no number given unlike the others with specific numbers. Thus the descendents of Phinehas, Ithamar, David, and Shecaniah have either one or no one listed. Phinehas and Ithamar were the son and grandson of Aaron. This Shecaniah is virtually unknown since a lot of biblical people had that name. Most of these people were the descendents of those who had come to Jerusalem in chapter 2 of this book 80 years earlier. Thus the descendents of Parosh only had 150 men instead of 2,172 men 80 years earlier. The descendents of Pahath-moab are only 200 instead of 2,800. The descendents of Zattu were 300 instead of 945. The descendents of Adin were 50 instead of 445. The descendents of Elam were 70 instead of 1,294. The descendents of Shephatiah were 80 instead of 372. The descendents of Bani were 160 instead of 642. The descendents of Bebai were 28 instead of 623. The descendents of Azgad were 110 instead of 1,222. The descendents of Adonikam were 60 instead of 666. The descendents of Bigvai were 70 instead of 2,256. There was no mention of the descendents of Arah, Zaccai, Ater, Bezai, Hashum, or Jorah that were in chapter 2. The only new group here was Joab with 218 men.

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The children of King David at Jerusalem (1 Chr 14:3-14:7)

“King David took more wives in Jerusalem as he became the father of more sons and daughters. These are the names of the children whom he had in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada, and Eliphelet.”

This list is based once again on 2 Samuel, chapter 5, and chapter 3 of this book. When David moved to Jerusalem, he took some more wives, but their names are not mentioned here. However, in this text the word “concubines” that was in 2 Samuel and earlier in 1 Chronicles, chapter 3, has been dropped. Here it merely says wives. Thus there were more descendents of David than the six sons that he had at Hebron. However, here there is no mention of Bathsheba as the mother of the first 4 sons, (1) Shimea or Shammua as he called here, (2) Shobab, (3) Nathan, and (4) Solomon. This Nathan is not the prophet. However, Solomon, the youngest son of Bathsheba, followed David to the throne as king because of the intrigues of his mother Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan. The 9 other sons were (1) Ibhar, (2) Elishua, (3) Elpelet, (4) Nogah, (5) Nepheg, (6) Japhia, (7) Elishama, (8) Beeliada, and (9) Eliphelet. 7 of these were named in 2 Samuel. The only new names were Elpelet and Nogah.   2 names are slightly changed. One of the Eliphelet children has become Elpelet, while Eliada has become Beeliada, no real dramatic change. Thus Ibhar, Nepheg, Japhia, and Eliada are other sons whose names never appear elsewhere except in the lists of David’s sons. Other people in the biblical literature have some of these same names.

Saul’s brother’s family (1 Chr 8:39-8:40)

“The sons of his brother Eshek were Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second, and Eliphelet the third. The sons of Ulam were mighty warriors, archers, having many children and grandchildren, one hundred fifty. All these were Benjaminites.”

Saul had a brother named Eshek, who is only mentioned here. Eshek had 3 sons, Ulam, Jeush, and Eliphelet. Ulam was also the name of a descendent of Gideon. There were 5 people with the name of Jeush, while there were 6 with the name of Eliphelet. These were all mighty warriors, very good with bows and arrows.   They had over 150 children and grandchildren.

The sons of David at Jerusalem (1 Chr 3:4-3:9)

“David reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. These were born to him in Jerusalem Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four by Bathsheba, the daughter of Ammiel. Then the following nine children were born, Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet. All these were David’s sons, besides the sons of the concubines. Tamar was their sister.”

After David moved to Jerusalem, he took some more wives and concubines. He ruled from Jerusalem for 33 years. Once again this is taken from 2 Samuel, chapter 5. Thus there were more descendents of David than the six sons that he had at Hebron. (1) Shimea or Shammua as he was called in 2 Kings, (2) Shobab, (3) Nathan, and (4) Solomon, were the 4 sons of Bathsheba. Nathan is not the prophet mentioned later. However, Solomon followed David to the throne as king because of the intrigues of his mother Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan. The 9 other sons have unnamed mothers, (1) Ibhar, (2) Elishama, (3) Eliphelet, (4) Nogah, (5) Nepheg, (6) Japhia, (7) Elishama, (8) Eliada, and (9) Eliphelet, with 7 named in 2 Samuel. However, 2 sons, Elishama and Eliphelet were mentioned twice, unless he had 2 sons with the same name which is quite possible. The only new name is Nogah.   Thus Ibhar, Nepheg, Japhia, and Eliada are other sons whose names never appear elsewhere except in the lists of David’s sons. Thus David had at least 20 named children. At the end there is the mention of only one of their sisters Tamar, who was part of the Amon and Absalom fight in 2 Samuel, chapter 13.