The reading of the scroll to the king (Jer 36:21-36:23)

“Then King Jehoiakim

Sent Jehudi

To get the scroll.

He took it

From the chamber

Of Elishama the secretary.

Jehudi read it to the king

With all the officials

Who stood beside the king.

The king was sitting

In his winter apartment.

It was the ninth month.

There was a fire burning

In the brazier before him.

As Jehudi read

Three or four columns,

The king would cut them off

With a penknife.

He would then throw them

Into the fire

In the brazier,

Until the entire scroll

Was consumed in the fire

That was in the brazier.”

The king was not satisfied with a mere report about the scroll. He wanted the scroll itself. Thus he sent Jehudi to get the scroll and read it to them. Jehudi went back to the chamber of the secretary, Elishama, where the scroll was. He got it and came back to the king. There he read it to the king and all the royal officials. Since the king was at his winter home, there was a fire in the brazier or the fireplace, a brass coal burning stove. Thus as Jehudi read the scroll, King Jehoiakim would take 3 or 4 columns of it, cut them with a small knife that they used for the trimming of writing reeds. Then he would throw these pieces of the scroll into the fire, until they were all burned up. Thus you get some idea of the king’s opinion about the writings of Jeremiah via Baruch.

Micaiah informs other officials (Jer 36:11-36:13)

“When Micaiah,

The son of Gemariah,

The son of Shaphan,

Heard all the words

Of Yahweh

From the scroll,

He went down

To the king’s house.

He went into

The secretary’s chamber.

All the officials

Were sitting there.

That is

Elishama the secretary,

Delaiah the son of Shemaiah,

Elnathan the son of Achbor,

Gemariah the son of Shaphan,

Zedekiah the son of Hananiah,

With all the officials.

Micaiah told them

All the words

That he had heard,

When Baruch read

The scroll

In the hearing

Of the people.”

Apparently not everyone was listening to Baruch in the Temple. Micaiah, the son of Gemariah and grandson of Shaphan, was there listening to Baruch. When the reading of the scroll was over, he went to the royal palace to meet with all the other royal officials in the secretary’s chamber. All the officials were there, since they had not been at the reading in the Temple, including Elishama, Delaiah, Elnathan, and Gemariah himself. Elnathan may have been the same one who King Jehoiakim sent to Egypt to get the prophet Uriah in chapter 26 of this work. Micaiah then told them everything that he heard during Baruch’s reading of the scroll in the Temple courtyard. It is hard to believe that he memorized everything, so he must have just presented the highlights.

King Jehoshaphat sends missionaries to instruct the people (2 Chr 17:7-17:9)

“In the third year of his reign King Jehoshaphat sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. With them were the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah. With these Levites were the priests Elishama and Jehoram. They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of Yahweh with them. They went around through all the cities of Judah. They taught among the people.”

This was a special mission of what we might call evangelization today. King Jehoshaphat sent his officials and Levites out to teach the people about the law of Yahweh in the major cities of Judah. This was a different approach than that of his father, King Asa, who wanted everyone killed who was not a Yahweh worshipper. There were 5 officials named, 9 Levites, and 2 priests. Of the 5 officials, this is the only mention of (1) Ben-hail. Although there are 12 different people with the name of (2) Obadiah including the prophetic book of the same name, this Obadiah only appears here. There was a (3) Zechariah who was a son of King Jehoshaphat, one who was king of Israel (743 BCE) and a later prophet of the 6th century BCE, but this Zechariah is not one of these, unless possibly the son of the king. Although there are 10 biblical people with the name of (4) Nethanel, this one could be the trumpet blower or the son of Obed-edom. I wonder if this (5) Micaiah is the same prophet who King Jehoshaphat wanted later in this chapter. As for the 9 Levites, (1) Shemaiah was a common name among Levites, but this one is only mentioned here. This (2) Nethaniah might be one of the sons of Asaph or his descendents. (3) Zebadiah was a common name, but this one is not mentioned elsewhere. (4) Asahel was the name of a nephew of David who died, but this is not him. (5) Shemiramoth was at the time of David, but this is a different Shemiramoth. (6) Jehonathan is only mentioned here. (7) Adonijah was the name of a son of David, but this is not him. There was a later prophet with the name of (8) Tobijah. (9)Tob-adonijah appears only here. The 2 priests were Elishama and Jehoram. (1) Elishama was the name of a son of David, but this one is a priest. (2) Jehoram is a complicated name since two kings had that same name, one was the son of King Jehoshaphat who ruled from (848-840 BCE) and that other was the king of Israel (852-842 BCE). This priest could possibly be the son of King Jehoshaphat.

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.

The other descendents of Ephraim (1 Chr 7:24-7:27)

“Ephraim’s daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon as well as Uzzen-sheerah. Rephah was his son, Resheph his son, Telah his son, Tahan his son, Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, Nun his son, Joshua his son.”

This genealogy is trying to get to Joshua son of Nun. I am not sure if there is enough generations to get there. Sheerah is a daughter of Ephraim who is never mentioned elsewhere. Neither is Uzzen-sheerah found elsewhere. Lower and Upper Beth-horon are in the northwest corner of Benjamin, about 10 miles northwest of Jerusalem, where a famous battle took place under Joshua, chapter 10. This would assume that the Ephraimites were in Canaan before the conquests of Joshua. (1) Rephah, (2) Resheph, and (3) Telah are only mentioned here, nowhere else. This (4) Tahan was a name mentioned earlier. There was a Levite (5) Ladan also. (7) Elishama and his father (6) Ammihud were mentioned as the leaders of the Ephraimites in Numbers, chapters 1, 2, 7, and 10. Of course, (9) Joshua and his father (8) Nun are frequently mentioned in the Exodus story and the book of Joshua, over 200 times. It took 9 generations to get from Ephraim to Joshua, 1 generation after Moses, while it only took 3 generations to get from Levi to Moses, 1 generation older than Joshua.

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.

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.