The Benjaminite warriors (1 Chr 12:2-12:7)

“They were Benjaminites, Saul’s kinsmen. The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, both sons of Shemaah of Gibeah. There was Jeziel and Pelet sons of Azmaveth, Beracah, Jehu of Anathoth, Ishmaiah of Gibeon, a mighty man among the Thirty and a leader over the Thirty. They also included Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad of Gederah, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite. There was Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korahites. Finally there were Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham of Gedor.”

Here David was attracting the relatives of Saul, who was a Benjaminite. There was another Ahiezer that was from the tribe of Dan in Numbers, but this is the only mention of this Benjaminite Ahiezer. Although 2 kings 3 other Benjaminites have this name, this Joash is only mentioned here. There is another officer in David’s army, but it is not clear if they are both the same people. This is the only mention of their father Shemaah. Although this is the only mention of Jeziel and Pelet, their father Azmaveth may have been one of David’s mighty warriors mentioned in the preceding chapter. Beracah was the name of a person and a place not far from Tekoa. This is the only mention of this particular Jehu since the more famous Jehu was king of Israel (841-814 BCE). Interesting enough, this Ishmaiah of Gibeon was not mentioned in the preceding paragraph about the mighty warriors, but is here mentioned as a leader of the Thirty. This Jeremiah is not the prophet Jeremiah. There were a couple of other Levites with the name of Jahaziel. There were a number of Levites called Jozabad, plus a man from Manasseh who helped David. However, Eluzai, Bealiah, and Haruphite are only mentioned here and nowhere else in the biblical literature. There were at least 5 different men with the name Jerimoth. There were 3 other people called Shemariah as well as 8 or 9 people with the name Shephatiah. There were also 5 Korahites, from the family of the rebellious Levite Korah. Elkanah was the name of the son of Korah as well as a number of Levites. Isshiah was also the name of a couple of Levites. There were 5 people with the name of Azarel. Joezer only shows up here. Jashobeam was also the name of one of David’s mighty warriors. This was the only mention of Joelah, but there were 8 other people with the name of Zebadiah.

The Levite cantor Heman the Kohathite (1 Chr 6:33-6:38)

“These are the men who served the temple and their sons. Of the sons of the Kohathites there was Heman the singer, son of Joel, son of Samuel, son of Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Eliel, son of Toah, son of Zuph, son of Elkanah, son of Mahath, son of Amasai, son of Elkanah, son of Joel, son of Azariah, son of Zephaniah, son of Tahath, son of Assir, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, son of Izhar, son of Kohath, son of Levi, son of Israel.”

This is really a passage about one person, Heman, the singer, who then traced his lineage right back to Israel in 22 generations, via (1) Levi, (2) Kohath, (3) Izhar, (4) Korah, (5) Ebiasaph, (6) Assir, (7) Tahath, (8) Zephaniah, (9) Azariah, (10) Joel, (11) Elkanah, (12) Amasai, (13) Mahath, (14) Elkanah, (15) Zuph, (16) Toah, (17) Eliel, (18) Jeroham, (19) Elkanah, (20) Samuel, (21) Joel and then himself (22) Heman. Heman is called a singer and not a musician. The names are pretty much the same as earlier in this chapter, but there are a few different names here compared to the earlier genealogy. Heman is clearly the grandson of the prophet Samuel via Joel. Instead of Eliab it is now Eliel which is the name of 9 different people in the biblical literature. Nahath has become Toah, but this is the only time that this name appears. Zophai has become Zuph, which is also a place. Mahath has been added since there is one other person beside this one. Amminadab has become Izhar. Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul have been dropped. Otherwise it is the same.

The descendents of Kohath (1 Chr 6:22-6:28)

“The sons of Kohath were Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son, Elkanah his son, Ebiasaph his son, Assir his son, Tahath his son, Uriel his son, Uzziah his son, and Shaul his son. The sons of Elkanah were Amasai and Ahimoth, Elkanah his son, Zophai his son, Nahath his son, Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son. The sons of Samuel were Joel his first-born and the second son Abijah.”

This genealogy goes to 22 generations. Right from the beginning there is a problem. (2) Amminadab is not listed as a son of (1) Kohath earlier in this chapter or elsewhere. Most believe that this is an error and it should refer to Izhar. Amminadab in Exodus, chapter 6, refers to the man of Judah, the father of Nahshon and Elisheba who married Aaron. (3) Korah is called the son of Izhar in the same passage. This Korah played a major role in the revolt against Moses in Numbers, chapter 16, where he was clearly called the son of Izhar, son of Kohath. He died with his whole family when the earth split and devoured him. There is another (4) Assir who is a son of (6) Ebiasaph, who was the son of (5) Elkanah who was the son of this Assir (7).   This Elkanah was the grandson of Korah who had rebelled against Moses. Notice that were 3 other people in this lineage who were also named (12) (15) Elkanah. (8) Tahath was both the name of a person and a place. There were a couple of people with the name of (9) Uriel. There were 5 people with the name of (10) Uzziah, including the famous King Uzziah or Azariah of Judah from 781-740. (11) Shaul is sometimes referred to as Saul, but this is not King Saul. There are 3 other people named (13) Amasai. This is the only mention of (14) Ahimoth and (16) Zophai. There were 3 people with the name of (17) Nahath but 7 people with the name of (18) Eliab. There were 7 people with the name of (19) Jeroham. However, this one is the father of (20) Elkanah who was the father of (21) Samuel as in 1 Samuel, chapters 1-2. There seems to be about 5 or 6 people with this name, mostly Levites. Samuel’s sons were (22) Joel and (22) Abijah as indicated in 1 Samuel, chapter 8, who did not follow in the footsteps of their father. Their official functional roles were laid out in Numbers, chapter 4.

 

The pilgrimage to Shiloh (1 Sam 1:1-1:8)

There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah. The name of the other was Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to Yahweh of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of Yahweh.”

Now we begin the story of Samuel in the Book of Samuel. There was a man Elkanah who had two wives. One gave him children and the other did not. The barren wife is like Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and the mother of Samson. Luke also has Elizabeth with the John the Baptist in this tradition within the New Testament. Important people had unusual births. This is much like Leah and Rachel with Jacob who has one wife childless. Elkanah went to Shiloh to offer sacrifices on a yearly basis. Elkanah was also the name of the 2nd son of Korah. Zuphite is only mentioned here and nowhere else. Jeroham and Elihu are common biblical names, but Tohu and Zuph are unique to here. Eli had two priestly sons at Shiloh. The temple at Shiloh was an important place of sacrifice to Yahweh and his armies or hosts.

“On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah, he gave a double portion, because he loved her even though Yahweh had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because Yahweh had closed her womb. So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of Yahweh, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her. ‘Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

Shiloh was a clear place of worship in Ephraim as it was called the house of Yahweh. Obviously there was tension between the 2 wives. Elkanah liked Hannah, the sterile wife with the closed womb, more than Peninnah who had sons and daughters. Peninnah would provoke Hannah. Thus Hannah got upset. Elkanah tried to console her by saying that he himself was more than the equivalent of 10 sons.