Common relatives in the Babylonian captivity (Lk 3:27-3:27)

“The son of Joanan,

The son of Rhesa,

The son of Zerubbabel,

The son of Shealtiel,

The son of Neri.”

 

τοῦ Ἰωανὰν τοῦ Ῥησὰ τοῦ Ζοροβάβελ τοῦ Σαλαθιὴλ τοῦ Νηρεὶ

 

Finally, we find 2 common names from Matthew, chapter 1:12, when he was describing people during the Babylonian captivity.  Here Matthew and Luke have an agreement on 2 people, Zerubbabel and Shealtiel.  These 2 individuals can be found in 1 Chronicles, chapter 3:10-20, after the Israelites from Judah and Jerusalem were deported to Babylon, Jechoniah became the father of Salathiel (Σαλαθιήλ).  Jechoniah was the son of King Jehoiakim and grandson of King Josiah who had ruled Judah in 598 BCE.  Jechoniah was exiled for 37 years as indicated in 2 Kings, chapter 25.  Salathiel or Shealtiel was his oldest son, but he had at least 5 other brothers.  According to 1 Chronicles, Salathiel had no children, so that his brother Pedaiah was the father of Zerubbabel (Ζοροβαβέλ), not him.  Zerubbabel was the leader of the tribe of Judah at the time of their return from captivity, as his name appears over 25 times in the scriptural writings.  The Persian king appointed Zerubbabel the governor of Judah, where he rebuilt the Jerusalem Temple.  He also had a Persian name of Sheshbazzar as described in 1 Esdras, chapters 1-3.  Here Luke said, without any comment, that the son of Joanan (τοῦ Ἰωανὰν), the son of Rhesa (τοῦ Ῥησὰ), the son of Zerubbabel (τοῦ Ζοροβάβελ), the son of Shealtiel (τοῦ Σαλαθιὴλ), the son of Neri (τοῦ Νηρεὶ).

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The unknown names of this genealogy (Mt 1:13-1:15)

“Zerubbabel was

The father of Abiud.

Abiud was

The father of Eliakim

Eliakim was

The father of Azor.

Azor was

The father of Zadok.

Zadok was

The father of Achim.

Achim was

The father of Eliud.

Eliud was

The father of Eleazar.

Eleazar was

The father of Matthan.

Matthan was

The father of Jacob.

 

Ζοροβαβὲλ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀβιούδ, Ἀβιοὺδ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἐλιακείμ, Ἐλιακεὶμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀζώρ, Ἀζὼρ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Σαδώκ, Σαδὼκ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀχείμ, Ἀχεὶμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἐλιούδ, Ἐλιοὺδ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἐλεάζαρ, Ἐλεάζαρ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Μαθθάν, Μαθθὰν δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰακώβ,

 

Up until this point, all the people mentioned in this genealogy could be found in other works of the Old Testament.  However, other than Zerubbabel, the first governor of Judah under the Persian rule, all the other names cannot be found in the Hebrew writings.  It is unclear where Matthew got these 9 generations of names, but he must have had some source, since he was so meticulous following 1 Chronicles.  Zerubbabel (Ζοροβαβὲλ) was Abiud’s father.  Abiud (Ἀβιούδ) was the father of Eliakim (Ἐλιακείμ,), while he was the father of Azor (Ἀζώρ).  He, in turn was the father of Zadok (Σαδώκ), whose son was Achim (Ἀχείμ).  His son was Eliud (Ἐλιούδ).  Eliud’s son was Eleazar (Ἐλεάζαρ), whose son was Matthan (Μαθθάν).  Matthan was the father of Jacob (Ἰακώβ).  The Greek text used the term “begat” (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these 9 men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”

The genealogy during the Babylonian captivity (Mt 1:12-1:12)

“After the deportation to Babylon,

Jechoniah was

The father of Salathiel.

Salathiel was

The father of Zerubbabel.”

 

Μετὰ δὲ τὴν μετοικεσίαν Βαβυλῶνος Ἰεχονίας ἐγέννησεν τὸν Σαλαθιήλ, Σαλαθιὴλ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ζοροβαβέλ,

 

Based on the text in 1 Chronicles, chapter 3, after the Israelites from Judah and Jerusalem were deported to Babylon (Μετὰ δὲ τὴν μετοικεσίαν Βαβυλῶνος), Jechoniah (Ἰεχονίας) became the father of Salathiel (Σαλαθιήλ).  Jechoniah was the son of King Jehoiakim and grandson of King Josiah who had ruled Judah in 598 BCE.  Jechoniah was exiled for 37 years as indicated in 2 Kings, chapter 25.  Salathiel or Shealtiel was his oldest son, but he had at least 5 other brothers.  According to 1 Chronicles, Salathiel had no children, so that his brother Pedaiah was the father of Zerubbabel (Ζοροβαβέλ), not him.  Zerubbabel was the leader of the tribe of Judah at the time of their return from captivity, as his name appears over 25 times in the scriptural writings.  The Persian king appointed Zerubbabel the governor of Judah, where he rebuilt the Jerusalem Temple.  He also had a Persian name of Sheshbazzar as described in 1 Esdras, chapters 1-3.  This Greek text used the term “begat” (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”

The role of Zerubbabel (Zech 4:6-4:7)

“Then he said to me.

‘This is the word of Yahweh

To Zerubbabel.

Not by might,

Not by power,

But by my Spirit.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘O great mountain!

What are you?

Before Zerubbabel,

You shall become a plain.

He shall bring out

The top stone

Amid shouts of

‘Grace!

Grace to it!’”

The angel who had been talking to Zechariah explained that the word of Yahweh was going to come to Zerubbabel, the man appointed by King Cyrus of Persia.  Zerubbabel was going to be successful, but not by his might and power, but by the Holy Spirit of Yahweh.  The great mountain would become a plain before Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah.  He was going to bring out the top stone of the mountain to cheers of grace to all.

Title (Hag 1:1-1:1)

“In the second year

Of King Darius,

In the sixth month,

On the first day

Of the month,

The word of Yahweh

Came by the prophet Haggai,

To Zerubbabel,

The son of Shealtiel,

Governor of Judah.

It also came

To Joshua,

The son of Jehozadak,

The high priest.”

There is a precise date to this prophetic happening, August, 520 BCE, the second year of the great King Darius of Persia (522-486 BCE).  During his reign, he ruled over nearly ½ of the known world, over 50,000,000 people.  The word of Yahweh came through the prophet Haggai, although there is no mention of his family.  Perhaps he was one of those returning from the exile in Babylon.  In the Book of Ezra, chapter 5, Haggai and Zechariah were explicitly mentioned as prophets.  There was also a eunuch servant Haggai in the Book of Esther, but there seems to be no connection to this Haggai.  This Haggai was to prophesize to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, who was the grandson of one of the last kings of Judah, King Jehoiachin (598 BCE).  Thus, he could be in the Davidic line.  He probably died sometime around 520 BCE, sometime around the events described here.  King Cyrus had appointed Zerubbabel to be the Governor of Judah in 538 BCE, when he was among the first exiles sent back to Jerusalem.  Joshua, the son of Jehozadak was the high priest in Jerusalem from 515-490 BCE.

Gedaliah, Governor of Judah (2 Kings 25:22-25:24)

“King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan as governor over the people who remained in the land of Judah, those whom the king of Babylon had left. Now when all the captains of the forces and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came with their men to Gedaliah at Mizpah, namely, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite. Gedaliah swore to them and their men, saying. ‘Do not be afraid because of the Chaldean officials. Live in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.’”

Ahikam had been a trusted advisor to King Josiah as seen in chapter 22 of this book. The king of Babylon appointed his son to be the governor over the people who remained in Judah. He called the remaining men in Judah to Mizpah to tell them to follow the Babylonian king. Just live in the land and everything will be well with you. So it is clear that not everyone was sent into captivity. This Ishmael will lead a revolt against Gedaliah. Johanan will not join Ishmael in the revolt but will flee to Egypt. Jeremiah the prophet will speak about these men in his prophecies.