Jerusalem will remain (Zech 14:10-14:11)

“The whole land

Shall be turned

Into a plain

From Geba

To Rimmon,

South of Jerusalem.

But Jerusalem shall remain aloft

On its site,

From the Gate of Benjamin

To the place

Of the former gate,

To the Corner Gate.

It will remain

From the Tower of Hananel

To the king’s wine presses.

It shall be inhabited.

Never again shall it be doomed

To destruction.

Jerusalem shall abide in security.”

Although the whole land south of Jerusalem from Geba to Rimmon would be turned into a plain, Jerusalem would remain aloft from the fray, tall and strong.  Geba would be the northern boundary of Judah, about 5 miles north of Jerusalem, but actually in Benjamin.  Rimmon was the southernmost town in Judah, in the old Simeon territory, about 13 miles south of Hebron.  Jerusalem would be safe from its norther Gate of Benjamin to the wines presses in the southern part of the city.  Never again would Jerusalem be destroyed, because it would live in security.

Yahweh comes (Isa 28:20-28:22)

“The bed is too short

To stretch oneself on it.

The covering is too narrow

To wrap oneself in it.

Yahweh will rise up

As on Mount Perazim.

He will rage

As in the valley of Gibeon.

To do his deed!

Strange is his deed!

To work his work!

Alien is his work!

Now therefore do not scoff!

Your bonds will be made stronger.

I have heard a decree of destruction

From Yahweh God of hosts

Upon the whole land.”

Isaiah explains that your beds will be too short and the covers on your beds too narrow to cover you. This would indicate that he was referring to taller people like giants who could not get a comfortable bed. Yahweh was going to rise in anger as he had done at Mount Perazim and Gibeon. Perazim was a place between Jerusalem and Hebron where King David defeated the Philistines in 2 Samuel, chapter 5 and 1 Chronicles, chapter 14. There it was called Baal-Perazim. Gibeon was a place north of Jerusalem where Joshua defeated 5 kings in Joshua, chapter 10. Yahweh’s work was going to happen, even if an alien had to do it. They were not to be scoffers. Yahweh, God of hosts, had issued a decree of destruction for the whole land.

The further adventures of Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 5:65-5:68)

“Then Judas and his brothers went out and fought the descendents of Esau in the land to the south. He struck Hebron and its villages. He tore down its strongholds and burned its towers on all sides. Then he marched off to go into the land of the Philistines. He passed through Marisa. On that day some priests, who wished to do a brave deed, fell in battle, for they went out to battle unwisely. But Judas turned aside to Azotus in the land of the Philistines. He tore down their altars. He burned with fire the carved images of their gods. He plundered the towns. Finally, he returned to the land of Judah.”

Judas and his brothers decided to attack south in Edom, the land of the descendents of Esau. It is not clear why they struck down Hebron, which had been a capital of Israel at the time of David. Perhaps, more gentiles had taken over there. Hebron was only about 20 miles south of Jerusalem. Then he went west to the land of the Philistines. I guess that those Philistine just never die out. For some reason, a few unwise priests went out to do battle and were killed. Then Judas attacked Azotus in the Philistine territory. Once again, he tore down their altars and burned their idols. There is no mention of killing the males, but he did plunder the Philistine towns, before he returned to Judea. He never really got to Edom since he went southwest instead of southeast.

King Rehoboam fortifies cities in Judah (2 Chr 11:5-11:12)

“King Rehoboam resided in Jerusalem. He built cities for defense in Judah. He built up Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth-zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron. There were fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. He made the fortresses strong. He put commanders in them. They had stores of food, oil, and wine. He also put large shields and spears in all the cities. He made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin.”

There is no other source for this material here. Certainly some of these 15 cities already existed. This was a defensive gesture. He seems to have fortified them with shields, spears, food, commanders, and troops. These cities became strong fortresses against any enemy. Bethlehem was the birthplace of David, just 6 miles south of Jerusalem. Etam was about 2 miles southwest of Bethlehem. Tekoa was about 6 miles south of Bethlehem. Beth-zur was on the main road between Jerusalem and Hebron, about 4 miles north of Hebron, which was about 20 miles south of Jerusalem. Adullam was about 16 miles southwest of Jerusalem and about 10 miles west of Bethlehem. Gath was 1 of the 5 major cities of the Philistines that has been lost, but was on the west side of Judah. Mareshah was also in western Judah, while Ziph was in southern Judah. Adoraim only appears here but probably is a lost southwest town near the sea. Lachish was about 15 miles west of Hebron, probably close to Azekah. Zorah and Aijalon were western cities that were originally in the territory of Dan. About a half of these cities were within 20 miles of Jerusalem. Most of the fortified cities were in the south and west since the Dead Sea was on the east and Benjamin and northern Israel was to the north.

The end of the reign of King David (1 Chr 29:26-29:30)

“Thus King David son of Jesse reigned over all Israel. The period that he reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. He died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor. His son Solomon succeeded him. Now the acts of King David, from first to last, are written in the records of the seer Samuel, and in the records of the prophet Nathan, and in the records of the seer Gad. These have the accounts of his whole rule and his might. They have the events that befell him and Israel and all the kingdoms of the earth.”

King David ended his 40 year reign, like the 40 years in the wilderness of Moses. They never forgot that the first 7 years were in Hebron where there was some contention about his rule. The last 33 were in Jerusalem. Without mentioning how old he was, this biblical author said that he lived a good old age, with richness and honors. He was probably in his 60s or early 70s. King Solomon succeeded him. King Solomon was actually king before King David died. This biblical author then cites his sources. The records of the seer Samuel may be referring to the Books of Samuel. It is not clear what the records of the prophet Nathan and the seer Gad were. They were both contemporaries of King David. Perhaps, they wrote something that has been lost. There is no indication about 1 Kings, which was more about Solomon. Certainly this author used sources for his genealogies. Perhaps there were other writings that have disappeared. He made no mention of the Annuals or Chronicles of the kings of Judah and Israel here.

The sons of Kohath (1 Chr 23:12-23:20)

“The four sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. The sons of Amram were Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart to consecrate the most holy things. He and his sons should forever make offering before Yahweh. They were to minister to him and pronounce blessings in his name forever. The sons of Moses, the man of God, were reckoned among the tribe of Levi. The sons of Moses were Gershom and Eliezer. The son of Gershom was Shebuel the chief. The son of Eliezer was Rehabiah the chief. Eliezer had no other sons, but the sons of Rehabiah were very many. The son of Izhar was Shelomith the chief. The sons of Hebron were Jeriah the chief, Amariah the second, Jahaziel the third, and Jekameam the fourth. The sons of Uzziel were Micah the chief and Isshiah the second.”

Based on chapter 6 of this book and loosely based on Numbers, chapter 4, Kohath had four sons (1) Amram, (2) Izhar, (3) Hebron, and (4) Uzziel, so that there is no dispute about these names. Kohath was the second of the three sons of Levi. (1) Amram was the father of Aaron and Moses. Aaron and his sons were set aside to make offerings to Yahweh forever. Aaron was a Levite, but his sons are not mentioned by name here. The 2 sons of Moses were also Levites, but they were not as attached to the worship cult as the sons of Aaron. One of the sons of Moses was called Gershom, the same name as the son of Levi. The other son was Eliezer, whose name only appears here and in Exodus, chapter 18, although it is a fairly common name. Shebuel, the son of Gershom was in charge of the treasures, which seems to be a common position like chief. Rehabiah, Eliezer’s son did not have many children. (2) Izhar’s son Shelomith had something to do with the treasures also. (3) Hebron apparently had 4 sons but Jeriah and Jahaziel were only mentioned here. Amariah and Jekameam were the names of some other Levites. (4) Uzziel’s descendants were Micah, not the prophet, and Isshiah, which is the name of other Levites.

The Levites prepare to transport the ark (1 Chr 15:3-15:10)

“King David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Yahweh to the place that he had prepared for it. King David gathered together the descendents of Aaron and the Levites. There were the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, with one hundred twenty of his kindred. There were the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, with two hundred twenty of his kindred. There were the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, with one hundred thirty of his kindred. There were the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, with two hundred of his kindred. There were the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, with eighty of his kindred. There were the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, with one hundred and twelve of his kindred.”

This biblical writer said that King David called everyone to Jerusalem, which would have been difficult. More particularly, he gathered the descendents of Aaron, the 3 groups of Levites, the Kohathites, Merarites, and Gershonites with their chiefs and family. However, 3 other groups of Levites, the descendents of Elizaphan, Hebron, and Uzziel were also named, but they were actually the sons of Kohath. Thus 4 of these groups were Kohathites. Each group had a leader and a number of their clan. Thus we have the following assigned to carry and care for the Ark of the Covenant. This has become a big deal with over 800 people directly involved.

The anointing of King David (1 Chr 11:1-11:3)

“Then all Israel gathered together to David at Hebron, and said. ‘See, we are your bone and flesh. For some time now, even while Saul was king, it was you who commanded the army of Israel. Yahweh your God said to you. ‘You shall be the shepherd of my people Israel. You shall be the ruler over my people Israel.’ All the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron. David made a covenant with them at Hebron before Yahweh. They anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of Yahweh by Samuel.”

Actually, it took many years before David was able to rally the Israelites of the north to follow him, as this biblical author omits all the problems that David had in 2 Samuel, chapters 1-4. Thus this biblical chronicler starts with 2 Samuel, chapter 5, almost word for word in a more idealized portrait story of David. This is the first mention of the prophet Samuel by this biblical author.  The elders of all the tribes of Israel came to Hebron. They were the same flesh and bone which is what the men of Judah said, not all the Israelites. Yahweh wanted David to be king over all Israel. Then they made a covenant or treaty with David before Yahweh. Finally, they anointed David King of Israel. There is no mention of how old David was at this time.

The dwelling places of the Kohathite Levites (1 Chr 6:54-6:61)

“These are their dwelling places according to their settlements within their borders. To the sons of Aaron of the families of Kohathites, for the lot fell to them, to them they gave Hebron in the land of Judah and its surrounding pasture lands. However, the fields of the city and its villages they gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. To the sons of Aaron they gave the cities of refuge, Hebron, Libnah with its pasture lands, Jattir, Eshtemoa with its pasture lands, Hilen with its pasture lands, Debir with its pasture lands, Ashan with its pasture lands, and Beth-shemesh with its pasture lands. From the tribe of Benjamin, Geba with its pasture lands, Alemeth with its pasture lands, and Anathoth with its pasture lands. All their towns throughout their families were thirteen. To the rest of the Kohathites were given by lot out of the family of the tribe, out of the half-tribe, the half of Manasseh, ten cities.”

Here we have the dwelling places for the Levite Kohathites, based on Joshua, chapter 21. Although the Levites were to receive no territory, they were given certain cities and some pasture land. The Kohathites won the first lottery and got the towns in Judah. There is no mention of the fact that in Joshua, they also got cites from the territories of Simeon. Although the ending is the same as in Joshua, that they got 13 towns from the south and 10 towns from the north from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, some details are different here. Definitely, the Kohathite branch of the Levites ended up with 23 towns. (1) Hebron became a center of attention because it was a refugee town and the fields of the town and its villages had been given to Caleb the son of Jephunneh. Then this ancient city of Hebron and its surrounding pasture lands were given to the Kohathites. Thus there might be some arguments about this town. The Kohathites also got (2) Libnah, a refuge town also, (3) Jattir and (4) Eshtemoa with their pasture lands. There are a few discrepancies with Joshua, since 2 towns have a different name. (5) Debir and (6) Beth-shemesh were the same, but (7) Holon has become Hilen and (8) Ain has become Ashan here. (9) Juttah is missing here in 1 Chronicles. These were the nine towns out of the two tribes of Judah and Simeon. There were 4 other towns from Benjamin but (1) Gibeon is missing here. (2) Geba and (3) Anathoth are the same as in Joshua, but (4) Alemeth has become Almon. Here there is no mention of the names of the 10 towns from the north given to the Kohathites, just the fact that it happened.

The sons of Kohath (1 Chr 6:18-6:18)

“The sons of Kohath were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel.”

In Exodus, chapter 6, and earlier in this chapter, Kohath had four sons (1) Amram, (2) Izhar, (3) Hebron, and (4) Uzziel. Kohath was the second of the three sons of Levi. The Kohathites were in charge of the tabernacle in the wilderness. 23 cities were assigned to the Kohathites in Joshua, chapter 21. In David’s time and after, Heman, a Kohathite, and his family had a prominent place in the Temple service as a cantor. Kohath through Amram will be the grandfather of Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. His descendents will be called the Amramites. Izhar was then the uncle of Moses and a clan developed named the Izeharites. Hebron’s family became known as the Hebronites. The town of Hebron has existed for over 3,500 years. Uzziel’s descendants were called Uzzielites. There were 5 other biblical characters with the same name.