The planners for the foundation of the Temple (Ezra 3:8-3:9)

“In the second year after their arrival at the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak made a beginning. Together with the rest of their people, the priests, the Levites, and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity, they began work on the house of God at Jerusalem. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work of the house of Yahweh. Jeshua with his sons and his kinsmen, Kadmiel and his sons, Binnui and Hodaviah, along with the sons of Henadad, these Levites, their sons and kinsmen took charge of the workers in the house of God.”

Clearly this is the 2nd year after the big assembly, which would put it under King Cyrus. They put various Levites in charge of building the foundation. Once again, this was led by Zerubbabel and Jeshua, just as in the previous year. Working in conjunction with the other returnees, they began to plan the foundation of the Temple. The Levites, over 20 years old, were to be in charge of this activity. The leaders would be Jeshua and his family, Kadmiel and Hodaviah were the leading Levites as mentioned in the previous chapter. Binnui and Henadad are new names not mentioned before this.

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The list of the Levites returning (Ezra 2:40-2:42)

“The Levites were the descendents of Jeshua and Kadmiel, and the descendents of Hodaviah, seventy-four. The singers were the descendents of Asaph, one hundred twenty-eight. The descendents of the gatekeepers were the descendents of Shallum, the descendents of Ater, the descendents of Talmon, the descendents of Akkub, the descendents of Hatita, and the descendents of Shobai, in all one hundred thirty-nine.”

There were only 3 groups of Levites, the people of Jeshua, the people of Kadmiel, and the people of Hodaviah, with a mere total of 74. The singers of the Asaph group had 128 people. The gatekeepers had a major role with 6 different groups. Shallum, Talmon, and Akkub and their families had been gatekeepers since the time of King David. On the other hand, the descendents of Ater, Hatita, and Shobai only appear at this time after the exile. Nevertheless, they only had a total of 139 people with nothing to guard.

The chiefs of the half tribe of Manasseh (1 Chr 5:24-5:24)

“These were the heads of half-tribe of Manasseh clans, Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel, mighty warriors, famous men, who were the heads of their clans.”

This biblical author lists 7 mighty warriors as the heads of their clans. There were 2 other people with the name of Epher, the son of Midian via Keturah, and the son of Ezra in the tribe of Judah. He is never listed as a son of Manasseh. There were 3 other people with the name of Ishi mentioned earlier in this book. There were 9 biblical people with the name of Eliel while 2 other people were called Azriel. On the other hand, the name Jeremiah appears over 140 times mostly referring to the prophet and book Jeremiah, but there are 5 other people with the same name including this Jeremiah. Although 3 people have the name Hodaviah, Jahdiel is only mentioned here. These were the 8th century BCE leaders of the east bank half tribe of Manasseh.

The sons of Hananiah (1 Chr 3:21-3:24)

“The sons of Hananiah were Pelatiah and Jeshaiah. His son was Rephaiah, with his son Arnan. His son was Obadiah with his son Shecaniah. The son of Shecaniah was Shemaiah. The six sons of Shemaiah were Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah, and Shaphat. The three sons of Neariah were Elioenai, Hizkiah, and Azrikam. The seven sons of Elioenai were Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah, and Anani.”

The sons of (1) Hananiah from the preceding genealogy were Pelatiah and (2) Jeshaiah with each having 4 people with the same name. There are 5 other people with the name of (3) Rephaiah. Now we move through the generations quickly. The son of Rephaiah was (4) Arnan who only appears here. However, Arnan’s son (5) Obadiah appears as the name of 12 different people. His son (6) Shecaniah appears among 8 different people. His son (7) Shemaiah appears among 18 different people. Shemaiah had 6 sons but only 5 are listed here. The 5 listed are Hattush whose name appears with at least 2 different people, Igal whose names appears with 3 different people, Bariah whose name only appears here, (8) Neariah with 1 other person with the same name, and Shaphat whose name appears with 4 different people. Neariah had 3 sons (9) Elioenai whose name was found among 6 different people, Hizkiah with 2 different people, and Azrikam, with 4 different people. Elioenai had 7 sons (10) Hodaviah with 3 different people, Eliashib with 6 different people, Pelaiah among 2 different people, Akkub among 4 different people, Johanan among 10 different people, Delaiah among 4 different people, and Anani whose name only appears here. After the 4 generations started around 520 BCE, that would mean that about 80 years brings us around 440 BCE. The generations move very quickly through 10 generations to about 240 BCE, based on a conservative 20 years to a generation. That would put his work of 1 Chronicles in the mid 3rd century BCE, around 250 BCE.