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 descendents of Jerahmeel (1 Chr 2:25-2:31)

“The sons of Jerahmeel, the first-born of Hezron, were Ram, his first-born, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. Jerahmeel also had another wife, whose name was Atarah, the mother of Onam. The sons of Ram, the first-born of Jerahmeel were Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. The sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur. The name of Abishur’s wife was Abihail. She bore him Ahban and Molid.  The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim. Seled died childless. The son of Appaim was Ishi. The son of Ishi was Sheshan. The son of Sheshan was Ahlai. The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother were Jether and Jonathan. Jether died childless. The sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel.”

Now this genealogy goes over 11 generations starting with Jacob. It is very precise over time starting with (5) Jerahmeel, who was the son of (4) Hezron, who was the son of (3) Perez, who was the son of (2) Judah, who was the son of (1) Jacob. In fact, we see in 1 Samuel, chapter 27, that there was a group of people called the Jerahmeelites. Jerahmeel had 6 sons, Ram, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, Ahijah, and their step brother Onam. Although Ram had 3 sons, Maaz, Jamin, and Eker, this genealogy followed the sons of (6) Onam, whose mother was Atarah. His sons were (7) Shammai and Jada. Shammai’s sons were (8) Nadab and Abishur. The sons of Abishur were Ahban and Molid, while the sons of Nadab were Seled and (9) Appaim. His son was (10) Ishi, while his son was (11) Sheshan. The other son of Onam, Jada had 2 sons Jether and Jonathan. The 2 sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. Who are some of these people? Rather than follow Ram, whose uncle with the same name led to David, this genealogy follows Onam, the son of the second wife of Jerahmeel, although he does not seem important enough to be mentioned elsewhere. This Ram is less well known that his uncle, since David was not considered among the Jerahmeelites. His 3 sons are not that well know since this is the only mention of Maaz and Eker, while Jamin was also the name of one of Simeon’s sons. The names of Bunah and Oren only appear here. Ozem is the same name as one of David’s brothers, while the name of Ahijah appears to be the name of 6 other biblical characters.