“Meanwhile all Judah stood before Yahweh, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. Then the Spirit of Yahweh came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the middle of the assembly. He said. ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. Thus says Yahweh to you.
‘Do not fear!
Do not be dismayed at this great multitude!
The battle is not yours but God’s.
Tomorrow go down against them.
They will come up by the ascent of Ziz.
You will find them at the end of the valley,
Before the wilderness of Jeruel.
The battle is nor for you to fight.
Take your position.
See the victory of the Yahweh on your behalf,
O Judah and Jerusalem.
Do not fear!
Do not be dismayed.
Tomorrow go out against them.
Yahweh will be with you.’”
Suddenly all of Judah was in Jerusalem with King Jehoshaphat. Everyone had their whole family, wives and children. The Spirit of Yahweh came upon one of the Levite singers. Jahaziel son of Zechariah was not a traditional prophet. Although there others with this same name, this is the only time that he appears as a prophet. Yahweh will speak through him. He told the assembled people that they were not to be afraid or be dismayed. This was a battle of Yahweh and not the people of Judah. Yahweh would give them victory tomorrow because he is with them.
“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.