The list of the guilty priests (Ezra 10:18-10:22)

“There were found among the descendents of the priests those who had married foreign women. There were Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah, who were the descendents of Jeshua son of Jozadak and his brothers. They pledged themselves to send away their wives. Their guilt offering was a ram of the flock for their guilt. There were the descendents of Immer, Hanani and Zebadiah. There were the descendents of Harim, Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah. There were the descendents of Pashhur, Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.”

These priests had to offer a ram as guilt or sin offering. There were 4 groups of priests consisting of about 16 listed priests who had married foreigners. They pledged to send their wives away to some unknown place.

King Jehoram (2 Chr 21:1-21:3)

“The son of King Jehoshaphat King Jehoram succeeded him. King Jehoram had six brothers named Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Their father gave them many gifts, of silver, gold, and valuable possessions, together with fortified cities in Judah. However, he gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the first-born.”

Although loosely based on 2 Kings, chapter 8, there was no mention of the six brothers of King Jehoram. (1) (4) Azariah is mentioned twice. There are a lot of biblical people with this name or something close to it. A child with the same name does not seem impossible. Ask George Foreman who named all his kids George. There were over 10 people with the same name as (2) Jehiel. There were over 27 people with the name of (3) Zechariah. There were only 11 people with the name of (5) Michael and 8 with the name of (6) Shephatiah. They had plenty of gifts from their father, plus they were in charge of fortified cities in Judah. However, Jehoram was the oldest and therefore became king.

The free will offerings for the construction of the temple (1 Chr 29:6-29:9)

“Then the heads of the ancestral houses made their free will offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work. They gave for the service of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of Yahweh, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced because these things they had given willingly. With a single mind, they had offered freely to Yahweh. King David also rejoiced greatly.”

King David’s answer came quickly, as others contributed to the new temple project. The heads of the ancestral houses, the leaders of the tribes, the leaders of the army, and the house officials all contributed. Their total commitment was 5,000 talents of gold, about 5 billion dollars ($5,000,000,000). This must have been a very rich society. This author says that they also gave 10,000 darics of gold. Darics were gold coins that were minted in the Persian Empire by King Darius (521-486 BCE) as he named it after himself. Quite obviously they did not exist at the time of King David, nearly 500 years prior to their coming into existence. However, the biblical writer would have known about these coins because the Persians of his time might have used these darics. These daric gold coins still exist today and sell for about $4,000 each. Thus 10,000 daric gold coins would be worth approximately $40,000,000. There were 10,000 talents of silver contributed to this project, about another $100,000,000. Just between the gold and silver contributed by King David and his leaders there would have been somewhere between 8 and 9 billion dollars in contributions, quite an enormous amount by any standards. This did not include the bronze, iron or wood since there were 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. There were also precious stones under the care of Jehiel the Gershonite, who is only mentioned here. There could be no complaint about lack of resources. Everyone rejoiced at this outpouring of generosity.

 

The counselors of King David (1 Chr 27:32-27:34)

“Jonathan, King David’s uncle, was a counselor, being a man of understanding and a scribe. Jehiel son of Hachmoni attended the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the king’s counselor. Hushai the Archite was the king’s friend. After Ahithophel came Jehoiada son of Benaiah, and Abiathar. Joab was commander of the king’s army.”

Now we see the real confidants of King David, although his uncle, Jonathan is only mentioned here. This may actually be his nephew. Notice that he was a scribe, which meant that he could write, which would have been rare. King David had a special relationship with Jonathan, the son of King Saul, but this is a different Jonathan. There were other people named Jehiel, but this is the only mention of this Jehiel son of Hachmoni. Notice that the change in counselors was mostly based on 2 Samuel, chapters 15 and 16, when Ahithophel turned on King David and favored his son, Absalom. King David relied more heavily on Hushai, his friend, and Jehoiada and Abiathar, the high priests. Joab, the nephew of King David, played a major role as the commander of the king’s army.