The family of King Rehoboam (2 Chr 11:18-11:23)

“King Rehoboam took as wife Mahalath daughter of Jerimoth the son of King David and Abihail daughter of Eliab son of Jesse. She bore him sons, Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. After her he took Maacah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. King Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines. He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines. He became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. King Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as chief prince among his brothers. He intended to make him king. He dealt wisely. He distributed some of his sons through all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions. He also found many wives for them.”

There is an allusion to 1 Kings, chapter 11, about King Solomon that is projected on to his son King Rehoboam. However, he never attained the high numbers of his father. He only had 18, not 700, wives and only 60, not 300, concubines. Even these numbers seem high, but more realistic than those of his father. He was a wise ruler and put his sons and plenty of provisions in all the fortified cities. He married the daughter of King David’s son Jerimoth. Thus Mahalath was the granddaughter of King David just as King Rehoboam was the grandson of King David, so that they were first cousins. King Rehoboam also married Abihail, who was the daughter of David’s brother Eliab. She would have been a first cousin of King Solomon, the son of King David. Very little is known about the 3 sons of Rehoboam, Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham, except their listing here. It is not even clear whether Mahalath or Abihail was their mother. The favorite wife of King Rehoboam was Maacah. She was listed as the daughter of Absalom, the son of David, thus another first cousin. In 1 Kings, chapter 15, Maacah’s father is called Abishalom. However, Absalom’s mother was named also named Maacah in 2 Samuel, chapter 3, so that calling his daughter this name does not seem out of place. Maacah too was a granddaughter of King David. Thus King Rehoboam, the grandson of King David married 3 granddaughters of King David. One of Maacah’s 4 sons became important, Abijah, who became the next king. The other 3 sons Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith are just mentioned here.

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Saul’s brother’s family (1 Chr 8:39-8:40)

“The sons of his brother Eshek were Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second, and Eliphelet the third. The sons of Ulam were mighty warriors, archers, having many children and grandchildren, one hundred fifty. All these were Benjaminites.”

Saul had a brother named Eshek, who is only mentioned here. Eshek had 3 sons, Ulam, Jeush, and Eliphelet. Ulam was also the name of a descendent of Gideon. There were 5 people with the name of Jeush, while there were 6 with the name of Eliphelet. These were all mighty warriors, very good with bows and arrows.   They had over 150 children and grandchildren.

The sons of Jediael (1 Chr 7:10-7:11)

“The son of Jediael was Bilhan. The sons of Bilhan were Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish, and Ahishahar. All these were the sons of Jediael according to the heads of their ancestral houses, mighty warriors, seventeen thousand and two hundred, ready for service in war.”

First, there is the question is this Jediael or Ashbel, or are they the same? There are 2 other biblical people with the same name as Jediael. Did this biblical writer try to eliminate all names that hinted at Baal? This guy had a son named Bilhan, who had 7 sons. The only other Bilhan was a Horite, so that there can be no confusion about him.   4 others have the same name as (1) Jeush. (2) Benjamin is of course the famous son of Jacob whose name appears more than 140 times. It is surprising how few people take the name of their ancestral father. This (3) Ehud, the great grandson of Benjamin might be the same Ehud that was the 2nd judge in Judges, chapter 3. He was a Benjaminite, but the son of Gera. The only other (4) Chenaanah was the father of the false prophet in 1 Kings, chapter 22. (6) Tarshish was the name of a town outside of Canaan. (5) Zethan and (7) Ahishahar only appear here. These sons of Jediael or the Ashbelites have over 17, 200 warriors, once again assuming that this is the time of David.

The descendents of Esau (1 Chr 1:35-1:37)

“The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.  The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna, and Amalek. The sons of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.”

Based on Genesis, chapter 36, these are the 5 sons of Esau. Esau had at least 4 Canaanite wives. Apparently Esau settled in Edom and had three local wives. Esau became known as Edom just as Jacob became Israel. (1) Eliphaz whose mother was Adah, the daughter of Elon the Hittite was considered the father of the Teman. (2) Reuel was a common name of the biblical literature. His mother was Basemath, Ishmael’s daughter, the sister of Nebaioth. The final 3 sons (3) Jeush, (4) Korah, and (5) Jalam were common names. They had a common mother, who was Oholibamah, daughter of Anah, son of Zibeon the Hivite. Notice that there is a difference between Hittite and Hivite. Apparently Esau had no children with Judith the daughter of Beeri, who was also a Hittite. The 7 sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz. Zephi has an “i” here while in Genesis it is an “o”, Zepho. There is a little confusion about Timna and Amalek. Here they are sons of Eliphaz. In Genesis, Amalek was the only son from his concubine Timna since Timna was not a son. Eliphaz’s sons became the chiefs of Edom with Amalek playing a major role. The 4 sons of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah, who had names that appear elsewhere.