The sons of Elpaal (1 Chr 8:17-8:18)

“Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, Ishmerai, Izliah, and Jobab were the sons of Elpaal.”

Elpaal had 7 sons. This Elpaal may be the same as the Benjaminite who had 3 sons, Eber, Misham, and Shemed, who built the cities of Ono and Lod. (4) Heber or Eber may be the same. However, the other 6 sons are different. There were 9 people with the name of (1) Zebadiah, while 21 different biblical people had the name of (2) Meshullam. Who would have guessed that this was a popular name? On the other hand, this is the only time that the names of (3) Hizki, (5) Ishmerai, and (6) Izliah appear. There were at least 3 other people with the name of (7) Jobab.

The descendents of Shaharaim in Moab (1 Chr 8:8-8:11)

“Shaharaim had sons in the country of Moab after he had sent away Hushim and Baara his wives. He had sons by Hodesh his wife, Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, Jeuz, Sachia, and Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of ancestral houses. He also had sons by Hushim, Abitub and Elpaal.”

Although this is the only mention of Shaharaim, he was somehow the Benjaminite father of the people of Moab, which was east of the Dead Sea. However, Moab was the son of Lot’s oldest daughter in Genesis, chapter 19, whom the Moabites were named after. Apparently this Shaharaim had 2 wives that he sent away, Hushim and Baara. However, he had 2 sons with Hushim. Abitub and Elpaal. Baara and Abitub are only mentioned here. Hushim is the name of 2 other men from Dan and Benjamin. Elpaal will become important in Ono and Lod. However, here Shaharaim had 7 sons in Moab with his wife Hodesh, who only appears here. (1) Jobab was the name of a couple of kings of Edom and Madon, besides this chief here. Of the 7 sons, 4 only appear here, (2) Zibia, (5) Jeuz, (6) Sachia, and (7) Mirmah. There are 2 other people with the name of (3) Mesha, one was a king of Moab and the other was a son of Caleb, plus there was a place with this name. Besides this (4) Malcam, this was also one of the names of the god of Moab, Moloch or Milcom.

The kings of Edom (1 Chr 1:43-1:50)

“These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the Israelites. Bela son of Beor reigned in Edom. The name of his city was Dinhabah. When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah of Bozrah succeeded him as king. When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites succeeded him as king. When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him as king. The name of his city was Avith. When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah succeeded him as king. When Samlah died, Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates succeeded him as king. When Shaul died, Baal-hanan son of Achbor succeeded him as king. When Baal-hanan son of Achbor died, Hadad succeeded him as king. The name of his city was Pai. His wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, daughter of Mezahab. Hadad also died”

These are the descendants of Esau or Edom, the Edomite kings before there were kings in Israel. This is almost the exact wording of Genesis, chapter 36. (1) Bela was the son of Beor who lived in Dinhabah, and had a city named after him. There was another Beor later. (2) Jobab was the son of Zerab in Bozrah. Jobab was also the name of a son of Joktan. Zerab was a son of Reuel, the grandson of Esau. (3) Husham was from the land of the Temanites. (4) Hadad was the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in Moam in Avith. Hadad was a common biblical name, and also the name of a Syrian god. (5) Samlah was from Masrekah. (6) Shaul was from Rehoboth, on the Euphrates. There was another Shaul, son of Simeon. (7) Baal-hunan was the son of Achbor. (8) Hadad was Hadar in Genesis. He was from Pai but Paul in Genesis. His wife was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, daughter of Mezahab. None of these names appear again in biblical literature.

The descendents of Joktan (1 Chr 1:19-1:23)

“The name of Peleg’s brother was Joktan. Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the descendents of Joktan.”

Joktan seems important as he apparently had an Arab connection. The 13 sons of Joktan are mentioned here. 7 of them, (1) Almodad, (2) Sheleph, (3) Hazarmaveth, (4) Jerah, (5) Diklah, (6) Obal, and (7) Abimael are only mentioned here and in Genesis, chapter 10. They may be the founders of Arabian tribes or southern Arab towns. However, the other 6 names are mentioned elsewhere in the biblical literature. (8) Hadoram is the name of 2 other biblical persons. (9) Uzal is clearly in Yemen. (10) Sheba and (11) Havilah are the same names as descendents of Cush. (12) Ophir was a place of gold mines at the time of Solomon. (13) Jobab was the name of 3 other people. All these groups probably lived in the land near the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Somehow the biblical authors of 2500-3000 years ago felt that this explained the world in which they lived, their world of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. They had no idea about people in eastern Asia, India, Southern Africa, and Northern Europe or of course the Americas.