The prophet Anna (Lk 2:36-2:36)

“There was a prophet,

Anna,

The daughter of Phanuel,

Of the tribe of Asher.

She was of a great age.

She had lived

With her husband

Seven years

After her marriage.”

 

Καὶ ἦν Ἄννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ· αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς,

 

Next Luke introduced a female prophet, Anna.  There were some female prophets in the biblical literature like Miriam in Exodus, chapter 15:20, the sister of Aaron and Moses, who was called a prophet like her brother Aaron, the first instance of women worshiping God.  Deborah, in Judges, chapter 4:4, was a married woman prophet from the northern tribe of Ephraim who led troops into battle.  Finally, Huddah in 2 Kings, chapter 22:14-20, was one of the few mentioned female prophets.  The elders in Jerusalem consulted her about what to do with a holy book.  Her response led to the religious revival under King Josiah (640-609 BCE).  Like the other Israelite male and female prophets, Anna interpreted God’s will for his people.  Luke said that there was a prophet Anna (Καὶ ἦν Ἄννα προφῆτις), the daughter of Phanuel (θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ), of the northern tribe of Asher (ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ).  Her father’s name Phanuel was considered to be the fourth of the great archangels with Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, according to the 3rd century BCE work, the Book of Enoch, but there is no implication here that she was angelic.  Thus, she was not a local Judean, but a northern Galilean Jewish person from Asher.  She was greatly advanced in years (τη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς), since she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage (ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς).  She had become a widow.

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 Manasseh warriors (1 Chr 12:19-12:21)

“Some of the men of Manasseh deserted to David when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying. ‘At peril to our heads he will desert to his master Saul.’ As David went to Ziklag, these men of Manasseh deserted to him. They were Adnah, Jozabad, Jediael, Michael, Jozabad, Elihu, and Zillethai, chiefs of thousands in Manasseh. They helped David against the band of raiders. They were all mighty men of valor. They were commanders in the army”

Here we have the men of Manasseh, who had fought with King Saul, come to David. There is an allusion to the battle at Gilboa as found in 1 Samuel, chapter 29. There David wanted to fight the Philistines against King Saul, but the Philistines would not David fight on their side because they felt that he was too closely tied to King Saul. So the Philistines sent him home to Ziklag. These were important commanders because they were in charge of thousands of men. Adnah and Zillethai are only mentioned here. Jozabad was the name of one of the Benjaminites, but here there two people called Jozabad. This Jediael may be one of the great warriors of David mentioned in the last chapter. Michael was a common name mentioned among 10 different people, while there was about 5 people with the name of Elihu.

The sons of Beriah (1 Chr 8:14-16)

“Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, Michael, Ishpah, and Joha were sons of Beriah.”

This Benjaminite Beriah had 9 sons. There are 2 other biblical people with the name (1) Ahio. This is the only mention of (2) Shashak, except later when his sons are mentioned. There were 6 people with the name of (3) Jeremoth. There were 9 people with the name of (4) Zebadiah. Besides here, the name of (5) Arad only appears as a place about 20 miles south of Hebron. (6) Eder was the name of a Levite as well as a place on the border with Edom. (7) Michael was a common name, while (8) Ishpah only appears here. (9) Joha is also the name of one of David’s guards.

The sons of Uzzi (1 Chr 7:3-7:5)

“The son of Uzzi was Izrahiah. The sons of Izrahiah were Michael, Obadiah, Joel, and Isshiah. All five of them were chief men. Along with them, by their generations, according to their ancestral houses, were units of the fighting force, thirty-six thousand, for they had many wives and sons. Their kinsmen belonging to all the families of Issachar were in all eighty-seven thousand mighty warriors, enrolled by genealogy.”

Uzzi had 1 son, Izrahiah, whose name only appears here. Izrahiah had 4 sons so that he and his 4 sons were the 5 chiefs of 36,000 fighting men. There are 11 people named (1) Michael, including an archangel. There were 12 different people with the name of (2) Obadiah. There were 14 people with the name of (3) Joel, with the most famous being the minor prophet whose book is Joel. Finally, there were 4 different people with the name of (4) Isshiah. When you count all the men of Issachar you had 87,000 mighty warriors, presumably at the time of David.

The Levite cantor Asaph the Gershonite (1 Chr 6:39-6:43)

“The brother of Heman, Asaph, stood on his right hand, that is Asaph, son of Berechiah, son of Shimea, son of Michael, son of Baaseiah, son of Malchijah, son of Ethni, son of Zerah, son of Adaiah, son of Ethan, son of Zimmah, son of Shimei, son of Jahath, son of Gershom, son of Levi.”

Here we have a truncated reverse genealogy that goes back 15 generations to (1) Levi, but via (2) Gershom, not Kohath, even though Asaph was called a brother of Heman. There are 2 other people with the name of (15) Asaph. Some Psalms (73-83) are attributed to this Asaph as well as a group of singers who called themselves the sons of Asaph later in this book. Here we may be close to the genealogy of Gershom earlier in this chapter that mentioned Levi, Gershom, Libni, (3) Jahath, (4) Shimei and (5) Zimmah. (6) Ethan is the name of 3 people in the biblical literature including another singer from Merari. There were 8 people with the name of (7) Adaiah. (8) Zerah was the same name as Perez’s twin brother, the son of Judah. In fact there were 4 other biblical persons with the name of Zerah. (11) Baaseiah and (9) Ethni only appear here, but there were 13 biblical different people with the name of (10) Malchijah, a popular name. There are 11 people named (12) Michael, including an archangel. There were 4 people with the name of (13) Shimea in the biblical literature, including someone in the family of Merari. There were 7 different people with the name of (14) Berechiah in the biblical literature.

The seven clans of Gad (1 Chr 5:13-5:13)

“Their seven Gad kindred according to their clans were Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia, and Eber.”

There seems to be 7 clans of Gad. There are 11 biblical people with the name of Michael, including an angel. Surprisingly enough, there are 21 biblical people with the name of Meshullam. Sheba is the name of a place and a number of people. This is the only mention of Jorai, Jacan, and Zia. There were at least 5 people with the name of Eber.