The Temple servants returning (Neh 7:46-7:56)

“The temple servants were the descendents of Ziha, the descendents of Hasupha, the descendents of Tabbaoth, the descendents of Keros, the descendents of Sia, the descendents of Padon, the descendents of Lebana, the descendents of Hagaba, the descendents of Shalmai, the descendents of Hanan, the descendents of Giddel, the descendents of Gahar, the descendents of Reaiah, the descendents of Rezin, the descendents of Nekoda, the descendents of Gazzam, the descendents of Uzza, the descendents of Paseah, the descendents of Besai, the descendents of Meunim, the descendents of Nephushesim, the descendents of Bakbuk, the descendents of Hakupha, the descendents of Harhur, the descendents of Bazlith, the descendents of Mehida, the descendents of Harsha, the descendents of Barkos, the descendents of Sisera, the descendents of Temah, the descendents of Neziah, and the descendents of Hatipha.”

This is the list of the hereditary Temple servants, the Nethinim, people dedicated to the Temple. Often they were not Israelites, but captured slave laborers given to the Temple. They became hereditary slaves dedicated to the Temple. However, there was no Temple, so it is not clear why they were returning.   Thus these names were not common biblical names since most of these names only appear here and in Ezra, but nowhere else in the biblical literature. Of the 35 temple servants, 27 names are exactly the same as in Ezra, chapter 2. The minor exceptions are Sia for Siaha, Lebana for Lebanah, Hagaba for Hagabah, Nephushesim for Nephisim, and Bazlith for Bazluth. Akkub, Hagab, and Asnah were in Ezra, but are not here.

Advertisements

The list of the Temple servants returning (Ezra 2:43-2:54)

“The temple servants were the descendents of Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth, Keros, Siaha, Padon, Lebanah, Hagabah, Akkub, Hagab, Shamlai, Hanan, Giddel, Gahar, Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda, Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah, Besai, Asnah, Meunim, Nephisim, Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur, Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha, Barkos, Sisera, Temah, Neziah, and Hatipha.”

This is the list of the hereditary Temple servants, the Nethinim, people dedicated to the Temple. Often they were not Israelites, but captured slave laborers given to the Temple. Thus they became hereditary slaves dedicated to the Temple. However, there is no Temple, so it is not clear why they were returning. Most of these names only appear here and in Nehemiah but nowhere else in the biblical literature. Akkub and Uzza appear as a name for 3 other biblical persons. There was a King Rezin of Damascus who invaded Judah, but this is not him. There also was a Sisera who was the warrior killed in his sleep in Josiah. Otherwise, these were not common biblical names.

 

Joel (1 Chr 5:4-5:6)

“The sons of Joel were Shemaiah, Gog, Shimei, Micah, Reaiah, Baal, and Beerah. King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria carried away Joel, who was a chieftain of the Reubenites, into exile.”

Although there are many biblical people named Joel, this Joel is a descendent of Reuben, either via Hanoch or Carmi. This Joel had 7 sons. Joel himself was taken away during the Assyrian Captivity. Otherwise, there is no mention of any of the children from the 4 sons of Reuben. Like Simeon, this tribe or clan of Reuben tends to disappear slowly. Just like Simeon, there is someone called (1) Shemaiah and Shimei. This is the first (2) Gog mentioned, but others will come. There are 2 other more famous people with the name (3) Micah, one from Judges, chapters 17-18, and other prophet with the book named Micah. (4) Reaiah is also mentioned in the families of Judah. (5) Baal was the name of a very popular god in Israel and Samaria. However, it also was the name of a place as well as the name of some individuals. This would seem to indicate that Baal worship was very strong since people and places take this name. (6) Beerah was only mentioned here.