The kings of Judah up to the Babylonian captivity (Mt 1:8-1:11)

“Joram was

The father of Uzziah.

Uzziah was

The father of Jotham.

Jotham was

The father of Ahaz.

Ahaz was

The father of Hezekiah.

Hezekiah was

The father of Manasseh.

Manasseh was

The father of Amos.

Amos was

The father of Josiah.

Josiah was

The father of Jechoniah

And his brothers,

At the time of the deportation

To Babylon.”

 

Ἰωρὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ὀζείαν, Ὀζείας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωαθάμ, Ἰωαθὰμ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἄχαζ, Ἄχαζ δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἐζεκίαν, Ἐζεκίας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Μανασσῆ, Μανασσῆς δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἀμώς, Ἀμὼς δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰωσείαν, Ἰωσείας δὲ ἐγέννησεν τὸν Ἰεχονίαν καὶ τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος.

 

The chronology of the Judean kings, as found in 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 Chronicles, chapter 3, picks up with Amaziah’s son, Azariah (Ὀζείαν) or Uzziah who ruled from about 781-740 BCE.  However, here it says that Joram (Ἰωρὰμ) was his father when Joram was the father of Ahaziah.  Uzziah had a son named Jotham (Ἰωαθάμ) who ruled from about 740-736 BCE.  His son Ahaz (Ἄχαζ) ruled from about 736-716 BCE.  His son Hezekiah (Ἐζεκίαν) ruled from about 716-687 BCE.  His son Manasseh (Μανασσῆ) ruled from about 687-642 BCE.  His son Amon or Amos (Ἀμώς) ruled from about 642-640 BCE.  His son Josiah (Ἰωσείαν) ruled from about 640-609 BCE.  Many of Josiah’s sons would rule Judah.  His son Johanan, Jehoahaz or Shallum ruled for just one year about 609 BCE.  His brother (τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς), Josiah’s son Jehoiakim or Eliakim ruled from 609-598 BCE.  His son Jehoiachin, Coniah or Jeconiah (Ἰεχονίαν) ruled for less than a year about 598 BCE.  Zedekiah or Mattaniah, brother of Jehoiakim and son of Josiah, ruled from about 598-587 BCE until the beginning of the Babylonian captivity (ἐπὶ τῆς μετοικεσίας Βαβυλῶνος).  The Greek text used the term “begat” (ἐγέννησεν) to represent the relationships between these 8 men.  However, it seems perfectly acceptable to simply call them the father instead of saying “fathered them.”

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The collection for Jerusalem (Bar 1:5-1:7)

“Then they wept.

They fasted.

They prayed

Before the Lord.

They collected

As much money

As each could give.

They sent it

To Jerusalem

To the high priest

Jehoiakim,

The son of Hilkiah,

The son of Shallum,

To the priests,

To all the people

Who were present

With him

In Jerusalem.”

Apparently, this gathering was with all the Judean exiles, and not any Babylonians. There, after the reading, they wept, fasted, and prayed to the Lord. After that, they took up a collection for the people who were left behind in Jerusalem. They were going to send it to the now high priest and the priests left in Jerusalem, Jehoiakim, the son of Hilkiah, the son of Shallum. There was no indication of how this money would get there. It was a free will offering, with each one giving what they could.

Menace to the king and his mother (Jer 13:18-13:19)

“Say to the king!

Say to the queen mother!

‘Take a lowly seat!

Your beautiful crown

Has come down

From your head.’

The cities of the Negeb are shut up.

There is no one to open them.

Judah is taken into exile.

They are wholly taken into exile.”

The good and just King Josiah (640-609 BCE) had died in 609 BCE. His wife lived after him and thus his 3 so-called evil sons ruled until the Exile, King Jehoahaz or Shallum, (609-609 BCE), King Jehoiakim or Eliakim (609-598 BCE), King Jehoiachin (598-598 BCE), son of Jehoiakim, and finally King Zedekiah or Mattanyahu (598-587 BCE), the 3rd son of King Josiah. This last king was only 21 when he took over from his nephew. His mother would have been Hamutal. It is not clear which of these kings and his mother are implied here. However, it could be King Zedekiah since he was the last king before the exile. Their crowns would be taken from their heads. Already the southern cities of the Negeb, close to Edom were shut down. Judah was on its way to captivity.

The list of Levites returning (Neh 7:43-7:45)

“The Levites who were the descendents of Jeshua, namely descendents of Kadmiel, the descendents of Hodevah, were seventy-four. The singers, who were the descendents of Asaph, were one hundred forty-eight. The gatekeepers, who were the descendents of Shallum, the descendents of Ater, the descendents of Talmon, the descendents of Akkub, the descendents of Hatita, the descendents of Shobai, were one hundred thirty-eight.”

There were only 3 groups of Levites, the people of Jeshua, the people of Kadmiel, and the people of Hodevah, or Hodaviah as in Ezra, with a total of 74, the same as in Ezra, chapter 2. The singers of the Asaph group had 148 rather than the 128 people in Ezra. The gatekeepers have a major role with 6 different groups. Shallum, Talmon, and Akkub and their families had been gatekeepers since the time of King David. On the other hand, the descendents of Ater, Hatita, and Shobai only appear at this time after the exile. Nevertheless, they only had a total of 138 and not 139 people as in Ezra. Somebody got lost.

The east Fountain Gate (Neh 3:15-3:15)

“Shallum the son of Col-hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it. He covered it, set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. He built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king’s garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the City of David.”

Now we are dealing with the southeast side of Jerusalem. Only one person is mentioned here Shallum. This Shallum is a different person from the one mentioned a few verses earlier, who was the half ruler of Jerusalem. This Shallum is the ruler of Mizpah, which was not far from Jerusalem. The Fountain Gate was near the pool, the king’s garden, and the stairs that lead up to the city of David, near the royal cemetery and David’s palace. All of this was on the southeast side of Jerusalem.

The west Old Gate (Neh 3:6-3:12)

“Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate. They laid its beams, set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. Next to them repairs were made by Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite. These were the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, who were under the jurisdiction of the governor of the province Beyond the River. Next to them Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. Next to them, Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. Next to them, Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house. Next to him, Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs. Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens.  Next to him Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters.”

Next, they began repairing on the northwest side of Jerusalem from the Fish Gate to the Tower of the Ovens on the west side. The Old Gate was on the west side of Jerusalem. They also repaired the old wall on the northwest side. Joiada and Meshullam, who is different from the other Meshullam, were probably priests who worked on the beams, doors, bolts, and bars of this gate. This is the only biblical mention of Melatiah and Jadon. They are from Gibeon and Mizpah, both nearby, but outside Jerusalem. Nehemiah mentions they were under the governor of the Province Beyond the River, indicating that there might have been a tacit approval. Even though there were perfumers in 1 Samuel, chapter 8, and 2 Chronicles, chapter 16, Nehemiah was the only biblical writer who ever mentioned goldsmiths. Uzziel and Hananiah worked on the old northwest wall, the Broad Wall where the street was a little bigger. Interesting enough, the both rulers of Jerusalem were involved in this project. Rephaiah and Shallum seem to be rulers of different halves of Jerusalem, which is strange in itself. Nehemiah also mentions the daughters of Shallum working on the wall. This mention of females doing manual labor is a little unusual. However, we know that young women went out for water and picked up after the harvest, besides the internal household work. At least, one person, Jedaiah, worked just outside his house. The family of Pahath-moab built the Tower of the Ovens, which is probably the Tower of the Angles on the west side.

The list of the guilty Levites (Ezra 10:23-10:24)

“Among the Levites, there were Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah, which is Kelita, Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer. Among the singers there was only Eliashib. However, among the gatekeepers, there were Shallum, Telem, and Uri.”

Among the Levites, it was a smaller number who had married the foreign wives. There were only 6 Levites, 1 singer, and 3 gate keepers, for a total of 10, which were 6 less than the priests.