The gatekeepers return (1 Chr 9:17-9:27)

“The gatekeepers were Shallum, Akkub, Talmon, Ahiman, and their kindred. Shallum was the chief, stationed previously at the king’s gate on the east side. These were the gatekeepers of the camp of the Levites. Shallum son of Kore, son of Ebiasaph, son of Korah, and his kindred of his ancestral house, the Korahites, were in charge of the work of the service. They were the guardians of the thresholds of the tent, as their ancestors had been in charge of the camp of Yahweh, guardians of the entrance. Phinehas son of Eleazar was chief over them in former times. Yahweh was with him. Zechariah son of Meshelemiah was gatekeeper at the entrance of the tent of meeting. All these, who were chosen as gatekeepers at the thresholds, were two hundred twelve. They were enrolled by genealogies in their villages. David and the seer Samuel had established them in their office of trust. So they and their descendents were in charge of the gates of the house of Yahweh, that is, the house of the tent, as guards. The gatekeepers were on the four sides, east, west, north, and south. Their kindred who were in their villages were obliged to come in every seven days, in turn, to be with them. The four chief gatekeepers, who were Levites, were in charge of the chambers and the treasures of the house of God. They would spend the night near the house of God. On them, lay the duty of watching. They had charge of opening it every morning.”

This is somewhat strange since there is an attempt to tie King David with the new inhabitants of Jerusalem. In actuality, King David did not build the temple, it was Solomon. Also, since the temple had not been restored, what treasures were they guarding? These are clearly ceremonial gatekeepers, since there was nothing to watch. They recall the time of their ancestors, since they were the descendents of them. This task belonged to the Korahites, who were both the singers and porters of the Kohathite branch of the Levites. This Shallum was clearly in charge, but he is not the King Shallum of Israel (743 BCE), since there were many people with this name. Kore was a Levite at the time of King David. His father was Ebiasaph, the son of Korah. Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, had been in charge of the gatekeepers who were on all 4 sides of the tent and the tabernacle, east, west, north, and south. Their job was to spend the night and open the temple in the morning. There were apparently 212 of these gatekeepers with nothing to guard. The 3 other gatekeepers Akkub, Talmon, and Ahiman were not as important as Shallum.

The sons of Naphtali (1 Chr 7:13-7:13)

“The descendents of Naphtali were Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shallum, the offspring of Bilhah.”

The 4 sons of Naphtali have only a short statement and nothing about their descendents. In Genesis, chapter 46, and Numbers, chapter 26, the names of the sons are exactly the same. Here 2 sons are exactly the same, (2) Guni and (3) Jezer. However, the 2 others are just slightly different, Jahzeel ((1) Jahziel here), and Shillem ((4) Shallum here). Naphtali was the son of Bilhah, the slave girl of Rachel. They came to be known as the Jahzeelites, Gunites, Jezerites, and Shillemites.

The ascendance of the high priests (1 Chr 6:4-6:15)

“Eleazar became the father of Phinehas. Phinehas became the father of Abishua. Abishua became the father of Bukki. Bukki became the father of Uzzi. Uzzi became the father of Zerahiah. Zerahiah became the father of Meraioth. Meraioth became the father of Amariah. Amariah became the father of Ahitub. Ahitub became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Ahimaaz. Ahimaaz became the father of Azariah. Azariah became the father of Johanan. Johanan became the father of Azariah, who served as priest in the house that Solomon built in Jerusalem. Azariah was the father of Amariah. Amariah became the father of Ahitub. Ahitub became the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Shallum. Shallum became the father of Hilkiah. Hilkiah became the father of Azariah. Azariah became the father of Seraiah. Seraiah became the father of Jehozadak. Jehozadak went into exile when Yahweh sent Judah and Jerusalem into exile by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar.”

This is a list of the high priests prior to the Exile, a parallel to the descendents of David in chapter 3 of this book, as they were both hereditary. The king and the priests were the important people. Eleazar was the son of Aaron who had a son named Phinehas. Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron was promised the hereditary high priesthood in Numbers, chapter 25. There is not much information about Abishua, Bukki, or Zerahiah other than their listings in the genealogies. Uzzi is a name shared with 6 other biblical people. There are a couple of Levite priests with the name of Meraioth. There were 8 different priests named Amariah. This genealogy gets tricky with Ahitub. There were 2 priests with this name. 1 was the son of Phinehas, so that when his grandfather Eli died, he succeeded to the office of high priest, and was himself succeeded by his son Ahijah as in 1 Samuel, chapter 4, who is not mentioned here. The other was the father of Zadok, who was made high priest by Saul after the extermination of the family of Ahimelech in 2 Samuel, chapter 8, who is the one mentioned here. This Zadok was the trusted priest friend of David, who helped to put Solomon on the throne. His son Ahimaaz remained loyal to David in the rebellions both of Absalom and of Adonijah. However, Ahimaaz’ son became the high priest since he died before this father died. Thus, technically the first high priest of Jerusalem was Azariah, because he lived at the time that the Temple was built by Solomon. However, there are 27 biblical people who have the same name as this Azariah. In this list Azariah is both the father and son of Johanan. This list gets goofy because it relists Amariah, Ahitub, and Zadok as sons again. Either people had the same names or this is filler to get down to Hilkiah. In the relisting, Zadok became the father of Shallum, but there are 15 different biblical people with that name. However, he was the father of Hilkiah the high priest at the time of Josiah in the 7th century. Hilkiah became the father of another Azariah, who became the father of Seraiah, but there are 11 people with this name. Finally we get to his son Jehozadak, who got carried away in the Babylonian Captivity, after Seraiah was killed by King Nebuchadnezzar.

Shaul (1 Chr 4:25-4:27)

“Shallum was the son of Shaul. Mibsam was his son. Mishma was his son. The sons of Mishma were Hammuel, Zaccur, and Shimei. Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters. However, his brothers did not have many children, so that all their family did not multiply like the Judeans.”

Here there are 5 generations descendent from Simeon via Shallum who must have been the most important of Simeon’s sons. There were over 15 people with the name of (1) Shallum, including a King of Israel (743 BCE). Interesting enough both (2) Mibsam and (3) Mishma were the names of the sons of Ishmael. I am not sure whether this is a coincidence or an attempt to say something here. This is the only mention of the name Hammuel, the son of Mishma. There are 5 or 6 people with the name of Zaccur. There 16 different biblical figures with the name of (4) Shimei. This Shimei was very productive with over 22 children. However, his brothers and their families did not multiply like the family of Judah. This might be the reason that the family of Simeon will blend and become simply Judah.

The kings of Judah (1 Chr 3:10-3:16)

“The descendants of Solomon were Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, Amon his son, Josiah his son. The sons of Josiah were Johanan the first-born, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. The descendants of Jehoiakim were his sons Jeconiah and Zedekiah.”

Here we have the list of the kings of Judah starting with Solomon that can be found at the end of 1 Kings and 2 Kings. Based on those 2 books there was no disruption in the lineage of David via Solomon to all the kings of Judah before the Exile. Unlike the northern kingdom of Israel, there were no revolutions in the southern kingdom of Judah until the end with the Babylonian Captivity. However, there was also a consideration of the kings of Israel in the books of Kings, which is not here at all. The whole emphasis is on Judah and Jerusalem alone. The son of Solomon (1) Rehoboam ruled from about 931-913 BCE. His son (2) Abijah or Abijam ruled from about 913-911 BCE. His son (3) Asa ruled from about 911-870 BCE. His son (4) Jehoshaphat ruled from about 870-848 BCE. His son (5) Joram or Jehoram ruled from about 848-841 BCE. His son (6) Ahaziah, Azariah, or Jehoahaz ruled for less than a year about 841 BCE. There is no mention that Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother ruled for about 4 years until her grandson (7) Joash or Jehoash ruled from about 835-796 BCE. His son, (8) Amaziah ruled from about 796-781 BCE. His son, (9) Azariah or Uzziah ruled from about 781-740 BCE. His son (10) Jotham ruled from about 740-736 BCE. His son (11) Ahaz ruled from about 736-716 BCE. His son (12) Hezekiah ruled from about 716-687 BCE. His son (13) Manasseh ruled from about 687-642 BCE. His son (14) Amon ruled from about 642-640 BCE. His son (15) Josiah ruled from about 640-609 BCE. Many of Josiah’s sons will rule Judah. His son (16) Johanan, Jehoahaz or Shallum ruled for just one year about 609 BCE. His brother, (17) Josiah’s son Jehoiakim or Eliakim ruled from 609-598 BCE. His son (18) Jehoiachin, Coniah or Jeconiah ruled for less than a year about 598 BCE. (19) Zedekiah or Mattaniah, brother of Jehoiakim and son of Josiah, ruled from about 598-587 BCE until the beginning of the Babylonian captivity.

 

The descendents of Sheshan (1 Chr 2:31-2:41)

“Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. But Sheshan had an Egyptian slave, whose name was Jarha. So Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to his slave Jarha. She bore him Attai. Attai became the father of Nathan. Nathan became the father of Zabad. Zabad became the father of Ephlal. Ephlal became the father of Obed. Obed became the father of Jehu. Jehu became the father of Azariah. Azariah became the father of Helez. Helez became the father of Eleasah. Eleasah became the father of Sismai. Sismai became the father of Shallum. Shallum became the father of Jekamiah. Jekamiah became the father of Elishama.”

Now this lineage takes a new twist as we go through 13 generations from Sheshan who was 11 generations removed from Jacob or Israel. The son of (1) Sheshan was (2) Ahlai or Attai. First the son of Sheshan was Ahlai. Then the biblical author says that he had no sons, only daughters, so that one of the daughters married an Egyptian slave who bore a son named Attai. Is Ahlai the same as Attai, his grandson?   His son was (3) Nathan, while his son was (4) Zabad, who in turn had a son called (5) Ephlal. His son was (6) Obed, who in turn had a son called (7) Jehu. His son was (8) Azariah, while his son was (9) Helez. His son was (10) Eleasah who had a son named (11) Sismai. His son was (12) Shallum, who in turn had a son (13) Jekamiah, who had a son named (14) Elishama. There were 4 biblical characters with the name of Nathan. It is not clear whether this Nathan is the prophet at the time of David, or one on his men in his army, or neither. King David had a son named Nathan also. Nathan’s son Zabad may have been one of David’s mighty men. Obed was the grandfather of David, but this Obed may have been one of his mighty men, which is more probable. This Jehu is not King Jehu (841-814 BCE) of Israel, since there were 5 biblical characters with the name Jehu. There were 25 biblical people with the name of Azariah, a very popular name. The names Helez and Eleasah appear once elsewhere but the name Sismai is unique here. Shallum is another popular name with over 15 people with that name that also included a King of Israel (743 BCE), but not this Shallum. Jekamiah is not that popular, but Elishama is the name of 7 biblical people. Certainly, this biblical author had a lot of interest in this lineage.

 

 

 

The reign of King Menahem in Israel (743-738 BCE) (2 Kings 15:17-15:18)

“In the thirty-ninth year of King Azariah of Judah, King Menahem son of Gadi began to reign over Israel. He reigned ten years in Samaria. He did what was evil in the sight of Yahweh. He did not depart all his days from any of the sins of King Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin.”

King Menahem who led the revolt against King Shallum ruled for 10 years. He was cruel and did evil in the sight of Yahweh as he caused Israel to sin. He followed in the ways of King Jeroboam I. There is some dispute if he ruled 5 or 10 years. All the texts seem to indicate 10 years but the Jerusalem Bible heading has only 5 years.