Ezrah (1 Chr 4:17-4:18)

“The sons of Ezrah were Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. These are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married. She conceived and bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. His Jewish wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah.”

This is the only mention of Ezrah and his son Jalon in the biblical literature. There were 6 different people with the name of Jeter, the most famous being the Jether, who was the father of Amasa in 1 Kings, chapter 2. There appears to be 2 other people with the name of Epher, 1 a son of Midian in Genesis, chapter 25, and other in the Manasseh tribe later in this book. Mered is mentioned twice here because he married Bithiah, a daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh. They had 2 children, Ishbah, who is only mentioned here, and Shammai, which is the same name as a son of Onam and Rekem. Ishbah, however, became the father or founder of Eshtemoa, a Levite city in Judah, since probably his son founded this town. Ezrah married a Jewish woman and they had 3 children. Jered is a name mentioned earlier in this book. Gedor became the name of a place in the hills of Judah. There were 7 people named Heber in the biblical literature. This Heber is the founder of Soco, which is a city in Judah. Although this is the only mention of Jekuthiel, he founded another town in Judah called Zanoah.

The descendents of Caleb (1 Chr 2:42-2:45)

“The first born son of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel was Mareshah, who was the father of Ziph. Another son of Mareshah was Hebron. The sons of Hebron were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema. Shema was the father of Raham, who was the father of Jorkeam. Rekem became the father of Shammai. The son of Shammai was Maon, who became the father of Bethzur.”

Once again, we are back at Caleb, whom this biblical writer is very interested in. This is the 3rd time that we see descendents of (1) Caleb. He clearly was the brother of Jerahmeel called Chelubai, a very busy man. So far he had 3 sons by his 1st wife Azubah, Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. Then he had 1 son with his 2nd wife Ephrath called Hur. Finally he had Ashhur by Abijah, his step mother. Here we have 10 generations of his children through (2) Mareshah, his first born, whose children were Ziph and (3) Hebron. There was a town in Judah named after Mareshah. Hebron was also the name of a town, but it is one of the most ancient cities existing today, nearly 4,000 years old, with a connection to Abraham, in Genesis, chapter 13. Ziph was also a town mentioned in Joshua, chapter 15. It also was a place that David visited. Hebron’s sons were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and (4) Shema. We do not hear about the children of his brother Ziph, Korah or Tappuah. Shema had a son named (5) Raham and his son was called (6) Jorkeam. (7) Rekem had a son named (8) Shammai who had a son named (9) Maon who had a son named (10) Bethzur. There were 4 people with the name of Korah, but the most famous is the Levite in Numbers, chapter 26, who used the wrong incense. There are a couple of towns with the name Tappuah. Besides this Rekem, that was the name of one of the 5 kings of Midian in Numbers, chapter 31. His son was Shammai, the same name as the son of Onam. Maon, his son, as well as Bethzur were also places in Judah. Finally Shema was also a name of a Benjamite and a Simeonite as well as a place in Judah. His son was Raham, and Raham’s son was Jorkeam, both of which only appear here in the biblical literature. This may have been a way to show how towns got their names.

The descendents of Jerahmeel (1 Chr 2:25-2:31)

“The sons of Jerahmeel, the first-born of Hezron, were Ram, his first-born, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. Jerahmeel also had another wife, whose name was Atarah, the mother of Onam. The sons of Ram, the first-born of Jerahmeel were Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. The sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur. The name of Abishur’s wife was Abihail. She bore him Ahban and Molid.  The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim. Seled died childless. The son of Appaim was Ishi. The son of Ishi was Sheshan. The son of Sheshan was Ahlai. The sons of Jada, Shammai’s brother were Jether and Jonathan. Jether died childless. The sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel.”

Now this genealogy goes over 11 generations starting with Jacob. It is very precise over time starting with (5) Jerahmeel, who was the son of (4) Hezron, who was the son of (3) Perez, who was the son of (2) Judah, who was the son of (1) Jacob. In fact, we see in 1 Samuel, chapter 27, that there was a group of people called the Jerahmeelites. Jerahmeel had 6 sons, Ram, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, Ahijah, and their step brother Onam. Although Ram had 3 sons, Maaz, Jamin, and Eker, this genealogy followed the sons of (6) Onam, whose mother was Atarah. His sons were (7) Shammai and Jada. Shammai’s sons were (8) Nadab and Abishur. The sons of Abishur were Ahban and Molid, while the sons of Nadab were Seled and (9) Appaim. His son was (10) Ishi, while his son was (11) Sheshan. The other son of Onam, Jada had 2 sons Jether and Jonathan. The 2 sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. Who are some of these people? Rather than follow Ram, whose uncle with the same name led to David, this genealogy follows Onam, the son of the second wife of Jerahmeel, although he does not seem important enough to be mentioned elsewhere. This Ram is less well known that his uncle, since David was not considered among the Jerahmeelites. His 3 sons are not that well know since this is the only mention of Maaz and Eker, while Jamin was also the name of one of Simeon’s sons. The names of Bunah and Oren only appear here. Ozem is the same name as one of David’s brothers, while the name of Ahijah appears to be the name of 6 other biblical characters.