“King Rehoboam took as wife Mahalath daughter of Jerimoth the son of King David and Abihail daughter of Eliab son of Jesse. She bore him sons, Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. After her he took Maacah daughter of Absalom, who bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. King Rehoboam loved Maacah daughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines. He had eighteen wives and sixty concubines. He became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters. King Rehoboam appointed Abijah son of Maacah as chief prince among his brothers. He intended to make him king. He dealt wisely. He distributed some of his sons through all the districts of Judah and Benjamin, in all the fortified cities. He gave them abundant provisions. He also found many wives for them.”
There is an allusion to 1 Kings, chapter 11, about King Solomon that is projected on to his son King Rehoboam. However, he never attained the high numbers of his father. He only had 18, not 700, wives and only 60, not 300, concubines. Even these numbers seem high, but more realistic than those of his father. He was a wise ruler and put his sons and plenty of provisions in all the fortified cities. He married the daughter of King David’s son Jerimoth. Thus Mahalath was the granddaughter of King David just as King Rehoboam was the grandson of King David, so that they were first cousins. King Rehoboam also married Abihail, who was the daughter of David’s brother Eliab. She would have been a first cousin of King Solomon, the son of King David. Very little is known about the 3 sons of Rehoboam, Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham, except their listing here. It is not even clear whether Mahalath or Abihail was their mother. The favorite wife of King Rehoboam was Maacah. She was listed as the daughter of Absalom, the son of David, thus another first cousin. In 1 Kings, chapter 15, Maacah’s father is called Abishalom. However, Absalom’s mother was named also named Maacah in 2 Samuel, chapter 3, so that calling his daughter this name does not seem out of place. Maacah too was a granddaughter of King David. Thus King Rehoboam, the grandson of King David married 3 granddaughters of King David. One of Maacah’s 4 sons became important, Abijah, who became the next king. The other 3 sons Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith are just mentioned here.
“They were Benjaminites, Saul’s kinsmen. The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, both sons of Shemaah of Gibeah. There was Jeziel and Pelet sons of Azmaveth, Beracah, Jehu of Anathoth, Ishmaiah of Gibeon, a mighty man among the Thirty and a leader over the Thirty. They also included Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad of Gederah, Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite. There was Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korahites. Finally there were Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham of Gedor.”
Here David was attracting the relatives of Saul, who was a Benjaminite. There was another Ahiezer that was from the tribe of Dan in Numbers, but this is the only mention of this Benjaminite Ahiezer. Although 2 kings 3 other Benjaminites have this name, this Joash is only mentioned here. There is another officer in David’s army, but it is not clear if they are both the same people. This is the only mention of their father Shemaah. Although this is the only mention of Jeziel and Pelet, their father Azmaveth may have been one of David’s mighty warriors mentioned in the preceding chapter. Beracah was the name of a person and a place not far from Tekoa. This is the only mention of this particular Jehu since the more famous Jehu was king of Israel (841-814 BCE). Interesting enough, this Ishmaiah of Gibeon was not mentioned in the preceding paragraph about the mighty warriors, but is here mentioned as a leader of the Thirty. This Jeremiah is not the prophet Jeremiah. There were a couple of other Levites with the name of Jahaziel. There were a number of Levites called Jozabad, plus a man from Manasseh who helped David. However, Eluzai, Bealiah, and Haruphite are only mentioned here and nowhere else in the biblical literature. There were at least 5 different men with the name Jerimoth. There were 3 other people called Shemariah as well as 8 or 9 people with the name Shephatiah. There were also 5 Korahites, from the family of the rebellious Levite Korah. Elkanah was the name of the son of Korah as well as a number of Levites. Isshiah was also the name of a couple of Levites. There were 5 people with the name of Azarel. Joezer only shows up here. Jashobeam was also the name of one of David’s mighty warriors. This was the only mention of Joelah, but there were 8 other people with the name of Zebadiah.