The Assyrian area (Jer 25:25-25:25)

“I went to

All the kings of Zimri,

All the kings of Elam,

All the kings of Media.”

Zimri were the people in northeast Assyria. Elam was a province of the Assyrian Empire. Media may be a reference to Medes, an old Persian province.

Mattathias kills the Jew offering a sacrifice (1 Macc 2:23-2:26)

“When Mattathias had finished speaking these words, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice upon the altar in Modein, according to the king’s command. When Mattathias saw it, he burned with zeal. His heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger. He ran and killed him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice. He tore down the altar. Thus he burned with zeal for the law, as Phinehas did against Zimri the son of Salu.”

I guess that I did not see this coming. This is real dramatic. This Jew, Israelite, or Judean was willing to offer the sacrifice to the idol. Mattathias was filled with righteous anger. Wow! What would unrighteous anger be like? He killed the man offering the sacrifice and the Syrian inspector official. Then he tore up the whole altar. The reference to Phinehas is to Numbers, chapter 25. In Numbers, Moses said that God wanted them to kill anyone who had sex with the women of Peor who were Baal worshippers. Phinehas saw an Israelite with a Median woman, so he killed both of them. Somehow that killing stopped a plague. Maybe he thought that this killing would stop the Syrians.

The descendents of Jonathan (1 Chr 9:40-9:44)

“The son of Jonathan was Meribbaal. Meribbaal was the father of Micah. The sons of Micah were Pithon, Melech, Tahrea, and Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Jarah. Jarah became the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Zimri became the father of Moza. Moza became the father of Binea. Rephaiah was his son, Eleasah his son, and Azel his son. Azel had six sons. These are their names, Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. These were the sons of Azel.”

This is exactly the same as the previous chapter except for a few name discrepancies. Here the name is Tahrea instead of Tarea, and is only found here. An “h” has been added to this name. Jarah is here instead of Jehoaddah, but this is the only time that this name appears. Here we see 13 generations from (1) Saul, probably going down to the time of this biblical author. The son of (2) Jonathan was (3) Meribbaal, the name used here in this book, but Mephibosheth was the name used in 2 Samuel, chapter 4. There were 5 other people named (4) Micah, including the prophet with his book Micah, and the Micah in Judges, chapters 17-18. Although Micah had 4 sons, Pithon, Melech, Tahrea, and (5) Ahaz, this author only follows Ahaz. The other 3 sons are only mentioned in these lists. There was a more famous Ahaz, King Ahaz of Judah (736-716 BCE), who is not this Ahaz. This is the only mention of his son (6) Jehoaddah or Jarah. His 3 sons were Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Alemeth was also the name of a holy city in the Benjamin territory. There were 3 other people with the name of Azmaveth. (7) Zimri was also the name of a King of Israel (885 BCE) who ruled a short time. He could be the same person. His son was (8) Moza, the same name as a son of Caleb. His son was (9) Binea, who is only mentioned in these 2 lists in this book. His son (10) Raphah was a name mentioned as one of the Philistines. His son (11) Eleasah was also mentioned as a son of Hezron. His son (12) Azel had 6 sons (13) Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. Besides being mentioned here Azel was also a place near Jerusalem. There were 5 people with the name of Azrikam. This is the only mention of Bocheru and Sheariah. There were 6 biblical people with the name of Ishmael. The most famous was the son of Abraham by Hagar his concubine. There were 12 people with the name of Obadiah, with the most famous the prophet and book Obadiah. There were 9 people with the name of Hanan.

The descendents of Jonathan (1 Chr 8:34-8:38)

“The son of Jonathan was Meribbaal. Meribbaal was the father of Micah. The sons of Micah were Pithon, Melech, Tarea, and Ahaz. Ahaz became the father of Jehoaddah. Jehoaddah became the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Zimri became the father of Moza. Moza became the father of Binea. Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son, and Azel his son. Azel had six sons. These are their names, Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.”

Here we see 13 generations from (1) Saul, probably going down to the time of this biblical author. The son of (2) Jonathan was (3) Meribbaal, the name used here in this book, but Mephibosheth was the name used 2 Samuel, chapter 4. There were 5 other people named (4) Micah, including the prophet with his book Micah, and Micah in Judges, chapters 17-18. Although Micah had 4 sons, Pithon, Melech, Tarea, and (5) Ahaz, this author follows Ahaz only. The other 3 sons are only mentioned in these lists. There was a more famous Ahaz, King Ahaz of Judah (736-716 BCE), who is not this Ahaz. This is the only mention of his son (6) Jehoaddah. His 3 sons were Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Alemeth was also the name of a holy city in the Benjamin territory. There were 3 other people with the name of Azmaveth. (7) Zimri was also the name of a King of Israel (885 BCE) who ruled a short time. He could be the same person. His son was (8) Moza, the same name as a son of Caleb. His son was (9) Binea, who is only mentioned in these 2 lists in this book. His son (10) Raphah was a name mentioned as one of the Philistines.   His son (11) Eleasah was also mentioned as a son of Hezron. His son (12) Azel had 6 (13) sons, Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. Besides being mentioned here Azel was also a place near Jerusalem. There were 5 people with the name of Azrikam. This is the only mention of Bocheru and Sheariah. There were 6 biblical people with the name of Ishmael. The most famous was the son of Abraham by Hagar his concubine. There were 12 people with the name of Obadiah, with the most famous the prophet and book Obadiah. There were 9 people with the name of Hanan.

The descendants of Zerah (1 Chr 2:6-2:8)

“The five sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara. The son of Carmi was Achar, the troubled one of Israel, who transgressed in the matter of the devoted thing. Ethan’s son was Azariah.”

Zerah, like Esau, was the lesser known twin brother of Perez. He formed the group known as the Zarhites. There was a grandson of Esau with the same name. One of Simeon’s sons had the same name also. Zerah had 5 sons. There is an interesting notation in 1 Kings, chapter 4, where there is a mention of a famous wise man Ethan the Ezrahite, who were the sons of Mahol. His sons were Heman, Calcol, and Darda, almost the same as here. There might be some confusion here. There is also a problem with (1) Zimri since that was the name of the 5th king of Israel (885 BCE). There also was a Zimri who was Simeon’s chief as well as a few other people with the name Zimri. (2) Ethan was also the name of some Levites. His son Azariah had the same name as over 20 other biblical people, including the king of Judah known sometimes as King Uzziah of Judah (781-740 BCE). (3) Heman was also the name of the grandson of Samuel. (4) Calcol and (5) Dara do not appear elsewhere in the biblical literature. Why is Carmi here? Carmi was the name of a son of Reuben. However the Carmi here was the father of Achar, the troubled one. This refers to Joshua, chapter 7, where Achan not Achar as here, stole some money and statues from a foreign god temple. He was punished by Yahweh for his transgressions as Joshua and his fellow Israelites stoned him to death. In that chapter this Achan was the son of Carmi, who was the son of Zabdi, who in turn was the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah. This possibly could be a reference to Zimri who was called Zabdi. In fact, at one point in Joshua they call Achan the son of Zerah.