The family of King Rehoboam (2 Chr 11:18-11:23)

“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.

The leaders of Simeon (1 Chr 4:34-4:38)

“The leaders of the Simeon families were Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, son of Seraiah, son of Asiel, Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, Ziza the son of Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah, son of Shimri, son of Shemaiah. Their clans increased greatly.”

Some of the more successful families were only mentioned here and not elsewhere, like Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah, Joshibiah, Asiel, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Jesimiel, and Shiphi. Many of the other names appear elsewhere but they are the not the most well know people with this name. The most famous Amaziah was the king of Judah (796-781 BCE), although there are a couple of other Levites with this name. There were 14 people with the name of Joel, with the most famous being the minor prophet whose book is Joel. There were 5 people with the name of Jehu, the most famous being King Jehu of Israel (841-814 BCE). 11 people had the name Seraiah, some of them Levites. 6 people had the name of Elioenai, while only 4 people had the name of Asaiah or Jedaiah. 3 people had the name Adiel or Shimri, while 2 had the name of Ziza. Although 9 people had the name of Benaiah, the most famous was the son of the priest Jehoiada, who played a major role in the rule of David. Allon was both a person and the name of a town. However, the most prevalent name was Shemaiah, because there were 25 different biblical persons with that name.