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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 3

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

Verses 1-24

2. The Descendants of David to Elioenai and his Seven Sons: 1 Chronicles 3:0

1 Chronicles 3:1.And these were the sons of David, that were born to him in Hebron: the first-born Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second Daniel, of 2Abigail the Carmelitess. The third Absalom,1 the son of Maachah, daughter 3of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth Adonijah, son of Haggith. The fifth 4Shephatiah of Abital; the sixth Ithream, by Eglah his wife. Six were born unto him in Hebron, and he reigned there seven years and six months; and he reigned thirty and three years in Jerusalem. 5And these were born to him in Jerusalem: Shima, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, four, of Bath 6,7shua daughter of Ammiel. And Ibhar, and Elishama,2 and Eliphelet. And Nogah,and Nepheg, and Japhia. 8And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine. 9All the sons of David, except the sons of the concubines, and Tamar their sister.

10And the son of Solomon: Rehoboam, Abiah his son, Asa his son, Jehosha 11, 12phat his son. Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son. Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his Song of Solomon 1:0; Song of Solomon 1:03Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, 14Manasseh his son. Amon his son, Josiah his Song of Solomon 1:0; Song of Solomon 1:05And the sons of Josiah: the first-born Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jechoniah his son, Zedekiah his son.

17, 18And the sons of Jechoniah the captive: Shealtiel his son. And Malchiram, and Pedaiah, and Shenazzar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah. 19And the sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei; and the Song of Song of Solomon 3:0 of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister. 20And Hashubah, and 21Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushabhesed, five. And the Song of Song of Solomon 4:0 of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jesaiah; the sons5 of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shechaniah. 22And the sons of Shechaniah: Shemaiah; and the sons of Shemaiah: Hattush, and Igal, and Bariah, and 23Neariah, and Shaphat, six. And the son of Neariah: Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam, three. 24And the sons of Elioenai: Hodaiah,6 and Eliashib, and Pelaiah, and Akkub, and Johanan, and Delaiah, and Anani, seven.


Preliminary Remark.—After the family of Ram, the middle son of Hezron was carried down, 1 Chronicles 2:10-17, only to Jesse the father of David, and the genealogies of Caleb and Jerahmeel were interposed, 1 Chronicles 2:18-55, the line of Ramites, starting from David, is resumed and traced from David to the time after the captivity. This is given in three paragraphs, of which the first registers all the sons of David except those born of concubines, 1 Chronicles 3:1-9; the second, the series of kings of the house of David from Solomon to Jechoniah and Zedekiah, 1 Chronicles 3:10-16; and the third, the descendants of Jechoniah to the seven sons of Elioenai, 1 Chronicles 3:17-24. The names in the second of these paragraphs mostly recur, those in the third, at least partly, in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew (whereas Luke 3:23 ff. presents a totally different series of names from David to Shealtiel, and again from Zerubbabel to Joseph).

1. The Sons of David: 1 Chronicles 3:1-9. a. The six sons born in Hebron: 1 Chronicles 3:1-4.These six senior sons of David are, with one exception, enumerated literally as in 2 Samuel 3:2-5.—The first-born Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; literally, “to Ahinoam.” The ל before אחינעם designates the wife to whom the son belonged. Comp. on this Ahinoam, 1 Samuel 25:43; 1 Samuel 27:3, and on Amnon, who is also called Aminon (2 Samuel 13:20), 2 Samuel 13:0. The second Daniel, of Abigail the Carmelitess. Instead of שֵׁנִי, properly “a second,” stands in the parallel 2 Samuel 3:0:3מִשְׁנֵהוּ, “his second,” with which הַמִּשְׁנֶה, 1 Chronicles 5:12, is to be compared. A more important difference from 2 Samuel 3:3 is כִּלְאָב, quite another name, which stands there for דָּניֵּאל. This other designation of the second son of David may be explained by the supposition of a real double name, as in Uzziah Azariah (comp. on 2 Chronicles 26:1), Jehoiakim Eliakim, Mattaniah Zedekiah (comp. also on 1 Chronicles 3:15). The variant Δαλουία (perhaps = דְּלָיָה) Presented by the Sept. in 2 Samuel 3:3 may be an error of transcription for Δκνιήλ (or inversely “Daniel,” a later variation for the original Delaiah); but the name Cilab is still unexplained. On Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite (not to be confounded with Abigail the sister of David, 1 Chronicles 2:16), comp. 1 Samuel 25:3 ff.

1 Chronicles 3:2. The third Absalom. For אַבְשָׁלוֹם is also found אֲבְשָׁלוֹם, 1 Kings 15:2; 1 Kings 15:10. The ל before אַבְשָׁלוֹם might, in another connection, serve to lay emphasis on the name (“the well-known Absalom;” comp. Isaiah 32:1). Here, however, in a mere list of names, it scarcely has this import, but seems rather to have come into the text through an oversight, in consequence of the foregoing לאב in לַֽאֲבִיגַיִל. Other attempts to explain this לְ (which is wanting in some copies; see Note) are quite worthless, and deserve to be noted only as curiosa; for example, Kimchi’s proposal to take ל for לֹא, thereby designating him as properly not an Absalom, a father’s peace, but a rebel, or Hiller’s supposition (Onom. S. p. 733) that לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם is a fuller form for the simpler and more usual אַבְשָׁלוֹם, etc. On Geshur, comp. above 1 Chronicles 2:23; on Adonijah, son of Haggith, comp. 1 Kings 1:2.

1 Chronicles 3:3. By Eglah his wife,לְעֶגְלָה אִשְׁתּוֹ; quite similar to 2 Samuel 3:5, לְעֶגְלָה אֵשֶׁת דָּוִיד. This addition “his wife,” or “wife of David,” appears to be inserted merely to make a full-toned conclusion of the series, and scarcely to distinguish Eglah as the most eminent wife of David, as some Rabbis and recently Thenius on 2 Samuel 3:5 think, who take Eglah only for another name of Michal, 1 Samuel 18:20, or even substitute מִיכָל as the original reading for עֶגְלָה (so Thenius).

1 Chronicles 3:4. For the historical notices in this verse comp. 2Sa 2:11; 2 Samuel 5:5, The statement in 2 Samuel 2:10 (from which Ishbosheth appears to have reigned only two years in Mahanaim) conflicts only apparently with the seven years of the residence of David in Hebron; on which see Hengstenb. Gesch. d. Reiches Gottes unter dem A. B. ii. 2, p. 114 f.

b. The thirteen sons of David born in Jerusalem: 1 Chronicles 3:5-9. These sons of David (of whom four are by Bathsheba) are again mentioned 1 Chronicles 16:7-11, in the history of David. Less complete is the list in the parallel passage 2 Samuel 5:14-16, by the omission of the last two.

1 Chronicles 3:5. The four sons of Bathsheba, or, as she is here called, Bathshua. The two names, occurring beside one another, receive their explanation from the intervening form בַּת־שֶׁוַע; as this, however, is obviously weakened from בַּת־שֶׁכַע (as בַּֽת־שׁוּעַ again is a weakening of בַּת־שֶׁוַע), the latter form appears to be the oldest and most original. Two other peculiarities of the names contained in our verse are—1. שִׁמְעָא as the name of the first of Bathsheba’s four sons, for which stands in 1 Chronicles 14:4 and 2 Samuel 5:14; שַׁמּוּעַ; Ammiel (עַמִּיאֵל) the name of the father of Bathsheba, for which in 2 Samuel 11:3 is the form Eliam (אֱלִיעָם), containing the two elements of the name transposed. It is uncertain which of these two forms is correct and original.

1 Chronicles 3:6-8. Here follow the nine sons born at Jerusalem of other wives. And Ibhar, and Elishama, and Eliphelet. As the two parallel passages 1 Chronicles 14:5 and 2 Samuel 5:15 agree in presenting after Ibhar an Elishua, אֱלִישׁוּעַ, Elishama in our passage appears clearly an error of transcription, especially as this name occurs again in 1 Chronicles 3:8. The following name Eliphelet (אֱלִיפֶלֶט) is found also in 1 Chronicles 16:5, although in the somewhat abbreviated form אֶלְפֶּלֶט; on the contrary, it is wanting in 2 Samuel 5:15, where only one Eliphelet, the last of the series, is mentioned. It is uncertain whether this want be original, and the double position is the result of some error of the Chronist or his voucher (as Berth. thinks). That David should have repeated the same name in the sons of his different wives is of itself not incredible.

1 Chronicles 3:7. And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia. The name נֹגָהּ, omitted by an oversight in 2 Samuel 5:15, is certainly original, though nothing be known concerning this Nogah, perhaps because he died early and childless. “The view of Movers, p. 229, that this name was not originally in the text, and came in by a false writing of the following נפג, has arisen from an undue preference for the text of the books of Samuel” (Berth.).

1 Chronicles 3:8. And Elishama (comp. on 1 Chronicles 3:6), and Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine. For אֶלְיָדָע appears 1 Chronicles 16:0:7בְּעֶלְיָדָע, scarcely correct; for the other parallel 2 Samuel 5:16 and the Sept. and Syr. versions in 1 Chronicles 14:7 have אֶלְיָדָע (Sept. cod. Vat.’Ελιαδέ—cod. Alex., indeed, Βαλλιαδέ)

1 Chronicles 3:9. All the sons of David, except the sons of the concubines. These sons of David by concubines or slaves are also unnamed elsewhere; but their existence appears from 2 Samuel 5:13; 2Sa 12:11; 2 Samuel 15:16; 2 Samuel 16:22.—And Tamar their sister, not the only one, but the sister known from the history (2 Samuel 13:1 ff.).

2. The Kings of the House of David from Solomon to the Exile: 1 Chronicles 3:10-16.—As far as Josiah, they are enumerated, without naming any non-reigning descendants, as a simple line of sovereigns, embracing in it fifteen members (with the omission of the usurper Athaliah as an idolater and a foreigner) by the addition of a בְּנוֹ, “his son,” to each. At variance with this course, four sons of Josiah are then named, not perhaps in him, the great reformer, “to introduce a pause in the long line of David’s descendants” (Berth.), but “because with Josiah the regular succession ceased” (Keil).—The first-born Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. To Josiah succeeded, 2 Kings 23:30, 2 Chronicles 36:1, his son Jehoahaz as king. This Jehoahaz is called in Jeremiah 22:11 properly Shallum; he was thus, as the present list shows, the youngest, or at all events one of the youngest, among them; not to be identified with the first-born Johanan, as many older writers (Seb. Schmidt, Starke, etc.), and of the moderns, for example, Hitzig (Begriff der Kritik, etc., p. 182ff., and Gesch. d. Volks Isr. p. 246), do. For, 1. The statement of Jeremiah, that Shallum became king in his father’s stead, is quite positive and unhesitating. 2. From comparing 2 Kings 23:31; 2 Kings 23:36, with 2Ch 36:2; 2 Chronicles 36:5, it appears that Jehoahaz was two years younger than Jehoiakim, and therefore not the first-born. 3. The preferring of a younger son before an older to the throne is not surprising, if we consider the analogous case of Solomon, who, though one of the youngest of the sons of David (the youngest of the four sons of Bathsheba), succeeded to the throne. 4. The double name Jehoahaz Shallum is not more surprising than Jehoahaz Johanan would be; the mutually exchanging names are in both cases, if not quite alike in meaning, yet expressive of similar ideas (יְהוֹאָחָז, “whom Jehovah holds,” and שַׁלּוּם, “who is requited (of God),” and so יְהוֹחָנָן); comp. the numerous cases of double raming, of which some examples are quoted on 1 Chronicles 3:1, also Simonis Onom. p. 20. The only inaccuracy that can be imputed to the Chronist in the present statements is, that he names Shallum in the last place, and so appears to favour the opinion that he was the youngest of the four brothers, whereas Zedekiah was much younger than he; indeed, as a comparison of 2 Kings 23:31 with 1 Chronicles 26:18 shows, at least 13 or 14 years younger (for Shallum was 23 years old when he ascended the throne, while Zedekiah, who ascended the throne 11 years later, was then only 21 years of age). How this inaccuracy in the order is to be explained, Keil shows very well, p. 55 f.: “In our genealogy Zedekiah is placed after Jehoiakim and before Shallum, because, on the one hand, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah held the throne a longer time, each for eleven years; on the other hand, Zedekiah and Shallum were the sons of Hamutal (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Kings 24:18), Jehoiakim the son of Zebidah (2 Kings 23:36). With respect to age, they should have succeeded thus: Johanan, Jehoiakim, Shallum, and Zedekiah; and in regard to their reign, Shallum should have stood before Jehoiakim. But in both cases those born of the same mother Hamutal would have been separated. To avoid this, Shallum appears to have been reckoned beside his brother Zedekiah in the fourth place.” Regarded thus, the passage loses its obscurity, which Nägelsbach has still imputed to it (on Jeremiah 22:11), without going quite so far as Hitzig, who here lays a whole series of errors to the charge of the Chronist. Comp. against the imputations of the latter, Movers, p. 157 f.: “The two names (Johanan and Jehoahaz) are to be distinguished exactly as Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin; had the Chronist named Jehoahaz along with Shallum, or, as Hitzig thinks right, called him the first-born, the error would certainly have been undeniable. Further misled by the passage of Jeremiah, he has taken Shallum for another son of Josiah, the fourth, and different from Jehoahaz. Shallum Jehoahaz is certainly named the fourth in 1 Chronicles 3:15, incorrectly indeed, for he was the third; hut the Chronist could not mistake the passage of Jeremiah, for it clearly says: ‘who (Shallum) reigned instead of Josiah his father.’ How should an error in the Jewish line of kings occur in a Jewish historian!”

1 Chronicles 3:16. And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jechoniah his son, Zedekiah his son. Instead of יָכוֹן יָהוּ=יְכָנְיָה (whom God establishes), the son of Jehoiakim in 2 Chronicles 36:9, as in 2 Kings 24:8 ff., bears the equivalent name Jehoiachin (יְהוֹיָכִין; comp. יוֹיָכִין, Ezekiel 1:2) whereas he is called, Jeremiah 26:1; Jeremiah 27:20; Jeremiah 28:4, and Esther 2:6, יְכָנְיָה, quite as here and Jeremiah 22:24; Jeremiah 22:28; Jeremiah 37:1, Conjahu (בָּנְיָהוּ, an abbreviation of יְכָנְיָה ,יְכְנְיָהוּ). The Zedekiah here named can only be regarded as a son of Jechoniah, and so a grandson of Jehoiakim and great - grandson of Josiah; for the בְּנוֹ added to his name uniformly designates in the previous genealogical line the son of the aforesaid: and the circumstance; that this son of Jechoniah is named here apart from his other sons, may find its explanation in this, that this Zedekiah, perhaps the first-born, did not go into captivity with his father and brethren, but died beforehand as a royal prince in Jerusalem. He is therefore not to be confounded with the Zedekiah who was mentioned in the foregoing verse as a third son of Josiah, and, 2 Kings 24:17 ff., 2 Chronicles 36:11, became successor of Jechoniah on the throne; he is a grand-nephew of king Zedekiah, who before his accession was called Mattaniah, and whose subsequent name, as well in Chronicles (2 Chronicles 36:10) as in Kings (2 Kings 24:17 ff.), is uniformly written צִדְקִיָהוּ (not, as here, צִדְקִיָה). This last variety of name is merely graphical, though in the present case, where the double name (Mattaniah Zedekiah) serves as a mark of the king, it may have a further import. Against the assumption of some ancients (even of Starke), that the Zedekiah of our verse is the same as king Zedekiah, who is quoted (1 Chronicles 3:15) as a son of Jehoiachin, because he was his successor on the throne, comp. the just remarks of Calov. in the Biblia illustrata. With respect to 2 Chronicles 36:10, where Zedekiah the successor of Jehoiachin appears to be erroneously termed his brother, which in reality is only inexactness, or a wider sense of the word אָח (= relative in general), see on the passage.

3. The Descendants of Jechoniah to the Seven Sons of Elioenai: 1 Chronicles 3:17-24.—And the sons of Jechoniah the captive. It is certainly possible to translate the words וּבְנֵי יְבָנְיָה אַסִּר with the Sept., Vulg., Kimchi, Jun., etc., and even Keil: “And the sons of Jechoniah were Assir.” But the appellative meaning of אַסִּר, “the captive,” adopted by Luther, Starke, Berth., Kamph., is decidedly preferable. For, 1. As one of the sons of Jechoniah, the early deceased Zedekiah, has been already named, we expect here a remark of Jechoniah indicating that he as captive or in captivity begat the sons now to be named. 2. An Assir, as connecting link between Jechoniah and Shealtiel, nowhere occurs, neither in Matthew 1:12 nor in the Seder Olam Sutta (comp. Herzfeld, Gesch. d. V. Israel, i. 379). 3. The absence of בְּנוֹ after אַסִּר, while it stands after שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל makes it impossible to see in Assir a link between Jechoniah and Shealtiel. 4. Neither can Assir be regarded as a brother of Shealtiel, because the copula could not then be wanting between the two names, and because the singular בְֹּנוֹ after שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵל is inexplicable, if two sons of Jechoniah were named. 5. The combination proposed by Keil (p. 57), that Assir, the only son of Jechoniah besides the early deceased Zedekiah, left only a daughter, by whom he became the father-in-law of Neri, a descendant of David of the line of Nathan, and by this son-in-law, again (Luke 3:27), the father, or strictly the grandfather, of Shealtiel, of Malchiram, Pedaiah, and the other sons named 1 Chronicles 3:18, fails through its excessive artificiality, and through this, that it takes בְּנוֹ at the close of our verse, notwithstanding the constant use of the Chronist in the foregoing genealogy, in the sense of his grandson. 6. The single objection that can be made to the appellative meaning of אַסִּר, that it wants the article, loses much of its force from the abrupt and merely allusive manner of our genealogist. 7. The Masoretic accentuation points out אַסִּר as an appellative addition to יְכָנְיָה, a circumstance not to be overlooked in the present case, as it proves our interpretation to be supported by no less respectable and ancient authorities than the opposite one.

1 Chronicles 3:18. And Malchiram, and Pedaiah, etc. These six other sons of the captive Jechoniah, Kimchi, Tremell., Piscat., Hiller, Burmann, and recently Hitzig on Haggai 1:1; Haggai 1:12, regard not as brothers, but as sons of Shealtiel, because Zerubbabel elsewhere appears (Haggai 1:1; Ezra 3:2; Ezra 5:2; Matthew 1:12) as son, or at all events direct successor, perhaps grandson, of Shealtiel, whereas here he would appear to be his nephew, if his father Pedaiah (1 Chronicles 3:19) had actually to pass for a brother of Shealtiel. Against this hypothesis is—1. The copula before מַלְכִּירָם, which makes it impossible to regard the six named in our verse otherwise than as brothers of Shealtiel. 2. The paternal relation of Pedaiah to Zerubbabel, as attested 1 Chronicles 3:19, may be easily reconciled with the elsewhere attested filial relation of Zerubbabel to Shealtiel, by the assumption of intermarriage or adoption; in other words, the Chronist’s making Zerubbabel to be son of Pedaiah and nephew of Shealtiel may well be taken for a more exact statement than that of the other reporters (Hag., Ezra, and Matt.). Besides, the five sons of Jechoniah named along with Shealtiel and Pedaiah are otherwise unknown. Only of Pedaiah are further descendants known in the following verses.

1 Chronicles 3:19. And the sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei. The latter is not elsewhere named: concerning the former, of whose identity with the celebrated prince and leader of the first band of returning captives, 536 b.c. there can be no well-founded doubt (although Hottinger, S. J. Baumgarten, Starke, and the ancients incline to assume two or even three different Zerubbabels), comp. on the previous verse.—And the son of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah. On the somewhat surprising sing. וּבֶן, on account of the plural number of sons, and the variant וּבְנֵי, see Crit. Note. Bertheau, moreover, justly remarks: “In the names of the sons of Zerubbabel appear to be reflected the hopes of the Israelites at the time of the return from Babylon, in Meshullam (friend of God), comp. Isaiah 42:19, Hananiah (grace of God), Berechiah, Hasadiah, Jushab-Chesed (mercy will return).”—And Shelomith their sister. She is perhaps named after the first two sons, because she sprang from the same mother. Her name divides the collective family of Zerubbabel into two groups, the former of two, the latter of five sons. Possibly the second group contains exclusively or chiefly younger sons of Zerubbabel born after the return from the exile.

1 Chronicles 3:21. And the son of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah. The two grandsons of Zerubbabel are otherwise unknown, but must have belonged to the contemporaries of Ezra, about 450 b.C.—The sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shechaniah. In what relation these four families stand to Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, the sons of Hananiah, is not clear, as the express statement that their heads, Rephaiah, etc., were sons of Hananiah, and brothers of those two, is wanting; and the various readings of the old translators (Sept., Vulg., Syr.), that give, instead of the plur. בְּנֵי, always the sing with the suff. בְּנוֹ, thereby originating a continuous line of descent, with seven members from Hananiah to Shechaniah, have little claim to credibility. For, 1. The line of David’s descent would, if 1 Chronicles 3:21 actually reckoned seven successive generations, seem to be continued far into the 3d century b.C. (for in 1 Chronicles 3:22-24 four generations more are added),—much further than a rational estimate of the age of our author, who must have lived at the latest about 330 b.C., will admit (comp. Einl. p. 3). 2. The assumption of an addition to the series, arising from a younger writer than the Chronist, is extremely doubtful. 3. The Hattush of 1 Chronicles 3:22 appears to be the same with the descendant of David bearing the same name mentioned Ezra 8:2, a younger contemporary of Ezra, which is quite possible, and even probable, if this Hattush be the fourth in descent from Zerubbabel, but, on the contrary, impossible if he be the ninth. 4. The brief mode of enumerating with the mere בְּנוֹ, appending the son only to the father without mention of other descendants, does not agree with the verses around from 1 Chronicles 3:18, in which a more copious enumeration, almost in every number giving a plurality of children, is presented. If it appear, on the whole, most probable that the sons of Rephaiah, etc., are designations of contemporary families of the house of David, not successive generations, it still remains doubtful how these families are connected with the last-named descendant of Zerubbabel. On this there are, in the main, two opinions among recent expositors: a. Ew., Berth., Kamph., etc., take Rephaiah, Arnan, Obadiah, and Shechaniah, as well as the two before named, Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, to be sons of Hananiah, and assume that, on account of the great celebrity and wide extension of their families, these last four sons are named, “not as individuals, but as families ” (for which cases like 1 Chronicles 1:41; 1 Chronicles 2:42; 1Ch 4:15; 1 Chronicles 24:26, etc., afford examples).

b. Movers, Herzfeld, Hävernick, Keil see in these four families, generations “whose descent the Chronist could not or would not more precisely define, and therefore merely enumerates one after another” (Herzf.), and are inclined to regard the whole series from בְּנֵי רְפָיָה to the end of the chapter as “a genealogical fragment, perhaps inserted afterwards into the text of Chronicles” (Keil), and accept where possible the assumption defined by the ancients, as Heidegger, Vitringa, Carpzov, etc., of a corruption of the present Masoretic text, perhaps a gap before בְּנֵי רְפָיָה (so likewise Keil). We may reserve the choice between these two views; for while the assumption of a corruption of the text seems to be natural enough, and to be rendered even probable by the change of בְּנֵי into בּנוֹ in the Sept., yet, on the other hand, we scruple to ascribe to the Chronist an uncertain or defective knowledge concerning the families of the house of David after Zerubbabel, as it is to be presumed that he would be especially well informed on matters so near his own time.

1 Chronicles 3:22. And the sons of Shechaniah: Shemaiah. The plur. בְּנֵי, as in 1 Chronicles 1:41, 1 Chronicles 2:42, etc. On Hattush son of Shemaiah, then named in the first place, see on previous verse, and Introd. § 3, Rem. The closing notice, that six sons of Shemaiah are named in all, is strange, because only five of them are named; and it is quite unfeasible, with J. H. Mich., Starke, and others (as in Genesis 46:15), to assume that the father is included. We can scarcely escape the assumption, that one of the six names has fallen out of the text by an old error of transcription; but we can hardly regard the sixth name Sesa (Sessa), presented by the Vulg. in the Edit. Sixt. of 1590, as anything else than a poor emendation arising from the number שִׁשָּׁה, since no other text presents this name.

1 Chronicles 3:23. And the son of Neariah: Elioenai. With the latter name, which is here written without ה (אֶלְיוֹעֵינַי), but elsewhere in full אֶלְיְהוֹעֵינַי (my eyes unto Jehovah), comp. Ezra 8:4, and, with respect to the sentence which contains its etymology, Psalms 25:15.

1 Chronicles 3:24. And the sons of Elioenai: Hodaiah, etc. With the name הוֹדַוְיָהוּ (or perhaps הוֹדוּיָהוּ “praise Jehovah, praise God”) compare the shorter form הוֹדַוְיָה, 1Ch 5:24, 1 Chronicles 9:7, Ezra 2:40, and הוֹדְוָה, Nehemiah 7:43; see also Crit. Note.

The seven sons of Elioenai here named, if we are to suppose a direct genealogical connection of the families enumerated from 1 Chronicles 3:21 b with the before-named descendants of Zerubbabel (if, consequently, the assumption of Movers, Herzfeld, and Keil, that 1 Chronicles 3:21-241 Chronicles 3:21-241 Chronicles 3:21-24 form an unconnected interpolation, is to be rejected), would be the seventh generation inclusive from Zerubbabel, and, if the length of a generation be fixed at 30 years, would have to be placed near the middle of the 4th century b.C., as, for example, Bertheau (p. 35) reckons the years 386–356 b.C., Ewald (Gesch. d. V. Isr. 2d edit. i. 229) the time after 350, as the period of the existence of the seven sons of Elioenai, who are supposed to be contemporary with the author of Chronicles. The assumption that we are here dealing with direct descendants of Zerubbabel is liable to serious doubt. For, besides the loose connection of בְּנֵי רְפָיָה and the following families in 1 Chronicles 3:21, it appears to favour the fragment hypothesis, that “in the genealogy of Jesus, Matthew , 1, not a single name of the descendants of Zerubbabel agrees with the names in this register,” and that at least seven members must be supposed to be overleaped at once by Matthew or his genealogical voucher (so Clericus, and recently Keil). In reply to this, it may be assumed certainly, that those descendants of Zerubbabel whose pedigree is traced by the Chronist to his own time need not necessarily have been the direct ancestors of Joseph (or Mary), but that the line of Abiud, Eliakim, etc., leading to Jesus in Matthew, might have sprung from another of the seven sons of Zerubbabel. Besides, Matthew must have made very great omissions in the interval of 500 years between Zerubbabel and Joseph, as he reckons only twelve members for this period (comp. the edit. of the Bibelw. on Matt. p. 8 f.): an omission of six or seven successive members would be nothing inconceivable in his mode of proceeding. And if the genealogy of Hananiah, communicated at length by the Chronist, in particular the family of Elioenai with his seven sons, were deemed worthy of special notice on account of their celebrity, high reputation, and eminent services on behalf of the theocracy, this would not prove that the New Testament pedigree of Jesus must necessarily have mentioned these famous descendants of Zerubbabel as belonging to the ancestors of our Lord. For lowlines and obscurity, not splendour and fame, should be the characteristic of the pedigree of Jesus after the exile. if the line of the ancestors of Jesus, reaching from David to the exile, according to Mathew’s arrangement, contains crowned heads, and thus forms a lofty range of royal names, it corresponds to the plan of the apostolic genealogists, that the third line from the exile to Joseph and Mary should include in it chiefly undistinguished names, and thus form a descending line which ends in the carpenter Joseph (see Lange, p. 6). Nothing decisive can thus be inferred from a comparison of the New Testament genealogies of the Messiah with our passage for the relation of the names therein contained to the posterity of Zerubbabel, or for the question whether those named in 1 Chronicles 3:21-241 Chronicles 3:21-241 Chronicles 3:21-24 are to be regarded as descendants or as remoter connections of this prince.


[1]For לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם many mss. and most old prints read אַבְשָׁלוֹם. Comp. Exeg. Expl.

[2] וֶֽאֱלִישָׁמָע in this first place is perhaps an error of the transcriber for וֶֽאֱלִישׁוּעַ, which appears not only in the two parallel passages 1 Chronicles 14:5 and 2 Samuel 5:15 (after וְיִבְחָר), but also in cod. vat. of the Sept, as it gives ’Ελισά.

[3]For וּבֶן before זְרֻבָּבֶל some mss., as well as the old translators, read וּבְנֵי, an unnecessary amendment (comp. Exeg. Remark on 1 Chronicles 2:7).

[4]The same variation as in 1 Chronicles 3:19 (see Note 2).

[5]For בני, “sons of,” the Sept. reads from this to the end of the verse בְּנוֹ, “his son,” so that from Hananiah to Shechaniah it yields a series of seven successive generations. So also R. Benjamin in R. Azariah de Rossi in Meor Aenajim (comp. Zunz, Gottesdienstliche Vorträge der Juden, p. 31).

[6] Keri: הוֹדַוְיָהוּ (for which, according to the Hebrew law of sounds, we should expect הוֹדוּיָהוּ). The Kethit הודויהי cannot be so pronounced, and appears to arise from a confusion of the forms Hodavjahu and Hodijahu.

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 3". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/1-chronicles-3.html. 1857-84.
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