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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Mered

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(Hebrews id., מֶרֶד, rebellion, as in Joshua 22:22; Sept. Μωράδ and Μωρήδ,Vulg. Mered), a person named as the second son of Ezra (or Ezer), of the tribe of Judah (1 Chronicles 4:17). (See EZRAH). Great confusion prevails in the account of his lineage and family. and indeed in the whole chapter in question. 1 Chronicles 4:17, after mentioning the four sons of Ezra, immediately adds, "and she bore Miriam," etc.; where the Sept., by an evident gloss, attributes these children to Jethro, the first named of Ezra's sons; the Vulg. has genuit, referring them to Ezra as additional sons, in defiance of the text וִתִּהִר, which is undoubtedly feminine; while Luther renders this word as a proper name, Thahar, equally at variance with the text, which joins the following word by the accus. Particle אֵת, a construction that does not here allow the resolution by the rendering with. In 1 Chronicles 4:18 we find several sons attributed to "his wife Jehudijah," and the statement added, "And these are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took:" the Sept., Vulg., and Luth. follow the Heb., which yields no intelligible connection. 1 Chronicles 4:19 : "And the sons of hiswife Hodiah, the sister of Naham, the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite;" where, however, the Hebrews text would be more naturally rendered "the, sons of the wife of Hodijah," בְּנֵי אֵשֶׁת הוֹדַיָּה, the form אֵשֶׁת being rarely absolute (see Nordheimer's Hebrews Gamm. § 604); the Sept. renders: "And the sons of the wife of his Jewish sister [υἱοὶ γυναικὸς τῆς Ι᾿ουδαίας ἀδελφῆς] were Nachem, and Danra the father of Keeila, and Someion the father of Joriam. And the sons of Naem, the father of Keeila, were Garmi and Jesthemoe, Machatha" [various readings, "of the Idumaean sister" (or "of Odia the sister") of Nachain, the father of Keeila, were Garmi (others "Hotarmi" or "Hogarmi") and Eshthaimon, Nochathi]; the Vulg. and Luther are like the Heb., except the ambiguous renderings, "Et filii uxoris Odajae," "Die Kinder des Weibes Hodija." The Syr. and Arab. omit 1 Chronicles 4:17-18 (Davidson's Revis. of the Hebrews Text, ad loc.). The corruption of the text is evident. We suggest a conjectural restoration by transposing the latter part of 1 Chronicles 4:18 to the middle of 1 Chronicles 4:17, and the whole of 1 Chronicles 4:19 to the end of 1 Chronicles 4:17; these simple changes will supply the manifest incongruities as follows: "And the sons of Ezra [or Ezer] were Jether, and Mered, and Epher, and Jalon. And these are the sons of Bithiah (the daughter of Pharaoh), whom Mered [first] married; she bore Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah (founder of Eshtemoa): and the sons of his [second] wife Hodijah (the sister of Naham, father [founder] of Keilah the Garinite [? strong city] and of Eshtemoa the Maachathite)-this Jewish wife bore Jered (founder of Gedor), and Heber (founder of Socho), and Jekuthiel (founder of Zanoah)." This essentially agrees with Bertheau's rectification of the passage (Erkldr. ad loc.), adopted by Keil (Comment. ad loc.).

"It has been supposed that Pharaoh is here the name of an Israelite, but there are strong reasons for the common and contrary opinion. The name Bithiah, daughter,' that is, servant of the Lord,' is appropriate to a convert. It may be observed that the Moslems of the present day very frequently give the name Abdallah, servant of God,' to these who adopt their religion. That another wife was called the Jewess, is in favor of Bithiah's Egyptian origin. The name Miriam, if, as we believe, Egyptian, is especially suitable to the child of an Egyptian." (See BITHIAH). Pharaoh, whose daughter Mered espoused, was therefore undoubtedly some one of the Egyptian kings, and hence Mered himself would appear to have been a person of note among the Israelites. As his children by his other wife (who was also highly related), were recognised as chief men or rebuilders of Canaanitish cities, and hence must have lived soon after the conquest and settlement of Palestine by the Hebrews, Mered himself will be placed in the period of the exode, and he may be supposed to have married the daughter of the predecessor of that Pharaoh by whom the Israelites were detained in so cruel bondage; perhaps his Egyptian wife refused to accompany him to the promised land, and the later children may have been the fruit of a subsequent marriage during the wanderings in the desert with a Hebrewess Hodijah. BC. cir. 1658.

Mered's wife Bithiah "is enumerated by the rabbins among the nine who entered Paradise (Hottinger, Smegma Orientale, p. 515), and in the Targum of R. Joseph on Chronicles she is said to have been a proselyte. In the same Targum we find it stated that Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, was called Mered because he withstood or rebelled against (מְרִד ) the counsel of the spies, a tradition also recorded by Jarchi. But another and very curious tradition is preserved in the Quaestiones in libr. Paral., attributed to Jerome. According to this Ezra was Amram; his sons Jether and Mered were Aaron and Mos'es; Epher was Eldad, and Jalon Medad. The tradition goes on to say that Moses, after receiving the law in the desert, enjoined his father to put away his mother because she was his aunt, being the daughter of Levi: that Amram did so, married again, and begat Eldad and Medad. Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, is said, on the same authority, to have been taken' by Moses, because she forsook idols, and was converted to the worship of the true God. The origin of all this seems to have been the occurrence of the name Miriam' in 1 Chronicles 4:17, which was referred to Miriam the sister of Moses. Rabbi D. Kimchi would put the first clause of 1 Chronicles 4:18 in a parenthesis. He makes Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh the first wife of Mered, and mother of Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah; Jehudijah, or the Jewess,' being his second wife."

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Mered'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/m/mered.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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