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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Shemayah', שְמִעְיָה , heard [or rumor] of Jehovah [twice in the prolonged form, Shemaya'hu, שְׂמִעְיָהוּ, 2 Chronicles 11:2; Jeremiah 29:24]; Sept. Σαμαίας, v.r. Σαμα῏Ια, Σαμε῏Ι, etc.), the name of a large number of Hebrews.

1. A Reubenite son of Joel. and father of Gog (1 Chronicles 5, 4). B.C. post 1874. He was perhaps the same as the Shema (q.v.) of 1 Chronicles 5, 4:8.

2. Son of Elizaphan, and chief of his house (of two hundred men) in the reign of David, who took part in the ceremonial with which the king brought the ark from the house of Obed-edom (1 Chronicles 15:8; 1 Chronicles 15:11). B.C. 1043.

3. A Levite, son of Nethaneel, and also a scribe in the time of David, who registered the divisions of the priests by lot into twenty-four orders (1 Chronicles 24:6). B.C. 1014.

4. Eldest of the eight sons of Obed-edom the Levite. He and his four valiant sons and other relatives, to the number of sixty-two, were gate keepers of the Temple (1 Chronicles 26:4; 1 Chronicles 26:6-7). B.C. 1014.

5. A prophet in the reign of Rehoboam who, when the king had assembled 180, 000 men of Benjamin and Judah to reconquer the northern kingdom after its revolt, was commissioned to charge them to return to their homes and not to war against their brethren (1 Kings 12:22; 2 Chronicles 11:2). B.C. 972. His second and last appearance upon the stage was upon the- occasion of the invasion of Judah and siege of Jerusalem by Shishak, king of Egypt. B.C. 969. His message was then one of comfort, to assure the princes of Judah that the punishment of their idolatry should not come by the hand of Shishak. (2 Chronicles 12:5; 2 Chronicles 12:7). From the circumstance that in 2 Chronicles 11:1 the people of Rehoboam are called "Israel, " whereas in 2 Chronicles 11:5-6 the princes are called indifferently "of Judah" and "of Israel, " some have unwarrantably inferred that the latter event occurred before the disruption of the kingdom. Shemaiah wrote a chronicle containing the events of Rehoboam's reign (2 Chronicles 11:15).

6. One of the Levites who, in the third year of Jehoshaphat accompanied two priests and some of the princes of Judah to teach the people the book of the law (2 Chronicles 17:8). B.C. 909.

7. Father of Shimri and ancestor of Ziza, which last was a chief of the. tribe of Simeon (1 Chronicles 4:37). B.C. long ante 726. He was perhaps the same with the Shimei (q.v.) of 1 Chronicles 4:26-27.

8. A descendant of Jeduthun the singer who lived in the reign of Hezekiah. He assisted in the purification of the Temple and the reformation of the service, and with Uzziel represented his family on that occasion (2 Chronicles 29:14). B.C. 726. (See No. 9.)

9. One of the Levites in the reign of Hezekiah who were placed in the cities of the priests to distribute the tithes among their brethren (2 Chronicles 31:15). B.C. 726. He was perhaps identical with No. 8.

10. A chief Levite in the reign of Josiah who, with his brethren Conaniah. and Nathaneel, contributed sacrifices for the Passover (2 Chronicles 35:9). B.C. 628.

11. Father of the prophet Urijah of Kirjath-jearim (Jerimiah 26:20). B.C. ante 608.

12. Father of Delilah, which latter was one of the princes who heard Baruch's roll (Jeremiah 36:12). B.C. ante 605.

13. A Nehelamite and a false prophet in the time of Jeremiah. B.C. 606. He prophesied to the people of the captivity in the name of Jehovah, and attempted to counteract the influence of Jeremiah's advice that they should settle quietly in the land of their exile, build houses, plant vineyards, and wait patiently for the period of their return at the end of seventy years. His animosity to Jeremiah exhibited itself in the more active form of a letter to the high priest Zephaniah, urging him to exercise the functions of his office and lay the prophet in prison, and in the stocks. The letter was read by Zephaniah to Jeremiah, who instantly pronounced the message of doom against Shemaiah for his presumption that he should have none of his family to dwell among the people, and that himself should not live to see their return from captivity (Jeremiah 29:24-32). (See JEREMIAH).

14. A chief priest who returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 12:6; Nehemiah 12:18). B.C. 536. He lived to sign the sacred covenant with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 10:8).B.C. 410.

15. One of the three "last sons" (i.e. supplementary heads of families) of Adonikam who returned with sixty males from Babylon with Ezra (Ezra 8:13) B.C. 459.

16. One of the "heads" of the Jewish families whom Ezra sent for to his camp by the river of Ahava, for the purpose of obtaining Levites and ministers for the Temple from "the place Casiphia" (Ezra 8:16). B.C. 459.

17. One of the priests of the "sons of Harim" who renounced their Gentile wives after the captivity (Ezra 10:21). B.C. 458. (Comp. No. 18.).

18. An Israelite of the "sons of Harim" who divorced his Gentile wife after the captivity (Ezra 10:31). B.C. 458. (See No. 17.)

19. A priest, son of Mattauniah (q.v.) and father of Jonathan in the lineage of "Asaph" (Nehemiah 12:35). B.C. ante 446.

20. Son of Galal and father of the Levite Obadiah (or Abda) who "dwelt in the villages of the Netophathites" after the return from Babylon (1 Chronicles 9:6). B.C. ante 446. He is elsewhere (Nehemiah 11:17), called SHAMMUA (See SHAMMUA) (q.v.).

21. Son of Shechaniah and keeper of the east gate at Jerusalem, who assisted in repairing the wall after the captivity (Nehemiah 3:29). B.C. 446.

22. Son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, a prophet in the time of Nehemiah who was bribed by Sanballat and his confederates to frighten the Jews from their task of rebuilding the wall, and to put Nehemiah in fear. In his assumed terror, he appears to have shut up his house and to have proposed that all should retire into the Temple and close the doors (Nehemiah 6:10). B.C. 446.

23. Son of Hasshub, a Merarite Levite who lived in Jerusalem after the captivity (1 Chronicles 9:14), and one of those who had oversight of the outward business of the house of God (Nehemiah 11:15). B.C. 446.

24. One of the princes of Judah. who was in the procession that went towards the south when the two thanksgiving companies celebrated the solemn dedication of the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 12:34). B.C. 446.

25. One of the choir who took part in the procession with which the dedication of the new wall of Jerusalem by Ezra was accompanied (Nehemiah 12:36). B.C. 446. He appears to have been a Gershonite Levite and descendant of Asaph, for reasons which are given under MATTANIAH 8

26. One of the priests who blew with trumpets in the procession upon the newly completed walls of Jerusalem after the captivity (Nehemiah 12:42). B.C. 446.

27. The son of Shechaniah and father of five sons among the descendants of Zerubbabel (1 Chronicles 3:22). He was possibly the same with No. 21. Lord Hervey. (Geneal. p. 107) uncritically proposes to omit the words at the beginning of 1 Chronicles 3:22 as spurious, and, to consider Shemaiah identical with Shimei (q.v.), the brother of Zerubbabel (1 Chronicles 3:19). This Shemaiah seems to be the same as the Semei of Luke 3:26. B.C. cir. 380. (See GENEALOGY OF CHRIST).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Shemaiah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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