And the sons of Neariah; Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam, three.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Elioenai—unto Iah (are) mine eyes, Psalm 123:1-2—is an expansion of the same idea. (Comp. also Psalm 25:15.) An Elioenai went up with Ezra (Ezra 8:4).
The question of the proper arrangement of the genealogy of the descendants of Zerubbabel 1 Chronicles 3:19-24 is important in its bearing on the interesting point of the time at which the canon of the Old Testament was closed. Assuming the average of a generation to be 20 years in the East, the genealogy of the present chapter, drawn out according to the Hebrew text, does not descend below about 410 B.C., and thus falls within the probable lifetime of Nehemiah.
If, further, we regard it as most probable that Ezra died before 431 B.C., and that this passage in question was not wholly written by him, this does not disprove the theory (see the introduction to Chronicles), that Ezra was the author of Chronicles. Deuteronomy is by Moses, though the last chapter cannot be from his hand. The "dukes of Edom" might he an insertion into the text of Genesis Gen 36:40-43 without the authorship of the remainder of the work being affected by it. So here; Nehemiah, or Malachi, may have carried on the descent of the "sons of David" as far as it had reached in their time, adding to the account given by Ezra one, or at the most two verses.The sons of Neariah; who alone is here mentioned, because his elder brethren probably died without issue. Haggai 1:1 some think this is not the same Zerubbabel here as there; so Grotius (u); but I see no reason for that; but this difficulty may be removed by observing, that if Pedaiah was a son of Salathiel, as Kimchi thinks, then Zerubbabel, being his grandson, may be called his son, as grandsons are sometimes called sons in Scripture; or rather, Salathiel, having no children, adopted Zerubbabel, his brother's son, and made him successor in the government; so that he was the son of Pedaiah by birth, and of Salathiel by adoption; or else Salathiel dying without children, his brother Pedaiah, according to the law, married his widow, and by her had Zerubbabel, who was the proper son of Pedaiah, and the legal son of Salathiel:
and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam: who is called Abiud, Matthew 1:13 another son of his, with their father, is mentioned in this verse, and five more in the next. From hence to the end of the chapter, the genealogy is carried on from the captivity of Babylon, out of which Zerubbabel came, to the coming of Christ; and if Ezra was the writer of this book, as is generally thought, who was contemporary with Zerubbabel, this account must be written by another hand: and it may be observed, that it is carried on in the same number of generations as in Matthew; and here it stands thus:
Zerubbabel, Hananiah, Jesaiah, Rephaiah, Arnan, Obadiah, Shecaniah, Shemaiah, Neariah, Elioenai, Anani; in Matthew thus, "Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Sadoc, Achim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, Joseph"; the difference in names may be accounted for by their having two names; and it is remarkable that the Targum makes Anani to be the King Messiah, who was to be revealed; which, though it makes one generation less to his time, yet plainly shows that the Jews expected the Messiah to come at the end of this genealogy, and about the time Jesus the true Messiah did. Anani is reckoned by other Jews a name of the Messiah, who is said to come in the clouds of heaven, which "Anani" signifies; see Gill on Daniel 7:13.And the sons of Neariah; Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam, three.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. Elioenai] A significant name meaning, “Mine eyes are towards Jehovah”; cp. Jushab-hesed (1 Chronicles 3:20).
Hezekiah] R.V. Hizkiah.Verse 23. - None of the names in this or the following verse assists as yet in throwing any light upon the questions that arise in this fragment of genealogy. Lord A. C. Hervey would identify Hodaiah (ver. 24) with Abiud (Matthew 1:13) and with Juda (Luke 3:26), and quotes, for very just confirmation of the possibility so far as the mere names are concerned, Ezra 3:9; Nehemiah 11:9; compared with Ezra 2:40; 1 Chronicles 9:7. His investigations on the comparison of the genealogies of this chapter with those of Matthew 1:9 and Luke 3:9, are well worthy of attention, and may be found in his work above referred to, and in his articles of Smith's 'Bible Dictionary.'
1 Chronicles 3:17. In the list of the son of Jeconiah it is doubtful if אסּר be the name of a son, or should be considered, as it is by Luther and others, an appellative, "prisoner," in apposition to יכניה, "the sons of Jeconiah, the captive, is Shealtiel" (A. V. Salathiel). The reasons which have been advanced in favour of this latter interpretation are: the lack of the conjunction with שׁאלתּיאל; the position of בּנו after שׁאלת, not after אסּר; and the circumstance that Assir is nowhere to be met with, either in Matthew 1:12 or in Seder olam zuta, as an intervening member of the family between Jeconiah and Shealtiel (Berth.). But none of these reasons is decisive. The want of the conjunction proves absolutely nothing, for in 1 Chronicles 3:18 also, the last three names are grouped together without a conjunction; and the position of בּנו after שׁאלת is just as strange, whether Shealtiel be the first named son or the second, for in 1 Chronicles 3:18 other sons of Jeconiah follow, and the peculiarity of it can only be accounted for on the supposition that the case of Shealtiel differs from that of the remaining sons. The omission of Assir in the genealogies in Matthew and the Seder olam also proves nothing, for in the genealogies intermediate members are often passed over. Against the appellative interpretation of the word, on the contrary, the want of the article is decisive; as apposition to יכניה, it should have the article. But besides this, according to the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:27, Shealtiel is a son of Neri, a descendant of David, of the lineage of Nathan, not of Solomon; and according to Haggai 1:1, Haggai 1:12; Ezra 3:2; Ezra 5:2, and Matthew 1:12, Zerubbabel is son of Shealtiel; while, according to 1 Chronicles 3:18 and 1 Chronicles 3:19 of our chapter, he is a son of Pedaiah, a brother of Shealtiel. These divergent statements may be reconciled by the following combination. The discrepancy in regard to the enumeration of Shealtiel among the sons of Jeconiah, a descendant of Solomon, and the statement that he was descended from Neri, a descendant of Nathan, Solomon's brother, is removed by the supposition that Jeconiah, besides the Zedekiah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:16, who died childless, had another son, viz., Assir, who left only a daughter, who then, according to the law as to heiresses (Numbers 27:8; Numbers 36:8.), married a man belonging to a family of her paternal tribe, viz., Neri, of the family of David, in the line of Nathan, and that from this marriage sprang Shealtiel, Malchiram, and the other sons (properly grandsons) of Jeconiah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:18. If we suppose the eldest of these, Shealtiel, to come into the inheritance of his maternal grandfather, he would be legally regarded as his legitimate son. In our genealogy, therefore, along with the childless Assir, Shealtiel is introduced as a descendant of Jeconiah, while in Luke he is called, according to his actual descent, a son of Neri. The other discrepancy in respect to the descendants of Zerubbabel is to be explained, as has been already shown on Haggai 1:1, by the law of Levirate marriage, and by the supposition that Shealtiel died without any male descendants, leaving his wife a widow. In such a case, according to the law (Deuteronomy 25:5-10, cf. Matthew 22:24-28), it became the duty of one of the brothers of the deceased to marry his brother's widow, that he might raise up seed, i.e., posterity, to the deceased brother; and the first son born of this marriage would be legally incorporated with the family of the deceased, and registered as his son. After Shealtiel's death, his second brother Pedaiah fulfilled this Levirate duty, and begat, in his marriage with his sister-in-law, Zerubbabel, who was now regarded, in all that related to laws of heritage, as Shealtiel's son, and propagated his race as his heir. According to this right of heritage, Zerubbabel is called in the passages quoted from Haggai and Ezra, as also in the genealogy in Matthew, the son of Shealtiel. The בּנו seems to hint at this peculiar position of Shealtiel with reference to the proper descendants of Jeconiah, helping to remind us that he was son of Jeconiah not by natural birth, but only because of his right of heritage only, on his mother's side. As to the orthography of the name שׁאלתיאל, see on Haggai 1:1. The six persons named in 1 Chronicles 3:18 are not sons of Shealtiel, as Kimchi, Hiller, and others, and latterly Hitzig also, on Haggai 1:1, believe, but his brothers, as the cop. ו before מלפּירם requires. The supposition just mentioned is only an attempt, irreconcilable with the words of the text, to form a series, thus: Shealtiel, Pedaiah his son, Zerubbabel his son, - so as to get rid of the differences between our verse and Haggai 1:1; Ezra 3:2. In 1 Chronicles 3:19 and 1 Chronicles 3:20, sons and grandsons of Pedaiah are registered. Nothing further is known of the Bne Jeconiah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:18. Pedaiah's son Zerubbabel is unquestionably the prince of Judah who returned to Jerusalem in the reign of Cyrus in the year 536, at the head of a great host of exiles, and superintended their settlement anew in the land of their fathers (Ezra 1-6). Of Shimei nothing further is known. In 1 Chronicles 3:19 and 1 Chronicles 3:20, the sons of Zerubbabel are mentioned, and in 1 Chronicles 3:21 two grandsons are named. Instead of the singular וּבן some MSS have וּבני, and the old versions also have the plural. This is correct according to the sense, although וּבן cannot be objected to on critical grounds, and may be explained by the writer's having had mainly in view the one son who continued the line of descendants. By the mention of their sister after the first two names, the sons of Zerubbabel are divided into two groups, probably as the descendants of different mothers. How Shelomith had gained such fame as to be received into the family register, we do not know. Those mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:20 are brought together in one group by the number "five." חסד יוּשׁב, "grace is restored," is one name. The grandsons of Zerubbabel, Pelatiah and Jesaiah, were without doubt contemporaries of Ezra, who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon seventy-eight years after Zerubbabel.
After these grandsons of Zerubbabel, there are ranged in 1 Chronicles 3:21, without any copula whatever, four families, the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, etc.; and of the last named of these, the sons of Shecaniah, four generations of descendants are enumerated in 1 Chronicles 3:22-24, without any hint as to the genealogical connection of Shecaniah with the grandsons of Zerubbabel. The assertion of more modern critics, Ewald, Bertheau, and others, that Shecaniah was a brother or a son of Pelatiah or Jesaiah, and that Zerubbabel's family is traced down through six generations, owes its origin to the wish to gain support for the opinion that the Chronicle was composed long after Ezra, and is without any foundation. The argument of Bertheau, that "since the sons of Rephaiah, etc., run parallel with the preceding names Pelatiah and Jesaiah, and since the continuation of the list in 1 Chronicles 3:22 is connected with the last mentioned Shecaniah, we cannot but believe that Pelatiah, Jesaiah, Rephaiah, Arnan, Obadiah, and Shecaniah are, without exception, sons of Hananiah," would be well founded if, and only if, the names Rephaiah, Arnan, etc., stood in our verse, instead of the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, etc., for Pelatiah and Jesaiah are not parallel with the sons of Arnan. Pelatiah and Jesaiah may perhaps be sons of Hananiah, but not the sons of Rephaiah, Arnan, etc. These would be grandsons of Hananiah, on the assumption that Rephaiah, Arnan, etc., were brothers of Pelatiah and Jesaiah, and sons of Hananiah. But for this assumption there is no tenable ground; it would be justified only if our present Masoretic text could lay claim to infallibility. Only on the ground of a belief in this infallibility of the traditional text could we explain to ourselves, as Bertheau does, the ranging of the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, etc., along with Pelatiah and Jesaiah, called sons of Hananiah, by supposing that Rephaiah, Arnan, Obadiah, and Shecaniah are not named as individuals, but are mentioned together with their families, because they were the progenitors of famous races, while Pelatiah and Jesaiah either had no descendants at all, or none at least who were at all renowned. The text, as we have it, in which the sons of Rephaiah, etc., follow the names of the grandsons of Zerubbabel without a conjunction, and in which the words שׁכניה וּבני, and a statement of the names of one of these בּנים and his further descendants, follow the immediately preceding שׁכניה בּני, has no meaning, and is clearly corrupt, as has been recognised by Heidegger, Vitringa, Carpzov, and others. Owing, however, to want of information from other sources regarding these families and their connection with the descendants of Zerubbabel, we have no means whatever of restoring the original text. The sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, etc., were, it may be supposed, branches of the family of David, whose descent or connection with Zerubbabel is for us unascertainable. The list from רפיה בּני, 1 Chronicles 3:21, to the end of the chapter, is a genealogical fragment, which has perhaps come into the text of the Chronicle at a later time.
(Note: Yet at a very early time, for the lxx had before them our present text, and sought to make sense of it by expressing the four times recurring בּני, 1 Chronicles 3:21, by the singular בּנו in every case, as follows: καὶ Ἰεσίας υἱὸς αὐτοῦ, Ῥαφὰλ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ, Ὀρνὰ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ, etc.; according to which, between Hananiah and Shecaniah seven consecutive generations would be enumerated, and Zerubbabel's family traced down through eleven generations. So also Vulg. and Syr.)
Many of the names which this fragment contains are met with singly in genealogies of other tribes, but nowhere in a connection from which we might drawn conclusions as to the origin of the families here enumerated, and the age in which they lived. Bertheau, indeed, thinks "we may in any case hold Hattush, 1 Chronicles 3:22, for the descendant of David of the same name mentioned in Ezra 8:2, who lived at the time of Ezra;" but he has apparently forgotten that, according to his interpretation of our verse, Hattush would be a great-grandson of Zerubbabel, who, even if he were then born, could not possibly have been a man and the head of a family at the time of his supposed return from Babylon with Ezra, seventy-eight years after the return of his great-grandfather to Palestine. Other men too, even priests, have borne the name Hattush; cf. Nehemiah 3:10; Nehemiah 10:5; Nehemiah 12:2. There returned, moreover, from Babylon with Ezra sons of Shecaniah (Ezra 8:3), who may as justly be identified with the sons of Shecaniah mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:22 of our chapter as forefathers or ancestors of Hattush, as the Hattush here is identified with the Hattush of Ezra 8:2. But from the fact that, in the genealogy of Jesus, Matthew 1, not a single one of the names of descendants of Zerubbabel there enumerated coincides with the names given in our verses, we may conclude that the descendants of Shecaniah enumerated in 1 Chronicles 3:22-24 did not descend from Zerubbabel in a direct line. Intermediate members are, it is true, often omitted in genealogical lists; but who would maintain that in Matthew seven, or, according to the other interpretation of our verse, nine, consecutive members have been at one bound overleapt? This weighty consideration, which has been brought forward by Clericus, is passed over in silence by the defenders of the opinion that our verses contain a continuation of the genealogy of Zerubbabel. The only other remark to be made about this fragment is, that in 1 Chronicles 3:22 the number of the sons of Shecaniah is given as six, while only five names are mentioned, and that consequently a name must have fallen out by mistake in transcribing. Nothing further can be said of these families, as they are otherwise quite unknown.
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