1 Chronicles 4:18
And his wife Jehudijah bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. And these are the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took.
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(18) And his wife Jehudijah [Margin is right, the Jewess] bare Jered.—It is obvious that a contrast with the sons of some non-Jewish wife is intended, and these latter ought already to have been mentioned. Clearly, therefore, the sentence “And these are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took”—a sentence which is meaningless in its present position—must be restored to its original place after the first statement of 1Chronicles 4:17. We thus get the sense: “And the sons of Ezra were Jepher and Mered, and Epher and Jalon. And these [the following] are the sons of Bithiah, daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took [to wife]; she conceived Miriam and Shammai and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. And his [Mered’s] wife the Jewess bare Jered . . . Zanoah.” Thus the house of Mered son of Ezra bifurcates into a purely Judæan and a mixed Egyptian group of families. Eshtemoa (1Chronicles 4:17) lay south of Hebron, in the hil-country (Joshua 15:50).

Gedor.—See 1Chronicles 4:4, where Penuel is called father of Gedor. The two lists may, and probably do, refer to different epochs.

Socho.Joshua 15:35; in the Shephelah, south-west of Jerusalem.

Zanoah.—Two Judæan towns were so named, one in the Shephelah, the other in the highlands (Joshua 15:34; Joshua 15:56).

Jekuthiel occurs here only; but comp. Joktheel (Joshua 15:38), a town in the Shephelah.

Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh.—Bithiah is apparently Hebrew, “daughter of Iah,” that is, a convert to the religion of Israel. It may be a Hebraized form of Bent-Aah, daughter of the Moon, or some like native name. Daughter of Pharaoh, if the nomenclature be tribal, need only mean an Egyptian clan which amalgamated with that of Mered. On the other hand, comp. 2Chronicles 8:11 and 1Kings 9:24, where the phrase is used in its literal sense.

1 Chronicles 4:18. Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took — That is, married. But it is not likely that he married the daughter of the king of Egypt, unless some natural daughter; but rather of some other person called by that name, who might either be an Israelite, or one brought by force out of Egypt by way of spoil.

4:1-43 Genealogies. - In this chapter we have a further account of Judah, the most numerous and most famous of all the tribes; also an account of Simeon. The most remarkable person in this chapter is Jabez. We are not told upon what account Jabez was more honourable than his brethren; but we find that he was a praying man. The way to be truly great, is to seek to do God's will, and to pray earnestly. Here is the prayer he made. Jabez prayed to the living and true God, who alone can hear and answer prayer; and, in prayer he regarded him as a God in covenant with his people. He does not express his promise, but leaves it to be understood; he was afraid to promise in his own strength, and resolved to devote himself entirely to God. Lord, if thou wilt bless me and keep me, do what thou wilt with me; I will be at thy command and disposal for ever. As the text reads it, this was the language of a most ardent and affectionate desire, Oh that thou wouldest bless me! Four things Jabez prayed for. 1. That God would bless him indeed. Spiritual blessings are the best blessings: God's blessings are real things, and produce real effects. 2. That He would enlarge his coast. That God would enlarge our hearts, and so enlarge our portion in himself, and in the heavenly Canaan, ought to be our desire and prayer. 3. That God's hand might be with him. God's hand with us, to lead us, protect us, strengthen us, and to work all our works in us and for us, is a hand all-sufficient for us. 4. That he would keep him from evil, the evil of sin, the evil of trouble, all the evil designs of his enemies, that they might not hurt, nor make him a Jabez indeed, a man of sorrow. God granted that which he requested. God is ever ready to hear prayer: his ear is not now heavy.His wife - i. e. Mered's. Mered, it would seem, had two wives, Bithiah, an Egyptian woman, and a Jewish wife (see the margin), whose name is not given. If Mered was a chief of rank, Bithlah may have been married to him with the consent of her father, for the Egyptian kings often gave their daughters in marriage to foreigners. Or she may have elected to forsake her countrymen and cleave to a Jewish husband, becoming a convert to his religion. Her name, Bithiah, "daughter of Yahweh," is like that of a convert. 18. Jehudijah—"the Jewess," to distinguish her from his other wife, who was an Egyptian. This passage records a very interesting fact—the marriage of an Egyptian princess to a descendant of Caleb. The marriage must have taken place in the wilderness. The barriers of a different national language and national religion kept the Hebrews separate from the Egyptians; but they did not wholly prevent intimacies, and even occasional intermarriages between private individuals of the two nations. Before such unions, however, could be sanctioned, the Egyptian party must have renounced idolatry, and this daughter of Pharaoh, as appears from her name, had become a convert to the worship of the God of Israel. His wife; either Ezra’s wife, or rather, another wife of Mered. Jehudijah; or, the Jewess; so called to distinguish her from his Egyptian wife here following.

These are the sons, to wit, Miriam, and the rest following, 1 Chronicles 4:17.

The daughter of Pharaoh; either

1. Of Pharaoh king of Egypt for Mered might be a person of great estate and quality; or this might be only Pharaoh’s illegitimate daughter. Or,

2. Of some other Egyptian or Israelite called by that name; which might easily happen upon divers occasions.

And his wife Jehudijah,.... Another wife of Ezra; or, according to Kimchi, of Mered; a Jewess, as the word is by some rendered, to distinguish her from another wife, an Egyptian, in the latter part of the verse:

bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah; who were princes, as Jarchi seems rightly to observe; of several cities of these names in the tribe of Judah, as of Gedor, see Joshua 15:58, of Socoh, Joshua 15:35, of Zanoah, Joshua 15:34, the Targum interprets the names of all these men of Moses, whom Pharaoh's daughter brought up; and so other Jewish writers (a), into which mistake they were led by what follows:

and these are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took; that is, to wife; this Mered was one of the sons of Ezra, 1 Chronicles 4:17 the Targum, and other Jewish writers (b), say this was Caleb, called Mered, because he rebelled against the counsel of the spies; but this contradicts their other notion of Jehudijah, or Bithiah, Pharaoh's daughter, whom he married, the one who brought up Moses, since Moses was elder than Caleb; but Bithiah, whom Mered married, was not a daughter of Pharaoh king of Egypt, but of an Israelite of this name; her sons are supposed to be those in the latter part of 1 Chronicles 4:17.

(a) T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 13. 1. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 146. 3.((b) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 19. 2. & Megillah, fol. 13. 1.

And his wife Jehudijah bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. And these are the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took.
18. his wife] the wife of Mered, if the transposition mentioned in the last note be accepted.

his wife Jehudijah] R.V. his wife the Jewess (so called in contrast to his Egyptian wife).

Gedor] Cp. 1 Chronicles 4:4, where a different person is perhaps by a different tradition called father of Gedor. Gedor is to be identified with the ruins of Jedur on the road between Jerusalem and Hebron (Bädeker, p. 135)

Socho] R.V. Soco.

Socho … Zanoah] The two places are mentioned in the reverse order in Joshua 15:34-35 as situated in the lowland (Shephelah). Zâbû‘a still exists (Bädeker, p. 161).

these are the sons of Bithiah] See note on 1 Chronicles 4:17.

1 Chronicles 4:18Ezra, whose four sons are enumerated, is likewise unknown. The singular בּן is peculiar, but has analogies in 1 Chronicles 3:19, 1 Chronicles 3:21, and 1 Chronicles 3:23. Of the names of his sons, Jether and Epher again occur, the former in 1 Chronicles 2:53, and the latter in 1 Chronicles 1:33 and 1 Chronicles 5:24, but in other families. Jalon, on the contrary, is found only here. The children of two wives of Mered are enumerated in 1 Chronicles 4:17 and 1 Chronicles 4:18, but in a fashion which is quite unintelligible, and shows clear traces of a corruption in the text. For (1) the name of a woman as subject of ותּהר, "and she conceived (bare)," is wanting; and (2) in 1 Chronicles 4:18 the names of two women occur, Jehudijah and Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh. But the sons of Jehudijah are first given, and there follows thereupon the formula, "and these are the sons of Bithiah," without any mention of the names of these sons. This manifest confusion Bertheau has sought to remove by a happy transposition of the words. He suggests that the words, "and these are the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered had taken," should be placed immediately after וילון. "By this means we obtain (1) the missing subject of ותּהר; (2) the definite statement that Mered had two wives, with whom he begat sons; and (3) an arrangement by which the sons are enumerated after the names of their respective mothers." After this transposition the 1 Chronicles 4:17 would read thus: "And the sons of Ezra are Jether, Mered, ... and Jalon; and these are the sons of Bithia the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took; and she conceived (and bare) Miriam, and Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa (1 Chronicles 4:18), and his wife Jehudijah bore Jered the father of Gedor, etc." This conjecture commends itself by its simplicity, and by the clearness which it brings into the words. From them we then learn that two families, who dwelt in a number of the cities of Judah, were descended from Mered the son of Ezra by his two wives. We certainly know no more details concerning them, as neither Mered not his children are met with elsewhere. From the circumstance, however, that the one wife was a daughter of Pharaoh, we may conclude that Mered lived before the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. The name Miriam, which Moses' sister bore, is here a man's name. The names introduced by אבי are the names of towns. Ishbah is father (lord) of the town Eshtemoa, in the mountains of Judah, now Semua, a village to the south of Hebron, with considerable ruins dating from ancient times (cf. on Joshua 15:50). היהוּדיּה means properly "the Jewess," as distinguished from the Egyptian woman, Pharaoh's daughter. Gedor is a town in the high lands of Judah (cf. on 1 Chronicles 4:4). Socho, in the low land of Judah, now Shuweikeh, in Wady Sumt (cf. on Joshua 15:35). Zanoah is the name of a town in the high lands of Judah, Joshua 15:56 (which has not yet been discovered), and of a town in the low land, now Zanua, not far from Zoreah, in an easterly direction (cf. on Joshua 15:34). Perhaps the latter is here meant. In 1 Chronicles 4:19, "the sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, are the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite." The stat. contr. אשׁת before הודיּה shows that Hodiah is a man's name. Levites of this name are mentioned in Nehemiah 8:7; Nehemiah 9:5; Nehemiah 10:11. The relationship of Hodiah and Naham to the persons formerly named is not given. קעילה is a locality in the low land of Judah not yet discovered (see on Joshua 15:44). The origin of the Epithet הגּרמי we do not know. Before אשׁתּמע, אבי with ו copul. is probably to be repeated; and the Maachathite, the chief of a part of the inhabitants of Eshtemoa, is perhaps a descendant of Caleb by Maachah (1 Chronicles 2:48).
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