1 Chronicles 9:5
And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.
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(5) And of the Shilonites.—Shilonite means “man of Shiloh,” the ancient capital of Ephraim; whereas 1Chronicles 9:4-6 have to do with Judah. The three sons of Judah, after whom three great sub-tribal divisions were named, were Pharez, Shelah, and Zarah (Genesis 38). The clan of Shelah was called the Shelanite (Numbers 26:20), and that is doubtless the correct reading here (see 1Chronicles 2:3; 1Chronicles 4:21), supported as it is by the LXX. (Σηλωνι) and the Targum.

Asaiah (“Jah hath wrought”) is essentially the same as “Maaseiah” (“Work of Jah”) in Nehemiah 11:5, where six progenitors are enumerated.

The firstborn.—That is, the leading clan.

His sons.—The members of the clan.

9:1-44 Genealogies. - This chapter expresses that one end of recording all these genealogies was, to direct the Jews, when they returned out of captivity, with whom to unite, and where to reside. Here is an account of the good state into which the affairs of religion were put, on the return from Babylon. Every one knew his charge. Work is likely to be done well when every one knows the duty of his place, and makes a business of it. God is the God of order. Thus was the temple a figure of the heavenly one, where they rest not day nor night from praising God, Re 4:8. Blessed be His name, believers there shall, not in turn, but all together, without interruption, praise him night and day: may the Lord make each of us fit for the inheritance of the saints in light.The correspondence and the diversity between the account here and in Nehemiah Neh. 11:4-19 are explained by the probability that both writers drew from a common and fuller document. They selected, in some instances, different names, or names which are now different through corruption; and they frequently expressed the genealogies of the same persons differently, both going on the principle of compression by means of omissions, but omitting from their lists different links of the chain. 2. the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions—This chapter relates wholly to the first returned exiles. Almost all the names recur in Nehemiah (Ne 11:1-36), although there are differences which will be explained there. The same division of the people into four classes was continued after, as before the captivity; namely, the priests, Levites, natives, who now were called by the common name of Israelites, and the Nethinims (Jos 9:27; Ezr 2:43; 8:20). When the historian speaks of "the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions," he implies that there were others who afterwards returned and settled in possessions not occupied by the first. Accordingly, we read of a great number returning successively under Ezra, Nehemiah, and at a later period. And some of those who returned to the ancient inheritance of their fathers, had lived before the time of the captivity (Ezr 3:12; Hag 2:4, 10). Or, Shelanites, as they are called from Shelah, Numbers 26:20.

Asaiah, called also Masseiah, Nehemiah 11:5.

And of the Shilonites,.... Not called so from the city of Shiloh, which was in Ephraim; whereas these here intended were of the tribe of Judah, and were either the descendants of a man whose name was Shiloni, Nehemiah 11:5 or rather these are the same with the Shelanites, Numbers 26:20 so called from Shelah the son of Judah; and so the Targum here is,"and of the tribe of Shelah:"

Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons; the same with Maaseiah, Nehemiah 11:5.

And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.
5. Shilonites] Spelt more correctly Shelanites in Numbers 26:20; they were descendants of Shelah.

Asaiah] In Nehemiah 11:5 Maaseiah, a kindred name.

Verse 5. - The Shilonites. These are the descendants of Shelah, youngest son of Judah. In place of the one name Asaiah here, Nehemiah (Nehemiah 11:7) gives a list of seven, among which Maassiah is found, answering to our Asaiah. 1 Chronicles 9:5Of the family of Shelah, Asaiah the first-born, and his other) sons. בּנין, after הבּכור, can only be understood of the other sons or descendants. But the epithet give to Asaiah, השּׁילני, is surprising, for it is a formation from שׁילה or שׁילן, and appears to denote a native of Shiloh, a well-known city of Ephraim. This derivation, however, is not suitable, since here the sons (descendants) of Judah are enumerated; and no connection between the inhabitants of Judah and the Ephraimite city Shiloh can either be proved or is at all likely. The older commentators, therefore, have suggested the reading השּׁלני, as in Numbers 26:20, where the family of Shelah, the third sons of Judah, is so called. This suggestion is doubtless correct, and the erroneous punctuation השּׁילני has probably arisen only from the scriptio plena of the word שׁילה instead of שׁלה. This supposition is confirmed by the fact that the form השּׁלני is found in Nehemiah 11:5, although it also is pointed השּׁלני. In Neh. loc. cit., instead of Asaiah, Maaseiah is introduced as בּן־השּׁלני in the seventh generation, while no ancestors whatever of our Asaiah are mentioned. The name עשׂיה, moreover, is not unfrequent, and occurs in 1 Chronicles 4:36 among the Simeonites; in 1 Chronicles 6:15; 1 Chronicles 15:6, 1 Chronicles 15:11, among the Levites; in 2 Kings 22:12, 2 Kings 22:14 and 2 Chronicles 34:20, as עבד of the King Josiah. מעשׁיה is the name of many persons, e.g., in 1 Chronicles 15:18, 1 Chronicles 15:20, and likewise in 2 Chronicles 23:1; Jeremiah 21:1; Jeremiah 29:21; Jeremiah 35:4; and elsewhere it is used of men of other tribes: so that even should Maaseiah have been written instead of Asaiah merely by an error of transcription, we are not warranted in identifying our Asaiah with the Maaseiah of Nehemiah.
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