And of the Shilonites; Asaiah the firstborn, and his sons.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.Shelanites, as they are called from Shelah, Numbers 26:20.
Asaiah, called also Masseiah, Nehemiah 11:5. 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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 9:40 Meribbaal, while in 2 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 9:6; 2 Samuel 16:1., 2 Samuel 19:25, he is called Mephibosheth, because the name "striver with Baal" has been changed into מפיבשׁת, exterminans idolum. This Meribbaal, who was lame in his feet (cf. 2 Samuel 4:4), had a son Micha (מיכה, in 2 Samuel 9:12 written מיכא), of whom came a numerous race. He had four sons (1 Chronicles 8:35), and the family of the last-named of these (Ahaz) is traced down, in 1 Chronicles 8:36-40, through ten generations to the great-grandson of Eshek. First it is traced from Ahaz to Alemeth (1 Chronicles 8:36); then through Zimri, brother of this latter, to Binea, by הוליד; then further by בּנו (hisson) to Azel, of whom in 1 Chronicles 8:38 six sons are enumerated; and finally, in 1 Chronicles 8:39, the sons of his brother Eshek are named, and the sons and grandsons of the first-born of this latter are then enumerated. The last two verses are wanting after 1 Chronicles 9:44. The names in the two registers correspond, except at one point, where we cannot get rid of the discrepancy that for יחועדּה (1 Chronicles 8:36) there stands in 1 Chronicles 9:42 יערה both times, probably through an error of transcription, by which out of the shortened form יעדּה there arose יערה, ד and ר being interchanged. Besides this, instead of the תּארע of 1 Chronicles 8:35, we have in 1 Chronicles 9:41, according to the harder pronunciation of the gutturals, תּחרע; and for רפה, 1 Chronicles 8:37, we have in 1 Chronicles 9:41 the longer original form רפיה. Now since Ahaz, whose posterity is traced down to the tenth generation, was descended from Jonathan in the third generation, and his grandfather Mephibosheth was a boy of five years of age at the death of Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 4:4), the grandsons of Ulam, mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:40, will be the thirteenth generation of Jonathan's descendants. Now Jonathan fell along with Saul in the year 1055 b.c., and consequently this thirteenth generation of Jonathan's descendants lived probably about 700 b.c., i.e., about 100 years before the Babylonian exile; for, according to the analogy of the royal race of David, we cannot reckon more than twenty-five years on an average for each generation.
(Note: Bertheau holds a contrary opinion to that given in the text, and thinks that by the numerous sons and grandsons of Ulam the son of Eshek we are brought down to post-exilic times, seeing that if Saul lived about 1080 b.c., and thirty years are reckoned to each one of the thirteen generations (Eshek being a descendant of Saul in the thirteenth generation), Azel and Eshek must have lived about 690 b.c. But this estimate is too high, for we cannot reckon sixty years to Saul and Jonathan from 1080 onwards, since Jonathan fell along with Saul in 1055, and his son Meribbaal was then hardly five years old, and must consequently have been born in 1060. For the following generations, moreover, not more than twenty-five years on an average should be reckoned. That being the case, the children's children of Ulam's sons, who were the twelfth generation of Micha's descendants, may have lived from 760 b.c. onwards, and during this period, from 760 to 700, may have increased to the troop of blooming grandchildren of Ulam mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:40. But even supposing that thirty years should be reckoned for each generation, the last-named generation of 150 grandsons and great-grandsons of Ulam would have lived in the period from 660 to 600, i.e., before the exile, or at least before the first great deportation of the people with Jehoiakim in the year 599 b.c.)
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