Now these were the sons of David, which were born unto him in Hebron; the firstborn Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second Daniel, of Abigail the Carmelitess:
Verses 1-9. - The whole of this chapter is occupied with the descendants of David: the first nine verses of it with his own sons, classified according to the place of their birth, Hebron or Jerusalem; the remaining verses with the line of kings of his house to Jeconiah and Zedekiah (ver. 16), the grandsons of Zerubbabel (ver. 21), and descendants of Shechaniah (ver. 24). To the seven years and six months (2 Samuel 2:11) of David's reign at Hebron six sons belong, each of a different mother. To the thirty and throe years (2 Samuel 5:5; 1 Kings 2:11) of his reign at Jerusalem belong other thirteen sons, viz. four of one mother, Bethshua, and nine of other mothers, whose names are not given. The list of the six Hebron sons, with their mothers, is nearly identical with that of 2 Samuel 3:2-5, although the differences, slight as they are, would of the two indicate our list here rather as not copied than copied thence. The only noticeable difference, however, is in the name of the second son, announced here as Daniel, instead of Chileab, while the Septuagint has Δαλουία. This, together with the circumstance that one word would, as regards the Hebrew characters, comparatively easily convert into the other. renders it probable that it is merely a corrupt text or text obscure at this point which has occasioned the difference. The meaning of the name Daniel, put side by side with what we read in 1 Samuel 24:15, 25:39, suggests strongly that it is the right name of the two. It was a name likely to be given by David to his first child by Abigail. Additional suspicion is thrown on the name Chileab through the three last letters of it, "leab," constituting also the three first of the very next word," of Abigail" (לַאְביִנַיִל) which looks very much like the over-haste of the pen uncorrected. It is remarkable that the Syriac and Arabic versions translate "Caleb," both here and in the parallel passage. For the sons born in Jerusalem we have all three parallel lists at command, and the variations are rather greater. The other two lists are in 2 Samuel 5:14-16; 1 Chronicles 14:4-7. The first of these omits Eliphelet and Nogah (possibly they died young or without issue), and the latter calls Eliphelet Elpalet (אֶלְפֶלֶט). Again, Shimeah and Elishama in our passage must yield, overruled by the consent of the other two, to Shammuah and Elishua. Again, it is to be noticed that the name Eliada (God (אֶל) knoweth), on occasion of its latest occurence (1 Chronicles 14:7), appears as Beeliada (the Lord (בַעַל) knoweth), preserving therein probably its earlier form, viz. that used before a settled bad sense had come to be attached to the word Baal (see 'Speaker's Commentary,' in loc.).
The third, Absalom the son of Maachah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur: the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith:
The fifth, Shephatiah of Abital: the sixth, Ithream by Eglah his wife.
These six were born unto him in Hebron; and there he reigned seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years.
And these were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shimea, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, four, of Bathshua the daughter of Ammiel:
Verse 5. - In this verse we have the form Bathshua for the familiar name Bathsheba, i.e. בַת־שׁוַּע for בַת־שֶׁבַע, in which latter word שֶׁבַע is a shorter form of שְׁבוּעָה. In the same verse we have עַמִּיאֵל here for ךאלִעִָם in 2 Samuel 11:3. The former name occurs often, e.g. Numbers 13:12; 2 Samuel 9:4, 5; 2 Samuel 17:27; 1 Chronicles 26:5. The component parts of both words are the same, but their order is different - the meaning of the one perhaps "the people of God;" of the other, "the God of the people."
Ibhar also, and Elishama, and Eliphelet,
And Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine.
These were all the sons of David, beside the sons of the concubines, and Tamar their sister.
Verse 9. - This verse plainly adds concubines, perhaps the ten spoken of in 2 Samuel 15:16, to the number of the mothers of the foregoing sons. The mention of only one daughter of David, viz. Tamar, follows the manifest ordinary rule, that daughters are not recorded at all, except for one of two reasons - either that through a daughter the line was saved, or that the daughter had from some special reason made a place for herself in history.
And Solomon's son was Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son,
Verses 10-16. - The line of royal descent from David, is now rapidly carried down in these verses - first, as far as good King Josiah, sixteen generations in all (omitting, quite consistently, Athalia, who reigned by her own usurpation for six years on the death of her son Azariah); and then, by four successions (viz. two brothers, sons of Josiah, and a grandson and great-grandson of Josiah), to the Captivity. Verse 10. - Though the Authorized Version has Abia the Hebrew word is אֲבִיָּה both here and in 2 Chronicles 13:1, 23 (or Authorized Version, 14:1), in both of which passages, as also elsewhere, our Authorized Version has Abijah. Another form is Abijam (אֲבִיָּם), as in 1 Kings 14:31 and elsewhere. A corrupt form (אֲבִיָּחוּ) is found in 2 Chronicles 13:20. We have the name in the New Testament genealogy (Matthew 1:7, 8).
Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,
Verse 11. - Ahaziah. This name is found as Azariah in 2 Chronicles 22:6; and, by a shifting of the derivative part of the word, as Jehoahaz in 2 Chronicles 21:17; thus, אֲחַזְיָהוּ or יְהואָחָז
Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,
Verse 12. - Azariah. This name is found in 2 Chronicles 26:1; 2 Chronicles 27:2, as Uzziah; but in the Second Book of Kings it is found sometimes as Uzziah and sometimes as Azariah in the very same chapter (cf. 2 Kings 15:13 and 17, 23 and 32, and see Gesenius, 'Lexicon,' sub voce). We have the name as Azariah in Matthew 1:8, 9.
Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son,
Amon his son, Josiah his son.
And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.
Verse 15. - The first thing to be observed in this verse is that, though it lays stress on the mention of the name of Josiah's firstborn of four sons as Johanan, this is the only mention of him. Some, however, have taken the Jehoahaz of 2 Kings 23:30 for him. Next, that Jehoiakim was not the original name of the next brother, but a name slightly altered by Pharaoh-Necho from Eliakim (2 Kings 23:34). If the dates of 2 Kings 23:31, 34, 36, be correct, there is no doubt that, though Jehoiakim, i.e. Eliakim, reigned after Jehoahaz, yet he was the elder, and is in his right place in the present passage. Next, that Shallum (Jeremiah 20:11) is another name of the Jehoa-haz of 2 Kings 23:30, 31, 34, and several other places. It is possible that he finds the last place amid the four brothers of this verse because of his probable usurpation of the throne, in violation of the right of his elder brother, Jehoiakim, and the early fall he met with in consequence. Lastly, that the fourth brother, Zedekiah, whose name (2 Kings 24:17) was originally Mattha-niah, was put on the throne by the King of Babylon, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:18) after that his nephew Jehoiachin (who could have no son old enough to succeed) was (2 Kings 24:12, 15, 17) carried captive to Babylon.
And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.
Verse 16. - Of the above four brothers, sons of Josiah, the second, Jehoiakim, or Eliakim, had a son called Jeconiah, or Jehoiachin - essentially the same word. He was eighteen years of age when he succeeded his father (2 Kings 24:8). A touching glimpse is given of him in Jeremiah 52:31. His name is shortened to Coniah in Jeremiah 22:24 and Jeremiah 37:1, though elsewhere in the same prophet, Jeconiah, and in one place (Jeremiah 52:31), Jehoiachin. The name of Zedekiah occasions difficulty in this verse. In the first instance, following the examples of vers. 10-14, we should presume that this Zedekiah is set forth as a son of Jeconiah, and as it is not said that he reigned after Jeconiah (for it was undoubtedly Jeconiah's uncle Zedekiah who reigned after him), we need only have read it as a statement of one of his sons. Against this, however, there are two tolerably decisive considerations; for, first, the verse opens confessedly by offering us sons of Jehoiakim, and these two, Jeconiah and Zedekiah, will fulfil the promise of that plural; and again, the seventeenth verse enters upon the formal enumeration of sons to Jeconiah. The question, therefore, returns - Who was this Zedekiah, son of Jehoiakim? Some consider him identical with the Zedekiah of the previous verse, and that "his son" means here "his successor." This undoes fewer difficulties than it makes. If the text be not corrupt, the likeliest solution is to suppose that this Zedekiah of ver. 16 is an otherwise unknown brother of Jeconiah, and son of Jehoiakim.
And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son,
Verses 17-24. - These verses contain a line of descent brought down to a point not merely posterior to the Exile, but possibly reaching to the time of Alexander. This line, however, through Solomon is lost so soon as the first name, that of Assir, is passed; Salathiel (Authorized Version)or Shealtiel, being descended from David, not through Solomon, but through Nathan, whole brother to Solomon. This Assir is not known from any parallel passage; and Luther, Starke, Bertheau, and others, followed by Zoekler (in Lange, 'Comm. O.T.') translate the name as captive, applying it to Jeconiah. Not all their reasons, however, for this, outweigh one which must be pronounced against it, viz. the absence of the article. The Septuagint and Vulgate versions agree with our own. The greater probability might be that Assir derived his name from being born after Jeconiah was in captivity, and such passages as Isaiah 39:7, Jeremiah 22:30, may throw some light upon the extinction of Solomon's line here, and the transfer of the succession (comp. Numbers 27:11, and see interesting note on the present place in 'Speaker's Commentary'). Salathiel is the Authorized Version incorrect rendering of the Hebrew Shealtiel. In Matthew 1:12 it is said, "And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel;" and in Luke 3:27, "Salathiel, which was the son of Neri." Now, Neri was in the direct line of Nathan. There seems only one way of reconciling these statements - and the method removes similar difficulties in other places also - viz, to distinguish between the descent natural and the descent royal, and then acknowledge that the former was swallowed up, where necessary, of the latter. One as decisive instance of this kind as that before us is most useful to rule other cases. (For an important allusion to the house and family of Nathan's descendants, as well known at the time, see Zechariah 12:12 - a passage probably dating a few years previous to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.),
Malchiram also, and Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah.
Verse 18. - Of the name Malchiram and five following, it must be left still doubtful whose sons they were - whether of Jeconiah (comp. again 2 Kings 24:12, 15; Jeremiah 22:30) or of Neri as possibly brothers of Salathiel, or of neither of these. The first of these suppositions seems almost untenable, the second seems unlikely enough, and the exceeding prevalence of a corrupt text would strongly favour the third supposition. At the same time, it may be observed that ver. 19 proves that the names must belong to the royal succession, and indicates that, whoever Salathiel was in such aspect, that Pedaiah was, who becomes father of Zerubbabel. The verses that follow are thought by Eichhorn, Dahler, Keil, and some others to be an interpolation of later date, chiefly on account of the point to which the genealogy is brought.
And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister:
Verse 19. - Pedaiah is now given as the father of Zeraubabel and Shimei. Of the latter of these nothing else is known, unless Lord Hervey's theory below be correct. The former is a great name - its derivation perhaps doubtful. Strictly it signifies "scattered to Babylon," but (Gesenius, 'Lexicon') if the initial part of the word be strengthened into זְרוַּע, the signification might be "born in Babylon." We have in this name another instance of the treatment just commented on with regard to the name Salathiel in Luke 3:28. Zerubbabel is elsewhere invariably described as son of Salathiel, or Shealtiel; but as the genealogy of St. Luke gives the natural descent of Salathiel as from Neri, so does our genealogy in this one place give us the natural descent of Zerubbabel as from Pedaiah, one of Salathiel's brothers; while all other passages (e.g. Ezra 3:8; Haggai 1:12; Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27)give us that for which the genealogical table is chiefly designed, viz. the matter of succession, according to which Zerubbabel would be-shown as son, i.e. link of succession, following on Shealtiel. Verse 19. - Meshullam. Though this name recurs, and very frequently, in Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, yet the person here denoted by it - son of Zerubbabel - is found here only. Hananiah, 1.q. Joanna of Luke 3:27, the names being the same, but with the component parts transposed, as in instances already given above. In the Gospel, Hananiah appears as grandson of Zorobabel, Rhesa intervening. Shelomith. This person is mentioned here only. The word, though evidently a feminine form, is found for the name of a man, chief of the Izarhites (1 Chronicles 23:18), but very possibly by a mere clerical error, as the true form is given in the very next chapter (1 Chronicles 24:22) for the same character, viz. שְׁלמֹות.
And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushabhesed, five.
Verse 20. - The five additional names of this verse must presumably stand apart from the two sons and one daughter of the preceding verse, for some reason. What that reason may be is not known. Perhaps the most natural supposition is that their mother was not the same. The meaning of some of the names, as especially of the last, Jushab-hesed, i.e. "Loving-kindness is returned," has led Bertheau and others to the conjecture that they may be separated as children born to Zerubbabel, one of the leaders of the return from captivity, after that return. This seems plausible, except for the consideration that, the more plausible it is, the more we might expect the explanation itself to have been notified.
And the sons of Hananiah; Pelatiah, and Jesaiah: the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shechaniah.
Verse 21. - The Hebrew text, followed by the Vulgate, not followed by the Septuagint, reads here וּבֶןאּהֲנַנְיָח. Yet some manuscripts have the plural "sons," from which comes our Authorized Version. The indication is important. It is doubly interesting, as the only indication in our Hebrew text that tends to give confirmation to the very noteworthy differences of the Septuagint Version. For although this last, apparently somewhat perversely, begins its version with "sons," which plural does not so well suit its sequel, instead of the "son" of our Hebrew text, which would suit it, yet it proceeds with a translation which must have been obtained from another text, such text again suiting properly the singular - "son" - of our Hebrew. The form of its translation is analogous to that marked in the words of vers. 10-14. "The sons [sic son] of Ananiah, Pelatiah, and Jesaiah his son, Rephaiah his son, Arnan his son, Obadiah his son, Shechaniah his son," making six (presumably) consecutive generations. This, therefore, is the reading which (if correct) might carry down the genealogy to the times of Alexander the Great, and indeed to a time a quarter of a century later. And in doing so, it would certify this entry as of later date than probably any other of the canon! If we reject this position and reading, we have to get over the term, repeated several times, the sons of. To do this, Bertheau suggests that the intention of our passage was, from the name Rephaiah inclusive, not to mention the individual four brothers' names, but to mention them as four distinguished families among the posterity of David - an attempt at explanation certainly not satisfactory. The conclusion of the matter is, that in this twenty-first verse we have difficulties in either alternative, not satisfactorily explained. Either we have the names in all of six brothers, being "sons of Hananiah" - the last four of whom are styled, not by their individual names, but as heads of families; or we have six lineal descendants from Hananiah. If this last supposition were correct, calculate a royal succession at the lowest average (say something under twenty years), and the genealogy, including what follows in the remaining verses of the chapter, will bring us, as above, to a date that covers the whole life of Alexander the Great.
And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah: and the sons of Shemaiah; Hattush, and Igeal, and Bariah, and Neariah, and Shaphat, six.
Verse 22. - In the obscurity that obtains on the subject, there is one somewhat bright star of light in a succeeding name, Hattush, to which this verse leads us. This verse purports to help on the line of genealogy by a contribution of two descents, the effective names being Shemaiah and Neariah, the line coming to its close by aid of two other effective names, Elioenai and (say) Hodaiah, contained in the last two verses of the chapter. Although one manifest error in ver. 22 (involved in the number "six" when only five sons have been read) betokens the insecurity of the text, yet the summary measures of the ingenious Lord A. C. Hervey (see his valuable work on the 'Genealogies of our Lord Jesus Christ,' pp. 103, 307, 322; and articles in Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 1:666, 667) can scarcely be warranted, when he wishes first to omit altogether the words and the sons of Shecaniah; Shemaiah; and next, to regard Shemaiah as Shimei, the brother of Zerub-babel, and, as matter of course, those who followed as the descendants of this brother of Zerubbabel, instead of Zerubbabel himself. Now, a passage in the Book of Ezra helps us much here. Ezra mentions, as one of those of the "sons of David" who went up with him from Babylon to Jerusalem (Ezra 8:2, 3), Hattush, "of the sons of Shechaniah." There is not only nothing to prevent this Hattush being the same as the elder brother of Neariah, who comes fourth in succession from Zerubbabel (i.e. on the hypothesis that the six names of ver. 21 are brothers, not a line of descents), but at the above-mentioned average of twenty years the dates will admirably synchronize - the last date of Zerubbabel being about B.C. 520, and that of Neariah B.C. 440; while the date of Ezra's journey was B.C. 458 (see 'Speaker's Commentary,' 3:186, 187). This coincidence of names and dates must not be regarded as con-elusive; but, pending further discovery, it strongly disfavours the idea of the names of ver. 21 constituting a succession, and it keeps well in check the rate of succeeding generations, bringing the last member of the succession to a date that may be harmonized with others which have for the most part held their ground. That in ver. 22 only five names are given for what are summed up as "six," must lead to the supposition that one has dropped out; and since no known manuscript of the Hebrew text, nor the Septuagint or Vulgate versions supplies us with the missing name, the Syriac and Arabic versions, which supply the name Azariah between Neariah and Shaphat, must be viewed with some suspicion. Igeal is, in the Hebrew, a word (יגִךאל) identical with the Igal of Numbers 13:7; 2 Samuel 23:36 - Septuagint in the latter passages Ἰλαὰλ or Ἰγάλ, but in the present place Ἰωὴλ. Of the other persons in this verse little or nothing else is known.
And the sons of Neariah; Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam, three.
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.'
And the sons of Elioenai were, Hodaiah, and Eliashib, and Pelaiah, and Akkub, and Johanan, and Dalaiah, and Anani, seven.