I Chronicles 3



1 “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:  2 The third, Absalom the son of

Maachah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur: the fourth, Adonijah

the son of Haggith:  3 The fifth, Shephatiah of Abital: the sixth, Ithream

by Eglah his wife.  4 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.  5 And these were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shimea,

and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, four, of Bathshua the daughter of

Ammiel:  6 Ibhar also, and Elishama, and Eliphelet,  7 And Nogah, and

Nepheg, and Japhia,  8 And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet, nine.

3:9 These were all the sons of David, beside the sons of the concubines,

and Tamar their sister.”


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 (v.16), the grandsons of Zerubbabel (v.21), and descendants of

Shechaniah (v.24).  To the seven years and six months (II Samuel 2:11) of

David’s reign at Hebron six sons belong, each of a different mother. To the thirty

and three years (II Samuel 5:5; I 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 II 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

Daloui>a – Dalouia. 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 I 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” (lyin"yiba]l") 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 II Samuel 5:14-16;  and here in ch.14:4-7. The first of

these omits Eliphelet and Nogah (possibly they died young or without issue),

and the latter calls Eliphelet Elpalet (fl,p,l]a,). 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 (la,) knoweth),

on occasion of its latest occurence (ch. 14:7), appears as Beeliada (the Lord (l["b")

knoweth), preserving therein probably its earlier form, viz. that used before a settled

bad sense had come to be attached to the word Baal.  In v. 5 we have the form

Bathshua for the familiar name Bathsheba, i.e. [W"vAtb" for [b"v,Atb", in which

latter word [b"v, is a shorter form of h[W; bv]. In the same verse we have laeyMi["

here for μ[il; ia in II Samuel 11:3. The former name occurs often, e.g. Numbers

13:12; II Samuel 9:4-5; 17:27; ch. 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.”  V.9  plainly adds concubines,

perhaps the ten spoken of in II 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.




Checkered Life (vs. 1-9)



To David were given many elements of joy: he had the outward dignity, the

comfortable and even splendid surroundings, the authority and influence

which belong to Oriental sovereignty: he reigned altogether forty years

(v. 4). For this large period of his life the pleasures of regal pomp, wealth,

and power were at his command. But his was far from a cloudless day.

In the home circle, where the sweetest joys are commonly found,

there were abundant sources of trouble and distress. In his “first love,”

Michal, he was bitterly disappointed, and she was “childless unto the day

of her death” (II Samuel 6:20-23).  His concubines deserted and

dishonoured him (Ibid. ch.16:22). As we read in these verses (vers. 1-8)

the names of his children, we are struck with the thought — how little there

was in them to give their father a parent’s joy! How much to cause him a

profound anxiety, or even poignant grief! If national prosperity or military

success elated the king’s heart, domestic dissatisfaction, home troubles,

must soon have clouded his brow. Thus is it with us all: joy and sorrow may

not spring from these two sources, they may not mingle in these proportions,

but they are bound up together in the same bundle; they intermingle and

interlace in every human life. Bodily gratifications, success, power, the

endearments of human love, the hope of higher and greater things, the joy

of beneficence, on the one hand; care, loss, toil, disappointment, regret,

the “wounded spirit,” on the other hand. It is a checkered scene, this plain

of human life; sunshine and shadow fall fitfully upon it as we pass on to the

far horizon. This aspect of David’s household, recalling to us the contrasts

of his experience, may lead us to remember:


  • HOW GOD DISCIPLINES OUR HEARTS. David would hardly have

been the humble and devout man he was and continued to be, if he had

enjoyed an unbroken course of triumph and satisfaction. The best graces of

the human soul cannot thrive in perpetual sunshine; they must have the

searching winds and the pelting rains of heaven. If God sends us loss and

trouble, if he “breaks our schemes of earthly joy,” it is to foster in our

hearts those virtues of meekness, resignation, lowliness of heart,

considerateness of others, etc., which we should not keep alive if the

barns were always filled with plenty,” and the cup were always

overflowing with earthly joy. We may especially learn here:



never have left us the psalms which proceeded from his pen if his earthly

life had not been the checkered thing it was. It was from a troubled if not a

broken heart that those deep utterances were poured. It was from a soul

that could find no rest and joy but in the faithful God, “the very present

Help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1), that flowed the precious passages which

are the comfort of mankind.


Ø      God never calls us to any estate so high as that of sacred service —

the spiritual help we render our kind.

Ø      We cannot possibly serve to the full height of our power if we do not

learn sympathy by suffering.

Ø      Therefore God leads His children into deep waters, that, through such

baptism, they may comfort, heal, and bless the sorrowing and stricken

souls who wait their ministering hand.


The line of royal descent from David, is now rapidly carried down in vs. 10-16;

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.


10 “And Solomon’s son was Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son,

Jehoshaphat his son,” - Though the Authorized Version has Abia the Hebrew

word is hY;bia} both here and in II Chronicles 13:1, 22 (or Authorized Version,

14:1), in both of which passages, as also elsewhere, our Authorized

Version has Abijah. Another form is Abijam (μY;bia}), as in I Kings 14:31 and

elsewhere. A corrupt form (WjY;bia}) is found in II Chronicles 13:20. We have

the name in the New Testament genealogy (Matthew 1:7-8).


11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, Ahaziah.” This name is

found as Azariah in II Chronicles 22:6; and, by a shifting of the derivative part

of the word, as Jehoahaz in II Chronicles 21:17; thus, Why;z]j"a} or zj;a;wOhy]


12Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,” - Azariah. This name

is found in II Chronicles 26:1; 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 (II Kings 15:13 and 17, 23 and 32.


13Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son,

14 Amon his son, Josiah his son.”


15  And the sons of Josiah were, the firstborn Johanan, the second

Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum.”  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 II 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 (II Kings 23:34). If the

dates of II 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 22:11)

is another name of the Jehoahaz of II 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 (II Kings 24:17)

was originally Matthaniah, was put on the throne by the King of Babylon,

and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem (II Kings 24:18) after that his

nephew Jehoiachin (who could have no son old enough to succeed) was

(II Kings 24:12, 15, 17) carried captive to Babylon.


16 “And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.”

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 (II Kings 24:8). A touching

glimpse is given of him in Jeremiah 52:31. His name is shortened to Coniah 

(Ibid. 22:24 and 37:1, though elsewhere in the same prophet, Jeconiah, and in

one place Ibid. 52:31), Jehoiachin. The name of Zedekiah occasions difficulty

in this verse. In the first instance, following the examples of vs. 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 v. 16 is an

otherwise unknown brother of Jeconiah, and son of Jehoiakim.


17 “And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son,” - Verses 17-24 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 (compare Numbers 27:11).

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.)


18 Malchiram also, and Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama,

and Nedabiah.”  Of the name Malchiram and five following, it must be left still

doubtful whose sons they were — whether of Jeconiah (compare again II 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 favor the third supposition.  At the same time, it may be observed

that v. 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.


19 “And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei:” -  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 [W"rz], 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 3:27.

Zerubbabel is elsewhere invariably described as son of Salathiel, or Shealtiel; but

as the genealogy of 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.

 and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith

their sister:”  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, the 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 (I Chronicles 23:18), but very possibly by a mere clerical error, as the

true form is given in the very next chapter (Ibid. ch. 24:22) for the same character,

viz. twOmolv].



Review of the Kings (vs. 10-19)


It is specially worthy of notice that, according to His promise, God preserved the

Davidic line among all the changes through which the kingdom of Judah

passed; and this became a public testimony to the Divine faithfulness, and

a constant plea against them when they publicly broke their side of the conditions

of the national covenant. We may dwell on:




For some of the kings of Judah were rebellious and idolatrous; some, as,

for instance, Ahaz and Manasseh, so very bad that we marvel at the mercy

which held back judgment on the Davidic dynasty. Exactly what we have

ever to wonder over is the Divine long-suffering towards us, towards

His Church, towards men. God is infinitely jealous of the honor of His Name

as the Promise-maker and the Promise-keeper, and we may even think of

God as infinitely hopeful concerning His people, waiting on and on,

Bearing long with them, quite sure that they will yet turn to him and live.

But every new impression of God’s patient mercy made upon our hearts

only shows up the more hatefully our sin in keeping on and “despising

the riches of His mercy.” (Romans 2:4)



God’s dealings with men are the revelation of God’s character. What He

does is designed to unfold before us what He is, and so to ensure personal

trust in Him. Here mercy blends with faithfulness, and we gain the conception

of His righteousness blending with His love, justice and mercy going hand in

hand, the King and the Father making the sublime unity of the Divine King-

Father. Sometimes we gain impressions of Divine justice, at other times

impressions of Divine mercy, and we err if we keep these apart. We only

conceive God Himself aright when we can blend them to make the perfect

harmony of Him who is faithful, to all His words — faithful to punish

and faithful to pity and faithful to preserve.



PURPOSES. For from the preservation of a particular dynasty we rise to

the promise of the world’s Messiah, who was to be recognized by coming

in the Davidic line, and bear a royalty which should be a sublime spiritual

royalty, and found a kingdom which should be an invisible but everlasting

kingdom. David’s kingdom was, by the promise, to be continued for ever;

and so it is in that Son of David, who yet was David’s Lord, and who bath

now both an “unchangeable priesthood” (Hebrews 7:24) and an

unchangeable kingship.” His dominion shall yet prove to be an

everlasting dominion” (Revelation 1:6); He “shall have the heathen for

His inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession”

(Psalm 2:8).  And into the eternal Davidic kingdom we should enter, and we

may enter, for the King throws wide the door, and calls “WHOSOEVER

WILL” to come. (Revelation 22:17)



Zerubbabel, the Builder of the Second Temple (v. 19)


Among the names recorded here, that of Zerubbabel suggests an interesting

passage in the Jewish history; and he has a marked individuality, so that his

work and his times may be profitably reviewed. It is noticed as a fulfilling

of the Divine promise concerning the Davidic dynasty, that Zerubbabel was

a prince of the house of David, and so the returned captives resumed their

national life under a Davidic leader, and with a fresh and constantly

effective remembrance of the Divine promise and faithfulness. From the

narrative in Ezra, details of the work of Zerubbabel may be given. His

mission concerned three things:


  • The leadership of the liberated captives on their return journey

To Palestine. What qualities this demanded — command, courage,

patience, cheerfulness, etc., should be fully illustrated.


The erection of a new temple from the ruins of that of Solomon, and the

restoration of the Mosaic ritual and worship. In this he was aided by

Joshua, the high priest. Show what further qualities were demanded by this

work — power to inspire others, personal godliness, an enkindling

enthusiasm, and, in view of the efforts of the Samaritans, firmness,

unswerving loyalty to God, and a holy jealousy that permitted no

compromises in religion.


  • The establishment of a national and governmental order among the

people. This was the work for which he probably had hereditary genius;

and his position and authority, as the Persian Sheshbazzar, enabled him

effectively to carry out his schemes. In him may be illustrated the threefold



Ø      that circumstances call forth the best that is in men;

Ø      that men may to a large extent mould their circumstances; and

Ø      that God is ever ready to give His grace and strength,

unto the best success, to every man who sincerely wishes

to be found faithful!


20 And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushabhesed,

five.”  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.


21 “And the sons of Hananiah; Pelatiah, and Jesaiah: the sons of

Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of

Shechaniah.”  The Hebrew text, followed by the Vulgate, not followed by the

Septuagint, reads here jy;n]n"h}Aˆb,W. 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 vs. 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.


22 “And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah: and the sons of Shemaiah;

Hattush, and Igeal, and Bariah, and Neariah, and Shaphat, six.”

In the obscurity that remains 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 v. 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

v. 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. This coincidence of names and

dates must not be regarded as conclusive; but, pending further discovery, it

strongly disfavors the idea of the names of v. 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 v. 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 (la’giy) identical with the Igal of

Numbers 13:7; II Samuel 23:36 — Septuagint in the latter passages

jIlaa<l IgaalIgaal or jIga>l IgalIgal - but in the present place

jIwh<l Ioaelrendered Igal.   Of the other persons in this verse little or

nothing else is known.


23 “And the sons of Neariah; Elioenai, and Hezekiah, and Azrikam,

three.  24 And the sons of Elioenai were, Hodaiah, and Eliashib, and

Pelaiah, and Akkub, and Johanan, and Dalaiah, and Anani, seven.

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 (v. 24) with Abiud (Matthew 1:13) and with

Judah (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; ch. 9:7. His investigations on the comparison of the genealogies of this

chapter with those of Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are well worthy of attention,

and may be found in his work above referred to, and in his articles of Smith’s

‘Bible Dictionary.’



The Best Rewards of Piety (vs. 10-24)


This list of the names of the sons of David before and after the Captivity

suggest three truths:


  • THE BEST REWARDS OF PIETY. To David God gave the promise

that his children should sit upon his throne; to Solomon he gave a brilliant

court and large exchequer. David had the high and lofty satisfaction of

looking forward to future years, and knowing that his descendants would

be wielding power and exerting influence for many generations. Solomon

had his reward in the “things which are seen and temporal” — in great

wealth, in a large harem, in foreign alliances, in growing merchandise, etc.

The one reward was elevating, ennobling; the other proved to be hurtful

and demoralizing. We are very apt to look for temporal prosperity, earthly

honor, material gratification, as the mark of devotion; but if this should

be given us, it may end at last in spiritual depression and failure. God may

give us our request, but send leanness into our soul (Psalm 106:15).

We should rather desire mental and spiritual bestowments, delights of the

soul, gladness of the heart


“The joys which satisfy

And sanctify the mind;”


those which have no tendency to enfeeble or to mislead, but which tend

rather to enrich and to enlarge the soul.


  • THE VANITY OF HUMAN FAME. It is impossible not to be struck

with the obscurity of the names which occur in some of these verses (vs.

10-24). It is something, indeed, that a man’s name should find a place,

however humble, in such an imperishable record. But these men lived and

died without enjoying any such anticipation, and it is nothing to them now.

The desire for distinction is natural to noble minds; and if it be honorable

fame, and not mere worthless notoriety they seek, we must pay them praise

and not accord them blame. But the fact that, as time proceeds, human

fame becomes of less account, and that the very names of succeeding kings

may become nothing more than a tedious chronicle, only read by way of

duty, may well lead us to choose a more worthy and a more lasting

portion. There are blessings to be sought and gained, the value of which

does not decline with the passage of the years or even of the centuries

(Matthew 6:19-20).  It is these which the wise will covet, which the holy

will secure.


  • THE EXCELLENCY OF GODLY ZEAL. There is one name in this

list which stands out among the rest as that of a man whom all the servants

of God “delight to honour” — Zerubbabel (v. 19). To have been the

ancestor or the descendant of such a man was itself an honor. We regard

his career as one of the worthiest and most fruitful which even the Holy

Scriptures have recorded. His godly zeal did much to carry on the purpose

of Jehovah from the return of the captives to the coming of the Lord.

To have lived such a life and to have done such a work may satisfy the very

largest ambition which the heart of man can hold. To look back from the

spiritual world on such a work accomplished must be an increase to

heavenly joy. There are few satisfactions, if there be any, which give a

truer, deeper, diviner delight to the regenerated soul than the conviction

that, by the help and grace of God, we are sowing the seeds of holy

usefulness, of which future generations will reap the blessed harvest.



           Kings of the Royal Line — Zedekiah: the Lesson of His Life

                        (v. 15 – see II Kings 24:10-20)


The portraiture of the Holy Spirit would be incomplete without that of Zedekiah. In

him we see how every work of God may be undone, how the fairest fabric may

become a wreck. If in David and Solomon we have that which will encourage, we

have here a note of solemn warning. What is the lesson thus solemnly taught?

That sin undid all the work of David and Solomon. Sin ruined the kingdom,

and lay desolate the temple of God. And in what did that sin consist? In that which

is the fertile source of all sin —IDOLATRY.   Idolatry is the heart going after

something else than God. Its gross form is image-worship. Its more refined and

general form is the love of something lower than Christ. The latter is the guiltier,

because done under greater light. From this single source everything follows


o       loss of peace,

o       darkness of soul,

o       weakness of intellect,

o       immorality of life,

o       judicial blindness,



an INDIVIDUAL SOUL or in a WHOLE NATION.   Let God be supplanted,

and there is no abyss into which one and the other will not ultimately fall. God’s first

law to Israel was, “Thou shalt have none other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3);

and it is His first law still. Well might the beloved apostle say, “Little children,

keep yourselves from idols” (I John 5:21).  The utter ruin of the kingdoms of Israel

and Judah, and the desolation of the temple, had one source, consummated by

Zedekiah — idolatry. This brought down upon them that wrath of God which has

been resting like a dark cloud on the nation ever since. If David and Solomon show

us how we may pass through conflict to peace, Zedekiah shows us how we may pass

from it all to utter desolation.  Needful warning to complete this spiritual picture.



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