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1 Chronicles 4

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

 NASB  NKJV  NRSV  TEV   NJB
(LXX versing)
Family of David The Family of David The Descendants of David King David's Children The Sons of David
3:1-9 3:1-9 3:1-9 3:1-4a
 (1-3)
3:1-4a
3:4b-5a 3:4b-8
3:5b
3:6-9
3:9
The Family of Solomon The Descendants of King Solomon The Kings of Judah
3:10-24 3:10-16 3:10-24 3:10-16 3:10-16
The Family of Jeconiah The Descendants of King Jehoiachin The Royal Line After the Exile
3:17-24 3:17-20 3:17-24
3:21-24

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS

  1. This chapter lists the royal line of King David up to the author of Chronicles' own day (i.e., postexilic).

  2. For a list of these descendants beginning with Rehoboam, Solomon's son, see SPECIAL TOPIC: KINGS OF THE DIVIDED KINGDOM.

  3. All of these famous/infamous kings would have brought to mind Israel/Judah's history recorded in 1, 2 Samuel; 1, 2 Kings. The readers/hearers of Chronicles were expected to know the histories of Samuel and Kings.

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 3:1-9
1Now these were the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second was Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelitess; 2the third was Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth was Adonijah the son of Haggith; 3the fifth was Shephatiah, by Abital; the sixth was Ithream, by his wife Eglah. 4Six were born to him in Hebron, and there he reigned seven years and six months. And in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years. 5These were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon, four, by Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel; 6and Ibhar, Elishama, Eliphelet, 7Nogah, Nepheg and Japhia, 8Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet, nine. 9All these were the sons of David, besides the sons of the concubines; and Tamar was their sister.

3:1 "these were the sons of David" This material is taken from 2 Sam. 3:2-5; 5:13-16; 13:1.

▣ "Daniel, by Abigail" In 2 Sam. 3:3 the son is named "Chileab." The OT does not record when David married Abigail. Her story of intercession is recorded in 1 Samuel 25.

3:2 "Maacah" This was a non-Israelite. Many of the marriages in the ANE were for political purposes. Maacah was the daughter of the king of Geshur (a nation in the trans-Jordan).

3:5 "Shimea" This person is called "Shammua" in 2 Sam. 5:14.

Notice Solomon, Bathsheba's second child, is listed last (cf. 2 Sam. 12:15,24). He was not the firstborn of David but was the choice of YHWH.

▣ "Bath-shua the daughter of Ammiel" In 2 Sam. 11:3 her father is called "Eliam."

3:6 "Elishama" In 1 Chr. 14:5 his name is "Elishua." There is another Elishama in 1 Chr. 3:8. Obviously there is some confusion in copying all these names.

There is some duplication between 1 Chr. 3:6 and 8. Why is uncertain.

3:8 The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 338, has an interesting suggestion about the name change of "Beeliada" (cf. 1 Chr. 14:7) to "Eliada" here and in 2 Sam. 5:16. It suggests it was done "to avoid the idolatrous implications of 'be'el,' which could be taken to mean Ba'al."

3:9 "and Tamar was their sister" The tragic story of incest and palace intrigue is found in 2 Samuel 13.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 3:10-24
10Now Solomon's son was Rehoboam, Abijah was his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son, 11Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son, 12Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son, 13Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son, 14Amon his son, Josiah his son. 15The sons of Josiah were Johanan the firstborn, and the second was Jehoiakim, the third Zedekiah, the fourth Shallum. 16The sons of Jehoiakim were Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son. 17The sons of Jeconiah, the prisoner, were Shealtiel his son, 18and Malchiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah. 19The sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel and Shimei. And the sons of Zerubbabel were Meshullam and Hananiah, and Shelomith was their sister; 20and Hashubah, Ohel, Berechiah, Hasadiah and Jushab-hesed, five. 21The sons of Hananiah were Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, the sons of Obadiah, the sons of Shecaniah. 22The descendants of Shecaniah were Shemaiah, and the sons of Shemaiah: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah and Shaphat, six. 23The sons of Neariah were Elioenai, Hizkiah and Azrikam, three. 24The sons of Elioenai were Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah and Anani, seven.

3:11 "Joram" This king of Judah goes by two names.

  1. Joram ‒ 2 Kgs. 8:21,23,24; 11:2; Matt. 1:8
  2. Jehoram ‒ 2 Kgs. 8:16,25,29; 12:18

This gets confusing because another king, a king of Israel, is called by the same name, at the same time (cf. 2 Kgs. 3:1,6; and often in chapters 8 and 9).

3:12 "Azariah" This Judean King is also known as "Uzziah" (cf. 2 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 26; Isa. 1:1; 6:1; 7:1; Hos. 1:1; Amos 1:1 Zech. 14:5).

SPECIAL TOPIC: KINGS OF THE DIVIDED KINGDOM

3:15 "Johanan the firstborn" This is the only reference to this son, who being firstborn, should have been king. Possibly he died early.

The "Johanan" of 1 Chr. 3:24 is a different person from a later period.

▣ "Shallum" This royal son (cf. Jer. 22:11) is also called "Jehoahaz"(cf. 2 Kgs. 23:31-34; 2 Chr. 36:1-4). He reigned only a brief time and was deposed by Pharaoh Neco II and replaced with Eliakim, another son of Josiah, who renamed him Jehoiakim.

3:16 "Jeconiah" The shortened form is "Coniah" (cf. Jer. 22:24,28; 37:1). He is also known as "Jehoiachin" (cf. 2 Kgs. 24:6,8,12,15,27). He was made king by Nebuchadnezzar II because of Jehoiakim's rebellion.

He is replaced by Nebuchadnezzar with his uncle Zedekiah (cf. 2 Kgs. 24:8-20).

Just one more point, in Jer. 22:30 the prophet says he will be "childless," but here seven children are mentioned. This obviously means "childless" has to do with his sons reigning as king, not no children at all. Be careful of over interpreting biblical idioms!

▣ "Zedekiah" This is another royal name that causes confusion because several OT people have this name.

  1. a son of Josiah, 1 Chr. 3:15
  2. a grandson of Jehoiakim, 1 Chr. 3:16 (brother of King Jehoahaz, cf. 2 Kgs. 23:31)
  3. a throne name for Mattaniah, cf. 2 Kgs. 24:17,18,20; 25:2,7; 2 Chr. 30:10,11; often in Jeremiah
  4. a prince of Judah in the reign of Jehoiakin, Jer. 36:12

3:17 "the prisoner" The LXX and Vulgate translate this word (BDB 64) as a proper name "Asir." But the historical life of Jehoiakin fits "exile" or "prisoner" (cf. 2 Chr. 36:10).

It is possible the descriptive word is meant to state that Jeconiah had his children while still in exile.

3:19 "the sons of Pedaiah were Zerubbabel" In Ezra 3:2 and Hag. 1:1, Zerubbabel's father is called "Shealtiel" (cf. 1 Chr. 3:17).

Zerubbabel is the Judean prince who led the second return of exiles (cf. Ezra 2:2; NIDOTTE, vol. 4, pp. 1312-1313). However, a man named "Sheshbazzar," a possible relative, also a prince of Judah, led the first return (cf. Ezra 1:8). It is possible that this "Sheshbazzar" is the same as "Shenazzar" of 1 Chr. 3:18).

The book Hard Sayings of the Bible, pp. 311-312, says the discrepancy between "Shealtiel" and "Pedaiah" can be explained by "Levirate" marriage. There Zerubbabel would be the legal son of "Shealtiel," but the biological son of "Pedaiah."

Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, pp. 216-217, suggests he was adopted by Pedaiah.

There is always some confusion in how Babylonian names are transcribed into Hebrew.

SPECIAL TOPIC: TIMELINE OF THE POST-EXILIC PERIOD

3:21 The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 339, suggests that the names are not grandsons of Zerubbabel but contemporaries of "Jeconiah the prisoner." It does this because it would extend the genealogy of David's line too far (i.e., which would affect the date of the writing of Chronicles).

There is another possible answer to these extended genealogies that relate to the oral traditions being updated by later scribes. See the new book on oral cultures and how they passed on their traditions/history by John H. Walton and D. Brent Sandy, The Lost World of Scripture.

3:22 "Hattush" This person is mentioned in Ezra 8:2 as a descendant of David.

▣ "six" Obviously one name has been omitted, either by accident or purposefully.

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