Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsh, [1857-78], at sacred-texts.com
1 Chronicles 3:1
The sons and descendants of David. - After the enumeration of the chief families of the two sons of Hezron, Caleb and Jerahmeel, in 1 Chron 2:18-55, the genealogy of Ram the second son of Hezron, which in Ch1 2:10-17 was only traced down to Jesse, the father of the royal race of David, is in 1 Chron 3 again taken up and further followed out. In Ch1 3:1-9 all the sons of David are enumerated; in Ch1 3:10-16, the line of kings of the house of David from Solomon to Jeconiah and Zedekiah; in Ch1 3:17-21, the descendants of Jeconiah to the grandsons of Zerubbabel; and finally, in Ch1 3:22-24, other descendants of Shechaniah to the fourth generation.
The sons of David: (a) Those born in Hebron; (b) those born in Jerusalem. - Ch1 3:1-4. The six sons born in Hebron are enumerated also in Sa2 3:2-5, with mention of their mother as here: but there the second is called כּלאב; here, on the contrary, דּניּאל, - a difference which cannot well have arisen through an error of a copyist, but is probably to be explained on the supposition that this son had two different names. In reference to the others, see on 2 Sam 3. The sing. לו נולד אשׁר after a preceding plural subject is to be explained as in Ch1 2:9. שׁני, without the article, for משׁנהוּ, Sa2 3:3, or המּשׁנה, Ch1 5:12, is surprising, as all the other numbers have the article; but the enumeration, the first-born, a second, the third, etc., may be justified without any alteration of the text being necessary. But the difference between our text and that of 2 Sam. in regard to the second son, shows that the chronicler did not take the register from 2 Sam 3. The preposition ל before אבשׁלום seems to have come into the text only through a mistake occasioned by the preceding לאביגיל, for no reason is apparent for any strong emphasis which might be implied in the ל being placed on the name of Absalom. The addition of אשׁתּו to עגלה (Ch1 3:3) seems introduced only to conclude the enumeration in a fitting way, as the descent of Eglah had not been communicated; just as, for a similar reason, the additional clause "the wife of David" is inserted in Sa2 3:5, without Eglah being thereby distinguished above the other wives as the most honoured. The concluding formula, "six were born to him in Hebron" (Ch1 3:4), is followed by a notice of how long David reigned in Hebron and in Jerusalem (cf. Sa2 2:11 and Sa2 5:5), which is intended to form a fitting transition to the following list of the sons who were born to him in Jerusalem.
In Jerusalem thirteen other sons were born to him, of whom four were the children of Bathsheba. The thirteen names are again enumerated in the history of David, in Ch1 14:7-11, which in the parallel passage, Sa2 5:14-16, only eleven are mentioned, the two last being omitted (see on the passage). Some of the names are somewhat differently given in these passages, owing the differences of pronunciation and form: שׁמעה is in both places שׁמוּע; אלישׁמע, between Ibhar and Eliphalet, is in 1 Chron 14 more correctly written אלישׁוּע. Elishama is clearly a transcriber's error, occasioned by one of the following sons bearing this name. אליפלט, shortened in Ch1 14:6 into אלפּלט, and נוגה, are wanting in Sa2 5:15, probably because they died early. אלידע, Ch1 3:8, Sa2 5:16, appears in Ch1 14:7 as בּעלידע; the mother also of the four first named, בּתשׁוּע, the daughter of Ammiel, is elsewhere always בּת־שׁבע, e.g., Sa2 11:3, and Kg1 1:11, Kg1 1:15, etc.; and her father, Eliam (Sa2 11:3). בּתשׁוּע has been derived from בּתשׁוע, and בּתשׁוע is softened from בּתשׁבע; but אליעם has arisen by transposition of the two parts of the name עמּיאל, or Ammiel has been altered to Eliam. Besides these, David had also sons by concubines, whose names, however, are nowhere met with. Of David's daughters only Tamar is mentioned as "their sister," i.e., sister of the before-mentioned sons, because she had become known in history through Amnon's crime (2 Sam 13).
1 Chronicles 3:10
The kings of the house of David from Solomon till the exile. - Until Josiah the individual kings are mentioned in their order, each with the addition בּנו, son of the preceding, Ch1 3:10-14; the only omission being that of the usurper Athaliah, because she did not belong to the posterity of David. But in Ch1 3:15 four sons of Josiah are mentioned, not "in order to allow of a halt in the long line of David's descendants after Josiah the great reformer" (Berth.), but because with Josiah the regular succession to the throne in the house of David ceased. For the younger son Jehoahaz, who was made king after his father's death by the people, was soon dethroned by Pharaoh-Necho, and led away captive to Egypt; and of the other sons Jehoiakim was set up by Pharaoh, and Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar, so that both were only vassals of heathen lords of the land, and the independent kingship of David came properly to an end with the death of Josiah. Johanan, the first-born of the sons of Josiah, is not to be identified with Jehoahaz, whom the people raised to the throne. For, in the first place, it appears from the statement as to the ages of Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim in Kg2 23:31, Kg2 23:36; Ch2 36:2, Ch2 36:5, that Jehoahaz was two years younger than Jehoiakim, and consequently was not the first-born. In Jer 22:11 it is expressly declared that Shallum, the fourth son of Josiah, was king of Judah instead of his father, and was led away into captivity, and never saw his native land again, as history narrates of Jehoahaz. From this it would appear that Shallum took, as king, the name Jehoahaz. Johanan, the first-born, is not met with again in history, either because he died early, or because nothing remarkable could be told of him. Jehoiakim was called Eliakim before he was raised to the throne (Kg2 23:24). Zedekiah was at first Mattaniah (Kg2 24:17). Zedekiah, on his ascending the throne, was younger than Shallum, and that event occurred eleven years after the accession of Shallum = Jehoahaz. Zedekiah was only twenty-one years old, while Jehoahaz had become king in his twenty-third year. But in our genealogy Zedekiah is introduced after Jehoiakim, and before Shallum, because, on the one hand, Jehoiakim and Zedekiah had occupied the throne for a longer period, each having been eleven years king; and on the other, Zedekiah and Shallum were sons of Hamutal (Kg2 23:31; Kg2 24:18), while Jehoiakim was the son of Zebudah (Kg2 23:36). According to age, they should have followed each other in this order - Johanan, Jehoiakim, Shallum, and Zedekiah; and in respect to their kingship, Shallum should have stood before Jehoiakim. But in both cases those born of the same mother, Hamutal, would have been separated. To avoid this, apparently, Shallum has been enumerated in the fourth place, along with his full brother Zedekiah. In Ch1 3:6 it is remarkable that a son of Jehoiakim's son Jeconiah is mentioned, named Zedekiah, while the sons of Jeconiah follow only in Ch1 3:17 and Ch1 3:18. Jeconiah (cf. Jer 24:1; shortened Coniah, Jer 22:24, Jer 22:28, and Jer 37:1) is called, as kings, in Kg2 24:8. and Ch2 36:9, Jehoiachin, another form of the name, but having the same signification, "Jahve founds or establishes." Zedekiah can only be a son of Jeconiah, for the בּנו which is added constantly denotes that the person so called is the son of his predecessor. Many commentators, certainly, were of opinion that Zedekiah was the same person as the brother of Jehoiakim mentioned in Ch1 3:15 under the name Zidkijahu, and who is here introduced as son of Jeconiah, because he was the successor of Jeconiah on the throne. For this view support was sought in a reference to Ch1 3:10., in which all Solomon's successors in the kingship are enumerated in order with בּנו. But all the kings who succeeded each other from Solomon to Josiah were also, without exception, sons of their predecessors; so that there בּנו throughout denotes a proper son, while King Zedekiah, on the contrary, was not the son, but an uncle of Jeconiah (Jehoiachin). We must therefore hold צדקיּה for a literal son of Jeconiah, and that so much the more, because the name צדקיּה differs also from צדקיּהוּ, as the name of the king is constantly written in Kg2 24:17. and in Ch2 36:10. But mention is made of this Zedekiah in Ch1 3:16 apart from the other sons of Jeconiah (Ch1 3:17 and Ch1 3:18), perhaps because he was not led away captive into exile with the others, but died in Judah before the breaking up of the kingdom.
1 Chronicles 3:17
The descendants of the captive and exiled Jeconiah, and other families. - Ch1 3:17. In the list of the son of Jeconiah it is doubtful if אסּר be the name of a son, or should be considered, as it is by Luther and others, an appellative, "prisoner," in apposition to יכניה, "the sons of Jeconiah, the captive, is Shealtiel" (A. V. Salathiel). The reasons which have been advanced in favour of this latter interpretation are: the lack of the conjunction with שׁאלתּיאל; the position of בּנו after שׁאלת, not after אסּר; and the circumstance that Assir is nowhere to be met with, either in Mat 1:12 or in Seder olam zuta, as an intervening member of the family between Jeconiah and Shealtiel (Berth.). But none of these reasons is decisive. The want of the conjunction proves absolutely nothing, for in Ch1 3:18 also, the last three names are grouped together without a conjunction; and the position of בּנו after שׁאלת is just as strange, whether Shealtiel be the first named son or the second, for in Ch1 3:18 other sons of Jeconiah follow, and the peculiarity of it can only be accounted for on the supposition that the case of Shealtiel differs from that of the remaining sons. The omission of Assir in the genealogies in Matthew and the Seder olam also proves nothing, for in the genealogies intermediate members are often passed over. Against the appellative interpretation of the word, on the contrary, the want of the article is decisive; as apposition to יכניה, it should have the article. But besides this, according to the genealogy of Jesus in Luk 3:27, Shealtiel is a son of Neri, a descendant of David, of the lineage of Nathan, not of Solomon; and according to Hag 1:1, Hag 1:12; Ezr 3:2; Ezr 5:2, and Mat 1:12, Zerubbabel is son of Shealtiel; while, according to Ch1 3:18 and Ch1 3:19 of our chapter, he is a son of Pedaiah, a brother of Shealtiel. These divergent statements may be reconciled by the following combination. The discrepancy in regard to the enumeration of Shealtiel among the sons of Jeconiah, a descendant of Solomon, and the statement that he was descended from Neri, a descendant of Nathan, Solomon's brother, is removed by the supposition that Jeconiah, besides the Zedekiah mentioned in Ch1 3:16, who died childless, had another son, viz., Assir, who left only a daughter, who then, according to the law as to heiresses (Num 27:8; Num 36:8.), married a man belonging to a family of her paternal tribe, viz., Neri, of the family of David, in the line of Nathan, and that from this marriage sprang Shealtiel, Malchiram, and the other sons (properly grandsons) of Jeconiah mentioned in Ch1 3:18. If we suppose the eldest of these, Shealtiel, to come into the inheritance of his maternal grandfather, he would be legally regarded as his legitimate son. In our genealogy, therefore, along with the childless Assir, Shealtiel is introduced as a descendant of Jeconiah, while in Luke he is called, according to his actual descent, a son of Neri. The other discrepancy in respect to the descendants of Zerubbabel is to be explained, as has been already shown on Hag 1:1, by the law of Levirate marriage, and by the supposition that Shealtiel died without any male descendants, leaving his wife a widow. In such a case, according to the law (Deu 25:5-10, cf. Mat 22:24-28), it became the duty of one of the brothers of the deceased to marry his brother's widow, that he might raise up seed, i.e., posterity, to the deceased brother; and the first son born of this marriage would be legally incorporated with the family of the deceased, and registered as his son. After Shealtiel's death, his second brother Pedaiah fulfilled this Levirate duty, and begat, in his marriage with his sister-in-law, Zerubbabel, who was now regarded, in all that related to laws of heritage, as Shealtiel's son, and propagated his race as his heir. According to this right of heritage, Zerubbabel is called in the passages quoted from Haggai and Ezra, as also in the genealogy in Matthew, the son of Shealtiel. The בּנו seems to hint at this peculiar position of Shealtiel with reference to the proper descendants of Jeconiah, helping to remind us that he was son of Jeconiah not by natural birth, but only because of his right of heritage only, on his mother's side. As to the orthography of the name שׁאלתיאל, see on Hag 1:1. The six persons named in Ch1 3:18 are not sons of Shealtiel, as Kimchi, Hiller, and others, and latterly Hitzig also, on Hag 1:1, believe, but his brothers, as the cop. ו before מלפּירם requires. The supposition just mentioned is only an attempt, irreconcilable with the words of the text, to form a series, thus: Shealtiel, Pedaiah his son, Zerubbabel his son, - so as to get rid of the differences between our verse and Hag 1:1; Ezr 3:2. In Ch1 3:19 and Ch1 3:20, sons and grandsons of Pedaiah are registered. Nothing further is known of the Bne Jeconiah mentioned in Ch1 3:18. Pedaiah's son Zerubbabel is unquestionably the prince of Judah who returned to Jerusalem in the reign of Cyrus in the year 536, at the head of a great host of exiles, and superintended their settlement anew in the land of their fathers (Ezra 1-6). Of Shimei nothing further is known. In Ch1 3:19 and Ch1 3:20, the sons of Zerubbabel are mentioned, and in Ch1 3:21 two grandsons are named. Instead of the singular וּבן some MSS have וּבני, and the old versions also have the plural. This is correct according to the sense, although וּבן cannot be objected to on critical grounds, and may be explained by the writer's having had mainly in view the one son who continued the line of descendants. By the mention of their sister after the first two names, the sons of Zerubbabel are divided into two groups, probably as the descendants of different mothers. How Shelomith had gained such fame as to be received into the family register, we do not know. Those mentioned in Ch1 3:20 are brought together in one group by the number "five." חסד יוּשׁב, "grace is restored," is one name. The grandsons of Zerubbabel, Pelatiah and Jesaiah, were without doubt contemporaries of Ezra, who returned to Jerusalem from Babylon seventy-eight years after Zerubbabel.
After these grandsons of Zerubbabel, there are ranged in Ch1 3:21, without any copula whatever, four families, the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, etc.; and of the last named of these, the sons of Shecaniah, four generations of descendants are enumerated in Ch1 3:22-24, without any hint as to the genealogical connection of Shecaniah with the grandsons of Zerubbabel. The assertion of more modern critics, Ewald, Bertheau, and others, that Shecaniah was a brother or a son of Pelatiah or Jesaiah, and that Zerubbabel's family is traced down through six generations, owes its origin to the wish to gain support for the opinion that the Chronicle was composed long after Ezra, and is without any foundation. The argument of Bertheau, that "since the sons of Rephaiah, etc., run parallel with the preceding names Pelatiah and Jesaiah, and since the continuation of the list in Ch1 3:22 is connected with the last mentioned Shecaniah, we cannot but believe that Pelatiah, Jesaiah, Rephaiah, Arnan, Obadiah, and Shecaniah are, without exception, sons of Hananiah," would be well founded if, and only if, the names Rephaiah, Arnan, etc., stood in our verse, instead of the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, etc., for Pelatiah and Jesaiah are not parallel with the sons of Arnan. Pelatiah and Jesaiah may perhaps be sons of Hananiah, but not the sons of Rephaiah, Arnan, etc. These would be grandsons of Hananiah, on the assumption that Rephaiah, Arnan, etc., were brothers of Pelatiah and Jesaiah, and sons of Hananiah. But for this assumption there is no tenable ground; it would be justified only if our present Masoretic text could lay claim to infallibility. Only on the ground of a belief in this infallibility of the traditional text could we explain to ourselves, as Bertheau does, the ranging of the sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, etc., along with Pelatiah and Jesaiah, called sons of Hananiah, by supposing that Rephaiah, Arnan, Obadiah, and Shecaniah are not named as individuals, but are mentioned together with their families, because they were the progenitors of famous races, while Pelatiah and Jesaiah either had no descendants at all, or none at least who were at all renowned. The text, as we have it, in which the sons of Rephaiah, etc., follow the names of the grandsons of Zerubbabel without a conjunction, and in which the words שׁכניה וּבני, and a statement of the names of one of these בּנים and his further descendants, follow the immediately preceding שׁכניה בּני, has no meaning, and is clearly corrupt, as has been recognised by Heidegger, Vitringa, Carpzov, and others. Owing, however, to want of information from other sources regarding these families and their connection with the descendants of Zerubbabel, we have no means whatever of restoring the original text. The sons of Rephaiah, the sons of Arnan, etc., were, it may be supposed, branches of the family of David, whose descent or connection with Zerubbabel is for us unascertainable. The list from רפיה בּני, Ch1 3:21, to the end of the chapter, is a genealogical fragment, which has perhaps come into the text of the Chronicle at a later time.
(Note: Yet at a very early time, for the lxx had before them our present text, and sought to make sense of it by expressing the four times recurring בּני, Ch1 3:21, by the singular בּנו in every case, as follows: καὶ Ἰεσίας υἱὸς αὐτοῦ, Ῥαφὰλ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ, Ὀρνὰ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ, etc.; according to which, between Hananiah and Shecaniah seven consecutive generations would be enumerated, and Zerubbabel's family traced down through eleven generations. So also Vulg. and Syr.)
Many of the names which this fragment contains are met with singly in genealogies of other tribes, but nowhere in a connection from which we might drawn conclusions as to the origin of the families here enumerated, and the age in which they lived. Bertheau, indeed, thinks "we may in any case hold Hattush, Ch1 3:22, for the descendant of David of the same name mentioned in Ezr 8:2, who lived at the time of Ezra;" but he has apparently forgotten that, according to his interpretation of our verse, Hattush would be a great-grandson of Zerubbabel, who, even if he were then born, could not possibly have been a man and the head of a family at the time of his supposed return from Babylon with Ezra, seventy-eight years after the return of his great-grandfather to Palestine. Other men too, even priests, have borne the name Hattush; cf. Neh 3:10; Neh 10:5; Neh 12:2. There returned, moreover, from Babylon with Ezra sons of Shecaniah (Ezr 8:3), who may as justly be identified with the sons of Shecaniah mentioned in Ch1 3:22 of our chapter as forefathers or ancestors of Hattush, as the Hattush here is identified with the Hattush of Ezr 8:2. But from the fact that, in the genealogy of Jesus, Matt 1, not a single one of the names of descendants of Zerubbabel there enumerated coincides with the names given in our verses, we may conclude that the descendants of Shecaniah enumerated in Ch1 3:22-24 did not descend from Zerubbabel in a direct line. Intermediate members are, it is true, often omitted in genealogical lists; but who would maintain that in Matthew seven, or, according to the other interpretation of our verse, nine, consecutive members have been at one bound overleapt? This weighty consideration, which has been brought forward by Clericus, is passed over in silence by the defenders of the opinion that our verses contain a continuation of the genealogy of Zerubbabel. The only other remark to be made about this fragment is, that in Ch1 3:22 the number of the sons of Shecaniah is given as six, while only five names are mentioned, and that consequently a name must have fallen out by mistake in transcribing. Nothing further can be said of these families, as they are otherwise quite unknown.