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F I R S T   C H R O N I C L E S

CHAP. III.

Of all the families of Israel none was so illustrious as the family of David. That is the family which was mentioned in the foregoing chapter, ver. 15. Here we have a full account of it. I. David's sons, ver. 1-9. II. His successors in the throne as long as the kingdom continued, ver. 10-16. III. The remains of his family in and after the captivity, ver. 17-24. From this family, "as concerning the flesh, Christ came."

The Family of David. (b. c. 1055.)

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 Bath-shua 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.   9 These were all the sons of David, beside the sons of the concubines, and Tamar their sister.

We had an account of David's sons, 2 Sam. iii. 2, &c., and v. 14, &c. 1. He had many sons; and no doubt wrote as he thought, Ps. cxxvii. 5. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of these arrows. 2. Some of them were a grief to him, as Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah; and we do not read of any of them that imitated his piety or devotion except Solomon, and he came far short of it. 3. One of them, which Bath-sheba bore to him, he called Nathan, probably in honour of Nathan the prophet, who reproved him for his sin in that matter and was instrumental to bring him to repentance. It seems he loved him the better for it as long as he lived. It is wisdom to esteem those our best friends that deal faithfully with us. From this son of David our Lord Jesus descended, as appears Luke iii. 31. 4. Here are two Elishamas, and two Eliphelets, v. 6, 8. Probably the two former were dead, and therefore David called two more by their names, which he would not have done if there had been any ill omen in this practice as some fancy. 5. David had many concubines; but their children are not named, as not worthy of the honour (v. 9), the rather because the concubines had dealt treacherously with David in the affair of Absalom. 6. Of all David's sons Solomon was chosen to succeed him, perhaps not for any personal merits (his wisdom was God's gift), but so, Father, because it seemed good unto thee.

10 And Solomon's son was Rehoboam, Abia his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son,   11 Joram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,   12 Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,   13 Ahaz 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.   16 And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.   17 And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son,   18 Malchiram also, and Pedaiah, and Shenazar, Jecamiah, Hoshama, and Nedabiah.   19 And the sons of Pedaiah were, Zerubbabel, and Shimei: and the sons of Zerubbabel; Meshullam, and Hananiah, and Shelomith their sister:   20 And Hashubah, and Ohel, and Berechiah, and Hasadiah, Jushab-hesed, five.   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.   22 And the sons of Shechaniah; Shemaiah: and the sons of Shemaiah; Hattush, and Igeal, and Bariah, and Neariah, and Shaphat, six.   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.

David having nineteen sons, we may suppose them to have raised many noble families in Israel whom we never hear of in the history. But the scripture gives us an account only of the descendants of Solomon here, and of Nathan, Luke iii. The rest had the honour to be the sons of David; but these only had the honour to be related to the Messiah. The sons of Nathan were his fathers as man, the sons of Solomon his predecessors as king. We have here, 1. The great and celebrated names by which the line of David is drawn down to the captivity, the kings of Judah in a lineal succession, the history of whom we have had at large in the two books of Kings and shall meet with again in the second book of Chronicles. Seldom has a crown gone in a direct line from father to son for seventeen descents together, as here. This was the recompence of David's piety. About the time of the captivity the lineal descent was interrupted, and the crown went from one brother to another and from a nephew to an uncle, which was a presage of the eclipsing of the glory of that house. 2. The less famous, and most of them very obscure, names, in which the house of David subsisted after the captivity. The only famous man of that house that we meet with at their return from captivity was Zerubbabel, elsewhere called the son of Salathiel, but appearing here to be his grandson (v. 17-19), which is usual in scripture. Belshazzar is called Nebuchadnezzar's son, but was his grandson. Salathiel is said to be the son of Jeconiah because adopted by him, and because, as some think, he succeeded him in the dignity to which he was restored by Evil-merodach. Otherwise Jeconiah was written childless: he was the signet God plucked from his right hand (Jer. xxii. 24), and in his room Zerubbabel was placed, and therefore God saith to him (Hag. ii. 23), I will make thee as a signet. The posterity of Zerubbabel here bear not the same names that they do in the genealogies (Matt. i., or Luke iii.), but those no doubt were taken from the then herald's office, the public registers which the priests kept of all the families of Judah, especially that of David. The last person named in this chapter is Anani, of whom bishop Patrick says that the Targum adds these words, He is the king Messiah, who is to be revealed, and some of the Jewish writers give this reason, because it is said (Dan. vii. 13), the son of man came gnim gnanani—with the clouds of heaven. The reason indeed is very foreign and far-fetched; but that learned man thinks it may be made use of as an evidence that their minds were always full of the thoughts of the Messiah and that they expected it would not be very long after the days of Zerubbabel before the set time of his approach would come.

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