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Generations of King David

New - 28 January 2010

The Mother of All Family Trees

Generations 61 - 67

Generations of David


Generation No. 61

King David of Judah and Israel [61] Jesse (=Habliar) [60] Obed (=Abalit) [59] Boaz (=Ruth) [58] Missing Generations [55-57] Salma (=Rachab) [54] Nashon (=Simar) [53] AMINADAB (=Thehara) [1-52]

Okay... since it’s David:

King David of Judah and Israel [61] Jesse (=Habliar) [60] Obed (=Abalit) [59] Boaz (=Ruth) [58] Missing Generations [55-57] Salma (=Rachab) [54] Nashon (=Simar) [53] Aminadab (=Thehara) [52] Ram (=Kiya-tasherit) [51] Missing Generations [31 - 50] Hezron (=Kanita) [30] Pharez (=Barayah) [29] Judah (=Tamar) [28] Jacob (=Leah) [27] Isaac (=Rebecca) [26] Abraham (=Sarah, the Tehama) [25] Terah (=Tohwait) [24] Nahor (=Iyoska) [23] Serug (=Melka) [22] Reu (=Ora of Ur-Nammu) [21] Peleg (=Lamna) [20] Eber (=Azura) [19] Shelah [18] Arphaxad [17] Shem (=Seduka-tel-bab) [16] Noah (=Na’amath) [15] Lamech (=Bilanos) [14] Methuselah (=Edna (Ezrael)) [13] Enoch (=Edna) [12] Jared (=Baraka) [11] Mahlalail (=Sina) [10] Cainan (=Mualet) [9] Enosh (=Neom) [8] Seth (=Kalimath of Enki/Lilith) [7] Eve and Adam, [6] Enki and Nin-khursag [5] Anu and Antu [4] Anshar and Kishar [3] Lahmu and Lahamu [2] Tiamat and Absu [1]


King David of Judah and Israel [61] Jesse (=Habliar) [60] Obed (=Abalit) [59] Boaz (=Ruth) [58] Missing Generations [55-57] Salma (=Rachab) [54] Nashon (=Simar) [53] Aminadab (=Thehara) [52] Kiya-tasherit (=Ram) [51] Akhenaten (Moses) (=Mery-kiya, Miriam) [50] Amenhotep III (=Tiye) [49] Tuthmosis IV (=Mutemwiya) [48] Amenhotep II (=Tiaa) [47] Tuthmosis III (=Meryetre-Hatshepsut) [46] Tuthmosis II (=Iset) [45] Tuthmosis I (=Mutnofret) [44] Amenhotep I (=Ahmose-Meritamon) [43] Ahmose I (=Ahmose-Nefertari) [42] Missing Generations [33 - 41] Amenemhet IV (=Sobeknefru, d. of Igrath) [32] Amenemhet III (=Aat) [31] Senusret III (=Mereret) [30] Senusret II (=Nofret) [29] Amenemhet II (=Keminebu) [28] Senusret I (=Nefru) [27] Tohwait (=Amenemhet I) [26] Nefert (=Senusret of Elephantine) [25] Missing Generations [15-24] Ham (=Neelata-mek) [14] Tubal Cain (=Nin-banda) [13] Lamech (=Zillah) [12] Methusael (=Edna?) [11] Mehujael (=?) [10] Irad (=Baraka?) [9] Enoch (=Edna?) [8] Cain (=Luluwa) [7] Enki and Eve [6] Enki and Nin-khursag [5] Anu and Antu (OR Ki) [4] Anshar and Kishar [3] Lahmu and Lahamu [2] Tiamat and Absu [1]

And we will define: KING DAVID [1-61] as representing either of these two trees... just as in the same fashion of Aminadab... for later reference... like when we’re pressed for space and time.

As for the common link in these two family tree branches, King David of Judah (from 1007 BC) and Israel (from 1000 BC) was the second king of the united [sic] Kingdom of Israel. According to Wikipedia (based on Ruth 4:18-22), David is considered to be a tenth generation descendant from Judah, the fourth son of the patriarch Jacob (Israel). [Meanwhile, our numbering goes from Judah, No. 28 to David, (no. 61 -- or closer to 32 generations over roughly 900 years.] But even Wikipedia is hedging its bets, in that they note that:

"the more traditional genealogy is only available from post-exilic [from Babylon] biblical sources included in the later books of Chronicles and Ruth. Without these sources, all that would be know of David's ancestry was that he was the son of Jesse. Meanwhile, the "tenth generation" formula is part of a larger pattern of tens within the Pentateuch/Deuteronomistic history: there are twenty generations of patriarchs (two sets of ten) from Adam to Abraham before David, and twenty kings of Judah after him, with the three Patriarchs Abraham-Isaac-Jacob between. The schematic character of the genealogy, and the fact that it runs from the Creation (Adam) to the destruction of Jerusalem, suggests that it was an exilic or post-exilic invention."

[In fact, many scholars, including those of the Hebrew University, believe that many aspects of such things as the “Descendants of Seth” -- the line from Adam to David -- is very likely mythical and in effect has no solid historical basis.]

Furthermore, the New Testament traces the genealogy of Jesus back to David and Adam, with three blocks of fourteen "generations" each being similarly enhanced by numbers purely for the sake of numbers. It is important to note that in the ancient world each letter of the alphabet had a numerical value, the value for the name "David" being fourteen: the fourteen "generations" thus underscored Christ's Davidic descent and his identity as the expected Messiah.

David was born in Bethlehem, in the territory of the Tribe of Judah. His mother is not named in the Bible, but the Talmud identifies her as Nitzevet daughter of Adael. David had eight brothers and was the youngest of them all. [There might possibly be a bit of the younger son syndrome here, where after sucking hind tit (or no tit) for years, the man becomes far more aggressive and ambitious than one might have otherwise assumed. And there is, of course, no better way than to become King, have 8 wives, any number of concubines, and roughly 20 sons, i.e.:]


1) Michal, the second daughter of King Saul
2) Ahinoam the Jezreelite
3) Abigail the Carmelite, previously wife of the evil Nabal
4) Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur
5) Haggith
6) Abital
7) Eglah
8) Bathsheba, previously the wife of Uriah the Hittite.

Children (sons):

Amnon, by Ahinoam
Daniel, by Abigail
Absalom, by Maachah
Adonijah, by Haggith
Shephatiah, by Abital
Ithream, by Eglah

by Bathsheba


by other mothers


Jerimoth, who is not mentioned in any of the genealogies, is mentioned as another of David's sons. David adopted Johnathan's son Mephibosheth as his own. David also had at least one daughter, Tamar (by Maachah), who was raped by Amnon, her half-brother. In fact, Absalom, Amnon's half-brother and Tamar's full-brother, waited two years, then avenged his sister by sending his servants to kill Amnon at a feast to which he had invited all the king's sons.

The following are some of the more notable persons (/celebrities) who have claimed descent from the Biblical David, or had it claimed on their behalf:

Jesus of Nazareth
Judah Loew, Yehuda Loew ben Bezalel (c. 1525-1609), aka "The Maharal of Prague".
The Abravanel family
The Baal Shem Tov, and through him every Hassidic Rebbe descended from him
Dov Ber of Mezeritch
Eliezer Silver
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, whose family is descended from Judah Loew.
Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia
David Hudson of ORME fame
Michael of Texas

One of the most intriguing views of David is Stefan Heym’s The King David Report. Set in King Solomon’s time, Heym’s work is strictly speaking a novel, but is based heavily upon the Biblical scriptures. The story, more over, can be considered a “minority report” in that it shows King David as the “no-holds-barred” dictator and sovereign, and someone not above using every artifice to promote his cause. As such Heym’s book is required reading. Of course, it should be noted that virtually all of the sovereign rulers of what constitutes a very long line of royalty were also in large part functioning without any moral or ethical limits. The world has never been an equal opportunity... anything. Accordingly, any judgments should probably be tempered.

Wikipedia provides a somewhat less novelist description of King David:

In the Bible David is depicted as a righteous king, although not without fault, as well as an acclaimed warrior, musician and poet (he is traditionally credited with the authorship of many of the Psalms). The narrative depicts him throughout his life as conflicted between his ruthless ambition [younger son syndrome] and lusts, and his desire to serve God. The biblical chronology sets his life c.1037 - 970 BC, his reign over Judah c.1007 - 1000 BC, and his reign over the united Kingdom of Israel c.1000 - 970 BC.

The Book of Samuel is the primary source of information on his life and reign; there is little archaeological evidence to confirm the Bible's picture of David (although the Tel Dan stele suggests that a king named David founded a Judaean royal dynasty by the 9th-century BC), but his story has been of immense importance to subsequent Jewish and Christian culture. At the same time, much of the below story must be taken with a grain of salt, as it is often more of a promotional, political brochure than anything resembling an accurate portrayal of David.

With that minor disclaimer... David’s story begins with Yahweh withdrawing his favor from Saul, king of Israel, and sending the prophet Samuel to seek a new king for his people from the sons of Jesse of Bethlehem. Seven of Jesse's sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel says "The LORD has not chosen these." He then asks "Are these all the sons you have?" and Jesse answers, "There is still the youngest but he is tending the sheep." David is brought to Samuel, and "the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." [Oh, please! Talk about creative fiction.]

Because of Saul's earlier disobedience, God allows an injurious spirit to torment Israel's first King. His attendants suggest he send for David, the son of Jesse, "a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And Yahweh is with him." So Saul sends for David, and makes him one of his armor-bearers. David remains in the service of Saul, and "whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take his harp and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him." [Note the equating of the "spirit from God" and "the evil spirit". Note also the King James version of Isaiah 45:7.(*)]

(*) "I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the LORD do all these things."

FAST FORWARD TO: The Israelites are facing the Philistines in the Valley of Elah. David is bringing food to his older brothers who are with King Saul, and hears Goliath challenging the Israelites to send their own champion to decide the outcome in single combat. David insists that he can defeat Goliath (who, according to Maimonides, was 6 cubits, or around 12 feet, tall), and Saul sends for him and reluctantly allows him to make the attempt. David is victorious, felling Goliath with a stone from his sling, at which the Philistines flee in terror and the Israelites win a great victory. David cuts off the giant's head and brings it to Saul, who asks who the young hero is; David replies, "I am the son of your servant Jesse of Bethlehem." (1 Samuel 17:58) [Apparently all the exorcism ballads sung by David to relieve Saul from the Lord's evil spirits... have been forgotten. It's a typically royal thing to do.]

Saul makes David a commander over his armies and offers him his daughter Michal in marriage. (1 Samuel 18:17-19) [Talk about upwardly mobile!] David is successful in many battles, and the women say, "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." His popularity awakens Saul's fears - "What more can he have but the kingdom?" - and by various stratagems the jealous king seeks David's death. But the plots all prove futile, and only endear David the more to the people, and especially to Saul's son Jonathan, one of those who love David. Warned by Jonathan of Saul's intention to kill him, David flees into the wilderness.

[The apparent popularity of a king’s ability to slay more than another king should tell you something about the times they lived in. It should also be clear that Saul could clearly see David’s agenda and took the obvious steps. The fact that they were not sufficiently successful does not imply that David was God’s chosen, as repeatedly claimed. It suggests instead the rules of chance are operating in all such competitive games.]

(Meanwhile, the relationship between David and Jonathan, Saul's rightful heir, is a central element in the story of David's rise. Jonathan recognizes David as the rightful king, and 1 Samuel 18 - "Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul" - implies a close personal relationship between the two. There is debate amongst scholars on whether this relationship might have been more than merely platonic and even romantic or sexual. Nevertheless, the Biblical narrative depicts their relationship favorably.) [Big Surprise!]

In the wilderness David gathers a band of followers and becomes the champion of the oppressed while evading the pursuit of Saul. He accepts Ziklag as a chief from the Philistine King Achish of Gath, but continues secretly to champion the Israelites. Achish marches against Saul, but David is excused from the war on the accusation of the Philistine nobles that his loyalty to their cause cannot be trusted. [...thus suggesting by implication that the Philistine nobles were neither brain dead, nor believed that heroes of the oppressed were without royal ambitions.]

Saul and Jonathan are killed in battle with the Philistines. [How convenient.] David mourns their death, then goes up to Hebron, where he is anointed king over Judah; in the north, Saul's son Ish-Bosheth is king over the tribes of Israel. War ensues between Ish-Bosheth and David... until Ish-Bosheth is assassinated. The assassins bring forward the head of Ish-Bosheth to David hoping for reward, but David executes them for their crime against the Lord's anointed [and which saves money on bounty cost]. With the death of the son of Saul, the elders of Israel come to Hebron, and David, 30 years old, is anointed King over Israel and Judah. [Philistine Nobles 1: Visitors 0]

David conquers the Jebusite fortress of Jerusalem and makes it his capital, "and Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house." David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, intending to build a temple. God, i.e., the prophet Nathan [David's son] forbids it, saying the temple must wait for a future generation [because David was with sin?]. But God makes a covenant [a plea bargain?] with David, promising He will establish the house of David eternally: "Your throne shall be established forever."

[Okay... in the last three thousand years, how many years has David's throne been extant?]

David goes on to conquer Zobah and Aram (modern Syria), Edom and Moab (roughly modern Jordan), Philistine lands [Philistine Nobles 2; Visitors 0], as well as other territories, in many cases exterminating large portions of their citizenry. [David’s PR department then spins this fact into making David one of the truly great kings of history... apparently on the basis of how many innocents were killed.]

David commits adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, while her husband is away at war [David having sent said Uriah to war in the first place]. Bathsheba becomes pregnant and David sends for Uriah, who is with the Israelite army at the siege of Rabbah, so that he may lie with his wife and conceal the identity of the child's father. Uriah refuses to do so [have sex with his wife] while his companions are in the field of battle. David sends him back to Joab, the commander, with a message instructing him to abandon Uriah on the battlefield, "that he may be struck down, and die." David then marries Bathsheba and she bears his child, "but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord." The prophet Nathan confronts David, saying: "Why have you despised the word of God, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife."

David repents, but God "struck the child ... and it became sick ... [And] on the seventh day the child died." [I.e., "God" killed the child for David's sins. This "God" seems to think that children are just so much cannon fodder to be used to influence his chosen... as in circumcision, Abraham, et el. As they say: "God works in mysterious ways... not to mention dysfunctional and psychotic.]

David then leaves his lamentations, dresses himself, and eats. His servants ask why he lamented when the baby was alive, but leaves off when it is dead, and David replies: "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, who knows whether Yahweh will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." [Actually, quite logical.]

In 2 Samuel 15 David’s son Absalom rebels. David flees the city taking all but 10 of his wives and concubines. Absalom captures the city, and to show his domination Absalom lays with the 10 remaining concubines in front of all Israel, proving Nathan's words to be true. [Then after Absalom had a chance to rest, he...] and David come to battle in the Wood of Ephraim. Absalom is caught by his hair in the branches of an oak and David’s general Joab kills him as he hangs there. When the news of the victory is brought to David he does not rejoice, but is instead shaken with grief: “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” David then returns to Israel and puts the concubines away to live the remainder of their lives as widows. [A pre-nunnery “get thee to a nunnery” bit.]

Divine Rule

David's reign represents the formation of a coherent Jewish kingdom centered in Jerusalem and the institution of an eternal royal dynasty; the failure of this "eternal" Davidic dynasty after some four centuries led to the later elaboration of the concept of the Messiah, at first a human descendant of David who would occupy the throne of a restored kingdom, later an apocalyptic figure who would usher in the end of time. Meanwhile, in modern Judaism David's descent from a convert (Ruth) is taken as proof of the importance of converts within Judaism. David is also viewed as a tragic figure; his acquisition of Bathsheba, and the loss of his son are viewed as his central tragedies... [despite the other 20 sons, and the fact Bathsheba produced Solomon].

Originally an earthly king ruling by divine appointment ("the anointed one", as the title Messiah has it), the "son of David" became in the last two pre-Christian centuries the apocalyptic and heavenly king who would deliver Israel and usher in a new kingdom. This was the background to the concept of Messiahship in early Christianity, which interpreted the career of Jesus "by means of the titles and functions assigned to David in the mysticism of the Zion cult, in which he served as priest-king and in which he was the mediator between God and man."

In the Middle Ages, "Charlemagne thought of himself, and was viewed by his court scholars, as a 'new David'. This was not in itself a new idea, but [one whose] content and significance were greatly enlarged by him." The linking of David to earthly kingship was reflected in later Medieval cathedral windows all over Europe through the device of the Tree of Jesse its branches demonstrating how divine kingship descended from Jesse, through his son David, to Jesus.

David (Arabic Dawood) is one of the prophets of Islam, to whom the Zabur (Psalms) were revealed by God. The Islamic tradition includes many elements from the Jewish history of David, such as his battle with the giant Goliath, but rejects the Biblical portrayal of David as an adulterer and murderer - the rejection is based on the concept of ismah, or the infallibility of the prophets (according to Shia Islam). According to some Islamic traditions David was not from Judah but from Levi and Aron.

The biblical evidence for David comes from three sources: the Psalms, the book of Samuel (two books in the Christian tradition), and the book of Chronicles (also two books in the Christian tradition). Although almost half of the Psalms are headed "A Psalm of David", the headings are later additions, and the Hebrew preposition translated in English as "of" can also be translated as "for". "No psalm can be attributed to David with certainty, and aside from the headings, they contain no information about David's life that is useful for historical reconstruction." Chronicles retells Samuel from a different theological vantage point, but contains little if any information not available in Samuel. The biblical evidence for David is therefore dependent almost exclusively on the material contained in the chapters from 1 Samuel 16 to 1 Kings 2.

Famous sculptures of David include (in chronological order) those by:

Donatello (c. 1430 - 1440), David
Andrea del Verrocchio (1476), David
Michelangelo (1504), David
Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1624), David
Antonin Mercié (1873)

In 1997, lyricist Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita) collaborated with Alan Menken to create a musical based on the Biblical tale of King David. Based on Biblical tales from the Books of Samuel and 1 Chronicles, as well as text from David's Psalms, a concert version, produced by Disney Theatrical Productions and André Djaoui and directed by Mike Ockrent, was presented as the inaugural production at Disney's newly renovated New Amsterdam Theatre (the former home of the Ziegfeld Follies), playing for a nine-performance limited run in 1997. Though a Broadway run was scheduled, it was soon canceled and there have been no future arrangements to move the musical to the Broadway stage. The piece has subsequently been performed only two other times -- a three day run in Texas in 2004 at the Cathedral at the Arts District Virgin of Guadeloupe Shrine in Dallas/Irving Arts Center's Dupree Theater, and a 2008 two-night engagement at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. There are many large demands to the production which impede the work from being performed frequently - primarily the strenuous vocal demands placed on the singers, as well as the thirty-piece chorus and an orchestra that numbers in the excess of sixty musicians. [David would have loved it!]

Figure 1. Descendants of King David, Bathsheba, and Maacah


Admittedly, the family tree from David (c. 1000 BCE) to Zorobabbel (c. 536 BCE) becomes relatively boring... with the various kings of Judah having comparatively unknown wives, and more notably, the secondary line from Bathsheba through Nathan being about as exciting as voting a straight ticket. At least the Maacah line mentions the wives of the Kings of Judah as being, just perhaps, important in their own right. But then, of course, there is always the Israel contingent and, a bit later, the story of Jezebel.


Generation No. 62

Solomon (Jedidiah) [62] KING DAVID (=Bathsheba) [1-61]

Solomon (from Semitic root S-L-M, "peace") is, according to Wikipedia, a figure described in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and later in the Qur'an, where he is described as a Prophet. The biblical accounts identify Solomon as the son of David. He is also called Jedidiah in the Tanakh (Old Testament), and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah split; following the split his patrilineal descendants ruled over Judah alone.

As for marriages and children... Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines... which we will forego including. ...other, perhaps, to mention Na'amath (Nin-mah), as one wife with a degree of distinction.

Solomon became king after the death of his father David. According to 1 Kings, when David was "old and advanced in years" "he could not get warm." "So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king." While David was in this state, Adonijah, David's fourth son, acted to have himself declared king, he being heir-apparent to the throne after the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom. [Also... to have sex with the King's wife or concubine was in this society tantamount to claiming the throne; evidently, this applied even to a woman who had shared the bed of an old, apparently impotent king.]

But Bathsheba, a wife of David and Solomon's mother, along with the prophet Nathan [a brother of Nathan] induced David to proclaim Solomon king. Adonijah fled and took refuge at the altar, and received pardon for his conduct from Solomon on the condition that he show himself "a worthy man". Thereafter, Adonijah asked to marry Abishag the Shunammite, but Solomon denied authorization for such an engagement, although Bathsheba now pleaded on Adonijah's behalf. He was then seized and put to death. [So much for royal pardons. One also tends to speculate upon the particular charms of Abishag the Shunammite...]

David's general Joab was killed, in accord with David's deathbed request to Solomon because he had killed generals Abner and Amasa during a peace. David's priest Abiathar was exiled by Solomon because he had sided with rival Adonijah. Abiathar was a descendent of Eli, which had important prophetic significance. Shimei was confined to Jerusalem and killed three years later when he went to Gath to retrieve some runaway servants in part because he had cursed David when Absalom, David's son, rebelled against David. [It’s always curious how rulers justify their killing of individuals on the basis of said individuals somehow injuring their daddy.]

One of the qualities most ascribed to Solomon is his wisdom. Solomon prays: "Give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people and to know good and evil.” "So God said to him, "Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies [ignore the preceding paragraph] but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked..." The Bible also states that: "The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart."

One account, known as the Judgment of Solomon, has two mothers who came before Solomon to resolve a quarrel about who was the true mother of a baby. (The other's baby died in the night and each claimed the surviving child as hers.) When Solomon suggests dividing the living child in two with a sword, the true mother is revealed to him because she is willing to give up her child to the lying woman rather than have the child killed. Solomon then declares the woman who shows the compassion is the true mother, and gives the baby back to her.

In a brief, unelaborated, and enigmatic passage, the Bible describes how the fame of Solomon's wisdom and wealth spread far and wide, so much so that the Queen of Sheba decided that she should meet him. The queen is described as visiting with a number of gifts including gold and rare jewels to decorate the temple, and also bringing with her a number of riddles. When Solomon gave her "all her desire, whatsoever she asked," she left satisfied. [That phrase just cries out for comment.]

Whether the passage is simply to provide a brief token foreign witness of Solomon's wealth and wisdom, or whether there is meant to be something more significant to the queen's visit and her riddles is unknown; nevertheless the visit of the Queen of Sheba has become the subject of numerous stories. For example:

1. Sheba is typically identified as Saba, a nation once spanning the Red Sea on the coasts of what are now Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen, in Arabia Felix. In a Rabbinical account, Solomon was accustomed to ordering the living creatures of the world to dance before him (Rabbinical accounts say that Solomon had been given control over all living things by God), but one day upon discovering that the mountain-cock or hoopoe was absent, he summoned it to him, and the bird told him that it had been searching for somewhere new. The bird had discovered a land in the east, exceedingly rich in gold, silver, and plants, whose capital was called Kitor and whose ruler was the Queen of Sheba, and the bird, on its own advice, was sent by Solomon to request the queen's immediate attendance at Solomon's court.

2. In an Ethiopian account (Kebra Nagast) it is maintained that the Queen of Sheba had sexual relations with King Solomon (of which the Biblical account gives no hint). The upstart was a son who went on to become Menelik I, King of Axum. Menelik I founded a dynasty that would control the eventual stalwart Christian Empire of Ethiopia for 2900+ years (less one usurpation episode and interval of ~133 years until a "legitimate" male heir regained the crown), and thereafter until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. Menelik was said to be a practicing Jew, had been gifted with a replica Ark of the Covenant by King Solomon, but moreover, the original Ark of the Covenant was switched and went to Axum with him and his mother, and is still there, guarded by a single priest charged with caring for the artifact as his life's task.

The Claim of such a lineage and the possession of the Ark of the Covenant has been an important source of legitimacy and prestige for the Ethiopian monarchy throughout the many centuries of its existence, and had important and lasting effects on Ethiopian culture as a whole. The Ethiopian government and church routinely deny all requests to view the Ark. Some classical-era Rabbis, attacking Solomon's moral character, have claimed instead that the child was an ancestor of Nebuchadnezzar II, who destroyed Solomon's temple some 300 years later.

3. In a third account, Immanuel Velikovsky identifies Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty as the Queen of Sheba. This theory is given credibility from several aspects, including Queen Hatshepsut’s well documented voyage to the Land of Punt. Clearly a visit from Egypt to Judah in Solomon’s time would have been a natural reaction... including the distinct possibility of a child born of a momentary dalliance. However... the difficulty with this scenario is that, according to traditional dating and dynastic assignments (by Manetho), Queen Hatshepsut and the 18th Dynasty happened roughly 580 years too soon. Velikovsky solves this problem by noting that roughly 580 years of the last dynasties of ancient Egypt were duplications of the previous stretch of as many years. This would have the effect of making the date of the First Dynasty of Egypt to be circa 2400 BCE, instead of c. 3000 BC as currently assumed by Egyptologists.

From the viewpoint of this genealogy, the theory of Velikovsky’s might provide some interesting consequences. For example, the connection between Amenemhet I (Egypt) and Terah (Abraham’s father) (c. 2000 BCE, and in the form of sequential marriages of both to Tohwait / Nfry-ta-Tjenen) would require modification. If the time of Amenemhet was changed from 1960-1970 BC (less 580 years) to 1400-1390 BC... then we could look at the Egyptian/Jewish connection of Ram and Kiya-tasherit. The timing of this connection can be approximated as 1000 BC, plus 10 generations times 40 years per generation... or 1400 BCE. Obviously close enough to warrant consideration.

Note also that c. 1400 BCE, the Bible’s Missing Generations (400 years) were coming to an end (i.e., the time of the Exodus), and yet the beginning of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom (and 12th Dynasty). In effect the Exodus would then coincide with the end of the Old Kingdom, and simultaneously, the compatibility of the Bible’s description of the events leading up to the Exodus and the Egyptian sage, Ipuwer (end of the 11th Dynasty) would be enhanced. [With regard to Ipuwer, see Comparative Religions... the third example.]

Then there’s the issue of women and goddesses in Solomon’s life.

1 Kings 11 describes Solomon's [alleged] descent into idolatry... particularly his turning to Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians. "In Deuteronomy 17, the Lord commands kings not to multiply horses, wives or gold. Solomon sins in all three of these areas, collecting 666 talents of gold each year, a huge amount of money for a small nation like Israel. Solomon gathers a large number of horses and chariots and even brings in horses from Egypt. Just as Deuteronomy 17 warns, collecting horses and chariots takes Israel back to Egypt. Finally, Solomon, like the sons of God in Genesis 6, marries foreign women, and these women turn Solomon to other gods... Because of his sin, the Lord punishes Solomon by tearing the kingdom in two."

[Curiously, the 666 talents of gold is the same number, and uses the same phraseology, as that of the Number of the Beast in The Book of Resolutions... no wait! The Book of Reservations? No. Ah yes... Revelations! In any case, in both 1 Kings 10:14 and Revelations 13:18, it reads: “...six hundred threescore and six...” [Now you know where Abraham Lincoln got his bit for his Gettysburg Address.] The fact that one refers to talents of gold and the other to the number of the Beast should not detract from the potential importance of the number, 666, which also happens to be the total of a six by six Magic Square, which uses the first 36 numbers to achieve its goals.]

The Book of Kings goes on to state:

And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the LORD commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, "Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen." [Again, it's the son "God" punishes for his father's sins... and most emphatically not the father himself. In fact, it’s really quite curious that when someone is violating all of the rules, the beings who make the rules lets the perpetrator off scott free, and instead let the miscreant’s children pay the price. It’s almost a well-established tradition of royal folk, from Solomon to the trustees of the National Debt: Let the kids sort it all out.]

[Inasmuch as the Book of Kings was not actually written down until... probably more than 400 years later, one suspects just a slight bit of rationalization for what happened to Solomon’s son... or some dysfunctional, fanatical priests/rabbis of an alleged deity attempting to claim responsibility for splitting a kingdom... and also attempting to use the claim as a threat against other possible recanters.]

Meanwhile, it should now be obvious that Jehovah (aka EN.LIL.?) doesn’t exactly cotton to women... Solomon, on the other hand.... had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines [Which mathematically indicates less than a fifty-fifty chance that any one of the women will get laid once over a period of three years]. The wives are described as foreign [excruciatingly bored] princesses, including a Pharaoh's daughter and various women from Moab, Ammon, Sidon and the Hittites. These wives are depicted as leading Solomon astray. According to 1 Kings 11:4 "his wives turned his heart after other gods.” [Shame on them! But then again what else were they going to do in their spare time? It’s not like they’re getting any sex!] The wives, in fact, promoted their own national deities, to whom Solomon built temples, thus allegedly incurring divine anger and retribution in the form of the division of the kingdom after Solomon's death.

Near the end of his life Solomon was forced to contend with several other enemies [other than the god of Israel] including Hadad of Edom, Rezon of Zobah, and one of his officials named Jeroboam (who was from the tribe of Ephraim). Solomon's son Rehoboam succeeded Solomon as king, but the kingdom split under his reign into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Rehoboam reigned over the southern kingdom.

Solomon’s Temple

Solomon is described as surrounding himself with all the luxuries and the external grandeur of an Eastern monarch, and his government prospered [apparently an early example of “trickle-up economics”]. He entered into an alliance with Hiram I, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings. [They were apparently fraternity brothers... Sigma Epsilon Xi... but like George Bush and John Kerry.] For some years before his death, David was engaged in the active work of collecting materials for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent abode for the Ark of the Covenant. [And yet, after denying David the right to finish his temple, the god of Israel then let Solomon off with a warning for all of his sins... for the sake of David. Maybe dying gets one out of the deity's dog house... come to think of it, that's almost certainly true.]

Solomon is described as completing the Temple's construction, with the help of an architect, also named Hiram, and other materials, sent from Hiram king of Tyre. The description of the temple is remarkably similar to that of surviving remains of Phoenician temples of the time, and it is certainly plausible, from the point of view of archaeology, that the temple was constructed to the design of Phoenicians. It has also been suggested that the Phoenicians built it for themselves. [But thus far, it is not yet suggested that the Palestinians built Solomon’s Temple... although if it were built in Palestine... wouldn’t that suggest that it was the Palestinian’s to built it? Hmmmm... In any case, it was probably not the Hebrews who built it.]

From a critical point of view, Solomon's building of a temple for Yahweh should not be seen as an act resulting from particular devotion to Yahweh, since Solomon is also described as erecting temples for a number of other deities (1 Kings 11:4). Solomon's apparent initial devotion to Yahweh appearing in for example his dedication prayer (1 Kings 8:14-66) are seen by some textual scholars as a product of a much later writer, Solomon being credited with the views only after Jerusalem had actually become the religious center of the kingdom (rather than, for example, Shiloh, or Bethel). [There are apparently a LOT of "products of much later writers" in the Bible.]

In a similar vein, Solomon is credited with construction projects, and military prowess, despite minimal evidence of either... and the minimal part not necessarily having to with Solomon.

For example, excavations of Jerusalem have shown a distinct lack of monumental architecture from the era, and remains of neither the Temple nor Solomon's palace have been found (although it should be noted that a number of significant but politically sensitive areas have not been extensively excavated, including the site that the Temple is traditionally said to have been located). Solomon is also described as rebuilding major cities elsewhere in Israel, e.g., creating the port of Ezion-Geber... although no remains have ever been found.

A magic ring called the "Seal of Solomon" (aka the Star of David) was supposedly given to Solomon, and gave him power over demons. Asmodeus, king of demons, was one day, according to the classical Rabbis, captured by Benaiah using the ring, and was forced to remain in Solomon's service. In one tale, Asmodeus brought a man with two heads from under the earth to show Solomon; the man, unable to return, married a woman from Jerusalem and had seven sons, six of whom resembled the mother, while one resembled the father in having two heads. After their father's death, the son with two heads claimed two shares of the inheritance, arguing that he was two men; Solomon, owing to his huge wisdom, decided that the son with two heads was only one man. [It’s not like the authors of this didn’t have an extraordinary if not weird sense of humor.]

Another legend concerning Asmodeus goes on to state that Solomon one day asked Asmodeus what could make demons powerful over man, and Asmodeus asked to be freed and given the ring so that he could demonstrate; Solomon agreed but Asmodeus threw the ring into the sea and it was swallowed by a fish. Asmodeus then swallowed the king, stood up fully with one wing touching heaven and the other earth, and spat out Solomon to a distance of 400 miles. The Rabbis claim this was a divine punishment for Solomon having failed to follow three divine commands, and Solomon was forced to wander from city to city, until he eventually arrived in an Ammonite city where he was forced to work in the king's kitchens. Solomon gained a chance to prepare a meal for the Ammonite king, which the king found so impressive that the previous cook was sacked and Solomon put in his place; the king's daughter, Na’amah, subsequently fell in love with Solomon, but the family (thinking Solomon a commoner) disapproved, so the king decided to kill them both by sending them into the desert. Solomon and the king’s daughter wandered the desert until they reached a coastal city, where they bought a fish to eat, which just happened to be the one which had swallowed the magic ring. Solomon was then able to regain his throne and expel Asmodeus. (The element of a ring thrown into the sea and found back in a fish's belly earlier appeared in Herodotus' account of Polycrates of Samos.) [Clearly, it is within the realm of possibility that Solomon’s PR agency might have done some judicious borrowing of legendary tales. It would also be curious to know what was happening with Solomon’s vast harem while he was away.]

In modern Israel, the debate about the historical accuracy of the Biblical account of Solomon has political as well as scientific dimensions. In general, those who uphold the Biblical account are identified as nationalists who support an exclusive Israeli-Jewish territorial claim to the whole Land of Israel. Those who doubt this account and assert that the actual Solomon, if he existed, had a far smaller and poorer kingdom than the one depicted in the Bible are identified as those who might be inclined to territorial concessions in present-day politics.

[A much preferred way of seeing things in perspective is to review The Imperial History of the Middle East. Go ahead. It won't take you a moment. And, of course, we’ll wait for you.]


Generation No. 63

1. Rehoboam (Roboam) [63] Solomon (=Na’amah) [62] KING DAVID (=Bathsheba) [1-61]

Rehoboam (“he who enlarges the people”) [also the answer to the Jeopardy question of Who is Ronald McDonald?] was a king of ancient Israel and later king of the Kingdom of Judah after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel. [Obviously the meaning of Rehoboam's name is contradicted by his losing half the kingdom.]

Rehoboam was a son of Solomon and grandson of David. His mother was Na’amah the Ammonite. He married a daughter of Absalom, the latter a son of David (the one who avenged Tamar, and who later died in battle). Rehoboam's eighteen wives and sixty concubines bore him eighty-eight children. When he died [from exhaustion?] he was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem. He was succeeded by one of his many sons, Abijah.

Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he ascended the throne, and he reigned for seventeen years. The people [‘s revolutionary committee] led by Jeroboam I (See following) and fearing that he would continue to tax them as heavily as had his father [Solomon], promised their loyalty in return for a lighter burden. The older men advised him to agree, but Rehoboam sought advice from the people he had grown up with and they advised him to tax the people even more. The anger of the people was so great that they rebelled and the northern ten tribes broke away. [As they say, “the peasants are revolting!’ Which has pretty much always been true... it’s just one of the many reasons why they’re peasants.]

Rehoboam organized his armies and decided to go to war against the new kingdom of Israel. However, he was later advised against fighting his brethren and so returned to Jerusalem. He built defensive cities and fortified his strongholds. Accordingly, Israel and Judah were in a state of war throughout his reign.

In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign Shishaq, king of Egypt, brought a huge army and took many cities. When they laid siege to Jerusalem, Rehoboam gave them all of the treasures out of the temple as a tribute. Judah thereby became a vassal state of Egypt. The account of this invasion from the Egyptian perspective can be found in the Shishaq Relief at the Bubastis Portal near the Temple of Amun at Karnak.

2. Jeroboam I [63] Nebat (=Zeruah) [62] Unknown

Jeroboam I ("the people contend," or, "he pleads the people's cause" - even "his people are many" or "he increases the people"; or best of all "he that opposes the people") [Translators have such fun with meanings of names!] Jeroboam I was the first king of the break-away ten tribes or Northern Kingdom of Israel, over whom he reigned twenty-two years. (c. 925-904 BC)

Jeroboam was born the son of Nebat an Ephraimite of Zereda whose mother's name was Zeruah (who later became a widow, and could have been leprous as her name translates). While still young, he was promoted by Solomon to be chief superintendent of the "burnden", i.e. the bands of forced laborers [thus possibly explaining his communistic style people's revolt]. Influenced by the words of the prophet Ahijah, he began to form conspiracies with the view of becoming king of the ten tribes; but these having been discovered, he fled to Egypt, where he remained for a length of time under the protection of Shoshenq I. It is worthy noting that Jeroboam married an Egyptian princess, Ano (as per the Septuagint).

On the death of Solomon, the ten tribes, having revolted [and yet, according to many sources, still revoltin'], sent to invite Jeroboam to become their king. [Politicians are still getting “called” to serve... even if the primary person being served is said politician.] The conduct of Rehoboam favored the designs of Jeroboam, and he was accordingly proclaimed "king of Israel".

Jeroboam rebuilt and fortified Shechem as the capital of his kingdom. He at once adopted means to perpetuate the division thus made between the two parts of the kingdom [“Divide and Conquer”, despite any alleged loyalties to... anything] and erected at Dan and Bethel, the two extremities of his kingdom, "golden calves," which he set up as symbols of God, enjoining the people not any more to go up to worship at Jerusalem, but to bring their offerings to the shrines he had erected. [All historical records are clear: The only way to worship is to bring offerings.]

The affair of the Golden Calf narrated in an earlier part of the Bible could be related to the propaganda war between the southern and northern kingdom evident in the account of Jeroboam's life. The act of destroying the Golden Calf originally attributed to the hallowed Moses could now be used by the Judah PR offensive [technically, all PR efforts are from one or more perspectives, offensive] to give credence to the sinful nature of Israel... at least in the eyes of the southern kingdom (Judah) - in worshiping such a representation of the deity. Thus Jeroboam became distinguished as the man "who made Israel to sin." This policy was followed by all the succeeding kings of Israel. [Suggesting sin is a desirable policy?]

At one point, while Jeroboam was engaged in offering incense at Bethel, a prophet from Judah appeared before him with a warning message from the Lord. Attempting to arrest the prophet for his bold words of defiance, his hand was "dried up," and the altar before which he stood was rent asunder. At his urgent entreaty his "hand was restored him again" (1 Kings 13:1-6, 9; compare 2 Kings 23:15); but the miracle made no abiding impression on him. [Or he may have just hit his funny bone on a golden calf... and when it felt better, he forgot about it.]

His reign was one of constant "war with the house of Judah". [A typical attribute of civil wars... not to mention divorces of a more acrimonious nature.] While the southern kingdom made no serious effort to militarily regain power over the north, there was a long-lasting boundary dispute, fighting over which lasted during the reigns of several kings on both sides before being finally settled. Jeroboam died soon after Rehoboam's son Abijam. [Israel/Judah seem to have continued the ancient tradition of boundary dispute wars between any and everyone, well into modern times.]

In assessing the career of Jeroboam, historians need to exercise caution due to the fact that the sole source of information about him is manifestly and outspokenly hostile, regarding his lifework as a wicked sin. The account of Jeroboam's life - like that of all his successors - ends with the formula: "And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel". "The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel", likely compiled by or derived from these kings' own scribes, is likely the source for the basic facts of Jeroboam's life and reign - though the compile(s) of the extant Book of Kings clearly made selective use of it and added hostile commentaries.

The prophesies of doom concerning the fall of both the House of Jerobam and the northern kingdom as a whole ("For the Lord shall smite Israel (...), and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river") might have been composed retroactively, after the events described had already come to pass. This would be the position of those who believe that the Lord does not know the future, or, if He does know it, He is somehow incapable of communicating such knowledge to His servants, i.e., the prophets. ...and yet, prior to modern times, the Israelites were indeed scattered. [Is this the same “god” that split Israel and Judah because of Solomon’s alleged crimes? And having done so, he now smites his selected tool of his revenge against Solomon and his goddess friends?]

[The above is probably a good example of how rationality and logic can be used to question certain assumptions by religious hierarchies, and accordingly why religious hierarchies are inevitably so opposed to rationality and logic, appealing instead to fantasies, plagiarized heroic tales of history, and creative bookkeeping in who owes who.]

A somewhat pointless note is the use of jeroboam and rehoboam to denote quantities of wine. According to Robert Hendrickson [reference 1], a jeroboam is an oversized wine bottle (roughly 8 to 12 quarts) named after the king in the 19th Century AD, because of Jeroboam's reputation for sin (a bottle of which would "surely cause sin".) "The rehoboam, two jeroboams, is named after Solomon's son, who was least wise enough to carry on his father's marital policies."

NOTE: For the most part, we will now follow the line of the Kings of Judah... and not the Kings of Israel. For those who would like a quick overview of the two descending and intermingling lineages, please see the clever graphic at Wikipedia.


Generation No. 64

Abijah (Abia) [64] Rehoboam (=Micaiah; g.dau. David and Maacah) [63] Solomon (=Na’amah) [62] KING DAVID (=Bathsheba) [1-61]

Abijah (Aviyam: "father of the sea" or "my father is the sea" or "my father is the god Yah"; also “my father is the Lord”) was the fourth king of the House of David and the second of the Kingdom of Judah. (c. 914-911 BC) His mother's name was Micaiah, who was either the granddaughter of the infamous Abishalom (Absalom) [Wikipedia], OR Uriel of Gibeah and Tamar I, the latter the daughter of David and Maacah [according to Laurence Gardner]. Note Maacah is treated as a wife by Wikipedia, and a grandmother-in-law by Gardner. The difference is relevant, as Micaiah recombines two lines of descent. (Figure 1) BTW, Abijah married 13 other wives and had 22 sons and 16 daughters, including Asa (his heir).

Abijah seems to have gone to considerable lengths to bring the fledgling Kingdom of Israel back under his control. He waged a major battle against the northern king in the Mountains of Ephraim; the sizes of the two armies are given by II Chronicles as being 400,000 and 800,000 respectively. Abijah addressed the armies of Israel, telling them to return to his control, but his plea fell on deaf ears. Abijah's elite warriors fended off a pincer movement to rout Jeroboam I (King of Israel) killing 500,000 of his troops. [Ouch!] Jeroboam I was crippled by this severe defeat at the hands of his southern rival, and was not much of a threat to the Kingdom of Judah for the rest of his reign. [These numbers may have been... ever so slightly exaggerated.]


Generation No. 65

Asa (Asaph) [65] Abijah (=Maachah) [64] Rehoboam (=Micaiah; dau. Tamar I) [63] Solomon (=Na’amah) [62] KING DAVID (=Maacah) [1-61]

Asa was the 5th king from David and the third of the Kingdom of Judah only. (c. 912-871 BCE) He was zealous in maintaining “the true worship“ of God, and in rooting all idolatry, with its accompanying immoralities, out of the land.

Azariah son of Oded, a wise man and prophet [aka an oxymoron], exhorted Asa early on to reinforce strict national observance of Judaism, and Asa paid heed. He purged the land of former religious worships; all the sites of non-Judaic worship were destroyed and the nation entered into a covenant or oath together. The Queen Mother, Maacah (Micaiah), was also deposed for having been involved with local, non-Judaic gods, worships, and beliefs, which were practiced by neighboring peoples. [The same charges against King Solomon, but inasmuch as we're talking about a woman... she's quickly history.] Asa also made the practice of prostitution forbidden and prosecuted all offenders. [Which may be why he was called an Asa.] Finally, when the religious transition was completed in Asa's fifteenth year, a great feast was held in Jerusalem at Solomon's Temple. At that time, many northerners, particularly from the tribes Ephraim and Manasseh, migrated to the Kingdom of Judah because of the fruitful golden age in Judah, and [Oh yes] the internal conflict in the Kingdom of Israel due to the fall of the dynasty of Jeroboam I. [Better to do without prostitution, than to be just another friendly fire statistic.]

Allegedly, because of this, The Lord gave him and his people rest, prosperity, and peace until Asa's 35th year. In his 36th year he was confronted by Baasha, king of Israel. Instead of seeking the Lord he sought out Ben-Hadad, king of Damascus, and convinced him to break his peace treaty with Baasha and invade the Northern Kingdom. [Oops... looks like the end of the free lunch.]

King Baasha of Israel's attack of the Kingdom of Judah, had put the capital in a precarious position. Asa took gold and silver from the Temple and sent them to Ben-Hadad I, King of Damascus, in exchange for the Damascene king canceling his peace treaty with Baasha. Ben-Hadad I attacked many important cities and Baasha was forced to withdraw from Ramah. Hanani the Seer, a prophet, admonished Asa for relying on the King of Syria as opposed to Divine help in defeating Baasha. Asa became very angry and threw Hanani in jail [based on Judaic law with respect to spoilsports]. Asa also turned from being just and began oppressing some of the people. [Classic!] In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a severe disease in his feet, for which he sought the help of physicians, not the Lord. [Bad Mistake!] Asa died two years later and was buried with his ancestors, in the grave that he had dug for himself.

Asa also revamped and reinforced the fortress system originally built by his grandfather Rehoboam, taking advantage of the initial years of peace. An invasion by the Egyptian-backed chieftain Zerah the Ethiopian and his million men and 300 chariots was defeated by Asa's 580,000 men in the Valley of Zephath, near Mareshah. The Scripture does not state whether Zerah was a pharaoh or a general of the army. The Ethiopians were pursued all the way to Gerar, in the coastal plain, where they stopped out of sheer exhaustion. The resulting peace kept Judah free from the oppression of the Pharaohs until the time of Josiah, some centuries later. [c. 910 to 620 BCE]


Generation No. 66

Jehoshaphat (Josaphat) [66] Asa (=Azubah) [65] Abijah (=Maachah) [64] Rehoboam (=Micaiah) [63] Solomon (=Na’amah) [62] KING DAVID (=Maacah) [1-61]

Jehoshaphat (“Jehovah is the judge" [traditionally, the prelude to “Here come de judge”]) was the successor of Asa, king of Judah; and co-regent with his father, Asa, for the last two years of the latter’s reign. Historically, his name has sometimes been connected with the Valley of Jehosaphat, where, according to Joel 3:2, the God of Israel will gather all nations for judgment.

He married Mal-kiya, daughter to Abiud. His children included Jehoram of Judah.

Jehoshaphat spent the first years of his reign fortifying his kingdom against Israel. [This has become something of a tradition of all nations that border Israel.] The Bible lauds the king for the repression of sodomitic activity [an interesting claim to fame] and for destroying the cult images or "idols" of Baal in the land. In the third year of his reign Jehoshaphat sent out priests and Levites over the land to instruct the people in the Law, an activity that was commanded for a Sabbatical year in Deuteronomy. Allegedly, the kingdom enjoyed a great measure of peace and prosperity, the blessing of God resting on the people "in their basket and their store."

Jehosaphat also pursued alliances with his contemporaries ruling the northern kingdom, the first being with Ahab, which was based on marriage [and not on a whale, as commonly claimed]. This alliance led to much disgrace, and brought disaster on his kingdom with the Battle of Ramoth-Gilead. While Jehoshaphat safely returned from this battle, he was confronted by the prophet Jehu, son of Hanani, about this alliance. [Now, he complains!] We are told that Jehoshaphat repented, and returned to his former course of opposition to all idolatry, and promoting the worship of God in the government of his people. He subsequently joined Jehoram, king of Israel, in a war against the Moabites, who were under tribute to Israel. This war was successful. The Moabites were subdued; but seeing Mesha's act of offering his own son in a human sacrifice on the walls of Kir-haresheth filled Jehoshaphat with horror, and he withdrew and returned to his own land. [Can you imagine the son's horror?]

The last notable event of his reign occurred when the Moabites formed a great and powerful confederacy with the surrounding nations, and marched against Jehoshaphat. The king and his people were filled with alarm, and betook themselves to God in prayer. The king prayed in the court of the temple, "O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do; but our eyes are upon you." Amid the silence that followed, the voice of Jahaziel the Levite was heard announcing that the next day all this great host would be overthrown. So it was, for they quarreled among themselves, and slew one another, leaving to the people of Judah only to gather the rich spoils of the slain. This was recognized as a great deliverance wrought for them by God. Soon after this victory Jehoshaphat died after a reign of twenty-five years at the age of sixty. According to some sources, he actually died two years later, but gave up his throne earlier for unknown reasons.

BTW, the phrase "jumping Jehoshaphat" supposedly derives from Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, and the Jehu's habit of riding in a chariot like a hot rodder (i.e., one that "driveth furiously"). [See reference 1] So why was Jehoshaphat jumping? Apparently, the "jumping" bit derived from a furious father at seeing his brand new chariot trashed by his son's rough riding.


Generation No. 67

Jehoram (Joam) [67] Jehoshaphat (=Malkiya) [66] Asa (=Azubah) [65] Abijah (=Maachah) [64] Rehoboam (=Micaiah) [63] Solomon (=Na’amah) [62] KING DAVID (=Maacah) [1-61]

Jehoram was the king of the ancient Kingdom of Judah (c. 849-841 BCE), and the son of Jehoshaphat. Jehoram formed an alliance with the Kingdom of Israel by marrying Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. This marriage resulted in Jehoram’s son and heir, Ahaziah. (More on Jezebel to follow.)

Despite this alliance with the stronger northern kingdom, Jehoram's rule of Judah was shaky. Edom revolted, and when Jehoram marched against this people, his army fled before the Edomites, and he was forced to acknowledge their independence. The town of Libnah revolted during his reign, according to 2 Chronicles (21:10), because he "had abandoned Yahweh, God of his fathers." Meanwhile, 2 Chronicles relates that a raid consisting of Philistines, Arabs and Ethiopians looted Jehoram's house, and carried off all of his family except for his youngest son Jehoahaz. After this, Yahweh caused Jehoram of Judah to suffer a painful inflammation of the abdomen, and he died two years later when his bowels fell out. [Serious ouch!]



[1] Robert Hendrickson, Word and Phrase Origins, Checkmark Books, 2000.



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