Bible Blunders, Part 1

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Know Your History -

The original podcast file was somehow corrupted and would not play. It has now been replaced. I apologize for any inconvenience. Being on the road, the Monday following the podcast I was finally able to edit the notes, and there I was also able to add a few short clarifications and make a few minor corrections.

Bible Blunders, Part 1

Here I am going to present something that I will call Bible Blunders. Ultimately this may turn into something of a series, so I will even add “Part 1”. When I made several Forum posts addressing certain things in Scripture which are commonly misunderstood, a friend suggested that I compile them into a program called Bible Mysteries, but these really are not mysteries. Rather, they are blunders because the solution to understanding them is in the Scripture, and for that reason we really have no excuse not to understand them. But some of these traps I have fallen into myself, not necessarily because I made the mistakes, but because we often trust others to be correct, especially our teachers, and we repeat things that they say without investigating them for ourselves. So here we are going to discuss queen Athaliah of Judah, a trap which I managed to avoid, and also the identity of the Rechabites of the Book of Jeremiah, and the “Kenites” of 2 Chronicles chapter 2, a trap which I was caught in until recently, because I followed older teachers without giving the subject a sufficiently full consideration.

Proof that Athaliah queen of Judah was not the daughter of Jezebel:

A version of this was originally posted at the Christogenea Forum on 17th July 2022.

Years ago, in June, 2009, I made a presentation called Women in the Genealogy of Christ. Only rather recently did I realize that it needs an update. That is because I never had a “church” background, and therefore I never knew that the churches teach that Jezebel is an ancestor of Christ. That is what at least most of them teach, and it is absolutely wrong. So in that early podcast, I discussed Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba, three of which women are specifically mentioned in the genealogy of Christ as it is presented in the Gospel of Matthew, but I never knew there was a need to discuss Jezebel. (Bathsheba is also referred to in Matthew, but not by name.)

Here I shall prove that Jezebel could not have been the mother of Athaliah, the queen of Judah, in spite of the fact that Ahab was her father. But this entire story of Ahab's descendants is sometimes confusing not only in the way in which years are reckoned but also because there are two men named Jehoram, sometimes also spelled Joram (in the King James Version): a son of Ahab and a son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. There are also two men named Ahaziah: a son of Ahab and a grandson of Jehoshaphat, the son of Jehoram king of Judah. So when we mention Jehoram or Ahaziah, we always need to check to make certain we have the correct one.

I do not know whether this will be easy to follow, especially in an audio presentation, so I will not depart greatly from my original Forum presentation which was in two parts, an initial argument, and, once some questions were raised, a clarification.

First, the beginning of the rule of Ahab:

1 Kings 16: “29 And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. 31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.”

As a digression, in verse 31 of that passage it is manifest that Ahab's marriage to Jezebel was sinful, where it said “as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam”. I only recently realized the implication, that this would help to support the argument that Jezebel was a Canaanite, however that still cannot be said with absolute certainty.

Here it is important to note that Ahab did not take Jezebel to wife until some time after he became king. Ahab ruled for 22 years before he died, as we also read in that passage. He was succeeded by two sons, who were the sons of Jezebel. The Scripture portrays these sons as being of age, grown or nearly grown men, at the time when they came to rule. Since Jezebel was acknowledged in Scripture as having been their mother, it is evident that both of these men must have been born towards the beginning of Ahab's rule, since they are of age when they successively became kings of Israel. But their ages are not recorded in Scripture.

So we read in 2 Kings chapter 9: “22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” This is describing the death of Jehoram, so we are getting ahead of ourselves.

Upon the death of Ahab, his son Ahaziah became king and ruled for only two years. This is recorded in 1 Kings 22:51 where we read: “Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.” In 2 Kings chapter 1 it is recorded that “Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.” The prophet Elijah was sent to confront him, and we read a little further on that he told him: “3 … Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? 4 Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed.” Ahaziah must have been Ahab’s oldest son with Jezebel. If he was 20 when he came to rule, he would have been born about 2 years into Ahab’s reign. The passages we have just cited surely indicate that Ahaziah was of age when he became king, since as soon as he became king he was already active in the affairs of neighboring nations, and even able to send servants abroad, and therefore he seems to have had some experience in the court of his father.

So Ahaziah died a very short time later, but he had no son of his own and therefore Jehoram, Ahab's second son with Jezebel, succeeded him. So we read towards the end of 2 Kings chapter 1, in part: “17 … And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah …” It was that other Jehoram, the king of Judah, to whom Ahab had given Athaliah his daughter in marriage. Jehoram, or Joram, the son of Ahab ruled for twelve years. When he became king he was old enough to lead a census of all Israel, to issue challenges to the king of Moab, and to lead troops in battle, as it is described in 2 Kings chapter 3, so he too must have been of age. If he was 20, then he was born perhaps two years after his brother, perhaps around the 4th year of Ahab’s rule.

But here there is also a problem evident in the text. Jehoram the son of Ahab could not have become king as late as the second year after the death of Jehoshaphat, because Ahab died no later than the 18th year of Jehoshaphat, and Ahaziah only ruled two years, so he in turn may have died in the 19th year of Jehoshaphat, who ruled for 25 years. Perhaps Jehoram of Judah may have had a co-regency with his father Jehoshaphat before he died. But whatever the case, counting the years of the kings, 2 Kings chapter 3 is certainly more accurate in this regard: “2 Kings 3:1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.”

But there we also seem to be off by a year or two, and an error of two years in this case may be within reason, because of the different ways in which years were counted by different ancient writers. Sometimes a king's first year would not begin to be counted until the beginning of a particular calendar year, and sometimes it began to be reckoned immediately. Therefore once a king served for a year, the anniversary date would already be in his second year, or sometimes the second year would not be reckoned until the beginning of the next calendar year. Those and other differences in counting have been the subject of debate among historians and archaeologists for many years. If Ahab died in the end of the 17th year of Jehoshaphat, and if Ahaziah only ruled for a year and a part of a second year, it is quite possible he died in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat, towards its end, and there is no error at all.

Both sons of Ahab may have been younger, but as Scripture portrays them, they could not have been much younger. Then, having been sons of Jezebel they could not have been much older. If Jezebel was pregnant immediately, they may have been up to a year older than we estimate here. But my point here, which is an important part of my conclusion, is this: Ahab married Jezebel some time after he became king, and in the very early years of her marriage, she was giving birth to these two sons.

Now to get a better understanding of the age of Jehoram king of Judah, the husband of Athaliah, and also of these men, we shall go back to the beginning of the rule of Jehoram's father, Jehoshaphat king of Judah.

1 Kings 22: “41 And Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty and five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.”

Jehoshaphat did not become king until he was 35 because his father Asa ruled for a long time, 41 years (1 Kings 15:8-10). When Jehoshaphat became king, Ahab may have been at the very beginning of his fourth year, or at the very end. So with subsequent events, we can always be off by as many as 11 months and some days, which can easily elide into a year in reckoning when compared with other events. So where it says “in the fourth year” we can only be assured that three years were already completed and a fourth was under way. We should also note that in reference to the rule of Ahab, Jehoshaphat died in Ahab's 29th year. Then if Jehoram king of Judah ruled 8 years, he apparently died in Ahab's 37th year. If partial years were counted as full ones, then this may have been even sooner.

1 Kings 22: “48 Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber. 49 Then said Ahaziah the son of Ahab unto Jehoshaphat, Let my servants go with thy servants in the ships. But Jehoshaphat would not. 50 And Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Jehoram his son reigned in his stead. 51 Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned two years over Israel.” Jehoshaphat would not have died until he was about 60, as he became king at 35 and ruled 25 years. So his son Jehoram who succeeded him would have already been of age for some years.

As we had said, the death of Ahab would have been no later than the 18th year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, because his 22-year rule preceded Jehoshaphat by at least 3 years. But here, the difficulty with the 17th year may be rectified. If Ahab was very late into his fourth year when Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, it may be possible to squeeze 21 years and some months into the period before the beginning of Jehoshaphat's eighteenth year. For example, three years and eleven months before Jehoshaphat became king plus seventeen years and eleven months after add up to 21 years and ten months. So each period may have been a few months less, and still Ahab could be said to have ruled for 22 years.

Then after the death of Ahab and Jehoshaphat, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, who was married to Athaliah, became king, and we read from 2 Chronicles chapter 21: “5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.” So this Jehoram was 32 years old when his father Jehoshaphat died. Then since his father was king for 25 years, and Ahab had already been king of Israel for nearly 4 years when his father became king of Judah, this Jehoram was at least 3 years old when Ahab had become king of Israel, and at least 7 years old when his father became king of Judah.

Then after the death of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat:

2 Kings 8:25 In the twelfth year of Joram [Jehoram] the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign. 26 Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.

This displays another problem with the way in which years were counted. The text of 2 Kings 1:17 concerning when Jehoram the son of Ahab became king cannot be correct unless it counted a co-regency. But the contrary text of 2 Kings 3:1 is further supported here, with some caveats. If Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat ruled only 8 years, but Jehoram the son of Ahab ruled for 12, then he became king for about 4 years before Jehoram the son of Jehoshapat. On the surface that may be as late as the 20th year of Jehoshaphat, but the text tells us he became king in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat. So for the same reasons which I have already explained, there could be as much as a 2-year margin of error. But another passage brings us closer than two years, which is 2 Kings 9:29: “And in the eleventh year of Joram [Jehoram] the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.” So we see an error of one year by the scribes of 2 Kings.

If, as we have also already seen in 1 Kings chapter 22, Ahab died in the latter half of the 17th year of Jehoshaphat's rule, which is necessary for him to have been king for 22 years, and Ahaziah ruled for only a year and part of a year, counted as two years, then there is still time for Jehoram the son of Ahab to have become king before the 19th year of Jehoshaphat's rule had begun. Then if Jehoshaphat ruled for only 24 years and a part, and Jehoram for 7 years and a part, it may be possible that Jehoram king of Israel was in his twelfth year when Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, became king. So Ahaziah king of Judah was 22 years old when Jehoram king of Israel was no older than 32, and Jehoram's older but deceased brother, also named Ahaziah, was no older than 34. So these men were about 10 years and twelve years old, and absolutely no older, when Ahaziah the son of Athaliah was born.

There is some more confusion in the Scriptures when we read the corresponding passage in 2 Chronicles chapter 22: “1 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. 2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. 3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly. 4 Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.”

Here it is highly unlikely that Ahaziah was 42 when he began to reign. First, 2 Kings 8:25 says he was 22. Secondly, 2 Chronicles 21:5 says that Ahaziah’s father died at age 40. Those two verses are in harmony with the overall narrative. So how could Ahaziah have been 42 when his father died? He must have been only 22. Furthermore, since Ahaziah must have been born by the time his father Jehoram was 20, if there were other sons who were older, as the passage in 2 Chronicles chapter 22 asserts, then they must have been born when Jehoram was very young! That is possible, especially if it was Omri who arranged the marriage of his granddaughter rather than Ahab, which is indicated by his mention here in each of these passages, and if Jehoram and Athaliah were wed at a very young age.

Therefore, seeing the age of Ahaziah when his father died at 40, that he was already 22, Athaliah must have become pregnant with Ahaziah when Jehoram his father was about 18, and about 14 years before he became king. This is no more than 37 full years after Ahab had become king, that Ahaziah is 22 years old. So Ahaziah was born no later than the 15th year of his grandfather Ahab’s reign.

If Jehoshaphat ruled from the 4th year of Ahab for 25 years, he died in what would have been the 29th year of Ahab’s rule. Then his son Jehoram ruled 8 years when 22-year-old Ahaziah, the son of Athaliah, became king, that would have been in the 37th year of Ahab’s rule, as we said earlier. So Ahaziah must have been born in the 15th year of Ahab’s rule, and no later, but perhaps even a little sooner.

If Athaliah was the very first child and daughter of Jezebel, then she could not have been older than 13 years old when her son Ahaziah was born. Did Athaliah have a son at 13? And the one asserts that there other older sons. I will clarify this later. But here I would make the assertion that if Athaliah had a child in the 15th year of Ahab’s rule, then she must have been at least 16 years old, and therefore, with all certainty, she was born by a different mother before Ahab took Jezebel to wife, since he was already king for some time when he did.

In 2 Kings 10:1 we read “And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria.” If Ahab had seventy sons, were these all from Jezebel? Or did he also have many wives? Then since there is a fifty percent chance that he also had seventy daughters, he must have had many wives. Or were these all from Jezebel? She may have been a whore, but it is doubtful that she had 140 children. Ahab must have had many wives, and Athaliah must have been born from another woman before Ahab took Jezebel to wife.

Conclusion: Athaliah could not possibly have been the daughter of Jezebel, and Scripture never states that she was.

This makes fools out of generations of Bible “scholars”, but they are all wrong, plain and simple.

As a digression, I did add the original text of this argument as a comment to my “Women in the Genealogy of Christ” presentation, which is from June 21st, 2009. But I never even refined the original notes for that presentation, and now today I have revised these notes so maybe this will convince me to revisit it all soon, and create a new podcast that is more complete.

Now I will offer a clarification of my argument, and repeat a few passages:

2 Kings chapter 8: “16 And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. 17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.” Note that there is no mention of Jezebel.

2 Chronicles chapter 21: “5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.” Once again, there is no mention of Jezebel.

Athaliah is called the daughter of Ahab on these two occasions in Scripture, and a daughter of Omri, her grandfather, on a few others. But she is never called a daughter of Jezebel.

Again, 1 Kings chapter 16: “29 And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. 31 And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.”

Assuming that Jezebel is the mother of Athaliah, how long a time is it when “it came to pass” that Ahab married Jezebel? Sexual intercourse was the act of marriage in the ancient world, so there was no so-called “premarital sex”. Jezebel could not have gotten pregnant before “it came to pass” some time after Ahab had already become king.

So let's make an assumption, if Jezebel was really the mother of Athaliah. Let's say that Ahab was king for only 3 months when he married Jezebel, even though “it came to pass” seems to suggest a later time. So Ahab marries Jezebel after being king 3 months, and Jezebel gets pregnant immediately. Then we must suppose that the first child is Athaliah. In that manner, the earliest that she could have been born is near the turn of Ahab's second year as king, as the second year is just beginning.

But two sons were also born soon after Ahab married Jezebel, in order for them to come of manhood before he dies, which the Scripture indicates that they had. So perhaps Athaliah was a twin, or Jezebel had two other sons within two years of this time, very quickly. This is a peripheral circumstance, but it still must be considered. The circumstances of the birth of those sons is never described, nor their precise ages ever mentioned when they either became kings or when they died. There is never a mention of twins in this context.

So, presuming that Ahab married Jezebel soon after he became king, then if Jezebel had gotten pregnant and had Athaliah immediately after she married Ahab, then she was born at the very beginning of Ahab's 2nd year, since the gestation period would have been 9 months, and at the beginning of the 3rd year Athaliah would have been only 1 year old. Then after 12 more years, at the beginning of Ahab's 15th year, Athaliah would have been only 13 years old. But if Athaliah was not born until Ahaziah son of Ahab was born, speculating that they were twins, she would only be 10 or 11 years old. But if Jezebel was her mother, she could not possibly have been any older than 13 years at the beginning of the 15th year of Ahab's rule, the year in which Ahaziah her son must have been born.

For Athaliah to have had a child in Ahab's 15th year, she would had to have gotten married and pregnant no later than age 13 and 3 months, and the baby must have been born before the first day of Ahab's 16th year. This is highly unlikely. Athaliah is never called the daughter of Jezebel, because she was not Jezebel's daughter.

We can play with the dates and ages, and imagine people to have been born at the very beginning or end of a year in order to try to shoehorn Athaliah into being the daughter of Jezebel, but it is all speculation and stubborn insistence. It is also practically impossible. If we calculate Ahaziah's birth even more accurately, it is likely that the 15th year of Ahab for the birth of Ahaziah is late, rather than early, and that makes it even more unlikely for Athaliah to have been a daughter of Jezebel.

Athaliah was not the daughter of Jezebel, and now we may see that for a long time, all of the churches have been teaching speculation as fact, when it is actually contrary to fact.

The Identity of the Rechabites, and the “Kenites” of 1 Chronicles chapter 2

This was originally posted at the Christogenea Forum on 11th September 2022.

In the past I had understood 1 Chronicles 2:55 to be describing Kenites, descendants of Cain, and not kenites as smiths, who were of the tribe of Judah. The word “kenite” may be interpreted in either way, as we have explained in other contexts and in relation to other passages. This is even found in a couple of my early commentaries, and it was the manner in which the passage had always been interpreted by older Christian Identity writers, such as Swift, Comparet, and even Clifton Emahiser.

However it is not necessarily correct, and in the context of the longer passage it seems to be discussing smiths who descended from Judah. That would make more sense in light of the passage concerning the Rechabites which is found in Jeremiah, and once they are both interpreted correctly, these passages serve to explain one another. So what I am about to explain, I have not had the opportunity to put in writing before I first posted this in September.

[Post-podcast edit: The way in which it appears in the King James Version, the passage in question may be interpreted as an appendix to the genealogy of Judah, rather than as a continuation of the descendants of Caleb.]

First, 1 Chronicles 2:55 reads: “And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.” The sticking point here is where it says that “These are the Kenites that came of Hemath”, which is “from Hamath”, which is also the name of a city in northern Syria. Additionally, there are no mentions of any man of Judah named Hemath, or of any Tirathite, Shimeathite or Suchathite, or of a Tirath, Shimeath or Suchath anywhere else in Scripture. So these points make it seem that the interpretation that these scribes were Kenites by race is correct, because in early times, through the Judges period and that of the books named after Samuel, no Israelite could have come from Hamath and there was no Rechab or any mention of these other cities.

So it may seem on the surface that neither interpretation can be proven, kenite as Kenite or kenite as smith, because there is a lot of missing context. But on the other hand, just a few years ago, I forget how long, I gained a better understanding of these genealogies in 1 Chronicles.

There is a Rechab who is mentioned in Nehemiah chapter 3: “14 But the dung gate repaired Malchiah the son of Rechab, the ruler of part of Bethhaccerem; he built it, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof.” If this Malchiah had set up doors, locks and bars for the gates of the walls of Jerusalem which Nehemiah had been rebuilding, then he must have been a smith, which is a kenite in the sense of a smith, and not in the tribal sense. He may have also been a more remote descendant of Rechab, and not necessarily an immediate son.

On the surface, it seems that the genealogies of 1 Chronicles should all precede the time of the historical narrative which the book presents following those genealogies, but that is not the case and that has left room for misconceptions when something is read but the wider context is not closely examined or even understood. The books which we know as 1 & 2 Chronicles were evidently compiled from older books after the return to Jerusalem and the beginning of the second temple period. In the genealogies of the first several chapters of 1 Chronicles, there is one chapter devoted to the descendants of Adam through Noah and down to Abraham, and then it lists some of the early descendants of Abraham's other sons, and of Esau. Chapter 2 begins a genealogy of the children of Israel.

Chapters 2, 3 and part of 4 are the descendants of Judah, David and Solomon, for which there are 102 verses. Then Simeon gets only 20 verses at the end of chapter 4. In chapter 5, Reuben gets 10 verses, Gad 7, and there is a 9 verse history of the two-and-a-half tribes east of the Jordan River. The descendants of Levi and Aaron then get 81 verses in chapter 6. In chapter 7, Issachar gets 5 verses, Benjamin 7, Manasseh 6, Ephraim 10, and Asher 11. There is no genealogy for Zebulun and only one verse in chapter 7 for Naphtali! In chapter 8 the descendants of Benjamin are described in another 40 verses, in addition to the earlier 7. Then in chapter 9 there is yet another general description of the genealogies of Israel and Judah, for 40 verses, and most of that also only concerns Levites. Finally, at 9:35 the descendants of Saul are mentioned again, and in chapter 10 the historical narrative of 1 Chronicles begins with the death of Saul and his sons.

What is evident here is that the genealogies of the tribes of Judah, Levi, and to a lesser extent Benjamin are much more developed than those of the other tribes, because the returnees to Jerusalem in the second temple period were from those tribes, and therefore that is when 1 & 2 Chronicles were written, compiled from older books with contemporary information added. So, on top of that understanding, an examination of the genealogy of the tribe of Levi reveals that it extends all the way down to the second temple period, which is why it is so lengthy compared to the others. The genealogies of all the other 9 tribes are comparatively short, as they hardly extend beyond what was written in earlier books, such as Numbers. That supports the fact that by the time when Chronicles was compiled, the other tribes were long in captivity, and their own genealogical records were lost except for what the people of Jerusalem had in the books of Moses.

So here, I would assert that the truth of the matter is that like Levi, the same is true in some ways for the genealogy of Judah in 1 Chronicles chapters 2 through 4, and I am confident that a fuller investigation would support and clarify that assertion. For example, Zerubbabel is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:19, which by itself proves my assertion, that the genealogy for Judah is extended into the second temple period. Since Zerubbabel means “sown in Babylon” and since he led the first Babylonian captives who returned to Jerusalem, the reference could only be to him.

So in this light I must now hold the opinion that the kenites, or smiths of 1 Chronicles 2:55 who lived in those places, none of which had any previous mention, must have been men of Judah who may have even returned to Jerusalem from Hamath, rather than from Babylon. That may reveal that they were taken in the earlier Assyrian captivity of Judah, rather than the Babylonian.

But it is even more plausible that Hamath was also the name of a man of Judah who was in the captivity in Babylon, or who lived even earlier, but who was a more recent ancestor of Malchiah than was Rechab, a certain Rechab whose name would have been recognizable in the period of the second temple, but who is not mentioned specifically in earlier Scriptures, except for Jeremiah. In that light, the genealogy of 1 Chronicles at the end of chapter 2 actually explains the origin of the Rechabites of Jeremiah chapter 35.

So Hamath would have been a Rechabite like the Rechabites in Jeremiah, and he would have been the elder of what had survived of the Rechabite clan in the second temple period. The Malciah of Nehemiah chapter 3 was one of the Rechabites, and he was also a smith. Therefore the Rechabites of Jeremiah chapter 35 were of that same house of Rechab, and they were not kenites in the tribal sense, but rather they were smiths of the tribe of Judah. Here we see that they had descended from Caleb.

Plausible Chronological Sequence of Old Testament Books

This was originally posted at the Christogenea Forum on 30th August 2022. This subject came up in the Chat that same afternoon, so I thought to write this quickly and post it in the Forum.

If I had just a few minutes to present a reasonably accurate chronological sequence of canonical Old Testament books, this is what I would come up with. This canon is slightly different than that of the "traditional" churches. There are a few caveats I will discuss below. This list will also discuss what books of the Old Testament including the Apocrypha that I believe belong in our canon.

  • Genesis

  • Exodus

  • Leviticus

  • Numbers

  • Deuteronomy

  • Joshua

Of course, Moses died near the end of Deuteronomy, so it must have been finished by another hand, and the same is true of the Book of Joshua. But the Book of Joshua was probably not written by Joshua at all.

  • Judges

Paul said that Israel had judges for 450 years in Acts chapter 13, an estimate which also must include the days of Moses and Joshua, and the later time of Samuel until Saul was made king.

  • Job (contemporary with early half of Judges)

  • Ruth (contemporary with later half of Judges)

  • 1 Samuel (Rule of Saul)

  • 2 Samuel (Rule of David)

The prophet Samuel died before the book known as 1 Samuel ends, so it too must have been finished by a later hand. Then in 1 Chronicles chapter 29 we read: “29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer”, where it becomes evident that the books known as 1 and 2 Samuel must have been compiled from these three books mentioned here, as all of these men were contemporary with David and advised him often. In the Septuagint they are known as 1 and 2 Kings.

  • 1 Chronicles (after the genealogies this book is contemporary with 2 Samuel from chapter 3)

  • Psalms (Some Psalms belong to an earlier time, some to David, and those of Asaph are from a much later time, written in Babylonian captivity)

  • 1 Kings (Solomon through Ahab)

2 Chronicles begins here, with the rule of Solomon, and covers over three hundred years.

  • Proverbs

  • Wisdom of Solomon

  • Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs)

  • Ecclesiastes

  • 2 Kings (From the sons of Ahab to the time of Nebuchadnezzar, from at least as soon as the middle of chapter 17 it is written in retrospect by later hands)

  • 2 Chronicles (Begins with rule of Solomon like 1 Kings, but covers more time, going beyond both 1 and 2 Kings)

  • Jonah (Earliest of the minor prophets, perhaps as many as a hundred years before Hosea)

  • Hosea (Contemporary with early portion of Isaiah)

  • Isaiah

  • Amos (Contemporary with Isaiah)

  • Micah (Contemporary with Isaiah)

  • Nahum

  • Joel

  • Jeremiah (Began 627 BC)

  • Habakkuk (contemporary with Jeremiah and before Ezekiel)

  • Zephaniah (contemporary with Jeremiah and before Ezekiel)

  • Ezekiel (Began shortly after going into captivity, circa 604 BC, contemporary with later half of Jeremiah)

  • Susanna (introduces Daniel)

  • Lamentations (Jeremiah after destruction of Jerusalem)

  • Daniel (Began shortly after going into captivity, circa 604 BC, contemporary with later half of Jeremiah. We have placed him a little later here because his immediate prophecies concern and were written at a much later time than most of those in Jeremiah and Ezekiel)

  • Obadiah (After destruction of Jerusalem, with which Edom assisted [verses 10-12, cf. Psalm 137:7, 1 Esdras 4:45])

  • Haggai (Contemporary with Zerubbabel and Zechariah)

  • Zechariah (Contemporary with Zerubbabel and Haggai)

  • Nehemiah (Return of Zerubbabel to Jerusalem with 42,000, 520 BC. Nehemiah's commission in Jerusalem from 502-490 BC, part of the last chapter is from a later visit)

  • Ezra (1 Esdras is the better version. First part of book is repeat parallel to time of Nehemiah, second part is his own commission in Jerusalem from 458 BC)

  • Malachi (Some time after Zerubbabel, Haggai and Zechariah, but certainly before the coming of Alexander circa 330 BC)

  • 1 Maccabees

This order, and any other like it, is problematical. Many of the prophets, for example, should be in the middle of 2 Kings or 2 Chronicles, since each of those books cover hundreds of years whereas the ministries of the prophets were much shorter. Also, some of the Psalms were written by Asaph, who wrote after the end of 2 Chronicles, and at least one Psalm was written by Moses, who was much earlier. Both Job and Ruth are within the Judges period, not after it. Except for the chapters of the genealogies, 1 Chronicles parallels 2 Samuel.

Daniel started prophesying around the same time as Ezekiel, but most of his prophecies are of much more distant events, so they are better being placed after 2 Chronicles.

Tobit is a challenge, but I do not despise the book. I have not read it since maybe 2004 so I would want to read it again before deciding if I would include it. I have described it as a "historical novel" in the past, due mainly to some of its peculiar language. However it is very possible that the book is a true story and belongs in Scripture. IF it were included, it would go into this list just before Nehemiah. It has some really good statements on racial perspectives though. I have quoted from Tobit, and in particular Tobit 4:12-13.

Baruch I would also want to read anew, as it has been at least 17-18 years. I remember having mild skepticism when I did read it, but I cannot remember the details. The Epistle of Jeremiah is often counted as the final chapter of Baruch, so I reckon it there.

Sirach is valuable in that it is the perspective of a pious man of the intertestamental period, late 3rd century BC. But it is not prophetic. The wisdom literature of Canon should be prophetic in nature, in my opinion.

2 Maccabees is not written like all the other books. It is not a priestly book or an official chronicle. Rather, it was written by Jason of Cyrene from the more voluminous history, now lost, of Nikolaus of Damascus. So while it is valuable as another perspective on what we have in 1 Maccabees, I would not consider it Biblical. 3 Maccabees does not belong in Scripture. 3 Maccabees seems like an Esther-knock-off, just another Jewish Shoah Tale. It does not ring true to me, and it justifies Purim separately from the Esther account. Therefore both tales cancel one another.

4 Maccabees, which would actually precede 1 Maccabees for its chronological historical setting, but perhaps not for when it was authored, may very well belong in this list and I would place it before 1 Maccabees. I would want to first study the history of the versions better than I have.

I have no real opinion on the Prayer of Manasseh, whether it be real or simply an embellishment on 2 Chronicles 33:11–13, or the Prayer of Azariah or so-called Song of the Three Young Men, which was also an apparent addition to the Book of Daniel.

The books known as Esther, the Additions to Esther, Judith, and Bel and the Dragon are all fairy tales and have no part in Scripture.

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