The Bible reports the lives of many families, and God portrays himself as a father who invites people to be his children.
The people of Israel are called by that name because Jacob was given the name “Israel” by God – their name comes from the behaviour of their ancestor almost 4,000 years ago.
Within the family of Israel, Aaron and his descendants were appointed as priests for the nation, and this continued until the priests under the law of Moses were replaced with Jesus Christ, at which time the law was replaced as well.
These two examples are given to show the importance of families in the Bible. In this article, we present four family trees, two of them relating to the family of Aaron.
This family tree concentrates on Aaron and his close family. As a result, Amram’s brothers (Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel) are excluded, along with the two sons of Gershon (Libni and Shimei) and the two sons of Merari (Mahli and Mushi).
Ithamar had descendants, so he must have had children – but we do not know the names of any of them. In the times of the judges, the High Priest may have come from the family of Ithamar for a time rather than that of Phinehas.
Since this family tree is produced for the series “Terror on Every Side! The life of Jeremiah”, the family tree ends with Hilkiah, the father of Jeremiah.
This family tree concentrates on Jeremiah and his family.
Jeremiah 1:1 says that Jeremiah was a priest and the son of Hilkiah. Since no other identification is given to specify which Hilkiah is meant, it is likely that there was only one Hilkiah available, the man who was the High Priest in the time of Josiah, when Jeremiah also began to prophesy.
To the right is an extended family tree of Jeremiah that combines the two above. Click on the picture to enlarge the family tree.
The family trees above include the three sons of Hilkiah that are listed in the Bible. There may also be another son of Hilkiah, since a seal was found in 1980 with the inscription: “(Belonging) to Hanan, son (of) Hilkiah the priest”. However, this son is not mentioned in the Bible.
A bulla was also found in 1982 with the inscription, “(Belonging) to Azaryah, son (of) Hilkiah”.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilkiah for more information on these discoveries.
Jehozadak was probably too young to have been a priest when he was taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar. His son, Jeshua, was High Priest when the people of Judah returned from captivity.
This family tree concentrates on King Josiah in his position as king. As a result, many branches of the tree are omitted, including several of his sons. His wives are also omitted for clarity.
The last eight kings of Judah are all shown on this chart, and, interestingly, we know the name of the mother of each one. These kings were, in order:
Many other people in the time of Jeremiah are connected with the royal family, but the exact connections are not known. One example is Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, a member of the royal family, who assassinated Gedaliah (see his family tree below).
Daniel and his friends may also fit in somewhere, but we do not know where.
This family tree concentrates on Shaphan and his family, who appear often in the records of the time of Jeremiah. The references given often show connections between Shaphan’s family and Hilkiah’s family. Arguably, Gedaliah achieved the highest position of all, but the family had filled many important positions in the kingdom of Judah for several generations.
The birth order of Shaphan’s sons is unknown.
Gedaliah was appointed governor by King Nebuchadnezzar after the defeat of Jerusalem, but he was assassinated soon afterwards by Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, a member of the royal family (2 Kings 25:22-25).
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