Jeremiah: Family trees

By Mark Morgan | Family trees

Jan 23
Family trees: Jeremiah

Family trees

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 God gave their ancestor Jacob the name “Israel” almost 4,000 years ago.[1]

Aaron and his descendants were made priests for the nation during the Exodus, and the family held this position until they were replaced with Jesus Christ, at which time the law was replaced as well.[2]

These two examples 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.

The family tree of Aaron

Family trees: Aaron
This family tree concentrates on Aaron and his close family. As a result, we exclude Amram’s three brothers (Izhar, Hebron and Uzziel), 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.

This family tree was produced for the series “Terror on Every Side! The life of Jeremiah”, so the family tree ends with Hilkiah, the father of Jeremiah.

The family tree of Jeremiah

Family trees: 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, the High Priest in the time of Josiah when Jeremiah 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.

Jeremiah's Extended Family Tree

The family trees above include the three sons of Hilkiah listed in the Bible. Hilkiah may have had another son – a seal found in 1980 bore the inscription, “(Belonging) to Hanan, son (of) Hilkiah the priest”. However, he is not mentioned in the Bible.

A bulla was also found in 1982 with the inscription, “(Belonging) to Azaryah, son (of) Hilkiah”.

See for more information on these discoveries.

Jehozadak was probably too young to be a priest when taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar. His son, Jeshua, was High Priest when the people of Judah returned from captivity.

The family tree of Josiah the king

Family trees: Josiah
This family tree concentrates on King Josiah in his position as king. As a result, it omits many branches of the tree, 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:

  1. Hezekiah, whose mother was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah (2 Kings 18:2).
  2. Manasseh, whose mother was Hephzibah (2 Kings 21:1).
  3. Amon, whose mother was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah (2 Kings 21:19).
  4. Josiah, whose mother was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath (2 Kings 22:1).
  5. Jehoahaz, whose mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah (2 Kings 23:31). (See Zedekiah below.)
  6. Jehoiakim, whose mother was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah (2 Kings 23:36).
  7. Jeconiah, whose mother was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:8).
  8. Zedekiah, whose mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah (2 Kings 24:18; Jeremiah 52:1). (See Jehoahaz above.)

Many other people were also connected with the royal family in the time of Jeremiah, but we don’t know the exact family relationships. One example is Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, a member of the royal family, who assassinated Gedaliah (see below).

Daniel and his friends may also fit in there somewhere, but we don’t know where.

The family tree of Gedaliah the governor

Family trees: Gedaliah
This family tree concentrates on Shaphan and his family, who appear often in the records of the time of Jeremiah.[3] 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.

King Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah governor after the defeat of Jerusalem, but Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, a member of the royal family assassinated him soon afterwards.[4]

See also

Wikipedia article on Hilkiah
The Tribe of Levi on Bible Roadmap
The Tribe of Judah (David) on Bible Roadmap
Bible Tales Blog article “Family friendships


Terror on Every Side!

This article is one of a series of articles on Jeremiah published as back-up material for the Bible-based fiction series Terror on Every Side!
[ More information | Purchase ]

Terror on Every Side! Volumes 1-6 Cover

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1 See Genesis 32:28; 35:10; 1 Kings 18:31; 1 Chronicles 16:13, 17; Isaiah 41:8; 45:3-4
2 See Hebrews 3:1; 4:14; 7:12
3 See article “Family friendships” (
4 2 Kings 25:22-25