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Allow me to explain (6 of 439)

December 15, 2010

Explanation is here. One through five are here.

6. How were Abijam and Asa related? 1 Ki 15:8 (vs) 1 Ki 15:1-2, 1 Ki 15:9-10

I actually had to check different translations to figure out what the contradiction is supposed to be here. My NKJV says,

1 Kings 15:8//
So Abijam rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the City of David. Then Asa his son reigned in his place.

1 Kings 15:1-2//
In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maachah the granddaughter of Abishalom.

1 Kings 15:9-10//
In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa became king over Judah. 10 And he reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His grandmother’s name was Maachah the granddaughter of Abishalom.

So it looks like Asa was Abijam’s son, according to all of those verses.

For the sake of conversation, the contention – I assume – is that some other versions translate 1 Kings 15:10 using “mother’s name” instead of “grandmother’s name,” such as the New American Standard:

1 Kings 15:10 (NASV)//
He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.

So which is it? Both.

The Hebrew word there is “em” (Strong’s number: 517), which is translated “mother.”

However, the Jews called any male ancestor “father,” and any female ancestor “mother,” no matter how remote. In Genesis 3, Adam names his wife Eve because she, “is the mother of all living.” Jesus is often, in the New Testament, called “the Son of David.” Such references are often used to cite lineage.

Those references are also used to cite similarities. 1 Kings 15 goes on, in verse 11, to compare King Asa to King David. David was not Asa’s immediate, biological father the way the modern, Western world thinks of fathers, but scripture there is noting his passion for holiness and comparing it to that of his ancestor, King David.

Further, Maacah, was also referenced as Asa’s “mother” because she held the office of Queen Mother when Asa ascended the throne (until Asa removed her, as recorded in verse 13).

Short answer: Abijam was Asa’s father.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Claude Turner permalink
    December 15, 2010 6:22 pm

    Are you sure that Asa didn’t marry a widow? And that Abijam didn’t marry her daughter?

    • Gloria Turner permalink
      December 15, 2010 11:10 pm

      For those of you who don’t get my witty husband’s sense of humor, he’s referencing the song “I’m My Own Grandpa”.

      • Lex permalink
        December 16, 2010 12:18 am

        I was so confused. :) Thanks for the tip. (You guys are hilarious.)

      • Claude Turner permalink
        December 16, 2010 8:51 pm

        What??? It’s a classic! I have both the Grandpa Jones, and Ray Stevens versions on my playlist

      • Lex permalink
        December 17, 2010 11:59 am

        That doesn’t really surprise me, Claude. :)

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