Chemayia and 'Iddo

'The Midrash BEN ISH HAI Message and Discussion Area': Other Jewish Religious Topics: Chemayia and 'Iddo
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Abraham Mitsarfat (Abraham)

Tuesday, November 26, 2002 - 08:00 am Click here to edit this post
I had to split this post in 4, because the site refused to “swallow” it in one piece.

Part 1

It’s a pity I can’t add Hebrew letters in this post, or my explanations would have been clearer. Well, I’ll try with the means at my disposal, instead of actual Hebrew alphabet, I’ll use its phonetic equivalent in Latin alphabet. If you don’t understand all, ask me. Only, it takes to have a minimum of notion in Hebrew and to have a Hebrew version of the TaNaKh to follow my reasoning, you have one at this adress:

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0101.htm

You have also the complet text of “Mishne Thora” by Moses Maimonide.

I’d like to talk of two characters who are rather unrecognized: Chemayia and ‘Iddo.

There are at least twenty five characters named Chemayia or Chemayiahou, under this form or another, since David’s time to Ezra’s.

The one I’m talking about was a Prophet, he exercised his ministry at Roboam’s time between 935 and 914 BCE. We meet him first in the Sepher Malakhim aleph(1 Kings), chapter 12: 22-24, when the schism happened at the assembly of Shekhem, and Roboam was up to make war to take back the northern territories. Chemayia intervened to dissuade him from doing that, explaining the secession of the coutry was G.od’s will (1 Kings 12: 22-24). In Divrei haiamim beit (2 Chronicles) 11: 2-4, in the same narration, more or less told in the same way, his names takes the form of Chemayiahou.

We meet him again in another episode of Roboam’s life, during the fifth year of his reign, circa 930 (2 Chronicles 12: 2-12), during Pharaoh Sheshonk’s campaign in Judah.

Sheshonk the First, the TaNaKh calls Chichak, was the founder of the 22nd dynasty of Pharaohs. He was from Libyan origin, he reigned from 945 to 925. It’s him who offered a shelter to Jeroboam (931-910), when he was still a Salomon’s foreman, after he had rebelled against his master. Sheshonk, whose enmity against David’s lineage was blatant, brought his back up to Jeroboam, and helped him to found the Kingdom of Israel in the North.

(sequel in the next post)
Roboam had succeeded to his father Salomon since barely five years, when Sheshonk attacked the Kingdom of Judah, with “twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand horsemen and the innumerable troops of Libyans, Sukkites and Cushites that came with him from Egypt” (2 Chronicles 12:3). Roboam had to pay a heavy tribute for him to accept to leave the country, he surrendered the treasures of the Temples of Hashem and of the Royal palace, “everything, including all the gold shields Solomon had made” (1 Kings 14: 26). He replaced them with brass shields, and he reigned eleven years more, on a Kingdom that had become more of less an Egyptian protectorate.


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