In Chronicles 1:9:1-34 there's a description of the people who settled in Yerushalayim. There's a disagreement among commentators whether these people settled in Yerushalayim during the Second Temple period and this chapter is another version of Nechemiah 11:1-36, or if it's referring to another period entirely, from sometime during the First Temple period. There are noticeable differences between the two chapters. One difference is that only in Chronicles are people from the Tribes of Menashe and Ephraim mentioned to have settled in Yerushalayim:

"while some of the Judahites and some of the Benjaminites and some of the Ephraimites and Manassehites settled in Jerusalem." (ibid. 3)

My question is not why they aren't mentioned in Nechemiah, but rather: The leaders of the people of Yehudah, Binyamin, the Kohanim and Levi'im are listed by name, while the leaders of Menashe and Ephraim are not. Why is this so?

I read a theory presented by Rabbi Dr. Yehoshua Brand on this, but it seemed way too conspiratorial to me and didn't appear to really fit in with what we know of the character of the authors of Tanach1. After all, Ezra and Chronicles were both written by Ezra, and the portion of Ezra that's dictated in the first person appears to have been written by Nechemiah, who was a contemporary of Ezra, and the two were both great and wise men. So I'm looking for something different.

Any ideas?

1 It's an interesting idea nonetheless in my opinion, so I recommend reading, if you can get a copy of his book כלי זכוכית בתלמוד (Glassware in the Talmud). It's in the second section dedicated to various essays not relating to the main subject of the book. I don't remember the title, but it's got something to do with ברית דמשק - the Damascus Covenant. In short, with regards to the verse in Chronicles, he posited that the people of Judea initially welcomed returnees from the Ten Tribes who were living in the remains of the Assyrian Empire, but the Judeans were too proud a people and looked down upon them and refused to let them to actually be counted and listed among them in most official records.

1 Answer 1


I had a thought today that may possibly answer the question:

In both chapters, there's an emphasis that the people listed here are leaders and heads of families. In Nechemiah it says:

"The officers of the people settled in Jerusalem"

"These are the heads of the province who lived in Jerusalem"

"All the clan of Periz who were living in Jerusalem—468 valorous men"

"Judah son of Hassenuah was the second-in-command of the city."

"The heads of the people: Parosh, Pahath-moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani"

and so forth, all throughout the chapter.

Similar terms are used also in Divrei Hayamim, however, that's not the chapter banner. The chapter opens with:

"All Israel was registered by genealogies; and these are in the book of the kings of Israel. And Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their trespass. The first to settle in their towns, on their property, were Israelites, priests, Levites, and temple servants, while some of the Judahites and some of the Benjaminites and some of the Ephraimites and Manassehites settled in Jerusalem."

Then it begins listing the names of the people from Yehudah and Binyamin. Cross-referencing Nechemiah, we know that these people are central in their tribes, but only at the end of the list of Yehudah and Binyamin does it actually say:

"and their kinsmen, according to their lines—956. All these were chiefs of their ancestral clans."

Like I said, in Nechemiah this was written right at the beginning of the chapter, while in Divrei Hayamim it was written only from the middle of the chapter and on.

Therefore, I think perhaps the answer is that while the people from Yehudah, Binyamin, the Levites and kohanim were important leaders, the people from Ephraim and Menashe were not. Perhaps the names of the people who did come were not listed, to serve as a kind of rebuke towards the Ten Tribes, that none of their leaders came.

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