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Thread: Two names for one of David's brothers?

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    Full Member Bruce Nuffer's Avatar

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    Two names for one of David's brothers?

    I am creating a children's Bible story app of David and Goliath. In one scene I have all David's brothers in the background, and when the user touches each one, that character introduces himself. I found the names listed in 2 Chron. 2:13-14. However, in 1 Sam 13, it lists one of the brothers names differently--Shammah (I assume this is the one called Shimea in 1 Chron.)

    Does anyone know any background on this? Is one of these names the more traditional one? I am inclined to use the name as it is written in 1 Sam. in case the app users look up the story; that way they'll see the consistency.

    Thoughts?
    Thanks Cynthia Prentice, David Graham - "thanks" for this post

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    Naznet Owner Dave McClung's Avatar

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    Re: Two names for one of David's brothers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Nuffer View Post
    I am creating a children's Bible story app of David and Goliath. In one scene I have all David's brothers in the background, and when the user touches each one, that character introduces himself. I found the names listed in 2 Chron. 2:13-14. However, in 1 Sam 13, it lists one of the brothers names differently--Shammah (I assume this is the one called Shimea in 1 Chron.)

    Does anyone know any background on this? Is one of these names the more traditional one? I am inclined to use the name as it is written in 1 Sam. in case the app users look up the story; that way they'll see the consistency.

    Thoughts?
    Wikipedia says that Shammah may be the same person referred to as Shamgar in Judges. My father has a sermon series on "lesser known people of the Old Testament." One of my favorite sermons was the story of Shamgar who killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad.

    The Bible Encyclopedia says that Shammua was David's son, not his brother. http://christiananswers.net/dictionary/shimea.html

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    Senior Member Todd Erickson's Avatar

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    Re: Two names for one of David's brothers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave McClung View Post
    Wikipedia says that Shammah may be the same person referred to as Shamgar in Judges. My father has a sermon series on "lesser known people of the Old Testament." One of my favorite sermons was the story of Shamgar who killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad.
    That was a judge though, and David's brothers would have lived after the time of the judges, correct?

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    Senior Member Cynthia Prentice's Avatar

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    Re: Two names for one of David's brothers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Nuffer View Post
    I am creating a children's Bible story app of David and Goliath. In one scene I have all David's brothers in the background, and when the user touches each one, that character introduces himself. I found the names listed in 2 Chron. 2:13-14. However, in 1 Sam 13, it lists one of the brothers names differently--Shammah (I assume this is the one called Shimea in 1 Chron.)

    Does anyone know any background on this? Is one of these names the more traditional one? I am inclined to use the name as it is written in 1 Sam. in case the app users look up the story; that way they'll see the consistency.

    Thoughts?
    Many scholars say that they are the same name. I am sure this is very possible, however I believe that a case could also be made that they are two different names. If this is the case, perhaps Shammah died and Shimea stepped in line as third son.

    In considering this possibility I have taken into consideration several things.

    1. The root meaning of each name is very different.

    Shammah has a very negative connotation (ruin, desolation, horror) and Shimea has a positive one (announcement, something heard, and at its very root Shema - to hear intelligently)

    2. When Jews study the Hebrew text, one of the basic tools they use to gain insight into the meaning of a word is by looking at the first place it is used in scripture. All other uses of the word are influenced by its first usage.

    The root for Shammah first shows up in Deuteronomy 28:37, "You will be so devastated as to become a proverb and a laughingstock among all the peoples to which Adonai will drive you." CJB (Complete Jewish Bible)

    The root for Shimea first shows up in Gen 3:8, "They heard the voice of Adonai, God, walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze," CJB

    3. The text seems to indicate that Jesse started out with eight sons and one of Jesse's sons subsequently died.

    1 Samuel 16:10 indicates that Jesse had eight sons, seven were brought before the prophet and then the youngest, David, was brought. But then later in the genealogy of 1 Chronicles we are given a list of only seven sons. Evidently one of Jesse's sons died without heirs.

    I believe that it is possible that Shammah died. Shimea, could have possibly been the fourth son who then moved into third place as the third born who produced heirs. I think that when we take into consideration that Shammah's name means ruin, horror, desolation it strengthens this possibility. If we were writing this story, we would have indicated that he died...but in a very Eastern/Hebrew way, the story possibly indicates this.

    I am sure the case could also be made that Shammah, meaning ruin, terror, desolation, could be seen as a very positive name for a warrior. If that were the case then it is possible that the names are speaking of the same person. So.....I guess that just leaves things as clear as mud.
    Last edited by Cynthia Prentice; May 23rd, 2012 at 11:18 PM.
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