Many of you know that April is the month for the blogging A to Z challenge, wherein participants link together, pick an individual theme, and post based on the alphabet on every day but Sunday- A through Z, hence the name. It seems like many of those who used to play along that I follow aren't playing this year, because let's face it, it's a lot of work! Especially when you try to get real creative (like Al Penwasser's haiku set last year) or serious (like Gossip Girl's educational posts on heroin addiction this season).
Now me, I'm too lazy to go to that much trouble. So the last few years, I've been doing a mini version- a mashup twice during the month on some typically inane topic. Two years ago, I typed Scrappy and then the letter to find something; last year I did the same with the Presidential candidates. Stuck for an idea, and knowing my first post would be closing in on Easter, I decided, "Let me find the FIRST name in each letter in my Big Bad Biblical Concordance, and do something on each of them!" I had to get real creative with what I let past as a "name" by the end, but I did get 26 candidates- some you might know, some you may think I made up. But these are legit Bible names- the first one alphabetically, from A to Z. Got it? Okay, here we go.
A IS FOR AARON. Kinda hard to beat the guy who starts out with a double "A". Aaron got his first mention in Exodus 4:14 when God told Moses, "I KNOW you stutter, dummy! Take your brother with you, let him do the talking!" Curious thing to me is, for all his mess ups- the golden calf, the complaint about Moses' second wife- still he was described in Psalms 106:16 as "The Holy one of God." I guess in a way he was the Peter of the OT set.
B IS FOR BAAL-HANAN. My Bible's littler concordance calls him David's "gardener". Some gardener- he had charge of all the Royal Olive Trees and Sycamores from the hills of Judah to the Mediterranean- and THAT'S a lot of gardening! He popped up in I Chronicles 27:28.
C IS FOR CAESAR. Caesar- first mentioned in Luke 2:1- was at that point Augustus (the Emperor formerly known as Octavian), but he was followed for most of the NT period by Tiberius 14-37, Caligula till 41, Claudius till 54, and Nero till 68. Now, there were several stories back in the day about just where the family name Caesar came from, and of them, Julius Caesar chose the one that meant 'elephant', because elephants went good on his coinage and sounded more regal than "bushy-haired."
D IS FOR DALAIAH (even if my Bible spells it 'Delaliah'). This brave dude from Jeremiah 36:12 was one of a group of princes of Judah that delivered a scroll with a prophecy from Jeremiah to King Jehoiakim- a not very flattering one- and begged the King to NOT destroy it. But ol' King J wasn't a very good listener, and as his chief lackey read every section, the King cut it off the scroll and threw it in the fire.
E IS FOR EBAL. Ebal is one of those guys you only get in genealogies- this one in I Chronicles 1. Ebal was the grandson of Seir, progenitor of the Horites- whom I dug into a little farther and found that the word basically describes them as what we might call troglodytes. The Bible doesn't say if Bertha Butt was in the lineage somehow.
F IS FOR FELIX. The first of the Procurators that tried Paul, Marcus Antonius Felix had a last name that meant "fortunate" or "lucky". IDK that he especially was all that lucky, but he WAS out of town when his wife and son were among those buried in Herculaneum during the Vesuvius eruption.
G IS FOR GAAL. Gaal became a raised footnote in Judges 9:26, when during a war between Abimelech and the city of Shechem, he mouthed off about standing up to Abim- however, a city father who didn't like either one of 'em told Abim about it, and then convinced Gaal he was seeing things when Abim's army started coming at him from two directions. Gaal ended up running off like a little girl, and Abimelech took the city soon after.
H IS FOR HAAHASHTARI. A great-grandkid of Judah, his genealogy gets a little confusing when it mentions his dad was Asshur, "Father of Tekoa"- but then mentions four sons born to him- but NOT Tekoa. Tekoa comes into its couple of minutes of fame as the city founded by Asshur's mystery kid. Once was when it was the birthplace of the Prophet Amos. The other was when the post-exile residents of Tekoa did their part in rebuilding Jerusalem's walls- even though Nehemiah makes pointed reference to the fact that its rulers did NOT help. I Chronicles 4:6.
I IS FOR IBHAR. Outside of being one of King David's NINETEEN sons, Ibhar gets short shrift. As do most of the rest, save for Amnon (who got killed for raping his stepsister), Absalom (who did the killing, and died rebelling against his father), Adonijah (who THOUGHT he was going to be King after his father, but got trumped by Bathsheba and Solomon), Solomon (you know him), and Nathan (who is the branch of David's line that Mary came from).Thus, Ibhar is in the "other 14". I Chronicles 3:6.
J IS FOR JAAKAN. Jaakan is Ebal's cousin. Pretty much it for him. I Chronicles 1:42.
K IS FOR KALLAI. He was a second generation exile returnee, a priest, the son of Sallai. As his name means "frivolous", I kinda doubt he was a good priest like his old man. Find him in Nehemiah 12:20.
L IS FOR LAADAH. Come on, that name's funny. One syllable away from LaDeDah. Yet another I Chronicles genealogy name, he was the son of Shelah (AKA the one son of Judah that DIDN'T marry Tamar). And thus, I think, a great-uncle or uncle of Haahashtari.
And, M IS FOR MAACAH. The one woman in our countdown, she was a niece of Abraham, and in their complicated family line, an aunt to Rebekkah. Mentioned in Genesis 22:24, her mom, Reumah, must have had a bleak outlook on life. She must have had, because of the names she gave her 4 daughters- Tebah ("massacre"), Gaham ("burn"), Thahash ("badger" or similar fur-bearing varmint), and Maacah ("depression").
And there you go! Tune in towards the end of the month for Part Two!