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Gemariah

GEMARIAH

GEMARIAH (Heb. גְּמַרְיָהוּ, גְּמַרְיָה; "Yahu has accomplished"), two biblical figures.

(1) Gemariah son of Hilkiah was one of Zedekiah's emissaries to Nebuchadnezzar, who brought the letter written by Jeremiah to the elders in exile (Jer. 29:3). He is mentioned nowhere else. Although Jeremiah's father was also named Hilkiah that is probably coinicidental.

(2) Gemariah son of Shaphan was a high official in the time of Jehoiakim (Jer. 36:10). He was a member of one of the influential pro-Babylonian families in the last days of Judah (see *Shaphan), and was also one of the royal officers on friendly terms with Jeremiah. Baruch read Jeremiah's scroll in Gemariah's chamber (Jer. 36:10–12). The latter's son Micaiah reported this to Jehoiakim, who ordered the scroll destroyed after it was read to him. Gemariah was among the officials who tried to dissuade him. The mention of Gemariah's chamber in the Temple is interesting, yet the reason for his having one is not entirely clear. Such chambers were commonly intended for priests and levites (Neh. 10:38–39; 13:4–9; i Chron. 9:26, 33) and also for high officials of the king (ii Kings 23:11; Jer. 35:4), but the purpose of these chambers is unknown (cf. i Sam. 9:22; Neh. 13:4–9). A bulla (stamp-seal impression) reading lgmryhw [b]n špn, "belonging to Gemariahu [so]n of Shaphan," was found in excavations in Jerusalem.

The name Gemariahu son of Hizziliahu occurs on the *Lachish Ostraca.

bibliography:

Yeivin, in: Tarbiz, 12 (1940–41), 255, 257–8. add. bibliography: W. Holladay, Jeremiah 2 (1989), 140; S. Ahituv, Handbook of Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions (1992), 32–3, 128–29.

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