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Seraiah

SERAIAH

SERAIAH (Heb. שְׂרָיָה ,שְׂרָיָהוּ; "yhwh is prince").

(1) Son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah. Seraiah was from a family of high officials who served under *Zedekiah, king of Judah (596–586 b.c.e.). This family apparently had pro-Babylonian sympathies, and Seraiah acted as Zedekiah's emissary to Babylon (Jer. 51:59). At the same time he also served as Jeremiah's emissary, which indicates that he supported the prophet as did *Baruch, who was apparently his brother. His official title was "quartermaster" (Heb. sar menuḥah, Jer. 51:59), although the Septuagint and Theodotion describes him as "officer in charge of gifts" (Heb. sar minḥah or sar menaḥot). If the latter versions are correct, Seraiah son of Neriah is to be identified with the chief priest Seraiah who was exiled to Babylonia (Jer. 52:24).

(2) The chief priest in Jerusalem at the time of the fall of the city (ii Kings 25:18 = Jer. 52:24), who was put to death at Riblah by Nebuchadnezzar. He was an ancestor of Ezra (Ezra 7:1; i Esd. 8:1).

(3) A captain of the Judean forces who joined Gedaliah at Mizpah (ii Kings 25:23; Jer. 40:8), in the assurance that he would be treated well by the latter.

(4) An officer of King Jehoiakim who was sent by the king to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch (Jer. 36:26). The name Seraiah appears as the name of a woman in a papyrus from Elephantine (Cowley, Aramaic, 22:4, p. 67).

bibliography:

S. Yeivin, in: Tarbiz, 12 (1941), 260.

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