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SERAIAH (sē-rā'ya, Heb. serāyāhû)

SERAIAH sĭ rā’ yə (שְׂרָיָ֖ה , שְׂרָיָ֣הוּ ; in Gr. of Apoc. transliterated Σαραία, Σαρεά, Jahweh has persisted.) KJV Apoc. SARAIAS—yes. 1. David’s scribe (2 Sam 8:17), also variantly called Sheva (2 Sam 20:25), Shisha (1 Kings 4:3), Shavsha (1 Chron 18:16). There is some possibility that the original Heb. was שׁשׁא. During his career, David’s reign was at its zenith.

2. A son of Azariah and high priest at 587 (6) b.c. when Jerusalem was captured and destroyed by the Babylonians. He was seized and put to death at Riblah by Nebuchadnezzar, prob. not for anything he had done, but because he was a symbol of Heb. autonomy (2 Kings 25:18-21; Jer 52:24-27). In 1 Chronicles 6:12-14, he is mentioned among Levi’s descendants through the line of Hilkiah and Zadok. He was the father of Jehozadak who was taken into exile by Nebuchadnezzar, and the grandfather of Joshua, the postexilic high priest. Ezra was also a descendant of this Seraiah (1 Chron 6:14f., Ezra 7:1, where “son” means “descendant”).

3. The son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite. One of a number of captains who submitted to Gedaliah at Mizpah when Gedaliah was made governor by Nebuchadnezzar. Gedaliah advised them to accept Babylonian rule (2 Kings 25:23f., Jer 40:8f.) and promised to treat them fairly (Jer 40:10). When an Ammonite plot led to the slaughter of Gedaliah by Ishmael of the family of David, Seraiah and others fled into Egypt.

4. A second son of Kenaz (1 Chron 4:13, 14). He was the brother of Othniel and the father of Joab, of the tribe of Judah.

5. A Simeonite prince, the son of Asiel (1 Chron 4:35). He was the father of Joshibiah, and the grandfather of Jehu.

6. One of the returnees who accompanied Zerubbabel to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:2; 1 Esd 5:8). Perhaps identical with the Seraiah of Nehemiah 12:1, 12. He is called Azariah in Nehemiah 7:7.

7. One of the signers of the covenant of Ezra (Neh 10:2). Some identify him with number six above.

8. A priest, son of Hilkiah, who served as “ruler of the house of God” in Jerusalem (Neh 11:11).

9. The son of Azriel, an officer of king Jehoiakim in 604 b.c. who was commanded to arrest Jeremiah and his scribe Baruch (Jer 36:26) because of Jeremiah’s prophecies that had been read to the king.

10. A Judean prince who served as quartermaster. He was a son of Neriah. He went with Zedekiah to Babylon in the king’s fourth year (594). He conveyed Jeremiah’s prophecy to Babylon. When Jeremiah’s prophecy was read, the scroll was to be submerged in the Euphrates (Jer 51:59ff.). Some think he is the same as number three above. According to Jeremiah 32:12, he was a brother of Baruch.


T. Laetsch, Bible Commentary: Jeremiah (1952); E. Leslie, Jeremiah (1954); J. Bright, Anchor Bible: Jeremiah (1965).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

se-ra’-ya, se-ri’-a (serayahu, "Yah hath prevailed"; Septuagint Saraias, or Saraia):

(1) Secretary of David (2Sa 8:17); in 2Sa 20:25 he is called Sheva; in 1Ki 4:3 the name appears as Shisha. This last or Shasha would be restored elsewhere by some critics; others prefer the form Shavsha, which is found in 1Ch 18:16.

(2) A high priest in the reign of Zedekiah; executed with other prominent captives at Riblah by order of Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 25:18,21; Jer 52:24,27). Mentioned in the list of high priests (1Ch 6:14). Ezra claims descent from him (Ezr 7:1 (3)).

See Azaraias; Saraias.

(3) The son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and one of the heroic band of men who saved themselves from the fury of Nebuchadnezzar when he stormed Jerusalem. They repaired to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, but killed him on account of his allegiance to the Chaldeans (2Ki 25:23,25).

(4) Son of Kenaz, and younger brother of Othniel, and father of Joab, the chief of Ge-harashim (1Ch 4:13,14).

(5) Grandfather of Jehu, of the tribe of Simeon (1Ch 4:35).

(6) A priest, the third in the list of those who returned from Babylon to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:2; Ne 7:7, here called Azariah; 12:1), and third also (if the same person is meant) in the record of those who sealed the covenant binding all Jews not to take foreign wives (Ne 10:2). As the son of Hilkiah, and consequently a direct descendant of the priestly family, he became governor of the temple when it was rebuilt (Ne 11:11). He is mentioned (under the name Azariah) also in 1Ch 9:11. Ne 12:2 adds that "in the days of Joiakim" the head of Seraiah’s house was Meraiah.

(7) Son of Azriel, one of those whom Jehoiakim commanded to imprison Jeremiah and Baruch, the son of Neriah (Jer 36:26).

(8) The son of Neriah, who went into exile with Zedekiah. He was also called Sar Menuchah ("prince of repose"). The Targum renders Sar Menuchah by Rabh Tiqrabhta, "prince of battle, and Septuagint by archon doron, "prince of gifts," reading Minchah for Menuchah. At the request of Jeremiah he carried with him in his exile the passages containing the prophet’s warning of the fall of Babylon, written in a book which he was bidden to bind to a stone and cast into the Euphrates, to symbolize the fall of Babylon (Jer 51:59-64).

Horace J. Wolf