Cultural Questions Regarding Ancient Jewish Genealogies #general


the.power.owns.you@...
 

I have several questions dealing with how ancient Jewish genealogies worked. Due to the soc.culture.jewish.moderated Google Group being inactive for years (where such questions were originally directed), and since there also aren’t really any other active Jewish specific related forums on the web, Support@JewishGen gave me permission to ask my questions here on the main forum. Any information, especially with cited sources, would be very helpful for my personal study.


1) How did ancient Jews (prior to the first century) view pregnancy? The ins-and-outs of genetics weren’t known at that point in time, so did they view it as the man’s seed alone being planted in the woman, meaning that the mother was not a bloodline contributor for the child but was just the carrier for the male’s blood offspring? Is this why genealogies were always traced through the male’s line?

2)
It’s understandable that not every single descendant of every person is listed in scriptural genealogies since there’s just not space for it, but did ancient Jews ever condense lineages of a continuous line (intentionally leaving out individuals when tracing from one person to one of their ancestors) for convenience, an individual ancestor being dishonored, or for any other reason? For example, 1 Chronicles 6:4-8 lists the following lineage: Eleazar > Phinehas > Abishua > Bukki > Uzzi > Zerahia > Meriaoth > Amariah > Ahitub > Zadok > Ahimaaz > Azariah > Johanan > Azariah. To trace from Azariah all the way back to his distant ancestor Eleazar, would it have ever been acceptable to simply write “Azariah son of Ahitub son of Bukki son of Eleazar,” or something similar? If not, and if a scribe did ever want to easily reference one person being the descendant of a distant ancestor, what would have been the appropriate way to do that?

3)
How would genealogies work for an adopted child in ancient times? Would they have full legitimacy in being an heir of their adoptive parents and therefore be listed in genealogies just like any of the parents’ other children, would the adopted child still be listed under their original parents, or might the child be excluded from the written record after being adopted due to them not being a legitimate heir in the family?

 

Thanks in advance!

-David

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