The name is most frequently borne by priests, Levites and prophets.
(1) Codex Vaticanus Sammaias; Codex Alexandrinus Samaias (2 Chronicles 12:5,7). A prophet who, together with Ahijah, protested against Rehoboam's contemplated war against the ten revolted tribes (1 Kings 12:22-24 = 2 Chronicles 11:2-4). He declared that the rebellion had divine sanction. The second Greek account knows nothing of Ahijah in this connection and introduces Shemaiah at the gathering at Shechem where both Jeroboam and Rehoboam were present; it narrates that on this occasion Shemaiah (not Ahijah) rent his garment and gave ten parts to Jeroboam to signify the ten tribes over which he was to become king. (This version, however, is not taken very seriously, because of its numerous inconsistencies.) Shemaiah also prophesied at the invasion of Judah by Shishak (2 Chronicles 12:5-7). His message was to the effect that as the princes of Israel had humbled themselves, God's wrath against their idolatrous practices would not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak (2 Chronicles 13:7). He is mentioned as the author of a history of Rehoboam (2 Chronicles 12:15).
(2) Son of Shecaniah (1 Chronicles 3:22, Samaia), a descendant of Zerubbabel. This is also the name of one of the men who helped to repair the wall (Nehemiah 3:29, Semeia (...) (compare Curtis, ICC, in 1 Chronicles 3:17-24)).
(7) Head of the Levitical Kohathite clan of Elizaphan in the time of David (1 Chronicles 15:8, Codex Vaticanus Samaias; Codex Alexandrinus Samaia; Codex Sinaiticus Sameas; 1 Chronicles 15:11, Codex Vaticanus Samias; Codex Alexandrinus Semeias; Codex Sinaiticus Samai). He may be the same person as (8).
(8) The scribe (1 Chronicles 24:6), the son of Nethanel, who registered the names of the priestly courses.
(10) A Levite (2 Chronicles 17:8, Codex Vaticanus Samouas; Codex Alexandrinus Samouias). One of the commission appointed by Jehoshaphat to teach the book of the Law in Judah. The names of the commissioners as a whole belong to a period later than the 9th century. (Gray, HPN, 231).
(11) One of the men "over the free-will offerings of God" (2 Chronicles 31:15, Semeei).
(12) A Levite of the family of Jeduthun in the reign of Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:14), one of those who assisted in the purification of the Temple.
(13) A chief of the Levites (2 Chronicles 35:9), called "Samaias" in Septuagint and 1 Esdras 1:9.
(14) A "chief man" under Ezra (Ezra 8:16), called "Maasmas" and "Samaias" in 1 Esdras 8:43,44.
(16) A priest of the family of Harim who married a foreign wife (Ezra 10:21), called "Sameus" in 1 Esdras 9:21.
(17) A layman of the family of Harim who married a foreign wife (Ezra 10:31), called "Sabbeus" in 1 Esdras 9:32.
(18) A prophet (Nehemiah 6:10-14, Codex Vaticanus Semeei; Codex Alexandrinus Semei), employed by Sanballat and Tobiah to frighten Nehemiah and hinder the rebuilding of the wall.
(19) One of the 24 courses of priests, 16th under Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 12:6, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus Semeias), 15th under Joiakim (Nehemiah 12:18; Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus Semeia), and 21st under Nehemiah (Nehemiah 10:8, Samaia), mentioned in connection with the dedication of the wall.
(20) A priest, descendant of Asaph (Nehemiah 12:35).
(21) A singer (or clan) participating in the dedication of the wall (Nehemiah 12:36).
(22) Father of the prophet Urijah (Jeremiah 26:20, Codex Vaticanus and Codex Alexandrinus Samaias; Codex Sinaiticus Maseas).
(23) A false prophet who was upbraided by Jeremiah (29:24-32) for attempting to hinder his work. He is styled "the Nehelamite" and was among those carried into captivity with Jehoiachin. In opposition to Jeremiah, he predicted a speedy ending to the captivity. Jeremiah foretold the complete destruction of Shemaiah's family.
(24) Father of Delaiah, who was a prince in the reign of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 36:12).
(25) "The great," kinsman of Tobias (Tobit 5:13).
Horace J. Wolf
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