sha'-fan (shaphan, "rockbadger," English Versions of the Bible "coney"; Saphphan):
An old totem clan name (so W.R. Smith; compare, however, the article TOTEMISM; Gray, Gray, Studies in Hebrew Proper Names, 103, and Jacob's Studies in Biblical Archaeology, 84).
(1) Son of Azaliah and scribe of King Josiah. He received from Hilkiah the Book of the Law which had been found in the Temple (2 Kings 22:3; 2 Chronicles 34:8-28). It was from Shaphan's lips that Josiah heard the Law read. Shaphan was also one of those sent by the king to the prophetess Huldah (2 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 34). He was undoubtedly one of the staunchest supporters of Josiah in his work of reform. He was the father of Ahikam (2 Kings 22:12; 2 Chronicles 34:20; Jeremiah 26:24), who befriended and protected the prophet Jeremiah. Another son, Elasah, was one of the two men entrusted by Jeremiah with his letter to the captives in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:3). A third son, Gemariah, vainly tried to prevent King Jehoiakim from burning "the roll" (Jeremiah 36:10,11,12,25). The Micaiah of Jeremiah 36:11,12, and Gedaliah, the governor of Judea after the captivity of 586 BC, were his grandsons (Jeremiah 39:14).
(2) Perhaps the father of Jaazaniah, one of the 70 men whom Ezekiel saw, in his vision of the Temple, sacrificing to idols (Ezekiel 8:11).
Horace J. Wolf
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