(Se·raiʹah) [Jehovah Has Contended (Persevered)].
1. A son of Kenaz in the tribe of Judah, brother of Judge Othniel, and nephew of Caleb the spy. Seraiah’s descendants through his son Joab became craftsmen.—1Ch 4:13, 14.
2. The secretary in King David’s administration. (2Sa 8:15, 17) Unless there were several changes in the personnel of this office, he is elsewhere called Sheva (2Sa 20:25), Shavsha (1Ch 18:16), and Shisha, whose two sons later cared for like duties under Solomon. (1Ki 4:3) The names of most of the other governmental officials are the same in the three Davidic lists.
3. A son of Asiel in the tribe of Simeon whose descendants, contemporary with Hezekiah, joined the force that struck down Hamites and Meunim occupying an area and used the land for grazing.—1Ch 4:24, 35, 38-41.
4. One of the three whom King Jehoiakim, late in 624 B.C.E., sent to fetch Jeremiah and Baruch because of the prophecy against Jerusalem and Judah that Baruch had recorded at Jeremiah’s dictation. Seraiah was the son of Azriel.—Jer 36:9, 26.
5. The quartermaster of King Zedekiah; son of Neriah and brother of Baruch. (Jer 32:12; 51:59) In the fourth year of Zedekiah, 614 B.C.E., Seraiah accompanied Zedekiah to Babylon. Jeremiah had given him a scroll containing prophetic denunciations of Babylon, instructing him to read it alongside the Euphrates River, then tie a stone to the scroll and pitch it into the river, thus illustrating the permanence of Babylon’s fall. (Jer 51:59-64) Seraiah likely passed on to the Israelite exiles already there some of the thoughts from the prophecy. It is of interest that archaeologists have found a seal bearing the inscription “Belonging to Seraiah (ben) Neriah.”—Israel Exploration Journal, Jerusalem, 1978, Vol. 28, p. 56.
6. The chief priest when Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. Though Seraiah was slain at Nebuchadnezzar’s order, his son Jehozadak was spared and taken captive to Babylon. (2Ki 25:18-21; Jer 52:24-27) Through Seraiah’s son Jehozadak, the high-priestly line from Aaron continued; Jehozadak’s son Jeshua held this office at the time of the Jews’ release and return. (1Ch 6:14, 15; Ezr 3:2) Seraiah is also called the father of Ezra, but in view of the 139 years between Seraiah’s death and Ezra’s return, there were probably at least two unnamed generations in between them, a type of omission common in Biblical genealogies.—Ezr 7:1.
7. One of the military chiefs remaining in Judah after the general deportation to Babylon; son of Tanhumeth. Seraiah and the others of his rank supported Gedaliah’s appointment as governor, warned him of Ishmael’s threat on his life, and later endeavored to avenge his death. Fearing the Babylonians, however, Seraiah and the other chiefs led the remaining Jews into Egypt.—2Ki 25:23, 26; Jer 40:8, 13-16; 41:11-18; 43:4-7.
8. One of those apparent leaders listed with Zerubbabel as returning from exile in 537 B.C.E. (Ezr 2:1, 2) He is called Azariah in the parallel list at Nehemiah 7:7.
9. A priest who returned from exile with Zerubbabel. In the following generation, Meraiah represented his paternal house. (Ne 12:1, 12) The Seraiah included among the signers of the covenant in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah may also have been a representative of the same family, or another priest of this name. (Ne 10:1, 2, 8) Seraiah, again possibly one of this paternal house or a priest of the same name, lived in Jerusalem after the walls were rebuilt.—Ne 11:1, 10, 11.