You just never know what you’re going to find hidden among genealogical lists. 1 Chronicles 7:20-29 gives an account of the family and descendants of Joseph’s son Ephraim, but rather just a list of names, it also includes anecdotal information.

One son and his family were killed by the men of Gath because they wanted their cattle. So Ephraim mourned their death and his family came to comfort him. 

During his time of mourning, his wife conceived and bore a child, and they named Beriah because of the tragedy that had come over their house. 

Then we come to verse 24, that seems to come out of nowhere. “His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah.” Then verse 25 continues with names of more sons and male descendants.

So what exactly does it mean that Sheerah built Lower and Upper Beth-horon and Uzzen-sheerah? Bible scholars aren’t sure. 

One thing they agree on is that based on chronological timing, Sheerah wasn’t likely an actual daughter of Ephraim, but was more likely a granddaughter or great granddaughter. 

Some attribute the passage to mean literally what it sounds like, that Sheerah built, rebuilt, or restored the cities, or that she designed the structures and layout. Some scholars think she may have fortified or enlarged existing cities. Some say she may have just received them as an inheritance and her descendants occupied the cities. 

Regardless of the interpretation, we can all agree that Sheerah must have been an unusual woman who made a great contribution to her world. 

Read about Sheerah in Scripture:1 Chronicles 7:24, 2 Chronicles 8:5

Sheerah Bible story

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