1 Chronicles 8


Descendants of Benjamin

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “Although Benjamin has already been considered (7:6-12), a second, more detailed genealogy of this tribe is given here that has little in common with the earlier list and serves a different function. The structure of Judah-Levi-Benjamin is completed here. The other tribes are enclosed within an ideal conception of Israel as a nation led by the royal tribe of Judah in partnership with its neighbor Benjamin, with Levi at the center to remind the people of their spiritual vocation. Although most of Benjamin sided with the north in the disruption of the kingdom under Rehoboam, the Benjaminite area around Jerusalem as far as Bethel remained loyal to the Davidic king (see 1 Kings 12:21). Judah (including Simeon) and Benjamin formed the southern kingdom, and they are regularly mentioned together in this book (2 Chron 11:1-3, 10; 14:8; 15:2, 9; 31:1). Together they were the legitimate heirs of Israel as it existed under the united monarchy. Judah and Benjamin also formed the core of the postexilic community in Jerusalem and Judah (cf Ezra 1:5; Neh 11:4-9). Verses 1-28 of 1 Chronicles 8 are especially concerned with the location of the Benjaminite settlements in Jerusalem and further afield (vv. 6, 12, 13, 28, 29, 32). Most of the details in this section are probably from preexilic sources. They would have reminded the readers of their identity and ancient claim to the land, founded on God’s promise and gift (16:17-18; 2 Chron 20:7).”

      • Benjamin’s firstborn was Bela, Ashbel was his second, Aharah was his third, Nohah was his fourth, and Rapha was his fifth.

        • NET Bible points out that, “Aharah is called ‘Ahiram’ in Num 26:38.”

      • Bela’s sons: Addar, Gera, Abihud, Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, Gera, Shephuphan, and Huram.

        • Again we have difficulties in reconciling this text with previous accounts. Pulpit Commentary notes, “Nine sons are here assigned to Bela. Genesis (Genesis 46:21) only finds us clearly three of them, and these in very different order, viz. Gera, Naaman, and Arel; and Numbers (Numbers 26:39, 40) finds us only three, viz. Ard, Naaman, and Shupham. Yet our Huram may correspond with Hupham, and then the four pairs of names – Shephuphan and Huram, Shupham and Hupham, Shuppim and Huppim, and Muppim and Huppim – may be interpreted as designating one and the same couple of persons. The recurrence of the name Gera in ver. 5, so close upon the same name in ver. 3, would of course be more remarkable, and point inevitably to the disordered state of the text, if it were necessary to suppose that these nine persons were really brothers, as well as called sons of Bela.”

      • These were the descendants of Ehud who were leaders of the families living in Geba who were deported to Manahath: Naaman, Ahijah, and Gera. Gera deported them, and he was the father of Uzza and Ahihud.

        • On the verses above, 1-7, ESV Study Bible says, “The descendants of the famous judge Ehud (Judg 3:15), who settled in the Benjaminite city of Geba (see 1 Kgs 15:22) before their removal to Mahanath (probably in Judah).”

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible adds, “This exile is unknown; it might have been a voluntary emigration from the territory of Benjamin, perhaps during the period of the judges.”

      • After Shaharaim divorced his wives Hushim and Baara, he fathered sons in the land of Moab. His sons by his wife Hodesh were: Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malkam, Jeuz, Sakia, and Mirmah. These were his sons, and leaders of families. He also had sons by his wife Hushim: Abitub and Elpaal.

      • Elpaal’s sons: Eber, Misham, Shemed (who built Ono and Lod as well as their surrounding towns), Beriah, and Shema. They were the leaders of the families living in Aijalon, and they drove out the inhabitants of Gath.

        • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible remarks, “The mention of building these cities [Ono and Lod] represents an expansion on the part of Benjamin toward the west. Ono, Lod, and Aijalon all lay within the territory allotted to Dan (Jos 19:40-46). The Danites had difficulty taking possession of their territory. Some, as a result, migrated to the far north of the country. It appears that the Benjaminites, at least in some regions, achieved what the Danites could not.”

      • Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, Michael, Ishpah, and Joha were Beriah’s sons.

      • Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, Ishmerai, Izliah, and Jobab were Elpaal’s sons.

      • Jakim, Zikri, Zabdi, Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, Adaiah, Beraiah, and Shimrath were Shimei’s sons.

      • Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, Abdon, Zikri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, Iphdeiah, and Penuel were Shashak’s sons.

      • Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, Jaareshiah, Elijah, and Zikri were Jeroham’s sons.

      • All of these were leaders of their ancestral families listed in the genealogical records, and they lived in Jerusalem.

        • HCSB says, “Jerusalem was on the border between Benjaminite territory and Judah, so the idea of Benjamin chiefs and clan leaders living in Jerusalem was not at all strange. Being the ‘City of David,’ it may very well have been viewed as neutral ground, not belonging to any tribe.”

The Family of Saul

        • On verses 29-40, ESV Study Bible writes, “This is the genealogy of the most famous Benjaminite family, detailing the ancestry of Saul and his descendants through 15 generations. (Ner in 1 Sam 14:50, has the same name as Saul’s ancestor). The first section of the list is probably of early preexilic origin, since it contains the names that would have been unacceptable in later times because of possible pagan connotations (Baal, 1 Chron 8:30; Eshbaal, v. 33, is known elsewhere as Ishbosheth, 2 Sam 2:8; and Merib-baal, 1 Chron 8:34, is known as Mephibosheth, 2 Sam 4:4). First Chronicles 8:35-38 extends the family line into the late preexilic time. These details are not known from earlier sources, and were preserved among the families that prized the memory of their descent from Israel’s first king.”

      • Jeiel, who was Gibeon’s father, lived in the city of Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maakah. His firstborn son was Abdon, followed by Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, Zeker, and Mikloth. Mikloth was Shimeah’s father. They also lived near their relatives in Jerusalem.

        • NET Bible’s text critical notes say, “Some LXX mss supply the name ‘Jeiel,’ which is not in the MT (cf. 1 Chr 9:35). The addition of the name here is followed by many English versions (e.g., ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).” Also, the name “Ner” is not in the Hebrew text, “Some LXX mss add ‘Ner’ here (cf. 1 Chr 9:36 and v. 33 below, where Ner is mentioned as the father of Kish). The form…(vner) could have been accidentally omitted by homoioarcton since each name in the list has the conjunction prefixed to it. Some English versions follow the LXX here and add ‘Ner’ (e.g., NAB, NIV, NLT).”

      • Ner was Kish’s father, Kish was Saul’s father, Saul was the father of Jonathan, Malkishua, Abinadab, and Eshbaal.

        • HCSB says, “…the use of the word baal in the names of this verse and the next reflect an origin before the introduction of the Phoenician deity of Baal. The word in its common, non-technical meaning here is simply ‘lord, husband.’ Only later did it gain the connotation of a divine name. When that occurred, the use of the baal element in names discontinued…”

      • Jonathan’s son was Meribbaal, and Meribbaal’s son was Micah.

      • Micah’s sons: Pithon, Melek, Tarea, and Ahaz.

      • Ahaz was Jehoaddah’s father. Jehoaddah was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth, and Zimri. Zimri was Moza’s father, Moza was Binea’s father, Binea was Raphah’s father, Raphah was Eleasah’s father, and Eleasah was Azel’s father.

        • Azel had six sons: his firstborn was Azrikam, followed by Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan. All of these were Azel’s sons.

        • NET Bible notes an issue with the text here, “The Hebrew text has …(bokhru), which some understand as a name: ‘Bocheru’ (so, e.g., NEB, NASB, NIV, NRSV). But the form should probably be revocalized…(bkhoro, ‘his firstborn’). A name has accidentally dropped from the list, and a scribe apparently read…[bkhoro] as one of the names.”

      • The sons of Azel’s brother Eshek: his firstborn was Ulam, his second was Jeush, and his third was Eliphelet. Ulam’s sons were mighty warriors who were expert archers. They had many sons and grandsons- 150 in all.

        • All of these were descendants of Benjamin.

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