1 Chronicles 8


Gill, in his commentary, gives us a useful summary of this chapter.

‘In this chapter, the genealogy of the tribe of Benjamin is reconsidered, and several of the principal men and families in it are taken notice of, which were not before or a further account is given of them, as of the sons and grandsons of Benjamin, 1 Chronicles 8:1, of Ehud, 1 Chronicles 8:5, of Shaharaim, 1 Chronicles 8:8, of Elpaal and Beriah, 1 Chronicles 8:12 of Shimhi, 1 Chronicles 8:19, of Shashak, 1 Chronicles 8:22, of Jeroham, 1 Chronicles 8:26, of Jehiel the father of Gibeon, 1 Chronicles 8:28, of Ner, and particularly Saul, 1 Chronicles 8:33 and of Jonathan, and his posterity, 1 Chronicles 8:34.’

The Genealogy Of Saul The Benjamite

‘Benjamin was the father of Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second son, Aharah the third, Nohah the fourth and Rapha the fifth. The sons of Bela were: Addar, Gera, Abihud, Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, Gera, Shephuphan and Huram. These were the descendants of Ehud, who were heads of families of those living in Geba and were deported to Manahath: Naaman, Ahijah, and Gera, who deported them and who was the father of Uzza and Ahihud. Sons were born to Shaharaim in Moab after he had divorced his wives Hushim and Baara. By his wife Hodesh he had Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malkam, Jeuz, Sakia and Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of families. By Hushim he had Abitub and Elpaal. The sons of Elpaal: Eber, Misham, Shemed (who built Ono and Lod with its surrounding villages), and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of families of those living in Aijalon and who drove out the inhabitants of Gath. Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, Michael, Ishpah and Joha were the sons of Beriah. Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, Ishmerai, Izliah and Jobab were the sons of Elpaal. Jakim, Zikri, Zabdi, Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath were the sons of Shimei. Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, Abdon, Zikri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, Iphdeiah and Penuel were the sons of Shashak. Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zikri were the sons of Jeroham. All these were heads of families, chiefs as listed in their genealogy, and they lived in Jerusalem. Jeiel the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon. His wife’s name was Maakah, and his firstborn son was Abdon, followed by Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, Zeker and Mikloth, who was the father of Shimeah. They too lived near their relatives in Jerusalem. Ner was the father of Kish, Kish the father of Saul, and Saul the father of Jonathan, Malki-Shua, Abinadab and Esh-Baal. The son of Jonathan: Merib-Baal, who was the father of Micah. The sons of Micah: Pithon, Melek, Tarea and Ahaz. Ahaz was the father of Jehoaddah, Jehoaddah was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri, and Zimri was the father of Moza. Moza was the father of Binea; Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son and Azel his son. Azel had six sons, and these were their names: Azrikam, Bokeru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel. The sons of his brother Eshek: Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second son and Eliphelet the third. The sons of Ulam were brave warriors who could handle the bow. They had many sons and grandsons—150 in all. All these were the descendants of Benjamin.’ 1 Chronicles 8:1-40

In this chapter, we read about the genealogy of Benjamin, right through to Saul, but the names recorded in 1 Chronicles 7:6-12, are slightly different from what we read here. However, the names recorded in 1 Chronicles 9:35-41, are the same as we read in 1 Chronicles 8:29-40, and 1 Samuel 14:49-51.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The reason for this return to the genealogy of the Benjamites seems to be the desire to connect the genealogical introduction with the historical body of the work. As the history is, to begin with, Saul, the genealogical portion is made to end with an account of the family of this Benjamite monarch.’

Most commentators suggest that there has been some corruption here, concerning Manahath, from which, however, we may gather that the ‘sons of Ehud’ or, perhaps, of Ahoah, 1 Chronicles 8:4, were originally settled at Geba, Joshua 18:24, but afterwards removed to a place called Manahath, probably a town in the vicinity. Gera, 1 Chronicles 8:7 directed the movement.

Jerusalem was partly within the limits of the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:28, but we don’t hear of Benjamites inhabiting it until after the return from the captivity, 1 Chronicles 9:3 / Nehemiah 11:4. The descendants of Benjamin that are given here are difficult to understand in reference to Genesis 46:21 and Numbers 26:38-40.

It’s possible that most of the names are given here, such as Ono and Lod, which were cities in which people who lived after the captivity,  Ezra 2:33 / 1 Chronicles 8:28 / 1 Chronicles 9:3 / Nehemiah 11:4. The cities of Ono and Lod aren’t mentioned in Joshua as part of Palestine originally assigned to Benjamin but, these places were built later. There is no doubt that Lod is the Lydda, Acts 9:22.

After the captivity, there were settlements of Benjamites in Gibeon, and so, Jeiel, the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon, 1 Chronicles 9:35-44. The Eshbaal mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:33, is Ishbosheth and Meribbaal mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:34, is Mephibosheth.

Gill, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Beriah also, and Shema, were sons of Elpaal, who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, which, though in the tribe of Dan, Joshua 19:42, might afterwards come into the possession of Benjamin, or this may be another place of the same name in Benjamin, or, however, might be inhabited by Benjaminite’s, upon the return from captivity, who descended from those men, who drove away from the inhabitants of Gath, dispossessed them of their city, in revenge for what they had done to the Ephraimites, 1 Chronicles 7:21.’

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘There are many things in this chapter and in the entire Old Testament that must forever remain in the realm of the mysterious and the unknown as far as modern men are concerned. For example, nothing is known about the exile mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:6. We do not know who exiled whom. It is appropriate to remember in this connection that ‘the hidden things belong to God.’

Matthew Henry, in his commentary, says the following.

‘This genealogy ends in Ulam, whose family became famous in the tribe of Benjamin for the number of its valiant men. Of that one man’s posterity, there were, as it should seem, at one time, 150 archers brought into the field of battle, that were mighty men of valour, 1 Chronicles 8:40. That is taken notice of concerning them which is more a man’s praise than his pomp or wealth is, that they were qualified to serve their country.’

Go To 1 Chronicles 9


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