- Here is a larger list of Benjamin's tribe. We may suppose that many things in these genealogies, which to us seem difficult, abrupt, and perplexed, were plain and easy at that time, and fully answered the intention for which they were published. Many great and mighty nations then were in being upon earth, and many illustrious men, whose names are now wholly forgotten; while the names of multitudes of the Israel of God are here kept in everlasting remembrance. The memory of the just is blessed.
1 Chronicles 8:1-32 . SONS AND CHIEF MEN OF BENJAMIN.
1. Now Benjamin begat, &c.--This chapter contains some supplementary particulars in addition to what has been already said regarding the tribe of Benjamin persons mentioned are different from those given by Moses--a diversity which may be accounted for in part on grounds formerly stated, namely, either that the persons had more than one name, or that the word "sons" is used in a loose sense for grandsons or descendants. But there are other circumstances to be taken into account in considering the details of this chapter; namely, first, that the genealogies of the Benjamites were disordered or destroyed by the almost total extermination of this tribe ( Judges 20:11-48 ); secondly, that a great number of Benjamites, born in Assyria, are mentioned here, who returned from the long captivity in Babylon, and established themselves--some in Jerusalem, others in different parts of Judea. There were more returned from Babylon of the families belonging to this tribe than to any other except Judah; and hence many strange names are here introduced; some of which will be found in the list of the restored exiles (compare Ezra 2:1-70 ).
6. these are the sons of Ehud--most probably the judge of Israel ( Judges 3:15 ). His descendants, who had at first been established in Geba in Benjamin, emigrated in a body under the direction of Gera ( 1 Chronicles 8:7 ) to Manahath, where their increased numbers would find more ample accommodation. Manahath was within the territory of Judah.
8. Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab--He had probably been driven to take refuge in that foreign land on the same calamitous occasion that forced Elimelech to emigrate thither ( Ruth 1:1 ). But, destitute of natural affection, he forsook or divorced his two wives, and in the land of his sojourn married a third, by whom he had several sons. But there is another explanation given of the conduct of this Benjamite polygamist. His children by Hushim are mentioned ( 1 Chronicles 8:11 ), while his other wife is unnoticed. Hence it has been thought probable that it is Baara who is mentioned under the name of Hodesh, so called because her husband, after long desertion, returned and cohabited with her as before.
28. These dwelt in Jerusalem--The ordinary and stated inhabitants of Jerusalem were Judahites, Benjamites, and Levites. But at the time referred to here, the chiefs or heads of the principal families who are enumerated ( 1 Chronicles 8:14-27 ) established themselves in the city after their return from the captivity.
1 Chronicles 8:33-40 . STOCK OF SAUL AND JONATHAN.
33. Ner begat Kish--The father of Ner, though not mentioned here, is stated ( 1 Chronicles 9:35 ) to have been Jehiel. Moreover, the father of Kish is said ( 1 Samuel 9:1 ) to have been Abiel, the son of Zeror, whence it would seem that Abiel and Ner were names of the same person.
Abinadab--the same as Ishui ( 1 Samuel 14:49 ).
Esh-baal--that is, Ish-bosheth.
34. Merib-baal--that is, Mephibosheth.
36. Jehoadah--or, Jara ( 1 Chronicles 9:42 ).
40. mighty men of valour, strength as well as skill was requisite in ancient archery, as the bow, which was of steel, was bent by treading with the feet, and pulling the string with both hands.