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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

1 Chronicles 8

Verse 1

Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third,

Now Benjamin begat ... This chapter contains some supplementary particulars, in addition to what has been already said, regarding the tribe of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 7:6). This statement is at variance with that contained, 1 Chronicles 7:6; Genesis 46:21. But this is most probably the correct reading, and the text in the other two passages is corrupt [ Binyaamin (H1144) howliyd (H3205) 'et (H853) Bela` (H1106) bªkowrow (H1060) 'Ashbeel (H788). [It is extremely likely that, beker was considered a proper name (Becher) by a transcriber mistaking it for bªkor (H1060), first-born.] Benjamin had, according to this view, no son called Becher, and all the Scripture notices admit of being explained consistently with it.

Ashbel, [ 'Ashbeel (H788) (opinion of God) (cf. Numbers 26:38) = Yªdiy`ª'eel (H3043), Jediael (known of God) (1 Chronicles 7:6).]

Aharah, [= 'Achrach (H315), Ehi and Rosh (combined) (Genesis 46:21), and Ahiram (Numbers 26:38)]. The names of many of the persons mentioned in the course of the chapter are different from those given by Moses-a diversity which may be accounted for in part on grounds formerly stated-namely, either that the person had more than one name, or that the word "sons" is used in a loose sense for grandsons or descendants (cf. 1 Chronicles 8:3-4 with Genesis 46:21 and Numbers 26:40).

Verse 2

Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 3

And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera, and Abihud,

The sons of Bela were Addar, [ 'Adaar (H146) = 'Aard (H714)] (Genesis 46:21).

Gera - though classed (Genesis 46:21) with the family of Benjamin, appears to have been a grandson, son of Bela, but is not mentioned in Numbers 26:38. "And Gera." This name, repeated twice (1 Chronicles 8:5; 1 Chronicles 8:7). designates one individual, who is mentioned in Judges 3:15 and 2 Samuel 16:5 (see the notes at Benjamin's genealogy, Genesis 46:21).

Abihud - [ 'Abiyhuwd (H31)] or [ 'Eehuwd (H164)] Ehud (Judges 3:14-30).

Verse 4

And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah,

Naaman - head of the Naamite family (Numbers 26:40).

Ahoah - gave rise to the patronymic Ahohite (2 Samuel 23:9-28; 1 Chronicles 11:12-29; 1 Chronicles 27:14 >).

Verse 5

And Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram.

Shephuphan - Shuppim (1 Chronicles 7:12-15), or Shupham (Numbers 26:39), or Muppim (Genesis 46:21), a peculiarity of form which will be removed by annexing the last Hebrew letter shin (sh) from the fictitious Rosh in that passage to the next word, Muppim, thus making Shemuppim or Shumpim-a near approximation to Shephuphan.

And Huram - called Huppim, 1 Chronicles 7:12, where he is stated to be a son of Ir, or Iri (1 Chronicles 8:7), son of Bela (cf Genesis 46:21), and Huphan, Num. 46:39 [Septuagint, Ouram]. Both Shupham and Hupham were ancestors or heads of principal families of the Benjamite tribe.

Verse 6

And these are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, and they removed them to Manahath:

These are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, [ raa'sheey (H7218) 'aabowt (H1), heads of fathers; Septuagint, archontes patrioon] - rulers in Geba.

They removed them to Manahath. The site has not been ascertained, but it is most probable that the new settlement was not far from Geba. It must have been within the territory of Benjamin; because to remove from one tribe to another was in early times a very rare occurrence. Whether this migration was voluntary or compulsory cannot be determined; but it was done in an authorized and orderly manner, under the direction and superintendence of the three 'heads of fathers.'

Verse 7

And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud.

And begat Uzza, and Ahihud - i:e, Gera.

Verse 8

And Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara were his wives.

And Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab. Who was Shaharaim? his name has not previously occurred. [The words in the original are Shachªrayim (H7842) howliyd (H3205), and Shaharaim he begot bisdeeh (H7704) Mow'aab (H4124), in the field - i:e., the pasture or grain district of Moab, on the uplands, as distinct from Araboth, the plains (deserts of Moab, the arid lowlying Ghor).] Shaharaim had three wives, Hushim, Baara, and Hudesh (unless Hodesh is another name of one of these two. [The Septuagint has: Oosin, Baada, kai Ada), and nine children. 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 20:1-48); 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, (cf. Ezra 2:1-70.)

Verses 9-12

And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcham,

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 13

Beriah also, and Shema, who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who drove away the inhabitants of Gath:

Beriah also, and Shema, who were heads ... of the inhabitants of Aijalon - now Yalo about two miles cast of Emmaus (Nicopolis), now 'Amwas, on a height overlooking the plain of Merj Ibn 'Omein.

Who drove away the inhabitants of Gath - (see the notes at 1 Chronicles 7:21-22.) The explanation is this-He had probably been driven to take refuge in that foreign land on the same calamitous occasion that forced Elimelech to emigrate there (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 has 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 (new, recent), so called because her husband, after long desertion, returned and cohabited with her as before.

Verses 14-27

And Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth,

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 28

These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.

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 this city after their return from the captivity.

Verses 29-32

And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon; whose wife's name was Maachah:

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 33

And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.

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.

And Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua (king of help).

And Abinadab - the same as Ishui (1 Samuel 14:49). He occupied a place in the family intermediate between Jonathan and Malchi-shua; and as his name is omitted both here and in 1 Chronicles 9:1-44, as well as in 1 Samuel 31:2, where Abinadab has the middle position assigned to him, it is concluded they refer to the same.

And Esh-baal - popularly called [ 'iysh (H376) boshet (H1322)] man of shame, or, according to Gesenius, bashful. Others, however, are of opinion that, as he was born after Saul had departed from the Lord, the name given to this youngest son indicates that his father had apostatized to the worship of Baal, and hence, Ishbosheth, a man of shame-that Hebrew word, bosheth (H1322), being always applied by the sacred penmen-especially the prophets-to denote an idol, as exposing the devotee to shame, as well as being an abomination to the Lord (cf. Judges 6:32).

Verse 34

And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal; and Meribbaal begat Micah.

And the son of Jonathan was Merib-baal (contender against Baal) (cf. 1 Chronicles 9:40) - popularly changed into Mephihosheth, the destroyer of shame, or, according to Gesenius, exterminator of idols.

Verse 35

And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 36

And Ahaz begat Jehoadah; and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza,

Jehoadah - or Jara (1 Chronicles 9:42).

Verse 37

And Moza begat Binea: Rapha was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son:

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 38

And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.

Azel had six sons... Azrikam, Bocheru. [The second is made a proper name, but the word is Bokªruw (H1074), first-born; i:e., Azrikam, his first-born son; and so the Septuagint, Ezrikam proototokos autou (see the notes at 1 Chronicles 7:6)].

Verse 39

And the sons of Eshek his brother were, Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third.

The sons of Eshek his brother were Ulam his first-born. The word is rightly translated here.

Verse 40

And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour, archers, and had many sons, and sons' sons, an hundred and fifty. All these are of the sons of Benjamin.

Mighty men of valour, archers - (see the notes at Judges 20:16.) Great 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 strings with both hands.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-chronicles-8.html. 1871-8.