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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 8

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


First Chronicles Chapter 8

1 Chronicles 8:1 "Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third,"

1 Chronicles 8:2 "Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth."

These five sons listed, here, vary a little from the families of Benjamin listed in Numbers 26:38-39. There are five families in each case, however. There is just a little difference in the fathers of the families names. Bela, his firstborn, is the same in both. He became the father of the Belaites. Ashbel is the same in Numbers and here. He was the father of the Ashbelites. Aharah could be the same as Ahiram in Numbers, who started the Ahiramites. Nohah and Rapha, given here as the fourth and fifth sons, are not mentioned in Numbers. In Numbers Shupham, and Hupham are mentioned instead. I will give you the Scripture on this family from Genesis. Genesis 46:21 "And the sons of Benjamin [were] Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard." In the Bible, sons and grandsons are both called sons. Sometimes, male descendents from many generations down are called sons. That is why these names are not always the same.

1 Chronicles 8:3 "And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera, and Abihud,"

1 Chronicles 8:4 "And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah,"

1 Chronicles 8:5 "And Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram."

There are nine sons listed here, and only three of them are listed in Numbers. We must remember, that this chronicle was put together many years after the fact. So many of these names are similar to others and it is easy for such seemingly errors. I believe that what really happened was that some of them died early, and were not included in some of the lists. As we said earlier, some may be grandsons, as well.

1 Chronicles 8:6 "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:"

1 Chronicles 8:7 "And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud."

There is no other mention of this in the Bible. Again, we must realize that this could be speaking of any of the thousands of descendents. Sons do not always mean sons, as we speak of, but as grandsons, or even descendents. It almost seems they have added sons that are like adopted sons.

1 Chronicles 8:8 "And Shaharaim begat [children] in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara [were] his wives."

The only thing that is known of Shaharaim, is that he was a Benjamite. It seemed, that he had children in the land of Moab by Hushim and Baara.

1 Chronicles 8:9 "And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcham," 1 Chronicles 8:10 "And Jeuz, and Shachia, and Mirma. These [were] his sons, heads of the fathers."

1 Chronicles 8:11 "And of Hushim he begat Abitub, and Elpaal."

All of the aforementioned people are not spoken of further in the Bible. There were very few records kept of Benjamin, after God allowed them to be killed for their sins. They had taken the concubine of the Levite and assaulted her, and killed her. All of the other tribes of Israel came against Benjamin, and killed all but 600 men. That is, probably, why there is much confusion of his descendents. These 600 men had to steal wives, because the other tribes would not give their daughters to them for marriage. Read it in Judges chapters 19, 20, and 21.

1 Chronicles 8:12 "The sons of Elpaal; Eber, and Misham, and Shamed, who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof:"

Lod is, probably, the Lydda in Acts 9:32.

1 Chronicles 8:13 "Beriah also, and Shema, who [were] heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who drove away the inhabitants of Gath:"

Aijalon was located on the boundary of both Judah and Benjamin. This Beriah was a Benjamite. Beriah and Shema drove away Gath together.

1 Chronicles 8:14 "And Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth,"

1 Chronicles 8:15 "And Zebadiah, and Arad, and Ader,"

1 Chronicles 8:16 "And Michael, and Ispah, and Joha, the sons of Beriah;"

1 Chronicles 8:17 "And Zebadiah, and Meshullam, and Hezeki, and Heber,"

1 Chronicles 8:18 "Ishmerai also, and Jezliah, and Jobab, the sons of Elpaal;"

1 Chronicles 8:19 "And Jakim, and Zichri, and Zabdi,"

1 Chronicles 8:20 "And Elienai, and Zilthai, and Eliel,"

1 Chronicles 8:21 "And Adaiah, and Beraiah, and Shimrath, the sons of Shimhi;"

1 Chronicles 8:22 "And Ishpan, and Heber, and Eliel,"

1 Chronicles 8:23 "And Abdon, and Zichri, and Hanan,"

1 Chronicles 8:24 "And Hananiah, and Elam, and Antothijah,"

1 Chronicles 8:25 "And Iphedeiah, and Penuel,the sons of Shashak;"

1 Chronicles 8:26 "And Shamsherai, and Shehariah, and Athaliah,"

1 Chronicles 8:27 "And Jaresiah, and Eliah, and Zichri, the sons of Jeroham."

1 Chronicles 8:28 "These [were] heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief [men]. These dwelt in Jerusalem."

All of the names, listed above, are Benjamites. Verse 28 tells us they were heads of the fathers, and they dwelt in Jerusalem. Not very much more is known of them. Some families are mentioned once, and no more. This is what we see here.

1 Chronicles 8:29 "And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon; whose wife’s name [was] Maachah:"

The father of Gibeon was Jehiel. This Maachah is, possibly, the same as the one mentioned as the wife of Machir, since her same brothers are mentioned in both places.

1 Chronicles 8:30 "And his firstborn son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Nadab,"

1 Chronicles 8:31 "And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zacher."

In these verses, we have discovered Kish, who is the third son of Jehiel of Gibeon.

1 Chronicles 8:32 "And Mikloth begat Shimeah. And these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them."

These long lists of names, in the last few verses, are lists of the leaders of the families who lived in Jerusalem.

1 Chronicles 8:33 "And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchi-shua, and Abinadab, and Esh-baal."

Some Scriptures indicate that Ner was the brother of Kish, instead of his father. This is not a terribly important point. It is important to realize that Kish was the father of Saul. Saul was the first king of Israel. Jonathan was, indeed, the son of Saul, but he was best known for being the best friend of David. Malchi-shua was slain with his father at the battle of Gilboa. Abinadab is the same person as Ishui in the book of Samuel. He was, also, killed in the battle of Gilboa. Esh-baal is, probably, the same as Ishbosheth. He reigned for two years over Israel, and was killed in his own bed by two of his captains.

1 Chronicles 8:34 "And the son of Jonathan [was] Merib-baal; and Meribbaal begat Micah."

Merib-baal is better known as Mephibosheth. He was crippled. David sought him out and helped him, because he loved his father so much. Micah, his son, was known by Michah, Mica, and Micha.

1 Chronicles 8:35 "And the sons of Micah [were], Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz."

1 Chronicles 8:36 "And Ahaz begat Jehoadah; and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza,"

1 Chronicles 8:37 "And Moza begat Binea: Rapha [was] his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son:"

1 Chronicles 8:38 "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."

1 Chronicles 8:39 "And the sons of Eshek his brother [were], Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third."

1 Chronicles 8:40 "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."

The things we must remember about all of these names is that they are Benjamites. They are descended from Saul through Jonathan. They were mighty warriors. They were valiant men.

1 Chronicles 8 Questions

1. What tribe’s descendents are dealt with in this lesson.

2. Who was Benjamin’s firstborn?

3. What group of people descended from him?

4. Who were the other sons of Benjamin?

5. How do their names differ in other books of the Bible?

6. Who are sometimes called sons in the Bible, that are not actually sons?

7. The nine sons of Bela listed, here, are how many in Numbers?

8. How could this happen?

9. Shaharaim begat children in the country of __________.

10. Who were his wives?

11. What happened to the tribe of Benjamin, that may account for some of the names not being mentioned more than once?

12. Who is the same as Lod?

13. Where was Aijalon located?

14. The Maachah, in 1 Chronicles 8:29, is, possibly, the same as whom?

15. What causes us to come to this conclusion?

16. Who does 1 Chronicles 8:33 say Ner is?

17. Who do many other Scriptures say this is?

18. Why is this not terribly important?

19. Who was the father of Saul?

20. What is something special about Jonathan?

21. What sons of Saul died at Gilboa?

22. Who is Esh-baal?

23. How did he die?

24. Who is the same as Meri-baal.

25. What physical ailment did he have?

26. What must we remember about the people mentioned in this lesson?

Verses 1-28

1Ch 8:1-28

1 Chronicles 8:1-28

"And Benjamin begat Bela his first-born, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third, Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth. And Bela had sons: Addar, and Gera, and Abihud, and Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah. and Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram. And these are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the inhabitants of Geba, and they carried them captive to Manahath: and Naaman, and Ahijah, and Gera, he carried them captive; and he begat Uzza, and Ahihud. And Shaharaim begat children in the field of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim, and Baara were his wives. And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcam, and Jeuz, and Shachia, and Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of fathers’ houses. And of Hushim he begat Abitub and Elpaal. And the sons of Elpaal: Eber, and Misham, and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod, with the towns thereof; and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of fathers’ houses of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath; and Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth, and Zebadiah, and Arad, and Eder, and Michael, and Ishpah, and Johah, the sons of Beriah, and Zebadiah, and Meshullam, and Hizki, and Heber, and Ishmerai, and Izliah, and Jobab, the sons of Elpaal, and Jakim, and Zichri, and Zabdi, and Elienai, and Zillethai, and Eliel, and Adaiah, and Beraiah, and Shimrath, the sons of Shimei. and Ishpan, and Eber, and Eliel, and Abdon, and Zichri, and Hanan, and Hananiah, and Elam, and Anthothijah, and Iphdeiah, and Penuel, the sons of Shashak, and Shamsherai, and Shehariah, and Athaliah, and Jaareshiah, and Elijah, and Zichri, the sons of Jeroham. These were heads of fathers’ houses throughout their generations, chief men: these dwelt in Jerusalem."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 8:1-27. This concerns Benjamin although we have already seen some account of him in the preceding chapter; however, a slight variation will be noted in the names. It is explained by the fact that property rights had to be considered when giving the names of a man’s descendants. Furthermore, that was a military age, and sometimes the writer was enumerating the members of a family in view of their general qualifications for military service. That is why we so often see the expression "able to go forth to war."

1 Chronicles 8:28. Heads of the fathers means they were leading men, whose descendants included fathers of important generations, and who lived in Jerusalem.

Verses 29-40

1Ch 8:29-40

1 Chronicles 8:29-40

"And in Gibeon there dwelt the father of Gibeon, Jeiel, whose wife’s name was Maacah; and his first-born son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Nadab; and Gedor, and Ahio, and Zecher. And Mikloth begat Shimeah. And they dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against their brethren. And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul; and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malcashua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal. And the son of Jonahtan was Meribbaal; and Meribbaal begat Micah. And the sons of Micah: Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz. And Ahaz begat Jehoaddah; and Jehoaddah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri, and Zimri begat Moza. And Moza begat Binea; and Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 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. And the sons of Eshek his brother: Ulam his first-born, Jeush the second, and Eliphelet the third. And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons, and sons’ sons, a hundred and fifty. All these were of the sons of Benjamin."

"The very full details given here as contrasted with most of the other tribes should not be put down as due to the availability of more information, but should be regarded as a tribute to Benjamin’s loyalty to David and his dynasty." Also it appears that special attention was given to the line of David’s friend Jonathan.

It is impossible to harmonize this with the parallel list in 1 Chronicles 7:6-12; and some scholars have believed that list to be a "corrupted genealogy of Zebulun and Dan."

All of the names given thus far in Chronicles belonged to persons of pre-exilic Israel, "The first verse of the following chapter (1 Chronicles 9:1) states that what has gone before pertains only to the official register of the families ... when they were exiled. This clause separates the foregoing from what follows." Payne did not agree with this interpretation. See further comment under 1 Chronicles 9:1.

"Ono and Lod" (1 Chronicles 8:12). These cities were not mentioned in Joshua as part of Palestine originally assigned to Benjamin; but, "These places were built later. There is little doubt that Lod is the Lydda of Acts 9:22."

Curtis and Madsen disagreed with Myers (quoted above) by affirming the lists of this chapter as post-exilic; but the disagreement of scholars regarding such questions can be of little interest, since it really makes no difference at all exactly when the people of any of these lists actually lived.

Elmslie in The Interpreter’s Bible devoted only sixteen lines to this whole chapter.

There are many things in this chapter and in the entire O.T. 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."

E.M. Zerr:

1 Chronicles 8:29. Father of Gibeon means the founder of the city, and that he lived in the city he founded. His name was Jehiel according to 1 Chronicles 9:35.

Verses 30-32. The preceding paragraph showed us that Jehiel was the man last referred to; and the one meant by the pronoun "his." He had a son named Kish, but he was not the father of Saul.

1 Chronicles 8:33. The importance of this verse is evident. According to 1 Samuel 14:51, Ner was the father of Abner, the captain under Saul. This verse shows him to have been also the father of Kish. Since Abner and Kish his uncle as his chief military head. The three brothers of Jonathan are named, but only Jonathan became noted in the later activities of the family.

1 Chronicles 8:34. Dissimilarity of names of the same man may be as confusing as similar names for different men. Here is Merib-baal which refers to Mephibosheth, who is connected with the movements of David. (1 Samuel 4:4.)

1 Chronicles 8:35-39. These are descendants of Jonathan, and among them are a few names familiar in form but it is just another coincidence.

1 Chronicles 8:40. Archers means men who were able with the bow, which was one form of weapons used in those days. The men named were descended from Jonathan who was an expert in that form of action. See 2 Samuel 1:18; 2 Samuel 1:22. The last sentence uses these to mean the chapter as a whole, since Saul was of that tribe being considered.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Chronicles 8". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/1-chronicles-8.html.
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