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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Heb. Benayah', בְּנָיָה, built [i.e. made or sustained] by Jehovah, 2 Samuel 20:23; 1 Chronicles 4:36; 1 Chronicles 11:22; 1 Chronicles 11:31; 1 Chronicles 27:14; 2 Chronicles 20:14; Ezra 10:25; Ezra 10:30; Ezra 10:35; Ezra 10:43; Ezekiel 11:23; elsewhere and oftener in the prolonged form, בְּנָיָהוּ, Benaya'hu; Sept. generally [also Josephus, Ant. 7, 11, 8] Βαναίας, in Chron. occasionally v. r. Βαναία, and in Ezra Βαναϊ v α , rarely any other v. r., e.g. Βαναϊ v ας, Βαναϊ v ), the name of a large number of men in the O.T.

1. The son of Jehoiada a chief-priest (1 Chronicles 27:5), and therefore of the tribe of Levi, though a native of Kabzeel (2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Chronicles 11:22), in the south of Judah; set by David (1 Chronicles 11:24) over his body-guard of Cherethites and Pelethites (2 Samuel 8:18; 1 Kings 1:38; 1 Chronicles 18:17; 2 Samuel 20:23), and occupying a middle rank between the first three of the Gibborim, or "mighty men," and the thirty "valiant men of the armies" (2 Samuel 23:22; 2 Samuel 23:30; 1 Chronicles 11:24; 1 Chronicles 27:6; and see Kennicott, Diss. p. 177). The exploits which gave him this rank are narrated in 2 Samuel 23:20-21; 1 Chronicles 11:22 : he overcame two Moabitish champions ("lions of God"), slew an Egyptian giant with his own spear, and went down into an exhausted cistern and destroyed a lion which had fallen into it when covered with snow. He was captain of the host for the third month (1 Chronicles 27:5). B.C. 1046. Benaiah remained faithful to Solomon during Adonijah's attempt on the crown (1 Kings 1:8; 1 Kings 1:10; 1 Kings 1:26), a matter in which he took part in his official capacity as commander of the king's body-guard (1 Kings 1:32; 1 Kings 1:36; 1 Kings 1:38; 1 Kings 1:44); and after Adonijah and Joab had both been put to death by his hand (1 Kings 2:25; 1 Kings 2:29-30; 1 Kings 2:34), as well as Shimei (1 Kings 2:46), he was raised by Solomon into the place of Joab as commander-in-chief of the whole army (1 Kings 2, 35; 4, 4). B.C. 1015. (See DAVID).

Benaiah appears to have had a son called, after his grandfather, Jehoiada, who succeeded Ahithophel about the person of the king (1 Chronicles 27:34). But this is possibly a copyist's mistake for "Benaiah, the son of Jehoiada." Smith, s.v.

2. A Pirathonite of the tribe of Ephraim, one of David's thirty mighty men (2 Samuel 23:30; 1 Chronicles 11:31), and the captain of the eleventh monthly course (1 Chronicles 27:14). B.C. 1044. (See DAVID).

3. A Levite in the time of David, who "played with a psaltery on Alamoth" at the removal of the ark (1 Chronicles 15:18; 1 Chronicles 15:20; 1 Chronicles 16:5). B.C. 1043.

4. A priest in the time of David, appointed to blow the trumpet before the ark when brought to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:24; 1 Chronicles 16:6). B.C. 1043.

5. The son of Jeiel, and father of Zechariah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph (2 Chronicles 20:14). B.C. considerably ante 890.

6. A Levite in the time of Hezekiah, one of the "overseers (פְּקַידַים ) of offerings" (2 Chronicles 31:13). B.C. 726.

7. One of the "princes" (נְשַׂיאַים ) of the families of Simeon who dispossessed the Amalekites from the pasture-grounds of Gedor (1 Chronicles 4:36). B.C. cir. 713.

8. The father of Pelatiah, which latter was "a prince of the people" in the time of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 11:1; Ezekiel 11:13). B.C. ante 571.

9. One of the "sons" of Parosh, who divorced his Gentile wife after the return from Babylon (Ezra 10:25). B.C. 458.

10. Another Israelite, of the "sons" of Pahathmoab, who did the same (Ezra 10:30). B.C. 458.

11. Another, of the "sons" of Bani, who did likewise (Ezra 10:35). B.C. 458.

12. A fourth, of the "sons" of Nebo, who did the same (Ezra 10:43). B.C. 458.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Benaiah'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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