1 Chronicles
Introduction 1-28 Descendants of Benjamin 29-40 The Lineage of Saul
Introduction

This chapter is entirely dedicated to the descendants of Benjamin. These descendants have already been discussed in the previous chapter by the chronicler (1Chr 7:6-126[The sons of] Benjamin [were] three: Bela and Becher and Jediael.7The sons of Bela were five: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They [were] heads of fathers’ households, mighty men of valor, and were 22,034 enrolled by genealogy.8The sons of Becher [were] Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth and Alemeth. All these [were] the sons of Becher.9They were enrolled by genealogy, according to their generations, heads of their fathers’ households, 20,200 mighty men of valor.10The son of Jediael [was] Bilhan. And the sons of Bilhan [were] Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish and Ahishahar.11All these [were] sons of Jediael, according to the heads of their fathers’ households, 17,200 mighty men of valor, who were ready to go out with the army to war.12Shuppim and Huppim [were] the sons of Ir; Hushim [was] the son of Aher.). Here he does so more extensively, because he is working towards a special descendant, Saul, the predecessor of David. The ancestors and also the descendants of Saul are listed.


Descendants of Benjamin

1And Benjamin became the father of Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, Aharah the third, 2Nohah the fourth and Rapha the fifth. 3Bela had sons: Addar, Gera, Abihud, 4Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, 5Gera, Shephuphan and Huram. 6These are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of fathers’ [households] of the inhabitants of Geba, and they carried them into exile to Manahath, 7namely, Naaman, Ahijah and Gera—he carried them into exile; and he became the father of Uzza and Ahihud. 8Shaharaim became the father of children in the country of Moab after he had sent away Hushim and Baara his wives. 9By Hodesh his wife he became the father of Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, 10Jeuz, Sachia, Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of fathers’ [households]. 11By Hushim he became the father of Abitub and Elpaal. 12The sons of Elpaal [were] Eber, Misham, and Shemed, who built Ono and Lod, with its towns; 13and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of fathers’ [households] of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath; 14and Ahio, Shashak and Jeremoth. 15Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16Michael, Ishpah and Joha [were] the sons of Beriah. 17Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, 18Ishmerai, Izliah and Jobab [were] the sons of Elpaal. 19Jakim, Zichri, Zabdi, 20Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath [were] the sons of Shimei. 22Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, 24Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, 25Iphdeiah and Penuel [were] the sons of Shashak. 26Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, 27Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zichri [were] the sons of Jeroham. 28These were heads of the fathers’ [households] according to their generations, chief men who lived in Jerusalem.

In these verses it is about the heads of the family, in connection with Jerusalem (verse 2828These were heads of the fathers’ [households] according to their generations, chief men who lived in Jerusalem.; cf. verse 3232Mikloth became the father of Shimeah. And they also lived with their relatives in Jerusalem opposite their [other] relatives.). The tribe of Benjamin is the tribe that lives closest to Jerusalem. The descendants surround the city on three sides.

Ehud (verse 66These are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of fathers’ [households] of the inhabitants of Geba, and they carried them into exile to Manahath,) is the man who killed Eglon, king of the Moabites, and delivered the people of the Moabites (Jdg 3:12-3012Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD. So the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.13And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek; and he went and defeated Israel, and they possessed the city of the palm trees.14The sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.15But when the sons of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for them, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. And the sons of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab.16Ehud made himself a sword which had two edges, a cubit in length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his cloak.17He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man.18It came about when he had finished presenting the tribute, that he sent away the people who had carried the tribute.19But he himself turned back from the idols which were at Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he said, “Keep silence.” And all who attended him left him.20Ehud came to him while he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat.21Ehud stretched out his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into his belly.22The handle also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the refuse came out.23Then Ehud went out into the vestibule and shut the doors of the roof chamber behind him, and locked [them].24When he had gone out, his servants came and looked, and behold, the doors of the roof chamber were locked; and they said, “He is only relieving himself in the cool room.”25They waited until they became anxious; but behold, he did not open the doors of the roof chamber. Therefore they took the key and opened them, and behold, their master had fallen to the floor dead.26Now Ehud escaped while they were delaying, and he passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah.27It came about when he had arrived, that he blew the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the sons of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he [was] in front of them.28He said to them, “Pursue [them], for the LORD has given your enemies the Moabites into your hands.” So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan opposite Moab, and did not allow anyone to cross.29They struck down at that time about ten thousand Moabites, all robust and valiant men; and no one escaped.30So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land was undisturbed for eighty years.).

In verse 1313and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of fathers’ [households] of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who put to flight the inhabitants of Gath; we read about family heads who expelled the inhabitants of Gath. The powerful performance of these family heads contrasts with the descendants of Ephraim who are killed by the men of Gath (1Chr 7:2121Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to take their livestock.).


The Lineage of Saul

29Now in Gibeon, [Jeiel], the father of Gibeon lived, and his wife’s name was Maacah; 30and his firstborn son [was] Abdon, then Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, 31Gedor, Ahio and Zecher. 32Mikloth became the father of Shimeah. And they also lived with their relatives in Jerusalem opposite their [other] relatives. 33Ner became the father of Kish, and Kish became the father of Saul, and Saul became the father of Jonathan, Malchi-shua, Abinadab and Eshbaal. 34The son of Jonathan [was] Merib-baal, and Merib-baal became the father of Micah. 35The sons of Micah [were] Pithon, Melech, Tarea and Ahaz. 36Ahaz became the father of Jehoaddah, and Jehoaddah became the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri; and Zimri became the father of Moza. 37Moza became the father of Binea; Raphah [was] his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son. 38Azel had six sons, and these [were] their names: Azrikam, Bocheru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. All these [were] the sons of Azel. 39The sons of Eshek his brother [were] Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second and Eliphelet the third. 40The sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and grandsons, 150 [of them]. All these [were] of the sons of Benjamin.

Here we have the genealogy of Saul. It is the bridge to the history of David.

It is again noted that the descendants of Benjamin mentioned here, that is here the ancestry of Saul, live in Jerusalem, “opposite their [other] relatives” (verse 3232Mikloth became the father of Shimeah. And they also lived with their relatives in Jerusalem opposite their [other] relatives.; cf. verse 2828These were heads of the fathers’ [households] according to their generations, chief men who lived in Jerusalem.). Jerusalem is mentioned here as their place of residence to motivate the returnees from the Babylonian exile to go back to Jerusalem. Unfortunately, it appears that few were prepared to do so. The lot must determine who is to live there (cf. Neh 11:1-41Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem, but the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem, the holy city, while nine-tenths [remained] in the [other] cities.2And the people blessed all the men who volunteered to live in Jerusalem.3Now these are the heads of the provinces who lived in Jerusalem, but in the cities of Judah each lived on his own property in their cities—the Israelites, the priests, the Levites, the temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants.4Some of the sons of Judah and some of the sons of Benjamin lived in Jerusalem. From the sons of Judah: Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, of the sons of Perez;).

Merib-baal (verse 3434The son of Jonathan [was] Merib-baal, and Merib-baal became the father of Micah.) is Mephibosheth. Baal’ in the name Merib-baal means ‘lord’. Bosheth’ in the name Mephibosheth means ‘shame’.

Also in the lineage of Saul is referred to “mighty men of valor” (verse 4040The sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons and grandsons, 150 [of them]. All these [were] of the sons of Benjamin.; 1Chr 7:7,9,117The sons of Bela were five: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They [were] heads of fathers’ households, mighty men of valor, and were 22,034 enrolled by genealogy.9They were enrolled by genealogy, according to their generations, heads of their fathers’ households, 20,200 mighty men of valor.11All these [were] sons of Jediael, according to the heads of their fathers’ households, 17,200 mighty men of valor, who were ready to go out with the army to war.). The tribe of Benjamin is characterized by combativeness, as it resounds in what Jacob noted in his prophetic speech to his sons about Benjamin (Gen 49:2727“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
In the morning he devours the prey,
And in the evening he divides the spoil.”
).


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