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In this chapter the genealogy of the tribe of Benjamin is reconsidered, and several of the principal men and families in it are taken notice of, which were not before; or a further account is given of them, as of the sons and grandsons of Benjamin, ( 1 Chronicles 8:1-5), of Ehud, ( 1 Chronicles 8:5-7), of Shaharaim, ( 1 Chronicles 8:8-11), of Elpaal and Beriah, ( Chronicles 8:12-18) of Shimhi, ( 1 Chronicles 8:19-21), of Shashak, ( 1 Chronicles 8:22-25), of Jeroham, ( 1 Chronicles 8:26,27), of Jehiel the father of Gibeon, ( 1 Chronicles 8:28-32), of Ner, and particularly Saul, ( 1 Chronicles 8:33) and of Jonathan, and his posterity, ( Chronicles 8:34-40).
Ver. 1 . Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn , etc.] (see 1 Chronicles 7:6). The genealogy of the tribe of Benjamin is reviewed, because it joined and kept close with Judah in the worship of God, went into captivity, and returned out of it with it; and this review is made chiefly for the sake of Saul, and his posterity, the first king of Israel, who was of it, and in whose posterity this genealogy ends: Ashbel the second ; supposed to be the same with Jediael, ( 1 Chronicles 7:6), (see Genesis 46:21) and Aharah the third ; the same with Aher, ( 1 Chronicles 7:13), and with Ahiram, ( Numbers 26:38).
Ver. 2 . Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth .] Nohah is supposed by some to be the same with Becher, ( 1 Chronicles 7:6) and by others with Naaman, ( Genesis 46:21), as Rapha, the same with Rosh there.
Ver. 3 . The sons of Bela were Addar, and Gera, and Abihud .] The first of these is thought to be the same with Ard, mentioned among the sons of Benjamin, ( Genesis 46:21) but was one of his grandsons, (see Numbers 26:40) as Gera also was. Ver. 4 ,5. And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah, and Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram .] These were all the sons of Bela; one of the name of Naaman is reckoned among the sons of Benjamin, ( Genesis 46:21) and from this grandson the family of the Naamanites are named, ( Numbers 26:40), and Ahoah is by some thought to be the same with Ehi, mentioned in ( Genesis 46:21) as one of Benjamin’s sons. Some take the three last to be the sons of Ehud, spoken of in the next verse; but Shephuphan and Huram seem to be the same with Shupham and Hupham, ( Numbers 26:39).
Ver. 6 . And these are the sons of Ehud , etc.] Not he that was a judge in Israel, ( Judges 3:15) but perhaps a son of Huram the last mentioned; for not the three last are his sons, as some think, but the three following in the next verse; what follows being to be read in a parenthesis: (these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba;) a city in the tribe of Benjamin, ( Joshua 18:24) namely, those sons of Ehud, after mentioned, were principal men in that tribe, and chief of the inhabitants of the city of Geba: and they removed them to Manahath ; the name of a country referred to in ( 1 Chronicles 2:52,54) according to Jarchi, which was in the tribe of Judah; Geba being too small, either the inhabitants of Geba removed them, or they removed themselves, or their fathers removed them, ( Chronicles 8:7), or it may be read impersonally, they were removed thither for the sake of a better habitation; the Targum adds, “to the land of the house of Esau,” to Edom; which is not likely.
Ver. 7 . And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera , etc.] Or, to wit, Naaman, etc. so the words are to be connected with these are the sons or Ehud , in the preceding verse: he removed them ; to the above place, that is, either Gera, or rather Ehud, he advised them, directed and enjoined them to go thither, as being most convenient for them: and he begat Uzza and Ahihud ; after he had removed his other sons. Ver. 8 . And Shaharaim , etc.] Who was either a son of Ahihud, or rather a brother of his, another son of Ehud: begat children in the country of Moab ; whither he might go on account of the famine, as Elimelech did, ( Ruth 1:1), after he had sent them away; which some understand of those that were removed from Geba to Manahath, ( 1 Chronicles 8:6), but a different word is here used; and besides Shaharaim seems to be one of those that were removed. Kimchi takes Shilhootham, we render “had sent them away”, to be the name of his first wife, of whom he begat children in Moab; but it seems best to render and interpret the words in connection with what follows: he begat children in Moab, after he had sent them away; even Hushim and Baara his wives ; after he had divorced them, for some reasons he had, he begat children of another wife, later mentioned.
Ver. 9, 10. And he begat of Hodesh his wife , etc.] That is, he, I say, begat, namely, Shaharaim; the Targum makes this Hodesh to be the same with Baara, called so because she was newly espoused; but wrongly: the sons begotten of her were the seven following; Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcham, Jeuz, Shachia, and Mirma. These were his sons ; the sons of Shaharaim by his wife Hodesh: heads of the fathers ; of the houses or families of their father.
Ver. 12 . The sons of Elpaal; Eber, and Misham, and Shamed , etc.] Besides those in ( 1 Chronicles 8:14,17,18) who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof ; not Shamed, but Elpaal his father, so the Targum; and the Talmudists say f63 , these were walled cities from the days of Joshua the son of Nun, and were destroyed in the days of the concubine in Gibea, and Elpaal came and rebuilt them; they were inhabited by the Benjaminites, upon their return from the Babylonish captivity, ( Nehemiah 11:35) they were near to each other; according to a Jewish chronologer f64 , it was three miles from the one to the other; Lod is the same with Lydda, in ( Acts 9:32,35,38).
Ver. 13 . Beriah also, and Shema , etc.] These were sons of Elpaal: who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon ; which, though in the tribe of Dan, ( Joshua 19:42) might afterwards come into the possession of Benjamin; or this may be another place of the same name in Benjamin; or, however, might be inhabited by Benjaminites, upon the return from captivity, who descended from those men: who drove away the inhabitants of Gath ; dispossessed them of their city, in revenge for what they had done to the Ephraimites, ( 1 Chronicles 7:21).
Ver. 14 . And Ahio, Shashak, and Jerimoth .] These were also sons of Elpaal.
Ver. 15, 16. And Zebadiah , etc.] And all that follow in this and the next verse were the sons of Beriah the son of Elpaal; namely, Arad, Ader, Michael, Ispah, and Joha .
Ver. 17, 18. And Zebadiah, and Meshullam , etc.] These, with those that follow, Hezeki, Heber, Ishmerai, Jezliah, and Jobab, were the sons of Elpaal Ver. 19-21 . And Jakim , etc.] With all the rest in these verses, namely, Zichri, Zabdi, Elienai, Zilthai, Eliel, Adaiah, Beraiah, and Shimrath, were the sons of Shimhi , the same with Shema brother of Beriah, and son of Elpaal, ( 1 Chronicles 8:13).
Ver. 22-25 . And Ishpan, and Heber , etc.] And all that follow to the end of these verses, Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Antothijah, Iphedeiah, and Penuel, were the sons of Shashak , another son of Elpaal, ( 1 Chronicles 8:14).
Ver. 26, 27. And Shamsherai , etc.] Who, with those next mentioned, Shehariah, Athaliah, Jaresiah, Eliah, and Zichri, [were the sons of] Jeroham , who perhaps is the same with Jerimoth, another son of Elpaal, ( 1 Chronicles 8:14) who makes a considerable figure in this genealogy.
Kimchi observes that it is a tradition that this Eliah is Elijah the prophet, who was of the seed of Rachel. Ver. 28 . These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief [men] , etc.] All from ( 1 Chronicles 8:14), the sons of Elpaal and their sons: these dwelt in Jerusalem ; part of which always belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, (see Joshua 15:63 18:28).
Ver. 29 . And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon , etc.] The builder of the city, and prince of the inhabitants of it, which was in the tribe of Benjamin, ( Joshua 18:25) whose name was Jehiel, ( 1 Chronicles 9:35), (whose wife’s name was Maachah;) of which name were many, (see Chronicles 2:48 3:2 7:16).
Ver. 30, 31. And his firstborn son Abdon , etc.] That is, Jehiel’s, the father or prince of Gibeon; other sons follow: Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, and Zacher ; called Zechariah, ( Chronicles 9:37) and between Baal and Nadab, Ner is placed, ( Chronicles 9:36) and another son is added at the end of ( 1 Chronicles 9:37), Mikloth next mentioned.
Ver. 32 . And Mikloth begat Shimeah , etc.] Called Shimeam, ( Chronicles 9:38) and these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them ; in another part of the city, right beside them.
Ver. 33 . And Ner begat Kish , etc.] Who also is called Abiel, as the Targum here adds; for Ner had two names, as other Jewish writers likewise say f66 , (see 1 Samuel 9:1), and Kish begat Saul ; the first king of Israel, for whose sake chiefly the genealogy of Benjamin is revised and enlarged in this chapter: and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal , (see 1 Samuel 31:2). Abinadab is called Ishui, ( 1 Samuel 14:49) and Eshbaal is the same with Ishbosheth, ( 2 Samuel 2:8,10), so Baal and Bosheth are used of the same idol of which they are names, ( Hosea 9:10).
Ver. 34 . And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal , etc.] The same with Mephibosheth, ( 2 Samuel 4:4 9:6) so Jerubbaal is called Jerubbesheth, ( Judges 6:32 2 Samuel 11:21) and Meribbaal begat Micah ; called his young son in David’s time, ( Samuel 9:12).
Ver. 35 . And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz .] The last but one is called Tahrea, ( 1 Chronicles 9:41), where Ahaz is left out, though supplied in our version.
Ver. 36 . And Ahaz begat Jehoadah , etc.] Called Jarah, ( 1 Chronicles 9:42) and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza ; the same account is given, ( 1 Chronicles 9:42).
Ver. 38 . And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bochim, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah, and Hanan , etc.] Which make the said number: all these were the sons of Azel ; his family was large.
Ver. 39 . And the sons of Eshek his brother , etc.] The brother of Azel; who he was is not known, unless he is the same with Elasah, as is conjectured: [were] Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third .
Ver. 40 . And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour , etc.] Men of great fortitude and courage, though their names are not expressed: archers ; skilful in the use of the bow and arrows, as the Benjaminites formerly were famous for slinging stones: and had many sons, and sons’ sons, an hundred and fifty ; so that the posterity of Jonathan, whose genealogy is drawn down from ( Chronicles 8:34) hither, were very great; and greater still, according to the Vulgate Latin version, in which the number is 150,000 in the edition of Sixtus the fifth, and so in most MSS of that version f67 all these are of the sons of Benjamin ; his posterity, whose names are given in this chapter.