1 Chronicles 8
1 Chronicles 8 Kingcomments Bible Studies


This chapter is entirely dedicated to the descendants of Benjamin. These descendants have already been discussed by the chronicler in the previous chapter (1Chr 7:6-12). Here he does so more extensively, because he is working toward a special descendant, Saul, the predecessor of David. The ancestors and also the descendants of Saul are listed.

Descendants of Benjamin

In these verses it is about the heads of the family in connection with Jerusalem (1Chr 8:28; cf. 1Chr 8:32). The tribe of Benjamin is the tribe that lives closest to Jerusalem. The descendants surround the city on three sides.

Ehud (1Chr 8:6) is the man who killed Eglon, king of the Moabites, and delivered the people from the Moabites (Jdg 3:12-30).

In 1Chr 8:13 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 7:21).

The Lineage of Saul

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” (1Chr 8:32; cf. 1Chr 8:28). 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 11:1-4).

Merib-baal (1Chr 8:34) 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” (1Chr 8:40; 1Chr 7:7; 9; 11). The tribe of Benjamin is characterized by combativeness, as it resounds in what Jacob noted in his prophetic address to his sons about Benjamin (Gen 49:27).

© 2023 Author G. de Koning

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