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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

1 Chronicles 8

Verses 1-28


This chapter is entirely dedicated to the descendants of Benjamin. These descendants have already been discussed in the previous chapter by the chronicler (1 Chronicles 7:6-2 Kings :). 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

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

Ehud (1 Chronicles 8:6) is the man who killed Eglon, king of the Moabites, and delivered the people of the Moabites (Judges 3:12-Amos :).

In 1 Chronicles 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 (1 Chronicles 7:21).

Verses 29-40

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” (1 Chronicles 8:32; cf. 1 Chronicles 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. Nehemiah 11:1-Numbers :).

Merib-baal (1 Chronicles 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” (1 Chronicles 8:40; 1 Chronicles 7:7; 1 Chronicles 7:91 Chronicles 7:11). The tribe of Benjamin is characterized by combativeness, as it resounds in what Jacob noted in his prophetic speech to his sons about Benjamin (Genesis 49:27).

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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Chronicles 8". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.