Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn, Ashbel the second, and Aharah the third,
1Ch 8:1-32. Sons and Chief Men of Benjamin.
1. Now Benjamin begat, &c.—This chapter contains some supplementary particulars in addition to what has been already said regarding the tribe of Benjamin (see on 1Ch 7:6). The names of many of the persons mentioned are different from those given by Moses—a diversity which may be accounted for in part on grounds formerly stated, namely, either that the persons had more than one name, or that the word "sons" is used in a loose sense for grandsons or descendants. But there are other circumstances to be taken into account in considering the details of this chapter; namely, first, that the genealogies of the Benjamites were disordered or destroyed by the almost total extermination of this tribe (Jud 20:11-48); secondly, that a great number of Benjamites, born in Assyria, are mentioned here, who returned from the long captivity in Babylon, and established themselves—some in Jerusalem, others in different parts of Judea. There were more returned from Babylon of the families belonging to this tribe than to any other except Judah; and hence many strange names are here introduced; some of which will be found in the list of the restored exiles (compare Ezr 2:1-70).
Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth.
And the sons of Bela were, Addar, and Gera, and Abihud,
And Abishua, and Naaman, and Ahoah,
And Gera, and Shephuphan, and Huram.
And these are the sons of Ehud: these are the heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Geba, and they removed them to Manahath:
6. these are the sons of Ehud—most probably the judge of Israel (Jud 3:15). His descendants, who had at first been established in Geba in Benjamin, emigrated in a body under the direction of Gera (1Ch 8:7) to Manahath, where their increased numbers would find more ample accommodation. Manahath was within the territory of Judah.
And Naaman, and Ahiah, and Gera, he removed them, and begat Uzza, and Ahihud.
And Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab, after he had sent them away; Hushim and Baara were his wives.
8. Shaharaim begat children in the country of Moab—He had probably been driven to take refuge in that foreign land on the same calamitous occasion that forced Elimelech to emigrate thither (Ru 1:1). But, destitute of natural affection, he forsook or divorced his two wives, and in the land of his sojourn married a third, by whom he had several sons. But there is another explanation given of the conduct of this Benjamite polygamist. His children by Hushim are mentioned (1Ch 8:11), while his other wife is unnoticed. Hence it has been thought probable that it is Baara who is mentioned under the name of Hodesh, so called because her husband, after long desertion, returned and cohabited with her as before.
And he begat of Hodesh his wife, Jobab, and Zibia, and Mesha, and Malcham,
And Jeuz, and Shachia, and Mirma. These were his sons, heads of the fathers.
And of Hushim he begat Abitub, and Elpaal.
The sons of Elpaal; Eber, and Misham, and Shamed, who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof:
Beriah also, and Shema, who were heads of the fathers of the inhabitants of Aijalon, who drove away the inhabitants of Gath:
And Ahio, Shashak, and Jeremoth,
And Zebadiah, and Arad, and Ader,
And Michael, and Ispah, and Joha, the sons of Beriah;
And Zebadiah, and Meshullam, and Hezeki, and Heber,
Ishmerai also, and Jezliah, and Jobab, the sons of Elpaal;
And Jakim, and Zichri, and Zabdi,
And Elienai, and Zilthai, and Eliel,
And Adaiah, and Beraiah, and Shimrath, the sons of Shimhi;
And Ishpan, and Heber, and Eliel,
And Abdon, and Zichri, and Hanan,
And Hananiah, and Elam, and Antothijah,
And Iphedeiah, and Penuel, the sons of Shashak;
And Shamsherai, and Shehariah, and Athaliah,
And Jaresiah, and Eliah, and Zichri, the sons of Jeroham.
These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.
28. These dwelt in Jerusalem—The ordinary and stated inhabitants of Jerusalem were Judahites, Benjamites, and Levites. But at the time referred to here, the chiefs or heads of the principal families who are enumerated (1Ch 8:14-27) established themselves in the city after their return from the captivity.
And at Gibeon dwelt the father of Gibeon; whose wife's name was Maachah:
And his firstborn son Abdon, and Zur, and Kish, and Baal, and Nadab,
And Gedor, and Ahio, and Zacher.
And Mikloth begat Shimeah. And these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them.
And Ner begat Kish, and Kish begat Saul, and Saul begat Jonathan, and Malchishua, and Abinadab, and Eshbaal.
1Ch 8:33-40. Stock of Saul and Jonathan.
33. Ner begat Kish—The father of Ner, though not mentioned here, is stated (1Ch 9:35) to have been Jehiel. Moreover, the father of Kish is said (1Sa 9:1) to have been Abiel, the son of Zeror, whence it would seem that Abiel and Ner were names of the same person.
Abinadab—the same as Ishui (1Sa 14:49).
Esh-baal—that is, Ish-bosheth.
And the son of Jonathan was Meribbaal; and Meribbaal begat Micah.
34. Merib-baal—that is, Mephibosheth.
And the sons of Micah were, Pithon, and Melech, and Tarea, and Ahaz.
And Ahaz begat Jehoadah; and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza,
36. Jehoadah—or, Jara (1Ch 9:42).
And Moza begat Binea: Rapha was his son, Eleasah his son, Azel his son:
And Azel had six sons, whose names are these, Azrikam, Bocheru, and Ishmael, and Sheariah, and Obadiah, and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.
And the sons of Eshek his brother were, Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third.
And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour, archers, and had many sons, and sons' sons, an hundred and fifty. All these are of the sons of Benjamin.
40. mighty men of valour, archers—(see on Jud 20:16). Great strength as well as skill was requisite in ancient archery, as the bow, which was of steel, was bent by treading with the feet, and pulling the string with both hands.