1 Chronicles 8:1 MEANING

1 Chronicles 8:1
THE SONS OF BENJAMIN AND BELA (1 Chronicles 8:1-5).

(See Notes on 1 Chronicles 7:6-7.)

Bela his first-born.--The Hebrew word for "firstborn" in Genesis 46:21 may have been turned into the proper name Becher, by an ancient mistake of the scribes. (See Note on 1 Chronicles 7:6.)

Ashbel.--Probably the same as Jediael.

Aharah the same as Ahiram and Ehirosh.

(2) Nohah and Rapha.--These names do not occur in either of the other lists. The present series agrees with Numbers 26:38 in assigning five sons to Benjamin, of whom Bela is the first, and Ashbel the second. Further, there is enough likeness between the name Aharah here and Ahiram there to warrant our assumption of their original identity. But we cannot hence conclude that the Nohah and Rapha of our list answer to the Shephupham-Shupham and Hupham of the other. It is more likely that Nohah and Rapha represent different clans, which were prominent at the time when the present list was draughted. Rapha reminds us of the valley of Rephaim, south-west of Jerusalem, 1 Chronicles 11:15.

(3-5) The sons of Bela here are nine, like the sons of the suspected Becher, 1 Chronicles 7:8. But none of the names correspond.

(3) Addar the same as Ard, who in Numbers 26 is eldest son of Bela, but in Genesis 46 apparently his youngest brother.

Gera appears as brother of Bela in Genesis 46:21. The name is repeated in 1 Chronicles 8:5, probably by a scribe's inadvertence; though there may have been two great Benjamite houses so designated.

Abihud (4) and Abishua are peculiar to the present list.

Naaman is a son of Bela in Numbers 26, a brother in Genesis 46.

Ahoah is peculiar, unless he be identified with the Ehi of Genesis 46.

Shephupham and Huram, younger sons of Bela in the present series, are in Gen. and Num. his younger brothers Muppim (Shuppim) and Huppim, or Shephupbam and Hupham. These fluctuations of statement are worth observing, because they demonstrate the vagueness of terms denoting various degrees of kindred, when used in describing tribal and clan relationships.

Verses 1, 2. - These verses give five sons to Benjamin. Of the non-appearance of Becher here (1 Chronicles 7:6) and the appearance of Ashbel in his place, also of the non-appearance here of Jediael (1 Chronicles 7:6) and the appearance of Aharah (i.q. Ahiram, Numbers 26:38) in his place, notice has been taken on 1 Chronicles 7:6-12. Of the two additions to the sons of Benjamin here, viz. Nohah and Rapha, nothing is known elsewhere; yet it may be possible to count five families from Numbers 26:38, 39.

8:1-40 Genealogies. - Here is a larger list of Benjamin's tribe. We may suppose that many things in these genealogies, which to us seem difficult, abrupt, and perplexed, were plain and easy at that time, and fully answered the intention for which they were published. Many great and mighty nations then were in being upon earth, and many illustrious men, whose names are now wholly forgotten; while the names of multitudes of the Israel of God are here kept in everlasting remembrance. The memory of the just is blessed.Now Benjamin begat Bela his firstborn,.... 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.

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