choice and mighty men of valour; these were some selected from others, being eminent for their courage and valour:
chief of the princes; or chief princes; the Vulgate Latin version is, dukes of dukes, they were heads of their fathers' families:
and the number throughout the genealogy that were apt to war, and to battle, was twenty and six thousand men; that is, in the days of David, 1 Chronicles 7:4, this was the number, not of their chief men, nor of all the people in the tribe, but of their militia.
INTRODUCTION TO 1 Chronicles 8
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, of Ehud, 1 Chronicles 8:5, of Shaharaim, 1 Chronicles 8:8, of Elpaal and Beriah, 1 Chronicles 8:12 of Shimhi, 1 Chronicles 8:19, of Shashak, 1 Chronicles 8:22, of Jeroham, 1 Chronicles 8:26, of Jehiel the father of Gibeon, 1 Chronicles 8:28, of Ner, and particularly Saul, 1 Chronicles 8:33 and of Jonathan, and his posterity, 1 Chronicles 8:34.
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.
(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 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, 1 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.
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.
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.
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.
who built Ono, and Lod, with the towns thereof; not Shamed, but Elpaal his father, so the Targum; and the Talmudists say (o), 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 (p), it was three miles from the one to the other; Lod is the same with Lydda, in Acts 9:32.
(o) T. Hieros. Megillah, fol. 70. 1. & T. Bab Megillah, fol. 4. 1. So the Targum. (p) Juchasin, fol. 39. 2.
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.
Arad, Ader, Michael, Ispah, and Joha.
Hezeki, Heber, Ishmerai, Jezliah, and Jobab, were the sons of Elpaal
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.
Eliel, Abdon, Zichri, Hanan, Hananiah, Elam, Antothijah, Iphedeiah, and Penuel, were the sons of Shashak, another son of Elpaal, 1 Chronicles 8:14.
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 (q) that this Eliah is Elijah the prophet, who was of the seed of Rachel.
(q) Shemoth Rabba, sect. 40. fol. 138. 4.
these dwelt in Jerusalem; part of which always belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, see Joshua 15:63.
(whose wife's name was Maachah;) of which name were many, see 1 Chronicles 2:48.
Zur, Kish, Baal, Nadab, Gedor, Ahio, and Zacher; called Zechariah, 1 Chronicles 9:37 and between Baal and Nadab, Ner is placed, 1 Chronicles 9:36 and another son is added at the end of 1 Chronicles 9:37, Mikloth next mentioned.
and these also dwelt with their brethren in Jerusalem, over against them; in another part of the city, right beside them.
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, so Baal and Bosheth are used of the same idol of which they are names, Hosea 9:10.
(r) Vajikra Rabba, sect. 9. fol. 152. 4.
and Meribbaal begat Micah; called his young son in David's time, 2 Samuel 9:12.
and Jehoadah begat Alemeth, and Azmaveth, and Zimri; and Zimri begat Moza; the same account is given, 1 Chronicles 9:42.
Elasah his son; whose name is Eleasah, 1 Chronicles 9:43.
Azel his son.
all these were the sons of Azel; his family was large.
were Ulam his firstborn, Jehush the second, and Eliphelet the third.