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1 Chronicles Chapter Eight                            


1 Chronicles 8

Chapter Contents


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.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 1 Chronicles


1 Chronicles 8

Verse 6

[6] 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:

These — These following, verse 7, because he here speaks of them who were removed. He describes the sons of Benjamin by the places of their habitation, without an exact account of their parents; because their genealogies were broken by that almost total extirpation of this tribe, Judges 20:29-48.

Verse 28

[28] These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.

Heads of the fathers, … — Particular notice is taken of these, that others, at their return from captivity, might be induced to settle there too, which it seems few were willing to do, because it was the post of danger. Many great and mighty nations were then upon earth, and many illustrious men in them, whose names are buried in perpetual oblivion, while the names of multitudes of the Israel of God, are here carefully preserved in everlasting remembrance: a figure of God's writing the names of his spiritual Israel, in the Lamb's book of life.

Verse 40

[40] 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.

Archers — Heb. that tread the bow; for the bows of steel, which these used, required great strength to bend them; which therefore they did by treading the bow with their feet, and pulling the string with both their hands.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 1 Chronicles


08 Chapter 8


Verses 1-40

1 Chronicles 8:1-40

Now Benjamin begat Bela his first-born

Readings between the lines

That alliances often end in entanglements and entail unconsidered consequences. Shaharaim went into Moab and there married a Moabitess, having children of her (1 Chronicles 8:8). The names of his sons (1 Chronicles 8:9) were Moabitish--Mezha (see 2 Kings 3:4), Maleham (an idol of Moab; see 1 Kings 11:33 and Jeremiah 49:1-2). This fact points clearly to the evil influence under which his children came through this matrimonial alliance. If we “make affinity” with those who are not of like mind and like principles with ourselves, we must be prepared for serious spiritual consequences.

II. That human activity may have very long results. Shamed, the son of Elpaal, built two cities; one of them was Led (1 Chronicles 8:12). This is identical with the Lydda of our New Testament (Acts 9:32), and with the modern Ludd. Here we have an instance of the results of one man’s activity being witnessed more than thirty centuries after he has been gathered to his fathers. Who can say how far down the stream of time our influence will go?

III. That violence is a bad foundation of rest and power. In 1 Chronicles 8:13 we learn that, by a noteworthy coincidence, Beriah with Shema “drove away the inhabitants of Gath.” In the previous chapter (1 Chronicles 8:21) we read that the inhabitants of Gath slew the sons of Ephraim. Truly “they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Violence seizes on a neighbour’s land, and by violence is itself dispossessed.

IV. That it is wise to stamp bad things with an evil name. Esh-baal (1 Chronicles 8:33) is the Ishbosheth of 2 Samuel 11:21; while Merib-baal (verse 34) is the Mephibosheth of 2 Samuel 4:4. In these two eases Baal is turned into Bosheth, which signifies shame. Thus, by a simple name, the heathen deity was branded with public reprobation. The evil thing was made to seem the ugly and offensive thing it was. Nothing can be more perilous to the community than the wrapping up of a sin in some pleasant euphemism; e.g., if a daughter has been sinful she should not be called “unfortunate.” Vice does not lose half its evil by losing all its grossness. If we label sin with a name that passes current in society, we are co-workers with the tempter himself.

V. That faithful remembrance in the day of power is an excellent grace. The line of Jonathan is traced to many generations (verse 34, etc.). Is not the hand of David here? Is this not a sign that his vow (1 Samuel 20:15)was honourably filled? What we promise as we are rising we should scrupulously discharge when we have attained the summit of our desires. It is the mark of a true man to carry out with generous fulness all that he undertook when he was a long way from the goal and the prize.

VI. That the thought of a worthy ancestry is an honourable inducement to well-doing. “These dwelt in Jerusalem” (verses 28-82). When the captives returned from Babylon there was a lack of men to populate the sacred city. In the country were inviting fields waiting for cultivation, while in the city was danger to be dared and civic duty to be discharged. So that “the people blessed all the men that willingly offered themselves to dwell at Jerusalem” (Nehemiah 11:2). The fact that their ancestors dwelt in the city would probably operate as a powerful inducement to lead many to offer themselves as citizens, and these would thus be led to serve their country in a very serious crisis. The knowledge of the honourable position taken by our ancestry is a very lawful motive to obedience and aspiration.

──The Biblical Illustrator