Read 1 Chronicles 8
The Genealogy of Saul the Benjamite
8 Benjamin was the father of Bela his firstborn,
Ashbel the second son, Aharah the third,
2 Nohah the fourth and Rapha the fifth.
3 The sons of Bela were:
Addar, Gera, Abihud, 4 Abishua, Naaman, Ahoah, 5 Gera, Shephuphan and Huram.
6 These were the descendants of Ehud, who were heads of families of those living in Geba and were deported to Manahath:
7 Naaman, Ahijah, and Gera, who deported them and who was the father of Uzza and Ahihud.
8 Sons were born to Shaharaim in Moab after he had divorced his wives Hushim and Baara. 9 By his wife Hodesh he had Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malkam, 10 Jeuz, Sakia and Mirmah. These were his sons, heads of families. 11 By Hushim he had Abitub and Elpaal.
12 The sons of Elpaal:
Eber, Misham, Shemed (who built Ono and Lod with its surrounding villages), 13 and Beriah and Shema, who were heads of families of those living in Aijalon and who drove out the inhabitants of Gath.
14 Ahio, Shashak, Jeremoth, 15 Zebadiah, Arad, Eder, 16 Michael, Ishpah and Joha were the sons of Beriah.
17 Zebadiah, Meshullam, Hizki, Heber, 18 Ishmerai, Izliah and Jobab were the sons of Elpaal.
19 Jakim, Zikri, Zabdi, 20 Elienai, Zillethai, Eliel, 21 Adaiah, Beraiah and Shimrath were the sons of Shimei.
22 Ishpan, Eber, Eliel, 23 Abdon, Zikri, Hanan, 24 Hananiah, Elam, Anthothijah, 25 Iphdeiah and Penuel were the sons of Shashak.
26 Shamsherai, Shehariah, Athaliah, 27 Jaareshiah, Elijah and Zikri were the sons of Jeroham.
28 All these were heads of families, chiefs as listed in their genealogy, and they lived in Jerusalem.
29 Jeiel the father of Gibeon lived in Gibeon.
His wife’s name was Maakah, 30 and his firstborn son was Abdon, followed by Zur, Kish, Baal, Ner, Nadab, 31 Gedor, Ahio, Zeker 32 and Mikloth, who was the father of Shimeah. They too lived near their relatives in Jerusalem.
33 Ner was the father of Kish, Kish the father of Saul, and Saul the father of Jonathan, Malki-Shua, Abinadab and Esh-Baal.
34 The son of Jonathan:
Merib-Baal, who was the father of Micah.
35 The sons of Micah:
Pithon, Melek, Tarea and Ahaz.
36 Ahaz was the father of Jehoaddah, Jehoaddah was the father of Alemeth, Azmaveth and Zimri, and Zimri was the father of Moza.37 Moza was the father of Binea; Raphah was his son, Eleasah his son and Azel his son.
38 Azel had six sons, and these were their names:
Azrikam, Bokeru, Ishmael, Sheariah, Obadiah and Hanan. All these were the sons of Azel.
39 The sons of his brother Eshek:
Ulam his firstborn, Jeush the second son and Eliphelet the third.40 The sons of Ulam were brave warriors who could handle the bow. They had many sons and grandsons—150 in all.
All these were the descendants of Benjamin.
This chapter continues with the genealogy and history of Israel. Chapter 8 is a detailed lineage of Saul (the first King of Israel). As we read through this list of names, we can think “What would the Chronicler want Israel to remember as they read these details about Saul’s family as they re-enter the Promised Land?”
We find Saul mentioned at the start of verse 33: “Ner was the father of Kish, Kish of Saul…” and then the chapter closes in verse 40 with the statement “All these were Benjamaninites.” A Benjamaninite refers to an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin. In Genesis 49, when Jacob was close to death, he gathered his twelve sons and gave them each a blessing. These sons were the originators of the twelve tribes of Israel and each blessing served as a prophesy of what would come of the tribes that each son established.
It’s important that we remember what it meant to be a Benjaminite. We can find Jacob’s blessing on Benjamin in Genesis 49:27: “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” The tribe of Benjamin became well known for being warriors. Even though it was the smallest of the twelve tribes, it was mighty. So, as you read through this list of seemingly meaningless names, you can imagine them as swordsmen and fighters who honorably defended their country.
The original Jewish audience would have recognized many of these names and remembered how they had contributed to their history. When they read Saul’s name, they would have remembered that when Samuel first revealed to Saul that he had been chosen by God as Israel’s King, Saul’s response was “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?” (1 Samuel 9:21). Saul did not feel like his heritage and lineage as a member of the tribe of Benjamin qualified him to be King. Yet, more than 500 years later there is an entire chapter of scripture devoted to chronicling the lineage of Saul to remind the Israelites of their spiritual heritage.
Saul was far from a perfect King. The original readers of Chronicles would have been very aware of Saul’s disobedience and missteps. They would have also recognized that God’s intention was for all the Bejamanites to possess a fierceness that they would steward for God’s glory and that while Saul’s physical strength was very strong, his spiritual strength was lacking. God divinely inspired and preserved Saul’s lineage in scripture for us to recognize and remember that while the world saw someone who came from small and humble beginnings, God saw a mighty warrior with the ability to both devour and divide. May we seek to be warriors of the Lord who obediently look to him for our strength instead of relying on our own.
- What do you think the writer of Chronicles would want the Jewish people to remember about Saul?
- First Samuel 16:7 says “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” How did Saul’s outward appearance differ from his inward appearance?
- Eight chapters into our reading through these genealogies, what is one theme or message that has stuck out to you the most?
Did You Know?
The genealogy of the tribe of Benjamin continues into the New Testament. In Romans 11:1, Paul writes “I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.”
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2 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 8”
Before opening up scripture, often I pause and ask God to open my eyes to the things unseen. Precepts, patterns or particulars of his nature or character that I have missed before. He never disappoints! Today I noted a repeated phrase “heads of families” throughout the descendants of Benjamin. God has a specific design for the family as is evidenced in Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” GotQuestions.org gives these principles of headship:
1. Servant leadership—the head goes first
2. Takes responsibility for the spiritual & emotional
well-being of the family
3. Receives 51% of the vote in a disagreement
This is a huge mantle of responsibility placed upon the shoulders of heads of families. Let’s pray hard for those we know in the daily trenches of living who are modeling these principles before God and their families.
Going through these names makes me think about my family genealogy. It would be so cool if our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, ect would have written some kind of message or documentation about their lives. Knowing fun facts, hardships, just details would make the names be more meaningful, in my head anyway. That is what I think God did for us with this genealogy list. I have been looking up different commentaries to see what they have to say about the list. and some give you how they are woven into other books of the bible which explains more.( Studylight.org) BUT GOD wants us to know that He had a plan, has a plan and is always here for us during our plans. “There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.” Oswald. We have battles and God is with us if we let Him before, during and after these battles. I am so THANKFUL!!!!
God thank You for helping me in good days, bad days, and days. God thank You for always having open arms for me to come to as I seek refuge from this world until You can help me figure out how to handle whatever the situation is. Psalm 91:2
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” Thank You for loving me in Jesus name amen