Grace Words

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Tuesday, April 15. 1 Chronicles 6 – 8

The tribe of Benjamin receives a second notice (see 7:6ff) in chapter 8, probably to note their tribal lands. Remember, Chronicles was written after the exile. The returnees would need to know where their ancestral lands were.

Benjamin is the father of Bela, and Belah was the father of Gera who was the father of Ehud (vs. 3. Abihud is best read as “father of Ehud” – see the footnote in the NIV). This Ehud branch of the family line settled in Geba (between Jerusalem and Bethel).

Verse 8 takes up with Bela’s son Shephuphan (or Shaharaim) and his sons, mainly Elpaal, who descendants settled in Ono and Lod (just north of Gezer in Philistine territory) and Aijalon (between Gezer and Jerusalem).

Beginning with verse 14, we have other descendants of Elpaal through his son Beriah, who, along with Elpaal’s other sons (vs. 17) lived in Jerusalem with descendants of others of this tribe (vss. 17-28). Verses 29 – 33 list the descendants of Benjamin who lived in Gibeon and verses 34 – 40 list the descendants of Saul.

One of the reasons so much attention is given to Benjamin is that it was one of the main post-exilic tribes. It would be important to verify as many of the family heads as possible and their land allotments. This discussion of Benjamin brings to an end the genealogy in this first section of Chronicles.

It is interesting that at the end of Judges, the Benjaminites are nearly wiped out by their own brethren due of their immorality. But after the exile, they occupy a prominent place among
God’s people. It is a testimony to the long-suffering and grace of God, and the kind of change that can come about in the lives of seemingly hopeless people when they but put their hearts and minds to the task of loyalty to God.