1 Chronicles 8:1–40

Read the passage.

Much like David’s line was given in great detail, Saul’s lineage is expanded upon from his forefather Benjamin. Unfortunately, we run into the same problems we encountered in the lists of Judah’s sons, which is that the names are not all the same everywhere they are listed. It is not unusual for a person to have different names in the Bible, beyond even variant names. (Gideon was called Jerub-baal, Daniel was called Belteshazzar, etc.) It could also be that Benjamin had a whole bunch of children and they weren’t all listed at one time for some reason.

Verses 6 through 8 speak of exile and children born in Moab. These probably don’t refer to the country-wide exile of Judah when Babylon conquered the land. Instead it would be a more localized exile, perhaps of this particular family, much earlier in the history of the Benjaminites. It could possibly be the same time period as the famine that sent Naomi’s family to Moab in the time of the judges.

After a long list of names and a few of their exploits, we are introduced to the line of King Saul, starting with Gibeon. (Jeiel might be named as the father of Gibeon, but in italics, so we know his name doesn’t appear in the original text. However, his name does appear in 1 Chronicles 9:35, so the translators help us out by adding it back here.) Saul’s son Jonathan is famous from his friendship with David, and Jonathan’s son Merib-baal is more commonly known as Mephibosheth from the kindness David showed him in 2 Samuel 9, but many of Mephibosheth’s descendants are listed afterwards. After 2 Samuel 9, I don’t think Saul’s line is ever mentioned again, but here we see that they continued to do well in the kingdom of Judah.

You have promised to preserve Your people throughout the ages. Your word never returns void.

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