1 Chronicles 7:6
The sons of Benjamin; Bela, and Becher, and Jediael, three.
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(6-11) The tribe of Benjamin.

(6) Benjamin.—Before this word bnê (sons of . . .) has been lost, because Benjamin in Hebrew begins with the same three letters. The present list of the sons of Benjamin may be compared with three others, that of Gen. xlvi 21, that of Num. xxvi 38-41, and that of the next 1chron 1Chronicles 7:1-5.

(6) Becher with different vowels would mean firstborn; and the original reading in Genesis 46 may have been Bela bechoro—“Bela his firstborn,” as in 1Chronicles 8:1.

Jediael, friend of God, may be a substitute for Ashbel, i.e., Eshbaal, man of Bel or Baal. (Comp. 1Chronicles 3:8, Eliada for Beeliada.) Ashbel is the second son of Benjamin in Numbers 26 and 1 Chronicles 8, and the third (perhaps second) in Genesis 46

1 Chronicles 7:6. The sons of Benjamin, three — They were ten, (Genesis 46:21,) and five of them are named 1 Chronicles 8:1, but here only three are mentioned, either because they were most eminent, or because the other families were now extinct.

7:1-40 Genealogies. - Here is no account either of Zebulun or Dan. We can assign no reason why they only should be omitted; but it is the disgrace of the tribe of Dan, that idolatry began in that colony which fixed in Laish, and called it Dan, Jud 18 and there one of the golden calves was set up by Jeroboam. Dan is omitted, Re 7. Men become abominable when they forsake the worship of the true God, for any creature object.Three - In Genesis, ten "sons" of Benjamin are mentioned; in Numbers, five (marginal references). Neither list, however, contains Jediael who was perhaps a later chieftain. If so, "son" as applied to him means only "descendant."

It is conjectured that Becher has disappeared from the lists in 1 Chronicles 8 and in Numbers, because he, or his heir, married an Ephraimite heiress, and that his house thus passed over in a certain sense into the tribe of Ephraim, in which the "Bachrites" are placed in Numbers Num 26:35. He retains, however, his place here, because, by right of blood, he really belonged to Benjamin.

1Ch 7:6-12. Of Benjamin.

6. The sons of Benjamin—Ten are named in Ge 46:21, but only five later (1Ch 8:1; Nu 26:38). Perhaps five of them were distinguished as chiefs of illustrious families, but two having fallen in the bloody wars waged against Benjamin (Jud 20:46), there remained only three branches of this tribe, and these only are enumerated.

Jediael—Or Asbel (Genesis 46. 21).

There were ten, Genesis 46:21, and five of them are named, 1 Chronicles 8:1, but here only three are mentioned, either because these were most eminent for courage or fruitfulness, or because the other families were now extinct.

The sons of Benjamin; Bela, and Becher, and Jediael, three. Benjamin had ten sons, but three only are mentioned first; the latter of these seems to be the same with Ashbel, Genesis 46:21. The sons of Benjamin; Bela, and Becher, and {d} Jediael, {e} three.

(d) Also called Ashbel, Ge 46:21, Nu 26:38.

(e) Who were the chief: or else there were seven in all as it appears in Ge 46:21.

6–12 (cp. ch. 1 Chronicles 8:1-40). The Genealogy of Benjamin

6. The sons of Benjamin] The Heb. word for the sons of being just like the beginning of the word Benjamin has fallen out through an error of transcription. The names of these are also given in 1 Chronicles 8:1-5; Genesis 46:21; Numbers 26:38-41. There are variations of reading and probably also variations of tradition in the different lists; e.g. here the sons of Benjamin are reckoned to be three in number, but in 1 Chronicles 8:2 to be five.

Bela, and Becher, and Jediael] These three names come from Genesis 46:21, Jediael (“Known to God”) being substituted for the heathen-sounding Ashbel (= Ishbaal, “Man of Baal”). The Chronicler in this case conforms literally to the principle laid down in Hosea 2:17. (See note on Eshbaal, 1 Chronicles 8:33.) In 1 Chronicles 8:1 on the contrary the three names Bela, Ashbel, Aharah (= Ahiram) are taken from Numbers 26:38 without misgiving.

Verse 6. - The sons of Benjamin; Bela, and Becher, and Jediael, three. We have four passages for our authorities as to the sons of Benjamin, and it is not altogether easy to bring them into verbal harmony. They are Genesis 46:21; Numbers 26:38-41; the present passage; and ch. 8. Our present passage mentions three sons, as though they were all, and immediately proceeds to their posterity. The list in Genesis mentions ten, of whom, however, we know (Numbers 26:40; 1 Chronicles 8:3, 4) that three, Naaman, Ard, and Gem, were grandsons, being sons of Bela, under which circumstances the order in which the two former stand in Genesis is remarkable. Again, while Becher is given as the second son in both Genesis and our present place, he is not mentioned in Numbers 26:38-41 and in 1 Chronicles 8:1. Ashbel, who in Genesis is given as the third, is expressly called the second son. Among the Ephraimites, however (Numbers 26:35), a Becher, with his descendants the Bachrites, is mentioned, and it is not improbable that, by marriage, the family were at that time, for manifest reasons of inheritance and possession, reckoned in this tribe, though by blood of the tribe of Benjamin. This subject is skilfully discussed by Lord A. C. Hervey (Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 1:175). Lastly, Jediael of this passage and ver. 10 is not found in Genesis, in Numbers, or in our ch. 8. This name seems to have superseded in our passage the name Ashbel in Genesis, though it is impossible to speak certainly. It cannot be supposed to designate the same person, but rather a descendant in the same branch, whose family had come to importance "in the days of David." 1 Chronicles 7:6Sons and families of Benjamin. - In 1 Chronicles 7:6 only three sons of Benjamin-Bela, Becher, and Jediael - are mentioned; and in 1 Chronicles 7:7-11 their families are registered. Besides these, there are five sons of Benjamin spoken of in 1 Chronicles 8:1-2, - Bela the first, Ashbel the second, Aharah the third, Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth; while in 1 Chronicles 7:3-5 five other בּנים are enumerated, viz., אדּר, גּרא (twice), נעמן, שׁפוּפן, and חוּרם. If we compare here the statements of the Pentateuch as to the genealogy of Benjamin, we find in Genesis 46:21 the following sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi (אחי) and Rosh, Muppim and Huppim and Ard (ארדּ); and in Numbers 26:38-40 seven families, of which five are descended from his sons Bela, Ashbel, Ahiram, Shephupham, and Hupham (חוּפם); and two from his grandsons, the sons of Bela, Ard and Naaman. From this we learn, not only that of the בּנים mentioned in Genesis 46:21 at least two were grandsons, but also that the names אחי and מפּים (Gen.) are only other forms of אחירם and שׁפוּפם (Num.). It is, however, somewhat strange that among the families (in Num.) the names בּכר, גּרא, and ראשׁ are wanting. The explanation which at once suggests itself, that their descendants were not numerous enough to form separate families, and that they on that account were received into the families of the other sons, though it may be accepted in the case of Gera and Rosh, of whom it is nowhere recorded that they had numerous descendants, cannot meet the case of Becher, for in 1 Chronicles 7:8, 1 Chronicles 7:9 of our chapter mention is made of nine sons of his, with a posterity of 20,200 men. The supposition that the name of Becher and his family has been dropped from the genealogical register of the families in Numbers 26, will not appear in the slightest degree probable, when we consider the accuracy of this register in other respects. The only remaining explanation therefore is, that the descendants of Becher were in reality not numerous enough to form a משׁפּחה by themselves, but had afterwards so increased that they numbered nine fathers'-houses, with a total of 20,200 valiant warriors. The numbers in our register point unquestionably to post-Mosaic times; for at the second numbering by Moses, all the families of Benjamin together numbered only 45,600 men (Numbers 26:41), while the three families mentioned in our verses number together 59,434 (22,034 + 20,200 + 17,200). The tribe of Benjamin, which moreover was entirely destroyed, with the exception of 600 men, in the war which it waged against the other tribes in the earlier part of the period of the judges (Judges 20:47), could not have increased to such an extent before the times of David and Solomon. The name of the third son of Benjamin, Jediael, occurs only here, and is considered by the older commentators to be another name of Ashbel (Genesis 46:21 and Numbers 26:38), which cannot indeed be accepted as a certainty, but is very probable.
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