1 Chronicles 8:28
These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.
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(28) These were . . . chief men.These were: chiefs of clans; according to their birth-rolls, chiefs. All the names from 1Chronicles 8:14 to 1Chronicles 8:27 are included in this summation. The repetition of the word “chiefs” (Heb., heads) is peculiar. The writer can hardly have meant other than to warn his readers against the idea that the preceding names represent individual members of single families, whereas, in truth, they are “heads of clans.” (“Heads” in Hebrew may denote “companies,” or “divisions,” as at Judges 7:16, “And he divided the three hundred men into three heads.”)

These dwelt in Jerusalem.—This statement contrasts the five branches of Benjamin, whose sub-divisions have just been enumerated, with the clans that dwelt in Geba and Manahath (1Chronicles 8:6), in Moab (1Chronicles 8:9-10), in Lod and Ono (1Chronicles 8:12), and in Ajalon (1Chronicles 8:13), as well as with those who dwelt in Gibeou. (1Chronicles 8:29).

1 Chronicles 8:28. Heads of the fathers, &c: these dwelt at Jerusalem — All these named from 1 Chronicles 8:14 to this place. 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.

8:1-40 Genealogies. - 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.These dwelt in Jerusalem - Jerusalem was partly within the limits of the tribe of Benjamin Joshua 18:28; but we do not hear of Benjamites inhabiting it until after the return from the captivity 1 Chronicles 9:3; Nehemiah 11:4. 28. These dwelt in Jerusalem—The ordinary and stated inhabitants of Jerusalem were Judahites, Benjamites, and Levites. But at the time referred to here, the chiefs or heads of the principal families who are enumerated (1Ch 8:14-27) established themselves in the city after their return from the captivity. All these named from 1 Chronicles 8:14, to this place.

These were heads of the fathers, by their generations, chief men,.... All from 1 Chronicles 8:14, the sons of Elpaal and their sons:

these dwelt in Jerusalem; part of which always belonged to the tribe of Benjamin, see Joshua 15:63.

These were heads of the {e} fathers, by their generations, chief men. These dwelt in Jerusalem.

(e) The chief of the tribe of Benjamin, who dwelt in Jerusalem.

28. of the fathers, by their generations] R.V. of fathers’ houses throughout their generations.

These dwelt in Jerusalem] i.e. in the writer’s day the heads of families enumerated in 1 Chronicles 8:15-27 dwelt in Jerusalem. Cp. 1 Chronicles 9:2-3; Nehemiah 11:1-8. But the words may be a gloss brought in from 1 Chronicles 9:34.

Verse 28. - These dwelt in Jerusalem (Joshua 18:28; 1 Chronicles 9:2-9; Nehemiah 11:1-4). 1 Chronicles 8:28Bertheau would identify three of the sons of Elpaal - Meshullam, Heber, and Ishmerai - with Misham, Eber, and Shemer, 1 Chronicles 8:12, but without any sufficient reason; for it is questionable if even the Elpaal whose sons are named in our verses be the same person as the Elpaal mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:12. Of these descendants of Elpaal, also, nothing further is known, and the same may be said of the nine sons of Shimhi, 1 Chronicles 8:19-21; of the eleven sons of Shashak, 1 Chronicles 8:22-25; and of the six sons of Jeroham, 1 Chronicles 8:26, 1 Chronicles 8:27, although some of these names are met with elsewhere singly. The concluding remark, 1 Chronicles 8:28, "These are heads of fathers'-houses," refers, without doubt, to all the names from 1 Chronicles 8:15 or 1 Chronicles 8:14 to 1 Chronicles 8:27. "According to their generations - heads" is in apposition to the preceding, as in 1 Chronicles 9:24, but the meaning of the apposition is doubtful. The word ראשׁים can hardly be repeated merely for emphasis, as the old commentators understood it, in harmony with the Vulgate principes inquam, for why should this word be so emphasized? Bertheau thinks that "according to their births - heads" is to be taken to mean that those who are enumerated by name are not the heads living at the time of the preparation of this register, but the individual families, with the name of their progenitor after whom they were named in the genealogical lists. But how this meaning can be found in the words in question, I at least cannot understand. Can the individual families be called אבות ראשׁי, "heads of fathers'-houses"? The families are the fathers'-houses themselves, i.e., they are made up of the groups of related households comprehended under the name fathers'-houses. These groups of related households have, it is true, each of them either head, but cannot possibly be themselves called heads. The meaning seems rather to be that the persons named in the family registers, or registers of births, are introduced as heads (of fathers'-houses); and the reason why this is remarked would seem to be, to prevent those who are enumerated as the sons of this or that man from being regarded simply as members of fathers'-houses. The further remark, "these dwelt in Jerusalem," is manifestly not to be taken to mean that the heads alone dwelt there, while the households that were subordinated to them lived elsewhere; for it signifies that they dwelt in Jerusalem with the households which composed their respective fathers'-houses. That the households dwelt there also is not stated, merely because the register contains only the names of the heads.
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