1 Chronicles 8:40
And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons, and sons' sons, an hundred and fifty. All these are of the sons of Benjamin.
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(40) And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour, archers.—The ancient prowess of the Benjamites is recorded in Judges 20. Their left-handed slingers were famous. (See also Judges 3:15 seq.)

Archers.—Literally, treaders of the bow (1Chronicles 5:18). The meaning is that they drew their bows by resting the foot against them, the bows being large.

Had many sons, and sons’ sons, an hundred and fifty.—What was their date? If we may assume that no names have been omitted, we are concerned with the fourteenth generation from Jonathan, the friend of David. The era of David has been fixed at about 1055-1045 B.C. ; so that the great-grandsons of Ulam may have flourished about 635-625 B.C. (1055 minus 420), in the reign of Josiah. The omission of names, however, is as possible and as likely in the present series as elsewhere; and it is obvious that one or two additional members would carry the list past the exile (B.C. 588). There are reasons for believing that the posterity of Ulam really represent a family of the period of the Return. Their number is favourable to the supposition. Comp. Ezra 2:18; Ezra 2:21; Ezra 2:23; Ezra 2:27; Ezra 2:30 for families of about the same dimensions, which returned with Zerubbabel. Further, the reference in 1Chronicles 8:8-10 to a sojourn of certain Benjamite houses in Moab may be connected with the mention in Ezra 2:6; Ezra 8:4; Nehemiah 3:11, and elsewhere, of the “sons of the Pasha of Moab” (Pahath Mo’ab. This word pahath used to be reckoned among the indications of the late origin of the Chronicle. Now, however, it is known to be an ancient Semitic term. Comp. the Assyrian pihatu). Ono and Lod (1Chronicles 8:12) may be compared with Ezra 2:33, and the singular names Elam (1Chronicles 8:24) and Azmaveth (1Chronicles 8:36), with the “sons of Elam” (Ezra 2:7), and “the sons of Azmaveth,” or “Beth-azmaveth” (Ezra 2:24; Nehemiah 7:28). The name Bocheru (in 1Chronicles 8:38) has been classed with Gashmu (Nehemiah 6:6), but the latter is an Arab, and there is seemingly no MS. authority for Bocheru. Ishmael (1Chronicles 8:38) reminds us of “Ishmael son of Nethaniah, of the seed royal” (2Kings 25:25), who survived the fall of Jerusalem.

1 Chronicles 8:40. Archers — Hebrew, that tread the bow: for the bows of steel, which these used, required great strength to bend them; which therefore they did by treading the bow with their feet, and pulling the string with both their hands. 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.Sons, and sons' sons - This genealogy of the house of Saul appears by the number of the generations to belong probably to the time of Hezekiah (compare 1 Chronicles 4:41). Ulam's "sons' sons" are in the 13th generation from Jonathan, as Hezekiah is in the 13th generation from David. 40. mighty men of valour, archers—(see on [361]Jud 20:16). Great strength as well as skill was requisite in ancient archery, as the bow, which was of steel, was bent by treading with the feet, and pulling the string with both hands. Archers, Heb. that tread the bow; for the bows of steel, which these used, required great strength to bend them; which therefore they did by treading the bow with their feet, and pulling the string with both their hands. And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour,.... Men of great fortitude and courage, though their names are not expressed:

archers; skilful in the use of the bow and arrows, as the Benjaminites formerly were famous for slinging stones:

and had many sons, and sons' sons, an hundred and fifty; so that the posterity of Jonathan, whose genealogy is drawn down from 1 Chronicles 8:34 hither, were very great; and greater still, according to the Vulgate Latin version, in which the number is 150,000 in the edition of Sixtus the fifth, and so in most MSS of that version (s).

all these are of the sons of Benjamin; his posterity, whose names are given in this chapter.

(s) See James of the Contrariety of the Popish Bibles, p. 294.

And the sons of Ulam were mighty men of valor, archers, and had many sons, and sons' sons, an hundred and fifty. All these are of the sons of Benjamin.
Jonathan's sons and grandsons. His son is called here and in 1 Chronicles 9:40 Meribbaal, while in 2 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 9:6; 2 Samuel 16:1., 2 Samuel 19:25, he is called Mephibosheth, because the name "striver with Baal" has been changed into מפיבשׁת, exterminans idolum. This Meribbaal, who was lame in his feet (cf. 2 Samuel 4:4), had a son Micha (מיכה, in 2 Samuel 9:12 written מיכא), of whom came a numerous race. He had four sons (1 Chronicles 8:35), and the family of the last-named of these (Ahaz) is traced down, in 1 Chronicles 8:36-40, through ten generations to the great-grandson of Eshek. First it is traced from Ahaz to Alemeth (1 Chronicles 8:36); then through Zimri, brother of this latter, to Binea, by הוליד; then further by בּנו (hisson) to Azel, of whom in 1 Chronicles 8:38 six sons are enumerated; and finally, in 1 Chronicles 8:39, the sons of his brother Eshek are named, and the sons and grandsons of the first-born of this latter are then enumerated. The last two verses are wanting after 1 Chronicles 9:44. The names in the two registers correspond, except at one point, where we cannot get rid of the discrepancy that for יחועדּה (1 Chronicles 8:36) there stands in 1 Chronicles 9:42 יערה both times, probably through an error of transcription, by which out of the shortened form יעדּה there arose יערה, ד and ר being interchanged. Besides this, instead of the תּארע of 1 Chronicles 8:35, we have in 1 Chronicles 9:41, according to the harder pronunciation of the gutturals, תּחרע; and for רפה, 1 Chronicles 8:37, we have in 1 Chronicles 9:41 the longer original form רפיה. Now since Ahaz, whose posterity is traced down to the tenth generation, was descended from Jonathan in the third generation, and his grandfather Mephibosheth was a boy of five years of age at the death of Saul and Jonathan (2 Samuel 4:4), the grandsons of Ulam, mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:40, will be the thirteenth generation of Jonathan's descendants. Now Jonathan fell along with Saul in the year 1055 b.c., and consequently this thirteenth generation of Jonathan's descendants lived probably about 700 b.c., i.e., about 100 years before the Babylonian exile; for, according to the analogy of the royal race of David, we cannot reckon more than twenty-five years on an average for each generation.

(Note: Bertheau holds a contrary opinion to that given in the text, and thinks that by the numerous sons and grandsons of Ulam the son of Eshek we are brought down to post-exilic times, seeing that if Saul lived about 1080 b.c., and thirty years are reckoned to each one of the thirteen generations (Eshek being a descendant of Saul in the thirteenth generation), Azel and Eshek must have lived about 690 b.c. But this estimate is too high, for we cannot reckon sixty years to Saul and Jonathan from 1080 onwards, since Jonathan fell along with Saul in 1055, and his son Meribbaal was then hardly five years old, and must consequently have been born in 1060. For the following generations, moreover, not more than twenty-five years on an average should be reckoned. That being the case, the children's children of Ulam's sons, who were the twelfth generation of Micha's descendants, may have lived from 760 b.c. onwards, and during this period, from 760 to 700, may have increased to the troop of blooming grandchildren of Ulam mentioned in 1 Chronicles 8:40. But even supposing that thirty years should be reckoned for each generation, the last-named generation of 150 grandsons and great-grandsons of Ulam would have lived in the period from 660 to 600, i.e., before the exile, or at least before the first great deportation of the people with Jehoiakim in the year 599 b.c.)

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