The descendants of Benjamin (1 Chr 8:1-8:2)

“Benjamin became the father of Bela his first-born son, Ashbel the second, Aharah the third, Nohah the fourth, and Rapha the fifth.”

Once again we are back to the sons of Benjamin, the youngest of the sons of Jacob, who had a number of sons. Based on Genesis, chapter 46, he had 10 sons. In Numbers, chapter 26, he had 5 sons, while earlier in chapter 7 of this book he had 3 sons. Here he has 5. There is a substantial difference between the lists of the descendants of Benjamin in Genesis, chapter 46, Numbers, chapter 26, and in chapter 7 of this book. Only 1 name is the same in all 4 lists including this list, (1) Bela, the first born. (2) Ashbel was listed in both Genesis and Numbers, but not in chapter 7 where Becher and Jediael were listed as the 3 sons of Benjamin. Perhaps Jediael is the same as Ashbel. However, the other 3 sons listed here were on none of the other 3 lists. (3) Aharah and (4) Nohah are only listed here, while (5) Rapha was the name of one of Saul’s descendents. Missing from the list in Numbers were Becher, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. Becher is listed as a son of Ephraim, so that may be why he is not in Numbers. In other books of the Bible, Gera is listed as a son of Benjamin, but not in Numbers. Naaman and Ard are listed as the descendants of Bela, not of Benjamin as in Genesis. The mention of Ehi and Muppim in Genesis are the only mentions of these two in the biblical works. Rosh is some sort of kingdom in later works. It is possible that Hupham is just another way of saying Huppim, since they are both listed only once in Numbers and Genesis. Both Ahiram and Shephupham are only listed in Numbers, and in no other works. Certainly the sons of Benjamin are not clear whether they were 10, 5, or 3. Both Numbers and here have 5 sons with only 2 with the same name. The Benjaminites seem to have a checkered past with almost being eliminated in Judges, chapter 20, to having a special place here with Jerusalem.

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