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.

The sons of Jediael (1 Chr 7:10-7:11)

“The son of Jediael was Bilhan. The sons of Bilhan were Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish, and Ahishahar. All these were the sons of Jediael according to the heads of their ancestral houses, mighty warriors, seventeen thousand and two hundred, ready for service in war.”

First, there is the question is this Jediael or Ashbel, or are they the same? There are 2 other biblical people with the same name as Jediael. Did this biblical writer try to eliminate all names that hinted at Baal? This guy had a son named Bilhan, who had 7 sons. The only other Bilhan was a Horite, so that there can be no confusion about him.   4 others have the same name as (1) Jeush. (2) Benjamin is of course the famous son of Jacob whose name appears more than 140 times. It is surprising how few people take the name of their ancestral father. This (3) Ehud, the great grandson of Benjamin might be the same Ehud that was the 2nd judge in Judges, chapter 3. He was a Benjaminite, but the son of Gera. The only other (4) Chenaanah was the father of the false prophet in 1 Kings, chapter 22. (6) Tarshish was the name of a town outside of Canaan. (5) Zethan and (7) Ahishahar only appear here. These sons of Jediael or the Ashbelites have over 17, 200 warriors, once again assuming that this is the time of David.