Now Benjamin begat Bela

1 Chronicles 8:1

8:1 Now Benjamin begat Bela. The confusion and seeming contradictions in the four genealogical lists for the tribe of Benjamin (see footnote for I Chronicles 7:6) may be attributed to one or more of the following causes: (1) Many men in Biblical times are known to have gone by more than one name; (2) the tribe of Benjamin was severely decimated in the conflict described in Judges 20:1–21:6; leaving the genealogical records of the tribe either lost or in disarray; (3) the term “son” is used from time to time in an ancestral sense; (4) a large majority of the names in this chapter, not found elsewhere, are of Benjamites returning from the Babylonian exile, and so could not have been noted in Genesis or Numbers; (5) it is even possible that the abbreviated genealogy of I Chronicles 7:6-12 may have been originally the family of Zebulun (who is otherwise not mentioned in these tribal records), then somehow miscopied by an ancient scribe. Of course, the main purpose of these lists—that of assuring the continuity of Israel and her tribes in accordance with God’s ancient promises and also of reminding later generations that God does care about individuals—has been achieved in spite of the uncertainties and the gaps.

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