1 Chronicles 8CHAPTER VIII The genealogy of Benjamin down to Saul, 1-32. The children and descendants of Saul, 33-40. NOTES ON CHAP. VIII Verse 1. Now Benjamin begat, &c.] See what has been said on the preceding chapter, see 1Ch 7:6. Verse 9. He begat of Hodesh his wife] In the preceding verse it is said that Hushim and Baara were his wives; and here it is said he begat of Hodesh his wife, &c. And then his children by Hushim are mentioned, but not a word of Baara! It is likely therefore that Hodesh was another name for Baara, and this is asserted by the Targum: And he begot of Baara, that is Chodesh, his wife; so called because he espoused her anew. It is supposed that he had put her away before, and now remarried her. Verse 12. Who built Ono, and Lod] The Targum adds, "Which the children of Israel ravaged and burnt with fire, when they made war on the tribe of Benjamin in Gibeah." Verse 28. These were heads of the fathers] On the following verses Dr. Kennicott has laboured hard to restore the true reading. See his detailed comparison of these and their parallel passages in his Hebrew Bible, vol. ii., p. 667. Verse 29. And at Gibeon] This passage to the end of the 38th verse is found with a little variety in the names, 1Ch 9:35-44. The rabbins say that Ezra, having found two books that had these passages with a variety in the names, as they agreed in general, he thought best to insert them both, not being able to discern which was the best. His general plan was to collate all the copies he had, and to follow the greater number when he found them to agree; those which disagreed from the majority were thrown aside as spurious; and yet, in many cases, probably the rejected copies contained the true text. If Ezra proceeded as R. Sol. Jarchi says, he had a very imperfect notion of the rules of true criticism; and it is no wonder that he has left so many faults in his text. Verse 34. Merib-baal] The same as Mephibosheth, for, as the Israelites detested Baal, which signifies lord, they changed it into bosheth, which signifies shame or reproach. Verse 40. The sons of Ulam were mighty men of valour] The Targum speaks honourably of them: "The sons of Ulam were mighty and strong men, subduing by wisdom their evil concupiscence, as men bend a bow; therefore they had many sons and grandsons." Of the six sons of Azel, mentioned 1Ch 8:38, R. S. Jarchi says that their allegorical expositions were sufficient to load thirteen thousand camels! No doubt these were reputed to be deeply learned men. There was a time when the allegorizers and metaphor-men ranked very high among theologians, even in our own enlightened and critical country. At present they are almost totally out of fashion. May they never recover their footing! But what a shameful hyperbole is that of Jarchi! The writings of six men a load for thirteen thousand camels!
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