“The sons of Ulam were brave warriors who could handle a bow. They had many sons and grandsons—150 in all. All these were descendants of Benjamin.”
~ 1 Chronicles 8:40
Hi James and Ellen,
Jacob and Rachel had two boys. Joseph was the first boy who was born to Jacob and Rachel. Do you know a Joseph? Benjamin was the second boy who was born to Jacob and Rachel. Do you know a Benjamin? Benjamin probably was still a real young kid when his big bro disappeared. Benjamin had ten half-bros. Some of Benjamin’s half-bros – because they did not like it that Joseph was their dad’s favorite kid and because Joseph just did not know when to keep his mouth shut, sold Benjamin’s big bro to a passing camel caravan of Ishmaelite merchants who took Joseph to Egypt where Potiphar – who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, bought Joseph from the Ishmaelite merchants. Joseph was 17 years old when some of his half-bros found a way to get him out of their family picture. Benjamin may have become his dad’s favorite kid after Joseph was gone. Jacob’s first love was Rachel. Before Jacob could marry Rachel, Rachel’s dad – Laban, tricked Jacob into marrying Rachel’s older sis – Leah. Jacob ended up waiting a long time before Laban would finally let him marry Rachel. After Jacob and Rachel were finally married, Rachel had a lot of trouble getting pregnant. Jacob and Rachel were really happy when Joseph was born. Rachel died while giving birth to Benjamin. When Rachel died, Jacob was really sad. Jacob first called his second kid Ben-oni. The meaning of the name Ben-oni is ‘son of my sorrows’. Jacob would later change the name of his second kid to Benjamin. The meaning of the name of Benjamin is ‘son of my right hand’. If you do know a Benjamin, is this Benjamin that you know the son of his dad’s right hand?
The extended family of Benjamin was one of the twelve Israelite people group tribal clans who were by lots given demarcated areas of land in Canaan’s land area. Canaan’s land area was the land area that God gave to His specially chosen guys and gals to always to have to live in as their very own land. The Benjamin tribal clan was the second smallest Israelite people group tribal clan. When the Israelite people group of guys and gals were finally able to go into the land of Canaan or Palestine – which is the land area that when Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were alive, they called home, the small territory that the Benjamin tribal clan was allotted was located between the territory that was allotted to the Judah tribal clan to the south of them and the territory that was allotted to the Ephraim tribal clan to the north of them. Albeit a smaller area, Benjamin’s allotted land area was militarily and commercially a strategic territory. The Benjamin tribal clan can claim two notable alumni. The first well-known guy who can claim Benjamin tribal clan roots was the first anointed king over the Israelite people group guys and gals. The guy’s name was Saul. Another well-known guy – who was known as Saul of Tarsus – who God would rename Paul, had Benjamin tribal clan roots. If you do know a Benjamin, does this Benjamin know his tribal clan roots or lineage or heritage?
The chronicler detailed in 1 Chronicles 8 Benjamin’s roots or lineage or heritage. The apparent reason for the chronicler to go into such depth regarding Benjamin’s roots or lineage or heritage was his strong desire to concretely document the roots or lineage or heritage of the first king – who was Saul, who was anointed by Samuel to reign as king over the Israelite people group guys and gals. Only the Judah and Levi tribal clans’ roots or lineage or heritage were chronicled as extensively by the chronicler as the roots or lineage or heritage of the Benjamin tribal clan. The next king – who was David, who was anointed by Samuel to reign over the Israelite people group guys and gals was from the Judah tribal clan. Jesus’ roots or lineage or heritage is also from the Judah tribal clan. The Levi tribal clan was chosen by God to be the tribal clan that would be His designated guys to offer up sacrifices on altars and to be worship leaders in His temple. The Benjamin tribal clan has a checkered history. The Benjamin tribal clan produced some good guys. One of Saul’s kids – Jonathan, became one of David’s best buddies. Jonathan today defines friend. When Paul was still known by the name Saul and before a bright light smacked him between his eyes, Paul was a nemesis to Christ-follower guys and gals by locking up or killing any Christ-follower guy or gal who he could find. Being a king was not something that Saul was thinking about being when Samuel – in an attempt to appease the Israelite people groups guys and gals who wanted to identify with neighboring countries and people groups of guys and gals who had kings ruling over them, anointed Saul to be their king. Being a king turned Saul into being at times a crazed, irrational, raving lunatic. The final verse in this chapter – verse 40, ends on an upbeat description of a Benjamin tribal clan family unit, “The sons of Ulam were brave warriors who could handle a bow. They had many sons and grandsons—150 in all. All these were descendants of Benjamin.” Benjamin is a good name to have. Your grandpaa hopes that the Benjamin who your grandpaa knows is very proud of his roots or genealogy or heritage. The Benjamin that your grandpaa knows has been born into a family of Christ-follower guys and gals. Just because he has been born into a family of Christ-followers does not mean that everyone in his family is or has been a good Christ-follower. His dad has two uncles – his grandmaa’s big bro – Donald, and his grandpaa’s little bro – Henk, who are pastors. His dad’s Uncle Donald is a pastor in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church denomination. His dad’s Uncle Henk is a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church denomination. His grandpaa had two uncles – Uncle Otto and Uncle Ray, who were pastors in the Christian Reformed Church denomination. His grandpaa also has a cousin who has spent years doing jail. What does the Benjamin – who your grandpaa knows, want to be remembered for?
1 Chronicles 8 (799)