Ezra began the Chronicles with a genealogy of the nation of Israel from Adam to David and David to captivity. Then he narrowed his focus to the genealogies of ten of the twelve tribes (double Manasseh and Ephraim make it add up to 12; but Dan and Zebulun are missing from Ezra's list.) Now he's going back a bit to narrow even further on the tribe of Benjamin as we will slow down and examine the stories of Saul and David next.
Chapter 8: Benjamin
Benjamin is Jacob's youngest son. He was the second son from Rachel. Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin.
All of Chapter 8 is a detailed genealogy from Benjamin, past Saul, to the sons of Ulam.
The significant one s for me, where I am in the chronological story, are:
- Kish, father of
- Saul, father of
- Jonathan, father of
- Mephibosheth father of
Chapter 9 Jerusalem's Inhabitants
Judah was carried away for their unfaithfulness. (in the Babylonian captivity, to be covered in Neh. 11:3)
These are the first to return from that captivity.
The chapter lists the leaders and their offspring from 5 tribes who all moved back to Jerusalem (not their own tribal property).
Next comes the lists and genealogies of those appointed gatekeepers (guards around the tabernacle and temple). Among them, a name I recognize is the Korahites, descendants of the those who used to protect the the camp when they were on their journey to the Promise Land. Their dad tried to lead a rebellion and the earth swallowed him.
Then the Levites who guarded treasure and holy implements. Then those who prepared the holy elements and those who sang all day to praise God.
The last passage of verses is almost identical to Saul's genealogy in Chapter 8.
It strikes me that it seems like a, relatively, small number of people at first; but they made a point to get their spiritual life back in order immediately. People were either looking out for the safety of the city, or getting on with God's business. These are people who learned from the suffering of being carried away to captivity. They didn't become bitter and turn from God; but came home and set about keeping His law.