Benjamin

Ben'jamin

(Heb. Binyamin', בַּניָמַין, i. q. Felix [see below]; Sept., Joseph., and New Test. Βενιαμίν), the name of three men.

1. The youngest son of Jacob by Rachel (Ge 35:18), and the only one of the thirteen (if indeed there were not more; comp. "all his daughters," Ge 37:35; Ge 46:7) who was born in Palestine. His birth took place on the road between Bethel and Bethlehem, a short distance-"a length of earth" — from the latter. B.C. 1889. His mother died immediately after he was born, and with her last breath named him בֶּןאּעוֹנַי, BEN-ONI ("son of my pain"), which the father changed into BENJAMIN, a word of nearly the same sound, but portending comfort and consolation "son of my right hand, "probably alluding to the support and protection he promised himself from this, his last child, in his old age. SEE JAMIN. This supposition is strengthened when we reflect on the reluctance with which he consented to part with him in very trying circumstances, yielding only to the pressure of famine and the most urgent necessity (Genesis 42). This interpretation is inserted in the text of the Vulgate and the margin of the A.V., and has the support of Gesenius (Thes. p. 219). On the other hand, the Samaritan Codex gives the name in an altered form as בנימים, "son of days," i.e. "son of my old age" (comp. Ge 44:20), which is adopted by Philo, Aben-ezra, and others. Both these interpretations are of comparatively late date, and it is notorious that such explanatory glosses are not only often invented long subsequently to the original record, but are as often at variance with the real meaning of that record. The meaning given by Josephus (διὰ τὴν ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ γενομένην ὀδύνην τῇ μητρί, Ant. 1, 21, 3) has reference only to the name Ben-Oni. However, the name is not so pointed as to agree with the usual signification, "son of," being בַּנאּ, and not בֶּןאּ. But the first vowel has here probably supervened (for בּנאּ) merely because of the perfect coalescence of the two elements into a single word. Moreover, in the adjectival forms of the word the first syllable is generally suppressed, as בּנֵיאּימַינַי or הִיּמַינַי, i.e. "sons of Yemini" for sons of Benjamin; אַישׁ ימַינַי, "man of Yemini" for man of Benjamin (1Sa 9:1; Es 2:5); אֶרֶוֹ ימַינַי, "land of Yemini" for land of Benjamin (1Sa 9:4);as if the patriarch's name had been originally יָמַין Yamin (comp. Ge 46:10), and that of the tribe Yeminites. These adjectival forms are carefully preserved in the Sept. The prefix Ben seems to be merely omitted in them for brevity, as being immaterial to the reference. Usually, however, the posterity of Benjamin are called BENJAMITES (Ge 35:18; Ge 49:27; De 33:12; Jos 18:21-28; 1Ki 12:16-24; Jg 3:15; Jg 19:16, etc.). SEE BEN-; SEE JEMINI.

Bible concordance for BENJAMIN.

Until the journeys of Jacob's sons and of Jacob himself into Egypt we hear nothing of Benjamin, and, so far as he is concerned, those well-known narratives disclose nothing beyond the very strong affection entertained toward him by his father and his whole-brother Joseph, and the relation of fond endearment in which he stood, as if a mere darling child (comp. Ge 44:20), to the whole of his family. Even the harsh natures of the elder patriarchs relaxed toward him.

In Genesis 56:21 sq., the immediate descendants of Benjamin are given to the number of ten, whereas in Nu 26:38-40, only seven are enumerated, and some even under different names. This difference may probably be owing to the circumstance that some of the direct descendants of Benjamin had died either at an early period or at least childless. Considerable difficulty occurs in the several Biblical lists of the sons and grandsons of Benjamin (Ge 46:21; Nu 26:38-40; 1Ch 7:6-12; 1Ch 8:1-7), which may be removed by the following explanations. As Benjamin was quite a youth at the time of the migration to Canaan (Ge 44:20,22), the list in Genesis 56 cannot be merely of Jacob's descendants at that time, since it contains Benjamin's children (comp. the children of Pharez, ver. 12, who was at that time a mere child, see Ge 38:1), but rather at the period of his death, seventeen years later (Ge 47:28). SEE JACOB. Yet the list could not have been made up to a much later period, since it does not contain the grandchildren of Benjamin subsequently born (1Ch 8:3 sq.). The sons of Benjamin are expressly given in 1Ch 8:1-2, as being five, in the following order: Bela (the same in the other accounts), Ashbel (otherwise perhaps Jediael), Aharah (evidently the same with Ahiran of Numbers, and probably the Aher of 1Ch 7:12, since this name and Ir are given apparently in addition to the three of ver. 6, and probably also the Ehi of Genesis), Nohah (who is therefore possibly the same with Becher, and probably also with Ir, since Shupham [Shuppim or Muppim of the other] and Hupham [Huppim], enumerated as the sons of the latter, although they do not appear in the list of Becher's sons, must be such under other names, but-like Bela's in the same list-undistinguishable, as Jediael had but one son, and the rest are otherwise identified), and finally Rapha (who can then be no other than Rosh). See all the names in their alphabetical place.

Definition of benjamin

TRIBE OF BENJAMIN. — The history of Benjamin to the time of the entrance into the Promised Land is as meagre as it is afterward full and interesting. We know indeed that shortly after the departure from Egypt it was the smallest tribe but one (Nu 1:36; comp. verse 1); that during the march its position was on the west of the tabernacle, with its brother tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (Nu 2:18-24). In the desert it counted 35,400 warriors, all above twenty years of age (Nu 1:36; Nu 2:22), and, at the entrance of Israel into Canaan, even as many as 45,600. We have the names of the "captain" of the tribe when it set forth on its long march (Nu 2:22); of the "ruler" who went up with his fellows to spy out the land (Nu 13:9); of the families of which the tribe consisted when it was marshalled at the great halt in the plains of Moab by Jordan-Jericho (Nu 26:38-41,63), and of the "prince" who was chosen to assist in the dividing of the land (Nu 34:21). But there is nothing to indicate what were the characteristics and behavior of the tribe which sprang from the orphan darling of his father and brothers. No touches of personal biography like those with which we are favored concerning Ephraim (1Ch 7:20-23); no record of zeal for Jehovah like Levi (Ex 32:26); no evidence of special bent as in the case of Reuben and Gad (Numbers 32). The only foreshadowing of the tendencies of the tribe which was to produce Ehud, Saul, and the perpetrators of the deed of Gibeah, is to be found in the prophetic gleam which lighted up the dying Jacob, "Benjamin shall raven as a wolf;:in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil" (Ge 49:27). From this passage some have inferred that the figure of a wolf was the emblem on the tribal standard.

1. Geography. — The proximity of Benjamin to Ephraim during the march to the Promised Land was maintained in the territories allotted to each. Benjamin lay immediately to the south of Ephraim, and between him and Judah. The situation of this territory was highly favorable. It formed almost a parallelogram, of about 26 miles in length by 12 in breadth. Its eastern boundary was the Jordan, and from thence it mainly extended to the wooded district of Kirjath-jearim, about six miles west of Jerusalem, while in the other direction it stretched from the valley of Hinnom, under the "Shoulder of the Jebusite" on the south, to Bethel on the north. Thus Dan intervened between this tribe and the Philistines, while the communications with the valley of the Jordan were in its own power. On the .south the territory ended abruptly with the steep slopes of the hill of Jerusalem; on the north it almost melted into the possessions of the friendly Ephraim. SEE TRIBE. In Joshua 18, from verse 12 to 14, is sketched the northern boundary-line (mostly repeated in chap. 16:1-5), and from 15 to 20 the southern (repeated in chap. 15:6-9, in a reverse direction). Within the boundaries described in these few verses lay a district rather small, but highly cultivated and naturally fertile (Josephus, Ant. 5, 1, 22; Reland, p. 637), containing twenty-six chief towns (with their villages, in two main sections), which are named in Jos 18:21-28; and the principal of which were Jericho, Bethhogla, Bethel, Gibeon, Ramah, and Jebus or Jerusalem. This latter place subsequently became the capital of the whole Jewish empire, but was, after the division of the land, still in possession of the Jebusites. The Benjamites had indeed been charged to dispossess them, and occupy that important town; but (Jg 1:21) the Benjamites are reproached with having neglected to drive them from thence, that is, from the upper, well-fortified part of the place Zion, since the lower and less fortified part had already been taken by Judah (Jg 1:8), who in this matter had almost a common interest with Benjamin. The Jebusite citadel was finally taken by David (2Sa 5:6 sq.). A trace of the pasture- lands may be found in the mention of the "'herd" (1Sa 11:5); and possibly others in the names of some of the towns of Benjamin, as hap- Parah, "the cow;" Zela-ha-eleph, "the ox-rib" (Jos 18:23,28). In the degenerate state of modern Palestine few evidences of the fertility of this tract survive. But other and more enduring natural peculiarities remain, and claim our recognition, rendering this possession one of the most remarkable among those of the tribes.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

(1.) The general level of this part of Palestine is very high, not less than 2000 feet above the maritime plain of the Mediterranean on the one side, or than 3000 feet above the deep valley of the Jordan on the other, besides which this general level or plateau is surmounted, in the district now under consideration, by a large number of eminences — defined, rounded hills — almost every one of which has borne some part in the history of the tribe. Many of these hills carry the fact of their existence in their names. Gibeon, Gibeah, Geba or Gaba, all mean "hill;" Ramah and Ramathaim, "eminence;" Mizpeh, "Watch-tower;" while the "ascent of Beth-horon," the "cliff Rimmon," the "pass of Michmash" with its two "teeth of rock," all testify to a country eminently broken and hilly. The special associations which belong to each of these eminences, whether as sanctuary or fortress, many of them arising from the most stirring incidents in the history of the nation, will be best examined under the various separate heads.

(2.) No less important than these eminences are the torrent beds and ravines by which the upper country breaks down into the deep tracts on each side of it. They formed then, as they do still, the only mode of access from either the plains of Philistia and of Sharon on the west, or the deep valley of the Jordan on the east — the latter steep and precipitous in the extreme, the former more gradual in their declivity. Up these western passes swarmed the Philistines on their incursions during the time of Samuel and of Saul, driving the first king of Israel right over the higher district of his own tribe, to Gilgal, in the hot recesses of the Arabah, and establishing themselves over the face of the country from Michmash to Ajalon. Down these same defiles they were driven by Saul after Jonathan's victorious exploit, just as in earlier times Joshua had chased the Canaanites down the long hill of Bethhoron, and as, centuries after, the forces of Syria were chased by Judas Maccabaeus (1 Maccabees 3:16-24). It is perhaps hardly fanciful to ask if we may not account in this way for the curious prevalence among the names of the towns of Benjamin of the titles of tribes. Ha-Avvim, the Avites Zemaraim, the Zemarites; ha-Ophni, the Ophnite; Chephar ha-Ammonai, the village of the Ammonites; ha-Jebusi, the Jebusite, are all among the — names of places — in Benjamin; and we can hardly doubt that in these names is preserved the memory of many an ascent of the wild tribes of the desert from the sultry and open plains of the low level to the fresh air and secure fastnesses of the upper district.

The passes on the eastern side are of a much more difficult and intricate character than those on the western. The principal one, which, now unfrequented, was doubtless in ancient times the main ascent to the interior, leaves the Ghor behind the site of Jericho, and, breaking through the barren hills with many a wild bend and steep slope, extends to and indeed beyond the very central ridge of the table-land of Benjamin, to the foot of the eminence on which stand the ruins of the ancient Beeroth. At its lower part this valley bears the name of Wady Fuwar, but for the greater part of its length it is called Wady Suweinit. It is the main access, and from its central ravine branch out side valleys, conducting to Bethel, Michmash, Gibeah, Anathoth, and other towns. After the fall of Jericho this ravine must have stood open to the victorious Israelites, as their natural inlet to the country. At its lower end must have taken place the repulse and subsequent victory of Ai, with the conviction and stoning of Achan, and through it Joshua doubtless hastened to the relief of the Gibeonites, and to his memorable pursuit of the Canaanites down the pass of Beth-horon, on the other side of the territory of Benjamin. Another of these passes is that which since the time of our Savior has been the regular road between Jericho and Jerusalem, the scene of the parable of the Good Samaritan. Others lie farther north, by the mountain which bears the traditional name of Quarantania; first up the face of the cliff, afterward less steep, and finally leading to Bethel or Taiyibeh, the ancient Ophrah. These intricate ravines may well have harbored the wild beasts which, if the derivation of the names of several places in this locality are to be trusted, originally haunted the district-zeboim, hyenas (1Sa 13:18), shual and shaalbim, foxes or jackals (Jg 1:35; 1Sa 13:17), ajalon, gazelles. (See Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, ch. 4.)

Such were the limits and such the character of the possession of Benjamin as fixed by those who originally divided the land. But it could not have been long before they extended their limits, since in the early lists of 1 Chronicles 8 we find mention made of Benjamites who built Lod and Ono, and of others who were founders of Aijalon (12, 13), all which towns were beyond the spot named above as the westernmost point in their boundary. These places, too, were in their possession after the return from the captivity (Ne 11:35).

The following is a list of all the Scriptural localities in the tribe of Benjamin, with their probable modern representatives, except those connected with the topography of Jerusalem (q.v.).

Abel-mizraim. Village. SEE BETH-HOGLAH. Ai. Town. Tel el-Hajar. Ajephim. Village. [W. of Wady Sidr]? Alemeth. Town. Almit. Allon-bachuth. Oak. SEE BAAL-TAMAR. Ammah. Hill. [Spring N.E. of el-Jib]? Ananiah. Town. Beit-Hanina? Anathoth. do. Anata. Arabah. do. SEE BETH-ARABAH. Atad. Threshing-floor: SEE ABEL-MIZRAIM. Aven. Town. SEE BETH-AVEN. Avim. do. See Ai. Azmaveth. do. [Hizmeh]? Baal-hazor. do. SEE HAZOR. Baal-perazim. Hill. [Jebel Aly]? Baal-tamar. Town. [Erhah]? Bahurim. do. Deir es-Sid? Beeroth. do. El-Bireh. Beth-arabah. do. [Kusr-Hajlo]?

Beth-aven. do. Burj-Beitin? Beth-azmaveth. do. SEE AZMAVETH. Beth-car. Hill. SEE EBENEZER. Beth-el. Town. Beitin. Beth-hoglah. do. Ain Hajla. Bozez. Cliff. In Wady Suweinit. Chephar-haammonai. Town. [Ain-Yebrud]? Chephirah. do. Kefir. Cherith. Brook. Wady Kelt? Chidon. Threshing-floor. [Khurbet el-Bistun]? Ebenezer. Stone. . [Biddu]? El-Bethel. Town. SEE BETHEL. Eleph. do. [Katamon]? Emmaus. do. El- Kubeibeh? En-shemesh. Spring. Bir el-Khot? Ephraim, or Ephron. Town. SEE OPHRAH. Gaba. do. SEE GEBA. Gallim. do. [Khurbet Haiyeh? Geba. do. Jiba. Gebim. do. [El-Isawiyeh]? Geliloth. do. SEE GILGAL. Giah. Village. [Bir-Nebala]? Gibeah. Town. Tuleil el-Ful. Gibeon. do. El-Jib. Gidom. Plain. [N.E. of Michmash]? Gilgal. Town. Moharfer? Hai. do. See Ai. Hazor. Town. Tell Azur? Helkath-hazzurim. Plain. E. of El-Jib? Irpeel. Town. [Kustul]? (Town. W. of er-Riha. Jericho. — Waters. Ain es-Sultan. Plain. [El- Wadiyeh.] Jerusalem. City. El-Khuds. Keziz. Valley. Wady el-Kaziz. Menukah. Town. [Hill E. of Gibeah]? Michmash. do. Mukmas. Migron. do. [Ruins S. of Deir Diwan]? Mizpeh. do. Neby Samwil?

Moza. do. Kulonich? Naarath, or Naaran. do. [E-Nejemeh]? Naioth. do. SEE RAMAH. Nob. do. [Kurazeh]? Ophni. do. Jifna. Ophrah. do. Tayibeh? Parah. do. Farah. Ramah. do. Er-Ram. Rekem. do. [Deir Yesin]l? Rephaim. Valley. Plain S.W. of Jerusalem. Rimmon. Rock. Rummon. Sechu. Well. SEE RAMAH. Seneh. Cliff. In Wady Suweinit? Shalim. Region. SEE SHUAL. Shen. Rock. [Beit Enan]? Shual. Region. [El-Aliya]? Taralah. Town. [Beit Tirsa]? Zelah or Zelzah. do. Beit Jala. Zemaraim. City and Hill. Es-Sumrah?

2. History. — In the time of the Judges the tribe of Benjamin became involved in a civil war with the other eleven tribes for having refused to give up to justice the miscreants of. Gibeon that had publicly violated and caused the death of a concubine of a man of Ephraim, who had passed with her through Gibeon. This war terminated in the almost utter extinction of the tribe, leaving no hope for its regeneration from the circumstance that not only had nearly all the women of that tribe been previously slain by their foes, but the eleven other tribes had engaged themselves by a solemn oath not to marry their daughters to any man belonging to Benjamin. When the thirst of revenge, however, had abated, they found means to evade the letter of the oath, and to revive the tribe again by an alliance with them (Jg 19:20-21). That frightful transaction was indeed a crisis in the history of the tribe; the narrative undoubtedly is intended to convey that the six hundred who took refuge in the cliff Rimmon, and who were afterward provided with wives partly from Jabesh-gilead (Jg 21:10), partly from Shiloh (Jg 21:21), were the only survivors. The revival of the tribe, however, was so rapid that, in the time of David, it already numbered 59,434 able warriors (1Ch 7:6-12); in that of Asa, 280,000 (2Ch 14:8); and in that of Jehoshaphat, 200,000 (2Ch 17:17). SEE CHENAANAH.

This tribe had also the honor of giving the first king to the Jews, Saul being a Benjamite (1Sa 9:1-2). After the death of Saul, the Benjamites, as might have been expected, declared themselves for his son Ishbosheth (2Sa 2:8 sq.), until, after the assassination of that prince, David became king of all Israel. David having at last expelled the Jebusites from Zion, and made it his own residence, the close alliance that seems previously to have existed between the tribes of Benjamin and Judah (Jg 1:8) was cemented by the circumstance that, while Jerusalem actually belonged to the district of Benjamin, that of Judah was immediately contiguous to it. Thus it happened that, at the division of the kingdom after the death of Solomon, Benjamin espoused the cause of Judah, and formed, together with it, a kingdom by themselves. Indeed, the two tribes stood always in such a close connection as often to be included under the single term Judah (1Ki 11:13; 1Ki 12:20). After the exile, also, these two tribes constituted the flower of the new Jewish colony in Palestine (comp. Ezra 11:1; 10:9).

3. Characteristics. — The contrast between the warlike character of the tribe and the peaceful image of its progenitor has been already noticed. That fierce ness and power are not less out of proportion to the smallness of its numbers and of its territory. This comes out in many scattered notices.

(a) Benjamin was the only tribe that seems to have pursued archery to any purpose, and their skill in the bow (1Sa 20:20,36; 2Sa 1:22; 1Ch 8:40; 1Ch 12:2; 2Ch 17:17) and the sling (Jg 20:16) are celebrated.

(b) When, after the first conquest of the country, the nation began to groan under the miseries of a foreign yoke, it is to a man of Benjamin, Ehud, the son of Gera, that they turn for deliverance. The story seems to imply that he accomplished his purpose on Eglon with less risk, owing to his proficiency in the peculiar practice of using his left hand — a practice apparently confined to Benjamites, and by them greatly employed (Jg 3:15, and see 20:16; 1Ch 12:2).

(c) Baanah and Rechab, "the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the children of Benjamin," are the only Israelites west of the Jordan named in the whole history as captains of marauding predatory "bands" (גּדוּדַים); and the act of which they were guilty — the murder of the head of their house — hardly needed the summary vengeance inflicted on them by David to testify the abhorrence in which it must have been held by all Orientals, however warlike.

(d) The dreadful deed recorded in Judges 19, though repelled by the whole country, was unhesitatingly adopted and defended by Benjamin with an obstinacy and spirit truly extraordinary. Of their obstinacy there is a remarkable trait in 1Sa 22:7-18. Though Saul was not only the king of the nation, but the head of the tribe, and David a member of a family which had as yet no claims on the friendship of Benjamin, yet the Benjamites resisted the strongest appeal of Saul to betray the movements of David; and after those movements had been revealed by Doeg the Edomite (worthy member — as he must have seemed to them — of an accursed race!) they still firmly refused to lift a hand against those who had assisted him (see Niemeyer, Charakterist. 3, 565 sq.).

Several circumstances may have conduced to the relative importance of this small tribe (see Plesken, De Benjamin parvo, Wittenb. 1720). The Tabernacle was at Shiloh, in Ephraim, during the time of the last judge, but the ark was near Benjamin, at Kirjath-jearim. Ramah, the official residence of Samuel, and containing a sanctuary greatly frequented (1Sa 9:12, etc.), Mizpeh, where the great assemblies of "all Israel" took place (1Sa 7:5), Bethel, perhaps the most ancient of all the sanctuaries of Palestine, and Gibeon, specially noted as "the great high place" (2Ch 1:3), were all in the land of Benjamin. These must gradually have accustomed the people who resorted to these various places to associate the tribe with power and sanctity, and they tend to elucidate the anomaly which struck Saul so forcibly, "that all the desire of Israel" should have been fixed on the house of the smallest of its tribes (1Sa 9:21).

The struggles and contests that followed the death of Saul arose from the natural unwillingness of the tribe to relinquish its position at the head of the nation, especially in favor of Judah. Had it been Ephraim, the case might have been different; but Judah had as yet no connection with the house of Joseph, and was, besides, the tribe of David, whom Saul had pursued with such unrelenting enmity. The tact and sound sense of Abner, however, succeeded in overcoming these difficulties, though he himself fell a victim in the very act of accomplishing his purpose; and the proposal that David should be "king over Israel" was one which "seemed good to the whole house of Benjamin," and of which the tribe testified its approval and evinced its good faith by sending to the distant capital of Hebron a detachment of 3000 men of the "brethren of Saul" (1Ch 12:29). Still, the insults of Shimei and the insurrection of Sheba are indications that the soreness still existed, and we do not hear of any cordial co-operation or firm union between the two tribes until a cause of common quarrel arose at the disruption, when Rehoboam assembled "all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to the son of Solomon" (1Ki 12:21; 2Ch 11:1). Possibly the seal may have been set to this by the fact of Jeroboam having just taken possession of Bethel, a city of Benjamin, for the calf- worship of the northern kingdom (1Ki 12:29). Bethel, however, was on the very boundary-line, and centuries before this date was inhabited by both Ephraimites and Benjamites (Jg 19:16). On the other hand, Rehoboam fortified and garrisoned several cities of Benjamin, and wisely dispersed the members of his own family through them (2Ch 11:10-12). The alliance was farther strengthened by a covenant solemnly undertaken (2Ch 15:9), and by the employment of Benjamites in high positions in the army of Judah (2Ch 16:14). But what, above all, must have contributed to strengthen the alliance, was the fact that the Temple was the common property of both tribes. True, it was founded, erected, and endowed by princes of "the house of Judah," but the city of "the Jebusite" (Jos 18:28), and the whole of the ground north of the Valley of Hinnom, was in the lot of Benjamin. In this latter fact is literally fulfilled the prophecy of Moses (De 33:12): Benjamin "'dwelt between" the "shoulders" of the ravines which encompass the Holy City on the west, south, and east (see a good treatment of this point in Blunt's Undes. Coincidences, pt. 2, § 17).

Although thereafter the history of Benjamin becomes merged in that of the southern kingdom, yet that the tribe still retained its individuality is plain from the constant mention of it in the various censuses taken of the two tribes, and on other occasions, and also from the lists of the men of Benjamin who returned with Zerubbabel (Ezr 2; Ne 7), and took possession of their old towns (Ne 11:31-35). At Jerusalem the name must have been always kept alive, if by nothing else, by the name of "the high gate of Benjamin" (Jer 20:2). (See below.) That the ancient memories of their house were not allowed to fade from the recollections of the Benjamites, is clear also from several subsequent notices. The genealogy of Saul, to a late date, is carefully preserved in the lists of 1 Chronicles (1Ch 8:33-40; 1Ch 9:39-44); the name of Kish recurs as the father of Mordecai (Es 2:5), the honored deliverer of the nation from miseries worse than those threatened by Nabash the Ammonite. The royal name once more appears, and "Saul, who also is called Paul," has left on record under his own hand that he was "of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin." It is perhaps more than a mere fancy to note how remarkably the chief characteristics of the tribe are gathered up in his one person. There was the fierceness in his persecution of the Christians, and there were the obstinacy and persistence which made him proof against the tears and prayers of his converts, and "ready not to be bound only, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus" (Ac 21:12-13). There were the force and vigor to which natural difficulties and confined circumstances formed no impediment; and, lastly, there was the keen sense of the greatness of his house in his proud reference to his forefather "Saul, the son of Cis, of the tribe of Benjamin."

Gate Of Benjamin (Jer 37:13; Jer 38:7; "Benjamin's gate," Zec 14:10; "high gate of Benjamin," Jer 20:2) was doubtless on the northern side of Jerusalem, probably the same elsewhere called "the gate of Ephraim" (1Ki 14:13), and apparently coinciding nearly in position with the present "Damascus Gate" (Strong's Harmony and Expos. of the Gospels, App. 2, p. 18). SEE JERUSALEM.

2. A man of the tribe of Benjamin, second named of the seven sons of Bilhan, and the head of a family of warriors (1Ch 7:10). B.C. perh. cir. 1016.

3. An Israelite, one of the "sons of Harim," who divorced his foreign wife after the exile (Ezr 10:32). B.C. 458. He seems to be the same person who had previously assisted in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (in connection with Hashub), opposite his house on Zion (Ne 3:23).

 
Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary
 

Scripture linking and popups powered by VerseClick™.