We are going to look at Saul’s genealogy from Benjamin on down. Benjamin was already followed but this time we have one family in mind to trace.
This is the deepest of all the brothers, besides Judah, that we have traced. Judah’s line was traced from Abraham all the way to the last king to sit on the throne of Judah. We don’t go quite that far with Saul of the tribe of Benjamin but we do follow Saul’s family, beginning and end (I hope).
Saul had a special place in Israel’s history. He was their first king. God gave in to the people’s desires. HE knew it was going to happen LONG before it did and He put instructions in place at that time. This was back when Moses was leading the Israelites as they prepared to enter the Promised Land. God knew what was still to come.
God chose Saul to be Israel’s first king, not for his heart but for what the people would be looking at; his physical appearance. Saul was not a brave man. He was not highly educated. He wasn’t a devout man either. He simply stood head and shoulders above the rest of the people and was handsome. He grew into some of the more important attributes, as far as the people were concerned. But he lacked the most important trait that God required; he didn’t depend daily on the Lord. His heart was not sold out to God. That would come with David. But his is a story for another time.
Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin. I started following the line as it was laid out HOPING it would be a straight shot from Benjamin to Saul but it isn’t. Like the rest of the genealogies in this book it is done in stops and starts. I wracked my brain trying to follow along, including laying it out in Excel. No WAY can I follow this! I don’t make it past Benjamin’s grandchildren through Bela before everything goes off the rails. Branches thrown in here, there, and everywhere until we come to Ner. He was Saul’s grandfather. From Ner we trace 15 generations in a understandable manner. The last time we saw such a long run was when tracing David’s lineage. Unfortunately I didn’t save the Excel spread sheet I created when following David’s line so I don’t know how many generations were covered. I wonder if we are following Saul’s line right up to the exile. It is clear his line didn’t die out with him on the battlefield.
The tribe of Benjamin and of Judah were united into the lower kingdom of Judah. MANY of Saul’s relatives lived in Jerusalem. Saul ruled from Gibea but it appears his family haled from Jerusalem and its surrounding towns. When Jonathan’s son was brought to David in Jerusalem he most likely moved his family there too. I wonder how many first cousins he brought with him. We know from earlier stories that Saul had other grandchildren but they are not named here.
David’s love for Jonathan is what preserved Saul’s line. David could have acted like the kings around them and had everyone from the house of Saul killed when he took the throne, but he didn’t. He showed favor to Jonathan’s son and preserved Jonathan’s linage. God showed grace to Saul through David.
Father God, thank You for keeping me searching through all this genealogy. You know how hard it is for me to understand. You also know it was NOT written in an easy to follow format. WHY You did it this way is beyond my comprehension but I trust You had Your reasons. I’m SO glad there is only a few more portions to go through. I’m looking forward to getting back into the stories of Your word instead of the ‘set-up’ scenes. Keep me sane as I keep wading through this section of Your word. PLEASE don’t meet me at Heaven’s gate with an Excel chart detailing everything that is missing here! It would be nice to know but I think I’ve had more than enough genealogy to last me an after-lifetime!