It is observable that among all the genealogies of the tribes there is no mention of any of the kings of Israel after the defection from the house of David, much less of their families; not a word of Jeroboam’s house or Baasha’s, of Umri’s or Jehu’s; for they were all idolaters. But of the family of Saul, which was the royal family before the elevation of David, we have here a particular account. 1. Before Saul, Kish and Ner only are named, his father and grandfather, 1 Chron. 8:33. His pedigree is carried higher 1 Sam. 9:1; only there Kish is said to be the son of Abiel, here of Ner. He was in truth the son of Ner but the grandson of Abiel, as appears by 1 Sam. 14:51; where it is said that Ner was the son of Abiel, and that Abner, who was the son of Ner, was Saul’s uncle (that is, his father’s brother); therefore his father was also the son of Ner. It is common in all languages to put sons for grandsons and other descendents, much more in the scanty language of the Hebrews. 2. After Saul, divers of his sons are named, but the posterity of none of them, save Jonathan only, who was blessed with numerous issue and those honoured with a place in the sacred genealogies for the sake of his sincere kindness to David. The line of Jonathan is drawn down here for about ten generations. Perhaps David was, in a particular manner, careful to preserve that, and assigned it a page by itself, because of the covenant made between his seed and Jonathan’s seed forever, 1 Sam. 20:15, 23, 42. This genealogy ends in Ulam, whose family became famous in the tribe of Benjamin for the number of its valiant men. Of that one man’s posterity there were, as it should seem, at one time, 150 archers brought into the field of battle, that were mighty men of valour, 1 Chron. 8:40. That is taken notice of concerning them which is more a man’s praise than his pomp or wealth is, that they were qualified to serve their country.
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