The Agora
Bible Commentary
1 Chronicles

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1 Chronicles 8

1Ch 8:13

BERIAH AND SHEMA... DROVE OUT THE INHABITANTS OF GATH: The Philistines control and influence extended beyond the Gaza strip and up the coastal plain and into the Jezreel valley at this time. This was also the case at the time of the death of Saul (1Sa 31).

1Ch 8:34

MERIB-BAAL (MEPHIBOSHETH): The treatment of the name "Baal" is probably an example of deliberate change, for theological reasons, by the scribes who copied out the scriptures. With personal names that included the word "Baal" (which could simply mean "master" or "lord"), the scribes deliberately replaced "Baal" with "Bosheth" (which means "shame"). To them the idol "Baal", in all his many forms, was a "shameful thing", and any passing allusion to him was to be avoided if possible. Hence, it is likely that Jonathan's son was actually named "Meribbaal", but later scribes made sure that the (by then) hated name of "Baal" was replaced -- yielding "Mephibosheth" (cp 1Ch 8:34; 9:40 and 2Sa 9:6; 19:24; 21:7).

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