("first-born"); Gesenius, young camel: BECHORATH.
1. Benjamin's second son (Genesis 46:21; 1 Chronicles 7:6). In 1 Chronicles 8:1 the reading possibly ought to be" Bela, Becher, and (instead of 'his firstborn,' only one Hebrew letter is thus omitted) Ashbel." Then "the second," "the third," etc., were probably added, after the change in the original. Or vice versa, Becher in Genesis 46:21 and 1 Chronicles 7:6 may be a corruption for Bela "his firstborn." In Numbers 26:38 Becher is not mentioned in enumerating the Benjamite families, but Bela's and Ashbel's sons. However, among the Ephraimites occur "the Bachrites of Becher" (Numbers 26:35). In a border raid on cattle (1 Chronicles 7:21) the Ephraimites had been slain by the men of Gath who invaded Goshen; thus Ephraimite heiresses, for lack of Ephraimite husbands, would marry into other tribes.
Becher, or his heir, would marry one, and so be reckoned among the Ephraimites instead of in Benjamin. Abiah (Aphiah, 1 Samuel 9:1), Becher's younger son, would remain in Benjamin. From him descended Bechorath, then Zeror, Abiel (Jehiel, 1 Chronicles 9:35), Ner, Kish, Saul. Abiel settled in Gibeon or Gibeah, afterward described as "of Saul" (1 Samuel 11:4; Isaiah 10:29). From Becher came also Sheba, son of Bichri, the rebel against David (2 Samuel 20); also Shimei, son of Gera of Bahurim (2 Samuel 17:5), "of the house of Saul." The nonappearance of Becher in 1 Chronicles 8:1 and Numbers 26:38 may be due to the difference of the principle of the genealogy and the failure of the lines of the older heads of houses, as compared with Genesis 46:21; 1 Chronicles 7:6. Thus no change of reading may be needed.
2. Son of Ephraim (Numbers 26:35). Bered, in 1 Chronicles 7:20, same as BECHER above.
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