Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Lineage of Benjamin: Bible Comment on I Chronicles 8 with poem by Hugh Robert Orr, They Softly Walk

Daily Readings
Psalm 107:33-43, II Samuel 2, I Chronicles 8, Galatians 5

Daily Text: I Chronicles 8

Lineage of Benjamin
This longer genealogy of Benjamin in I Chronicles 8 does not agree with others, even the one in the seventh chapter. It holds in tension with other such lists the knowledge and perspective of the Chronicler. Knoppers suggests that these lineages may focus on towns more than on an exhaustive genealogy of the entire tribe [515:485].

Certainly towns attain some prominence for in vs. 29 Jeiel is named as the founder of Gibeon, and only then does the Chronicler proceed to name his descendants. Two conclusions may be drawn. Benjamin bookends the genealogies with Judah. Levi has also been important, as with Judah and Benjamin, the three are more exhaustively treated than the Northern tribes. The second conclusion is that Saul is highlighted by this Benjamin genealogy and we learn that his line has persisted. It may have lost power in the succession of David, but Saul’s line did not suddenly disappear. Seventeen generations are named and many of them in conjunction with Jerusalem.

They Softly Walk
Hugh Robert Orr

They are not gone who pass
Beyond the clasp of hand,
Out form the strong embrace.
They are but come so close
We need not grope with hands,
Nor look to see, nor try
To catch the sound of feet.
They have put off their shoes
Softly to walk by day
Within our thoughts, to tread
At night our dream-led paths
Of sleep.

They are not lost who find
The sunset gate, the goal
Of all their faithful years.
Not lost are they who reach
The summit of their climb,
The peak above the clouds
And storms. They are not lost
Who find the light of sun
And stars and God.
They are not dead who live
In hearts they leave behind.
In those whom they have blessed
They live a life again,
And shall live through the years
Eternal life, and grow
Each day more beautiful
As time declares their good,
Forgets the rest, and proves
Their immortality.


Collect for the Day
O God, the divine seeker, you are light to the lost, bread to the hungry, deliverance to the captive, healing to the sick, eternal vision to the dying, and harbour to every soul in peril. Gather the wanderers from every corner of the world into the community of your mercy and grace, that we may eternally praise you for our salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.



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