King Saul of israel - family tree
king saul's family tree - Easier to REad
Biblical Accuracy is Critical.
To collect information on King Saul's family tree, we have to examine the biblical citations. There is a lot of confusion and misunderstand, as some texts vary from one another; so we use a process called textual criticism to determine the original text but this is often a questionable method.
Saul's Family Tree - His Grandfather.
Without question, Saul is a Benjamite, from Gigeah and his father's name is Kish. However, identifying his grandfather is another matter. Is his grandfather Ner or Abeil or are they the same person? Judging from the sources, I believe these are two different men, with Ner being his grandfather, and Abeil being his great grandfather. We have the citation in 1 Samuel 14, of Ner being the father of Asher, and Asher being Saul's uncle and military leader. If Asher is Saul's uncle, then Saul's dad, Kish has to be Ner's brother. Asher is an active player in the story of Sauls and David's reign as kings, and it always refers to him as, "Asher, son of Ner" so we can conclude with certainty that Ner is the name.
Saul's Forefathers: We Know Saul's Family Lived in the Town, Gigeah.
Additionally, there are questions about Abiel of Gigeah and Jeiel of Gibeon being the same person. This adds all sorts of confusion, because both men have a Ner and a Kish in their immediate families. I believe there are two important distinctions which show that Abiel and Jeiel are different men, even thought they are both Benjamites with a Ner and Kish in their family:
Don't Rewrite the Bible.
Although I do agree that in many instances, where the bible has listed different names for people in different books of the bible. Sometimes this is due to God changing their names; but sometimes it's due to an error in copying the witnesses by the scribes. Although most of their work was meticulous, there are some errors which must be evaluated. Textual criticism is the process of looking at various witnesses and citations to determine what the original document might have said. With that being said, I don't want to be too hasty to rush to the conclusion that all variances in names is scribal error, without considering if in fact they really are different people.
1 Samuel was written prior to 1 Chronicles, and variance might be due to additional children being born. But there remains the issue of God changing names or scribal errors. We can't say with absolute certainty, no matter who we are, if Saul had 4 or 5 children. Some things will remain a debate until the other side of heaven, and this is one of them.
The biggest question revolves around the different names listed between 1 Chronicles and 1 Samuel:
Eshbaal - is Strong's Hebrew Concordance 792 and it means "Man of Baal."
Ishosheth - is Strong's Hebrew Concordance 378 and it means "Man of Shame."
Ishvi/Isui/Ishuai/Jesui - is Strong's Hebrew Concordance 3440 and it means "Man of Yahweh."
Is Eshbaal/Ishosheth the same child as Ishvi? Some suggest that this son was first called Ishvi in 1 Samuel because he was named after God, but when he attempt to usurp the throne from David, that his name was changed to 'man of Baal' and/or 'man of shame.' As I've stated, we can't be certain. They could be the same, or different children.