From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Benaiah (Hebrew: בניהו, "Yahweh builds up")[1] is a common name in the Hebrew Bible.


In the etymology of the name, the first part of Benaiah comes from the root-verb בנה (bana),[2] which is a common Hebrew verb meaning "to build". The second part of Benaiah is יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu), a derivative of the Tetragrammaton.[3]

Benaiah, son of Jehoiada[edit]

The most famous Benaiah in the Bible is the son of Jehoiada, who came from the southern Judean town of Kabzeel.[4]

Benaiah was one of King David’s mighty men, commander of the 3rd rotational army division; (2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Chronicles 27:5). He helped David's son Solomon become king, killed Solomon's enemies, and served as the chief of Solomon's army. On Solomon's instructions he was responsible for the deaths of Adonijah (1 Kings 2:25), Joab (1 Kings 2:34) and Shimei (1 Kings 2:46). He was in charge of the Cherethites and Pelethites. Several verses in 1 Kings 1 make clear that Benaiah was closely associated with Solomon's party and excluded from Adonijah's faction.[5] He is also mentioned in 2 Samuel 8:18, 23:20–23, 30 and 1 Chronicles 27:5–6.

Benaiah, depicted killing a man of Moab by William Etty 1829

Other Benaiahs[edit]

Other Benaiahs of the Hebrew Bible are:

  • Another of David's mighty men, an Ephraimite from Pirathon, commander of the 11th rotational army division (1 Chr. 11:31, 1 Chr. 27:14, 2 Sam. 23:30)
  • A Levite musician who played his stringed instrument accompanying the Ark of the Covenant when it was brought to Jerusalem and placed in the tent David had prepared for it (1 Chr. 15:18, 20; 16:1, 5).
  • A priest who played the trumpet when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem during David's reign (1 Chr. 15:24; 16:6).
  • A Levite descendant of Asaph, son of Berachiah the Gershonite (2 Chr. 20:14).
  • A Simeonite, possibly a contemporary of King Hezekiah (1 Chr. 4:24, 36–43).
  • A Levite appointed by Hezekiah to help care for the bounteous contributions to Jehovah's house (2 Chr. 31:12, 13).
  • Father of Pelatiah, one of the wicked princes seen in Ezekiel’s vision (Eze. 11:1, 13).
  • Four men who, at Ezra's admonition, dismissed their foreign wives and sons. These four were descendants of Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Bani, and Nebo respectively (Ezr. 10:25, 30, 34, 35, 43, 44).


  1. ^ Eerdmans 2000, p. 447.
  2. ^ The root-verb בנה (bana) means to build. It is used to describe the construction of all kinds of buildings; a city (Genesis 4:17), a tower (Genesis 10:11), an altar (Genesis 22:9), a house (Genesis 33:27), the temple (2 Samuel 7:5), a fortress (2 Chronicles 17:12), a wall (1 Kings 3:1). It is also used to describe YHWH's making of a woman from a rib of man (Genesis 2:22).
  3. ^ Abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
  4. ^ Eerdmans 2000, p. 164.
  5. ^ 1 Kings 1:8, 10, 26, 32, 36, 38 and 44


  • Eerdmans, David Noel Freedman, ed.-in-chief; Allen C. Myers, associate ed. ; Astrid B. Beck, managing (2000). Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI [etc.]: Eerdmans. ISBN 9789053565032.