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This is more of a general question on the scholarly consensus of what the Hebrew term בן can denote (specifically in a genealogical list context). I noticed a few times in Chronicles where בן couldn't actually denote a son unless we assume the chronicler had a very different history than what we have from the OT.

For example, 1 Chronicles 23:16 lists a son of Gershon (son of Moses, see v. 15; Exodus 18:3) called Shebuel. Yet in 26:24 he appears as the chief officer of treasuries of the first temple. So if he was a son of Gershon, and a grandchild of Moses he couldn't have possibly been the officer of treasuries of the first temple. So בן גרשום just means a descendant of Gershon? Is such an interpretation forced or natural in the text of Chronicles according to scholarly consensus? If it can mean descendant, then how are we to decide when it means son, and when it means descendant?

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  • Great question - reminds me of biblical phrases like 'son of man/Adam' or 'son of david'.
    – Steve can help
    Aug 9, 2023 at 17:19
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    Of course. This is the reason the Messiah is called the son of David. He is David's male descendant, but not his immediate descendant. Aug 9, 2023 at 17:20
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    Then there is the well known phrase בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל which means Israel's descendants, but not just his immediate descendants. Aug 10, 2023 at 0:27
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    You've not proven the MT is corrupt just because later texts amend it. shrugs Vulgate has filiae Sebeon and Targum Onkelos has בַת צִבעוֹן. Since בַת is the more difficult (and thus misunderstood) reading, it's likely the original. Aug 10, 2023 at 2:26
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    Lectio difficilior potior. Since בַת is the more difficult reading, it's likely the original. A scribe did not understand that both בַת־עֲנָה and בַּת־צִבְעוֹן were in apposition to אָהֳלִיבָמָה, so he amended בַּת־צִבְעוֹן, which he mistakedly understood as a reference to עֲנָה. Now, if בֶּן־צִבְעוֹן is the original, why would a scribe alter בֶּן to בַּת? There'd be zero reason for a scribe to do that as it is the customary genealogical form in Hebrew (A, the daughter of B, [B] the son of C). You can't explain why a scribe would change בֶּן to בַּת. Winner? Sure, everyone gets a trophy. Aug 10, 2023 at 3:48

1 Answer 1

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The noun בֵּן (ben) is used almost 5000 times in the OT with a very wide range of meanings - see BDB entry below.

In summary, the word is used to denote son, grandson, descendent, children generally, both male and female, offspring of animals, shoots on a plant, all the people of a nation, etc.

APPENDIX - BDB entry for בֵּן

1 son, male child, born of a woman Genesis 4:25; Genesis 16:11,15; Genesis 17:19 compare Genesis 17:16; Genesis 18:10,14; Genesis 19:37,38 #NAME?בֶּןבִּֿטְנָהּ Isaiah 49:15; begotten by a man Genesis 5:4f; Genesis 5:28; Genesis 6:10; Genesis 11:11f. + often; "" (בָּנוֺת) בַּת daughter Genesis 5:4,7,10f. Genesis 11:11,13,15f; Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14; Deuteronomy 16:11; Deuteronomy 16:14; 1 Samuel 30:3; 1 Samuel 30:6; Job 1:2; Job 42:13 +; of son as desired Genesis 30:2 (compare Genesis 15:2; Genesis 16:2; Genesis 17:17; Genesis 18:10f.; 1 Samuel 1:5-11) 2 Kings 4:14,28; Psalm 127:3 +; rejoiced in Genesis 30:6 +; beloved Exodus 21:5; 2 Samuel 19:1; 2 Samuel 19:3; 2 Samuel 19:5; 1 Kings 3:26; cared for Deuteronomy 1:31; spared Malachi 3:17; disciplined & trained Deuteronomy 8:5; Proverbs 3:12; Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 19:18; Proverbs 29:17; owing reverence, obedience, etc. to parents Proverbs 6:20; Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 13:1; בִּנְךָ בְּכוֺרְךָ thy first-born son Genesis 27:32; הַבֵּן הַבְּכֹר Deuteronomy 21:15 compare 1 Samuel 8:2; בְּנָהּ הַגָּדֹל her elder son Genesis 27:15,42; בְּנוֺ הַגָּדֹל Genesis 27:1; בְּנָהּ הַקָּטָן her younger son Genesis 27:15,42. In particular

a. בֶּןאִֿמּוֺ son of his mother, i.e. own (uterine) brother Genesis 43:29, compare Genesis 27:29; Judges 8:19; Psalm 50:20; Psalm 69:9, & see אֵם; בְּנֵי אָבִיךָ sons of thy father = brethren Genesis 49:8 (poetry)

b. בְּנֵי דֹדֵיהֶן = cousins Numbers 36:11.

c. בְּנִי my son, as term of kindliness or endearment, used by Eli to Samuel 1 Samuel 3:6,16; compare 1 Samuel 4:16; 1 Samuel 24:17; 1 Samuel 26:17,21,25, see also Proverbs 1:8,10; Proverbs 2:1 +; compare בִּנְךָ, used by Benhadad of himself to Elisha 2 Kings 8:9; by Ahaz to Tiglath-pileser 2 Kings 16:7; especially to express intimate and gracious relation with God: ׳י calls Israel בְּנִי בְכֹרִי Exodus 4:22 compare Exodus 4:23; Hosea 11:1, see also Psalm 80:16 (but compare Che); בָּנִים אַתֶּם ליהוה אלהיכם Deuteronomy 14:1; בְּנֵי עֶלְיוֺן Psalm 82:6 ("" אלהים); בְּנֵי אֵלחָֿ֑י Hosea 2:1; compare further Deuteronomy 32:5 (plural) Deuteronomy 32:20 (plural) Isaiah 1:2,4; Isaiah 30:1,9; Jeremiah 3:14,22; Jeremiah 4:22; Jeremiah 31:20; of future Davidic king 2 Samuel 7:14 = 1 Chronicles 17:13 compare Psalm 2:7; expressly referred to Solomon 1 Chronicles 22:10; 1 Chronicles 28:6; also of children (offered in fire) Ezekiel 16:21.

d. בְּנֵי האלהים applied to supernatural beings Genesis 6:2,4; Job 1:6; Job 2:1; בְּנֵי אלהים Job 38:7; בְּנֵי אֵלִים Psalm 29:1 (on which compare Che's note) Psalm 89:7.

e. בֶּןאָֿדָם son of man, compare ׳בְּנֵי א, see אָדָם; בְּנֵי אִישׁ Psalm 4:3 & ("" בני אדם) Psalm 49:3; Psalm 62:10.

f. בֶּןבִּֿנְךָ = thy grandson Exodus 10:2; Deuteronomy 6:2; Judges 8:22 compare Jeremiah 27:7; plural Exodus 34:7; Deuteronomy 4:9; Deuteronomy 4:25; Judges 12:14; 2 Kings 17:41; 2Chron 8:40; Job 42:16; Psalm 128:6; Proverbs 13:22; Proverbs 17:6; Ezekiel 37:25; also בֵּן alone with similar reference Genesis 29:5 (Laban son of Nahor); Laban calls his daughters' children his own sons Genesis 31:28,43; compare Genesis 32:1; so of Naomi Ruth 4:17; בְּנֵי רְבִעִים 2 Kings 10:30 sons of the fourth Generation, and, in General, descendants Joshua 22:24,25,27 +; see also below

i. below

g. constantly, as more precise designation, added to personal name כָּלֵב בֶּןיְֿפֻנֶּה Numbers 14:30; Numbers 32:12; Numbers 34:19 +; יְהוֺשֻׁעַ בִּןנֿוּן Numbers 11:28; Numbers 14:30; Numbers 32:12,28; Numbers 34:17 +; יָרָבְעָם בֶּןנְֿבָט 1 Kings 12:2,15 +, etc.; also without personal name (often with implication of contempt) בֶּןקִֿישׁ 1 Samuel 10:11; בֶּןיִֿשַׁי 1 Samuel 20:27,30,31; 1 Samuel 22:7,8,9,13; 1 Samuel 25:10; 2 Samuel 20:1; בְּנֵי צְרוּיָה 2 Samuel 16:10; בֶּןרְֿמַלְיָהוּ Isaiah 7:4,5,9; Isaiah 8:16; בֶּןטָֽֿבְאַ֑ל Isaiah 7:6; compare also בְּנֵי לֵוִי Numbers 16:7,8.

h. designated as בֶּןזְֿקֻנִים i.e. born in old age of father Genesis 37:3; opposed to בְּנֵי הַנְּעוּרִים sons of one's youth Psalm 127:4; also בֶּןבֵּֿיתִי one born in my house Genesis 15:3 (i.e. slave) so בְּנֵי בַיִת Ecclesiastes 2:7.

i. in various combinations: (α) as expression of contumely, בֶּןֿ נַעֲוַת הַמַּרְדּוּת 1 Samuel 20:30; בֶּןהַֿמְּרַצֵּחַ הַזֶּה 2 Kings 6:32 this son of a murderer; compare בְּנֵינָֿבָל Job 30:8; בְּנֵי בְלִישֵֿׁם ib.; בְּנֵי עֹנֲַנָה Isaiah 57:3 ("" זֶרַע מְנָאֵף); compare בֶּןאִֿשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת Judges 11:2 (compare Judges 11:1); (β) as term of respect, dignity, בֶּןחֿוֺרִים son of nobles Ecclesiastes 10:17 (in Aramaic = free born); בֶּןחֲֿכָמִים Isaiah 19:11; בֶּןמַֿלְכֵיקֶֿדֶם ib.; compare בֶּןמֶֿלֶךְ Psalm 72:1 ("" מֶלֶךְ); בֶּןאֲֿמָתֶ֑ךָ Psalm 86:16 in addressing ׳י ("" עַבְדֶּ֑ךָ) & בְּנֵיעֲֿבָדֶיךָ Psalm 102:29; of noble appearance בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ Judges 8:18.

j. often plural with name of ancestor, people, land, or city, to denote descendants, inhabitants, membership in a nation or family, etc.: (α) e.g. בְּנֵיעֵֿבֶר Genesis 10:21; בְּנֵיחֵֿת Genesis 23:3,5,7,10 (twice in verse); Genesis 23:11,16,18,20; Genesis 25:10; Genesis 49:32 (all P); (בְּנֵישֵֿׁת Numbers 24:17 see below 8); בְּנֵיחֲֿמוֺר Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32; בְּנֵי עֵשָׂו Genesis 36:5,15,19; Deuteronomy 2:4,8,12,22,29; בְּנֵי שֵׂעִיר Genesis 36:20,21; בֶּןֿ(בני)הִנֹּם Joshua 15:8 + (compare below גַּיְא); בְּנֵי לוֺט Deuteronomy 2:9,19; Psalm 83:9; בְּנֵייֿוֺסֵף (literal Genesis 46:27; Genesis 48:8; 1 Chronicles 5:1) Numbers 1:32; Numbers 26:28,37; Numbers 34:23; Numbers 36:5 (׳י ׳מַטֵּה ב) + 6 t. Joshua, compare Psalm 77:16; even בְּנֵי חֲצִי שֵׁבֶט מְנַשֶּׁה 1 Chronicles 5:23; בְּנֵי דָוַיד (literal 2 Samuel 8:18 = 1 Chronicles 18:17; 1 Chronicles 3:1,9) 2Chron 13:8; 23:3; 32:33; בְּנֵי אָסָף2Chronicles 29:13; Ezra 2:41; Ezra 3:8 + (see אָסָף); בְּנֵי קֹרַח in titles of Psalm 42-49, 84, 85, 87, 88; especially (β) בְּנֵיעַֿמּוֺן (standing designation of people of Ammon) Genesis 19:38 81t. (compare עַמּוֺן & NöZMG 1886, 171 DrSm 66); בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב (literal Genesis 34:7,13,25,27; Genesis 35:5,22,26; Genesis 49:2) 2 Kings 17:34; Psalm 105:6; Malachi 3:6 compare Psalm 77:16; & chiefly (γ) בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל (literal Genesis 42:5; Genesis 45:21; Genesis 46:5; Exodus 1:1) Exodus 1:7 613t., including Hexateuch 427 (of which 328 P, 49 E, 25 J, 25 D), Judges 61, Samuel Kings Chronicles 73 (23 in reference to ancient history, 10 in opposition to Judah); so also Vrss & variant reading sometimes for ׳בֵּית יִשׂ, e.g. Joshua 21:43 + see Di, Ezekiel 3:1 + see Co; also the reverse Ezekiel 2:3 and elsewhere; note especially יִשְׂרָאֵל ׳עַם בּ Exodus 1:9; יִשְׂרָאֵל ׳עַמִּי בּ Exodus 3:10; Exodus 7:4; עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל Exodus 16:1,2,9,10; Exodus 17:1; Leviticus 16:5; Leviticus 19:2; Numbers 1:2,53; Numbers 8:9,20; Numbers 13:26; Numbers 15:25,26; Numbers 17:6; Numbers 19:9; Numbers 25:6; Numbers 26:2; Numbers 31:12 (all P); ׳יִשׂ ׳דֹּרוֺת ב Judges 3:2; וְכָלהָֿעָם ׳יִשׂ ׳כָּלבֿ Judges 20:26; וּבְּנֵי הַלֵּוִי ׳יִשׂ ׳ב Nehemiah 10:40; also (δ) בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה (literal Genesis 46:12; Genesis 26:19; 1 Chronicles 2:3,10; 1 Chronicles 4:1) Numbers 1:26 18t. Numbers, Joshua, Judges 1:8,9,16 (so read also Judges 1:21; Judges 1:21 compare Joshua 15:53 & see below בנימן) 2 Samuel 1:18; 1 Chronicles 4:27 8t. Chronicles, Jeremiah 7:30 4t. Jeremiah; Hosea 2:2; Joel 4:6; Joel 4:8; Joel 4:19; Obadiah 12 (not in Kings, of Judah or of any other tribe, except בְּנֵי לֵוִי 1 Kings 12:31) including מַטֵּה בְּנֵי יהוּדָה Joshua 15:1,20,21; Joshua 21:1; 1 Chronicles 6:50; for usage with other tribes of Israel, see the articles; — but note (ε) בְּנֵי לֵוִי (literal Genesis 46:11; Exodus 6:16; Numbers 3:17; 1 Chronicles 5:27; 1 Chronicles 6:1; compare 1 Chronicles 23:6) Exodus 32:28; Numbers 3:15; Numbers 16:7,8; Numbers 18:21; Joshua 21:10 (as including sons of Aaron etc.); כָּלבְּֿנֵי לֵוִי Exodus 32:26; ׳ל ׳כָּלאַֿחֶיךָ ב Numbers 16:10; ׳ל ׳הַכֹּהֲנִים ב Deuteronomy 21:5; Deuteronomy 31:9 compare 1 Kings 12:31 & Malachi 3:8; 1 Chronicles 23:24,27; 1 Chronicles 24:20; Ezra 8:15 (distinguished from priests) Nehemiah 12:23; Ezekiel 40:46 (including בְּנֵי צָדוֺק the priests); also ׳ל ׳מַחֲנוֺת ב 1 Chronicles 9:18; בְּנֵי הַלֵּוִי 1 Chronicles 12:27; Nehemiah 10:40; בְּנֵי הַלְּוִיִם 1 Chronicles 15:15; 1 Chronicles 24:30 (compare also לֵוִי); (ζ) בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן (literal Exodus 28:1,40; 1 Chronicles 5:29; 1 Chronicles 24:1; often Aaron and his sons literal Exodus 27:21; Exodus 28:1,4 +) Leviticus 3:5,8,13; Leviticus 6:7; Leviticus 6:11; Leviticus 7:10; Leviticus 7:83; Joshua 21:10; 1 Chronicles 6:35; 1 Chronicles 6:39; 1 Chronicles 6:42; 1 Chronicles 15:4 (+ Levites) 1 Chronicles 24:1; 1 Chronicles 24:31; Nehemiah 12:47; also הַכֹּהֲנִים ׳בְּנֵי א Leviticus 1:5,8,11; Leviticus 2:2; Leviticus 3:2; Numbers 3:8; Numbers 10:8 & Joshua 21:19; 2Chronicles 31:19; compare 2 Chronicles 26:18; 29:21; 35:14 (twice in verse); בְּנֵי אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן Leviticus 1:7; Joshua 21:4 (as subdivision of Levites) Joshua 21:13 compare Leviticus 7:34; אֶתכֹּֿהֲנֵי יהוה אֶתבְּֿנֵי אַהֲרֹן וְהַלְּוִּיִּם2Chronicles 13:9 compare 2 Chronicles 13:10; once in singular הַכֹּהֵן בֶּןאַֿהֲרֹן Nehemiah 10:39; see also below אַהֲרֹן; (η) בְּנֵי צָדוֺק Ezekiel 40:26, 44:15 הכהנים הלוים בני צדוק; Ezekiel 48:11 הכהנים הַמְֿקֻדָּשׁ מנגי צדוק (ᵐ5 Sm Co join מ of מבני to preceding word, making plural); (φ) בְּנֵי with names of peoples, lands, and cities, בְּנֵי כֻּשִׁיִּים Amos 9:7; בְּנֵי מִצְרַיִם Ezekiel 16:26; בְּנֵי אַשּׁוּר Ezekiel 16:28; Ezekiel 23:7,9,12,23; אֶדֶץ הַבְּרִית ׳ב Ezekiel 30:5 (Co strike out ארץ); בָּבֶל ׳ב Ezekiel 23:15. Ezekiel 23:17,28; יְרוּשָׁלַם ׳ב Joel 4:6; צִיּוֺן ׳ב Joel 2:23; Lamentations 4:2; Psalm 149:2 (compare Zechariah 9:13). See further (ι) בְּנֵי עַמֶּ֑ךָ Leviticus 19:18; compare Leviticus 20:17; Numbers 22:5; Judges 14:16,17; Ezekiel 3:11; Ezekiel 33:2,12,17,30; Ezekiel 37:18; Daniel 12:1 בְּנֵי מָּרִיצֵי עַמְּךָ Daniel 11:14; (κ) קֶבֶר בְּנֵי הָעָם 2 Kings 23:6; 2Chronicles 35:5,7,12; קִבְרֵי בְּנֵי הָעָם Jeremiah 26:23; (λ) בְּנֵיקֶֿדֶם Genesis 29:1; Judges 7:12; Judges 8:10; 1 Kings 5:10; Job 1:3; Isaiah 11:14; Jeremiah 49:28; Ezekiel 25:4,10; (μ) בְּנֵי הַמְּדִינָה Ezra 2:1 = Nehemiah 7:6; (ν) of bulls, בְּנֵי בָשָׁן Deuteronomy 32:14 (song) compare KloSK 1872. 254 Di.

2 children (male and female) Genesis 3:16; Genesis 21:7; Exodus 21:5; Exodus 22:23; hence בְּנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה הַזְכָּרִים Joshua 17:2 male children, בֵּן זָכָר Jeremiah 20:15.

3 youth, young men (plural) Proverbs 7:7; Songs 2:3.

4 the young of animals Leviticus 22:28 (שׁוֺר אוֺ שֶׂה) compare Deuteronomy 22:6,7; 1 Samuel 6:7,10; Zechariah 9:9; Job 4:11; Job 28:8; Job 39:4,16; — בֶּןבָּֿקָר etc. see below 7b below

5 of plant-shoots בֵּן מֹּרָת Genesis 49:22 (twice in verse); also בֵּן Psalm 80:16 ? ("" כַּנָּה; see Chetransl. & critical note)

6 figurative of lifeless things, בְּנֵי רֶשֶׁף sparks Job 5:7; stars עַיִשׁ עַלבָּֿנֶיהָ Job 38:32; arrows בֶּןקָֿ֑שֶׁת Job 41:2; בְּנֵי אַשְׁמָּתוֺ Lamentations 3:13; compare בֶּןגָּֿרְנִי i.e. corn of my threshing-floor Isaiah 21:10.

7 a. member of a guild, order or class, בְּנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים i.e. those belonging to the prophetic order 1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3,5,7,15; 2 Kings 4:1,38 (twice in verse); 2 Kings 5:22; 2 Kings 6:1; 2 Kings 9:1 (Hoffm RSProph, 85, 388, Ki 15 f.; ZehnpfBAS i, 355 compare Assyrian mâr šipri (šiprâtum), son of a messenger = messenger, and explains from the son's succeeding to father's calling) & בֶּןנָֿבִיא Amos 7:14; probably also בְּנֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים 1 Chronicles 9:30; Ezra 2:61; Ezra 10:18; בְּנֵי הַשֹּׁעֲרִים Ezra 2:42; compare בְּנֵי הַגְּדוּד2Chronicles 25:13 men of the troop, see Palmyrene בנישירתא men of the caravan VogNo, 4 and others; also בְּנֵי הַגּוֺלָה = exiles Ezra 4:1; Ezra 6:19,20; Ezra 8:35; Ezra 10:7,16 (see גולה below גלה): further, in בֶּןנֵֿכָר = foreigner (only P, poetry, & late) Genesis 17:12,27; Exodus 12:43; Leviticus 22:25; Ezekiel 44:9 (twice in verse); ׳הַֿנּ׳ב Isaiah 56:3; בְּנֵיִנֵֿכָר 2 Samuel 22:45,46 = Psalm 18:45; Psalm 18:46; Nehemiah 9:2; Isaiah 60:10; Isaiah 61:5; Isaiah 62:8; Ezekiel 44:7; Psalm 144:7; Psalm 144:11, ׳בְּנֵיהַֿנּ Isaiah 56:6; also בְּנֵי הַתּוֺשָׁבִּים הַגָּרִים עִמָּכֶם Leviticus 25:4,5.

b. of animals, בֶּןבָּֿקָר son of (the) herd, i.e. young one of the herd, בָּקָר וּבְנֵי בָקָר 1 Samuel 14:32 compare עֵגֶל בֶּןבָּֿקָר Leviticus 9:2 (P); then, in General, one of the herd: fit for food Genesis 18:7,8 (J), for sacrifice Numbers 15:8,9 (P); ׳בןהַֿב only Leviticus 12:6 (P); especially מַּר בֶּןבָּֿקָר Exodus 29:1; Leviticus 4:3,14; Leviticus 16:3; Leviticus 23:18; Numbers 7:15 16t. Numbers (all P) + 2Chronicles 13:9; Ezekiel 43:19,23,25; Ezekiel 45:18; Ezekiel 46:6; מָּרִים בְּנֵי בָּקָר Numbers 28:11,19,27; Numbers 29:13,17 (P); also בְּנִי אֲתֹנוֺ Genesis 49:11 (poem, J; "" עִירֹה); בְּנֵיצֹֿאן Psalm 114:4; Psalm 114:6; בֶּןרְֿאֵמִים Psalm 29:6; בְָּנֵי הָרַמָּכִים Esther 8:10; בְּנֵי (הַ)יּוֺנָה Leviticus 1:14 7t. Lev + Numbers 6:10 compare בֶּןיֿוֺנָה Leviticus 12:6 (all P); בְּנֵיֿ נָ֑שֶׁר Proverbs 30:17; בְּנֵי עֹרֵב Psalm 147:9.

8 ׳ב as relative noun followed by word of quality, characteristic, etc. especially (α) בֶּןֿ(בני)חַיִל = mighty man 1 Samuel 14:52; 1 Samuel 18:17; 2 Samuel 2:7; 2 Samuel 13:28; 2 Samuel 17:10 (twice in verse); 1 Kings 1:52 7t. Chronicles; ׳אֲנָשִׁים בני ח Judges 18:2; 2 Kings 2:16; אֶלֶף אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי הֶחָ֑יִל Judges 21:10; (β) בְּנֵי עַוְלָה wicked men 2 Samuel 3:34; 2 Samuel 7:10; 1 Chronicles 17:9; Hosea 10:9; ׳בֶּןעֿ Psalm 89:23 (for בני בליעל see בליעל); (γ) בְּנֵי מֶ֑רִי rebels Numbers 17:25 (compare בַּיִת); (δ) בְּנֵי הַתַּעֲרֻבוֺת sons of pledges = hostages 2 Kings 14:14 2Chronicles 25:24; (ε) בְּנֵי מָוֶת i.e. those deserving of death 1 Samuel 26:16; so בֶּןמֿות 2 Samuel 12:5; בְּנֵי תְמוּתָה appointed or exposed to death Psalm 79:11; Psalm 102:21; compare (ζ) בִּן הַכּוֺת one worthy of smiting Deuteronomy 25:2; (η) בְּנֵי עֹ֑נִי Proverbs 31:5; (θ) בְּנֵי חֲלוֺף Proverbs 31:8; (ι) בְּנֵי שָׁאוֺן Jeremiah 48:45 = tumultuous ones; so also (= שֵׁאת) בְּנֵי שֵׁת Numbers 24:17 compare RV Di and others; (κ) כְּנֵי הַיִּצְהָר Zechariah 4:14 i.e. anointed ones; (λ) בֶּןמֶֿשֶׁק Genesis 15:2 son of possession, i.e. heir; (μ) הֵילֵל בֶּןשָֿׁ֑חַר Isaiah 14:12 son of dawn; (ν) of animals בְּנֵיִ שָׁ֑הַץ i.e. proud beasts Job 28:8; Job 41:26; (ξ) of Jonah's gourd בִּןלַֿיְלָה Jonah 4:10 (twice in verse); (ο) of a fertile hill קֶרֶן בֶּןשֶֿׁמֶן Isaiah 5:1.

9 noun relative of age:

a. of men, וַיְהִי נֹחַ בֶּןהֲֿמֵשׁ מֵאוֺת שָׁנָה Genesis 5:32; compare Genesis 7:6 71t. P; Genesis 50:26; Joshua 14:7. Joshua 14:10; Joshua 24:29 (all E); Numbers 32:11 (J), Deuteronomy 31:2; also Judges 2:8; 1 Samuel 4:15; 2 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 19:33; 2 Samuel 19:36; 1 Chronicles 2:21; 1 Chronicles 23:3,24,27; 1 Chronicles 27:3; 2Chronicles 24:15; 25:5; 31:16,17; Ezra 3:8; Isaiah 65:20 (twice in verse); Jeremiah 52:1; 41t. Samuel Kings Chronicles, of kings of accession; note especially (included in above) the phrase מִבֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וָמָ֑עְלָה Exodus 30:14; Exodus 38:26; Numbers 1:3 21t. Numbers 1-3 + Numbers 26:2,4; Numbers 32:11; 1 Chronicles 23:24,27; 2Chronicles 25:5; Ezra 3:8; compare Leviticus 27:7; Numbers 8:24; Numbers 26:62; 1 Chronicles 23:3 & without מעלה Numbers 8:25; Numbers 18:16; also מִבֶּן עשׂרים שׁנה וְעַד בֶּןשִֿׁשִּׁים שָׁנָה Leviticus 27:3 compare Leviticus 27:5; Leviticus 27:6; מִבֶּן שׁלשׁים שׁנה ומעלה ועד בןחֿמשׁים שׁנה Numbers 4:3 (twice in verse) + 12 t. Numbers 4; מבּן שׁלושׁ שׁנים וּלְמַ֫עְלָה2Chronicles 31:16 compare 2 Chronicles 31:17; & לְמִבֶּן עשׂרים שׁנה וּלְמָ֑טָּה 1 Chronicles 27:23.

b. of animals, (Hexateuch all P, including H) בֶּןשָֿׁנָה Exodus 12:5; Exodus 29:38; Leviticus 9:3; Leviticus 23:18,19; Numbers 7:17 28t. Numbers 7, 28, 29; also Micah 6:6; בֶּןשְֿׁנָתוֺ Leviticus 12:6; Leviticus 23:12; Numbers 6:12,14 12t. Numbers 7; also Ezekiel 46:13.Note. — בן appears perhaps abbreviated as בּ in a few compound proper names; see בִּדְקַר (= בֶּןדֿקר?), בִּלְשָׁן, בִּמְהָל, בַּעֲלִיס, בַּעֲנָה, בִּרְשַׁע, בִּשְׁלָם (so MV after Schol. Hamâsa3ed. Freytag; Röde libr, hist, interpr, Arab, 20, 21; but this is very uncertain, compare Ol§ 227 b, p. 613). — On Lag's explanation of אבי in some proper names as for אבן = בן compare LagBN 75 & see אבינר p. 4, etc., but this is dubious

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  • Actually this proves the opposite. The entry for grandson in BDB is בן בנך (son of son). בן in singular indeed only yields son, not grandson according to BDB. I looked it up in HALOT, and they actually do have the entry grandson for בן. But BDB seems to be more conservative in this respect.
    – bach
    Aug 10, 2023 at 0:09
  • I think @Dottard has it right. Yes, there is a term for grandson but ben-so-and-so often means "descendant of..." One only has to think of Jesus as ben-David to understand this. but there are many examples. Aug 11, 2023 at 13:22

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