|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:10-47 An account is given of David's worthies, the great men who served him. Yet David reckoned his success, not as from the mighty men that were with him, but from the mighty God, whose presence is all in all. In strengthening him, they strengthened themselves and their own interest, for his advancement was theirs. We shall gain by what we do in our places for the support of the kingdom of the Son of David; and those that are faithful to Him, shall find their names registered much more to their honour, than these are in the records of fame.
Verses 26-41. - These verses correspond with vers. 24-39 in 2 Samuel 23, and with them the subject ends there, though not here. The list announced here as comprising "the valiant men of the armies," is unannounced there, but, beginning with the same name, Asahel, it calls him "one of the thirty," and suggests the inference that those who follow will make up the rest. The number that follows (coinciding in this respect strictly with our list here) is itself thirty, which, though one too many, may be considered satisfactorily accounted for in the fact of the untimely death of Asahel, already recorded (2 Samuel 2:23). Considering the exact crisis at which he died, it is very likely that his place should be compensated for, although his name were unremoved from the honourable list. Amid the difficulties that develop themselves in the contents of these lists, when compared, the comparison of them aids the conviction that, so far as they go together, they do stand for "the thirty" spoken of in both places, and that a sentence or two here and there, now lost or corrupted beyond recognition, would clear up the whole subject. The comparison also seems to make it clear that the compiler of Chronicles, meaning to go beyond an enumeration of the thirty, nowhere speaks of thirty after ver. 25. On the other hand, the writer of the account in Samuel carefully sums up all (ver. 39) in the words, "thirty and seven in all " - an addition which means either the actual thirty-one given and the two sets of three each; or the thirty, with the two sets of three each and Joab ever all. Our present chapter, however, goes on to the number forty-eight in all, vers. 41-47, adding sixteen to the thirty-two which precede. Beside some minor differences, it must be said that at fewest three names, Hepher, Ahijah, and Mibhar, in Chronicles, resist identification with those that should (from position) correspond with them in the list of Samuel and with any others. And the same thing may be said of the same number in the list of Samuel (Elika, Eliam, Bani) when compared with the list now before us. The points of contact and clearest identification are, therefore, in so great a majority and are so uniformly distributed that, although it is left hard to decide the causes of them, these differences cannot throw any discredit upon the list as a whole. Perhaps the most probable suggestion to be offered is that the knowledge of the writer of the Book of Samuel enabled him to supersede the names of such as were soon lost to their brave career by death by other names; or, resting on the same fundamental reason, there may have been two different editions of the list, to one of which the writer of Samuel was indebted, and to the other the compiler of Chronicles.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. Also the valiant men of the armies—This was the third degree of military rank, and Asahel was their chief; the names of few of those mentioned are historically known.
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