|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:16-34 The officers of the court, or the rulers of the king's substance, had the oversight and charge of the king's tillage, his vineyards, his herds, his flocks, which formed the wealth of eastern kings. Much of the wisdom of princes is seen in the choice of their ministry, and common persons show it in the choice of their advisers. David, though he had all these about him, preferred the word of God before them all. Thy testimonies are my delight and my counsellors.
Verses 16-22. - These verses give the names of the rulers (ver. 16), or princes (ver. 22), of ten out of the twelve tribes of Israel. The tribes not mentioned are Gad and Asher, an omission which reminds of that of the two tribes Dan and Zebulon from the genealogies contained in ch. 4-7, and equally unexplained. These designations ruler (נָגִיד) and prince (שַׂר) are the same as are found in the list of vers. 1-15 - the former in ver. 4, and translated also as here "ruler;" and the latter in vers. 1, 3, 5, 8, under the Authorized Version word of" captains." This rehearsal of the rulers or captains of the tribes stands evidently in no special relation to the preceding military enumeration, but it forms naturally enough one of four lists in this chapter that purport to set forth David's complete arrangement of the affairs of the kingdom. So far as the enumeration goes, it appears to aim at fulness and no omission, for the "Aaronites" (ver. 17) are given, and Ephraim and the two halves of Manasseh separately (vers. 20, 21).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Furthermore, over the cities of Israel,.... Were the following rulers or princes; the captains over the militia before named were of David's appointment; but these ruled over their respective tribes in their own right, or by the choice of their tribes: the ruler of the tribe of Reuben was Eliezer, the son of Zichri: of the tribe of Simeon, Shephatiah the son of Maachah; whether this was his father's or mother's name is not certain, it being the name both of a man and woman: of the tribe of Levi, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, who were of the same tribe, but, being priests, are thus distinguished from the Levites, Zadok, who was made high priest in the times of Solomon: of the tribe of Judah, Elihu, a brother of David's, the same with Eliab, 1 Samuel 16:6, of the tribe of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael: of the tribe of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of the tribe of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel: of the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, on this side Jordan westward, Joel the son of Pedaiah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, in Gilead, on the other side Jordan eastward, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of the tribe of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner, the famous general on the side of Ishbosheth; of the tribe of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham:
these were the princes of the tribes of Israel; of all excepting Gad and Asher, who are omitted; perhaps he that was prince of the tribe of Reuben, or else of the half tribe of Manasseh beyond Jordan, was ruler of Gad and Asher; these lying between Zebulun and Naphtali, might be under the prince of one of them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Ch 27:16-24. Princes of the Twelve Tribes.
16. over the tribes of Israel: the ruler—This is a list of the hereditary chiefs or rulers of tribes at the time of David's numbering the people. Gad and Asher are not included; for what reason is unknown. The tribe of Levi had a prince (1Ch 27:17), as well as the other tribes; and although it was ecclesiastically subject to the high priest, yet in all civil matters it had a chief or head, possessed of the same authority and power as in the other tribes, only his jurisdiction did not extend to the priests.
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