|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:23-26 Here is the state of David's court, after his restoration. It is well when able men are appointed to discharge public duties; let all seek to perform those duties, as faithful servants to the Son of David.
Verse 23. - Now Josh, etc. With this list of his chief officers, the narrator closes the history of David's reign; for the remaining four chapters form a kind of appendix. A similar list closes ch. 8, where, too, there is a break in the history, the previous narra-tire having been a summary of the rapid rise of David's empire. In this section, ch. 9-20, we have a more full and detailed account of David's wars, leading on to his crime and its punishment. The rest of David's life we may trust was calm and uneventful, but it was the life of a sorrow stricken man; and the sword again woke up against his family when his end was approaching, and filled his dying hours with grief and trouble. This list is much later in date than that previously given, though most of the officers are the same. Cherethites. This is a correction of the Massorites to make the passage agree with 2 Samuel 8:18. The K'tib has cari, a word which occurs in 2 Kings 11:4, 19, where in the Authorized Version it is translated "captains," but in the Revised Version Carites, which here appears only in the margin. But there is no reason why the place of the Cherethites should not have been taken by Carian mercenaries later on in David's reign, though really we know too little about such matters to be able to form a judgment. Some commentators translate cari "digger," and suppose that it means executioner; but why a digger should have such a meaning is inexplicable. It may be interesting to add that the Caftans were famous in old times as mercenaries. During the reign of Manasseh, Psammetichus won the throne of all Egypt by the aid of Caftans, and from that period they took a leading part in all Egyptian wars. The age of David is much more antique, but as there was constant communication between Phoenicia and Asia Minor and Greece, there is nothing improbable in David taking Caftans into his service in place of the Philistine Cherethites. His connection with them would soon cease after he left Ziklag.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now Joab was over all the host of Israel,.... Established in the post in which he formerly was; either having been never displaced, which though David thought to do, he was not able to effect it, because of his power and influence with the people; or if he had displaced him, which by some things in this chapter seemed to be the case, yet Amasa being dead, and the rebellion crushed by Joab, which still made him more haughty, and increased his popularity, David saw it most advisable to replace him; and because mention is made of him, as established in his office as general over the whole army, an account is given of the rest of David's officers; and the rather, as it was a sort of beginning his reign anew, after quelling the above rebellions:
and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites, and over the Pelethites; was continued in his post, see 2 Samuel 8:18.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Sa 20:23-26. David's Great Officers.
23. Now Joab was over all the host of Israel—David, whatever his private wishes, found that he possessed not the power of removing Joab; so winking at the murder of Amasa, he re-established that officer in his former post of commander-in-chief. The enumeration of David's cabinet is here given to show that the government was re-established in its wonted course.
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