|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:1-9 For the people's sin David was left to act wrong, and in his chastisement they received punishment. This example throws light upon God's government of the world, and furnishes a useful lesson. The pride of David's heart, was his sin in numbering of the people. He thought thereby to appear the more formidable, trusting in an arm of flesh more than he should have done, and though he had written so much of trusting in God only. God judges not of sin as we do. What appears to us harmless, or, at least, but a small offence, may be a great sin in the eye of God, who discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart. Even ungodly men can discern evil tempers and wrong conduct in believers, of which they themselves often remain unconscious. But God seldom allows those whom he loves the pleasures they sinfully covet.
Verse 6. - Then they came to Gilead. When the enumerators had finished their labours in Reuben and the region south of Aroer, Joab moved his camp northwards, and pitched in Gilead, on the river Jabbek; and, having completed the counting in this part of the tribe of Gad, would next enter the wild regions of Manasseh. It is probable that the tribal princes and local officers actually numbered the people, and that Joab, with a powerful force, constrained them to obedience often against their will. It was possibly this danger of resistance which made David entrust the business to Joab, instead of employing the Levites. The land of Tahtim-hodshi. Gesenius dismisses this name with the remark that it can scarcely be regarded as genuine. The versions give little help; but Thenius cleverly extracts from the LXX., "unto Bashan, which is Edrei." Others, by a slight change in the Hebrew, read, "the land of the Hittites," and suppose that Hodshi is a corruption of the Hebrew word for "month," so that the whole might have been, "They came to the land of the Hittites in the (third) month." Others, again, suppose that Hodshi is a corruption of the name of the town Kadesh. But the versions would certainly have preserved anything so commonplace as this. When they make mistakes, it is almost invariably in proper names or unusual phrases. The emendation of Thenius is too ingenious to be accepted, but it gives the right sense, namely, that from Gilead and the tribe of Gad the numerators went northward through Bashan and the rest of the half tribe of Manasseh till they came to Dan, the town on the extreme northeast border, and the limit in that direction of the Israelite realm, as Beersheba was its limit on the south. Dan-jaan. Nowhere else is Dan found with this addition, and the Syriac omits it even here. The Vulgate, and Septuagint (Codex Alex.) read Dan-jaar the woodland Dan. Possibly the names of two towns have been run into one, and the original reading was "unto Dan and Ijon" (see 1 Kings 15:20). Ijon was on the direct road from Dan to Sidon. Zidon. This was on the extreme northwestern boundary. It did not actually belong to David, but both it and Tyro had apparently placed themselves under his protection, and were bound to render some kind of military service.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then they came to Gilead,.... The land of Gilead, half of which was given to the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the other half to the half tribe of Manasseh, Deuteronomy 3:12; which tribes were numbered, and the first of all:
and to the land of Tahtimhodshi; or the low lands of a new place; it seems to be a country newly possessed and inhabited; the Targum calls it the southern land of Hodshi; Bunting (w) calls it the lower country of Hodshi, near to the city Corazin, in the half tribe of Manasseh, fifty two miles from Jerusalem, and towards the northeast, and signifies a new land:
and they came to Danjaan; the same that is simply called Dan, and formerly Leshem, Joshua 19:47; why Juan is added to it is not easy to say; it lay at the northern border of the land of Israel, and was four miles from Paneas as you go to Tyre (x):
and about to Zidon; from Dan they went round about to Zidon, to the parts adjacent to it; for with Zidon itself they had nothing to do, of which See Gill on Joshua 11:8.
(w) Travels, &c. p. 147. (x) Hieron. de loc. Heb. fol. 90. H.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. the land of Tahtim-hodshi—that is, the land lately acquired; namely, that of the Hagarites conquered by Saul (1Ch 5:10). The progress was northward. Thence they crossed the country, and, proceeding along the western coast to the southern extremities of the country, they at length arrived in Jerusalem, having completed the enumeration of the whole kingdom in the space of nine months and twenty days.
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