1 Chronicles 11:1
Then all Israel gathered themselves to David to Hebron, saying, Behold, we are your bone and your flesh.
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(1–9) Parallel to 2Samuel 5:1-10.

(1) Then all Israel gathered themselves.—Literally, and. “Then” is too definite a mark of time. The chronicler passes over the subsequent history of the house of Saul, and its decline under the feeble Ishbosheth, who reigned at Mahanaim as a puppet-king in the hands of Abner his powerful kinsman and general (2 Samuel 2-4).

All Israel.—This proves that the allusion is not to David’s election by Judah (2Samuel 2:4).

Hebron, the burial-place of the patriarchs, was the capital of Judah, the tribe of David.

Thy bone and thy flesh.—A proverb first of physical, then of moral unity (Genesis 2:23; Judges 9:2). It was not as if David were some valiant foreigner, like certain of his own heroes. Moreover, the affection and sympathy of the tribes were with him, whose life of struggle and success had marked him out as their divinely chosen leader.

1 Chronicles 11:1-2. All Israel gathered themselves to David — That is, all the tribes of Israel, as it is expressed 2 Samuel 5:1, by their elders (1 Chronicles 11:3) and officers, and a great multitude of their soldiers and people. The Lord said unto thee — Or, concerning thee: for it is apparent that they knew it was God’s will David should be king, and therefore many of them had opposed David hitherto against their own consciences.11:1-9 David was brought to possess the throne of Israel after he had reigned seven years in Hebron, over Judah only. God's counsels will be fulfilled at last, whatever difficulties lie in the way. The way to be truly great, is to be really useful, to devote all our talents to the Lord.This chapter runs parallel with 2 Samuel 5 as far as 1 Chronicles 11:9, after which it is to be compared with 2 Samuel 23:8-39 as far as 1 Chronicles 11:40, the remainder 1 Chronicles 11:41-47 being an addition, to which Samuel has nothing corresponding. Compare throughout the notes in Samuel. CHAPTER 11

1Ch 11:1-3. David Made King.

1. Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron—This event happened on the death of Ish-bosheth (see on [362]2Sa 5:1). The convention of the estates of the kingdom, the public and solemn homage of the representatives of the people, and the repeated anointing of the new king in their presence and by their direction, seem to have been necessary to the general acknowledgment of the sovereign on the part of the nation (compare 1Sa 11:15).David made king at Hebron; by Joab’s valour winneth the castle of Zion from the Jebusites; repaireth the city of Jerusalem, 1 Chronicles 11:1-9. A catalogue of his mighty men, 1 Chronicles 11:10-47.

All Israel, i.e. all the tribes of Israel, as it is expressed, 2 Samuel 5:1, i.e. their elders, as it is there said, 2 Samuel 5:3, and officers, and a great multitude of the soldiers and people.

And inquired not of the Lord,.... For though he did inquire in some sense in an external, careless, and hypocritical manner, yet not done seriously, sincerely, and heartily, nor with constancy; it was accounted as if he inquired not at all, 1 Samuel 28:6 the Targum adds another reason of his death, because he killed the priests of Nob; but that is not in the text:

therefore he slew him; or suffered him to be slain:

and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse; translated the kingdom of Israel out of Saul's family, upon his death, into Jesse's, even unto David; for the sake of which observation this short account is given of the last end of Saul.

Then all Israel {a} gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.

(a) This was after the death of Ishbosheth Saul's son, when David had reigned over Judah seven years and six months in Hebron, 2Sa 5:5.

Ch. 1 Chronicles 11:1-3 (= 2 Samuel 5:1-3). David made King over all Israel

1. Then] Render, And. Chron. has nothing here corresponding to 2 Samuel 1-4, chapters which cover a period of seven years (2 Samuel 5:5). David’s earlier coronation by the men of Judah (2 Samuel 2:4), the reign of Ish-bosheth over Northern and Eastern Israel (ib. 2 Samuel 2:8 ff.), and the “long war” (ib. 2 Samuel 3:1) with the house of Saul are omitted. Some reference to the civil war however occurs in 1 Chronicles 12:23; 1 Chronicles 12:29.

we are thy bone and thy flesh] The phrase is not to be taken strictly as implying kinship, for only the tribe of Judah could say “The king is near of kin to us” (2 Samuel 19:42). The other tribes mean that they will obey David as though he were their own kin.Verse 1. - Upon the death of Saul, Abner, for a while espousing the cause of Ishbo-sheth, the only surviving son of Saul, "made him king over" a large proportion of the people, exclusive of Judah (2 Samuel 2:8-10). Already David had been anointed at Hebron by "the men of Judah, king over the house of Judah" (2 Samuel 2:1-4). And David continued "king in Hebron over the house of Judah seven years and six months" (2 Samuel 2:11; 2 Samuel 5:5; 1 Kings 2:11; 1 Chronicles 3:4). Notice the agreement of this date with the account of the six sons born to David in Hebron (2 Samuel 3:2-5). The explanation of the chronology for Ishbosheth affecting this period is not easy. It is said that he reigned over Israel "two years" (2 Samuel 2:10). Where was the difference of five and a half years lost? Our first verse here, with its apparently emphatic then (comp. 2 Samuel 5:1), would seem to make it very unlikely that it was lost between the death of Ishbosheth and the kingship of David over "all the tribes of Israel" together with Judah. On the other hand, the interval in question might find its account in the "long war (2 Samuel 3:1, 6, 17-21) between the house of Saul and the house of David." There is, however, still possible the supposition that the historian intends to give the intrinsically correct facts of the case, and means that, what with delay before getting the adhesion of the people to Ishbosheth, and what with the early decay of his sovereign power, he could not be said to have reigned more than two years. This verse, then, shows that the history proper of Chronicles purports to begin from the time of David's rule over the entire and united people, at the exact date of seven and a half years after Saul's death, while no mention is here made of his intermediate partial rule over Judah, or of Ishbosheth's temporary rule over Benjamin and Israel. All Israel; i.e. "all the tribes of Israel" (2 Samuel 5:1), by their representatives, "the elders of Israel" (2 Samuel 3:17; 2 Samuel 5:3; as well as our ver. 3). The first nine verses of this chapter cover the same ground as the first ten verses of 2 Samuel 5. Unto Hebron. We learn how David came to be here from 2 Samuel 2:1. "And it came to pass after this" (i.e. after David's "lamentation over Saul and Jonathan") "that David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron." Hebron was the "earliest seat of civilized life, not of Judah only, but of all Palestine." It and Bethlehem are two of the most special memorials of David. An interesting sketch of the topography and natural features of this place, and a succinct Biblical history of it in Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 164 (edit. 1866), from which comes the following quotation: - "Hebron, according to the Jewish tradition, was the primeval city of the vine. Its name indicates community or society. It was the ancient city of Ephron the Hittite, in whose gate he and the elders received the offer of Abraham, when as yet no other fixed habitation of man was known in central Palestine. It was the first home of Abraham and the patriarchs; their own permanent resting-place when they were gradually exchanging the pastoral for the agricultural life. In its neighbourhood can be traced, by a continuous tradition, the site of the venerable tree under which Abraham pitched his tent, and of the double cavern in which he and his family were deposited and perhaps still remain. It was the city of Arba, the old Canaanite chief, with his three giant sons, under whose walls the trembling spies stole through the land by the adjacent valley of Eshcoh Here Caleb chose his portion when, at the head of his valiant tribe, he drove out the old inhabitants, and called the whole surrounding territory after his own name; and here the tribe of Judah always rallied, when it asserted its independent existence against the rest of the Israelite nation. It needs but few words to give the secret of this early selection, of this long continuance of the metropolitan city of Judah. Every traveller from the desert must have been struck by the sight of that pleasant vale, with its orchards and vineyards and numberless wells, and we must add, in earlier times, the groves of terebinths and oaks which then attracted from far the eye of the wandering tribes. This fertility was in part owing to its elevation into the cooler and the more watered region above the dry and withered valleys of the rest of Judaea - and commanding this fertile valley, rose Hebron, on its crested hill." Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. This is a figurative expression, the pedigree and lineage of which it is interesting to note (see 2 Samuel 19:12; Judges 9:2; Genesis 29:14; Genesis 2:23). The highest service to which it was promoted may be said to be reached, however, in Ephesians 5:30. On the following day the Philistines, in their search among the fallen, found and plundered the bodies of Saul and of his sons, and sent the head and the armour of Saul round about the land of the Philistines, to proclaim the news of their victory to their people and their gods. That for this purpose they cut off Saul's head from the trunk, is, as being a matter of course, not specially mentioned. In regard to the other discrepancies between the two texts, both in 1 Chronicles 10:8-10 and in the account of the burial of Saul and of his sons by valiant men of Jabesh, 1 Chronicles 10:11, 1 Chronicles 10:12, cf. the commentary on 1 Samuel 31:8-13. In the reflection on Saul's death, 1 Chronicles 10:13 and 1 Chronicles 10:14, a double transgression against the Lord on Saul's part is mentioned: first, the מעל (on the meaning of this word, vide on Leviticus 5:15) of not observing the word of Jahve, which refers to the transgression of the divine command made known to him by the prophet Samuel, 1 Samuel 13:8. (cf. with 1 Chronicles 10:8), and 1 Samuel 15:2-3, 1 Samuel 15:11, cf. 1 Samuel 28:18; and second, his inquiring of the אוב, the summoner of the dead (vide on Leviticus 19:31), לדרושׁ, i.e., to receive an oracle (cf. in reference to both word and thing, 1 Samuel 28:7).
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