And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And he slew an Egyptian . . .—Literally, and he it was who smote the Egyptian, a man of measure, five in the cubit. Samuel has only “who (was) a sight;” or “a man to look at” (Heb. margin). The chronicler says why.
Like a weaver’s beam.—Not in Samuel. Perhaps due to a recollection of the combat of David and Goliath. (Comp. also 2Samuel 21:19.) Yet the LXX. of 2Samuel 23:21 has “like the beam of a ship’s ladder” (ξύλον διαβάθρας); and this may be original.
Went down.—To the combat. (Comp. Latin: descendere in aciem, &c.) The staff (shēbet) of Benaiah differs from David’s (maqqēl, 1Samuel 17:40; 1Samuel 17:43); and the similarity of the two accounts, so far as it extends, is a similarity not of fiction, but of fact.
With a staff.—Rather, the staff, which he happened to carry.
with a staff—that is, having no other weapon in his hand than his walking stick.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.And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. of great stature] Heb. “of measurement.” Samuel has a better reading, “a goodly man” (man of presence), “goodliness” according to the Hebrews consisting in being well-built for warlike exercises.
a staff] Heb. ‘shebhet,’ i.e. the “rod” or “club” carried by shepherds as a defence against wild-beasts; Psalm 2:9 (“rod”); 1 Chronicles 23:4 (“rod”); 2 Samuel 18:14 (“darts”). This “rod” had a point at one end, so that it could on occasion be used as a stabbing weapon.Verse 23. - Five cubits high. This height is not given in the parallel passage; it means seven feet six inches. A spear like a weaver's beam (so 1 Samuel 17:7; 2 Samuel 21:19). 1 Chronicles 11:15-19 (cf. 2 Samuel 23:13-17) there follows an exploit of three others of the thirty, whose names have not been handed down. ראשׁ השּׁלושׁים, the thirty chiefs (not, as Thenius wrongly interprets the words, these three knights the chief parts, i.e., these three chief knights), are David's heroes hereafter mentioned, the thirty-two heroes of the third class named in 1 Chronicles 11:26-40 (or vv. 24-39 of Samuel). That three others, different from the before-mentioned Jashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah are intended, is plain from the omission of the article with שׁלושׁה; for if these three were spoken of, we would have השׁלושׁה, as in 1 Chronicles 11:18. For further remarks on this exploit, which was probably performed in the war treated of in 1 Chronicles 14:8., and in 2 Samuel 5:17., see on 2 Samuel 23:13-17. The words וגו האנשׁים הדם, 1 Chronicles 11:19, are to be translated, "The blood of these men shall I drink in their souls? for for their souls (i.e., for the price of their souls, at the risk of their life) have they brought it." The expression "blood in their souls" is to be understood according to Genesis 9:4 and Leviticus 17:14 (הוּא בנפשׁו דּמו, "his blood is in the soul," is that which constitutes his soul). As there blood and soul are used synonymously (the blood as seat of and container of the soul, and the soul as floating in the blood), so here David, according to our account of his words, compares the water, which those heroes had brought for the price of their souls, to the souls of the men, and the drinking of the water to the drinking of their souls, and finally the souls to the blood, in order to express his abhorrence of such a draught. The meaning therefore may be thus expressed: "Shall I drink in this water the souls, and so the blood, of these men; for they have brought the water even for the price of their souls?"
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