1 Chronicles 11:25
Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Behold, he was honourable among the thirty.—Rather, above the thirty behold he was honoured.

But attained not to the first three.—For he was a member of the second triad of heroes. The third member is omitted here, as in the case of the first triad.

Over his guard.—Literally, over his obedience; an abstract for concrete, as in Isaiah 11:14 (= vassals). The Cherethites and Pelethites, a small corps probably of foreigners, who constituted David’s body-guard, and were under his direct orders, appear to be meant here. (See 2Samuel 8:18; 2Samuel 20:23.) The word has this precise sense only in this place and its parallel.

11:10-47 An account is given of David's worthies, the great men who served him. Yet David reckoned his success, not as from the mighty men that were with him, but from the mighty God, whose presence is all in all. In strengthening him, they strengthened themselves and their own interest, for his advancement was theirs. We shall gain by what we do in our places for the support of the kingdom of the Son of David; and those that are faithful to Him, shall find their names registered much more to their honour, than these are in the records of fame.Five cubits high - About 7 ft. 6 in. high. The height is not so great as that recorded of other giants. 25. David set him over his guard—the Cherethites and Pelethites that composed the small bodyguard in immediate attendance on the king. Heb. his hearing, or obedience, i.e. those that were always ready to hear and obey or execute his commands, to wit, the guards of his body.

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.

Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the {f} first three: and David set him over his guard.

(f) Meaning, those three who brought the water to David.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. he was honourable among the thirty] R.V. (cp. 1 Chronicles 11:21), he was more honourable than the thirty. The verse probably comes from some poem written in praise of Benaiah. Cp. 1 Chronicles 27:6.

but attained not to the first three] Cp. note on 1 Chronicles 11:21.

guard] The same Heb. word, mishma‘ath, is translated “council” in 1 Samuel 22:14. The literal meaning of the word is “obedience”; it seems both here and in Sam. (l.c.) to designate those who executed the king’s commands, i.e. his ministers. (Minister = “servant”.)

Verse 25. - Over his guard. If the reference is not as above (see ver. 22), the margin of the parallel (2 Samuel 23:23) may be followed, which would translate "guard" as council. This Gesenius adopts, and translates "privy council." There seems, however, no necessity for this, with the references before us above given (2 Samuel 8:18, etc., to which may be added ch. 27:6, which shows Benaiah to be captain of the third division). 1 Chronicles 11:251 Chronicles 11:21 should be translated: honoured before the three as two; i.e., doubly honoured-he became to them prince, leader. With regard to בשּׁנים, which, as meaningless, Bertheau would alter so as to make it correspond with הכי (Sam.), cf. Ew. Lehrb. 269, b. For Benaiah and his exploits, 1 Chronicles 11:22-25, see the commentary on 2 Samuel 23:20-23.

No special deeds of the heroes enumerated in vv. 26-47 are related, so that we may regard them as a third class, who are not equal to the first triad, and to the second pair, Abishai and Benaiah, and consequently occupied a subordinate place in the collective body of the royal body-guards. In 2 Samuel 23 thirty-two names are mentioned, which, with the above-mentioned three and two of the first and second classes, amount in all to thirty-seven men, as is expressly remarked in 2 Samuel 23:39 at the conclusion. In the text of the Chronicle no number is mentioned, and the register is increased by sixteen names (1 Chronicles 11:41-47), which have been added in the course of time to the earlier number. The words החילים וגבּורי, 1 Chronicles 11:26, are to be regarded as a superscription: And valiant heroes were, etc.; equivalent to, But besides there, there remain still the following valiant heroes. The words החילים גּבּורי are not synonymous with החילים שׂרי, leaders of the host, 1 Kings 15:20; Jeremiah 40:7, (Berth.), but signify heroes in warlike strength, i.e., heroic warriors, like חילים גּבּורי (1 Chronicles 7:5, 1 Chronicles 7:7,1 Chronicles 7:11, 1 Chronicles 7:40). That חילים has here the article, while it is not found in the passages quoted from the seventh chapter, does not make any difference in the meaning of the words. The article is used, here, as with הגּבּורים, 1 Chronicles 11:10, 1 Chronicles 11:11, because the heroes of David are spoken of, and לדויד אשׁר is to be mentally supplied from 1 Chronicles 11:10. As to the names in vv. 26-41, which are also found in the register in the book of Samuel, see the commentary to 2 Samuel 23:24-39. This list, which is common to both books, begins with Asahel, a brother of Joab, who was slain by Abner in the war which he waged against David (2 Samuel 2:19-23), and concludes in the book of Samuel with Uriah the Hittite, so well known from 2 Samuel 11:3. (1 Chronicles 11:41), with whose wife David committed adultery. But to the continuation of the register which is found in 1 Chronicles 11:41-47 of our text, there is no parallel in the other writings of the Old Testament by which we might form an idea as to the correctness of the names. The individual names are indeed to be met with, for the most part, in other parts of the Old Testament, but denote other men of an earlier or later time. The names ידיעאל, 1 Chronicles 11:45, and אליאל, 1 Chronicles 11:46., are found also in 1 Chronicles 12:20, 1 Chronicles 12:11, among those of the valiant men who before Saul's death went over to David, but we cannot with any certainty ascertain whether the persons meant were the same. The expression שׁלשׁים ועליו (1 Chronicles 11:42) is also obscure, - "and to him in addition," i.e., together with him, thirty, - since the thought that with Adina the chief of the Reubenites, or besides him, there were thirty (men), has no meaning in this register. The lxx and the Vulgate read עליו, while the Syriac, on the contrary, makes use of the periphrasis, "And even he was a ruler over thirty heroes;" and Bertheau accordingly recommends the emendation השּׁלשׁים על, and thence concludes that the tribe of Reuben had thirty leaders in its army-a conjecture as bold as it is improbable. Were השּׁלשׁים על to be read, we could not but refer the words to the thirty heroes of 1 Chronicles 11:11, and hold Adina to be their leader, which could not be easily reconciled with 1 Chronicles 11:11. See on 1 Chronicles 12:4.

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