1 Chronicles 11:26
Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26-47) A catalogue of forty-eight “doughty warriors.” Sixteen names are here added to the list as given in Samuel. The chronicler, therefore, possessed a source more complete than our Book of Samuel. Variations of spelling abound in the names common to the two texts, the transcription of proper names being especially liable to error.

(26) Also the valiant men of the armies.—The Heb. phrase has this meaning (1Chronicles 12:8); but elsewhere it denotes “valiant heroes” (1Chronicles 7:5; 1Chronicles 7:7, &c). and so here. 2Samuel 23:24 has “Asahel brother of Joab was among the thirty.” It thus appears that the warriors of this list are none other than the famous baud of thirty warriors already spoken of (1Chronicles 11:15; 1Chronicles 11:25). From having been the original number, thirty may have become the conventional name of the corps even when its limits had been enlarged. It is notice. able that so far as to 1Chronicles 11:41 the heroes are arranged in pairs, and that the gentilic or cantonal name is usually added to that of the hero. They mostly belong to Judah and Benjamin; whereas the sixteen additional names, so far as known, belong to the transjordanic tribes, and the northern tribes are not represented at all.

Elhanan.Dodo is very much like David. Is this a third alias of the slayer of Goliath? See Note on 1Chronicles 20:5.

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.etc. The list of names here given corresponds generally with that in 2 Samuel 23:24-39, but presents several remarkable differences.

(1) the number in Chronicles is 47; the number in Samuel is 31.

(2) Four names in the list of Chronicles are not in Samuel.

(3) five names in Samuel are not in Chronicles.

(4) many of the other names, both personal and local, vary in the two lists.

It is quite possible that the two lists varied to some extent originally. The writer of Chronicles distinctly states that he gives the list as it stood at the time of David's becoming king over all Israel 1 Chronicles 11:10. The writer of Samuel does not assign his list to any definite period of David's reign, but probably delivers it to us as it was constituted at a later date. It is quite possible therefore that the names which occur only in Chronicles are those of persons who had died or quitted the army before the other list was made out, and that the new names in Samuel are the names of those who had taken their places. See the 2 Samuel 23:39 note.

26. Also the valiant men of the armies—This was the third degree of military rank, and Asahel was their chief; the names of few of those mentioned are historically known. No text from Poole on this verse.

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.

Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel] Render, And the valiant men of might; Asahel. Cp. 1 Chronicles 2:16; 2 Samuel 2:18 ff; 2 Samuel 3:27.

Elhanan] Called here (= 2 Samuel 23:14) “son of Dodo,” but probably to be identified with “Elhanan the son of Jair” of 1 Chronicles 20:5 (= 2 Samuel 21:19) “son of Jaare-oregim,” for “Jaare-oregim” is not to be taken as his father’s name, and the “Jair” of Chron. appears to be a corruption of “Jaare.” Elhanan was son of Dodo and belonged to a place the name of which was something like Jaare-oregim.

Verses 26-41. - These verses correspond with vers. 24-39 in 2 Samuel 23, and with them the subject ends there, though not here. The list announced here as comprising "the valiant men of the armies," is unannounced there, but, beginning with the same name, Asahel, it calls him "one of the thirty," and suggests the inference that those who follow will make up the rest. The number that follows (coinciding in this respect strictly with our list here) is itself thirty, which, though one too many, may be considered satisfactorily accounted for in the fact of the untimely death of Asahel, already recorded (2 Samuel 2:23). Considering the exact crisis at which he died, it is very likely that his place should be compensated for, although his name were unremoved from the honourable list. Amid the difficulties that develop themselves in the contents of these lists, when compared, the comparison of them aids the conviction that, so far as they go together, they do stand for "the thirty" spoken of in both places, and that a sentence or two here and there, now lost or corrupted beyond recognition, would clear up the whole subject. The comparison also seems to make it clear that the compiler of Chronicles, meaning to go beyond an enumeration of the thirty, nowhere speaks of thirty after ver. 25. On the other hand, the writer of the account in Samuel carefully sums up all (ver. 39) in the words, "thirty and seven in all " - an addition which means either the actual thirty-one given and the two sets of three each; or the thirty, with the two sets of three each and Joab ever all. Our present chapter, however, goes on to the number forty-eight in all, vers. 41-47, adding sixteen to the thirty-two which precede. Beside some minor differences, it must be said that at fewest three names, Hepher, Ahijah, and Mibhar, in Chronicles, resist identification with those that should (from position) correspond with them in the list of Samuel and with any others. And the same thing may be said of the same number in the list of Samuel (Elika, Eliam, Bani) when compared with the list now before us. The points of contact and clearest identification are, therefore, in so great a majority and are so uniformly distributed that, although it is left hard to decide the causes of them, these differences cannot throw any discredit upon the list as a whole. Perhaps the most probable suggestion to be offered is that the knowledge of the writer of the Book of Samuel enabled him to supersede the names of such as were soon lost to their brave career by death by other names; or, resting on the same fundamental reason, there may have been two different editions of the list, to one of which the writer of Samuel was indebted, and to the other the compiler of Chronicles. 1 Chronicles 11:261 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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