1 Chronicles 12:19
And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19-22) The seven Manassite chieftains who went over to David on the eve of Saul’s last battle.

(19) There fell.—The regular term for desertion of one cause for another (2Kings 25:11).

When he came with the Philistines.—(Comp. 1Samuel 29:2-11.) This verse is a summary of the narrative of 1Samuel 29:2 to 1Samuel 30:1.

They helped them not.—David and his men helped not the Philistines. Perhaps the right reading is he helped them (‘azarām), not they helped them (‘azarûm).

Upon advisement.—After deliberation (Proverbs 20:18).

To the jeopardy of our heads.—At the price of our heads (1Chronicles 11:19). By betraying us he will make his peace with his old master.

1 Chronicles 12:19-20. They helped them not — That is, the Manassites here named, and the rest of David’s forces, to whom they had now joined themselves, did not help the Philistines in battle, as David had pretended to do. As he went to Ziklag — As he returned thither from the camp of the Philistines.

12:1-22 Here is an account of those who appeared and acted as David's friends, while he was persecuted. No difficulties or dangers should keep the sinner from coming to the Savior, nor drive the believer from the path of duty. Those who break through, and overcome in these attempts, will find abundant recompence. From the words of Amasai we may learn how to testify our affection and allegiance to the Lord Jesus; his we must be throughly; on his side we must be forward to appear and act. If we are under the influence of the Spirit, we shall desire to have our lot among them, and to declare ourselves on their side; if in faith and love we embrace the cause of Christ, he will receive, employ, and advance us.Amasai - The marginal reference identifies him with Amasa, David's nephew, but it seems unlikely that David would have misdoubted a band led by his own nephew.

The passionate earnestness of Amasai's speech is strongly marked in the original, and will be better seen by omitting the words which our Version adds in italics. Here, as in 1 Chronicles 12:8-15, we have manifestly the actual words of a very ancient record.

19-22. there fell some of Manasseh—The period of their accession is fixed as the time when David came with the Philistines against Saul to battle.

but they helped them not—(See on [373]1Sa 29:4).

They helped them not, i.e. the Manassites here named, and the rest of David’s forces, to whom they had now joined themselves, did not help the Philistines in battle, as David had pretended to do.

And there fell some of Manasseh to David,.... Of the tribe of Manasseh; they took his part, and on his side, and joined him:

when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle; which was a strong proof of their cordial attachment to him:

but they helped them not: the Philistines; neither David nor his men, nor the Manassites that joined them:

for the lords of the Philistines, upon advisement; counsel taken among themselves: sent him away; that is, David and his men:

saying, he will fall to his master Saul, to the jeopardy of our heads; meaning, that he would go off with his troops to Saul, and betray them into his hands, and with their heads make his peace with him, see 1 Samuel 29:4.

And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they {f} helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.

(f) They came only to help David, and not to help the Philistines, who were enemies of their country.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19–22. Manassite Adherents

19. And there fell some of Manasseh] R.V. Of Manasseh aslo there fell away some.

when he came with the Philistines] See 1 Samuel 28:1-2; 1 Samuel 29:1-11.

but they helped them not] David’s men did not help the Philistines.

upon advisement] “After consideration”; lit. “by counsel.” Cp. 1 Chronicles 21:12, “advise thyself.”

fall] R.V. fall away.

to the jeopardy of our heads] Rather, at the price of our heads. David once became son-in-law to Saul at the price of the lives of two hundred of the Philistines (1 Samuel 18:27); their lords here (in Chron.) express their dread lest David reconcile himself to Saul by some act of treachery and slaughter done against his present Philistine patrons; cp. 1 Samuel 29:4 (“with” = “at the price of”).

Verse 19. - And there fell... of Manasseh to David. Of this use of נָפַל עלאּ there are many other examples (2 Chronicles 15:9; Jeremiah 37:14; Jeremiah 39:9). The phrase does not correspond with our own idiom of "falling to" one's lot, but with that of" falling away" from the service or love of one to another, i.e. deserting. The occasion here spoken of is described in full in 1 Samuel 29:2-11. 1 Chronicles 12:19The Manassites who went over to David before the last battle of the Philistines against Saul. - על גפל, to fall to one, is used specially of deserters in war who desert their lord and go over to the enemy: cf. 2 Kings 25:11; 1 Samuel 29:3. אל יפּול, in the last clause of the verse, is a synonymous expression. The Manassites went over "when David went with the Philistines against Israel to the war, and (yet) helped them not; for upon advisement (בּעצה, cf. Proverbs 20:18), the lords of the Philistines had sent him away, saying, 'For our heads, he will fall away to his master Saul.' " 1 Samuel 29:2-11 contains the historical commentary on this event. When the lords of the Philistines collected their forces to march against Saul, David, who had found refuge with King Achish, was compelled to join the host of that prince with his band. But when the other Philistine princes saw the Hebrews, they demanded that they should be sent out of the army, as they feared that David might turn upon them during the battle, and so win favour by his treachery with Saul his lord. See the commentary on 1 Samuel 29:1-11. בּראשׁנוּ, for our heads, i.e., for the price of them, giving them as a price to obtain a friendly reception from Saul (cf. 1 Samuel 29:4). In consequence of this remonstrance, Achish requested David to return with his warriors to Ziklag. On this return march ("as he went to Ziklag," cf. with בּלכתּו the ללכת of 1 Samuel 29:11), and consequently before the battle in which Saul lost his life (Berth.), and not after Saul's great misfortune, as Ewald thinks, the Manassites whose names follow went over to David. The seven named in 1 Chronicles 12:20 were "heads of the thousands of Manasseh," i.e., of the great families into which the tribe of Manasseh was divided, and as such were leaders of the Manassite forces in war: cf. Numbers 31:14 with Exodus 18:25, and the commentary on the latter passage.
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