Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valor for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Mighty men of valour for the war.—Rather, for warfare, or military service.
In the list which follows such points as
(1) The large mumber sent by the trans-Jordanic tribes;
(2) The large numbers from Zebulon, Asher, Naphtali, and Dan, all tribes somewhat remote, and generally speaking undistinguished;
(3) The small size of the contingent from Judah, which is generally represented as numerically superior to every other tribe, and which might have been expected to be especially zealous on behalf of its own prince and tribesman; throw some doubt upon the numbers, which may be suspected of having in some instances undergone corruption.
23. these are the numbers of the bands … that came to David to Hebron—after the death of Ish-bosheth (see on 2Sa 5:1).
to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord—(1Ch 10:14; 11:3, 10). The account commences with the southern tribes, Levi being associated with Judah and Simeon, as the great majority of the leading men in this tribe resided in Judah; and, after recounting the representatives of the northern tribes, it concludes with those on the east of Jordan.
and came to David to Hebron; after the death of Ishbosheth and Abner, and when David had reigned seven years in Hebron:
to turn the kingdom of Saul to him; to transfer it to him and his family:
according to the word of the Lord; by Samuel, which they were acquainted with; and the number of those of the children of Judah, who made him their king already, and so there was the less need of a numerous appearance of them, were 6800 armed men, 1 Chronicles 12:24, of the tribe of Simeon, valiant men, 7100, 1 Chronicles 12:25, of the children of Levi 4600, 1 Chronicles 12:26, of the Aaronites or priests, with Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, according to Jarchi and Kimchi, at the head of them, 3700, 1 Chronicles 12:27, besides Zadok, a young man of the line of Eleazar, who was made high priest in the time of Solomon, who brought with him twenty two captains, 1 Chronicles 12:28 the heads of the courses of the priests, which were afterwards twenty four, 1 Chronicles 24:4 of the tribe of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, the greatest part of whom had been sticklers for the continuance of the kingdom in the family of Saul, 3000, 1 Chronicles 12:29, of the tribe of Ephraim, valiant men, 20,800, 1 Chronicles 12:30, of the half tribe of Manasseh on this side Jordan, whose names were pricked down, being given, to make David king, 18,000, 1 Chronicles 12:31, and of the tribe of Issachar, two hundred of the heads of them; men of knowledge and understanding, either in chronology or astrology, or in the proper seasons for husbandry, or for the fixing the beginning of years and months, and the intercalation of them, for keeping the several festivals; or rather were men of prudence and wisdom, and knew that this was the proper time for making David king, Ishbosheth and Abner his general being dead; and as they were men in high esteem for their parts and abilities, their brethren were at their beck and command, 1 Chronicles 12:30, and of the tribe of Zebulun, warlike men, skilful in war, and well armed, 50,000 men; and their numerous appearance showed that they were hearty and sincere, being the greatest number of all the tribes, 1 Chronicles 12:33, and of the tribe of Naphtali, 1000 captains, and with them armed men, 37,000, 1 Chronicles 12:34 and of the tribe of Dan, men skilled in war, 28,600, 1 Chronicles 12:35 and of the tribe of Asher, warlike men, 40,000, 1 Chronicles 12:36 and of the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh, on the other side Jordan, military men, well armed, 120,000, 1 Chronicles 12:37, which in all made 348,800 men, and upwards.Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valor for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. Simeon] The most southerly of the tribes (1 Chronicles 4:24-31). The tribes are mentioned in order from South to North.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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