1 Chronicles 12:4
And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,
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(4) Ismaiah the Gibeonite.—Gibeon belonged to Benjamin (1Chronicles 9:35), and 1Chronicles 12:2 proves that Ismaiah was a Benjamite, not a Gibeonite in the strict sense of the term.

A mighty man among the thirty.—The “thirty” must be the famous corps (1Chronicles 11:25). Ismaiah’s name does not occur in the catalogue, perhaps because he died before it was drawn up.

Over the thirty may mean that at one time he was captain of the band, or it may simply denote comparison—“a hero above the thirty.”

Josabad the Gederathite; of Gederah in the lowland of Judah (Joshua 15:36). Josabad is perhaps the same as Zabad ben Ahlai (1Chronicles 11:41), one of the thirty.

1 Chronicles 12:4. A mighty man among the thirty — Who came attended with thirty valiant Benjamites and was their commander.

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.The skill of the Benjamites as archers is noted in 1 Chronicles 8:40, and 2 Chronicles 14:8. Their proficiency in using the left hand appears in the narrative of Judges (Judges 3:15, and marginal reference) where their special excellency as slingers is also noticed.

Even of Saul's brethren - Compare 1 Chronicles 12:29. Even of Saul's own tribe there were some who separated themselves from his cause, and threw in their lot with David.

4. Ismaiah the Gibeonite—It appears that not only the Canaanites who were admitted into the congregation (Jos 9:1-27), but people of the tribe of Benjamin, were among the inhabitants of Gibeon. The mention of "the Gederathite," probably from Gederah (Jos 15:36), in the lowlands of Judah; of the Korhites (1Ch 12:6), from Korah (1Ch 2:43), and of Gedor (1Ch 12:7), a town in Judah, to the southwest of Beth-lehem (compare 1Ch 4:4), shows that this first list contains men of Judah as well as Benjamin [Bertheau]. Over the thirty, i.e. who came attended with thirty valiant Benjamites, and was their leader and commander.

And Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty,.... That came with him, and he had the command of; this man was of Gibeon, another city in the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:25.

and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad, the Gederathite; one of Gederah, a city in the tribe of Judah, perhaps on the borders of that and Benjamin; Joram speaks of it as belonging to the country of the city Aelia or Jerusalem.

And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,
4. among the thirty and over the thirty] Ismaiah’s name does not occur among the thirty (2 Samuel 23:24-39); the phrase is therefore perhaps only a kind of superlative; Ismaiah was worthy to be ranked with the thirty or even above them. Probably however the list in ch. 11 and that in ch. 12 belong to different times.

the Gederathite] i.e. the man of Gederah. The only Gederah known was in the Judæan Shephelah (Joshua 15:36), so that it would seem that some men of Judah are reckoned along with the Benjamites in these verses. Similarly in 1 Chronicles 12:7 men of the Judæan town of Gedor (1 Chronicles 4:4; Joshua 15:58) are mentioned. It is possible that some words introducing the names of Judæan heroes have dropped out.

Verse 4. - Among the thirty, and over the thirty. Yet the name of Ismaiah does not appear in the list of the preceding chapter, nor in its parallel; nor is it possible to identify it with any that does appear there. The suggested explanation is that he was in the first edition of that list, and died early. The expression, "among the thirty, and over the thirty," may possibly mean that, from distinction as one of them, he was promoted above them to be leader of them. Josabad the Gederathite. The name should be spelt Jozabad. The Gederah here suggested cannot to all appearance be that of Joshua 15:36, in the Shephelah of Judah, as Jozabad was a Benjamite. If otherwise, it must be supposed to have come in some way into the possession of Benjamin. 1 Chronicles 12:4קשׁת נשׁקי, "those preparing bows," i.e., those armed with bows, synonymous with קשׁת דּרכי (1 Chronicles 8:40); cf. 2 Chronicles 17:17; Psalm 78:9. "With the right and left hand practised upon stones," i.e., to hurl stones, cf. Judges 20:16; "and in arrows on the bow," i.e., to shoot therewith. שׁאוּל מאחי, of Saul's brethren, i.e., of the men of the tribe, not "of his nearer relatives," and consequently of Benjamin, has been added as an explanation; cf. 1 Chronicles 12:29, where בנימן בּני and שׁאוּל אחי are synonyms. - In 1 Chronicles 12:3. we have the names. הראשׁ, the head, i.e., the leader of this host of warriors; compare 1 Chronicles 5:7, 1 Chronicles 5:12. הגּבעתי, cf. Gibeah of Saul or Benjamin, cf. 1 Chronicles 11:31; and for its situation, see on Joshua 18:28. הענתתי, from the priests' city Anathoth, now Anata; see on Joshua 18:24. In 1 Chronicles 12:4 the Gibeonite Ismaiah is called "hero among the thirty, and over the thirty," - words which can hardly have any other sense than that Ismaiah belonged also to David's corps of thirty heroes (1 Chronicles 11), and was (temporarily) their leader, although his name does not occur in 1 Chronicles 11. It is probable that the reason of the omission was, that at the time when the list was prepared he was no longer alive. הגּדרתי, of Gedera, a city of the tribe of Judah in the Shephelah, which, according to Van de Velde (Reise, ii. S. 166), was probably identical with the village Ghedera, which lies to the left of the road Tel-es-Safieh to Akir, about an hour to the south-west of Jabne. In any case, it corresponds well with the statements of the Onom. As to Gedrus, or Gaedur, see on Joshua 15:36. Immediately afterwards in 1 Chronicles 12:7 Gedor is mentioned, a city in the mountains of Judah, to the westward of the road which leads from Hebron to Jerusalem (see on Joshua 15:58); and from that fact Bertheau imagines we must conclude that the men of Judah are enumerated as well as the Benjamites. But this conclusion is not valid; for from the very beginning, when the domains and cities were assigned to the individual tribes under Joshua, they were not the exclusive possession of the individual tribes, and at a later period they were still less so. In course of time the respective tribal domains underwent (in consequence of wars and other events) many alterations, not only in extent, but also in regard to their inhabitants, so that in Saul's time single Benjamite families may quite well have had their home in the cities of Judah.
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