1 Chronicles 12:40
Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(40) They that were nigh them.—The tribes bordering on Judah (LXX. οἱ ὁμοροῦντες), and even the northern tribes, contributed provisions.

Brought, were bringing.

Asses . . . camels . . . mules . . . oxen, but not horses, were the usual beasts of burden in rocky Canaan.

Meat, meal.—Rather, food of flour.

Bunches.—Rather, cakes of raisins; masses of dried figs and raisins were, and are, a staple article of’ food iıı the East (comp. 1Samuel 25:18; Amos 8:11). The simple diction of the narrative, reminding us of Homer’s feasts, is a mark of its ancient origin.

1 Chronicles 13-16 form a complete section relating to the transfer of the Ark from Kirjath-jearim to its new sanctuary at Jerusalem. The continuity of the narrative is only suspended by the short parenthetic 1 Chronicles 14. 1 Chronicles 13 is closely parallel to 2Samuel 6:1-11. The introduction, however (1Chronicles 12:1-5), is much fuller than that of Samuel, which is condensed into one brief sentence.

1 Chronicles 12:40. They that were nigh them — That lived not far from Hebron, the place where they now were. Unto Issachar, &c. — This is added by way of amplification and explication, to show that this was not to be understood of those Israelites only who lived in the neighbourhood of Hebron, but of those also who lived at some distance, yet were nearer to Hebron than some of the other tribes here named. And on oxen — Which, though not commonly used in this manner, nor very fit for such purposes, yet were now employed, because the quantity of provisions which they brought was very great, as the number of the people at Hebron were, and of horses they had few in Israel, and most of their asses, camels, and mules, here mentioned, were probably used to carry men, women, and children, to this great, and public, and happy solemnity. For there was joy in Israel — Partly because their civil wars were wholly ended, and they were all united under one king; and partly because they had now a king of eminent valour and piety, and therefore expected to be saved from all their enemies and calamities, as indeed they were. Such was the joy and feasting when David was made king. And when the throne of the Son of David is set up in any soul, there is great joy in that soul; and provision is made for the feasting of it, not as here, merely for two or three days, but for the whole life, nay, for eternity.

12:23-40 When the throne of Christ is set up in a soul, there is, or ought to be, great joy in that soul; and provision is made, not as here, for a few days, but for the whole life, and for eternity. Happy are those who wisely perceive it to be their duty and interest, to submit to the Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of David; who renounce for his sake all that is not consistent; whose earnest endeavours to do good are directed by the wisdom that God giveth, through acquaintance with his word, experience, and observation. If any man lack this wisdom, let him ask it of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.Expert in war ... - Rather "arrayed for battle with all harness of battle, who set the battle in array with no double heart," excelling, that is, in the matter of their arms and accoutrements. The writer notes in each tribe the point in which it was most admirable. 39, 40. there they were with David three days, eating and drinking—According to the statements made in the preceding verses, the number of armed warriors assembled in Hebron on this occasion amounted to three hundred thousand. Supplies of provisions were abundantly furnished, not only by the people of the neighborhood, but from distant parts of the country, for all wished the festivities to be on a scale of liberality and magnificence suitable to the auspicious occasion. They that were nigh them; that lived not far from Hebron, the place where they now were.

Unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali: this is added by way of amplification and explication, to show that he did not understand this of those Israelites only who lived in the neighbourhood of Hebron, but of those that lived at some distance, yet were nearer to Hebron than some of the other tribes here named.

On oxen; which though not commonly used in this manner, nor fit for such purposes, now they so used, because the quantity of provisions which they brought was very great, as the numbers of the people at Hebron were, and horses they had few in Israel, and most of their asses, and camels, and mules here mentioned probably were used to carry divers men, or women and children, to this great, and public, and happy solemnity.

There was joy in Israel; partly because their civil wars were wholly ended, and they were all united under one king; and partly because they had now a king of eminent valour, and piety, and felicity, and therefore expected to be saved from all their enemies and calamities, as they were.

Moreover, they that were nigh,.... To Hebron, or bordered on the tribe of Judah:

even unto Issachar, and Zebulun, and Naphtali; as far as to those tribes, and including them:

brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules; all which were creatures used to carry burdens:

and on oxen; who, though commonly employed in ploughing, yet, on this occasion, might be made use of either in drawing wagons laden with provisions, such as follow, or in carrying loads on their backs; though, as Tully (g) observes, their backs show they were not formed to receive and carry burdens:

and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly, that is, food made of flour, pastries, besides bread, before mentioned, with dried figs, pressed and made into cakes, and clusters of grapes dried, and of liquids, wine and oil, which make cheerful, and beef and mutton in great plenty:

for there was joy in Israel; that their civil wars were ended; that they were united into one kingdom again; and had a king over them according to their hearts' desire, the darling of the people, of whom they had raised expectations; being a valiant, prudent, and good man, who studied the good both of church and state, and, above all, was one of God's choosing, appointing, and anointing: greater joy there will be, when David's son and antitype, Zion's King, reigns, when he shall be King over all the earth, and there will be one Lord, and his name one, Psalm 97:1.

(g) De Natura Deorum, l. 2. prope finem.

Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
40. they that were nigh unto them] The relatives of the assembled warriors cared for their needs.

even unto Issachar] R.V. even as far as Issachar. Even those warriors who came from the northern districts were provisioned by their kinsfolk.

and meat, meal] R.V. victual of meal.

bunches of raisins] R.V. clusters of raisins; as 1 Samuel 25:18; 1 Samuel 30:12; cp. 2 Samuel 16:1.

Verse 40. - Moreover, they that were nigh them. The meaning is that not only the "brethren" of Judah and of the nearer neighbourhood of Hebron joined to entertain and to show hospitality to the immense throngs of visitors, but that others did so in ever-widening circles, even as far as the remoter Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali. For there was joy in Israel. The joy must have been largely enhanced by the national consciousness of divided rule coming to an end, and of the cloud and frown of the Divine countenance having cleared mercifully away. All now could join to show loyalty and to feel it towards one king, of whom they had reason to believe that he was the chosen of God as of themselves.



1 Chronicles 12:40But it was not only these who performed this service, but also those of the remaining tribes dwelling near them; and indeed the men of Issachar, Zebulun, and Naphtali, those on the northern frontier of Canaan as well as those who bordered upon Judah, had sent provisions upon beasts of burden, "for joy was in Israel." This joy moved those who remained at home to show their sympathy with the national festival solemnized at Hebron by sending the provisions. For דּבלים, masses of dried figs, and צמּוּקים, masses of raisins or cakes, see on 1 Samuel 25:18.
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