1 Chronicles 12:8
And of the Gadites there separated themselves to David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes on the mountains;
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8-18) A. list of Gadites, and an account of a band of Judæans and Benjammites who joined David in the stronghold (1Chronicles 11:14) towards the desert of Judah.

(8) Separated themselves from the royalists of Gad, who clung to Saul.

Into the hold to (towards) the wilderness.—Perhaps the cave of Adullam (1Samuel 22:1; 1Samuel 22:4), or one of David’s other haunts, the wooded Mount of Hachilah (1Samuel 23:19), or the crag of Maon, or the rocks of En-gedi (1Samuel 23:25; 1Samuel 23:29). “Caves and holds” are mentioned together as refuges (Judges 6:2). In the earlier period of his outlawry, David found refuge in the natural fastnesses of Judæa.

Men of might.—“Mighty men of valour” (1Chronicles 5:24), and “valiant men of might” (1Chronicles 7:2). Heb., “the valiant warriors,” whose names follow.

Men of war fit for the battle.—Literally, men of service or training, i.e., veterans, for the war.

That could handle shield and buckler.—Heb., wielding (or presenting) shield and spear, (Comp. Jeremiah 46:3.)

Buckler (māgên) is the reading of some old editions, but against the MSS., which have rōmah (lance).

Whose faces were like the faces of lions.—Literally,

“And face of the lion, their face;

And like gazelles on the mountains they speed.”

The poetic style of this betrays its ancient source. The chronicler is clearly borrowing from some contemporary record. (Comp. David’s own description of Saul and Jonathan, 2Samuel 1:23; and the term Ariel, lion of God, i.e., hero or champion, 1Chronicles 11:22; and Isaiah 29:1.)

Swift as the roes.—Comp. what is said of Asahel (2Samuel 2:18).

1 Chronicles 12:8. There separated themselves — From Saul, to whom they had hitherto adhered, and from their brethren of their own tribe, who yet maintained Saul’s cause; and from their families, and the places where they lived, from whom they went to David. Into the hold to the wilderness —

Or rather, into the hold of the wilderness; that is, either to the cave of Adullam or Engedi, or rather to Ziklag, which was in the wilderness of Judah, and may be here called the hold or fortress, for the same reason for which that name is given to the city of David, 1 Chronicles 11:7, (see the Hebrew,) namely, because it was a strong, well-fortified place. Whose faces were like the faces of lions — Who were full of courage, and by the majesty and fierceness of their countenances terrified their adversaries. As swift as the roes upon the mountains — As their very looks daunted their enemies, and put them to flight, so they could easily pursue, and overtake, and destroy them in their flight.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.Into the hold to the wilderness - Rather, "into the hold toward the wilderness." Some understand by this Ziklag, some En-gedi 1 Samuel 24:1-2; but it seems most probable that here and in 1 Chronicles 12:16 the stronghold of Adullam is intended 1 Chronicles 11:15-16. 8-13. of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David—that is, from the service of Saul and from the rest of the Gadites who remained steadfast adherents of his cause.

into the hold—or fortress, that is, of Ziklag, which was in the wilderness of Judah.

whose faces were like the faces of lions, &c.—A fierce, lion-like countenance (2Sa 1:23), and great agility in pursuit (2Sa 2:18), were qualities of the highest estimation in ancient warfare.

Separated themselves from Saul, to whom they had hitherto adhered; and from their brethren of their own tribe, who yet maintained Saul’s cause; and from their families, and the places where they lived, from whom they went to David.

Into the hold to the wilderness, or, into the hold of the wilderness, i.e. either to the cave of Adullam or Engedi; or rather to Ziklag, as appears from 1 Chronicles 12:1, which was in the wilderness of Judah, which is here called the hold, or the fortress, which name is also given to the city of David, 1 Chronicles 11:7, the Hebrew word being the same both here and there.

Whose faces were like the faces of lions; who were full of courage, and by the majesty and fierceness of their countenances terrified their adversaries.

As swift as the roes upon the mountains: as their very looks daunted their enemies, and put them to flight, so they could easily pursue and overtake and destroy them in their flight. And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David, into the hold to the wilderness,.... Men of the tribe of Gad, who lived on the other side Jordan; these separated themselves from the rest of their tribe, from their families and dwellings, and from the government of Saul, and came over to David, and joined him either when he was in some strong hold in the wilderness of Ziph, or Maon, 1 Samuel 23:14, or, as some think, when he was at Ziklag, in the hold there, said to be in the wilderness of Judah:

men of might, and men of war, fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler; warlike, valiant, and courageous men, well skilled in military discipline: whose faces were like the face of lions; bold, stern, and fierce. The philosopher observes (d), that of all creatures the lion most resembles a man, having a great mouth, a square face and forehead, large eye brows, &c.

and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains; which are remarkable for their swiftness on the mountains, see Sol 2:17. Aelianus (e) speaks of one sort of them that run as swift as a tempest. These Gadites, as with their undaunted looks and courage, intimidated their enemies, and put them to flight, so they were swift to pursue them, and overtake them.

(d) Aristot. Physiognom. c. 5. (e) De Animal. l. 14. c. 14.

And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of {c} lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;

(c) Meaning, fierce and terrible.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8–15. Gadite Adherents of David

8. And of the Gadites] The Gadites had the name of marauders (Genesis 49:19), and David’s mode of life would attract them. Chronologically 1 Chronicles 12:8 should precede 1 Chronicles 12:1; David was first “in the hold” and afterwards in Ziklag.

separated themselves] i.e. left their brethren E. of Jordan and came W. to join David.

into the hold to the wilderness] R.V. to the hold in the wilderness. It is uncertain whether this hold be or be not the cave of Adullam. See 1 Chronicles 11:15-16, notes.

men of might, and men of war fit for the battle] R.V. mighty men of valour, men trained for war.

that could handle] Lit “ordering.”

shield and buckler] R.V. shield and spear. A.V. follows a mistake of several early editions of the printed Heb. text. There is hardly any MS. authority for buckler. The reference is to the manner of fighting in David’s day. At the threat of an attack an army was drawn up in close array, shield touching shield and spears at the charge. Only in a high state of discipline could men quickly and effectively handle shield and spear thus (1 Samuel 17:2; 1 Samuel 17:8; 1 Samuel 17:21). See Smith, Bib. Dict., ed. 2, pp. 875, 6 for illustrations.

and were as swift] R.V. and they were as swift.

as the roes] In David’s lament (2 Samuel 1) Jonathan is compared to a lion (1 Chronicles 12:23) and to a gazelle (1 Chronicles 12:19 marg., the same Heb. word as for roe here).Verse 8. - As ver. 1 is introduced by the description of those who came together "to David to Ziklag" at a certain time, so it seems evident that this verse introduces the mention of certain others who befriended David at another time, by coming to him into the hold to the wilderness. These others were Gadites in part, and the hold none more likely than that of Adullam (ver. 16 of last chapter), although the word here employed (לַמְצַד) for "hold" is a different form of the word (מְצוּדָה) found both there and in the parallel (2 Samuel 23:14). There is, however, nothing to negative the choice of other spots and occasions (1 Samuel 22:5; 1 Samuel 23:14, 19, 24, 29, Authorized Version; 1 Samuel 24:1, Authorized Version). This graphic description of the military and indeed native qualities of these Gadites, is in harmony with many other glimpses we get of them and their character (1 Chronicles 5:19-22; 2 Samuel 1:23; 2 Samuel 2:18). קשׁת 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.
Links
1 Chronicles 12:8 Interlinear
1 Chronicles 12:8 Parallel Texts


1 Chronicles 12:8 NIV
1 Chronicles 12:8 NLT
1 Chronicles 12:8 ESV
1 Chronicles 12:8 NASB
1 Chronicles 12:8 KJV

1 Chronicles 12:8 Bible Apps
1 Chronicles 12:8 Parallel
1 Chronicles 12:8 Biblia Paralela
1 Chronicles 12:8 Chinese Bible
1 Chronicles 12:8 French Bible
1 Chronicles 12:8 German Bible

Bible Hub






1 Chronicles 12:7
Top of Page
Top of Page