Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah; Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Samuel 17:25.
From the present passage, and from the fact that Abishai joined David as a comrade in arms before Joab 1 Samuel 26:6, it would seem that, although Joab was pre-eminent among the three 2 Samuel 2:13, 2 Samuel 2:16, Abishai was the eldest.Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah; Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)16. sons of Zeruiah] Joab and his brothers are always thus named after their mother; probably their father died while they were young, or we may have a relic here of the ancient method of tracing kinship through the mother.Verses 16, 17. - These verses do not say that David "begat" Zeruiah and Abigail, but that these two were sisters of the foregoing seven brethren. Light is thrown upon this by 2 Samuel 17:25, which says that Abigail was the daughter of one Nahash, and that Zeruiah was her sister. But it is to leave us in greater darkness as to who Nahath was: whether Nahath was another name for Jesse, or the name of Jesse's wife, or the name of a former husband of Jesse's wife, to whom she bore these two daughters before she became wife to Jesse, and that former husband possibly none other than the Ammonite king (2 Samuel 10:2) - or whether none of these conjectures be near the truth, some of which on the face of them seem unlikely enough, is as yet unsettled. Meantime it is worth remembering that Zeruiah named one of her celebrated sons, and probably the eldest of them, Abishai, after Jesse, Ishai being the same as our Jesse; yet from the above premises it is taken that she was strictly sister of Abigail, and therefore was not really related to Jesse. The subject is treated interestingly under the various names in Smith's 'Bible Dictionary.' The husband of Zeruiah is given nowhere, while the husband of Abigail, here called Jether the Ishmeelite, is, in the passage already referred to (2 Samuel 17:25), called Ithra (which is a slightly altered form of the name), an Israelite, with little doubt an error for Ishmaelite. In the same passage also her own name appears as אֲבִיגַל, instead of אֲבִיגַיִל, though many manuscripts have this latter. 1 Chronicles 2:10-12), traced down through six members of Jesse. - This genealogy is also to be found in Ruth 1 Chronicles Ruth 4:19-21; but only here is Nahshon made more prominent than the others, by the addition, "prince of the sons of Judah." Nahshon was a prince of Judah at the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt (Numbers 1:7; Numbers 2:3; Numbers 7:12). Now between him, a contemporary of Moses, and Pharez, who at the immigration of Jacob into Egypt was about fifteen years old, lies a period of 430 years, during which the Israelites remained in Egypt. For that time only three names - Hezron, Ram, and Amminidab - are mentioned, from which it is clear that several links must have been passed over. So also, from Nahshon to David, for a period of over 400 years, four generations - Salma, Boaz, Obed, and Jesse - are too few; and consequently here also the less famous ancestors of David are omitted. שׂלמא is called in Ruth 4:20-21, שׁלמה and שׂלמון. In 1 Chronicles 2:13-15, seven sons and two daughters of Jesse, with those of their sons who became famous (1 Chronicles 2:16, 1 Chronicles 2:17), are enumerated. According to 1 Samuel 17:12, Jesse had eight sons. This account, which agrees with that in 1 Samuel 16:8-12, may be reconciled with the enumeration in our verse, on the supposition that one of the sons died without posterity. In 1 Samuel 16:6. and 1 Chronicles 17:13, the names of the eldest three - Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah - occur. Besides ישׁי, we meet with the form אשׁי (1 Chronicles 2:13); and the name שׁמּה is only another form of שׁמעה, which is found in 2 Samuel 13:3 and in 1 Chronicles 20:7, and is repeated in 2 Samuel 13:32 and 2 Samuel 21:21 in the Kethibh (שׁמעי). The names of the other three sons here mentioned (1 Chronicles 2:14 and 1 Chronicles 2:15) are met with nowhere else.
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