And over the king's treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan the son of Uzziah:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)III.—THE TWELVE OVERSEERS OF THE ROYAL ESTATES AND PROPERTY (1Chronicles 27:25-31).
The number of these officers is noticeable, twelve being a normal number in Israelite institutions.
(25) And over the king’s treasures.—That is, those of the palace on Zion.
And over the storehouses.—The Hebrew has the same word “treasures.” The treasures “in the fields” (sādèh), or the country, in the cities, the villages and the “castles” (migdālîm), or towers (2Chronicles 26:10; Micah 4:8), include all that belonged to David outside the walls of Jerusalem.
Jehonathan was comptroller-general of the revenues from these sources.1 Chronicles 27:25. Over the king’s treasures — Of gold, or silver, or other things of great price, which, for greater security, were kept in Jerusalem, and in the king’s palace; and thither the tribute-money also was sent, and committed to Azmaveth’s care. Over the store-houses in the fields — Of the fruits of the earth, or that share of them which belonged to the king, which were laid up in the fields, or cities, or villages, or castles, as there was convenience and occasion.1 Samuel 16:11, 1 Samuel 16:20, had now become a large landed proprietor, as well as a capitalist, possessed of much moveable wealth. We may perhaps see the sources of both these kinds of property, in the successful wars which he had waged 1 Samuel 27:8-9; 1 Samuel 30:20; 2 Samuel 8:4, 2 Samuel 8:7-8, 2 Samuel 8:12; in the revenue derived from subject kings 1 Samuel 8:2, 1 Samuel 8:14; 1 Samuel 10:19; and in the purchase and occupation of lands in different places. Further, he enjoyed, of course, the usual rights of a Jewish king over the landed property of his subjects, and was thus entitled to receive a tithe of the produce in tithes (1 Samuel 8:15, 1 Samuel 8:17) and in "benevolences." Compare 1 Samuel 10:27; 1 Samuel 16:20, etc.
the storehouses in the fields—Grain covered over with layers of straw is frequently preserved in the fields under little earthen mounds, like our potato pits.Over the king’s treasures; of gold or silver, or other things of great price, which for greater security were kept in Jerusalem, and in the king’s palace; and thither the tribute money also was sent and committed to his care.
Over the storehouses of the fruits of the earth, or that share of them which belonged to the king, which were laid up in the fields, or cities, or villages, or castles, as there was conveniency and occasion. Numbers 34:10 had the charge of the wine squeezed out of the grapes, both in the presses and in the cellars: Baalhanan of Gedor, in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:36 was over the olive and sycamore trees, to see that they were well taken care of: and Joash was entrusted with the cellars where the oil was deposited: Shitrai the Sharonite had the herds of cattle fed in Sharon committed to his trust; whether in Sharon beyond Jordan, or that about Lydda and Joppa, near the Mediterranean sea, both affording fruitful pastures for herds; and this man, being of Sharon, was a fit man to be employed in such service: and Shaphat the son of Adlai was over those herds that were in the valleys, where were good pastures for them; such officers Pharaoh king of Egypt had, Genesis 47:6 and as early as the times of Ninus king of Assyria, one named Simma was master of the king's cattle (l), as Faustulus was to Amulius king of the Latines (m); and so Tyrrhus in Virgil (n) had the command of all the king's cattle; and Cicero mentions another in the same office (o): Obil the Ishmaelite (an Arab, as the Targum) had the care of the camels; and a very proper person he was, who must know the nature of them, and how to manage them, Arabia, or the land of the Ishmaelites, abounding with them. This man was so called, either because he was an Ishmaelite by birth, and was proselyted to the Jewish religion; or he was an Israelite that had dwelt some time in the land of Ishmael, and therefore so called. Bochart (p) thinks he had his name of Obil from his office, the word in the Arabic language signifying a keeper of camels. Jehdeiah the Meronothite was over the asses, which were employed in ploughing and carrying burdens; and Jaziz the Hagarite was over the flocks of sheep, the chief shepherd, who had the command of all the under shepherds, and a very proper person, being an Hagarite, or Arab; for such dwelt in tents for the sake of pasturage for their flocks, as Jarchi notes: these were the principal men that had the care of David's personal substance; so, in later times, the Roman Caesars (q) had such sort of servants to take care of their farms, fields, fruit, cattle, &c. the rest that follow were David's courtiers. Jonathan, or to whom David was uncle, the son of Shimea, his brother being a wise and learned man, was his counsellor, see 2 Samuel 21:21 and Jehiel the Hachmonite was preceptor, or tutor to the king's sons, that brought them up, and took care of their education; Ahithophel was his counsellor until the conspiracy and rebellion of Absalom; and Hushai the Archite was his companion, friend, and favourite, with whom he conversed at leisure hours. After the death of Ahithophel, Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar, were his counsellors, and Joab the general of his army.
(l) Diodor. Sicul. l. 2. p. 93. (m) Liv. Hist. Decad. 1. l. 1. p. 5. (n) Aeneid. l. 7. Tyrrhusque pater, &c. ver. 485. (o) Apud Servium, in ib. (p) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. Colossians 77. (q) Vid. Pignorium de Servis, p. 548.And over the king's treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan the son of Uzziah:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Twelve different officers are named here who acted as stewards of king David’s property.
25. treasures … storehouses] R.V. treasuries … treasuries (the same Heb. word is repeated).
castles] Lit. towers; cp. 2 Chronicles 26:10; 2 Chronicles 27:4.
Jehonathan] R.V. Jonathan.Verses 25-31. - These verses have for their primary object, not to give an exhaustive summary of the wealth of David and the sources thereof, but to give the names of those persons who were charged with the care, or the management and care, of' it. The classification, however, is interesting, and may be naturally expected to be tolerably complete. We do not find any distinction made between such property as might have belonged to David as private property, and such as belonged to him as king - probably because there was none worth making. Verse 25. - For storehouses, read, as in former clause, treasures. The suggestion of the second half of this verse in comparison with the first is that Azmaveth's charge was over treasures in Jerusalem. For the castles, see 2 Chronicles 17:12; 2 Chronicles 27:4. The word אוצָר, though the same in both clauses, may probably enough cover precious treasure, as of gold, silver, costly raiment, etc. (1 Kings 14:26; 1 Kings 15:18), more particularly in the first clause, and grain, fruit, etc. (2 Chronicles 11:11), in the latter, for the word has distinctly this double application. (See for some illustration of this verse also, Sallust., 'De Belle Jugurth.,' 12.) 1 Chronicles 2:13, David's eldest brother, who, as Jesse's first-born, had become tribal prince of Judah.
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