1 Chronicles 27:30
Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite:
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(30) Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite.—Obil’s name means either “owner of camels” or “a good manager of camels,” answering exactly to the Arabic ‘âbil. (Comp. Genesis 37:25; Judges 7:12.) An “Ishmaelite,” i.e., an Arab, would be the fittest person for looking after camels.

The asses.—The she-asses. (Comp. Genesis 49:14; Judges 5:10; Zechariah 9:9.)

Jehdeiah the Meronothite.—Of Merōnōth, a town perhaps near Mizpah (Nehemiah 3:7). The LXX. has Merathon, or Marathon.

27:16-34 The officers of the court, or the rulers of the king's substance, had the oversight and charge of the king's tillage, his vineyards, his herds, his flocks, which formed the wealth of eastern kings. Much of the wisdom of princes is seen in the choice of their ministry, and common persons show it in the choice of their advisers. David, though he had all these about him, preferred the word of God before them all. Thy testimonies are my delight and my counsellors.In the low plains - Rather, "in the Shephelah," the proper name of the low tract between the hill country of Judaea and the Mediterranean. 30. camels—These were probably in the countries east of the Jordan, and hence an Ishmaelite and Nazarite were appointed to take charge of them. The Ishmaelite; so called, either because he was born of that people, or had lived among them; or from some notable exploit which he did against them.

And over the king's treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel,.... The historian here proceeds to relate who were employed in the economical and civil affairs of David; and the first mentioned is the lord of his treasury, who had the care of his gold and silver brought into his exchequer, either by a levy on his own people, or by the tribute of others: Jehonathan the son of Uzziah had the care of the storehouses, in which were laid up what the fields, cities, villages, and castles that belonged to the king produced, whether by fruits gathered in, or by rents collected: Ezri the son of Chelub looked after his workmen in the fields, employed in the tillage of the ground: Shimei of Ramath, in the tribe of Benjamin, had the care of the vineyards, to see that they were dressed and pruned, and kept in good order: Zabdi of Shepham, 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.

Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite:
30. Obil] The name is a form of the Arabic word âbil, “one who feeds camels.”

the Meronothite] Meronoth was perhaps near Gibeon and Mizpah; cp. Nehemiah 3:7.

Verse 30. - Whether the word Obil (אובִיל), is a proper name or not, it signifies "a tender of camels" by derivation. The task suited the Ishmaelite, no doubt! Nothing is known of the Meronothite, nor of the situation of the place called Meronoth, unless anything may be conjectured from Nehemiah 3:7. 1 Chronicles 27:30The name of the Ishmaelite who was set over the camels, Obil (אוביל), reminds us of the Arab. abila, multos possedit vel acquisivit camelos. המּרנמי, he of Meronoth (1 Chronicles 27:30 and Nehemiah 3:17). The situation of this place is unknown. According to Nehemiah 3:7, it is perhaps to be sought in the neighbourhood of Mizpah. Over the smaller cattle (sheep and goats) Jaziz the Hagarite, of the people Hagar (cf. 1 Chronicles 5:10), was set. The oversight, consequently, of the camels and sheep was committed to a Hagarite and an Ishmaelite, probably because they pastured in the neighbourhood where the Ishmaelites and Hagarites had nomadized from early times, they having been brought under the dominion of Israel by David. The total number of these officials amounted to twelve, of whom we may conjecture that the ten overseers over the agricultural and cattle-breeding affairs of the king had to deliver over the annual proceeds of the property committed to them to the chief manager of the treasures in the field, in the cities, and villages, and towns.
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