Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.
Jehdeiah the Meronothite.—Of Merōnōth, a town perhaps near Mizpah (Nehemiah 3:7). The LXX. has Merathon, or Marathon.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. 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:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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 27:23 and 1 Chronicles 27:24 contain a concluding remark on the catalogue of the twelve detachments into which the men capable of bearing arms in Israel were divided, contained in 1 Chronicles 27:2-15. David had not taken their number from the men of twenty years and under, i.e., he had only caused those to be numbered who were over twenty years old. The word מספּרם points back to למספּרם, 1 Chronicles 27:1. מספּר נשׂא as in Numbers 3:40 equals ראשׁ נשׂא, Exodus 30:12; Numbers 1:49, to take up the sum or total. The reason of this is given in the clause, "for Jahve had said (promised) to increase Israel like to the stars of heaven" (Genesis 22:17), which cannot mean: For it was impossible for David to number all, because they were as numerous as the stars of heaven, which of course cannot be numbered (Berth.). The thought is rather that David never intended to number the whole people from the youngest to the eldest, for he did not desire in fidem divinarum promissionum inquirere aut eam labefactare (J. H. Mich.); and he accordingly caused only the men capable of bearing arms to be numbered, in order to organize the military constitution of the kingdom in the manner recorded in 1 Chronicles 27:2-15. But even this numbering which Joab had begun was not completed, because wrath came on Israel because of it, as is narrated in 1 Chronicles 21. For this reason also the number, i.e., the result of the numbering begun by Joab, but not completed, is not included in the number of the chronicle of King David, i.e., in the official number which was usually inserted in the public annals. בּמספּר neither stands for בּספר (according to 2 Chronicles 20:34), nor does it denote, "in the section which treats of the numberings" (Berth.). היּמים דּברי is a shorter expression for h' דּברי ספר, book of the events of the day.
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