So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride on king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Cherethites, and the Pelethites.—See 2Samuel 8:18; 2Samuel 15:28; 2Samuel 20:7; 2Samuel 20:23. The body-guard-perhaps of foreign troops—“the executioners and runners” (as some render them) to carry out the King’s commands.Genesis 26:3, Genesis 26:24 and Jacob Genesis 28:13. See further margin reference.
and the Cherethites and the Pelethites; not the sanhedrim, as Ben Gersom, but David's guards, over whom Benaiah was: these
went down; from Jerusalem;
and caused Solomon to ride upon King David's mule; as he had ordered:
and brought him to Gihon; or Siloah, as the Targum; hence the Jews say (e), they do not anoint a king but at a fountain; but this is the only instance of it.So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)38. the Cherethites and the Pelethites] The former of these names is found 1 Samuel 30:14 as the name of a people to the south of the Philistines. Hence it has been held by some that the second name, Pelethites, must also be of the same character, and that probably it is connected with the word ‘Philistine.’ It seems not impossible that David from his early residence in the country of the Philistines may have attached a body of men to him from among those peoples and constituted them his first body-guard (Josephus calls them σωματοφύλακες), which while retaining their old title would after the king’s accession be recruited from any of his most trusty supporters. We need not suppose therefore that though called by the old name they were largely composed of aliens. The older interpretations, connecting the words with Hebrew verbs, have been ‘executioners and runners’; and the Targum interprets them as ‘archers and slingers’ and in one place as ‘nobles and common soldiers.’ They are clearly to be identified with ‘the mighty men’ mentioned in 1 Kings 1:8 as not being with Adonijah.Verse 38. - So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites [these were the royal bodyguard - Σωματοφύλακες Josephus calls them - who were commanded by Benaiah (2 Samuel 8:18; 2 Samuel 15:18; 2 Samuel 20:23; 2 Samuel 23:28). But while their functions are pretty well understood, great difference of opinion exists as to the origin or meaning of the words. By some they are supposed to be Gentile names. A tribe of Cherethites is mentioned 1 Samuel 30:14. (Cf. Ezekiel 25:16; Zephaniah 2:5), and in close connexion with the Philistines (ver. 16). Hence Cherethite has been thought to be another name for Philistine; and as the LXX. and Syr. render the word "Cretans," it has been conjectured that the Philistines had their origin from Crete. They did come from Caphtor, and that is probably Crete (see Genesis 10:14; Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7; Deuteronomy 2:23). פְּלֵתִי again, is not unlike פְּלִשְּׁתִי In favor of this view is the fact that David certainly had a bodyguard of foreign mercenaries (2 Samuel 15:18, where the "Gittites" are connected with the Cherethites). Nor does it make against it that "two designations" would thus "be employed side by side for one and the same people" - as if we should speak of Britons and Englishmen (Bahr). For the names look like a paronomasia - of which the Jews were very fond - and a trick of this kind would at once account for the tautology. [Since writing this, I find the same idea has already occurred to Ewald.] But the other view, adopted by Gesenius, is that the names are names of office and function. Cherethite he would derive from תָרַכ, cut, slay; and by Cherethites he would understand "executioners," which the royal bodyguard were in ancient despotisms (Genesis 39:1, Hebrews; Daniel 2:14, etc. See on 1 Kings 2:25). In the Pelethites (פֶּלֶת, swiftness) he would see the public couriers (ἄγγαροι) of Eastern men. archies (see Herod. 8:98 and 2 Chronicles 30:6). We see the guard discharging the function first named in 2 Kings 10:25; 2 Kings 11:4, 8; and the latter in 1 Kings 14:27 (marg.)] went down [i.e., from the palace on Mount Zion] and caused Solomon to ride upon King David's mule, and brought him to [עַל: cf. 2:26] Gihon [Chald., Syr., Arab., Shiloha]. 1 Kings 1:38 clearly shows, where we find that these alone went down with him to Gihon as the royal body-guard. לי אשׁר על־הפּרדּה, upon the mule which belongs to me, i.e., upon my (the king's) mule. When the king let any one ride upon the animal on which he generally rode himself, this was a sign that he was his successor upon the throne. Among the ancient Persians riding upon the king's horse was a public honour, which the king conferred upon persons of great merit in the eyes of all the people (cf. Esther 6:8-9). פּרדּה, the female mule, which in Kahira is still preferred to the male for riding (see Rosenmller, bibl. Althk. iv. 2, p. 56). Gihon (גּחון) was the name given, according to 2 Chronicles 32:30 and 2 Chronicles 33:14, to a spring on the western side of Zion, which supplied two basins or pools, viz., the upper watercourse of Gihon (2 Chronicles 32:30) or upper pool (2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 7:3; Isaiah 36:2), and the lower pool (Isaiah 22:9). The upper Gihon still exists as a large reservoir built up with hewn stones, though somewhat fallen to decay, which is called by the monks Gihon, by the natives Birket el Mamilla, about 700 yards W.N.W. from the Joppa gate, in the basin which opens into the valley of Hinnom. The lower pool is probably the present Birket es Sultan, on the south-western side of Zion (see Robinson, Palestine, i. p. 485ff., 512ff., and Biblical Researches, p. 142ff.). The valley between the two was certainly the place where Solomon was anointed, as it is not stated that this took place at the fountain of Gihon. And even the expression גּחון על אתו הורדתּם (take him down to Gihon) agrees with this. For is you go from Zion to Gihon towards the west, you first of all have to descend a slope, and then ascend by a gradual rise; and this slope was probably a more considerable one in ancient times (Rob. Pal. i. p. 514, note).
(Note: The conjecture of Thenius, that גּחון should be altered into גּבעון, is hardly worth mentioning; for, apart from the fact that all the ancient versions confirm the correctness of גּחון, the objections which Thenius brings against it amount to mere conjectures or groundless assumptions, such as that Zadok took the oil-horn out of the tabernacle at Gibeon, which is not stated in v. 39. Moreover, Gibeon was a three hours' journey from Jerusalem, so that it would have been absolutely impossible for the anointing, which was not commanded by David till after Adonijah's feast had commenced, to be finished so quickly that the procession could return to Jerusalem before it was ended, as is distinctly recorded in v. 41.)
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