1 Samuel 30:27
To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,
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(27) Bethel . . . South Ramoth . . . Yattir.—Here follows an enumeration of the cities of Judah to whom David sent, most of which have been identified. Bethel—evidently not the well known place of that name, but Bethuel or Bethul in the tribe of Simeon. The LXX. read here Baithsour. South Ramoth, i.e., Ramah of the South. Shimei, who was over David’s vineyards, was most likely a native of this town (1Chronicles 27:27). The place has not been identified. Yattir—the present Attir in the southern part of Judah. Its ruins are still visible.

30:21-31 What God gives us, he designs we should do good with. In distributing the spoil, David was just and kind. Those are men of Belial indeed, who delight in putting hardships upon their brethren, and care not who is starved, so that they may be fed to the full. David was generous and kind to all his friends. Those who consider the Lord as the Giver of their abundance, will dispose of it with fairness and liberality.Bethel - i. e. Bethuel 1 Chronicles 4:30, quite in the south near Beer-sheba, Hormah, and Ziklag; or Bethul Joshua 19:4, one of the cities of the Simeonites.

South Ramoth - Rather, "Ramoth of the South country" 1 Samuel 27:10; 1 Samuel 30:1, 1 Samuel 30:14, so-called to distinguish it from Ramoth-Gilead, one of the Simeonite cities Joshua 19:8. Shimei, the Ramathite 1 Chronicles 27:27, who was over David's vineyards, was evidently a native of this Ramath. See below 1 Samuel 30:28.

Jattir - "In the mountains" of Judah, and one of the priests' cities, is identified with 'Attir, ten miles south of Hebron.

26. when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah—This was intended as an acknowledgment to the leading men in those towns and villages of Judah which had ministered to his necessities in the course of his various wanderings. It was the dictate of an amiable and grateful heart; and the effect of this well-timed liberality was to bring a large accession of numbers to his camp (1Ch 12:22). The enumeration of these places shows what a numerous and influential party of adherents to his cause he could count within his own tribe [1Sa 30:27-31]. Beth-el, in Kirjath-jearim, where the ark was, 1 Samuel 10:3.

South Ramoth; a city in the tribe of Simeon, Joshua 19:8; so called by way of distinction from Ramoth in Gilead, which was more northward, 1 Kings 22:12.

Jattir; of which see Joshua 15:48.

To them which were in Bethel,.... One part of the spoil was sent to them; not to those in Bethel, in the tribe of Benjamin, but in Kirjathjearim, called Bethel, or the house of God, because the ark was there, see 1 Samuel 7:1; moreover, this place was also called Baalah, which some think is referred to here, see Joshua 15:9,

and to them which were in south Ramoth; a city of the tribe of Simeon, which lay within the lot of Judah; of which see Joshua 19:8,

and to them which were in Jattir; a city of the tribe of Judah; see Gill on Joshua 15:48.

To them which were in Bethel, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir,
27. Bethel] Not the well known Bethel in the tribe of Benjamin, but Bethul or Bethuel, called also Chesil, a city in the neighbourhood of Ziklag and Hormah, originally assigned to Judah, and subsequently transferred to Simeon (Joshua 15:30; Joshua 19:4; 1 Chronicles 4:30).

south Ramoth] Ramoth-Negeb, or Ramoth in the south country, as distinguished from Ramoth Gilead, is probably the same as Ramath-Negeb in Joshua 19:8. Perhaps “Shimei the Ramathite,” the overseer of David’s vineyards, came from it (1 Chronicles 27:27).

Jattir] A priestly city in the mountains of Judah (Joshua 15:48; Joshua 21:14), probably the modern Attîr, 4½ miles S.W. of Eshtemoa. It may have been the native place of David’s heroes Ira and Gareb the Ithrites (2 Samuel 23:38).

Verse 27. - Bethel cannot be the famous city of that name, but is probably the Bethul of Joshua 19:4, where it is mentioned as lying near Hormah and Ziklag. South Ramoth. Hebrew, "Ramoth-Negeb," called Ramath-Negeb in Joshua 19:8. Like Bethul, it was a Simeonite village. Jattir belonged to Judah (Joshua 15:48), and was one of the cities assigned to the priests (Joshua 21:14). 1 Samuel 30:27When David returned to Ziklag, he sent portions of the booty to the elders of Judah, to his friends, with this message: "Behold, here ye have a blessing of the booty of the enemies of Jehovah" (which we took from the enemies of Jehovah); and this he did, according to 1 Samuel 30:31, to all the places in which he had wandered with his men, i.e., where he had wandered about during his flight from Saul, and in which he had no doubt received assistance. Sending these gifts could not fail to make the elders of these cities well disposed towards him, and so to facilitate his recognition as king after the death of Saul, which occurred immediately afterwards. Some of these places may have been plundered by the Amalekites, since they had invaded the Negeb of Judah (1 Samuel 30:14). The cities referred to were Bethel, - not the Bethel so often mentioned, the present Beitin, in the tribe of Benjamin, but Betheul (1 Chronicles 4:30) or Bethul, in the tribe of Simeon (Joshua 19:4), which Knobel supposes to be Elusa or el Khalasa (see at Joshua 15:30). The reading Βαιθσούρ in the lxx is a worthless conjecture. Ramah of the south, which was allotted to the tribe of Simeon, has not yet been discovered (see at Joshua 19:8). Jattir has been preserved in the ruins of Attir, on the southern portion of the Mountains of Judah (see at Joshua 15:48). Aror is still to be seen in ruins, viz., in the foundations of walls built in enormous stones in Wady Arara, where there are many cavities for holding water, about three hours E.S.E. of Bersaba, and twenty miles to the south of Hebron (vid., Rob. Pal. ii. p. 620, and v. de Velde, Mem. p. 288). Siphmoth (or Shiphmoth, according to several MSS) is altogether unknown. It may probably be referred to again in 1 Chronicles 27:27, where Zabdi is called the Shiphmite; but it is certainly not to be identified with Sepham, on the north-east of the sea of Galilee (Numbers 34:10-11), as Thenius supposes. Eshtemoa has been preserved in the village of Semua, with ancient ruins, on the south-western portion of the mountains of Judah (see at Joshua 15:50). Racal is never mentioned again, and is entirely unknown. The lxx have five different names instead of this, the last being Carmel, into which Thenius proposes to alter Racal. But this can hardly be done with propriety, as the lxx also introduced the Philistian Gath, which certainly does not belong here; whilst in 1 Samuel 30:30 they have totally different names, some of which are decidedly wrong. The cities of the Jerahmeelites and Kenites were situated in the Negeb of Judah (1 Samuel 27:10), but their names cannot be traced.
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