1 Samuel 30:28
And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(28) Aroer . . . Siphmoth and . . . Eshtemoa.Aroer, a city, with colossal ruins of foundation walls, south of Hebron. Of Siphmoth nothing is known. Zabdi, the Shiphmite (1Chronicles 27:27), who was over King David’s cellars, clearly comes from Siphmoth. Bishop Hervey well calls attention to a remarkable proof of the grateful nature of David and his fidelity to his early friendships, “that we find among those employed by David in offices of trust in the height of his power so many inhabitants of these obscure places, where he found friends in the days of his early difficulties. Ezri, the son of Shemei the Ramathite, Zabdi the Shiphmite, and many others, were among the friends of his youth.” Eshtemoa, a priestly city, still survives, with ruins still visible, in the village of Semna.

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.Aroer - Not Aroer on the Arnon, but (if rightly written) some town in Judah, not elsewhere named.

Siphmoth, Rachal 1 Samuel 30:29, and Athach 1 Samuel 30:30, are unknown and not elsewhere mentioned; but Zabdi the Shiphmite 1 Chronicles 27:27, who was over David's wine-cellars, was evidently a native of the first-named place. It is a remarkable proof of the grateful nature of David, and of his fidelity to his early friendships, as well as a curious instance of undesigned coincidence, that we find among those employed by David in offices of trust in the height of his power so many inhabitants of those obscure places where he found friends in the days of his early difficulties. Ezri the son of Chelub, Shimei the Ramathite, and Zabdi the Shiphmite, as well as Ira and Gareb, and Ittai, and Hezrai, and many others, were probably among these friends of his youth.

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]. Aroer; not that beyond Jordan, Numbers 32:34, as many think, which was too remote from David; but another place of that name in Judah, where the rest of the places here named were; this being one of those places where David and his men were wont to haunt, as is expressed, 1 Samuel 30:31. And to them which were in Aroer,.... Not Aroer in the tribe of Gad beyond Jordan, where David is never said to be, but some city of this name in the tribe of Judah; the Greek version of Joshua 15:22, instead of Adadah, has Arouel:

and to them which were in Siphmoth; which very probably was in the tribe of Judah, though nowhere else mentioned:

and to them which were in Eshtemoa; a Levitical city given to the Levites by the children of Judah, Joshua 21:14.

And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
28. Aroer] Obviously not the famous city on the R. Arnon. Perhaps the name survives in the Wady Arârah, some 20 miles south of Hebron, where Robinson found evident traces of an ancient village or town (II. 199). “Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite” are mentioned in the catalogue of David’s valiant men (1 Chronicles 11:44).

Siphmoth] mentioned nowhere else, unless it was the home of Zabdi the Shiphmite, the steward of David’s wine-cellars (1 Chronicles 27:27).

Eshtemoa] A priestly city (Joshua 15:50; Joshua 21:14); now Es Semûa, nine miles S.S.W. of Hebron, “a considerable village, situated on a low hill, with broad valleys round about, fall of flocks and herds. In several places there are remains of walls built of very large stones, marking the site of an extensive ancient town.” Robinson, Bibl. Res. II. 204.Verse 28. - Aroer, a different place from that on the eastern side of the Jordan, mentioned in Joshua 12:2, is probably the ruin 'Ar'arah, twelve miles east of Beer-sheba. Siphmoth. Some village in the Negeb, but unknown. Eshtemoa (Joshua 15:50), the present village Semu'ah, south of Hebron. Then all kinds of evil and worthless men of those who had gone with David to the battle replied: "Because they have not gone with us (lit. with me, the person speaking), we will not give them any of the booty that we have seized, except to every one his wife and his children: they may lead them away, and go."
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