And when Uriah was come to him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Samuel 11:4, or by some of his own family, concerning her being sent for to the court; which, together with other circumstances, might give him cause of further suspicion. Yet such might be the questions (though not here particularly mentioned) concerning those heads, as every private person might not be acquainted with, nor able to resolve, but such only as were acquainted with the counsel of war.
David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered; he asked of the welfare of Joab the general, and of the common soldiers, and of the warriors, as the Targum, the mighty men that went along with Joab, 2 Samuel 10:7. David seems to have been at a loss what to say to him. These questions were so mean and trivial, that it might justly give Uriah some suspicion that it could never he on this account, that he was sent for; since David could not want intelligence of such things, expresses being daily sending him.And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. David demanded, &c.] David sent for Uriah ostensibly to bring him word about the progress of the war. Uriah, as one of the “mighty men,” no doubt held some command in the army.
demanded] Rather, asked. The use of demand, like Fr. demander, meaning simply ‘to ask,’ is an archaism.1 Chronicles 20:1). Siege of Rabbah. - "And it came to pass at the return of the year, at the time when the kings marched out, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah: but David remained in Jerusalem." This verse is connected with 2 Samuel 10:14, where it was stated that after Joab had put to flight the Aramaeans who came to the help of the Ammonites, and when the Ammonites also had fallen back before Abishai in consequence of this victory, and retreated into their fortified capital, Joab himself returned to Jerusalem. He remained there during the winter or rainy season, in which it was impossible that war should be carried on. At the return of the year, i.e., at the commencement of spring, with which the new years began in the month Abib (Nisan), the time when kings who were engaged in war were accustomed to open their campaign, David sent Joab his commander-in-chief with the whole of the Israelitish forces to attack the Ammonites once more, for the purpose of chastising them and conquering their capital. The Chethibh המּלאכים should be changed into המּלכים, according to the Keri and the text of the Chronicles. The א interpolated is a perfectly superfluous mater lectionis, and probably crept into the text from a simple oversight. The "servants" of David with Joab were not the men performing military service, or soldiers, (in which case "all Israel" could only signify the people called out to war in extraordinary circumstances), but the king's military officers, the military commanders; and "all Israel," the whole of the military forces of Israel. Instead of "the children of Ammon" we find "the country of the children of Ammon," which explains the meaning more fully. But there was no necessity to insert ארץ (the land or country), as השׁחית is applied to men in other passages in the sense of "cast to the ground," or destroy (e.g., 1 Samuel 26:15). Rabbah was the capital of Ammonitis (as in Joshua 13:25): the fuller name was Rabbath of the children of Ammon. It has been preserved in the ruins which still exist under the ancient name of Rabbat-Ammn, on the Nahr Ammn, i.e., the upper Jabbok (see at Deuteronomy 3:11). The last clause, "but David sat (remained) in Jerusalem," leads on to the account which follows of David's adultery with Bathsheba (vv. 2-27 and 2 Samuel 12:1-25), which took place at that time, and is therefore inserted here, so that the conquest of Rabbah is not related till afterwards (2 Samuel 12:26-31).
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