2 Samuel 20:23
Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites:
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2 Samuel 20:23-24. Joab was over all the host — The king continued him in the chief command of the army, because the good success of this, and of the former expedition under his conduct, had so fixed his interest with the soldiers, and others of David’s fastest friends, that he could not be displaced without danger. Adoram was over the tribute — That is, he was the treasurer or receiver of the king’s revenue. Jehoshaphat was recorder — See on 2 Samuel 8:16.

20:23-26 Here is the state of David's court, after his restoration. It is well when able men are appointed to discharge public duties; let all seek to perform those duties, as faithful servants to the Son of David.Now Joab ... - This is by no means an unmeaning repetition. Joab had been dismissed to make room for Amasa, and was now, as the result of his successful expedition against Sheba, and the death of Amasa, reinstated in his command. Moreover, this was a fresh beginning of David's reign, and therefore a statement of his chief officers is as proper as in 2 Samuel 8:16, when he had just established himself on the throne of Israel. Compare 1 Kings 4:2-6. 2Sa 20:23-26. David's Great Officers.

23. Now Joab was over all the host of Israel—David, whatever his private wishes, found that he possessed not the power of removing Joab; so winking at the murder of Amasa, he re-established that officer in his former post of commander-in-chief. The enumeration of David's cabinet is here given to show that the government was re-established in its wonted course.

Joab was over all the host of Israel: the good success of this and of the former expedition, under the conduct of Joab, had so fixed his interest in the army, and others of David’s fastest friends, that the king could not without danger to the public weal displace him.

Now Joab was over all the host of Israel,.... Established in the post in which he formerly was; either having been never displaced, which though David thought to do, he was not able to effect it, because of his power and influence with the people; or if he had displaced him, which by some things in this chapter seemed to be the case, yet Amasa being dead, and the rebellion crushed by Joab, which still made him more haughty, and increased his popularity, David saw it most advisable to replace him; and because mention is made of him, as established in his office as general over the whole army, an account is given of the rest of David's officers; and the rather, as it was a sort of beginning his reign anew, after quelling the above rebellions:

and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites, and over the Pelethites; was continued in his post, see 2 Samuel 8:18.

Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites:
23. Joab] Retaining his post in spite of David’s resolution to depose him.

the Cherethites] So the Qrî and the Sept. and Vulg.: but the Kthîbh has the Cari, a word found in 2 Kings 11:4; 2 Kings 11:19 (E. V. wrongly captains), and like Cherethites variously explained to mean executioners, the body-guard acting in that capacity, or Carians, foreign mercenaries employed as a body-guard.

23–26. The officers of David’s court

A similar list has already been given in ch. 2 Samuel 8:16-18. There the account of the general administration of the kingdom appropriately follows the summary record of the wars by which that kingdom was established; and the repetition of it here, after David’s restoration to the throne, is equally appropriate. Some differences between the lists are explained by their belonging to different periods.

Verse 23. - Now Josh, etc. With this list of his chief officers, the narrator closes the history of David's reign; for the remaining four chapters form a kind of appendix. A similar list closes ch. 8, where, too, there is a break in the history, the previous narra-tire having been a summary of the rapid rise of David's empire. In this section, ch. 9-20, we have a more full and detailed account of David's wars, leading on to his crime and its punishment. The rest of David's life we may trust was calm and uneventful, but it was the life of a sorrow stricken man; and the sword again woke up against his family when his end was approaching, and filled his dying hours with grief and trouble. This list is much later in date than that previously given, though most of the officers are the same. Cherethites. This is a correction of the Massorites to make the passage agree with 2 Samuel 8:18. The K'tib has cari, a word which occurs in 2 Kings 11:4, 19, where in the Authorized Version it is translated "captains," but in the Revised Version Carites, which here appears only in the margin. But there is no reason why the place of the Cherethites should not have been taken by Carian mercenaries later on in David's reign, though really we know too little about such matters to be able to form a judgment. Some commentators translate cari "digger," and suppose that it means executioner; but why a digger should have such a meaning is inexplicable. It may be interesting to add that the Caftans were famous in old times as mercenaries. During the reign of Manasseh, Psammetichus won the throne of all Egypt by the aid of Caftans, and from that period they took a leading part in all Egyptian wars. The age of David is much more antique, but as there was constant communication between Phoenicia and Asia Minor and Greece, there is nothing improbable in David taking Caftans into his service in place of the Philistine Cherethites. His connection with them would soon cease after he left Ziklag. 2 Samuel 20:23David's Ministers of State. - The second section of the history of David's reign closes, like the first (2 Samuel 8:16.), with a list of the leading ministers of state. The author evidently found the two lists in his sources, and included them both in his work, for the simple reason that they belonged to different periods, as the difference in the names of some of the officers clearly shows, and that they supplemented on another. The list before us belongs to a later period of David's reign than the one in 2 Samuel 8:16-18. In addition to the office-bearers mentioned in 2 Samuel 8, we find here Adoram over the tribute, and Ira the Kairite a confidential counsellor (cohen: see at 2 Samuel 8:18), in the place of the sons of David noticed in 2 Samuel 8:18. The others are the same in both lists. The Chethib הכרי is to be read הכּרי (cf. 2 Kings 11:4, 2 Kings 11:19), from כוּר, perfodit, and is synonymous with הכּרתי (see at 2 Samuel 8:18). Adoram is the same person as Adoniram, who is mentioned in 1 Kings 4:6 and 1 Kings 5:14 as overseer over the tributary service in the time of Solomon; as we may see from the fact, that the latter is also called Adoram in 1 Kings 12:18, and Hadoram in 2 Chronicles 10:18. Hadoram is apparently only a contracted form of the name, and not merely a copyist's mistake for Adoniram. But when we find that, according to the passage cited, the same man filled this office under three kings, we must bear in mind that he did not enter upon it till the close of David's reign, as he is not mentioned in 2 Samuel 8:16., and that his name only occurs in connection with Rehoboam's ascent of the throne; so that there is no ground for assuming that he filled the office for any length of time under that monarch. המּס does not mean vectigal, i.e., tribute or tributary service, but tributary labourers. The derivation of the word is uncertain, and has been disputed. The appointment of a special prefect over the tributary labourers can hardly have taken place before the closing years of David's reign, when the king organized the internal administration of the kingdom more firmly than before. On the tributary labourers, see at 1 Kings 5:13. Ira the Jairite is never mentioned again. There is no ground for altering Jairi (the Jairite) into Jithri (the Jithrite), as Thenius proposes, since the rendering given in the Syriac ("from Jathir") is merely an inference from 2 Samuel 23:38; and the assumption upon which this conclusion is founded, viz., that Ira, the hero mentioned in 2 Samuel 23:38, is the same person as Ira the royal cohen, is altogether unfounded.
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