2 Samuel 21:19
And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.
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(19) Jaare-oregim.—The parallel place, 1Chronicles 20:5, reads simply “Jair.” It is generally supposed that “oregim(= weavers) has accidentally crept into the text from the line below, and “Jai” and “Jaare” are the same with a slight transposition of the letters. Another name for the same person must have been “Dodo,” if this Elhanan, as seems altogether probable, is the same with “Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,” one of the thirty-seven heroes, in 2Samuel 23:24.

The brother of.—These words, not found in the Hebrew here, are taken from Chronicles, where also the name of the giant, “Lahmi,” is given. It is quite possible, however, that the word “Beth-lemite,” which is wanting in Chronicles, is a corruption of “Lahmi the brother of.” There is a curious Jewish tradition that this Elhanan was David himself, and this has been preserved in the paraphrase of the Chaldee, “and David the son of Jesse, the weaver of veils for the sanctuary, who was of Bethlehem, slew Goliath the Gittite.”

2 Samuel 21:19. Elhanan, a Beth-lehemite — Another of David’s worthy and valiant commanders. Slew the brother of Goliath — The relative word, brother, is not in the Hebrew text, but is properly supplied out of the parallel place. 1 Chronicles 20:5, where it is expressed. The staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam — For thickness; that is, like the large roller on which the cloth is fastened in weaving.

21:15-22 These events seem to have taken place towards the end of David's reign. David fainted, but he did not flee, and God sent help in the time of need. In spiritual conflicts, even strong saints sometimes wax faint; then Satan attacks them furiously; but those who stand their ground and resist him, shall be relieved and made more than conquerors. Death is a Christian's last enemy, and a son of Anak; but through Him that triumphed for us, believers shall be more than conquerors at last, even over that enemy.The Hebrew text is manifestly very corrupt. First, for "Jaare-oregim," 1 Chronicles 20:5 gives us the reading Jair. "Oregim" has evidently got in by a transcriber's error from the line below, where "oregim" is the Hebrew for "weavers." Again, the word the "Bethlehemite" is very doubtful. It is supported by 2 Samuel 23:24, but it is not found in the far purer text of 1 Chronicles 20:5, but instead of it we find the name of the Philistine slain by Elhanan, "Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite." It is probable, therefore, that either the words "the Bethlehemite," are a corruption of "Lahmi," or that the recurrence of "Lahmi," and the termination of "Beth-lehemite" has confused the transcriber, and led to the omission of one of the words in each text. 15-22. Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel—Although the Philistines had completely succumbed to the army of David, yet the appearance of any gigantic champions among them revived their courage and stirred them up to renewed inroads on the Hebrew territory. Four successive contests they provoked during the latter period of David's reign, in the first of which the king ran so imminent a risk of his life that he was no longer allowed to encounter the perils of the battlefield. Elhanan. The brother of Goliath the Gittite: the relative word brother is not in the Hebrew text, but is fitly supplied out of the parallel place, 1 Chronicles 20:5, where it is expressed. And such defects of relatives are not unusual in Scripture. Thus the word wife is understood, Matthew 1:6 John 19:25; and father or mother, Mark 15:40,47, compared with Mark 16:1 Luke 24:10; and son, Matthew 4:21 Mark 2:14 John 21:15; and brother, Luke 6:16, compared with Judges 1:1. And such ellipses do also frequently occur in profane authors. Although the place may be and is otherwise rendered, Elhanan, the son of Jaare-oregiro, slew Beth-halachmi, or Lahmi, (as he is called by way of abbreviation, 1 Chronicles 20:5, which is very frequent in the Hebrew tongue,) who was (which words are frequently understood in the Hebrew text) with (so eth is oft rendered, as hath been noted before) Goliath the Gittite, i.e. in his company, bred up with him to the war, and related to him as his brother. Or, he slew Beth-halachmi, a Goliath (or another Goliath) of Gath, or the Gittite. So the name of the giant was Beth-halachmi, who may be here called Goliath, not only for his near relation to him, being his brother, but for his exact resemblance of him in feature, or in stature and strength, or in courage and military skill; as John the Baptist was called Elias for the like reason. Peradventure also, after the death of the first and famous Goliath the Gittite, 1Sa 17, that name was either given to him by others, or taken by himself.

Like a weaver’s beam, in thickness. See 1 Samuel 17:7.

And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines,.... Another battle with them in the same place:

where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite; the word "brother" is rightly supplied from 1 Chronicles 20:5; where his name is said to be Lahmi, for not Goliath himself was slain, though some so interpret it, and take Elhanan to be David; so Jarchi, and with which agrees the Targum; but he was slain not at Gob, but in the valley of Elah, nor had David any such name as Elhanan; he was one of David's worthies, 2 Samuel 23:24; where he is called the son of Dodo, and in 1 Chronicles 20:5, the son of Jair; and Lahmi there may not be the name of Goliath's brother, but, as here, the country name of Elhanan; for the words (z) there may be rendered,"and Elhanan the son of Jair, the Lehemite (i.e. the Bethlehemite), slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite,''and so perfectly agrees, with this:

the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam; not of Goliath's brother, but of Goliath himself, 1 Samuel 17:7.

(z) Vid. Buxtorf. Anticritic. par. 2. c. 2. p. 421.

And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of {p} Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

(p) That is, Lahmi the brother of Goliath, whom David slew, 1Ch 20:5.

19. in Gob] The Sept. reads Rom (B) or Gob (A), and Chron. omits the name of the place altogether.

where Elhanan, &c.] Lit. and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, slew Goliath the Gittite. The words the brother of are conjecturally inserted in the E. V. from 1 Chron. They are not found here in the Hebrew text, or in any of the ancient versions. The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 20:5 reads and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite. Now (1) the reading Jair is certainly preferable to Jaare-oregim. Oregim, the word for weavers in the line below, was inserted by a careless scribe, and the Hebrew letters of Jair (יעיר) transposed so as to read Jaare (יערי). (2) The letters of the words Beth-lehemite, Goliath, which stand together in the Heb. text, so closely resemble those of Lahmi the brother of Goliath, that it is almost certain that one reading is an accidental corruption of the other. But which is the original it is not easy to decide. There is no difficulty in supposing that another giant, beside the one slain by David, bore the name of Goliath. Another Elhanan of Beth-lehem is mentioned in ch. 2 Samuel 23:24.

There is a curious Jewish tradition, preserved in the Targum and by Jerome (Quaest. Hebr. in libros Regum), identifying Elhanan with David. The Targum here paraphrases thus: “And David, the son of Jesse the weaver of veils for the sanctuary, who was of Beth-lehem, slew Goliath the Gittite.” But there is no evidence whatever in support of this idea.

the staff of whose spear, &c.] Cp. 1 Samuel 17:7; 1 Chronicles 11:23. The shaft of his spear, short, but extraordinarily stout and heavy, was popularly compared to the “beam” to which the web is fastened in a loom.

Verse 19. - Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Beth-lehemite, slew Goliath the Gittite. The words "the brother of" are inserted by the Authorized Version in order to bring this place into verbal agreement with 1 Chronicles 20:5, where we read that "Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite." The Jewish Targum had the same reading as that still found in the text, but regards Elhanan, "God is gracious," as another name for David, and, instead of Jair or Jaare, reads Jesse. Its translation is as follows: "And David the son of Jesse, the weaver of veils for the sanctuary, who was of Bethlehem, slew Goliath the Gittite." Possibly the Authorized Version is right in concluding that the present text is a corruption of that in 1 Chronicles 20:5. For, first, the repetition of oregim, "weavers," is suspicious, the Hebrew being, not "weaver's beam," but the plural "weavers' beam," menor oregim. Next, Jaare is a transposition of the letters of Jair (in the Hebrew) made probably in order that the compound Jaare-oregim may obey the rules of Hebrew grammar. More important is it to notice that Lahmi is part of the word "Bethlehemite" (Hebrew, Beth-hallahmi), and might thus easily suggest to the eye of a scribe the completion of so well known a word. We must add that among the thirty Gibborim is "Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem." Whoever slew Goliath's brother would certainly attain to high rank among the heroes, but if the name Jair is right, the Elhanan there spoken of is not the person who slew Lahmi. 2 Samuel 21:19(vid., 1 Chronicles 20:5). In another war with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan the son of Yaare-Orgim of Bethlehem smote Goliath of Gath, whose spear was like a weaver's beam. In the Chronicles, however, we find it stated that "Elhanan the son of Jair smote Lahmi the brother of Goliath of Gath, whose spear," etc. The words of our text are so similar to those of the Chronicles, if we only leave out the word ארגים, which probably crept in from the next line through oversight on the part of a copyist, that they presuppose the same original text, so that the difference can only have arisen from an error in copying. The majority of the expositors (e.g., Piscator, Clericus, Michaelis, Movers, and Thenius) regard the text of the Chronicles as the true and original one, and the text before us as simply corrupt. But Bertheau and Bttcher maintain the opposite opinion, because it is impossible to see how the reading in 2 Samuel. uld grow out of that in the Chronicles; whereas the reading in the Chronicles might have arisen through conscious alteration originating in the offence taken by some reader, who recalled the account of the conflict between David and Goliath, at the statement that Elhanan smote a giant named Goliath, and who therefore altered את הלחמי בית into אחי לחמי את. But apart from the question whether there were two Goliaths, one of whom was slain by David and the other by Elhanan, the fact that the conjecture of Bertheau and Bttcher presupposes a deliberate alteration of the text, or rather, to speak more correctly, an intentional falsification of the historical account, is quite sufficient to overthrow it, as not a single example of anything of the kind can be adduced from the whole of the Chronicles. On the other hand, the recollection of David's celebrated officer Elhanan of Bethlehem (2 Samuel 23:24; 1 Chronicles 11:26) might easily lead to an identification of the Elhanan mentioned here with that officer, and so occasion the alteration of לחמי את into הלחמי בית. This alteration was then followed by that of גלית אחי into גליה את, and all the more easily from the fact that the description of Lahmi's spear corresponds word for word with that of Goliath's spear in 1 Samuel 17:7. Consequently we must regard the reading in the Chronicles as the correct one, and alter our text accordingly; since the assumption that there were two Goliaths is a very improbable one, and there is nothing at all strange in the reference to a brother of Goliath, who was also a powerful giant, and carried a spear like Goliath. Elhanan the son of Jairi is of course a different person from Elhanan the Bethlehemite, the son of Dodo (2 Samuel 23:24). The Chronicles have יעוּר, instead of Jairi (the reading according to the Chethib), and the former is probably the correct way of writing the name.
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