2 Samuel 23:21
And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) A goodly man.—The meaning is explained in the parallel place in Chronicles, where he is called “a man of stature,” and it is added “five cubits high.” Benaiah’s exploit, therefore, consisted in coming, armed only with a staff, to this giant Egyptian, wresting his spear from him, and then slaying him with it.

2 Samuel 21:21-22. An Egyptian, a goodly man — A person of great stature, 1 Chronicles 11:23. He plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand — This shows him to have been both fearless, and a person of great skill and dexterity in managing a combat, either with man or beast. And had the name among three mighty men — That is, among the three in the second rank, for it is said in the following verse that he did not attain or come up to the first three. Who the third was of this second rank of mighty men is not mentioned.23:8-39 David once earnestly longed for the water at the well of Bethlehem. It seems to be an instance of weakness. He was thirsty; with the water of that well he had often refreshed himself when a youth, and it was without due thought that he desired it. Were his valiant men so forward to expose themselves, upon the least hint of their prince's mind, and so eager to please him, and shall not we long to approve ourselves to our Lord Jesus, by ready compliance with his will, as shown us by his word, Spirit, and providence? But David poured out the water as a drink-offering to the Lord. Thus he would cross his own foolish fancy, and punish himself for indulging it, and show that he had sober thoughts to correct his rash ones, and knew how to deny himself. Did David look upon that water as very precious which was got at the hazard of these men's blood, and shall not we much more value those benefits for purchasing which our blessed Saviour shed his blood? Let all beware of neglecting so great salvation.Benaiah the son of Jehoiada - He commanded the Cherethites and Pelethites all through David's reign 2 Samuel 8:18; 2 Samuel 20:23, and took a prominent part in supporting Solomon against Adonijah when David was dying, and was rewarded by being made captain of the host in the room of Joab 1 Kings 1:8, 1 Kings 1:26, 1 Kings 1:32-40; 1 Kings 2:25-35; 1 Kings 4:4. It is possible that Jehoiada his father is the same as Jehoiada 1 Chronicles 12:27, leader of the Aaronites, since "Benaiah the son of Jehoiada" is called a "chief priest" 1 Chronicles 27:5.

Two lion-like men - The Hebrew word אריאל 'ărı̂y'êl, means literally "lion of God," and is interpreted to mean "an eminent hero." Instances occur among Arabs and Persians of the surname "lion of God" being given to great warriors. Hence, it is supposed that the same custom prevailed among the Moabites. But the Vulgate has "two lions of Moab," which seems to be borne out by the next sentence.

Slew a lion ... - Rather, THE lion, one of those described above as "a lion of God," if the Vulgate Version is right. Apparently in a severe winter a lion had come up from its usual haunts to some village in search of food, and taken possession of the tank or cistern to the terror of the inhabitants, and Benaiah attacked it boldly and killed it.

19-39. the first three—The mighty men or champions in David's military staff were divided into three classes—the highest, Jashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah; the second class, Abishai, Benaiah, and Asahel; and the third class, the thirty, of which Asahel was the chief. There are thirty-one mentioned in the list, including Asahel; and these added to the two superior orders make thirty-seven. Two of them, we know, were already dead; namely, Asahel [2Sa 3:30] and Uriah [2Sa 11:17]; and if the dead, at the drawing up of the list, amounted to seven, then we might suppose a legion of honor, consisting of the definite number thirty, where the vacancies, when they occurred, were replaced by fresh appointments. A goodly man; for stature, as it is expressed, 1 Chronicles 11:23.

With a staff; without a sword, or any warlike weapon. And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man,.... A person of good countenance and shape, very large and tall; in 1 Chronicles 11:28, he is said to be a man of great stature, and five cubits high, and so wanted a cubit and a span of the height of Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:4,

and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; as large as Goliath's; for in 1 Chronicles 11:23, it is said to be like a weaver's beam, as Goliath's was; see Gill on 1 Samuel 17:7,

and he went down to him with a staff; with a walking staff only, having no other weapon:

and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand; and therefore must be a man very nimble and dexterous, as well as bold and courageous:

and slew him with his own spear; as David cut off Goliath's head with his own sword. This is supposed (l) to be Shimei, the son of Gera, 1 Kings 2:46.

(l) Hieron. Trad. Heb. ut supra. (in. 2 Reg. fol. 80. C.)

And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a {l} spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.

(l) Which was as big as a weavers beam, 1Ch 11:23.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. a goodly man] Lit. a man of appearance, a notable man; which is explained in 1 Chronicles 11:23 to mean “a man of great stature,” with the addition, “five cubits high.”

a spear] The Sept. adds, like the beam of a bridge (or, of a ladder): Chron. like a weaver’s beam, as in ch. 2 Samuel 21:19.

with a staff] Cp. (though the word is different) 1 Samuel 17:40; 1 Samuel 17:43.Verse 21. - A goodly man. The Hebrew text has "who a sight," for which the Massorites read, "a man of sight," that is, handsome, and worth looking at. In 1 Chronicles 11:23 we find what, no doubt, is the right reading, "a man of measure [equivalent to 'a tall man'], five cubits high." The height of Goliath was six cubits and a span (1 Samuel 17:4). To this deed there is appended a similar heroic feat performed by three of the thirty heroes whose names are not given. The Chethib שׁלשׁים is evidently a slip of the pen for שׁלשׁה (Keri and Chronicles). The thirty chiefs are the heroes named afterwards. As שׁלשׁה has no article either in our text or the Chronicles, the three intended are not the three already mentioned (Jashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah), but three others out of the number mentioned in 2 Samuel 23:24. These three came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam (see at 1 Samuel 22:1), when a troop of the Philistines was encamped in the valley of Rephaim, and David was on the mountain fortress, and a Philistian post was then in Bethlehem. And David longed for water, and said, "Oh that one would bring me water to drink out of the well of Bethlehem at the gate!" The encampment of the Philistines in the valley of Rephaim, and the position of David on the mountain fortress (בּמּצוּדה), render it probable that the feat mentioned here took place in the war with the Philistines described in 2 Samuel 5:17. Robinson could not discover any well in Bethlehem, "especially none 'by the gate,' except one connected with the aqueduct on the south" (Palestine, vol. ii. p. 158). בּשּׁער need not be understood, however, as signifying that the well was in or under the gate; but the well referred to may have been at the gate outside the city. The well to which tradition has given the name of "David's well" (cisterna David), is about a quarter of an hour's walk to the north-east of Bethlehem, and, according to Robinson's description, is "merely a deep and wide cistern or cavern now dry, with three or four narrow openings cut in the rock." But Ritter (Erdk. xvi. p. 286) describes it as "deep with clear cool water, into which there are three openings from above, which Tobler speaks of as bored;" and again as a cistern "built with peculiar beauty, from seventeen to twenty-one feet deep, whilst a house close by is pointed out to pilgrims as Jesse's house."
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