2 Samuel 23:37
Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armourbearer to Joab the son of Zeruiah,
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(37) The Ammonite.—A foreigner, like “Igal of Zobah” (a Syrian), and “Ittai the Gittite,” and “Uriah the Hittite,” who rose to distinction in David’s service, and all of whom were probably proselytes.

Armourbearer.—It appears from 2Samuel 18:15 that Joab had ten armourbearers. This one was probably their chief.

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.It is remarkable that we have several foreigners at this part of the list: Igal of Zobah, Zelek the Ammonite, Uriah the Hittite, and perhaps Nahari the Beerothite. The addition of Zelek to the mighty men was probably the fruit of David's war with Ammon 2 Samuel 8:12; 10; 2 Samuel 12:26-31. 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. No text from Poole on this verse.

Zelek the Ammonite,.... Who was so either by birth, and became a proselyte; so the Targum says, he was of the children of Ammon; or is so called, because he had sojourned some time in their land, or had done some exploits against them; unless he was of Chepharhaammonai, a city of the tribe of Benjamin, Joshua 18:24,

Naharai the Beerothite; native of Beeroth, a city in the same tribe, Joshua 18:25,

armourbearer to Joab the son of Zeruiah; Joab had ten of them, this perhaps was the chief of them, 2 Samuel 18:15; who was advanced to be a captain, and therefore has a name and place among the thirty, very likely for some military, exploits performed by him; he is in the list of David's worthies, though not Joab his master, as before observed; the reason of Joab being left out is either because he was over them all, as before noted; according to Josephus (t), Uriah the Hittite, after mentioned, was an armourbearer to Joab.

(t) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 7. sect. 1.

Zelek the Ammonite, Nahari the Beerothite, armourbearer to Joab the son of Zeruiah,
37. Zelek the Ammonite] Like Igal the Syrian, and Ittai the Philistine, a foreigner who rose to distinction in David’s service.

Naharai the Beerothite] Of Beeroth (see note on ch. 2 Samuel 4:2), and therefore perhaps a Gibeonite by race.

armourbearer] The Kthîbh has the plural armourbearers, but the singular is supported by the Sept. and Chron., and is probably the correct reading. Joab had ten armourbearers or attendant squires (ch. 2 Samuel 18:15).

Verse 37. - Zelek the Ammonite. The presence of an Ammonite among the thirty reminds us of the fidelity of Shobi, the son of Nahash the Ammonite king, to David (see 2 Samuel 17:27). Armourbearer. The written text has the plural, "armourbearers," for which the K'ri has substituted the singular. The plural is probably right, and if so, both Joab's chief armourbearers, or squires, were foreigners, Zelek being an Ammonite, and Nahari a Gibeonite (see note on 2 Samuel 4:2). In actual warfare we find Joab attended by ten esquires (2 Samuel 18:15). 2 Samuel 23:37Zelek the Ammonite, Nacharai the Beerothite (of Beeroth: see at 2 Samuel 4:2), the armour-bearer of Joab. Instead of נשׂאי, the Keri and the Chronicles have נשׂא: the latter reading is favoured by the circumstance, that if more than one of the persons named had been Joab's armour-bearers, their names would most probably have been linked together by a copulative vav.
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