2 Samuel 23:9
And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away:
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(9) Dodo the Ahohite.—So in the Hebrew margin here, and so also in 1Chronicles 11:12; the text here has Dodai, as in 1Chronicles 27:4, where he is mentioned as the general for the second month. The name is the same under slightly differing forms. “Ahohite” is a patronymic derived from Ahoah, son of Bela, Benjamin’s son (1Chronicles 8:4).

When they defied . . . there gathered.—The words “there gathered” require the mention of some place, and the construction of the word for “defied” is unusual. The parallel passage in Chronicles reads, “He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines,” &c. The difference between the two readings is not great in the original, and the latter is better. Pas-dammim is the Ephes-dammim of 1Samuel 17:1, where Goliath defied the armies of Israel, and was slain by David.

Were gone away—Rather, were gathered to battle. So it is translated in the LXX., Vulg., and Syriac, and so the Hebrew requires. The error is a curious one, and seems to have arisen in this way: In 1Chronicles 11:13 the mention of the battle in which Shammah was engaged (2Samuel 23:11) is altogether omitted, and the expression “the people fled from before the Philistines” therefore becomes connected with this battle. Josephus follows that text, and our translators were probably misled by him. Several lines have dropped out from the text in Chronicles.

2 Samuel 23:9-10. The men of Israel were gone away — Had fled from before the Philistines, as it is explained, 1 Chronicles 11:13, being dismayed at the sight of them. And his hand clave unto the sword — Being all besmeared with blood. The Lord wrought a great victory that day — Like that of Shamgar and of Samson; God inspiring him with wonderful courage, and striking a terror into the Philistines. The people returned after him only to spoil — They that had fled, rallied again when they saw the wonders he did; and followed after him, not to fight, but only to partake of the spoil.

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.Gone away - Rather, went up to battle (2 Samuel 5:19; 2 Kings 3:21, etc.) against them. These words and what follows as far as "troop" 2 Samuel 23:11 have fallen out of the text in Chronicles. The effect of this is to omit EIeazar's feat, as here described, to attribute to him Shammah's victory, to misplace the flight of the Israelites, and to omit Shammah altogether from the list of David's mighty men. 2Sa 23:8-39. A Catalogue of His Mighty Men.

8. These be the names of the mighty men whom David had—This verse should be translated thus: He who sits in the seat of the Tachmonite (that is, of Jashobeam the Hachmonite), who was chief among the captains, the same is Adino the Eznite; he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. The text is corrupt in this passage; the number eight hundred should be three hundred [Davidson, Hermeneutics]. Under Joab he was chief or president of the council of war. The first or highest order was composed of him and his two colleagues, Eleazar and Shammah. Eleazar seems to have been left to fight the Philistines alone; and on his achieving the victory, they returned to the spoil. In like manner Shammah was left to stand alone in his glory, when the Lord, by him, wrought a great victory. It is not very easy to determine whether the exploits that are afterwards described were performed by the first or the second three.

The Ahohite; of the children of Ahoah, 1 Chronicles 8:4.

One of the three, i. e. one of the first three, 2 Samuel 23:19.

Mighty men with David; who were with David at this time, or who usually attended upon David.

When they defied the Philistines; when he either in the name of all the Israelites, or with the countenance and help of some of them, challenged the Philistines to fight. Or, when some of, or among, the Philistines defied them, i. e. the Israelites, according to their manner, and the example of their great Goliath, 1 Samuel 17:25,36. Or, in Harpam (for some make it a proper name of a place) among the Philistines. Gone away, i. e. fled away, 1 Chronicles 11:13, being dismayed at the approach of their enemies. Heb. ascended, i. e. vanished away like smoke, which ascends, and so disappears, as that verb is oft used.

And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite,.... Or the son of Ahohi, perhaps the same with Ahoah, a descendant of Benjamin, 1 Chronicles 8:4; this Eleazar was the next to the Tachmonite, the second worthy of the first class:

one of the three mighty men with David; the second of the three valiant men that were with David in his wars, and fought with him, and for him:

when they defied the Philistines; clapped their hands at them, gloried over them, daring them to come and light them; so did David and his mighty men, as Goliath had defied them before:

that were there gathered together to battle; at Pasdammim, as appears from 1 Chronicles 11:13,

and the men of Israel were gone away; fled when they saw the Philistines gather together to fight them, notwithstanding they had defied them; and so David, and his three mighty men, were left alone to combat with the Philistines.

And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were {f} gone away:

(f) Meaning, fled from the battle.

9. Dodo] The Kthîbh may be read Dodai, as the name is given in 1 Chronicles 27:4, where we learn that Dodai, as next in rank to Jashobeam, was general of the second division of the army.

the Ahohite] A patronymic derived from Ahoah, the son of Benjamin’s eldest son Bela (1 Chronicles 8:4). Perhaps Dodo, like Jashobeam, was one of the Benjamites who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:1-2).

that were there gathered together] There implies the previous mention of the name of some place, and certain anomalies of construction also indicate that the text is defective. 1 Chronicles 11:13 reads: “Eleazar … one of the three mighty men. He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle.” Pas-dammim, or Ephesdammim, where David slew Goliath, was in the valley of Elah, between Shochoh and Azekah. The name, signifying “boundary of blood,” was probably due to its being the scene of frequent skirmishes with the Philistines. See 1 Samuel 17:1.

were gone away] Rather, went up to battle. The words “and the people fled from before the Philistines,” which appear to correspond to this in 1 Chronicles 11:13, really belong to Shammah’s exploit (2 Samuel 23:11). Several lines have been lost from the text there.

Verse 9. - Dodo. The Hebrew has Dodai, and "Dodo" is a mere correction of the Massorites to bring the name into verbal agreement with 1 Chronicles 11:12; but in 1 Chronicles 27:4 he is called Dodai, and we there find him in command of the second division of the army. For "Dodai," however, we ought to read there "Eleazar the son of Dodai." Ahohite; Hebrew, the son of an Ahohite, and probably a member of the family descended from Ahoah, a son of Benjamin (1 Chronicles 8:4). He would thus belong to the most warlike tribe of Israel, though not mentioned among the Benjamites who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chronicles 12:1-7). He joined him, apparently, at an earlier date. That were there gathered together. The word "there" implies the previous mention of some place, and though the text in the parallel passage in Chronicles is more corrupt than that before us, it has, nevertheless, preserved the name of the spot where the encounter took place. In Chronicles the name of Shammah is omitted, and his achievement is mixed up in a strange fashion with that of Eleazar. Here the two heroes have each his separate record, and it is only on minor matters that the text there is more correct. Restored from the readings in Chronicles, the narrative is as follows: "He was with David at Pas-dammim, and the Philistines were gathered there to battle, and the men of Israel were gone up: and he stood (that is, made a stand) and smote," etc. Pas-dammim is called Ephes-dammim in 1 Samuel 17:1. It was situated in the valley of Elah, and, as being upon the border, was the scene of numerous conflicts, whence its name, "the boundary of blood." It was there that David slew Goliath. Were gone away; Hebrew, went up; that is, to battle. The idea that the Israelites had fled is taken from the parallel place in Chronicles, where, however, it refers to Shammah's exploit. In vers. 9 and 11 there, the phrase, "the Philistines were gathered together," occurs twice, and the scribe, having accidentally omitted the intervening words, has confused together the exploits of Eleazar and Shammah. In this battle Eleazar withstood the Philistine onset, and smote them till his hand clave to his sword hilt. Many such instances of cramp are recorded, and Mr. Kirkpatrick, in his commentary, quotes one in which the muscles of a warrior's hand could be relaxed, after hard fighting, only by fomentations of hot water. 2 Samuel 23:9"After him (i.e., next to him in rank) was Eleazar the son of Dodai the Ahohite, among the three heroes with David when they defied the Philistines, who had assembled there, and the Israelites drew near." The Chethib דדי is to be read דּודי, Dodai, according to 1 Chronicles 27:4, and the form דּודו (Dodo) in the parallel text (1 Chronicles 11:12) is only a variation in the form of the name. Instead of בּן־אחחי (the son of Ahohi) we find העחחי (the Ahohite) in the Chronicles; but the בּן must not be struck out on that account as spurious, for "the son of an Ahohite" is the same as "the Ahohite." For גּבּרים בּשׁלשׁה we must read הגּבּרים בּשׁלשׁה, according to the Keri and the Chronicles. שׁלשׁה is not to be altered, since the numerals are sometimes attached to substantives in the absolute state (see Ges. 120, 1). "The three heroes" are Jashobeam, Eleazar, and Shammah (2 Samuel 23:11), who reached the first rank, according to 2 Samuel 23:19, among the heroes of David. Instead of בּפּלשׁתּים בּחרפם (when they defied the Philistines), we find in the Chronicles והפּלשׁתּים דּמּים בּפּס, "at Pas-dammim," i.e., most probably Ephes-dammim (1 Samuel 17:1), where the Philistines were encamped when Goliath defied the Israelites. Thenius, Bertheau, and Bttcher therefore propose to alter our text so as to make it correspond to that of the Chronicles, and adduce as the reason the fact that in other passages חרף is construed with the accusative, and that שׁם, which follows, presupposes the previous mention of the place referred to. But the reasons are neither of them decisive. חרף .evisiced is not construed with the accusative alone, but also with ל (2 Chronicles 32:17), so that the construction with ב is quite a possible one, and is not at variance with the idea of the word. שׁם again may also be understood as referring to the place, not named, where the Philistines fought with the Israelites. The omission of אשׁר before נעספוּ is more difficult to explain; and והפּלשׁתּים, which we find in the Chronicles, has probably dropped out after בּפּלשׁתּים. The reading in the Chronicles דּמּים בּפּס (בּאפס) is probably only a more exact description of the locality, which is but obscurely indicated in our text by בּפּלשׁתּים בּחרפם; for these words affirm that the battle took place where the Israelites had once been defied by the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:10), and where they repaid them for this defiance in a subsequent conflict. The Philistines are at any rate to be regarded as the subject to נעספוּ, and these words are a circumstantial clause: the Philistines had assembled together there to battle, and the Israelites had advanced to the attack. The heroic act of Eleazar is introduced with "he arose." He arose and smote the Philistines till his hand was weary and clave to his sword, i.e., was so cramped as to be stiffened to the sword. Through this Jehovah wrought a great salvation for Israel on that day, "and the people (the soldiers) turned after him only to plunder," sc., because he had put the enemy to flight by himself. אחריו שׁוּב does not mean to turn back from flight after him, but is the opposite of מאחרי שׁוּב, to turn away from a person (1 Samuel 15:11, etc.), so that it signifies "to turn to a person and follow behind him." Three lines have dropped out from the parallel text of the Chronicles, in consequence of the eye of a copyist having wandered from נעספוּ פלשׁתּים in 2 Samuel 23:9 to פלשׁתּים ויּעספוּ in 2 Samuel 23:11.
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