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. 1 Divine saying of David the son of Jesse,

Divine saying of the man, the highly exalted,

Of the anointed of the God of Jacob,

And of the lovely one in the songs of praise of Israel.

2 The Spirit of Jehovah speaks through me,

And His word is upon my tongue.

This introduction to the prophetic announcement rests, both as to form and substance, upon the last sayings of Balaam concerning the future history of Israel (Numbers 24:3, Numbers 24:15). This not only shows to what extent David had occupied himself with the utterances of the earlier men of God concerning Israel's future; but indicates, at the same time, that his own prophetic utterance was intended to be a further expansion of Balaam's prophecy concerning the Star out of Jacob and the Sceptre out of Israel. Like Balaam, he calls his prophecy a נאם, i.e., a divine saying or oracle, as a revelation which he had received directly from God (see at Numbers 24:3). But the recipient of this revelation was not, like Balaam the son of Beor, a man with closed eye, whose eyes had been opened by a vision of the Almighty, but "the man who was raised up on high" (על, adverbially "above," is, strictly speaking, a substantive, "height," used in an adverbial sense, as in Hosea 11:7, and probably also 2 Samuel 7:16), i.e., whom God had lifted up out of humiliation to be the ruler of His people, yea, even to be the head of the nations (2 Samuel 22:44). Luther's rendering, "who is assured of the Messiah of the God of Jacob," is based upon the Vulgate, "cui constitutum est de Christo Dei Jacob," and cannot be grammatically sustained. David was exalted on the one hand as "the anointed of the God of Jacob," i.e., as the one whom the God of Israel had anointed king over His people, and on the other hand as "the lovely one in Israel's songs of praise," i.e., the man whom God had enabled to sing lovely songs of praise in celebration of His grace and glory. זמיר equals זמרה does not mean a song generally, but a song of praise in honour of God (see at Exodus 15:2), like מזמור in the headings to the psalms. As David on the one hand had firmly established the kingdom of God in an earthly and political respect as the anointed of Jehovah, i.e., as king, so had he on the other, as the composer of Israel's songs of praise, promoted the spiritual edification of that kingdom. The idea of נאם is explained in 2 Samuel 23:2. The Spirit of Jehovah speaks through him; his words are the inspiration of God. The preterite דּבּר relates to the divine inspiration which preceded the utterance of the divine saying. בּ דּבּר, literally to speak into a person, as in Hosea 1:2. The saying itself commences with 2 Samuel 23:3.

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