2 Samuel 3:3
And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
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3:1-6 The length of this war tried the faith and patience of David, and made his settlement at last the more welcome. The contest between grace and corruption in the hearts of believers, may fitly be compared to this warfare. There is a long war between them, the flesh lusting against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; but as the work of holiness is carried on, corruption, like the house of Saul, grows weaker and weaker; while grace, like the house of David, grows stronger and stronger.Chileab - In the duplicate passage (see the margin.) David's second son is called Daniel (God is my judge), a name given to him in commemoration of the death of Nabal 1 Samuel 25:39. Chileab seems to be made up of the three first letters of the following Hebrew word, through an error of the transcriber, and intended to be erased.

Talmai king of Geshur - Talmai was the name of one of the sons of Anak at Hebron Numbers 13:22; this Talmai was perhaps of the same race.

Geshur - Where he reigned was in Bashan, and we know from Deuteronomy 3:11, that Og, king of Bashan, was of the "remnant of the giants." See 1 Samuel 27:8 note.

3. Chileab—("his father's picture")—called also Daniel (1Ch 3:1).

Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur—a region in Syria, north of Israel. This marriage seems to have been a political match, made by David, with a view to strengthen himself against Ish-bosheth's party, by the aid of a powerful friend and ally in the north. Piety was made to yield to policy, and the bitter fruits of this alliance with a heathen prince he reaped in the life of the turbulent Absalom.

Chileab, called also Daniel, 1 Chronicles 3:1.

Geshur; a part of Syria, northward from the land of Israel, Deu 3:14 Joshua 12:5. See 2 Samuel 13:37 14:23 15:8. Her he married, as it may seem, in policy, that he might have a powerful friend and ally to assist him against Ish-bosheth’s party in the north, whilst himself opposed him in the southern parts. But he paid dear for making piety give place to policy herein, as the history of Absalom showeth. There were other Geshurites southward from Canaan, whom David invaded, 1 Samuel 27:8, and it is not impossible but they were a colony of those in the north.

And the second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite,.... That is: who had been the wife of Nabal. This son's name is called Daniel, 1 Chronicles 3:1; and was the first name he had, and which his father gave him, because as if he should say, "God hath judged me", and pleaded the cause of his reproach from Nabal, 1 Samuel 25:39; but why he should be called Chileab is not easy to say; the name is commonly thought to signify "like unto his father", or "all father": had all the features of his father, and was exceedingly like him; the Jews have a fabulous story concerning this (w), not worth relating:

and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; in 1 Samuel 27:8 we read of David's invading the land of the Geshurites; and the Jews say (x) that he then took the daughter of this king captive, and she being a beautiful woman married her, after made a proselyte according to the law in Deuteronomy 21:10; but it should be observed that David slew all the women of that country, and left not any alive; and besides that lay to the south of Judah, whereas this Geshur, of which Talmai was king, was a part of Syria, 2 Samuel 15:8; and lay to the north of the land of Israel; and with this king David hereby entered into an alliance, to strengthen his interest against Ishbosheth in those parts; of the trouble he met with from Absalom, see 2 Samuel 13:1, &c. contrary to the expectations he had raised when he gave him the name of Absalom, or Leabsalom, as in 1 Chronicles 3:2; that is, one given "for his father's peace".

(w) Jarchi, Kimchi, & Abarbinel in loc. (x) Tanchuma apud Abarbinel in loc.

And his second, {b} Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;

(b) Who is also called Daniel, 1Ch 3:1.

3. Chileab] Called in Chron. Daniel, the meaning of which name, “God is my judge,” suggests that it may have been given him to commemorate God’s judgment upon Nabal (1 Samuel 25:39; cp. Genesis 30:6). Some suppose that he bore both names, but the Sept. reading here Daluiah (Δαλουΐα), and the identity of the last three letters of Chileab in the Hebrew with the first three of the following word, make it extremely probable that the text of Samuel is corrupt.

Absalom] Whose name, “Father of Peace,” was belied by his conduct, the gloomy history of which occupies chaps. 13–18 of this book.

Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur] This marriage with a foreign princess, which was contrary to the spirit of the law (Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3; Joshua 23:12), and bore such bitter fruit, may have been prompted by political reasons, especially the desirability of securing an ally in the neighbourhood of Ish-bosheth’s capital. Talmai’s kingdom was a part of Aram or Syria (ch. 2 Samuel 15:8), adjoining the province of Argob in the north-east of Bashan (Deuteronomy 3:14): probably in the wild and rocky region now called El-Lejah. As Talmai was the name of one of the giant “sons of Anak” who were expelled from Hebron by Caleb (Joshua 15:14), and as Geshur was close to the kingdom of Og, who was of the remnant of the giants, it is tempting to conjecture that there may have been some connexion between the families, which would account for David’s marrying the daughter of the king of Geshur while resident at Hebron.

Verses 3-5. - Chileab. The Midrash explains Chileab as meaning "Quite like the father." He is called Daniel in the parallel genealogy in 1 Chronicles 3:1, and this was probably his real name, and Chileab a name of affection. He must have died young, for Adonijah appears as David's eldest son after the death of Amnon and Absalom; and it is thus natural that he should still be known by the name he bore as a child. Geshur. The word signifies "Bridgeland," and is the name of two districts, one of which formed the northern part of the tribe of Manasseh, and extended on both sides of the Jordan, from the little Hermon to the sea of Gennesareth (Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 12:5; Joshua 13:13). The other was in Syria (2 Samuel 15:8), and probably was situated upon some river, though its exact position is not yet known. Talmai, its king, now gave his daughter to be one of David's wives, and though he was probably only a petty prince, still it is a proof of David's growing power that a potentate living at so great a distance was willing to make an alliance with him. Of the other wives and their sons nothing is known except of Adonijah, who inherited, on the death of Absalom, the dangerous position of firstborn; and who, after trying to make his rights good, was put to death by Solomon (1 Kings 2:25). As Eglah is especially called David's wife, the Jewish interpreters hold that she was the highest in rank in his household, and therefore identical with Michal, who was restored to David while at Hebron. But she was childless; and more probably the words are to be taken as simply closing the narrative, and as belonging, therefore, equally to each of the six. 2 Samuel 3:3Growth of the House of David. - Proof of the advance of the house of David is furnished by the multiplication of his family at Hebron. The account of the sons who were born to David at Hebron does not break the thread, as Clericus, Thenius, and others suppose, but is very appropriately introduced here, as a practical proof of the strengthening of the house of David, in harmony with the custom of beginning the history of the reign of every king with certain notices concerning his family (vid., 2 Samuel 5:13.; 1 Kings 3:1; 1 Kings 14:21; 1 Kings 15:2, 1 Kings 15:9, etc.). We have a similar list of the sons of David in 1 Chronicles 3:1-4. The first two sons were born to him from the two wives whom he had brought with him to Hebron (1 Samuel 25:42-43). The Chethibh וילדו is probably only a copyist's error for ויּוּלדוּ, which is the reading in many Codices. From Ahinoam - the first-born, Amnon (called Aminon in 2 Samuel 13:20); from Abigail - the second, Chileab. The latter is also called Daniel in 1 Chronicles 3:1, and therefore had probably two names. The lamed before Ahinoam and the following names serves as a periphrasis for the genitive, like the German von, in consequence of the word son being omitted (vid., Ewald, 292, a.). The other four were by wives whom he had married in Hebron: Absalom by Maachah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur, a small kingdom in the north-east of Bashan (see at Deuteronomy 3:14); Adonijah by Haggith; Shephatiah by Abital; and Ithream by Eglah. The origin of the last three wives is unknown. The clause appended to Eglah's name, viz., "David's wife," merely serves as a fitting conclusion to the whole list (Bertheau on 1 Chronicles 3:3), and is not added to show that Eglah was David's principal wife, which would necessitate the conclusion drawn by the Rabbins, that Michal was the wife intended.
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