2 Samuel 8:10
Then Toi sent Joram his son to king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass:
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(10) Joram=Hadoram, 1Chronicles 18:10. Joram is probably the Jewish form of the same name. An embassy headed by the king’s son was an especially honourable one. The occasion was David’s conquest of Toi’s neighbour and constant enemy, and the large presents sent by him have something of the character of tribute. The phrase “to bless him,” is simply equivalent to “congratulate him,” by which the same word is translated in 1Chronicles 18:10.

8:9-14 All the precious things David was master of, were dedicated things; they were designed for building the temple. The idols of gold David destroyed, 2Sa 5:21, but the vessels of gold he dedicated. Thus, in the conquest of a soul by the grace of the Son of David, what stands in opposition to God must be destroyed, every lust must be mortified and crucified, but what may glorify him must be dedicated; thus the property of it is altered. God employs his servants in various ways; some, as David, in spiritual battles; others, as Solomon, in spiritual buildings; and one prepares work for the other, that God may have the glory of all.Joram - Or, more probably, Hadoram. See the margin. 10. Joram—or Hadoram (1Ch 18:10). Toi sent Joram: here also the names differ from 1 Chronicles 18:9,10, where it is Tou and Hadoram.

Had wars, Heb. was a man of wars, i.e. was exercised with continual wars. Compare Genesis 9:20, &c. Then Toi sent Joram his son unto King David,.... Who is called Hadoram in 1 Chronicles 18:10; though the Syriac and Arabic versions read Joram there:

to salute him: to inquire of his welfare after his fatigue in the battles he had had with the Moabites and Syrians, and to wish him all happiness and prosperity for the future:

and to bless him; to congratulate him on his victory, and to wish him success in all after wars he might be engaged in; and particularly to give him thanks for delivering him from so great an enemy as Hadadezer had been to him, as also to bring a present to him, which is sometimes called a blessing; see Genesis 33:11,

because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him; that is, David had, which had endeared him to Toi:

for Hadadezer had wars with Toi; was an enemy of his, sought to take his kingdom from him, and had had many battles with him: and though he could not conquer him, he sadly harassed him, being too mighty for him:

and Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold,

and vessels of brass; as a present to David, in gratitude for his deliverance from his enemy by him, and as a token of his homage and subjection to him; at least as a sign that he put himself under his protection, and desired to be his friend and ally. The word "Joram", though not in the Hebrew text, is rightly supplied; for none else can be supposed to bring the present.

Then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to {f} bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass:

(f) For seeing David victorious, he was glad to ask for peace.

10. Joram] Hadoram, the name given in Chr., is probably the true reading, for which the Hebrew name Joram has been substituted by a scribe’s error.

to bless him] To congratulate him, as in Chr. The phrase there translated “to inquire of his welfare” is identical with that rendered “to salute” here.

Hadadezer had wars with Toi] Lit. “a man of wars of Toi was Hadadezer.” A man of wars = one who wages wars. Cp. 1 Chronicles 28:3.

Joram brought, &c.] A valuable present, intended to secure the goodwill of his powerful neighbour. Cp. 1 Kings 15:18.Verse 10. - Joram. In 1 Chronicles 18:10 he is called Hadoram, and this was apparently his real name, Joram being merely the substitution of the nearest Hebrew word for something foreign and therefore unintelligible. So among the descendants of the French refugees settled in England similar changes are common. Thus Pillons becomes Pillow; Chevallier, Shoveller; St. Amour, Stammers. As Hamath bordered upon Zobah, and apparently had waged unsuccessful war with the vigorous Hadarezer, Tel was grateful to David for smiting his rival, and sent this embassy of congratulation for the purpose of ensuring the conqueror's friendship. For this end he also sent rich presents; and as a present is called in the Hebrew a blessing (1 Samuel 25:27; 1 Samuel 30:26, margin), the phrase used here, to bless him, contains the idea, not only of congratulation, but of offerings. There is something admirable in this high Oriental courtesy. The material value of the gifts is left in the background. Their worth lies in their being the acknowledgment of the Divine favour resting upon David, and in the prayer that that favour may continue. In Psalm 18:43, 44 we have proof of the great pleasure which this embassy from so great a nation gave to David. Conquest and Subjugation of the King of Zobah, and of the Damascene Syrians. - 2 Samuel 8:3. The situation of Zobah cannot be determined. The view held by the Syrian church historians, and defended by Michaelis, viz., that Zobah was the ancient Nisibis in northern Mesopotamia, has no more foundation to rest upon than that of certain Jewish writers who suppose it to have been Aleppo, the present Haleb. Aleppo is too far north for Zobah, and Nisibis is quite out of the range of the towns and tribes in connection with which the name of Zobah occurs. In 1 Samuel 14:47, compared with 2 Samuel 8:12 of this chapter, Zobah, or Aram Zobah as it is called in 2 Samuel 10:6 and Psalm 60:2, is mentioned along with Ammon, Moab, and Edom, as a neighbouring tribe and kingdom to the Israelites; and, according to 2 Samuel 8:3, 2 Samuel 8:5, and 2 Samuel 8:9 of the present chapter, it is to be sought for in the vicinity of Damascus and Hamath towards the Euphrates. These data point to a situation to the north-east of Damascus and south of Hamath, between the Orontes and Euphrates, and in fact extending as far as the latter according to 2 Samuel 8:3, whilst, according to 2 Samuel 10:16, it even reached beyond it with its vassal-chiefs into Mesopotamia itself. Ewald (Gesch. iii. p. 195) has therefore combined Zobah, which was no doubt the capital, and gave its name to the kingdom, with the Sabe mentioned in Ptol. v. 19, - a town in the same latitude as Damascus, and farther east towards the Euphrates. The king of Zobah at the time referred to is called Hadadezer in the text (i.e., whose help is Hadad); but in 2 Samuel 10:16-19 and throughout the Chronicles he is called Hadarezer. The first is the original form; for Hadad, the name of the sun-god of the Syrians, is met with in several other instances in Syrian names (vid., Movers, Phnizier). David smote this king "as he was going to restore his strength at the river (Euphrates)." ידו השׁיב does not mean to turn his hand, but signifies to return his hand, to stretch it out again over or against any one, in all the passage in which the expression occurs. It is therefore to be taken in a derivative sense in the passage before us, and signifying to restore or re-establish his sway. The expression used in the Chronicles (2 Samuel 8:3), ידו הצּיב, has just the same meaning, since establishing or making fast presupposes a previous weakening or dissolution. Hence the subject of the sentence "as he went," etc., must be Hadadezer and not David; for David could not have extended his power to the Euphrates before the defeat of Hadadezer. The Masoretes have interpolated P'rath (Euphrates) after "the river," as in the text of the Chronicles. This is correct enough so far as the sense is concerned, but it is by no means necessary, as the nahar (the river κ. ἐξ.) is quite sufficient of itself to indicate the Euphrates.

There is also a war between David and Hadadezer and other kings of Syria mentioned in 2 Samuel 10; and the commentators all admit that that war, in which David defeated these kings when they came to the help of the Ammonites, is connected with the war mentioned in the present chapter. But the connection is generally supposed to be this, that the first of David's Aramaean wars is given in 2 Samuel 8, the second in 2 Samuel 10; for no other reason, however, than because 2 Samuel 10 stands after 2 Samuel 8. This view is decidedly an erroneous one. According to the chapter before us, the war mentioned there terminated in the complete subjugation of the Aramaean kings and kingdoms. Aram became subject to David, paying tribute (2 Samuel 8:6). Now, though the revolt of subjugated nations from their conquerors is by no means a rare thing in history, and therefore it is perfectly conceivable in itself that the Aramaeans should have fallen away from David when he was involved in the war with the Ammonites, and should have gone to the help of the Ammonites, such an assumption is precluded by the fact that there is nothing in 2 Samuel 10 about any falling away or revolt of the Aramaeans from David; but, on the contrary, these tribes appear to be still entirely independent of David, and to be hired by the Ammonites to fight against him. But what is absolutely decisive against this assumption, is the fact that the number of Aramaeans killed in the two wars is precisely the same (compare 2 Samuel 8:4 with 2 Samuel 10:18): so that it may safely be inferred, not only that the war mentioned in 2 Samuel 10, in which the Aramaeans who had come to the help of the Ammonites were smitten by David, was the very same as the Aramaean war mentioned in 2 Samuel 8, but of which the result only is given; but also that all the wars which David waged with the Aramaeans, like his war with Edom (2 Samuel 8:13.), arose out of the Ammonitish war (2 Samuel 10), and the fact that the Ammonites enlisted the help of the kings of Aram against David (2 Samuel 10:6). We also obtain from 2 Samuel 10 an explanation of the expression "as he went to restore his power (Eng. Ver. 'recover his border') at the river," since it is stated there that Hadadezer was defeated by Joab the first time, and that, after sustaining this defeat, he called the Aramaeans on the other side of the Euphrates to his assistance, that he might continue the war against Israel with renewed vigour (2 Samuel 10:13, 2 Samuel 10:15.). The power of Hadadezer had no doubt been crippled by his first defeat; and in order to restore it, he procured auxiliary troops from Mesopotamia with which to attack David, but he was defeated a second time, and obliged to submit to him (2 Samuel 10:17-18). In this second engagement "David took from him (i.e., captured) seventeen hundred horse-soldiers and twenty thousand foot" (2 Samuel 8:4, compare 2 Samuel 10:18). This decisive battle took place, according to 1 Chronicles 18:3, in the neighbourhood of Hamath, i.e., Epiphania on the Orontes (see at Numbers 13:21, and Genesis 10:18), or, according to 2 Samuel 10:18 of this book, at Helam, - a difference which may easily be reconciled by the simple assumption that the unknown Helam was somewhere near to Hamath. Instead of 1700 horse-soldiers, we find in the Chronicles (1 Chronicles 18:4) 1000 chariots and 7000 horsemen. Consequently the word receb has no doubt dropped out after אלף in the text before us, and the numeral denoting a thousand has been confounded with the one used to denote a hundred; for in the plains of Syria seven thousand horsemen would be a much juster proportion to twenty thousand foot than seventeen hundred. (For further remarks, see at 2 Samuel 10:18.) "And David lamed all the cavalry," i.e., he made the war-chariots and cavalry perfectly useless by laming the horses (see at Joshua 11:6, Joshua 11:9), - "and only left a hundred horses." The word receb in these clauses signifies the war-horses generally, - not merely the carriage-horses, but the riding-horses as well, - as the meaning cavalry is placed beyond all doubt by Isaiah 21:7, and it can hardly be imagined that David would have spared the riding-horses.

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