2 Samuel 8:16
And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;
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(16) Was recorder.—This was a different office from that of “the scribe” (filled by Seraiah), and appears from 2Kings 18:18-37; 2Chronicles 34:8, to have been one of considerable importance. (Comp. also Esther 6:1.) His duty is supposed to have been something like that of the modern “chancellor,” and he not only registered the king’s decrees, but was his adviser. The same person continued to fill the office in the early years of Solomon’s reign (1Kings 4:3).

2 Samuel 8:16. Jehoshaphat was recorder — That is, the remembrancer, or writer of chronicles, as is generally thought; “an employment,” says Dr. Delaney, “of no mean estimation in the eastern world, where it was customary with kings to keep daily registers of all the transactions of their reigns; and a trust which, whosoever discharged to purpose, must be let into the true springs and secrets of action; and, consequently, must be received into the utmost confidence.” Some, however, rather suppose, that by the recorder, the treasurer is intended, who examined all the accounts, and kept records of them.

8:15-18 David neither did wrong, nor denied or delayed right to any. This speaks his close application to business; also his readiness to admit all addresses and appeals made to him. He had no respect of persons in judgment. Herein he was a type of Christ. To Him let us submit, his friendship let us seek, his service let us count our pleasure, diligently attending to the work he assigns to each of us. David made his sons chief rulers; but all believers, Christ's spiritual seed, are better preferred, for they are made kings and priests to our God, Re 1:6.For a similar account of the officers of Solomon's kingdom, see 1 Kings 4:1-6, where Jehoshaphat is still the recorder, and Benaiah is advanced to be captain of the host in the room of Joab. The recorder seems to have been a high officer of state, a kind of chancellor, whose office was to keep a record of the events of the kingdom for the king's information, and hence, he would naturally be the king's adviser. See Esther 6:1-2; Isaiah 36:22; 2 Chronicles 34:8. Such an officer is found among the ancient Egyptians and Persians.

Ahimelech the son of Abiathar - According to 1 Samuel 22:9-23, Abiathar, Zadok's colleague, was the son of Ahimelech. Abiathar the son of Ahimelech continued to be priest through the reign of David. (Compare also 1 Kings 1:7, 1 Kings 1:42; 1 Kings 2:22-27.) It almost necessarily follows that there is some error in the text.

The scribe - Or secretary of state 2 Kings 12:10; 2 Kings 18:37, different from the military scribe (Judges 5:14 note).

16. Joab … was over the host—by virtue of a special promise (2Sa 5:8).

recorder—historiographer or daily annalist, an office of great trust and importance in Eastern countries.

Joab having doubtless declared his repentance for his former crimes, and having done eminent service for his country, and having received the chief command by virtue of David’s promise and contract, 2 Samuel 5:8, was still continued in his place.

Recorder; either, first, The writer of chronicles. But it is not likely he would have been put among the great officers of state and church. Or, secondly, The treasurer, who examined all the accounts, and kept records of them. Or, thirdly, The king’s counsellor, as Ahithophel is called, 2 Samuel 15:12 1 Chronicles 27:33, who was to bring things of moment to the king’s mind and remembrance, and to admonish him from time to time of things fit to be done. See 1 Kings 4:3 2 Kings 18:18.

And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host,.... Which was not only owing to his relation to David, being his sister's son, but to his promise that whoever smote the Jebusites first should be chief and captain; that is, should have the command of the army under him; this Joab did; and so was entitled to this office, and was put into it, and continued in it, 1 Chronicles 11:6,

and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; of memorable events, who kept a diary of whatsoever remarkable happened, which were digested into a chronicle, history, or annals; see Esther 6:1; so the Targum, he"was appointed over the memorials;''or book of memorials, as Kimchi interprets it; that is, to take care of it, and see that everything worthy of notice was inserted in it; or was "remembrancer" (g); one that put the king in mind what was to be done every day, or in certain cases, and so R. Isaiah explains it, the king's counsellor; some take him to be chancellor, as Luther and others (h).

(g) "commemorans", Montanus; "commemorator", Syr. Ar. "memorans, sive reducens in memoriam", Vatablus. (h) Vid. Beckium in Targ. 1 Chronicles 18.15.

And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;
16. recorder] Or, remembrancer, a state officer of high rank, who seems not only to have kept a record of events, but to have acted as the king’s adviser. His importance is indicated by 2 Kings 18:18; 2 Kings 18:37, where he appears as one of the king’s representatives, and 2 Chronicles 34:8, where he is mentioned as one of the commissioners for restoring the Temple. The traveller Chardin describes a similar officer of the Persian court, whose duty it is to furnish the king and his ministers with an account of all important events that take place in the kingdom, and to keep a record of them, and also to register the royal acts and decrees. Travels, III., p. 328.

Verse 16. - Joab... was over the host. Twice in this book we have lists of David's chief officers - here and at the end of ch. 20. The present lint belongs to the period of David's greatest prosperity, when all went well with him in peace and war, and when Jehovah had elevated him to the unique rank of Messianic king - a distinction which belonged to him personally, and was inherited by none of his successors. Between it and the second list there lies a tragic tale of sin and shame, of crime and merited punishment, of the realm rising in rebellion against the adulterous king, and of his own family breaking away from the bends of godly discipline, and giving way to licentiousness, to bloodshed, and to parricidal ambition. But probably David's character had then gained in spirituality and singleness of heart; whereas now prosperity must already have begun its work of sapping the foundations of his moral nature. Joab, who had been stripped of his command for the murder of Abner, had regained it by his bravery at the capture of Jerusalem. We have seen also that David entrusted to him the building of Jerusalem, and apparently he was prime minister in all matters except probably the king's judicial functions. Jehoshaphat... was recorder; literally, remembrancer. It was his office to reduce the king's decrees to writing, and also to see that they were carried into execution. Probably after they had been committed to writing, they were laid before the king for his approval, and, when confirmed by his hand or seal, were entered in the book of remembrance. 2 Samuel 8:16The chief ministers were the following: - Joab (see at 2 Samuel 2:18) was "over the army," i.e., commander-in-chief. Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, of whom nothing further is known, was mazcir, chancellor; not merely the national annalist, according to the Septuagint and Vulgate (ἐπὶ τῶν ὑπομνημάτην, ὑπομνηματόγραφος; a commentariis), i.e., the recorder of the most important incidents and affairs of the nation, but an officer resembling the magister memoriae of the later Romans, or the waka nuvis of the Persian court, who keeps a record of everything that takes place around the king, furnishes him with an account of all that occurs in the kingdom, places his vis upon all the king's commands, and keeps a special protocol of all these things (vid., Chardin, Voyages v. p. 258, and Paulsen, Regierung der Morgenlnder, pp. 279-80).
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