2 Samuel 8:6
Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David wherever he went.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Garrisons.—The primary meaning of this word in the original is something placed, and then placed over. Hence it comes to have the different derived meanings of officer in 1Kings 4:5; 1Kings 4:19; 2Chronicles 8:10, and garrison (1Samuel 10:5; 1Samuel 13:3), which is probably its meaning here.

8:1-8. David subdued the Philistines. They had long been troublesome to Israel. And after the long and frequent struggles the saints have with the powers of darkness, like Israel with the Philistines, the Son of David shall tread them all under foot, and make the saints more than conquerors. He smote the Moabites, and made them tributaries to Israel. Two parts he destroyed, the third part he spared. The line that was to keep alive, though it was but one, is ordered to be a full line. Let the line of mercy be stretched to the utmost. He smote the Syrians. In all these wars David was protected, for this in his psalms he often gives glory to God.Garrisons - The word is used for officers in 1 Kings 4:5, 1 Kings 4:19, and some think that that is its meaning here. Perhaps, however, it is best to take it with the King James Version in the same sense as in 1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Samuel 13:3.

Brought gifts - Rather, "tribute" (and in 2 Samuel 8:2); meaning they became subject and tributary.

2Sa 8:3-14. He Smites Hadadezer and the Syrians.

3. Zobah—(1Ch 18:3). This kingdom was bounded on the east by the Euphrates, and it extended westward from that river, perhaps as far north as Aleppo. It was long the chief among the petty kingdoms of Syria, and its king bore the hereditary title of "Hadadezer" or "Hadarezer" ("Hadad," that is, "helped").

as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates—in accordance with the promises God made to Israel that He would give them all the country as far as the Euphrates (Ge 15:18; Nu 24:17). In the first campaign David signally defeated Hadadezer. Besides a great number of foot prisoners, he took from him an immense amount of booty in chariots and horses. Reserving only a small number of the latter, he hamstrung the rest. The horses were thus mutilated because they were forbidden to the Hebrews, both in war and agriculture. So it was of no use to keep them. Besides, their neighbors placed much dependence on cavalry, but having, for want of a native breed, to procure them by purchase, the greatest damage that could be done to such enemies was to render their horses unserviceable in war. (See also Ge 46:6; Jos 11:6, 9). A king of Damascene-Syria came to Hadadezer's succor; but David routed those auxiliary forces also, took possession of their country, put garrisons into their fortified towns, and made them tributary.

Brought gifts, to purchase their peace, and acknowledge their subjection to him. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus,.... Which was Coele-Syria, and lay between Libanus and Antilibanus, the chief city of which was Damascus; which Curtius (q) calls Damascus of Syria, being the head of it, Isaiah 7:8; in the principal places of which he put garrisons of soldiers to keep the country in subjection to him; or he put commanders or governors, as the Targum, in the, chief cities, and so Ben Gersom and R. Isaiah interpret it:

and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts; or paid him tribute by way of homage, acknowledging themselves his subjects:

and the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went; he covered his head in the day of battle, and saved him from the hurtful sword.

(q) Hist. l. 3. c. 8.

Then David put garrisons in {c} Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, {d} and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

(c) In that part of Syria, where Damascus was.

(d) They paid yearly tribute.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. garrisons] Military posts to secure the country. Some render the word officers for the collection of the tribute, but the E. V. is probably right. Cp. note on 1 Samuel 10:5.

brought gifts] See note on 2 Samuel 8:2.

preserved] Or saved, as in ch. 2 Samuel 3:18, 2 Samuel 22:3-4.Verse 6. - Garrisons. This is the word used in 1 Samuel 10:5 and 1 Sam 13:3. The Arameans were left free to manage their internal affairs themselves, but they had to pay tribute (see on ver. 2); and to prevent the assembling of troops to contest David's authority and shake off his yoke, garrisons were stationed in such places as commanded the country. The Philistines had done the same in Israel when they were masters there. David then briefly sums up the two parts of his prayer of thanksgiving in the two clauses commencing with ועתּה, "and now." - In 2 Samuel 7:28 he sums up the contents of 2 Samuel 7:18-24 by celebrating the greatness of the Lord and His promise; and in 2 Samuel 7:29 the substance of the prayer in 2 Samuel 7:25-27. וּברך הואל, may it please Thee to bless (הואיל; see at Deuteronomy 1:5). "And from (out of) Thy blessing may the house of Thy servant be blessed for ever."
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