2 Samuel 8:7
And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.
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(7) Shields of gold.—Solomon also “made shields of gold” (1Kings 10:17), which appear to have been a mark of oriental magnificence. Solomon’s shields were ultimately carried off by Shishak (1Kings 14:25-28). The LXX. has here a curious addition, saying that Shishak carried off the shields which David captured, a manifest error, since those were made by Solomon.

2 Samuel 8:7. The shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer — It hath been the practice of many princes to make the arms of their soldiers ornamental and precious, partly from the love of splendour and magnificence, and partly to influence the courage of those, that carried them: since nothing else could secure them from becoming a property and a prey to the enemy. Some think, however, the meaning here is, Which were with the servants; that is, committed to their custody, as being kept in the king’s armory; for it is not probable, they think, that they carried shields of gold into the field.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.

That were on the servants, or rather, which were with the servants, i.e. committed to their custody, as being kept in the king’s armory; for it is not probable they carried them into the field. And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer,.... That were found with them, which they had in their hands; these must be supposed to be with the principal officers of his army; or golden chains, as Aquila, or golden bracelets on their arms, as the Septuagint; the Syriac version is "quivers of gold", such as they put arrows into, and so Jarchi and R. Isaiah understand it of such, and refer to Jeremiah 51:11; and so Josephus (r):

and brought them to Jerusalem; where they were laid up, and converted to the use of the sanctuary Solomon built; see Sol 4:4.

(r) Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 5.) sect. 3.

And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to {e} Jerusalem.

(e) For the use of the temple.

7. that were on the servants of Hadadezer] Or, that belonged to, &c. Probably it was his bodyguard which was distinguished by these golden shields. Similarly a corps of the Macedonian army under Alexander the Great was known as “the silver-shields” (ἀργυράσπιδες).

The Septuagint adds at the end of the verse: “And Susakim [i.e. Shishak] king of Egypt took them, when he went up to Jerusalem in the days of Roboam the son of Solomon.” In 1 Kings 14:26 there is a corresponding addition in the Sept.: “And the golden spears which David took from the hand of the servants of Adraazar king of Soba and carried to Jerusalem, he took them all.”Verse 7. - Shields of gold. Probably they were plated with gold, and were borne by Hadarezer's bodyguard. But it is very uncertain whether shields are really meant. The word in Syriac means "quivers." Jerome evidently could not at first find out what it signified, as he in this place translates in the Vulgate "arms," but subsequently he became better, informed. The LXX. renders "bracelets," and adds that they were carried away from Jerusalem by Shishak in the days of Rehoboam. There is no contradiction in this with what is said in 1 Kings 14:26, as what Solomon made were undoubtedly shields, such being the certain meaning of the word in the Hebrew, and its rendering in all the versions. No version renders the word used here "shield." In the parallel place (1 Chronicles 18:7) the Syriac and Vulgate render it "quivers," the LXX. "collars," and the Arabic "plates of gold hung on the trappings of the horses." As they were captured from a Syrian king, they probably retained their Syriac name, and if so they were "quivers." Subjugation of the Philistines. - In the introductory formula, "And it came to pass afterwards," the expression "afterwards" cannot refer specially to the contents of 2 Samuel 7, for reasons also given, but simply serves as a general formula of transition to attach what follows to the account just completed, as a thing that happened afterwards. This is incontestably evident from a comparison of 2 Samuel 10:1, where the war with the Ammonites and Syrians, the termination and result of which are given in the present chapter, is attached to what precedes by the same formula, "It came to pass afterwards" (cf. 2 Samuel 13:1). "David smote the Philistines and subdued them, and took the bridle of the mother out of the hand of the Philistines," i.e., wrested the government from them and made them tributary. The figurative expression Metheg-ammah, "bridle of the mother," i.e., the capital, has been explained by Alb. Schultens (on Job 30:11) from an Arabic idiom, in which giving up one's bridle to another is equivalent to submitting to him. Gesenius also gives several proofs of this (Thes. p. 113). Others, for example Ewald, render it arm-bridle; but there is not a single passage to support the rendering "arm" for ammah. The word is a feminine form of אם, mother, and only used in a tropical sense. "Mother" is a term applied to the chief city or capital, both in Arabic and Phoenician (vid., Ges. Thes. p. 112). The same figure is also adopted in Hebrew, where the towns dependent upon the capital are called its daughters (vid., Joshua 15:45, Joshua 15:47). In 1 Chronicles 18:1 the figurative expression is dropped for the more literal one: "David took Gath and its daughters out of the hand of the Philistines," i.e., he wrested Gath and the other towns from the Philistines. The Philistines had really five cities, every one with a prince of its own (Joshua 13:3). This was the case even in the time of Samuel (1 Samuel 6:16-17). But in the closing years of Samuel, Gath had a king who stood at the head of all the princes of the Philistines (1 Samuel 29:2., cf. 1 Samuel 27:2). Thus Gath became the capital of the land of the Philistines, which held the bridle (or reins) of Philistia in its own hand. The author of the Chronicles has therefore given the correct explanation of the figure. The one suggested by Ewald, Bertheau, and others, cannot be correct, - namely, that David wrested from the Philistines the power which they had hitherto exercised over the Israelites. The simple meaning of the passage is, that David wrested from the Philistines the power which the capital had possessed over the towns dependent upon it, i.e., over the whole of the land of Philistia; in other words, he brought the capital (Gath) and the other towns of Philistia into his own power. The reference afterwards made to a king of Gath in the time of Solomon in 1 Kings 2:39 is by no means at variance with this; for the king alluded to was one of the tributary sovereigns, as we may infer from the fact that Solomon ruled over all the kings on this side of the Euphrates as far as to Gaza (1 Kings 5:1, 1 Kings 5:4).
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