And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Betah and from Berothai.—There is no satisfactory clue to the situation of these places. For Betah 1Chronicles 18:8 has Tibhath in the Hebrew, a mere transposition of the letters; and for Berothai, Chun. Berothah is mentioned in Ezekiel 47:16, as on the boundary of Palestine between Hamath and Sibraim. It is said in 1Chronicles 18:8, that “Solomon made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass,” of “the exceeding much brass” here captured. The LXX., and from it the Vulgate, has inserted the same notice here. It is very doubtful whether the metal intended was brass (copper and zinc) or simply copper, or, more probably, bronze (copper and tin). Some centuries earlier great quantities of copper were carried from Syria to Egypt.2 Samuel 8:8. From Betah, &c. — In 1 Chronicles 18:8, it is, from Tibhath, and from Chun. Either therefore the same cities were called by several names, as is usual, the one by the Hebrews, the other by the Syrians; or those were two other cities, and so the brass was taken out of these four cities.
Exceeding much brass - "Wherewith Solomon made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass" 1 Chronicles 18:8. The Septuagint and Vulgate both add these words here, so that perhaps they have fallen out of the Hebrew text. For the existence of metals in Lebanon or Antilebanon, see Deuteronomy 8:9.
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.1 Chronicles 18:8, it is from Tibnath and from Chun. Either therefore the same cities were called by several names, as is usual, the one by the Hebrews, the other by the Syrians; or those were two other cities, and so the brass was taken out of these four cities. 1 Chronicles 18:8, are called Tibhath and Chun, they having different names; or their names might be changed upon this conquest of them, and the one might be the names they went by with the Syrians, and the other the Israelites called them by; the latter is the same with Berothah in Ezekiel 47:16; and the Barathena of Ptolemy (s), placed by him near Mesopotamia; in the Arabic version of 1 Chronicles 18:8, they are called Emesa and Baalbec, the former was a city of Coele-Syria, the latter was at the foot of Mount Lebanon; See Gill on Amos 1:5,
King David took exceeding much brass; whereby he was furnished and able to give the large quantity he did for the service of the temple, 1 Chronicles 29:7. The Septuagint version adds here what is expressed in 1 Chronicles 18:8,"wherewith Solomon made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the layers, and all the vessels.''And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. Betah] The site of this city is unknown, and even the form of the name is uncertain. Chr. has Tibhath, and the reading of the Sept. makes it probable that the original form here was Tebah, which occurs as the name of one of the sons of Nahor the Syrian (Genesis 22:24).
Berothai] Probably the same as Berothah, mentioned by Ezekiel (ch. Ezekiel 47:16) in connexion with Hamath and Damascus. The name Chun, given in Chr., may be a later name for the place, or a corruption of the text. Its site has not been determined.
brass] Rather, copper, or bronze. The word certainly denotes a simple metal in some passages, e.g. Deuteronomy 8:9; in others perhaps a compound one, but if so, bronze (copper and tin), not brass (copper and zinc), which was unknown to the Hebrews.
The Sept. has an addition here similar to that in Chr.: “Therewith Solomon made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the lavers, and all the vessels.”Verse 8. - Betah... Barothai. Of these cities nothing certain is known, and in 1 Chronicles 18:8 the names are changed to Tibhath and Chun. An interesting addition is made there, inserted also by the LXX. in this place, that it was from this brass (that is, copper) that Solomon made the great laver, the pillars, and many other vessels for the temple service. 1 Chronicles 11:22, that Benaiah, one of David's heroes, smote two sons of the king of Moab, which no doubt took place in the same war. In the earliest period of his flight from Saul, David had met with a hospitable reception from the king of Moab, and had even taken his parents to him for safety (1 Samuel 22:3-4). But the Moabites must have very grievously oppressed the Israelites afterwards, that David should have inflicted a severer punishment upon them after their defeat, than upon any other of the nations that he conquered, with the exception of the Ammonites (2 Samuel 12:31), upon whom he took vengeance for having most shamefully insulted his ambassadors (2 Samuel 10:2.). The punishment inflicted, however, was of course restricted to the fighting men who had been taken prisoners by the Israelites. They were ordered to lie down in a row upon the earth; and then the row was measured for the purpose of putting two-thirds to death, and leaving one-third alive. The Moabites were then made "servants" to David (i.e., they became his subjects), "bringing gifts" (i.e., paying tribute).
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