Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
David. This name is written without i, in the books composed before the captivity, (the year before Christ 588) but i is inserted in the latter works, which is an argument against the antiquities of [Canticle of] Canticles, where the i is found. Yet the manuscripts vary so, that great stress is not laid on this (Kennicott) proof, and it is not sufficient weight to stand against the general opinion, which attributes that work to Solomon. (Haydock) --- Hebron, after the death of Isboseth, 2 Kings v. (Calmet) --- Flesh; related, as the children of Jacob.
Which he spoke, is not expressed in Hebrew or Septuagint. Samuel complied with the injunction, by anointing David, 1 Kings xvi. 13. He also wrote an account of this memorable transaction, which translated the sceptre from one family to another. (Haydock) --- It is, on this account, that the author here takes particular notice of God's decree. (Kennicott)
Here. In 2 Kings v. 6, the passage is much fuller, and attended with many difficulties. Kennicott would correct and translate it: "And they spake unto David, saying, Thou shalt not come hither: for the blind and the lame shall keep thee off, by saying David shall not come hither. But David took the stronghold of Sion," (different from the citadel. Josephus) "which is the city of David. And David said, on that day, whosoever (first) smiteth the Jebusites, and, through the subterraneous passage, reacheth the blind and the lame, which are hated of David's soul, because the blind and the lame continue to say, he shall not come into this house---shall be head and captain. So Joab, the son of Zeruiah, went up first, and was head."
Round. He made a complete inclosure or fortification, as Mello denotes perfection, or completion, (Haydock) by building houses from the castle to the town beneath it. David begun at the very house (or citadel, 4 Kings xii. 20.) from which the blind and the lame thought to have excluded him, and built all round, so as to make an entire communication. (Kennicott) --- Built. Protestants, "repaired." Hebrew yechaye, (Haydock) "saved alive." (Syriac, &c.; Poole's Synop.) But probably shear is now written instead of shor, and jeje ought to be jeje. The long and the short e are easily confounded, (Haydock) and a is frequently thus inserted. (Watson) --- "He built....round to the beginning of that circuit. And Joab was made governor of the city." (Kennicott) --- "And surrounding it with a wall, he appointed Joab superintendant of the walls." (Josephus, [Antiquities?] vii. 3.) --- The position of the vowel points in these words, might naturally cause this mistake, (Haydock) as it seems to have done on other occasions. Thus shor, "an ox," should be sar, "a prince," Genesis xlix. 6., and Osee xii. 11. Shevarim, "oxen," has been read sarim, "princes," by the Septuagint. The former passage might admit of some corrections. "In their anger they slew the men, and in their fury (vabrothom; instead of vabrotsnom, which is always explained in a good sense) they destroyed the princes. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their fury, for it was inflexible."
Lord. 2 Kings adds God, more properly, as it seems always to have been inserted, thoug it is now wanting in two hundred places. (Kennicott, Dis. i. p. 62 and 525.)
These. Besides the help which David received immediately from God, he derived great assistance from Joab, the captain-general, from the six more renowned valiant men, and from the body of Thirty, as well as from fifteen others of less note, who are mentioned here. (Haydock)
Number. 2 Kings xxiii. 8., the names. But the two authors do not always use the same terms. (Kennicott) --- Thirty, or three, (2 Kings) more correctly. (Du Hamel) --- Three. 2 Kings, eight; (Haydock) probably by mistake. --- Wounded, or rather soldiers. He encountered singly a whole regiment, though he might not kill them all; much less did he attack them, when already wounded. (Kennicott) -- Numbers have often been expressed by letter in Hebrew, as well as in Greek and other languages. Our numeral figures are not liable to fewer mistakes. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "This is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, (the son of Zabdiel) the Hachmonite, chief of three. He lifted up his spear against three hundred soldiers at one time." (Kennicott)
His. Hebrew, "the son of Dodi."
And. "Who could have discovered that thirty-four words are here omitted, if they had not been preserved in 2 Kings xxiii.," though with some inaccuracy? We should read, "And when the men of Israel were fled, he arose and smote the Philistines, until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword. And the Lord wrought a great deliverance that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. And after him was Shammah, the son of Agee, the Hararite: and the Philistines were gathered together at Lechi, where was a piece of ground full of barley....14. But he placed himself in the midst of the field, (of barley) and saved it, and smote the Philistines; and the Lord wrought a great deliverance." (Kennicott) --- The name of Samma must have been omitted by the transcriber. (Calmet) --- Without it, how will the number 37 be made out?
These men. Septuagint speak only of one: "And he stood," &c., (Haydock) and the verbs are singular, 2 Kings xxiii. 12. --- Gave. Hebrew vayahas (ibid.[2 Kings xxiii. 12.?]) is more correct than vayosha, "saved." (Kennicott) --- Protestants are forced to add, "saved them by a great deliverance." But there is nothing in the original signifying by. (Haydock)
Captains. This is not rightly expressed in any of the ancient versions, no more than in the Protestant, which has, ""Three of the Thirty chief;" marginal note, "Three captains over the Thirty." The latter signification comes much nearer to the truth. It should be, "And there went down three captains, (Jesbaam, Eleazar, and Semma. Haydock) who were over Thirty." --- Rock, (hatsur) which seems preferable to katsir, "in the time of harvest," 2 Kings. (Kennicott) (Calmet)
Garrison, or advanced guard.
O that. Hebrew, "Who will." David wished to see his native country freed from the troops of the Philistines. --- In. Hebrew, "by the gate."
These. Hebrew, "The three (or perhaps, three of the mighty men) brake through the host of the Philistines....by the gate, and took, and brought it to David. But David would not drink it; and he poured it out unto the Lord," by way of prayer, (Kennicott) or of thanksgiving. (Josephus)
In the. Hebrew, "thing! Shall I drink the blood of these men, with their lives? for at the hazard of their lives they have brought it! And he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men," (Kennicott) forming the first ternary. (Tirinus) --- Among these heroes there were different degrees of excellence. (Calmet) --- Protestants acknowledge the superlative, "mightiest:" but "mighty" would do better, as they were not still equal to Joab. (Haydock)
Abisai. His name is written without the middle i, in all this book. --- Three. Alexandrian Septuagint alone reads, "six." --- He was. Hebrew adds, "not;" evidently mistaking lo, "not," for lo, "ei." See 4 Kings viii. 10. "He lifted up his spear against 300 soldiers, and had a name among Three." (Kennicott)
Second and (Haydock) first occur not in Hebrew and Septuagint. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "Of the three he was more honourable than two; therefore he was their captain: and yet he attained not unto the first three." (Kennicott) --- First is indeed the sense, but it is not expressed in the original. We have here the exact order of these mighty men sufficiently marked out. Abisai is the first captain (Haydock) of the second ternary. (Tirinus)
Two ariels. That is, two lions, or lion-like men; for ariel, in Hebrew, signifies "a lion (Challoner) of God," the strongest compound word for "a man of valour. The courage of a lion is so singular, that a man of extraordinary heroism is frequently called a lion, by way of emphasis; and the word God is frequently applied in Scripture to things particularly great." (Kennicott) --- V is wanting at the beginning and end of the name of Banaias, (here Benaia, instead of Ubenaiahu and Banaias, 2 Kings.) The last letter (ver. 24) serves to distinguish this third captain in waiting on the king, from the eleventh, ver. 31., and chap. xxvii. 5., and 14. (Haydock) -- Hebrew, "And Benaihu, the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, mighty in exploits; he slew two men of Moab, who were stouter than lions. He also went down and slew a lion in a pit, in a snowy day." (Kennicott) --- We have observed, that "And" is not found in the printed Hebrew nor is it in the Protestant, "Benaiah....slew two lion-like men, of Moad." Literally, "ariels;" (Septuagint) that is, "lions of God," or two of Moab equal to (Haydock) the strongest lions. (Worthington) --- Yet it is not certain whether these were not real lions, as well as the following. (Haydock) --- St. Jerome translates, two lions of Moab, 2 Kings xxiii. 20. (Calmet) --- Lion: ari is written arih, 2 Kings. (Haydock)
Cubits. 2 Kings, "a man of great aspect." --- Ones. Hebrew, "and he had a name among three mighty men." (Kennicott) --- Shelosha, "three," has the u omitted, (2 Kings) as it is frequently on other occasions. (Haydock)
Among, or rather "above," as he was the second captain of this series, and not one of the body of Thirty. (Kennicott) --- Council. Literally, "placed him at his ear," (Haydock) fecit eum auricularium a secreto; (2 Kings) though the word is the same. (Calmet) --- It seems, however, to have been read differently. (Haydock) --- Septuagint, "he placed him over his family, (Calmet, Greek: patrian) or native place." (Haydock) --- Syriac, "guard of his spear, and chief of his heroes." Arabic, "over all his riches." Some would translate, "captain of his guards." (Grotius) --- Banaias was a man of consummate prudence, as well as a great warrior. (Calmet) --- David "gives Banaias the command of his life-guard." (Josephus, [Antiquities?] vii. 12.) --- Hebrew, "Behold! he was more honourable than the Thirty; but he attained not unto the first three, and David set him over his guard," the Cerethites, &c., chap. xviii. 17. (Kennicott) --- This author adopts the correction of Grotius, as the Protestants do; though he acknowledges there is not impropriety in the present reading, "over his hearing or obedience." He also adds "first," by way of explanation, as [in] ver. 21. (Haydock)
Moreover. Nothing particular is here recorded of Asahel, and therefore he is barely mentioned with the rest. But the Book of Kings had been more particular in determining their rank, and had said, "Asahel, brother of Joab, was over the Thirty," being the last of the second ternary. The preposition b (Kennicott) frequently means, "over." (Nold., &c.) --- Arabic, "head of Thirty, whose names are these." (Kennicott) --- Elchanan; probably the son of Jair, 2 Kings xxi. 18. (Calmet)
Arorite, or Harodite, (2 Kings) to distinguish him from Shammah. Eliza, who follows in 2 Kings is here universally omitted, as he is supposed to have died soon, and to have been replaced by Zabad, (ver. 41.) who completes the number of 30. (Kennicott) --- Phalonite; not Paltite, as 2 Kings, where t has been formed of the two letters un. So Septuagint have read Adni, "my lord," perhaps correctly, (Kennicott) instead of Adan, "any man's," (1 Kings xvii. 32.) as the two letters might easily be mistaken for one. (Kennicott) --- Helles was the captain for the seventh month, as the following was for the sixth, and Abiezer for the ninth, chap. xxvii. 10. (Haydock)
Sobbochai, rather than Mobonnai, (2 Kings) where s and m have been mistaken for m and n, which are very similar in Hebrew. The Septuagint (Aldine) has there also Sabouchai. He was the eighth captain, chap. xxvii. --- Ilai, or Selmon, 2 Kings. Septuagint have the same variation in some copies; but others lead us to suppose that Ilai was the true name. Neither occur any where else in Scripture.
Maharai, the tenth captain, chap. xxvii. Heled was the twelfth.
Ethai. Not the famous prince of Geth, (2 Kings xv. 19.; Kennicott) though the name is written alike, (2 Kings xxiii. 29.) an i being omitted. (Haydock) --- This captain contributed to make David king, ver. 10. --- Banaia. 2 Kings xxiii., a v is added, which makes the name like that of the second general; (ver. 22.) but it ought to form part of the e, which is wanting in the following word.
Hurai, rather than Heddai, (2 Kings.; Kennicott) though there is some doubt which is to be preferred. (Haydock) --- Syriac and Arabic have Hiddai; but the Septuagint declare for Hurai here, and the Aldine copy has Ouri also, 2 Kings. (Kennicott) --- Torrent. Hebrew, "of the torrents or vales of Gaas." (Calmet) --- Abiel. 2 Kings Abailbon, which seems to be the right word, as a transcriber may omit letters more easily than he can insert them. Bun and the end seems to have been written separate, and to have been translated "the son of," by Syriac and Arabic. The particles al and al, have also been frequently mistaken on account of their nearly similar pronunciation. --- Bauramite. Hebrew habacharumi, 2 Kings habarchumi, where two letters are transposed, and v is omitted, as usual, in the latter book. (Haydock) --- The former reading appears to be more correct, as the hero probably came from Bahurim, (berim, 2 Kings iii. 16.) and the Syriac and Arabic seem to have read correctly. --- Salabonite. Septuagint Greek: Salabonites (2 Kings) Greek: Salaboni. (Kennicott) --- The translator of the latter book gives the Hebrew termination throughout, instead of the Greek; (Haydock) "whence the learned have drawn an unanswerable argument against that version's being the work of the same author." (Kennicott) --- They might as well prove that St. Jerome did not translate both these books. (Haydock)
Gezonite. We know not the meaning of this epithet. (Calmet) --- In 2 Kings, we read of the sons of Jassen, Jonathan, and Semma; (K.) but both seem to be incorrect; instead of Septuagint, "the son," or supposing m to be lost, at the beginning, "of the sons of Assem, Gouni," as Septuagint read, instead of Genonite, which would leave this hero without any name. See chap. v. 15. E is prefixed to this name, as it is to that of Manasses, Josue i. 12. --- Sage, should be Shamha, (Kennicott) or Jonathan, the son of Samaa, the brother of David. He slew the monstrous giant, (chap. xx. 7.) as Sabachai did another. Jonathan is mentioned also along with Asahel (2 Kings xxi.) so that he deserves a place here among David's heroes.
Sachar, mentioned [in] chap. xxvi. 4.
Eliphal should be Eliphelet, the son of Aasgai, the son of Machati, (Haydock) or of the country of Maacha, 4 Kings xxv. 23. (Kennicott) --- Eliphal and Hepher cannot constitute two heroes, as that would derange the number 37, 2 Kings xxiii. 39. The copies of the Septuagint vary much. (Haydock)
Ahia, or rather "Eliam, the son of Achitophel, the Gilonite," 2 Kings. The name of the hero is lost here; and the latter part of his father's name (p) has also been mistaken for g, which it resembles.
Hesro ends with u in the Hebrew. Yet some read more properly with i, "Hetzrai," as all the ancient versions have it, except the Vulgate, (Kennicott) some copies of which read Asra. (Blanchini, Vind. 1740.) --- Carmelite. Septuagint Greek: Karmedi. The Greek D might easily be mistaken for Greek L, as the Greek bibles (Kennicott) for some ages after Origen were written in capital letters, without accents. (Montfaucon, Pref. to Hexap. p. 44.) --- Azbai seems preferable to Arbi, as the proper name seems also more correct than Pharai, 2 Kings. (Haydock) --- The Vatican Septuagint confounds both words in one "Ouraiverchi." We may apply to many of the proper names that severe censure which St. Jerome has passed upon the transcribers of the book of Chronicles. Ita in Græcis & Latinis cod: hic nominum liber vitiosus est, ut non tam Hebræa quam Barbara quædam & Sarmatica nomina conjecta arbitrandum eit, &c. (ep. ad Domn.) If this epistle be not genuine, the same doctor complains at least of the incorrect state of the Septuagint. (Pref. in Paral.)
Joel seems better than Igaal, (2 Kings; Haydock) as we know there were some of this name under David, (chap. xxvi. 22., and xxvii. 20.) and all the versions agree here, but vary much [in] 2 Kings. It is, therefore, more natural for us to adhere to that copy which has the greatest authority from the ancient versions. (Kennicott) --- Brother, relation, adopted child, (Du Hamel) or son, (2 Kings) which seems more correct, as this is an usual expression. (Calmet) --- This reason may rather lead us to conclude that the mistake being more natural, has been made by the transcriber of that book; particularly as we no where else read of Joel being the son of Nathan, but rather of Pedaiah, &c. --- Mibahar, or rather "Nathan of Tzoba." --- The son, ought to be the proper name, "Bonni, (of Gadi, 2 Kings) or the Gadite." (Kennicott)
Zabad. This name, with the following, is not found [in] 2 Kings, where Elica occurs, though not mentioned here. (Calmet) --- We have observed that Zabad took his place, and completed the number 37, ver. 27.
With him. Hebrew, "above him," (Septuagint, Junius, Montanus) which must be applied to the rest of these 15 less valiant men. (Kennicott) --- Protestants agree with the Vulgate (Haydock) and Delany looks upon these 30 as a forth order of commanders in chief. But 30 with him would take 31, and why are only 15 mentioned? We have a regular gradation of officers, descending from Joab, the captain general. (Kennicott) --- These heroes are supplementary to those in the Book of Kings, and were stationed (Calmet) on the east of the Jordan, (Du Hamel) in their native country; (Calmet) which is true, at least (Haydock) with respect to several of them. Maacha, Aashtaroth, and Aroer were in these parts, (Josue xiii. 9, 13.; Kennicott) as well as Mathana, Numbers xxi. 18. (Calmet)
Jehiel. The Masorets read so in the margin; but in the text they substitute u for i, improperly. See Septuagint and chap. v. 7, 8.
Samri. Protestants, "Shimri," or margin, "the Shimrite," as they deem the expression to be equivalent. But Shimri was rather the father of Jedihel or Jediael, and Joha.
Mahumite. Protestants, "Mahavite." Kennicott would translate these last verses according to his corrections. 42 ..."Zabad, the son of Ahlai; (43) Adina, the son of Shiza, the Reubenite, and head of the Reubenites: But the thirty were his superiors. 44 Hanan, the son of Maacha; and Josaphat, the Mithnite. 45 Urzia, the Ashtarothite; Shema and Jehiel, the sons of Hotham, the Aroerite. 46 Jediel, the son of Shimri; and Joha, his brother, the Titzite. 47 Jeliel and Mahavite, and Jeribai and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam; and Ithmah, the Moabite; (48) Eliel, and Obed and Jashiel, the Metzobaites." It will be easily perceived that this author frequently recedes from the Protestant version, as well as from the printed Hebrew, both of which are frequently erroneous. Perhaps the critical examination of these proper names, may appear to some unimportant. But the question respecting the perfect integrity of the Hebrew text deserves to be seriously considered; and every part of sacred history requires our attention. If the Protestant rule of faith be incorrect, what security can they have? We are not exposed to the same inconvenience, even though the Vulgate be susceptible of farther improvement. (Haydock)