Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
Verse 1. - Upon the death of Saul, Abner, for a while espousing the cause of Ishbo-sheth, the only surviving son of Saul, "made him king over" a large proportion of the people, exclusive of Judah (2 Samuel 2:8-10). Already David had been anointed at Hebron by "the men of Judah, king over the house of Judah" (2 Samuel 2:1-4). And David continued "king in Hebron over the house of Judah seven years and six months" (2 Samuel 2:11; 2 Samuel 5:5; 1 Kings 2:11; 1 Chronicles 3:4). Notice the agreement of this date with the account of the six sons born to David in Hebron (2 Samuel 3:2-5). The explanation of the chronology for Ishbosheth affecting this period is not easy. It is said that he reigned over Israel "two years" (2 Samuel 2:10). Where was the difference of five and a half years lost? Our first verse here, with its apparently emphatic then (comp. 2 Samuel 5:1), would seem to make it very unlikely that it was lost between the death of Ishbosheth and the kingship of David over "all the tribes of Israel" together with Judah. On the other hand, the interval in question might find its account in the "long war (2 Samuel 3:1, 6, 17-21) between the house of Saul and the house of David." There is, however, still possible the supposition that the historian intends to give the intrinsically correct facts of the case, and means that, what with delay before getting the adhesion of the people to Ishbosheth, and what with the early decay of his sovereign power, he could not be said to have reigned more than two years. This verse, then, shows that the history proper of Chronicles purports to begin from the time of David's rule over the entire and united people, at the exact date of seven and a half years after Saul's death, while no mention is here made of his intermediate partial rule over Judah, or of Ishbosheth's temporary rule over Benjamin and Israel. All Israel; i.e. "all the tribes of Israel" (2 Samuel 5:1), by their representatives, "the elders of Israel" (2 Samuel 3:17; 2 Samuel 5:3; as well as our ver. 3). The first nine verses of this chapter cover the same ground as the first ten verses of 2 Samuel 5. Unto Hebron. We learn how David came to be here from 2 Samuel 2:1. "And it came to pass after this" (i.e. after David's "lamentation over Saul and Jonathan") "that David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? And the Lord said unto him, Go up. And David said, Whither shall I go up? And he said, Unto Hebron." Hebron was the "earliest seat of civilized life, not of Judah only, but of all Palestine." It and Bethlehem are two of the most special memorials of David. An interesting sketch of the topography and natural features of this place, and a succinct Biblical history of it in Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine,' p. 164 (edit. 1866), from which comes the following quotation: - "Hebron, according to the Jewish tradition, was the primeval city of the vine. Its name indicates community or society. It was the ancient city of Ephron the Hittite, in whose gate he and the elders received the offer of Abraham, when as yet no other fixed habitation of man was known in central Palestine. It was the first home of Abraham and the patriarchs; their own permanent resting-place when they were gradually exchanging the pastoral for the agricultural life. In its neighbourhood can be traced, by a continuous tradition, the site of the venerable tree under which Abraham pitched his tent, and of the double cavern in which he and his family were deposited and perhaps still remain. It was the city of Arba, the old Canaanite chief, with his three giant sons, under whose walls the trembling spies stole through the land by the adjacent valley of Eshcoh Here Caleb chose his portion when, at the head of his valiant tribe, he drove out the old inhabitants, and called the whole surrounding territory after his own name; and here the tribe of Judah always rallied, when it asserted its independent existence against the rest of the Israelite nation. It needs but few words to give the secret of this early selection, of this long continuance of the metropolitan city of Judah. Every traveller from the desert must have been struck by the sight of that pleasant vale, with its orchards and vineyards and numberless wells, and we must add, in earlier times, the groves of terebinths and oaks which then attracted from far the eye of the wandering tribes. This fertility was in part owing to its elevation into the cooler and the more watered region above the dry and withered valleys of the rest of Judaea - and commanding this fertile valley, rose Hebron, on its crested hill." Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. This is a figurative expression, the pedigree and lineage of which it is interesting to note (see 2 Samuel 19:12; Judges 9:2; Genesis 29:14; Genesis 2:23). The highest service to which it was promoted may be said to be reached, however, in Ephesians 5:30.
And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.
Verse 2. - Thou shalt feed my people Israel (so 2 Samuel 5:2; 2 Samuel 7:7; Psalm 78:71). Thus to the servant is condescendingly vouchsafed the same description as the Master takes through the Spirit for himself - to the under-shepherd the same as the Chief Shepherd acknowledges; note same psalm, ver. 72; Psalm 23:1-4; Psalm 100:3; 1 Peter 5:4.
Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the LORD by Samuel.
Verse 3. - Made a covenant... before the Lord. A forcible use of this phrase occurs in Judges 11:11. It implies that the engagement was ratified in the presence of a holy place, a holy vessel of the sanctuary, or a holy person (1 Samuel 21:6, 7; Joshua 18:8; Leviticus 1:5). Whether the tabernacle was now at Hebron is doubtful, but the two priests, Abiathar and Zadok, were. They anointed David. The first time of David's being anointed (l 1 Samuel 16:1, 13) Samuel the prophet officiated. The second time (2 Samuel 2:4) was when the "men of Judah" anointed him king over "the house of Judah." This third time when David was anointed king over the united people, it was at all events at the special instance of "all the elders of Israel," although who officiated on these two last occasions is not mentioned. According to the word of the Lord by Samuel. The sentence marks the complete fulfilment of what had been foreshadowed in 1 Samuel 16:12, 13; and it may probably have been the more carefully introduced by the compiler of Chronicles, in consideration of the absence from his own work of previous details and of the previous anointings of David.
And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.
Verse 4. - Jerusalem, which is Jebus. This ancient name of Jerusalem, of Canaanitish date, is found only once beside, viz. in Judges 19:10, 11; the Gentile form of the noun, however, Jebusi, is of more frequent occurrence, and sometimes it is found even as the name of the city (Joshua 15:8, 63; Joshua 18:16, 28). The derivation and meaning of the word are unascertained. Gesenius explains it to mean "a place dry or downtrodden like a threshing-floor."
And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.
Verse 5 - Thou shalt not come hither. The inhabitants of Jebus added something beside (2 Samuel 5:6). They had said, "Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither." The castle of Zion. This fort became the site of the temple. It is the Acra of Josephus, and is different from the modern Zion. It was the eastern hill in the city, was the second highest elevation in the city, and up to the time of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem was uniformly named Zion, though from the time of Constantine it has been used for the name of the western hill, the site of Jerusalem. There is but little doubt of the identity of the hill of Moriah with the hill of Zion, though no individual passage of Scripture asserts it. The passage before us, however, with its parallel, tells us plainly enough that the city of David, and that which became the sacred hill of Zion are one; and many passages in the Psalms and the prophets both confirm this and point out the difference between Zion and Jerusalem.
And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.
Verse 6. - The name and fresh glory of Joab, as given here, are not given in 2 Samuel 5:3-10; and we could suppose that they were purposely withheld there. It is true that Joab already held high office, probably the first place as captain of David's men, but Bertheau's objection to the statements of this verse on such grounds easily yields to the considerations - first, that there can be no doubt Joab had fallen into disfavour with David and others, upon his slaying of Abner (2 Samuel 3:26-29, 36, 37); and further, that this was a great occasion, exceedingly favourable for evoking any very special ability of younger or unknown men, at present lost under the shadow of larger growths. The advantage which Joab gained now was one that confirmed his position and increased largely his influence; and an indication that he was not slow to avail himself of it is probably to be traced in the eighth verse, where it is said while "David built... even from Millo round about,... Joab repaired the rest of the city."
And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.
And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.
Verse 8. - Millo. There is great uncertainty as to the derivation and the meaning of this word. It is probably not really of Hebrew extraction, but of the oldest Canaanitish origin. In the Hebrew it is always used with the article, and would presumably come from the Hebrew root "to fill." Josephus seems to use, as synonymous expression for "David's wall round Millo," this, viz. "buildings round about the lower city" ('Jud. Ant.,' 3:2, compared with 5; 'Wars,' 6:1, where he identifies those "buildings," etc., with Acra). As the name of a family, it is mentioned in connection with Shechem, known specially as a place of the Canaanites (Judges 9:6, 20). The Septuagint represents it by the word ἡ α}κρα. In the remarkable passage, 2 Kings 12:20, the word "Silla" is even a greater enigma, which, however, may designate the "steps from the city of David" (Nehemiah 3:15), or "the causeway of going up" to the west of the temple (1 Chronicles 22:16). The likeliest view of Mille is that it was a very strong point of fortification in the surrounding defences of the hill of Zion (1 Kings 9:24; 1 Kings 11:27). In 2 Chronicles 32:5 the otherwise unvarying translation (ἡ α}κρα) of the Septuagint is superseded by τὸ ἀνάλημμα, a word itself of doubtful signification. For while some would render it by the word "foundation," Schleusner translates it "height." Grove (in Smith's 'Bible Dictionary,' 2:367) puts it in "the neighbourhood of the Tyropaean valley at the foot of Zion." Some clue may lie in the word "inward," applied to the building by David. Does it imply a covering by edifices of the space, or some portion of it, that lay between Zion and the rest of the city? (See also Keil on Kings, vol. 2:163.)
So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.
These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.
Verses 10-25. - This list of chiefs of David's "mighty men' finds a more appropriate position where it is placed here, than where it is found, after the close of the very dying speech of David, in 2 Samuel 23:8-23. It plainly belongs to the time of the establishment of David's sway over the whole people. The different position of the list here is itself an indication of some force, that the writers of the work of Samuel and of Chronicles availed them- selves independently of the common source, and that the latter did not take through the former.
And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.
Verse 11. - This is the number. The Hebrew has," These are the number." The sentence should probably be, "These are the names" (2 Samuel 23:8). Jashobeam. In the parallel passage, this name is supplied by the words "The Tachmonite ישֵׁב בַּשֶּׁבָת, Authorized Version, "that sat in the seat" (see the previous verse), probably in error for our יָשָׁבְעָם (see Kennicott's 'Dissert.,' 82). His immediate paternal ancestor seems to have been Zabdiel (1 Chronicles 27:2). The only other notices of him are in 1 Chronicles 12:6; 1 Chronicles 27:2, in which latter passage he is mentioned as "over the first course for the first month and in his course were twenty and four thousand." The chief of the captains. The Authorized Version follows the Keri (which is distinguished from the Chethiv by a yod in place of a vau), and translates captains. It seems better (vers. 15, 25; 1 Chronicles 12:1, 18; 1 Chronicles 27:6) to abide by the Chethiv, and translate "the chief of the thirty." He lifted up his spear. Notice the probable error in Samuel, occasioned by some similarity in the Hebrew letters. "The same was Adino the Eznite." The number of Jashobeam's victims is stated at "eight hundred" in the parallel passage (2 Samuel 23:8). (For analogous idioms, see Exodus 7:20; Exodus 20:25; Deuteronomy 27:5; Joshua 8:31; Psalm 41:9; Psalm 74:5; Isaiah 2:4; Ezekiel 26:28.)
And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.
Verse 12. - Eleazar. Perhaps the same as Azareel in the list at 1 Chronicles 12:6, in which Jashobeam is also found. Dodo. This name is found in three forms, the Chethiv being Dodi; the Keri, Dodo; and Dodai being found in 1 Chronicles 27:4. He is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 27:4 as "over the course of the second month... in his course likewise twenty and four thousand." The Ahohite. In the parallel passage (2 Samuel 23:9), for הָאְחַוחִי here, we find בֶןאּאֲחוחִי. Ahohite is the patronymic of the Ahoah, who (1 Chronicles 8:4) was given among the sons of Bela, the firstborn of Benjamin. The three mighties. Who is the third? We have here but two - Jashobeam and Eleazar. The parallel passage supplies the omission by the name of Shammah the Hararite (2 Samuel 23:11, 33; comp. our ver. 27). And a careful comparison of the passages suggests how the omission came about, and that it was but part of a larger omission. Between the sentences, "and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle," and "where was a parcel of ground full of barley" (in our next verse, 13) there is an hiatus of two verses (viz. those found in 2 Samuel 23, as latter half of ver. 9, ver. 10, and former half of ver. 11), and this hiatus was occasioned probably by the recurrence of the expression," and the Philistines were gathered together," in the remaining half of ver. 11 (see Kennicott's Bible, and 'Speaker's Commentary,' in loc.).
He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.
Verse 13. - Pas-dammim. This word, הַפַּס דַּמִּים, appears in 1 Samuel 17:1 as אֶפֶס דַּמִּים, and is supposed to mean, in either form, "the boundary of blood;" it was the scene of frequent conflicts with the Philistines, and was the spot where they were encamped at the time of Goliath's challenge to Israel. It was near Shocoh, or Soech, in Judah, some fourteen miles south-west of Jerusalem. Full of barley. The Authorized Version reading in the parallel passage (2 Samuel 23:11) is "full of lentiles," the Hebrew for "barley" is שְׂעורִים, for "lentiles" עֲדָשִׁים. Possibly the words should be the same, one being here spelt, by accident, wrongly for the other (so Kennicott). The first Bible mention of "barley" occurs in Exodus 9:31, 32, from which verses we learn that it, together with "flax," was an earlier crop than "rye" and "wheat." It was not only used for food for man (Numbers 5:15; Judges 7:13; Ezekiel 4:12), but also for horses (1 Kings 4:28). That it was nevertheless of the less-valued grain, we have significant indications, in its being prescribed for the "jealousy offering" (Numbers 5:15, comp. with Leviticus 2:1), and in its being part of the purchase price of the adulteress (Hosea 3:2). Its derivation in the Hebrew, from a verbal root signifying "to bristle," is in noticeable analogy with the Latin hordeum, from horreo. Gesenius's observation, that the singular of the word given above in the Hebrew marks the "growing crop," and the plural the "grain" itself, seems hardly corroborated by this single passage at all events. The lentile, on the other hand, was a species of bean, and used much for soup, of which Egyptian tomb-paintings furnish illustration (Genesis 25:29-34; 2 Samuel 17:28; Ezekiel 4:9). Sonnini, in his 'Travels' (translation of Hunter, 3:288), tells us that still the Egyptian poor eat lentile-bread, but, what is more apropos of this passage, that in making it they prefer to mix a little "barley" with it. This apparent discrepancy between the parallel accounts not only counts in itself for very little, but may easily be surmounted by supposing that, though it be written that the "parcel" of ground was "full of lentiles," and again "full of barley," the description may only amount to this, that such parcels were in close juxtaposition. But if not, our allusion above to the possible error in the Hebrew words will sufficiently explain the variation.
And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance.
Verse 14. - This, as well as the latter half of the preceding verse, belongs to the account of Shammah the Hararite (2 Samuel 23:11), and in the parallel the verbs are accordingly in the singular number. In that same place Shammah is called the "son of Agee," which probably answers to the "Shage" of the present chapter (ver. 34), where our reading should rather be, "Jonathan the son of Shammah the son of Shage, the Hararite." The word "Hararite" designates, according to Gesenius, "one from the hill-country," i.e. the hill-country of Judah or Ephraim, and would be equivalent with us to such a description as "the mountaineer."
Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.
Verse 15. - Three of the thirty. The thirty here alluded to have not been mentioned either in the Book of Samuel or here, except by implication of our ver. 11, where we might imagine the sense to be, "Now these are the names of the mighty men, in number thirty, whom David had, viz. Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the thirty." Nor are we told in either place who were the "three" here spoken cf. The article is absent in both places, or it would be convenient and natural to suppose that the three just mentioned are those intended, which cannot, however, be taken for granted. The language of vers. 20-22, 25, might rather indicate that the three mentioned in those verses are those in question. The repeated uncertainty in which we are left on matters to which no intrinsic difficulty adheres seems evidence of injured manuscripts rather than of anything else. To the rock to David. This is the right reading, עֵל־חֵצֻּר אֶל־דָּוִד; and that in the parallel passage ("to David in the harvest-time") is not correct, אֶל־קָצִיר אֶל־דָּוִד. The cave of Adullam. Adullam, evidently a place of great antiquity (Genesis 38:l, 12, 20), is mentioned in Joshua 12:15; Joshua 15:35; it was the seat then of a Canaanite king. It afterwards lay in Judah, in that lowland (called often the Shephelah) that ran from Joppa to Gaza, near the Mediterranean Sea. It kept name and fame to the last (2 Chronicles 11:7; Nehemiah 11:30). The "rock" marks the limestone cliffs of the region (Stanley's 'Sinai and Palestine,' pp. 254-259, edit. 1866). We read of it, as David's refuge (1 Samuel 22:1, 2). From our present passage, and its parallel we should have concluded that it could not have been far from Bethlehem. In this sense Dr. Thomson ('The Land and the Book,' pp. 606, 607) refers to the tradition that fixes the cave at a spot now called Khureitun, between Bethlehem and the Dead Sea, and says, "Leaving our horses in charge of wild Arabs, and taking one Arab for a guide, we started for the cave, having a fearful gorge below, gigantic cliffs above, and the path winding along a shelf of the rock, narrow enough to make the nervous among us shudder. At length from a great rock, hanging on the edge of this shelf, we sprang by a long leap into a low window, which opened into the perpendicular face of the cliff. We were then within the hold of David, and creeping half-doubled through a narrow crevice for a few rods, we stood beneath the dark vault of the first grand chamber of this mysterious and oppressive cavern. Our whole collection of lights did little more than make the damp darkness visible. After groping about as long as we had Lime to spare, we returned to the light of day, fully convinced that, with David and his lion-hearted followers inside, all the strength of Israel under Saul could not have forced an entrance, and would not even have attempted it." The host. For this word "host" (מַחֲגֵה) the parallel (2 Samuel 23:13) has the "life of the Philistines" (but the Authorized Version, the "troop of"), i.e. the beasts and cattle of the Philistines. So also the Syriac Version translates, The Septuagint shows in this place παρεμβολή, and in Samuel τὰγμα. The valley of Rephaim. The situation of this notable valley is not certain. Yet there can be little doubt, in spite of Furst ('Handwortbuch,' 2:383), who supposes a situation north-west of Jerusalem, that it must be near Bethlehem, and therefore south-west of the city. The word employed Here for "valley" (עִמֶק should mark an enclosed one. Rephaim means "giants." Hence our Authorized Version, "The valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the end of the valley of the giants northward" (Joshua 15:8; Joshua 18:16; also 2 Samuel 5:18; comp. with our present passage; and 2 Samuel 5:22 comp. with 1 Chronicles 14:9).
And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison was then at Bethlehem.
Verse 16. - David was then in the hold. This statement may, perhaps, sufficiently identify this occasion with that of 2 Samuel 5:17, 18; where it is expressly said that "David went down to the hold" (מְצוּדָה being the word found there as here). Garrison. The Hebrew here says "officer" (נְצִיב), but the parallel passage has "garrison" (מַצָּב); yet, according to Gesenius ('Thes.,' 903), the former word has both meanings. He is right, certainly, if he means that it has received both translations, for see 1 Kings 4:19 for the one, and our present passage supplies the other (1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Samuel 13:3).
And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate!
Verse 17. - The well of Bethlehem... at the gate. Nothing else is known of this well. No trace of it exists now, according to Dr. Robinson ('Bibl. Res.,' 1:473). The traditional well is half a mile distant, to the north of the town, and consists of a group of three cisterns, while the present town is supplied with water by an aqueduct.
And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD,
Verse 18. - David... poured it out to the Lord. This was done after the nature of a libation (1 Samuel 7:6; Judges 6:20; Exodus 30:9; Genesis 35:14).
And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.
Verse 19. - My God forbid it me. Compare the Hebrew of this with that of the expression in the parallel (2 Samuel 23:17), where יְהוָה is found in the place of our מֵךאלֹהַי. It is probable that the preposition nieni is lost from before "Jehovah." Shall I drink the blood, etc.? i.e. the water which has been obtained at the imminent peril of the life of these three brave men (comp. Genesis 4:10, 11; Genesis 9:4-6; John 6:53, 54).
And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three.
Verse 20. - Abishai... was chief of the three. It is remarkable that again the name of one of the three is wanting, even if we take Benaiah of ver. 22 for the second.
Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.
Verse 21. - Than the two. The Hebrew (בַשְׁנַיִס) cannot be thus translated, but possibly the words may mark the second set of three.
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.
Verse 22. - Benaiah, His father Jehoiada was chief priest (1 Chronicles 27:5). Benaiah was, therefore, a Levite by tribe, though Kabzeel (Joshua 15:21) was in Judah far south. He was "captain of the host for the third month... and in his course were twenty and four thousand" (1 Chronicles 27:5). When in our ver. 25 it is said that "David set him over his guard," the allusion probably is to his uniform and prolonged command of "the Cherethites and Pelethites" (2 Samuel 8:18; 2 Samuel 20:23; 1 Kings 1:38; 1 Chronicles 18:17). His fidelity and influence remained into Solomon's time (1 Kings 1:8, 10, 32, 38, 44; 1 Kings 2:35; 1 Kings 4:4).
And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
Verse 23. - Five cubits high. This height is not given in the parallel passage; it means seven feet six inches. A spear like a weaver's beam (so 1 Samuel 17:7; 2 Samuel 21:19).
These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.
Verse 24. - The name. There is no article in the Hebrew.
Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.
Verse 25. - Over his guard. If the reference is not as above (see ver. 22), the margin of the parallel (2 Samuel 23:23) may be followed, which would translate "guard" as council. This Gesenius adopts, and translates "privy council." There seems, however, no necessity for this, with the references before us above given (2 Samuel 8:18, etc., to which may be added ch. 27:6, which shows Benaiah to be captain of the third division).
Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,
Verses 26-41. - These verses correspond with vers. 24-39 in 2 Samuel 23, and with them the subject ends there, though not here. The list announced here as comprising "the valiant men of the armies," is unannounced there, but, beginning with the same name, Asahel, it calls him "one of the thirty," and suggests the inference that those who follow will make up the rest. The number that follows (coinciding in this respect strictly with our list here) is itself thirty, which, though one too many, may be considered satisfactorily accounted for in the fact of the untimely death of Asahel, already recorded (2 Samuel 2:23). Considering the exact crisis at which he died, it is very likely that his place should be compensated for, although his name were unremoved from the honourable list. Amid the difficulties that develop themselves in the contents of these lists, when compared, the comparison of them aids the conviction that, so far as they go together, they do stand for "the thirty" spoken of in both places, and that a sentence or two here and there, now lost or corrupted beyond recognition, would clear up the whole subject. The comparison also seems to make it clear that the compiler of Chronicles, meaning to go beyond an enumeration of the thirty, nowhere speaks of thirty after ver. 25. On the other hand, the writer of the account in Samuel carefully sums up all (ver. 39) in the words, "thirty and seven in all " - an addition which means either the actual thirty-one given and the two sets of three each; or the thirty, with the two sets of three each and Joab ever all. Our present chapter, however, goes on to the number forty-eight in all, vers. 41-47, adding sixteen to the thirty-two which precede. Beside some minor differences, it must be said that at fewest three names, Hepher, Ahijah, and Mibhar, in Chronicles, resist identification with those that should (from position) correspond with them in the list of Samuel and with any others. And the same thing may be said of the same number in the list of Samuel (Elika, Eliam, Bani) when compared with the list now before us. The points of contact and clearest identification are, therefore, in so great a majority and are so uniformly distributed that, although it is left hard to decide the causes of them, these differences cannot throw any discredit upon the list as a whole. Perhaps the most probable suggestion to be offered is that the knowledge of the writer of the Book of Samuel enabled him to supersede the names of such as were soon lost to their brave career by death by other names; or, resting on the same fundamental reason, there may have been two different editions of the list, to one of which the writer of Samuel was indebted, and to the other the compiler of Chronicles.
Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,
Verse 27. - Harorite. The parallel passage has Harodite, the local identification of Shammoth, as from Hated, known for its spring (Judges 7:1), by which Gideon encamped, where also the army was tested by its mode of drinking. Some think it the same with the fountain of Jezreel (1 Samuel 29:1). Izrahite seems to have been the family distinction of Shammoth (1 Chronicles 27:8), from Zerah son of Judah. He is the fifth captain. In the parallel his name is followed by Elika, who is also called "the Harodite." Helez the Pelonite. Though the parallel place has Paltite, the present form probably should hold its own. Helez is the seventh captain of division, and said to belong to the "sons of Ephraim" (see 1 Chronicles 27:10, and Septuagint in all three passages).
Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Antothite,
Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,
Verse 29. - Sibbecai; Ilai. Both of these names are conceivably reconcilable with the Mebunnai and Zalmon of the parallel place, through the very possible mistake and substitution of one Hebrew character for another. Sibbecai was the eighth captain; he was of the family of Zerah, and of the town of Hushah (1 Chronicles 4:4).
Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,
Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,
Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,
Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,
Verse 34. - The sons of Heshem the Gizonite. This sentence is unmanageable as it stands, and is insufficiently assisted from its parallel But if from this latter we take the suggestion of the preposition "from" (Authorized Version) before "the sons" (which, however, is not in the Hebrew), and from the Alexandrian Septuagint, the suggestion of the name Gouni (גּוּנִי), Guni, (1 Chronicles 5:15) in the place of Gizonite (גּוזנִי), we should obtain a coherent reading. But this would be mere conjecture suggested by the Septuagint, and "the Gizonite" offers the difficulty of the presence of the article, which would not subsist with the proper name Guni. Were it not that the word בְּנֵי is found in both passages all difficulty would disappear with its disappearance. The remainder of this verse, in relation to vers. 32 and 33 of the parallel, illustrates opportunely the uncertainties of the text. For, as seen above, Jonathan is the grandson of Shage (Agee, 2 Samuel 23:11), and son of Shammah, while (2 Chronicles 23:32, 33) the parallel reads "Jonathan," with no connective word "son" at all, yet supplies the right name, "Shammah the Hararite" for the father, and omits all mention of Shage.
Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,
Verse 35. - Sacar... Eliphal... Ur. For these three names the parallel shows Sharar, Eliphelet, and Ahasbai respectively.
Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,
Verse 36. - Hepher the Mecherathite. Although this name is not found in the parallel passage, it is tolerably plain that the niche for it is left before the words (ver. 34), "the son of the Maachathite," which last word answers to our Mecherathite. Ahijah the Pelonite. This name cannot be identified with the "Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite," which answers to it in the parallel.
Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,
Verse 37. - Hezro appears as Hezrai in Samuel. (For Carmel, which lay south of Hebron, see Joshua 15:55.) Naarai the son of Ezbai. The differences between these words and those of the parallel (ver. 35), "Paarai the Arbite," or Arab (Joshua 15:52), are not formidable to reconcile.
Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,
Verse 38. - Joel. This name is also easily to be reconciled with the Igal of the parallel passage (ver. 36), though there is nothing to evidence which should stand. Mibhar the son of Haggeri. For this we have in the parallel place (ver. 36) the names "Bani the Gadite;" but before these comes the last word of the previous clause, "of Zobab." When these three words are compared with the three of our present passage, it is very possible to bring them into harmony ('Speaker's Commentary,' in loc.). Zobah was a district of Syria in the time of Israel's first three kings, stretching north-east and east towards the Euphrates (1 Samuel 14:47; 2 Samuel 8:7).
Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,
Verse 39. - Zelek the Ammonite,... the Berothite. Among David's great men were evidently numbered some foreigners, whose admiration and fidelity he must have won. Hence the mention (ver. 38) of Zobah, and here of the Ammonite (2 Samuel 8:12; 2 Samuel 12:26-31), the Beerothite (Beeroth, originally a Hivite city, Joshua 9:17, fell to the lot of Benjamin, Joshua 18:25; to it belonging Rimmon and his two sons, Reehab and Baanah, possibly native Canaanites, the murderers of Ishbosheth, as above), and (ver. 41) the Hittite. The armour-bearer. To be made armour-bearer was a sign of honour and attachment (1 Samuel 16:21; 2 Samuel 18:15).
Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,
Verse 40. - The Ithrite. One of the families of Kirjath-jearim (1 Chronicles 2:53). Other similar colonists from Kirjath-jearim, and descended from Shobal, were the Puthite, the Shuma-thite, and the Izrahite. With this verse we count up, including the dropped-out Elika, the names of "thirty mighty men." And we may understand Samuel's thirty-seven to consist of these, increased by Uriah and the two parties of three each.
Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,
Verse 41-47. - These verses are assisted by no parallel, either in the Book of Samuel or elsewhere. Of the sixteen names which they contain,not a few are to be found elsewhere, yet not as designating the same persons. Also, while the Reubenite and the Gentile nouns Ashterathite and Aroerite are at once recognized, the Mithnite, Tizite, Mahavite, and Mesobaite are not traceable elsewhere, the plural form of the last but one being an additional source of obscurity.
Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,
Verse 42. - Thirty with him. The Hebrew preposition here translated "with" appears thus, זְעָלָיו, and will naturally translate "and in addition to him." As he was a captain, this addendum may probably refer to those over whom he was captain, and whom he brought in his train, and who were possibly themselves officers. As the writer of Chronicles indicates no difference, nor any sense of a change of persons enumerated, when he has reached (ver. 41) Uriah the Hittite, it would all the rather be consistent with his own superscription when (ver. 26) he proposes to set forth simply "the valiant men of the armies" without confining their number to the "thirty."
Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,
Verse 44. - The Ashterathite. Ashteroth was in East Manasseh (1 Chronicles 6:71). The Aroerite. Aroer lay east of the Jordan (Joshua 13:16, 25).
Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,
Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,
Verse 46. - The Mahavite. It has been suggested that this word may stand for Mahanite, from Mahanaim.
Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite.
Verse 47. - The Mesobaite. This name is entirely unknown, unless it may be the same as Mezobah.
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