1 Chronicles 11
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

The chapter contains (1) the election of David in Hebron, and his conquest of Jerusalem (1Chronicles 11:1-9); (2) a list of David’s chief warriors, with short notices of their famous deeds (1Chronicles 11:10-17).

Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.
(1–9) Parallel to 2Samuel 5:1-10.

(1) Then all Israel gathered themselves.—Literally, and. “Then” is too definite a mark of time. The chronicler passes over the subsequent history of the house of Saul, and its decline under the feeble Ishbosheth, who reigned at Mahanaim as a puppet-king in the hands of Abner his powerful kinsman and general (2 Samuel 2-4).

All Israel.—This proves that the allusion is not to David’s election by Judah (2Samuel 2:4).

Hebron, the burial-place of the patriarchs, was the capital of Judah, the tribe of David.

Thy bone and thy flesh.—A proverb first of physical, then of moral unity (Genesis 2:23; Judges 9:2). It was not as if David were some valiant foreigner, like certain of his own heroes. Moreover, the affection and sympathy of the tribes were with him, whose life of struggle and success had marked him out as their divinely chosen leader.

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.
(2) In time past.Yesterday, or three days since. A very indefinite phrase, used in Genesis 31:2 of a time fourteen years since, and 2Kings 13:5 of more than forty years ago.

Leddest out.—To battle.

Broughtest in.—Of the homeward march. David had thus already discharged kingly functions. (Comp. 1Samuel 8:20; 1Samuel 18:6; 1Samuel 18:13; 1Samuel 18:27; 2Samuel 3:18.)

The Lord thy God said unto thee.1Samuel 16:13.

Thou shalt feed my people.—Literally, shepherd or tend them. The same term is used of the Lord Himself (Isaiah 40:11; Psalm 80:1). The king then is God’s representative, and as such his right is really Divine (Romans 13:1). The cuneiform documents reveal the interesting fact that the term “shepherd,” as applied to sovereigns, is as old as the pre-Semitic stage of Babylonian civilisation (the second millennium B.C. ).

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.
(3) Therefore came all the elders of Israel.—The assembly of elders, the Senate of Israel, make a contract with David concerning his prerogative and the rights of his people, thus formally determining “the manner of the kingdom.” (Comp. 1Samuel 8:9 seq., 1Samuel 10:25.) Representative institutions appear to have been the rule in the best period of Israel’s national existence. The elders or hereditary heads of the tribal subdivisions met in council to discuss and settle matters of national concern. (Comp. 1Chronicles 12:23.)

Before the Lord.—In the presence of the high priest, and perhaps before the ark; comp. Exodus 21:6; 1Samuel 2:25, where the priestly nudge is called God, as representing the authority of the Divine judge (Exodus 22:28).

According to the word of the Lord by Samuel.—A reflection added by the chronicler, and based upon the facts related in 1Samuel 15:28; 1Samuel 16:1-13.

And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.

The accession of the new king is followed by a warlike enterprise, according to the precedent of Saul (1 Samuel 11). This agrees with the reason assigned for the election of a king (1Samuel 8:20), as well as with what we know of Assyrian custom, and is a mark of historic truth.

(4) And David . . . land.—Samuel is briefer: “And the king and his men went to Jerusalem, to the Jebusite, the inhabitant of the land.” The chronicler adds the explanatory “that is Jebus,” because of the after-mention of the Jebusite. He then further modifies the form of the original statement, continuing “and there (lived) the Jebusite (collect.), the inhabitants,” &c.

Jerusalem means city of Salem; Assyrian, Ursalimmê. But in Hebrew the name has been so modified as to suggest “vision of peace.” In Greek the name became Hierosolyma, “Sacred Solyma.”

Inhabitants of the land.—A standing name of the native Canaanites, and equivalent to indigenæ, or Ἀυτόχθονες.

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.
(5) Thou shalt not come hither.—A jeer. (Comp. 2Samuel 5:6.) “And one spake unto David, saying, Thou shalt not come in hither. The blind and the lame will have kept thee out!” The Jebusites trusted in the strength of their fortress. Even the weakest defence would be sufficient to repel David’s assault.

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.
(6) Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first.—The account diverges more and more from the parallel passage. 2Samuel 5:8, reads, “And David said in that day, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusite, let him hurl down the waterfall (Psalm 42:7), both the lame and the blind, the hated of David’s soul! Therefore they say, Blind and lame must not enter the house” (i.e., the Temple). Such is the simplest rendering of an obscure, but evidently original record. The chronicler appears to have followed another and clearer account, which made Joab play at the storm of Jebus the part of Othniel at that of Kirjath-sepher (Judges 1:12-13).

Chief and captain.—Literally, shall become a head and a captain.

Joab the son of Zeruiah is not mentioned at all in the parallel passage. Joab already appears as David’s general, while Ishbosheth is yet reigning at Mahanaim (2Samuel 2:13; 2Samuel 3:23). Perhaps the phrase here used means head and governor of Jerusalem. (Comp. 1Chronicles 11:8.)

Went up.—Scaled the rampart, “and became a head.”

And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.
(7) Castle.Stronghold, fastness. (Comp. 2Samuel 5:7.) In 1Chronicles 11:5 the form is meçûdāh, here it is the rare masculine form, meçād: comp. Ar. maçâd, cacumen montis.

They called it.—Samuel (Hebrew), “one called it;” both in a general sense.

City.—Comp. Greek, polis = acropolis.

And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.
(8) And he built the city round about.—Literally, and he built (or rebuilt or fortified) the city all round, from the Millo even unto the (complete) round. The Millo was probably a tower or citadel, like the Arx Antonia of later times. According to the chronicler David started from that point, and brought his line of defences round to it again. Samuel has simply, “And David built around, from the Millo, and inward.” This seems to mean that he carried his buildings from the fortress towards the interior of the city. Both statements may, of course, be true.

So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.
(9) This verse corresponds word for word with Samuel, only omitting “God” after “Lord.” Literally, and David walked on, a walking and growing great—a common Hebrew metaphor of gradual and progressive increase or decrease. (Comp. Genesis 8:5, and the use of the term andante, “walking,” in music.)

Lord of hosts was with him.—The Lord of Hosts is doubtless a contracted form of the fuller expression, Lord God of Hosts, as it appears in Samuel. The Lord (or God) of Hosts is a title derived from God’s supremacy over the host of heaven, i.e., the stars, worshipped as deities by the races environing Israel, insomuch that the very word for God in the old Babylonian is represented by a star (*); and in the later Assyrian character star was represented by the symbol for God thrice repeated. Assur, the supreme deity of the Assyrian Pantheon, is called in the inscriptions “king of the legions of heaven and earth,” or “of the great gods.” Similar titles were given to the Babylonian Nebo and Merodach. The Hebrew phrase is therefore, in one sense, equivalent to a concise assertion of the statement, “Jehovah your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords” (Deuteronomy 10:17 : comp. also Psalm 95:3; Psalm 97:7). That the hosts in question are the stars appears from Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 40:26; Judges 5:20.

Very anciently the stars were conceived of as the army of heaven, marshalled in orderly array. (Comp. Isaiah 40:26; Isaiah 24:21; Isaiah 14:12-13.) The Lord of the hosts of heaven is à fortiori Lord of all earthly hosts; hence the fitness of the phrase in passages like the present. Lastly, we may observe that it is a grand idea of revealed religion that He who guides the stars in their courses guides also the destinies of individual men, elevating one and abasing another, according to the eternal principles of goodness and truth (Isaiah 57:15).

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.
(10-44) X list of the warriors who helped David to win and maintain his kingdom. This catalogue answers to that of 2Samuel 23:8-39, which, however, breaks off with Uriah the Hittite; whereas our text communicates sixteen additional names. This fact proves that the chronicler had either a fuller source, or a different recension of Samuel. The numerous variant spellings are in general mistakes of transcription.

(10) These also are the chief of the mighty men.—Rather, And these were the heads of the warriors (i.e., the chief warriors, other warriors of lower rank being enumerated in 1 Chronicles 12) who showed themselves strong in his support (with him, Daniel 10:21; Psalm 12:4), in the matter of his kingdom, in common with all Israel, in order to make him king (and maintain him as such: comp. their exploits, noticed below). This description of the heroes is not given in Samuel, the connection there being different.

According to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.—Comp. Note on 1Chronicles 11:3. David was made king (1) for his own sake. It was work for which he was best fitted, and a reward of his faithfulness. (2) For Israel’s sake: “So he led them with a faithful and true heart” (Psalm 78:70-72).

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.
(11) And this is the number of the mighty men.—The heading of the catalogue in Samuel is merely, “These are the names of the warriors whom David had.” The chronicler resumes, after the parenthetic explanation of the last verse, with “These, the number of the warriors.” The word “number” (mispar) seems to refer to the fact that the corps was originally known as the Thirty (comp. 1Chronicles 11:12). In 1Chronicles 12:23, the plural (misperê) is used.

Jashobeam, an Hachmonite.—Literally, Jasho-beam, son of a Hakmonite; but ben may be spurious, as in 1Chronicles 9:7, and Nehemiah 11:10. The Hebrew of 2Samuel 23:8 has yoshebbashshebeth Tahkemoni, which has been supposed to be a corruption of Ishbosheth ha-hahmoni (“Ishbosheth the Hachmonite”). If this guess be right, the Jashobeam of our text may be a disguise of Eshbaal. This seems to be borne out by the readings of the Vatican LXX. here and at 1Chronicles 27:2 : Ἰεσεβαὅά and Ἰσβοάς. The Alex. MS., however, reads Ἰσβαάμ and Ἰσβοάμ, that is, Jashobeam.

The chief of the captains.—The Hebrew text has “head of the Thirty,” and so the LXX. and Syriac. “Captains” (“knights,” or “members of the royal staff.”) is the reading of Samuel and the Hebrew margin here. The corps of the Thirty may also have been called the Knights; but the two Hebrew words might easily be confused (shelâshîm, shalîshîm). It is possible that the original reading was “head of the Three” (shelôshah), as 1Chronicles 11:11-14 describe an exploit of three champions.

He lifted up his spear.—Literally, he it was who brandished his lance over three hundred slain in a single encounter. Samuel says eight hundred, but. the text there is otherwise very faulty. Yet as 1Chronicles 11:20 records that the lesser hero, Abishai, slew three hundred, the greater number may be correct here. (Comp. the like exploit of Shamgar (Judges 3:31), and the feats ascribed to Rameses II. and to the heroes of the Iliad.) A well-armed champion might cut down whole companies of ordinary fighting-men.

And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.
(12) Eleazar the son of Dodo.—For Dodo the LXX. has Dodai; so 1Chronicles 27:4, and the Hebrew text of Samuel; but Syriac and Vulgate “his uncle,” a translation of dodo.

The Ahohitei.e., of the clan Ahoah; perhaps the Benjamite house of this name (1Chronicles 8:4).

Who was one of the three mighties.—“He was among the three heroes,” i.e., one of the first or leading trio of warriors, whose names were Jashobeam (Eshbaal), Eleazar, and Shammah (2Samuel 23:11).

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.
(13) He was with David at Pas-dammim.—Or Ephes-dammim, between Shochoh and Azekah in the Mountains of Judah, where David encountered Goliath. The name does not now appear in 2Samuel 23:5, being probably concealed under the word rendered “when they defied.”

And there the Philistines were gathered together to battle.—After these words several lines have been lost, as may be seen by comparison of 2Samuel 23:9-10. The text may be restored thus: “He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there the Philistines had gathered to the battle; and the men of Israel went up (perhaps, up the mountain side, in retreat). And he stood his ground, and smote the Philistines until his hand was benumbed, and clave to the sword. And Iahweh wrought a great victory on that day. And the people began returning (from flight) behind him only to spoil (the slain). And after him (was) Shammah ben Agê, an Hararite. And the Philistines gathered together unto Lehi (Judges 15:9). And there there was a parcel, etc.,” 1Chronicles 11:13. The cause of this serious omission was perhaps the double occurrence of the phrase “the Philistines gathered together.” The eye of some copyist wandered from one to the other. What was originally told of Eleazar the second hero, was that his prowess turned the flight at Pas-dammim into a victory.

Where was a parcel of ground full of barley.—The scene of the exploit of the third hero, Shammah, son of Agê. Perhaps the Philistines were intent on carrying off the crop (1Samuel 23:1). Samuel reads lentils. The Hebrew words for barley and lentils are very similar. We cannot tell which text is right.

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.
(14) And they set themselves . . . and delivered . . . and slew.—These verbs should be singular, as describing the exploit of Shammah (2Samuel 23:12). After the omission just noticed had become perpetuated in the text, some editor must have altered the words into the plural, supposing that they referred to David and Eleazar (1Chronicles 11:13).

Saved them.—Samuel, “made a great deliverance”: transpose one letter, and the Hebrew words are identical. LXX. and Syriac agree with Samuel.

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.
(15-19) Three unnamed heroes who fetched water for David from the well at Bethlehem.

(15) Now three of the thirty captains.—Literally, and a three out of the thirty chiefs went down; a mode of description which appears to distinguish this trio from the former (1Chronicles 11:11-14). The form of the verb, however, connects this exploit with the same war. (Comp. 2Samuel 23:13-17.)

To the rock.—’Al haç-çûr (later use of ‘al, “on”). Samuel has “at (or towards) harvest,” ‘el qaçir. In Hebrew writing the phrases are very similar. Our phrase looks like a correction of that in Samuel. At any rate, the Syriac, Targum, Arabic, and probably the LXX., read qaçir in the MSS. of Samuel. Here the LXX. has “to the rock;” Syriac omits the phrase.

Cave of Adullam.—See 1Samuel 22:1.

Encamped.Were camping.

Valley of Rephaim.—See Joshua 15:8, Note. It lay south-west of Jerusalem, in the direction of Bethlehem. It may have got its name from the aboriginal Rephaim, Deuteronomy 3:11 (Authorised Version, giants), Joshua 17:15. It was a rich corn land (Isaiah 13:5). (Comp. 1Chronicles 11:13.)

And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison was then at Bethlehem.
(16) The hold.—The stronghold or rock-fortress of Adullam (2Samuel 5:17; 2Samuel 23:14).

The Philistines’ garrison.—An outpost; for their army was camping near Jerusalem.

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!
(17) That is at (in) the gate !—No such well is now known. The so-called “David’s well” is half a mile north-east of the town.

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,
(18) Brake through the host.—Not the main army, but the outpost in front of Bethlehem. There were heroes before Agamemnon, and there was chivalry before the Crusades.

By the gate.—Heb., in.

Poured it out.—As a libation or drink-offering. The technical term is used, as in Genesis 35:14. An act of free sacrifice, done under a sudden impulse of thankfulness, and not according to any formal prescription of the Law.

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.
(19) Shall I drink the blood of these men?—Literally, the blood of these men should I drink in their lives (souls)?

Their lives appears to be spurious here, as it occurs again immediately, and is read only once in Samuel. David regards the water as blood: it had been obtained at the hazard of life, and “the life is the blood” (Genesis 9:4). The question in Samuel runs: “The blood of the men who went in (= at the risk of) their lives?” The verb seems to have fallen out by accident.

For with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it.—Literally, in their lives. This remark is not found in Samuel, and looks like an explanation of the words, “shall I drink the blood of these men?”

These things did these three mightiest.—Rather, these things did the three mighty men (or, warriors). The Hebrew text of this narrative presents only a few verbal differences from 2Samuel 23:13-17.

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.
(20-25) Feats of Abishai and Benaiah. (Comp. 2Samuel 23:18-23, of which the present passage is little more than a duplicate.)

(20) Abishai the brother of Joab.—Heb., Abshai, but in Samuel, Abishai. (Comp. Abram and Abiram.) Samuel adds “son of Zeruiah” after Joab. (Comp. 1Chronicles 2:16 and 1Chronicles 18:12; 1Chronicles 19:11 ff. for other deeds of Abishai.)

He was chief of the three.—Apparently the second triad, one of whose famous exploits has just been related (1Chronicles 11:15-19). The Hebrew text of Samuel seems to read “knights,” but some MSS., the Hebrew margin, and all the versions, agree with Chronicles.

For lifting up . . .—Literally, and he had bran. dished his spear over three hundred slain. The exploit of Jashobeam (1Chronicles 11:11).

And had a name among the three.—That is, among the second triad, of which he was captain.

Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.
(21) Of the three, he was more honourable than the two.—The Hebrew text here varies from Samuel, which has “Above (or out of) the three, was he not honoured? n The reading of Chronicles seems to be an exegetical alteration of this, and should probably be rendered, “Above the three of the second rank he was honoured,” i.e., he was the most honoured member of the second triad. So the Vulg., et inter tres secun-dos inclitus. The LXX. has ἀπὸ τῶν τριῶν ὑπὲρ δύο ένδοξος (“Of the three, renowned above the two”). But the Hebrew expression, which means literally, “in the two,” seems plainly to indicate a second group of three. Otherwise, we might translate: “Of the three he was honoured among the two,” that is, above the other two members of his triad. Both here and in 1Chronicles 11:20 the Syriac reads thirty instead of three: “Above the thirty he was honoured, and he became chief over them and warlike; the thirty he used to make” (1Chronicles 11:21). The Arabic is more correct: “And he was mightier than the two, and chief over them twain, and he came not to the three.”

Howbeit he attained not . . .—Literally, but to the three he came not, i.e., the first triad of warriors (1Chronicles 11:11-14).

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.
(22-25) Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.—Captain of the royal guard (1Chronicles 18:17) and third “captain of the host” (1Chronicles 27:5-6).

Son of a valiant man.—“Son” is probably a spurious addition here, as elsewhere. The Syriac has “Benaiah son of Joiada, a strong warrior.” The LXX., however, reads, “son of a mighty man.”

Kabzeel.—A town of southern Judah, site unknown (Joshua 15:21); Nehemiah 11:25 (Jekabzeel).

Who had done many acts.—The margin is correct. This poetic phrase only occurs in this and the parallel passage.

He slew two lionlike men of Moab.—See 1Chronicles 18:2. So the Syriac: “He slew two giants of Moab.” The Hebrew has, “He smote the two Ariel of Moab.” Ariel, “lion of God”—a title of heroes with the Arabs and Persians—appears to be used as an appellative (Isaiah 33:7): “Lo, the heroes (‘arîêlîm) cry without!” (Heb.) The LXX. of 2Samuel 23:20 reads, “The two sons of Ariel of Moab;” whence some think that Ariel denotes here the king of Moab; but the former sense is better.

Also he went down and slew a lion.—Literally, And he (it was who) went down and smote the lion in the middle of the cistern in the day of snow. The article pointedly refers to some well-known feat of Benaiah’s.

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.
(23) And he slew an Egyptian . . .—Literally, and he it was who smote the Egyptian, a man of measure, five in the cubit. Samuel has only “who (was) a sight;” or “a man to look at” (Heb. margin). The chronicler says why.

Like a weaver’s beam.—Not in Samuel. Perhaps due to a recollection of the combat of David and Goliath. (Comp. also 2Samuel 21:19.) Yet the LXX. of 2Samuel 23:21 has “like the beam of a ship’s ladder” (ξύλον διαβάθρας); and this may be original.

Went down.—To the combat. (Comp. Latin: descendere in aciem, &c.) The staff (shēbet) of Benaiah differs from David’s (maqqēl, 1Samuel 17:40; 1Samuel 17:43); and the similarity of the two accounts, so far as it extends, is a similarity not of fiction, but of fact.

With a staff.—Rather, the staff, which he happened to carry.

These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.
(24) And had the name.—Literally, and to him (was) a name among the three heroes, viz., the second triad.

Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.
(25) Behold, he was honourable among the thirty.—Rather, above the thirty behold he was honoured.

But attained not to the first three.—For he was a member of the second triad of heroes. The third member is omitted here, as in the case of the first triad.

Over his guard.—Literally, over his obedience; an abstract for concrete, as in Isaiah 11:14 (= vassals). The Cherethites and Pelethites, a small corps probably of foreigners, who constituted David’s body-guard, and were under his direct orders, appear to be meant here. (See 2Samuel 8:18; 2Samuel 20:23.) The word has this precise sense only in this place and its parallel.

Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,
(26-47) A catalogue of forty-eight “doughty warriors.” Sixteen names are here added to the list as given in Samuel. The chronicler, therefore, possessed a source more complete than our Book of Samuel. Variations of spelling abound in the names common to the two texts, the transcription of proper names being especially liable to error.

(26) Also the valiant men of the armies.—The Heb. phrase has this meaning (1Chronicles 12:8); but elsewhere it denotes “valiant heroes” (1Chronicles 7:5; 1Chronicles 7:7, &c). and so here. 2Samuel 23:24 has “Asahel brother of Joab was among the thirty.” It thus appears that the warriors of this list are none other than the famous baud of thirty warriors already spoken of (1Chronicles 11:15; 1Chronicles 11:25). From having been the original number, thirty may have become the conventional name of the corps even when its limits had been enlarged. It is notice. able that so far as to 1Chronicles 11:41 the heroes are arranged in pairs, and that the gentilic or cantonal name is usually added to that of the hero. They mostly belong to Judah and Benjamin; whereas the sixteen additional names, so far as known, belong to the transjordanic tribes, and the northern tribes are not represented at all.

Elhanan.Dodo is very much like David. Is this a third alias of the slayer of Goliath? See Note on 1Chronicles 20:5.

Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,
(27) Shammoth the Harorite.—Samuel has “Shammah (of which Shammoth is plural) the Harodite.” A place called Harod occurs in Judges 7:1. (Comp. also 1Chronicles 27:8, Note.) 2Samuel 23:26 adds another Harodite, Elika (? Elikam), omitted here by accident.

Helez the Pelonite.—Samuel, “the Paltite,” perhaps more correctly. The Syriac and Arabic read “of Palton” and “Faltûna.” Bethpelet was a town of Judah (Nehemiah 11:26), but 1Chronicles 27:10 calls Helez “the Pelonite of the sons of Ephraim.” The Heb. peloni (Authorised Version, Pelonite), means so-and-so, and may be a scribe’s substitute for an illegible name.

Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Antothite,
(28) Ira . . . Tekoite, of Tekoa, in Judah. Abi-ezer, of Anathoth, in Benjamin. (Comp. 1Chronicles 27:9; 1Chronicles 27:19.)

Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,
(29) Sibbecai.—The correct name. (See 1Chronicles 27:11.) He slew the giant Saph (2Samuel 21:18). Samuel calls him Mebunnai, by confusion of similar letters. Sibbecai was a Zarhite, i.e., of clan Zerah. Hushah, his township, was in Judah (1Chronicles 4:4).

Ilai.—Samuel has Zalmon, which may be correct, letters having faded.

Ahohite.—See 1Chronicles 11:12.

Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,
(30) Maharai the Netophathite, of Netophah, a Levitical canton (1Chronicles 9:16). By family Maharai was a Zarhite (1Chronicles 27:13).

Heled.—More correct than (Heleb) Samuel. Called Heldai (1Chronicles 27:15). He was of the clan Othniel.

Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,
(31) Ithai.—Samuel, “Ittai,” an older pronunciation. Not to be confused with “Ittai the Gittite” (2Samuel 15:19).

Gibeah . . . of Benjamin was near Ramah.

Benaiah the Pirathonite.1Chronicles 27:14. Of course different from Benaiah son of Jehoiada. “Pirathon in the land of Ephraim” (Judges 12:15) may be the modern Ferâta, south-west of Shechem.

Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,
(32) Hurai of the brooks of Gaash seems better than “Hiddai” (Samuel), cf. “Hur” (Exodus 17:10). “d” and “r” are often confused in Hebrew writing.

Brooks.—Heb., Nahalê (gullies or wadys). Nahalê-Gaash was no doubt a place on or near Mount Gaash (Joshua 24:30) in the highland of Ephraim, but the site is not identified.

Abiel the Arbathite.—Samuel, “Abi-’albon.” Perhaps Abi-baal was the original reading, which was corrupted in the text of Samuel, and altered by the chronicler’s authority after the manner of Beeliada—Eliada.

Arbathite—of “Beth-arabah” (Joshua 15:62), in the desert of Judah.

Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,
(33) Baharumite—of Bahurim, the town of Shimei (2Samuel 16:5; 2Samuel 3:16), in Benjamin. Samuel has the transposed form, “Barhumite.”

EliahbaGod hideth.

Shaalbonite—of Shaalbim (Judges i 35; Joshua 19:42), a Danite town near Ajalon.

The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,
(34) The sons of Hashem the Gizonite.—Samuel has “the sons of Jashen, Jonathan” (Heb.). Here the Syriac and Arabic have “the sons of Shëm of ‘Azun, Jonathan son of Shaga of Mount Carmel.” The word “sons” (bnê) is an accidental repetition of the last three letters of the Hebrew word for Shaalbonite. “Jashen the Gizonite” is probably the right reading.

Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite.—This appears more correct than the text of Samuel, “Shammah the Hararite.” “Shammah son of Age the Hararite” was the third hero of the first triad (2Samuel 23:11). Perhaps, therefore, the original reading here was “Jonathan son of Age (or Shammah) the Hararite.” The Syriac and Arabic, however, support Shage.

Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,
(35) Sacar (wages) is probably right, not “Sharar” (Samuel). LXX. Vat. has “Achar,” but Alex. “Sachar.” Syriac, “Sacham.”

Instead of Hararite, Samuel has “Ararite,” or “Adrite” (Syr.).

Eliphal, the son of Ur.—Instead of this, Samuel reads, “Eliphelet son of Ahasbai son of the Maachathite.” Eliphelet (the name of a son of David) seems right.

Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,
(36) Hepher the Mecherathite.—Wanting in the present text of Samuel. Mecherah is unknown as a place, and a comparison with Samuel (1Chronicles 11:34) suggests “Hepher the Maachathite,” i.e., of Abelbeth-Maachah, or perhaps the Syrian state of Maachah (2Samuel 10:8).

Ahijah the Pelonite.—Instead of this Samuel has “Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite.” For Ahithophel, see 2Samuel 15:31.

The Pelonitei.e., so-and-so, may indicate either that Ahithophel’s name had become obscure in the chronicler’s MS., or that he was unwilling to mention the traitor. Ahijah (Jah is a brother) and Eliam (God is a kinsman) might be names of one person.

Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,
(37) Hezro.—Syriac, “Hezri” and so perhaps Samuel, margin; but Samuel, text, “Hezro.”

Carmelite.—Of Carmel (Karmul), a town south of Hebron (Joshua 15:55).

Naarai the son of Ezbai.—Samuel, “Paarah the Arbite.” Arab also was a town south of Hebron, in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:52).

Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,
(38) Joel the brother of Nathan.—Samuel, “Jigal (a name found in Numbers 13:7) son of Nathan of Zobah.” This is probably correct. Zobah was a Syrian state.

Mibhar the son of Haggeri.—“Mibhar” (choice) is unlikely as a proper name, and is probably a corruption of Miçcobah, “of Zobah,” as in Samuel. After this word Samuel adds “Bani the Gadite.” The name “Bani” has fallen out of our text. “Haggeri” is an easy corruption of Haggadi “the Gadite.”

Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,
(39) Zelek the Ammonite.—Many of David’s warriors were aliens. (Comp. “Uriah the Hittite;” “Ittai the Gittite;” and “Ithmah the Moabite,” 1Chronicles 11:46.

Berothite.—Of Beeroth in Benjamin (Joshua 18:25).

Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,
(40) The Ithrite.—Of Jether, one of the clans of Kirjath-jearim (1Chronicles 2:53).

Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,
(41) Uriah the Hittite.—His history, omitted by Chronicles, is told in 2 Samuel 11. The list of heroes in Samuel closes with this name, adding by way of summation, “all, thirty and seven.”

The sixteen names which follow may indicate a later revision of the catalogue. They are not given elsewhere.

Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,
(42) A captain of the Reubenites (or, chief; Heb., head) and thirty with him (besides him).—Literally, upon him. So LXX. Syriac reads “and he was commanding thirty men,” which gives the apparent meaning of the verse. If, as seems likely, the “thirty” were the officers of David’s guard of six hundred warriors (1Samuel 23:13; 1Samuel 30:10; 2Samuel 15:18), called “the mighty men,” or heroes (2Samuel 10:7; 2Samuel 20:7; 1Kings 1:8). each captain would lead about twenty men. Adina’s corps is mentioned perhaps as being larger than usual.

Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
(43) Joshaphat the Mithnite.—The LXX. has “the Mathanite,” or “the Bethanite.” Syriac, “Azi of Anathoth” !

Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,
(44) Ashterathite.—Of Ashtaroth, a town in Bashan (1Chronicles 6:71).

Jehiel.—Heb., Jeuel. Margin, “Jeiel.”

Hothan.—A misprint of the Authorised Version for Aotham. There was an Aroer in Reuben, and another in Gad (Joshua 13:16; Joshua 13:25).

Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,
(45) Jediael.—Perhaps the Manassite who joined David at Ziklag (1Chronicles 12:20).

Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,
(46) Eliel.—Perhaps the Gadite of 1Chronicles 12:11.

The Mahavite.—Probably a corruption of “the Mahanaimite.” Mahanaim was in Gad.

Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite.
(47) Eliel.-LXX., “Daliel.”

The Mesobaite.—The word is corrupt. Perhaps it should be “of Zobah.” Syriac has and Ashkir.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

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