2 Samuel 17:27
When David came to Mahanaim, he was met by Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Machir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim.
HospitalityB. Dale 2 Samuel 17:24-29
Mahanaim, or Hosts of AngelsSpurgeon, Charles Haddon2 Samuel 17:27-29
Supplies for the King's ArmyG. Wood 2 Samuel 17:27-29
The Service of Love2 Samuel 17:27-29

Mahanaim is memorable in the history of Jacob; derived, indeed, its name from the circumstance that there "the angels of God met him" (Genesis 32:1) on his way back to the promised land, and just before his interview with Esau, about whose present disposition towards him he was doubtful. In our text also we read of veritable angels (messengers) of God, though human, coming to the same place to succour and encourage another of his servants when in circumstances of great difficulty. David had with him a large company of friends and subjects, who remained faithful while so many were faithless; but their very number was an embarrassment, and they arrived in the neighbourhood "hungry, and weary, and thirsty." Very welcome, therefore, were the supplies which these chieftains brought for their relief, and which the historian enumerates with so much evident pleasure. They thus cheered the heart of David, contributed very materially to his final victory over his rebellious son and subjects, and obtained for themselves a good name. In the Christian warfare against error and sin there is room and need for this kind of service. The progress of the spiritual cause depends no little on the material aids. As soldiers must eat and drink in order that they may fight, so Christian ministers and missionaries, however spiritual and holy and disinterested, cannot preach and teach unless they are fed and clothed, and their work facilitated by various appliances which are only to be obtained and maintained by money or money's worth. It is only in exceptional cases that competent labourers are able to support themselves by the Labour of their hands or from their private fortunes. Hence the absolute necessity that Christians should furnish material supplies, and the certainty that the progress of the Christian cause in the world will be greatly hindered if, through indifference or avarice, such supplies are scantily furnished. In our time the duty of furnishing them more abundantly needs to be pressed on the attention of the disciples of Christ with much urgency. The world is almost everywhere open to the missionary; devoted men and women offer themselves, ready to go anywhere to make Christ known; but in many instances they cannot be sent forth for want of the means of sending and sustaining them. That the ability of Christ's servants in this direction is being employed to the utmost is incredible in view of the lavish expenditure of many of them on worldly display and luxury. The disposition is wanting; and this in part because a conviction has not yet been awakened in their hearts of the necessity and worth of pecuniary supplies, and the imperative duty and high honour of furnishing them. Such a conviction may be promoted by due attention to the following considerations.

I. THE OBLIGATIONS OF ALL CHRISTIANS IN RESPECT TO THE PROMOTION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN THE WORLD ARE THE SAME. The character, the toils, the serf denying endurance of hardships and privations, of many missionaries and other ministers of the gospel, awaken admiration and applause. But, amongst those who applaud, the feeling is often wanting that they are themselves as really and truly bound to devoted service of Christ as the men whom they admire.

1. Objects of the same Divine love, redeemed by the same precious blood, called by the same grace, partakers of the same privileges and hopes, they ought to cherish a like ardent love to Christ, and with a like zeal seek to fulfil the purposes for which he lived and died.

2. They are equally "stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Chronicles 29:14, 16).

3. They are equally bound to love their fellow men, and seek their good to the utmost of their power.

II. THE NECESSITY OF MATERIAL SUPPLIES AFFORDS TO ALL THE OPPORTUNITY OF BEING PARTNERS WITH THE NOBLEST WORKERS IN SUSTAINING AND EXTENDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD. The good women who ministered to our Lord of their substance (Luke 8:2, 3) became thus partakers in his work. The Philippians who showed hospitality to St. Paul when amongst them (Acts 16:15), or sent gifts to him afterwards (Philippians 4:14-16), are recognized by him as having "fellowship" (partnership) with him, "in furtherance of the gospel" (Philippians 1:5, 7, Revised Version). St. Joha describes those who were hospitable to evangelists as their "fellow helpers to the truth" (3 John 1:8). In like manner, all who subscribe of their money towards the support of Christian ministries and missions, have the honour of being fellow workers with those who give the ablest personal service. This was recognized by the lad who hastened to a missionary meeting, and being asked the reason of his eagerness, replied, "I have a share in the concern." Bible, missionary, and other societies have, by awakening such thoughts and feelings, done much to enlarge and elevate the minds of the myriads of their supporters in every part of Christendom.

III. GIVING EXERCISES THE SAME CHRISTIAN VIRTUES AS PERSONAL SERVICE. For right and sufficient contribution of substance, as for right preaching and teaching, are required:

1. Faith and love.

2. Conscientiousness.

3. Self-denial.

Indeed, all Christian principles and affections are brought into play in the course of earnest service of either kind. Both are processes of education of the Christian soul, by which the lessons of Christ are more thoroughly learnt.

IV. IT IS EQUALLY ACCEPTABLE TO GOD. St. Paul calls the present he had received from the Philippians "an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God" (Philippians 4:18; see also Hebrews 13:16). Right motives are, of course, presupposed; but, when these are present, both kinds of service are equally acceptable. "He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward" (Matthew 10:41).


1. The Consciousness of Divine approval.

2. The pleasure of serving Christ.

3. The joy of doing the highest and most enduring good to men.

4. The rewards of the last day.

The expressed approval of Christ. Admission to "the joy of the Lord" (Matthew 25:21, 23). Participation with Christ and the saints in the joy of final and complete victory over the powers of evil. Every true hearted sharer in the work and conflict shall share in the gladness of the triumph, when not only the sower and the reaper (John 4:36), but those who have furnished them with needful support, shall "rejoice together." Finally, we must not think of workers and givers as two distinct classes of persons, having no part in each other's functions. All Christians can and ought to render personal service as well as contributions. There is need and room for all to labour as well as give. In maintaining Church life, in teaching the ignorant, in seeking and saving the lost, in comforting the sorrowful, etc., there is scope for the talents of all. No one can by his gifts purchase freedom from such services. We must give account of every talent committed to us. - G.W.

When David was come to Mahanaim.
(with Genesis 32:27, 29): — Let us go even unto Mahanaim and see these great sights. .First, let us go with Jacob and see the two camps of angels, and then with- David to observe his troops of friends.

I. GOD HAS A MULTITUDE OF SERVANTS, AND ALL THESE ARE ON THE SIDE OF BELIEVERS. The great army of the Lord of hosts consists largely of unseen agents, of forces that are not discernible except in vision or by the eye of faith. Jacob saw two squadrons of these invisible forces, which are on the side of righteous men.

1. We know that a guard of angels always surrounds every believer. Ministering spirits are abroad, protecting the princes of the blood royal. They cannot be discerned by any of our senses, but they are perceptible by faith, and they have been made perceptible to holy men of old in vision.

2. All these agents work in order, for it is God's host, and the host is made up of beings which march or fly, according to the order of command. "Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path."

3. All punctual to the Divine command. Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him.

4. All engaged personally to attend upon Jacob.

5. Those forces, though in themselves invisible to the natural senses, are manifest to faith at certain times. Our Mahanaims occur at much the same time as that in which Jacob beheld this great sight. Jacob was entering upon a more separated life. He was leaving Laban and the school of all those tricks of bargaining and bartering which belong to the ungodly world.

6. Again, the reason why the angels met Jacob at that time was, doubtless, because he was surrounded with great cares.

7. Again, the Lord's host appeared when Jacob felt a great dread. His brother Esau was coming to meet him armed to the teeth, and, as he feared, thirsty for his blood. In times when our danger is greatest, if we are real believers, we shall be specially under the Divine protection, and we shall know that it, is so.

8. And, once again, when you and I, like Jacob, shall be near Jordan, when we shall just be passing into the better land. then is the time when we may expect to come to Mahanaim.

9. There is no doubt whatever that they are sent for a purpose.

10. Mahanaim was granted to Jacob, not only to refresh his memory, but to lift him out of the ordinary low level of his life.

II. If such a special vision be granted to us let us keep it in memory. Jacob called the name of that place Mahanaim.

II. This brings me to my second text; FOR ANGELS DID NOT MEET DAVID, BUT LIVING CREATURES OF ANOTHER NATURE MET HIM, who answered the purpose of David quite as well as angels would have done.

1. Who is yonder prominent friend? He speaks like a foreigner. He is an Ammonite. What is his name? Shobi. the son of Nahash, of Rabbah, of the children of Ammon. I have heard of those people: they were enemies, were they not — cruel enemies to Israel? That man Nahash, you recollect his name; this is one of his sons. Yes! God can turn enemies into friends when His servants require succour. Those that belong to a race that is opposed to Israel can, if God will it, turn to be their helpers. The Lord found an advocate for his Son Jesus in Pilate's house — the governor's wife suffered many things in a dream because of him. He can find a friend for his servants in their persecutor's own family, even as he raised up Obadiah to hide the prophets and feed them in a cave: the chamberlain to Ahab himself was the protector of the saints, and with meat from Ahab's table were they fed.

2. Here comes another person we have heard of before, Machir of Lodebar. That is the large farmer who took care of Mephibosheth. He seems to have been a truly loyal man, who stuck to royal families, even when their fortunes were adverse. As he had been faithful to the house of Saul so was he to David.

3. Here comes Barzillai, an old man of fourscore, and as the historian tells us, "a very great man." His enormous wealth was all at the disposal of David and his followers, and "he provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim." This old nobleman was certainly as useful to David as the angels were to Jacob, and he and his coadjutors were truly a part of God's forces. The armies of God are varied: he has not one troop alone, but many. On this occasion Mahanaim well deserved its name, because the help that came to David from these different persons came in a most noble way, as though it came by angels. I infer from this that if at any time a servant of God is marching onward in his Master's work, and he needs assistance of any sort, he need not trouble about it, but rest in the Lord, for succour and help will surely come, if not from the angels above, yet from the church below. Conclusion: While I have shown you God's invisible agents, and God's visible agents, I want to call to your mind that in either case, and in both cases, the host is the host of God: that is to say, the true strength and safety of the believer is his God. The presence of God with believers is more certain and constant than the presence of angels or holy men. God hath said it — "Certainly I will be with thee." He hath said again, "I will not leave thee, nor forsake thee." When you are engaged in Christ's service you have a special promise to back you up — "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. If, then, God is pleased to grant us help by secondary causes, as we know He does — for to many of us He sends many and many a friend to help in his good work — then we must take care to see God in these friends and helpers. When you have no helpers, see all helpers in God: when you have many helpers, then you must see God in all your helpers. Herein is wisdom.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Robert Louis Stevenson had a remarkable power of attaching hearts to himself by the very magnetism of his personality, as well as by the kindliness of his behaviour. A recent book of reminiscences of his life in Samoa tells that one day when the cook was away, Stevenson told another servant, Sosimo, lust to bring him a little bread and cheese for lunch to his writing-room. But to his surprise he was served with an excellent meal — an omelette, a good salad, and perfect coffee. "Who cooked this?" asked Stevenson, in Samoan. "I did," said Sosimo. "Well, then, great is your wisdom." Sosimo bowed and humbly corrected him: "Great is my love!" It was love that gave skill and deftness to his hand, mad added welcome to the repast. So with the provision which David's timely helpers supply.

Abiathar, Abigail, Absalom, Ahimaaz, Ahithophel, Amasa, Ammiel, Ammonites, Arkite, Barzillai, Dan, David, Hushai, Ithra, Jesse, Jether, Joab, Jonathan, Machir, Nahash, Shobi, Zadok, Zeruiah
Bahurim, Beersheba, Dan, En-rogel, Gilead, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Lo-debar, Mahanaim, Rabbah, Rogelim
Ammiel, Am'miel, Ammon, Ammonite, Ammonites, Barzillai, Barzil'lai, Bene-ammon, David, Debar, Gileadite, Lodebar, Lo-debar, Machir, Mahanaim, Mahana'im, Makir, Nahash, Pass, Rabbah, Rogelim, Ro'gelim, Shobi, Sons
1. Ahithophel's counsel is overthrown by Hushai's
15. Secret intelligence is sent unto David
23. Ahithophel hangs himself
25. Amasa is made captain
27. David at Mahanaim is furnished with provisions

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 17:27-28

     5268   cooking

2 Samuel 17:27-29

     4404   food
     4456   grain
     4532   vegetables
     4542   wheat
     5212   arts and crafts
     8447   hospitality, examples

"The King Kissed Barzillai. " 2 Sam. xix. 39
And no wonder, for David could appreciate a real man when he saw him, and so does David's Lord. I.--LOYALTY IS PRECIOUS TO THE KING OF KINGS. In the days when the son of Jesse had but few friends, it was a precious thing to be treated in the style Barzillai and his neighbours entertained him (see 2 Sam. xvii. 27-29). They were rich farmers, and had land which brought forth with abundance, so were able to act with princely hospitality to the fugitive monarch. But plenty may live with avarice, and
Thomas Champness—Broken Bread

The Nations of the South-East
Israel was cut in two by the Jordan. The districts east of the Jordan were those that had first been conquered; it was from thence that the followers of Joshua had gone forth to possess themselves of Canaan. But this division of the territory was a source of weakness. The interests of the tribes on the two sides of the river were never quite the same; at times indeed they were violently antagonistic. When the disruption of the monarchy came after the death of Solomon, Judah was the stronger for the
Archibald Sayce—Early Israel and the Surrounding Nations

BY REV. GEORGE MILLIGAN, M.A., D.D. "There is nothing," says Socrates to Cephalus in the Republic, "I like better than conversing with aged men. For I regard them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom it is right to learn the character of the way, whether it is rugged or difficult, or smooth and easy" (p. 328 E.). It is to such an aged traveller that we are introduced in the person of Barzillai the Gileadite. And though he is one of the lesser-known characters
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

In addition to the psalms already considered, which are devoted to the devout contemplation of nature, and stand in close connection with David's early days, there still remains one universally admitted to be his. The twenty-ninth psalm, like both the preceding, has to do with the glory of God as revealed in the heavens, and with earth only as the recipient of skyey influences; but while these breathed the profoundest tranquillity, as they watched the silent splendour of the sun, and the peace of
Alexander Maclaren—The Life of David

David and Jonathan's Son
'And David said, is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake? 2. And there was of the house of Saul a servant whose name was Ziba. And when they had called him unto David, the king said unto him, Art thou Ziba? And he said, Thy servant is he. 3. And the king said, Is there not yet any of the house of Saul, that I may shew the kindness of God unto him? And Ziba said unto the king, Jonathan hath yet a son, which is lame on his feet. 4. And the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Mr. John Bunyan's Dying Sayings.
OF SIN. Sin is the great block and bar to our happiness, the procurer of all miseries to man, both here and hereafter: take away sin and nothing can hurt us: for death, temporal, spiritual, and eternal, is the wages of it. Sin, and man for sin, is the object of the wrath of God. How dreadful, therefore, must his case be who continues in sin! For who can bear or grapple with the wrath of God? No sin against God can be little, because it is against the great God of heaven and earth; but if the sinner
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Letter xxxvi (Circa A. D. 1131) to the Same Hildebert, who had not yet Acknowledged the Lord Innocent as Pope.
To the Same Hildebert, Who Had Not Yet Acknowledged the Lord Innocent as Pope. He exhorts him to recognise Innocent, now an exile in France, owing to the schism of Peter Leonis, as the rightful Pontiff. To the great prelate, most exalted in renown, Hildebert, by the grace of God Archbishop of Tours, Bernard, called Abbot of Clairvaux, sends greeting, and prays that he may walk in the Spirit, and spiritually discern all things. 1. To address you in the words of the prophet, Consolation is hid from
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

King of Kings and Lord of Lords
And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, K ING OF K INGS AND L ORD OF L ORDS T he description of the administration and glory of the Redeemer's Kingdom, in defiance of all opposition, concludes the second part of Messiah Oratorio. Three different passages from the book of Revelation are selected to form a grand chorus, of which Handel's title in this verse is the close --a title which has been sometimes vainly usurped by proud worms of this earth. Eastern monarchs, in particular,
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Tiglath-Pileser iii. And the Organisation of the Assyrian Empire from 745 to 722 B. C.
TIGLATH-PILESER III. AND THE ORGANISATION OF THE ASSYRIAN EMPIRE FROM 745 to 722 B.C. FAILURE OF URARTU AND RE-CONQUEST Of SYRIA--EGYPT AGAIN UNITED UNDER ETHIOPIAN AUSPICES--PIONKHI--THE DOWNFALL OF DAMASCUS, OF BABYLON, AND OF ISRAEL. Assyria and its neighbours at the accession of Tiglath-pileser III.: progress of the Aramaeans in the basin of the Middle Tigris--Urartu and its expansion into the north of Syria--Damascus and Israel--Vengeance of Israel on Damascus--Jeroboam II.--Civilisation
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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