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AND it came to pass after this that David defeated the Philistines, and brought them down, and David took the bridle of tribute out of the hand of the Philistines.

Ver. 1.  Tribute.  Aquila, and probably S. Jerom, translated, "cubit."  Others suppose that Amma, or Meteg-ama, is some unknown place, which David wrested from the hands of the Philistines.  It is hardly probable that the Israelites would have paid the latter tribute till the 20th year of his reign, (C.) or even till the 12th.  Salien.

 

--- He might now force them to pay tribute.  S. Jerom, &c.  H.

 

--- Perhaps a letter may have been transposed, and instead of Meteg, we should read, "Geth, the mother," or metropolis, and its dependencies; (1 Par. xviii. 1.) or "he took Metec, (Num. xxxiii. 28.) and its mother," Geth, which reconciles the two passages.  Chald. &c. "he deprived them of the advantage of the rivulet."  Sept. "David took the separated" place, (Serar.) or the city of Geth.  M.



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2 And he defeated Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the earth: and he measured with two lines, one to put to death, and one to save alive: and Moab was made to serve David under tribute.

Ver. 2.  Earth, like criminals condemned to die.  Theodoret.

 

--- Some of them he chose to spare, and made tributary, having levelled the strong places with the ground.  Den. the Carthusian.

 

--- Sept. intimate that half were destroyed.  C.

 

--- But the Heb. rather implies that the greatest part was saved, "a full cord to save alive;" (M.) unless there were three lots, and only one of them, larger indeed than the rest, spared.  H.

 

--- Death, or slavery, were the portion of all who were taken in war.  Grot. Jur. iii. 4. 20.

 

--- Lex nulla capto parcit aut pœnam impendit.  Seneca.

 

--- Tribute.  Heb. "brought gifts," which is a softer term.  The Moabites were thus punished for former and, probably, for some recent offences.  H.




3 David defeated also Adarezer the son of Rohob king of Soba, when he went to extend his dominion over the river Euphrates.

Ver. 3.  Adarezer.  He is styled Adadezer in Heb. and this seems to have been his true name, though it is written Adarezer in Paral.  Adad, or "the sun," was the chief idol of Syria, and the kings inserted the name with their own; as Benadad did.  Josephus produces a fragment from Nicholaus of Damascus, in which he says that "Adad was king of Damascus, and of all Syria, except Phœnicia, and was defeated by David...His successors took his name, as the kings of Egypt did that of Ptolemy; and that the third in descent from this king, made an attack upon Samaria," and upon Achab.  Ant. vii. 6.

 

--- Euphrates, which had been promised by God, Gen. xv. 18.  Num. xxiv. 17.  C.

 

--- Adadezer was probably the aggressor.  Salien.  M.



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4 And David took from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen, and houghed all the chariot horses: and only reserved of them for one hundred chariots.

Ver. 4.  A thousand.  Protestants supply chariots, (H.) after the Sept. and 1 Par. (xviii. 4.) which have 7000 horsemen.  See how we have attempted to reconcile these texts, 1 K. xiii. 5.  Perhaps the numbers were expressed by single letters; and the Hebrew final n, (700) has been mistaken for z, (7000) both here and C. x. 18.  Literis numeralibus non verbis antiquitus numeri concipiebantur.  Scaliger, apud Walton prol.

 

--- "Will any other hypothesis so naturally solve this repeated difficulty?"  Kennicott, Diss. on 1 Chron. xi. p. 96 and 463.

 

--- Kimchi thinks that the king's horse-guards are only specified here; and Salien supposes, that those who fought on chariots are also included in Chronicles, as they are often styled horsemen.  Isai. xxi. 7. 9.  M.

 

--- Houghed.  Aquila, "destroyed."  He rendered them unfit for war, as Josue had don, (Jos. xi. 6.) supposing that this was the import of the decree, forbidding many horses to be kept, Deut. xvii. 16.

 

--- Horses is not expressed in Heb. though the Prot. supply the word; as also, for.  We should translate lit. "He left out  of them 100 chariots;" (H.) as we read elsewhere, that Adarezer had 1000.  M.

 

--- But this expression being unintelligible, no less than, "he houghed all the chariots," as the text stands at present in the original, may lead us to suspect that this verse has been inaccurately printed.  Sept. "David paralyzed, (or rendered useless) all the chariots; and 100 chariots were reserved for himself out of them."  Josephus says the rest of the 1000 chariots were burnt, 5000 horse slain, and 20,000 foot.  H.


5 And the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Adarezer the king of Soba: and David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.

Ver. 5.  Men.  As Adarezer had brought upon himself the arms of David, perhaps by attempting to succour the Moabites, as he afterwards did the children of Ammon; (C. x.) so the king of Damascus was ruined by coming too late to his assistance.  This king may be the Adad mentioned by Nicholaus.  B. 4.  Salien, A. 2993, the 14th year of David.  See v. 1 and 3.




6 And David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and Syria served David under tribute: and the Lord preserved David in all his enterprises, whithersoever he went.

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7 And David took the arms of gold, which the servants of Adarezer wore, and brought them to Jerusalem.

Ver. 7.  Arms.  "Quivers."  Paral. and Syr. "Bucklers."  Heb. and Chal.  "Bracelets."  Sept.  C.

 

--- These bucklers might be for ornament, like those of Solomon.  3 K. x. 16.  Salien.

 

--- They were taken afterwards by Sesac, king of Egypt.  Joseph. vii. 6.  H.




8 And out of Bete, and out of Beroth, cities of Adarezer, king David took an exceeding great quantity of brass.

Ver. 8.  Beroth, or Boroe.  C.

 

--- Brass.  All for the use of the temple.  1 Par. xviii. 8.  The battle seems to have been fought near Beroth.  Salien.



Beroth

Beroth was one of the towns of the Gabaonites. It is not certain that the inhabitants retired, in consequence of the persecution of Saul; but they went to the territory of Geth, or to another town of Benjamin. 2 Esd. xi. 33. C.

Bete

Bete (2Sam 8:8; 1Chron 18:8, has Thebath), possibly Tãyibeh, on the road from Hamath to Aleppo; or more prob. Tãyibeh, S. of Baalbek.

9 And Thou the king of Emath heard that David had defeated all the forces of Adarezer.

Ver. 9.  Emath, or Emesa.  Its king, Thou, being alarmed at the ambition of his neighbour Adarezer, (C.) was pleased with the victories of a prince from whom he thought he had less to fear, as the lived at a greater distance.  H.




10 And Thou sent Joram his son to king David, to salute him, and to congratulate with him, and to return him thanks: because he had fought against Adarezer, and had defeated him. For Thou was an enemy to Adarezer, and in his hand were vessels of gold, and vessels of silver, and vessels of brass:

Ver. 10.  Joram, called Adoram in Chron.  C.

 

--- His, Joram's hand.  M.


11 And king David dedicated them to the Lord, together with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all the nations, which he had subdued:

Ver. 11.  Subdued.  This was the custom of most conquerors.  But no prince was ever more religious in this respect than David.  He had an officer appointed over the sacred treasure, which contained the presents of Samuel, Saul, &c. 1 Par. xxvi. 26. 28.


12 Of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalec, and of the spoils of Adarezer the son of Rohob king of Soba.

Amalec

The people dwelt in tents, and removed from one place to another. So in Ethiopia there are properly no cities, the place where the prince encamps is deemed the capital. C.

13 David also made himself a name, when he returned after taking Syria in the valley of the saltpits, killing eighteen thousand:

Ver. 13.  Name, or triumphal arch.  Rabbins.

 

--- He acquired great fame.  C. xvii. 9.  1 Mac. v. 57.  M.

 

--- Syria, which is styled Aram in Heb.  The Sept. have read Edom, or Idumea, as the two names have often been confounded, on account of the similarity of the letters.  The following verse seems favourable to this reading, as well as the title of the Ps. lix.; and 1 Par. xviii. 12, says,  Abisai...slew of the Edomites, in the valley of the salt-pits, 18,000.  It is probable that David was present.  This Idumea was on the east of the Dead Sea, and had Bosra for its capital.  The salt-pits might be a great plain, about three miles south of Palmyra or Thadmor, which supplies almost all Syria with salt.  Brun.  C.

 

--- Othes think that the borders of the most salt lake of Sodom are denoted.  M.  See Gen. xiv. 10.




14 And he put guards in Edom, and placed there a garrison: and all Edom was made to serve David: and the Lord preserved David in all enterprises he went about.

Ver. 14.  Guards, or officers to administer justice in his name, after Joab had killed all the males, during six months.  3 K. xi. 15.  C.



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15 And David reigned over all Israel: and David did judgment and justice to all his people.

Ver. 15.  All Israel, not only over Juda.  M.

 

--- All the people who dwelt within the promised land, as far as the Euphrates, were forced to acknowledge his dominion.  H.

 

--- People, settling their differences, &c.  Kings formerly performed in person, the most important office of rendering justice; whence three kings of Crete are mentioned as judges in the realms below.  C.

 

--- David acted with wisdom and justice.  M.


16 And Joab the son of Sarvia was over the army: and Josaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder:

Ver. 16.  Sarvia, sister of David.  1 Par. ii. 16.

 

--- Army.  Joab  had acquired such influence over it, that his power was formidable even to David.  He was a great warrior, and had contributed more than any other person to establish the throne of his uncle; but he was devoid of justice, and not much unlike Achilles.

                        Jura negat sibi nata, nihil non arrogat armis.  Horace.

Grot.

 

--- Recorder, or chancellor.  Ch.

 

--- A commentariis. Aquila.

 

--- "Remembrancer," (H.) or the person who kept a journal of all memorable transactions.  The kings of Persia employed people to keep such journals.  1 Esd. iv. 15.  Est. vi. 1.  Joseph. xi. 2.

 

--- The power of these writers was very great.  Judg. v. 14.  4 K. xviii. 18.  C.

 

--- Reference is often made to their "words of days."  They had also to present petitions and memorials from the people.  M.



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17 And Sadoc the son of Achitob, and Achimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests: and Saraias was the scribe:

Ver. 17.  Achimelech is also called the father of Abiathar, as these two had both names indiscriminately.  1 K. xxi. 2.  During the contest between the families of Saul and of David, two high priests were acknowledged, in their respective dominions.  Sadoc was also permitted to officiate at Gabaon, during the reign of David; and, as Abiathar took part against Solomon, he was invested with the whole authority, and thus were accomplished the predictions made to Phinees and to Heli.  Num. xxv. 12.  1 K. ii. 35.  C.

 

--- Yet Salien considers Abiathar as the sole pontiff, from the time that his father was murdered by Saul.  Sadoc, in the mean while, was his arch-priest or delegate, at Gabaon; (H.) though Abulensis and Josephus acknowledge both as high priests, (1 Par. xxiv. 3,) officiating by turns.  M.

 

--- Scribe, or secretary.  Ch.  See Judg. v. 14.

 

--- Sept. "counsellor."  He is called Susa, in Chronicles.  H.


18 And Banaias the son of Joiada was over the Cerethi and Phelethi: and the sons of David were the princes.

Ver. 18.  The Cerethi and Phelithi.  The king's guards.  Ch.

 

--- They were Philistines, and had attached themselves to David while he was at Geth, continuing always faithful to him.  We read of them in the Vulgate, under the reign of Joas.  4 K. xi. 19.  David selected some out of all Israel, towards the end of his reign.  1 Par. xxvii.

 

--- Princes: literally, priests; (Cohen) so called, by a title of honour, and not for exercising the priestly function.  Ch.

 

--- Sanctius translates, they "were like priests."  The book of 1 Par. (xviii. 17,) explains, were chief about the king.  Sept. "masters of the palace."  David kept them near his person, and employed them as he thought proper: Bertram thinks, in embassies, till after the revolt of Absalom, when Ira took their place.  C. xx. 26.  C.

 

--- Prot. "David's sons were chief rulers."  Chal. "grandees;" (H.) "ministers."  Grot.  D.


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