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This chapter is entirely supplementary to what is related in 2 S, and gives particulars respecting certain companies that joined David at various times, and the numbers that came to crown David at Hebron.
2. The right hand and the left] For this faculty in connexion with Benjamin cp. Judges 3:15; Judges 20:15, Judges 20:16. Saul’s brethren] i.e. fellow-tribesmen: cp. 1 Chronicles 12:29.
4. Among the thirty] not included in the lists of 2 Samuel 23:24. 1 Chronicles 11:26., and presumably belonging to the thirty at a different period.
8. Buckler] RV ’spear.’
14. Was over] RV ’was equal to’: cp. Leviticus 26:8.
15. The first month] Nisan(=March-April), when the river was in flood after the melting of the snow. Put to flight, etc.] Their endeavours to join David were opposed on both sides of the river, but unsuccessfully.
17. If ye.. come peaceably] The advances of a second body of deserters made David suspicious of treachery.
18. The spirit came upon, etc.] Amasai’s decision to throw in his lot with David was due, like every other wise resolve, to the inspiration of the Divine Spirit.
19. They] i.e. David and his men: see on 1 Samuel 28:1-2; 1 Samuel 29. Upon advisement] i.e. upon reflection: cp. 1 Chronicles 21:12.
21. The band] i.e. the Amalekites who attacked and burned Ziklag during David’s absence with the Philistines (1 Samuel 30).
29. Kept the ward, etc.] i.e. maintained their allegiance to Saul (2 Samuel 2), a fact which accounted for so small a number assembling at Hebron.
32. Had understanding, etc.] possessed practical statesmanship: cp. Esther 1:13.
All their brethren] The rank and file were obedient to their chiefs. The full numbers of Issachar are not given.
39. Eating and drinking] A covenant was usually accompanied by a feast (see Genesis 31:44, Genesis 31:46), and the passage doubtless has in view a compact made between the new sovereign and his people: cp. 1 Kings 1:9.
40. They that were nigh] i.e. relations.
The total numbers of those who assembled to crown David at Hebron, as enumerated in 1 Chronicles 12:23-40, amount to 340,822, a military force (1 Chronicles 12:23) which contrasts remarkably with the 30,000 (described as ’all the chosen men of Israel’) of 2 Samuel 6:1. It is noteworthy, too, that 128,600 come from the three northern and most distant tribes, Rebulun, Naphtali, and Asher; 120,000 from the eastern tribes, Reuben, Gad, and half Manasseh; and only 6,800 from Judah. Some corruption of the numbers may be suspected.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 12". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany