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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 21

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-22

The Famine and some Exploits against the Philistines

1. It is for Saul, and for his bloody house] rather, ’upon Saul and his house rests bloodshed.’ The Gibeonites] The lives of the Gibeonites had been spared, through fear of God’s anger being excited by any breach of the covenant made with them (Joshua 9, especially Joshua 9:20).

2. Amorites] Strictly speaking, the Gibeonites were Hivites (Joshua 9, 7), especially 2 Samuel 21:20).

2. Amorites] Strictly speaking, the Gibeonites were Hivites (Joshua 9:7), but ’Amorites’ was a general name for the Canaanites.

3. Wherewith shall I make the atonement?] i.e. what sum of money shall I pay as compensation?

4. RV ’It is no matter of silver or gold between us and Saul, or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.’ They would not accept compensation in money, nor did they wish that Israel, apart from Saul, should suffer.

6. Hang them up] The method of execution is uncertain.

Whom the Lord did choose] RV ’The chosen of the Lord.’

8. Michal] Evidently a mistake for ’Merab.’ It was Merab who married Adriel (1 Samuel 18:19). Brought up] RV ’bore.’

9, 10. Barley harvest is in April, and the early rain (until water dropped) in October.

15-22. The text in this section and also in its continuation (2 Samuel 23:8-39) is very corrupt.

15, 16. Read, ’and his servants with him, and settled in Nob, and fought against the Philistines, and---which was of the sons of the giant.’ The giant’s name has been lost.

19. Jaare-oregim] in 1 Chronicles 20:5; ’Jair.’ Elhanan.. slew the brother of Goliath] AV represents the reading of Chronicles. RV represents the text of Samuel, as we now have it, ’Elhanan.. slew Goliath the Gittite.’ If we adopt it, we must suppose that Elhanan was another name of David; but see on 1 Samuel 17.

Verses 1-25

These chapters contain six appendices, which have been placed at the end of the book in order not to interrupt the history of the reign. These appendices are (1) the account of a famine (2 Samuel 21:1-14); (2) exploits against the Philistines (2 Samuel 21:15-22); (3) a psalm of David (2 Samuel 22); (4) David’s last words (2 Samuel 23:1-7); (5) further exploits against the Philistines and a list of David’s heroes (2 Samuel 23:8-29); (6) the census of the people (2 Samuel 24). Of these six, the first and sixth are closely connected (2 Samuel 24:1 refers to 2 Samuel 21:1), while the account of exploits against the Philistines has been cut in two by two psalms. But these psalms, though placed side by side, have no connexion with one another. 2 Samuel 22 is identical with Psalms 18, and is best explained under that title.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/2-samuel-21.html. 1909.
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