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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

1 Chronicles 20

Verses 1-8

CHAPTER 20 Joab and David take Rabbah

1. Rabbah destroyed (1 Chronicles 20:1-3 )

2. The Philistine giants slain (1 Chronicles 20:4-8 )

Rabbah was the capital of Ammon (Deuteronomy 3:11 ; Joshua 13:25 ) and was taken by Joab. David tarried in Jerusalem (so fatal to him, 2 Samuel 11:1 ) and Joab smote Rabbah and destroyed it. Then David appeared also upon the scene. Joab had summoned David to help in the overthrow of the city (2 Samuel 12:27 , etc). The crown mentioned was probably the crown of Milcom, their idol-king. It was of solid gold set with precious stones. David received the crown and precious stones, even as our Lord Jesus receives the glory and will appear crowned with many crowns (Revelation 19:12 ). On verse 3 see annotations 2 Samuel 2:31 . The overthrow of the giants followed. First Sibbechai slew Sippai of the children of the giants; in 2 Samuel 21:0 his name is given as Saph. Elhanan slew Lahmi of Goliath. (The words “the brother of” are in italics and must be omitted. It was another giant who had the same name as the giant of 1 Samuel 17:0 .) Then David’s nephew Jonathan, the son of Shimea, David’s brother, slew the last of the giants. He had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot and was of great stature. These giants were the special instruments of the power of darkness. They have a typical significance.

The notion of a giant in Scripture is always connected with evil, the lifting up of man against God, the symbol of pride and self-sufficiency, as well as of oppressive power. He is the opposite of the little and the lowly, the humble in heart, with whom God delights to dwell; but thus may stand for the tyranny of a lust, as in the case of Og, or of a Satanic delusion, as with Goliath himself. In those before us we must see, what we have seen in their kinsman, the monstrous delusions which abide in a system of error such as Philistinism depicts, the ecclesiastical “mystery of lawlessness” of Christian times (Numerical Bible).

And in the last one overcome by Jonathan (gift of the LORD), we see a type of the final ecclesiastical leader of the apostasy, the man of sin. The number “six” points to this (Revelation 13:11-18 ).

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Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 20". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/1-chronicles-20.html. 1913-1922.