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Friday, September 22nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 21

Haydock's Catholic Bible CommentaryHaydock's Catholic Commentary

Verse 1

Of David, after the revolt of Seba. (Calmet) --- House. It seems the family and chief officers of Saul, had concurred in his cruelty and unjust zeal. Hence many of them might be still living, to undergo this chastisement; and the rest of the people were guilty of some faults. (Haydock) --- If they had been perfectly innocent, still God is the dispenser of his own gifts. He is under no obligation of sending health and peace to his creatures. The just often derive greater advantage from crosses than from prosperity. The exemplary punishment of Saul’s family was a lesson to kings, and to all mankind, to teach them how they ought to observe justice and the sanctity of oaths. --- Gabaonites; probably after the slaughter of the priests, at Nobe, 1 Kings xxii. 19. (Calmet)

Verse 2

Amorrhites, by which name all the nations of Chanaan were frequently designated, Genesis xv. 16. (Menochius) --- They were properly Hevites. --- Juda. As if Josue, and all succeeding governors, had acted wrong, Exodus xxiii. 33., and Josue vi. 19. Saul ought, at least, to have consulted God. (Calmet)

Verse 3

Atonement, to expiate the injury done to you by Saul; (Menochius) and that you may turn your curses into blessings. The ancients were convinced, that God attends to the imprecations of the innocent. (Calmet)

Verse 4

Gold. It is supposed that David made them an offer of some. (Salien, the year before Christ 1040.) --- Israel besides. At first they required all the progeny of Saul, nine in number, to be crucified: but, at David’s request, and intimation that he had sworn to protect the sons of Jonathan, Miphiboseth and Micha, (Haydock) they were content with the death of seven. (Menochius) --- They insisted upon the law of retaliation. (Salien) --- The custom of delivering up criminals to be executed by the relations of the injured dead, still subsists in the East. (Calmet)

Verse 6

Chosen. Some think it improbable that they should give Saul this title; and Castalion would substitute ber, "in the mountain," (ver. 9) instead of bechir, "anointed," a title which Junius, however, refers to David: "O thou anointed," &c. (Calmet) --- But why might not these people recognize this character in Saul, which would make the punishment more disgraceful, as they chose the city of Saul, in preference, for the execution of his unhappy offspring? (Haydock) --- Them, having received an order from God, lest the people might suspect that he was gratifying his private revenge. (Estius) (Josephus, [Antiquities?] vii. 10, 12.)

Verse 8

Of Michol. They were the sons of Merob, who was married to Hadriel; but they are here called the sons of Michol, because she adopted them, and brought them up as her own: (Challoner; Chaldean; St. Jerome, Trad.) or Merob ws called Michol; (Sa) or, what seems most probable, from the word she bore being used, (Cajetan) and as two sisters would hardly have the same name, (Haydock) Micholhas crept into the text instead of Merob. (Capel; Salien; Calmet) (1 Kings xxv. 44.)

Verse 9

Lord. The prophets had frequented this hill, 1 Kings viii. 4, 13. So the Gabaonites crucified these seven, before an ancient altar, as victims to appease God’s anger, (Calmet) for the treaty with them having been violated, (Haydock) particularly after they had embraced the true religion. (Salien) (Deuteronomy x. 19.) --- Barley, about Easter. (Menochius)

Verse 10

Hair-cloth, to sleep on, occasionally. --- Heaven. The famine had been caused by drought. As soon therefore as rain fell, David was assured that God was appeased. He had suffered the bodies to hang so long, for that purpose, though commonly they were to be taken down before night. (Menochius) --- Respha is supposed, by some, to have guarded the bodies from spring till the rain fell in autumn. But the former opinion seems more plausible. We here behold the custom of watching by the bodies of the dead. See Homer, Iliad xxiii. --- Beasts. The gibbets were formerly very low. (Calmet) --- Thus Blandina was exposed to wild beasts. (Eusebius, Hist. v. 1.)

Verse 11

Done. Her piety and affliction were extraordinary. She had been brought up in delicacies, and was a person of uncommon beauty, so as to captivate Abner, chap. iii. 8. She must now have been advanced in years. (Haydock)

Verse 14

Side of the mountain, or in distinct cavities. (Calmet) --- Many suppose that Tsela, or Sela, is the name of a place (Menochius) not far from Gabaa, Josue xviii. 28. (Calmet) --- Many proper names are thus translated. (Du Hamel)

Verse 15

Again: it is not certain at what time. Some think it was towards the beginning of David’s reign, since he leads his men to battle; or the Philistines might have made an irruption into his dominions, about three years after the death of Absalom. (Calmet) --- David had offered to put himself at the head of the army, against his son, chap. xviii. 2. (Haydock) --- Faint. He was now sixty-four years old. (Salien)

Verse 16

Jesbibenob may signify, "Jesbi, the son of Ob." Septuagint, "Jesbe, of Nob, who was of the race of the giants." Arapha seems to have been one of great fame, (ver. 18, 21, 22) who had several children; unless other giants assumed his name. (Calmet) --- Ounces. Hebrew, "sicles of brass, in weight." Sicles is only understood, as on similar occasions. Neither is sword expressed; (Haydock) so that some think he had on a new suit of armour. Symmachus, "a sword." Roman Septuagint, "a club." The weight of the whole spear is specified in Hebrew, Septuagint, &c., (Calmet) as weighing "300---of brass," (Haydock) of which metal it seems to have been formed, as the Jews had no such money till the captivity. (Calmet)

Verse 17

Lamp; glory and protection. Achilles reproaches himself for not having been "a light to" his friend. (Homer, Iliad Greek: S.)

Verse 18

Gob, as Gazer was called by the Philistines; (1 Paralipomenon xx. 4.; Salien) unless (Haydock) the former word be a mistake of the transcriber. (Calmet) --- Septuagint (Alexandrian) reads, Geth. (Haydock) --- Sobochai, one of David’s valiant men, 1 Paralipomenon xi. 29. --- Saphai is added in 1 Chron. xx.

Verse 19

Adeodatus, the son of Forrest. So it is rendered in the Latin Vulgate, by giving the interpretation of the Hebrew names, which are Elhanan, the son of Jaare. (Challoner) --- We should translate all the proper names, or none; as the present mode is extremely perplexing. Adeodatus might therefore be rendered, "God given;" (Dieudonne, as the French have it, though they will not translate Saltus, but leave Jaare) or, if Adeodatus must remain, as it is sometimes a proper name, why may not Saltus? A mere English reader might suppose that Forrest was a Hebrew name, and , with Swift in jest, maintain the high antiquity of our language. (Haydock) --- Regularly proper names should be retained. (Calmet) --- But the learned have often chosen to give the import of foreign names, in the language in which they have been writing. See Du Thou’s History. Thus Dubois is styled Sylvius; Newman, Neander; &c. --- An embroiderer. Protestants make this a part of the man’s name, "Jaare-oregim." Septuagint, "the son of Ariorgeim." In 1 Paralipomenon xx, no notice is taken of his profession. (Haydock) --- That passage will evince that Elhanan is not the same with David, as some would infer from the mention of Goliath’s death, but the son of Jair, uncle of Joab, (chap. xxxiii. 24.) who was born at Bethlehem, though the verse in Paralipomenon would insinuate less correctly, that the giant’s name was Lechem, thus, "Elehanan....slew Lechem, the brother," &c., as the copyist had written ath instead of bith. (Calmet) --- Our version has not this mistake: "Adeodatus, the son of Saltus, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath, the Gethite," &c., 1 Paralipomenon xx. 5. (Haydock) --- "It would be difficult to find a passage more disfigured than the present; and, without the help of the Paralipomenon, it would be impossible to make it out." (Calmet) --- Kennicott makes a similar remark. (Diss. i. and ii.) But he believes that the Book of Chronicles, though the latest, and usually the most corrupt, of the Old Testament, is here perfectly correct; and that the passage before us is strangely corrupted, "Jaare Oregim, a Bethlehemite," being placed instead of , ..."Jaor slew Lahmi," as he thinks that oregim, "weavers," has been inserted from the line below, p. 79. Josephus ([Antiquities?] vii. 10.) relates this transaction as follows, "When the king had sent a fresh army against them, Nephan, his relation, displayed the greatest valour. for engaging in a single combat with the bravest man of the Philistines, and killing his antagonist, he caused the rest to turn their backs, and many of the enemy fell in that battle." Thus he evades all the difficulty, adding much out of his own head; and by Nephan, designating Elehanan, the son of his (Joab’s) uncle, (chap. xxiii. 24.) or Dodo, a word which the Vulgate renders patrui ejus, "his paternal uncle," though it hat a wider signification, and denotes other relations. Hence, as Joab was the nephew of David, this brave man might be in the same degree, and born of one of the children of Isai; or, perhaps, Josephus infers that he was a kinsman of David, because he was of the same city. (Haydock) --- Goliath. He might have the same name as his brother, who had been slain by David forty-three years before; (Salien) or the title of brother may only signify, that this giant resembled the former in size and strength, Proverbs xviii. 9. --- Beam. See 1 Kings xvii. 7. (Calmet)

Verse 20

Fourth. Josephus says this was the last war with the Philistines; and Tostat supposes, that they wished to retake the city of Geth. (Salien) --- Statute, or "of contradiction." (Aquila) --- Hebrew Madon. Septuagint leave it as the proper name of a place, "Madon," specified [in] Josue xi. 1., and xii. 19. Capel would read, "a man of Madian." --- Six. Such people were styled Sedigiti, among the Romans. The daughters of Horatius were thus distinguished, as well as the poet Volcatius. (Pliny, [Natural History?] xi. 43.)

Verse 22

Of David, who was present, though it does not appear that he slew any of the four. (Calmet)

Verse 26


Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/2-samuel-21.html. 1859.
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