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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 11

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.

Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron. This event happened on the death of Ishbosheth (see the notes at 2 Samuel 5:1-3). The convention of the estates of the kingdom, the public and solemn homage of the representatives of the people, and the repeated anointing of the new king in their presence and by their directions, seem to have been necessary to the general acknowledgment of the sovereign on the part of the nation (cf. 1 Samuel 11:15).

Verses 2-3

And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the LORD thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 4

And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.

David and all Israel went to ... Jebus - (see the notes at 2 Samuel 5:6-13)

Verse 5

And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 6

And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.

David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites, [ Yªbuwciy (H2983), a Jebusite (cf. 2 Samuel 5:8). The Septuagint has: pas tuptoon Iebousaion, each one striking a Jebusite].

Verse 7

And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 8

And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.

And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about - (see the note at 2 Samuel 5:9.) [Septuagint, Vatican, kai ookodomeese teen polin kukloo, and he built the city in a circuit. The Alexandrine adds this clause: kai epolemeese kai elabe teen polin, and he made war and took the city.]

Joab repaired the rest of the city. David built a new town to the north of the old one on mount Zion; but Joab was charged with a commission to restore the part that had been occupied by the ancient Jebus, to repair the breaches made during the siege, to rebuild the houses which had been demolished or burned in the sacking of the town, and to preserve all that had escaped the violence of the soldiery. This work of reconstruction is not noticed elsewhere (Calmet).

Verse 9

So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.

So David waxed greater and greater, [wayeelekHSN-1980) Daawiyd (H1732), and David went going, and increasing; Septuagint, kai eporeueto Dauid poreuomenos kai megalunomenos].

Verse 10

These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.

These ... are the chief of the mighty men - (see the notes at 2 Samuel 23:8-39.) They are here described as those who held strongly with him (margin) to make him king, etc. In these words the sacred historian assigns a reason for introducing the list of their names immediately after his account of the election of David as king, and the conquest of Jerusalem-namely, that they assisted in making David king. In the original form of the list, and the connection in which it occurs in Samuel, there is no reference to the choice of a king; and even in this passage, it is only in the clause introduced into the superscription that such a reference occurs (Keil).

Verse 11

And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.

Jashobeam, an Hachmonite - or son of Hachmoni. He is called also son of Zabdiel (1 Chronicles 27:2), so that he was the grandson of Hachmoni (cf. 1 Chronicles 27:32).

Lifted up his spear against three hundred, slain by him at one time [ huw' (H1931) `owreer (H5782) 'et (H853) chªniytow (H2595); Septuagint, houtos espasato teen romfaian autou]. This is more intelligible than the text in the parallel passage, 2 Samuel 23:8: cf. Gesenius, sub voce [ `aadiyn (H5722)]. The feat is said, 2 Samuel 23:8, to have been a slaughter of 800 in one day. Some endeavour to reconcile the statements in that passage and in this, by supposing that he killed 800 on one occasion, and 300 on another; while others conjecture that he attacked a body of 800, and having slain 300 of them, the rest fled.

Verse 12

And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.

The three mighties. Only two are mentioned-namely, Jashobeam and Eleazar; the third, Shammah (see the note at 2 Samuel 23:11), is not named in this passage.

Verse 13

He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.

He was with David at Pas-dammim. It was at the time when he was a fugitive in the wilderness; and, parched with thirst under the burning heat of noon-day, he wistfully thought of the cool fountain of his native village. This is a notice of the achievement to which Eleazar owed his fame, but the details are found only in 2 Samuel 23:9-11, where it is further said that he was aided by the valour of Shammah-a fact corroborated in the passage before us (1 Chronicles 11:14), where it is recorded of the heroes that "they set themselves in the midst of that parcel." Since the singular number is used in speaking of Shammah, 2 Samuel 23:12, the true view seems to be that when Eleazar had given up from exhaustion, Shammah succeeded, and by his fresh and extraordinary prowess preserved the field.

Barley - or lentiles (2 Samuel 23:11).

Verse 14

And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance.

And the Lord saved them by a great deliverance, [Septuagint, kai epoieese kurios sooteerian megaleen.] Ephes-dammim was situated between Shocoh and Azekah, in the west of the Judahite territory. These feats were performed when David acted as Saul's general against the Philistines.

Verses 15-16

Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 17

And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate!

David longed, and said, Oh ... drink ... of the well of Beth-lehem - (see 2 Samuel 23:15.) This chivalrous, act evinces the enthusiastic devotion of David's men, that they were ready to gratify his smallest wish at the risk of their lives. It is probable that, when uttering the wish, David had no recollection of the military posted at Beth-lehem. It is generally taken for granted that those who fought a way to the well of Beth-lehem were the three champions just mentioned. But this is far from being clear, and, on the contrary, it would seem, from the want of the article before [ hashªlowshaah (H7969)] three, not THE three, that three different heroes are referred to, because Abishai (1 Chronicles 11:20) was one of them. The camp of the Philistines was in the valley of Rephaim (1 Chronicles 11:15), which lay on the west of Jerusalem, but an outpost was stationed at Beth-lehem (1 Chronicles 11:16), and through this garrison they had to force a passage (see the notes at 2 Samuel 8:6; 2 Samuel 8:14; 2 Samuel 23:14).

Verses 18-20

And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD,

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 21

Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.

Howbeit he attained not to the first three - (see the note at 2 Samuel 23:19.)

Verse 22

Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.

Benaiah ... of Kabzeel - a town in the south of Judah (Joshua 15:21; Nehemiah 11:25). It is said that he "had done many acts," though three only are mentioned as specimens of his daring energy and fearless courage. Slew two lion-like men of Moab - literally, lions of God, i:e., great lions, or champions. This gallant feat was probably achieved in David's hostile invasion of Moab (2 Samuel 8:2).

Also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day - probably a cave into which Benaiah had taken refuge from the snowstorm, and in which he encountered a savage lion which had its lair there. In a spacious cave the achievement would be far greater than if the monster had been previously snared or cabined in a pit.

Verse 23

And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.

He went down - the ordinary phraseology for expressing an engagement in battle. The encounter of Benaiah with this gigantic Egyptian reminds us, in some respects, of David's combat with Goliath. At least the height of this giant, which is about eight feet, and his armour, resembled him of Gath.

With a staff - i:e., having no other weapon in his hand than his walking-stick.

Verse 24

These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 25

Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.

David set him over his guard - the Cherethites and Pelethites that composed the small body-guard in immediate attendance on the king.

Verse 26

Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,

Also the valiant men of the armies. This was the third degree of military rank, and Asahel was their chief: the names of few of those mentioned are historically known. The variation of the names will be seen to be very great and numerous, on comparing this passage with 2 Samuel 23:24-39, and with the Septuagint version, particularly the Alexandrine.

Verse 27

Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,

Shammoth. Between this name and Hebez, that of Elikah has evidently fallen out, as we may see, 2 Samuel 23:25 (Bertheau, 'Commentary,' in loco; also Kennicott, 'Dissertation,' p. 182, who suggests a conjectural reason for the omission).

Verses 28-29

Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abi-ezer the Antothite,

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 30

Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,

Maharai - chief of the detachment of the guards who attended on the king in the tenth mouth, January (1 Chronicles 27:13; 2 Samuel 23:28).

Verses 31-38

Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 39

Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,

Naharai - amour-bearer to Joab (2 Samuel 23:37). The non-occurrence of Joab's name in any of the three catalogues is most probably to be accounted for by the circumstance that his office as commander-in-chief raised him to a position superior to all these orders of military knighthood.

Verse 40

Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 41

Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,

Uriah the Hittite. The enrollment of this name in such a list, attesting, as it does, his distinguished merits as a brave devoted officer, aggravates the criminality of David's outrage on his life and honour. Zabad the son of Ahlai (1 Chronicles 2:31-36). The number of the names from 1 Chronicles 2:26 to 1 Chronicles 2:41 (exclusive of Asahel and Uriah, who were dead) as thirty, and from 1 Chronicles 2:41-47 is sixteen, making together forty-eight, (see the notes at 1 Chronicles 27:1-34). Of those mentioned, 1 Chronicles 2:26-41, the greater part belonged to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin; the sixteen names, 1 Chronicles 2:41-47, are all associated with places unknown, or with cities and districts on the east of the Jordan. The northern tribes do not appear to have furnished any leaders (Bertheau).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-chronicles-11.html. 1871-8.
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