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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

1 Chronicles 18

Verse 1

Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hand of the Philistines. David ... took Gath and her towns. The full extent of David's conquests in the Philistine territory is here distinctly stated; whereas in the parallel passage, 2 Samuel 8:1, it is only described in a general way. Gath was the "Methegammah," or 'arm-bridle,' as it is there called, either from its supremacy, as the capital, over the other Philistine towns, or because, in the capture of that important place and its dependencies; he obtained the complete control of his restless neighbours.

Verse 2

And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts.

He smote Moab. The terrible severities by which David's conquest of that people was marked, and the probable reason of their being subjected to such a dreadful retribution, are narrated, 2 Samuel 8:2.

The Moabites ... brought gifts - i:e., became tributary to Israel.

Verse 3

And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates.

Hadarezer - or Hadadezer (2 Samuel 8:3), which was probably the original form of the name, was derived from Hadad, a Syrian deity. It seems to have become the official and hereditary title of the rulers of that kingdom.

Zobah. Its situation is determined by the words "unto," or 'toward,' "Hamath," a little to the northeast of Damascus, and is supposed by some to be the same place as in earlier times was called Hobah (Genesis 14:15). Previous to the rise of Damascus, Zobah was the capital of the kingdom which held supremacy among the petty states of Syria.

As he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates. Some refer this to David, who was seeking to extend his possessions in one direction toward a point bordering on the Euphrates, in accordance with the promise, Genesis 15:18; Numbers 24:17. But others are of opinion that, as David's name is mentioned, 1 Chronicles 18:4, this reference is most applicable to Hadarezer.

Verse 4

And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.

David took from him a thousand chariots - (see the notes at 2 Samuel 8:3-14.) In that passage David is said to have taken 700 horsemen, whereas here it is said that be took 7,000. This great discrepancy in the text of the two narratives seems to have originated with a transcriber in confounding the two Hebrew letters which indicate the numbers, and in neglecting to mark or observe the points over one of them. We have no means of ascertaining whether 700 or 7,000 is the more correct. Probably the former, should be adopted (Davidson's 'Hermeneutics').

But reserved of them an hundred chariots - probably to grace a triumphal procession on his return to Jerusalem, and after using them in that way, to destroy them like the rest.

Verses 5-7

And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 8

Likewise from Tibhath, and from Chun, cities of Hadarezer, brought David very much brass, wherewith Solomon made the brasen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.

From Tibhath, and from Chun. These places are called Betah and Berothai, 2 Samuel 8:8. Perhaps the one might be the Jewish, the other the Syrian name of these towns. Neither their situation nor the connection between them is known. The Arabic version makes them to be Emesa, (now Hems) and Baalbeck, both of which agree very well with the relative position of Zobah.

Verse 9

Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;

Tou - or Toi whose dominions border on those of Hadarezer (see the notes at 2 Samuel 8:9-12; 1 Kings 11:15) Tou - or Toi, whose dominions border on those of Hadarezer (see the notes at 2 Samuel 8:9-12; 1 Kings 11:15).

Verses 10-11

He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to inquire of his welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 12

Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand.

Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of Salt eighteen thousand. The conduct of the Edomites having provoked a war, David sent an army into their country, subdued it, and made it a tributary province of his kingdom (cf. 2 Samuel 8:13). 'At the southern extremity of the Dead Sea is a marshy flat, called by the Arabs el-Ghor probably the place where David defeated the Edomites, and which in Scripture is called "the valley of Salt." This plain in winter is often overflowed. Afterward, when the rains cease, the waters recede, and a salt, bituminous, slimy morass remains behind, which, seen from afar, from the glittering of the particles of salt, has the appearance of a sheet of water, but on a nearer approach reveals its true character' (Van de Velde, 2:, pp. 119, 120).

Verse 13

And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David's servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

He put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David's servants. This annexation of Edom enlarged the border of Israel on the southeast to the Red Sea, conformably to the divine promise (Exodus 23:31), and gave him command of its ports.

Verses 14-15

So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 16

And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Shavsha was scribe;

Abimelech - elsewhere Ahimelech (cf. 1 Chronicles 24:6: see the notes at 1 Samuel 14:3; 1 Samuel 22:20; 2 Samuel 8:17) [Septuagint, Achimelech. So also the Vulgate, as well as the Syriac and Arabic versions]. Drusius remarks that there were two Abimelechs-one the grandson of Ahitub, and the other the son of Abiathar.

Verse 17

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king.

The Cherethites and the Pelethites - who formed the royal body-guard. The Cherethites were most probably those brave men who all along accompanied David while among the Philistines, and from that people derived their name (1 Samuel 30:14; Ezekiel 25:16; Zeph. 12:5 ), as well as their skill in archery; while the Pelethites were those who joined him at Ziklag, took their name from Pelet, the chief man in the company (1 Chronicles 12:3), and, being Benjamites, were expert in the use of the sling.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/1-chronicles-18.html. 1871-8.