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Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 8

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

And after this it came to pass, that David smote. — Out of action he would not be; but seeing he might not build God a house, he would, by subduing his enemies on all hands, provide for his son Solomon both peace - the daughter of war - and spoils for materials great store. And it is observable that he assailed no nation which he overcame not, besieged no city which he took not; the same which our chronicles affirm of the Black Prince.

And David took Methegammah. — That is Gath with her precincts, 1 Chronicles 18:1 called Methegammah, or the bridle of the angle, or corner, because it kept that part of the country in awe and order. This David took from the Philistines; so hath Christ taken away the dominion of sin. Romans 6:8-14

Verse 2

And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And [so] the Moabites became David’s servants, [and] brought gifts.

And he smote Moab, and measured them with a line. — He used this great severity against them, say the Rabbis, because they had treacherously slain his father and mother, whom he had left with them. 1 Samuel 22:3-4 Howsoever, the Moabites were ever bitter enemies to the Israelites. See Numbers 22:3 . See Trapp on " Numbers 22:3 "

And measured them with a line. — As a carpenter marketh out with a line Isaiah 44:13 what he meaneth to hew off. Compare Isaiah 34:11 .

And with one full line to keep alive. — See a like mixture of severity and mercy in Zechariah 13:8-9 . So Christ will at the last day shed and sever the sheep from the goats. Matthew 25:32-33

And so the Moabites became David’s servants. — Even his wash pots, Psalms 60:8 and that prophecy was in part fulfilled, Numbers 24:17 .

Verse 3

David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.

David smote also Hadadezer. — An ambitious and turbulent prince, who began to grow exceeding potent; and had already, as it may seem, subdued Damascus, and was now formidable to the Israelites. Saul had had wars with his father Zobah, 1 Samuel 14:47 and haply he might pretend that old quarrel, or the conquest of Canaan by his predecessor Cushanrishathaim.

As he went to recover. — And so must needs pass through part of Judea on the other side Jordan, or not far from it. And so if he had returned a conqueror, was like enough to invade it; for ambition is restless, and never saith, It is enough.

Verse 4

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

And David took from him a thousand chariots. — As 1 Chronicles 18:4 . And the seven hundred horsemen were ranks of horsemen, ten in a rank, and so make seven thousand (ib.). Josephus saith that he slew five thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen. Of David’s houghing the horses he maketh no mention, because it might seem to have been unwisely done, though in obedience to God’s will, and according to Joshua’s practice. It is well observed concerning Josephus, that writing the antiquities of his own nation with an intention to communicate them to others, he described them as stately as he could; and when he thought the simplicity of the Scripture did not suffice to the commendation of things done amongst his Hebrews, he either added or detracted from the holy history; and therefore he is to be read with discretion.

Verse 5

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

And when the Syrians of Damascus came. — Either by the command of Hadadezer, who had subdued them - compare 1 Kings 11:23 - or else out of a pragmatical humour, to meddle where they had not to do. See Proverbs 26:17 .

Verse 6

Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, [and] brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus. — Which lay north of Judea, as the Moabites did east, the Philistines west, and the Edomites 2 Samuel 8:14 south. Thus he laid about him lustily; beating his enemies on all sides; himself the chief actor; for as Virgil hath it -

Urget praesentia Turni.

Verse 7

And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.

And David took the shields of gold. — As Alexander had his Argyraspides, Polyhist., cap. 65. so Hadadezer his Chrysaspides; as if they had been masters of those two islands in India, called Chryse and Argyre, for the plenty of gold and silver there.

Verse 8

And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass.

And from Betah, and from Berothai. — Called afterwards Tibhath and Chun. 1 Chronicles 18:8

Verse 9

When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer,

When Toi king of Hamath. — Called afterwards Antiochia, as the Chaldee Paraphrast hath it, of King Antiochus; as Methegammah or Gath, 2 Samuel 8:1 was called Diocaesarea.

Verse 10

Then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And [Joram] brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass:

Then Toi sent Joram his son: — So true is that of Solomon, "Many are the lovers of the rich and prosperous: whenas the poor is hated even of his own neighbour," Proverbs 14:20 as David had been whilst in a low condition.

Had wars with Toi. — Heb., Was a man of wars with him. Perpetuis bellis cum infestabat neque sinebat ab eis quiescere. - Jun. A quarrelsome man is like a cock of the game, that is still bloody with the blood of others, and himself.

Verse 11

Which also king David did dedicate unto the LORD, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all nations which he subdued;

Which also king David did dedicate unto the Lord. — For the building and beautifying of his temple. So did Christ, when he went forth conquering and to conquer, Revelation 6:2 make use of the spoils he took from the world for the good of his Church, and for the building up of that spiritual temple; - the precious arts, for instance, which, as in the first plantation of the gospel in Europe, he shipped before into Greece, as his munition, meaning to send his soldiers soon after. So in the reviving of the gospel by the late happy reformation, there was sent before it as a harbinger, a general resurrection of all learning. The Greek tongue, by the sack of Constantinople, was sent by the Turk, though for no good will, into these western climates. The art of printing, which the Chinese say they had amongst them long before, was here made use of: and by that means, among other excellent books, conducing to the reformation, was published the Complutensian Bible in six volumes, A.D. 1515, at the charge of Cardinal Ximines, Archbishop of Toledo, two years before Luther stirred. An excellent work surely, and such as may well be reckoned among those means and instruments whereby the truth was restored, and Popery profligated: since both the original languages of the Bible, before only in the hands of the Jews and Grecians, together with the Chaldee, were now generally made known. Neander telleth us that that Bible, set forth by a limb of Antichrist ( ducatorum sexcentis millenis millibus impensis ), was a singular help to Luther. Geogr., part 1.

Verse 12

Of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalek, and of the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

Of Syria, … — Rupertus well applieth these seven victories of David recorded in this chapter to those seven vials of wrath and judgments which Christ shall pour upon the beast and others, for contempt of the gospel.

Verse 13

And David gat [him] a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, [being] eighteen thousand [men].

And David gat him a name. — He set him up a triumphal arch or trophy, saith Abulensis and others; he was worthily renowned and reckoned amongst the world’s worthies; he was everywhere cried up for a great warrior and a famous conqueror.

From smiting of the Syrians. — Amongst whom also were very many of the Edomites, who here met with their bane, and lost the library of their country. See 1 Chronicles 18:12 Psalms 60:1 , title: which psalm David sang at this time, and on this occasion.

Verse 14

And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David’s servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

And he put garrisons in Edom. — He cast out his shoe over them, as Psalms 60:8 . See Trapp on " Psalms 60:8 " he set a deputy or viceroy there; 1 Kings 22:47 and here the elder brother began to serve the younger, according to the oracle, Genesis 25:23 .

And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went. — Neither preserved him only, but prospered him: and this is twice noted in this chapter. See 2 Samuel 8:6 . Plures sunt gratiae privativae quam positivae, saith Gerson. Our deliverances are many and daily: this being the difference betwixt a godly and and a wicked man; that the former is preserved, the latter is only reserved to further punishment, as was Pharaoh Sennacherib, others. See both these in 2 Peter 2:9 .

Verse 15

And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people.

And David reigned over all Israel. — They were his loyal subjects at home; like as his foes abroad were his slaves and vassals; the bounds of his kingdom also were extended to the uttermost, as God had anciently promised.

And David executed judgment and justice.Fuit severus in quos oportuit, et in quos oportuit misericors, saith Vatablus. Now it was, haply, that "the God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke unto him, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God." 2 Samuel 23:3 David was not puffed up with pride of his many victories, as Nebuchadnezzar; nor did he thereupon give himself to riot and intemperancy, as Alexander; nor did he tyrannise the more over his people, as Saul; but set himself to rule aright, that his throne might be established. Proverbs 14:34

Verse 16

And Joab the son of Zeruiah [was] over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud [was] recorder;

Was over the host. — This honour he had purchased by his valour, 1 Chronicles 11:6 but forfeited by his blood-guiltiness.

And Jehoshaphat … was recorder. — Or, Chancellor of the kingdom, or chief chronicler.

Verse 17

And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, [were] the priests; and Seraiah [was] the scribe;

Were the priests. — Ahimelech, alias Abiathar, being the only high priest: till he was thrust out by Solomon for siding with Adonijah; and Zadek set in his room. 1 Kings 2:25 ; 1 Kings 2:27

Verse 18

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada [was over] both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief rulers.

Was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites,i.e., Was Praefectus cohortis praetoriance, captain of the king’s guard, σωματοφυλακες . - Joseph. Illis erat commissa cura corporis regii. - Vatab. who might be native Philistines, great and mighty men of stature, but proselytes and professors of the true religion.

And David’s sons were chief rulers. — Or, Princes, chief about the king, 1 Chronicles 18:17 which preferment haply might puff up Absalom and Adonijah, and put them upon ill exploits. Our Henry II was very unhappy in his eldest son Henry, whom he crowned whilst he was yet alive, but killed him with that kindness; in his second son Richard, who, being set over Normandy, conspired with the king of France against him; and in his third son John, upon whom by heaping honours, he made him more dangerous at home. Dan 109,144

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/2-samuel-8.html. 1865-1868.
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