Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, June 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 20

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-3

The City of Rabbah Taken

v. 1. And it came to pass that after the year was expired, at the season when warlike operations were usually resumed, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, the flower of his veteran troops, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, thus chastising the Ammonites for their willful outrage on the Hebrew ambassadors, and came and besieged Rabbah, the most powerful fortress in the country. But David tarried at Jerusalem, coming over only after Joab had taken the lower town, and himself directing the storming of the citadel, 2 Samuel 12:26. And Joab smote Rabbah and destroyed it, David being present only in the last part of the campaign.

v. 2. And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold (roughly, equal to one hundred and twenty-five pounds); and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David's head. not permanently, but only to signify the subjection of the Ammonites. And he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.

v. 3. And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws and with harrows of iron, threshing carts, and with axes, probably scythelike cutting instruments. The method of dealing with vanquished foes seems barbarous at this time, but was undoubtedly well deserved. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon, his purpose being a complete overthrow of these ancient enemies of Israel. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem. What the Ammonites experienced has happened time and again in the course of history, namely, that people brought only misfortune upon themselves, especially in attempting to battle against the Lord and His Church.

Verses 4-8

Exploits of Individual Heroes

v. 4. And it came to pass after this that there arose war at Gezer, it was rekindled, like a fire that has been smoldering, with the Philistines, Gezer being on their northern boundary, in the tribe of Ephraim; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai (or Saph), that was of the children of the giant, belonging to the Rephaim, the last remnant of the former giant race in this country; and they were subdued.

v. 5. And there was war again with the Philistines, another uprising; and Elhanan, the son of Jair (or Jaare-oregim), slew Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear-staff was like a weaver's beam.

v. 6. And yet again there was war at Gath, in the Philistine country proper, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand and six on each foot; and he also was the son of the giant, he, too, belonged to this giant race.

v. 7. But when he defied Israel, reproached and challenged the host of the Lord, Jonathan, the son of Shimea, David's brother, slew him.

v. 8. These were born unto the giant in Gath, the last of the giant family; and they fell by the hand of David, that is, while he was supreme military chief, although he personally slew Goliath, and by the hand of his servants. The story is typical of the fate which comes upon those who oppose the rule of the great Son of David, Jesus Christ, for they will, if not in this life, eventually receive their punishment, everlasting destruction, by their own fault.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 20". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/1-chronicles-20.html. 1921-23.
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