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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 8

Layman's Bible CommentaryLayman's Bible Commentary

Verses 1-18

A Summary of David’s Wars (8:1-18)

This summary is provided by the Deuteronomic editor. It records David’s conquests over the Philistines and the Moabites, from whom he exacted tribute and two-thirds of whose population was placed under the ban and put to death. Presumably the reference here is to the male population. No reason is given for this ban.

Hadadezer, king of Zobah, ruled over a small state near Damascus. Apparently he got into trouble with David by going to the assistance of the Ammonites against him (see 2 Samuel 10:6). As a result, David captured a large number of fighting men and enough chariot horses to serve his own military and domestic purposes. The figures are probably exaggerated. This campaign drew in the Syrians around Damascus, who in turn were subjugated. David returned with much booty, including the gold shields used by Hadadezer’s soldiers.

This victory also brought other consequences, for the king of Hamath sent congratulations and gifts, the latter being consecrated by David to the service of the Lord.

The other triumph recorded is that over the Edomites, as a consequence of which Edom became a tributary state and garrisons of Israelite troops were established throughout its territory.

The chapter finishes by praising the justice and equity of David’s rule and by furnishing a list of his chief officials. There are errors in the text. The origin and family of Zadok are obscure. Ahitub was the father of Abimelech and a descendant of Eli (1 Samuel 14:3), so that we should read: "Abiathar the son of Abimelech the son of Ahitub, and Zadok." Zadok, according to the most acceptable theory, was the chief priest of the Jebusite sanctuary at Jerusalem. Benaiah had charge of the foreign mercenaries, "the Cherethites and the Pelethites," probably Phoenicians.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Samuel 8". "Layman's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lbc/2-samuel-8.html.
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