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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Chronicles 20

 

 

Verse 1

And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.

At the time that kings go out to battle - in spring, the usual season, in ancient times, for entering on a campaign; i:e., a year subsequent to the Syrian war. Joab led forth the power ... and wasted the country ... of Ammon. The former campaign had been disastrous, owing chiefly to the hired auxiliaries of the Ammonites; and as it was necessary, as well as just, that they should be severely chastised for their wanton outrage on the Hebrew ambassadors, Joab ravaged their country, invested their capital, Rabbah, and having, after a protracted siege, taken one part of it, the lower town or 'city of waters,' insulated by the winding course of the Jabbok, he, knowing that the fort called 'the royal city' would soon fall, invited the king to come in person, and have the honour of storming it. The knowledge of this fact (mentioned 2 Samuel 12:26) enables us to reconcile the two statements, "David tarried at Jerusalem" (1 Chronicles 20:1), and "David and all the people returned to Jerusalem' (1 Chronicles 20:3).


Verse 2

And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David's head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.

Crown of their king. . . weigh a talent of gold - equal to 125 lbs. Some think that Malcom, rendered in our version "their king," should be taken as a proper name, Milcom, or Molech, the Ammonite idol, which, of course, might bear a heavy weight. But, like many other state crowns of Eastern kings, the crown gotten at Rabbah was not worn on the head, but suspended by chains of gold above the throne.

Precious stones - Hebrew, a stone, or cluster of precious stones, which was set on David's head.


Verse 3

And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Cut them with saws ... The Hebrew word, "cut them," is, with the difference of the final letter, the same as that rendered "put them," in the parallel passage of Samuel; and many consider that putting them to saws, axes, etc., means nothing more than that David condemned the inhabitants of Rabbah to hard and penal servitude.


Verse 4

And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.

War at Gezer - or Gob (see the notes at 2 Samuel 21:18-22).

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 20:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-chronicles-20.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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