corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
1 Chronicles 12



Verse 1

1 Chronicles 12:1 Now these [are] they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they [were] among the mighty men, helpers of the war.

Ver. 1. Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag.] God left not David in his low estate, but provided him a place of repose, and some to comfort him and stand by him in his straits. Saul "saw this, and was grieved: he gnashed with his teeth," &c. [Psalms 112:10]

While he yet kept himself close.] Heb., Being yet shut up, viz., in Ziklag, which was in the wilderness of Judah.

Helpers of the war.] Saul had lost their hearts by his impiety and cruelty, and now David was their darling, and for this they are here crowned and chronicled.

Verse 2

1 Chronicles 12:2 [They were] armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in [hurling] stones and [shooting] arrows out of a bow, [even] of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin.

Ver. 2. Even of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin.] Mirum hoc fuit et quasi miraculum. It is God who worketh men’s hearts, and fashioneth their opinions. Paul had friends in Nero’s court, and Luther in the Pope’s.

Verse 8

1 Chronicles 12:8 And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, [and] men of war [fit] for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces [were like] the faces of lions, and [were] as swift as the roes upon the mountains;

Ver. 8. There separated themselves unto David,] sc., From Saul. So did the noble army of martyrs unto Christ from Antichrist, and are therefore worthily renowned and registered.

Whose faces were like the faces of lions.] Undaunted, fierce, and terrible to their enemies. They durst look death itself in the face upon great adventures in the field.

Verse 14

1 Chronicles 12:14 These [were] of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least [was] over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.

Ver. 14. One of the least was over a hundred.] Or, One that was least could resist a hundred, and the greatest a thousand. Such a one was

παντων ανταξιος αλλων.”

Verse 15

1 Chronicles 12:15 These [are] they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all [them] of the valleys, [both] toward the east, and toward the west.

Ver. 15. These are they that went over Jordan.] To help David. Much water could not quench their love.

And they put to flight all them of the valleys.] The Philistines, who, having slain Saul, and driven the Israelites out of their habitations, dwelt now in their room; but were soon beaten out by these valiant Gadites. An autem navigio vel natando transierint, non liquet.

Verse 16

1 Chronicles 12:16 And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.

Ver. 16. Then came the children of Benjamin and Judah.] The Benjamites might have been suspected to have come for a mischief to David, had they not brought the men of Judah with them, to attest their integrity.

Verse 17

1 Chronicles 12:17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if [ye be come] to betray me to mine enemies, seeing [there is] no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look [thereon], and rebuke [it].

Ver. 17. If you be come peaceably.] It is not safe to be light of belief, or too forward to make friendship. Gedaliah perished by his credulity, and Queen Elizabeth oft complained that "in trust she had found treason." Mohammed, the great Turk, sent a couple of traitors to kill Scanderbeg, under pretence of great love to him and to the Christian religion, &c,

Tuta frequensque via est per amici fallere nomen.

The God of our fathers.] David could not do his enemies, whether covert or overt, a greater displeasure than to put them over into God’s hands to punish.

Verse 18

1 Chronicles 12:18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, [who was] chief of the captains, [and he said], Thine [are we], David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace [be] unto thee, and peace [be] to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

Ver. 18. Then the spirit came upon Amasai.] Heb., Clothed Amasai or Abishai, as some read it, together with whose words there went forth power, such as wrought in David’s heart a firm belief of their fidelity: he was not thenceforth jealous of them at all. Pray for such a spirit upon our rulers and teachers.

Peace, peace be unto thee,] i.e., Pax omnimoda, Perfect peace, as Isaiah 26:3. This he spake by the motion of the spirit, met by a motion of the same spirit wrought in David’s heart, causing him to rest in what Amasai said as undoubtedly true. After the same manner is saving faith wrought in God’s elect. [Ephesians 1:13] Let us be faithful in weakness, though but weak in faith.

Verse 19

1 Chronicles 12:19 And there fell [some] of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to [the jeopardy of] our heads.

Ver. 19. When he came with the Philistines, &c.] See on 1 Samuel 29:1-11.

Verse 22

1 Chronicles 12:22 For at [that] time day by day there came to David to help him, until [it was] a great host, like the host of God.

Ver. 22. Like the host of God,] i.e., A numerous and a notable host, such as God’s is, of angels and all creatures. Dei nimirum Maximi, maxima sunt omnia.

Verse 23

1 Chronicles 12:23 And these [are] the numbers of the bands [that were] ready armed to the war, [and] came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.

Ver. 23. And came to David to Hebron.] Seven years after Saul’s death. They should have come sooner; but better late than never. Nunquam sero, si serio.

Verse 24

1 Chronicles 12:24 The children of Judah that bare shield and spear [were] six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war.

Ver. 24. That bare shield and year,] i.e., Weapons defensive and offensive; so must the Christian soldier. [Ephesians 6:12-17]

Verse 26

1 Chronicles 12:26 Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred.

Ver. 26. Of the children of Levi.] Who took up arms also in some cases, as here to settle David on the throne.

Verse 28

1 Chronicles 12:28 And Zadok, a young man mighty of valour, and of his father’s house twenty and two captains.

Ver. 28. And Zadok, a young man.] Some think that Saul, when he had slain Abimelech, made this Zadok high priest in his stead. He was of the right line, and restored thirty-three or four years after this by king Solomon.

Verse 29

1 Chronicles 12:29 And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul.

Ver. 29. Had kept the ward of the house of Saul.] Had done their utmost for Saul’s family, and to keep the royal dignity in their tribe, obeying before the commands of king Ishbosheth.

Verse 30

1 Chronicles 12:30 And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous throughout the house of their fathers.

Ver. 30. Twenty thousand and eight hundred.] This was no great number for so numerous a tribe.

Verse 31

1 Chronicles 12:31 And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were expressed by name, to come and make David king.

Ver. 31. Which were expressed by name.] Heb., Pierced or bored through; haply in tables laid over with wax, which was the Roman way of writing their last wills.

Verse 32

1 Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, [which were men] that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them [were] two hundred; and all their brethren [were] at their commandment.

Ver. 32. That had understanding of the times.] Noscentes scite tempora, (a) such as well knew what was to be done, and when to do it, by a singular sagacity, gotten by long experience, rather than by skill in astrology. See Esther 1:13. David set a high price upon these; so doth God on such as regard and use the season of well-doing.

Were at their commandment.] They were looked upon as oracular men; and obeyed accordingly.

Verse 33

1 Chronicles 12:33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: [they were] not of double heart.

Ver. 33. They were not of a double heart.] Heb., Without a heart and a heart; plain-hearted; non aliud in ore promptum, aliud in pectore conclusum habentes; honest dealers.

Verse 38

1 Chronicles 12:38 All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel [were] of one heart to make David king.

Ver. 38. Were of one heart to make David king.] So were those primitive Christians, and are now the reformed churches, to set up the Lord Christ.

Verse 40

1 Chronicles 12:40 Moreover they that were nigh them, [even] unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, [and] meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for [there was] joy in Israel.

Ver. 40. Moreover, their brethren.] By grace and place.

For there was joy in Israel.] As great cause they had.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 12:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, May 29th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology