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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
2 Samuel 8

 

 

Verses 1-18

2 Samuel 8. David's Victories. His Ministers (D).—A concluding summary, corresponding to the similar section on Saul (1 Samuel 14:47 ff.) and by the same hand. Apparently it formed the conclusion of an early edition of the Book of Samuel. It includes material and information from earlier sources.

2 Samuel 8:1-8. David subdues the Philistines, Moabites, and Syrians.

2 Samuel 8:1. the bridle of the mother city: the text is hopelessly corrupt.

2 Samuel 8:2. Two-thirds were put to death.

2 Samuel 8:3-8. Apparently a summary with variations of 2 Samuel 10:6-19.

2 Samuel 8:3. Zobah: 1 Samuel 14:47.—the River: Euphrates.

2 Samuel 8:8. Betah . . . Berothai: not identified.

2 Samuel 8:9-12. The king of Hamath sends presents to David; these, with the spoil from his various conquests, he dedicates to Yahweh, i.e. stores in the Temple treasury, primarily, possibly, for the use of the Temple, especially for equipment, decoration, and building; but probably also as a national reserve for other purposes, e.g. wars, which were "Wars of Yahweh," a sacred activity, waged by consecrated warriors (pp. 99, 114). Temples in ancient times served as banks, the deity being supposed to protect the treasure committed to his care; though doubtless other precautions were taken.

2 Samuel 8:9. Hamath: 2 Kings 14:25*, Isaiah 10:9*, Amos 6:2*.

2 Samuel 8:13 f. David subdues Edom.

2 Samuel 8:13. Syrians: read Edom (mg.) with Ch., LXX, etc.—Valley of Salt: probably to the S. of Judah, in Edom.

2 Samuel 8:15-18. In addition to a commander-in-chief, David had a "recorder," lit. "remembrancer," and a "scribe." There are no express statements as to the functions of these officials. We should expect that the scribe would have charge of any secretarial work needed at the court; the "recorder" was probably not the public annalist, but the king's confidential adviser. There were two groups of priests: the more strictly professional priests, who were probably described in the original text as Zadok and Abiathar the son of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub; and the sons of David. In the present text Zadok is son of Ahitub, and therefore of the house of Eli, which is at variance with the rest of the history: Zadok became sole priest (i.e. of the royal sanctuary) when the house of Eli was deposed. A description of Zadok may have been lost; it is not clear that the early document connected either Eli or Zadok with Aaron. Note that in any case the priesthood is not limited to either the house of Aaron or the tribe of Levi; the royal princes are priests. This seemed impossible to late writers under the influence of the Priestly Code, and so 1 Chronicles 18:17 alters "priests" to "chief men about the king," AV and RVm follow suit with "chief rulers" and "chief ministers"; both mistranslations.

Then there was a captain of the Cherethites (1 Samuel 30:13) and Pelethites (p. 56), the bodyguard of foreign mercenaries now first appearing in Israelite history. This body was often of great importance, on account of their personal devotion to the king, and their freedom from local ties. Pelethite only occurs in the phrase "Cherethites and Pelethites," the title of the bodyguard; it is generally regarded as a variant of Philistine (HDB).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/2-samuel-8.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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