Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 12:30

Then he took the crown of their king from his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David's head. And he brought out the spoil of the city in great amounts.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ammonites;   Crown;   David;   King;   Rabbah;   Stones;   Thompson Chain Reference - Crowns;   David;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ammonites, the;   Gold;   Precious Stones;   Weights;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Crown;   Nathan;   Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ammon;   Rabbah;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ammonite;   Crown;   Malcam;   Talent;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ambassador;   Ammon;   Crown;   Hanun;   Zebulun;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Coins;   Commerce;   Crown;   Jewels, Jewelry;   Milcom;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ammon, Ammonites;   Crown;   David;   Milcom;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ammon, Ammonites, Children of Ammon;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nathan;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - David;   Measures;   Talent;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Crown;   Da'vid;   King,;   Rab'bah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Crown;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ammon;   Crown;   Gold;   Government;   King;   Malcam;   Molech;   Precious;   Rabbah;   Samuel, Books of;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ammonites;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Crown;   Gems;   Gold;   Head-Dress;   Ornament;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The weight whereof was a talent of gold - If this talent was only seven pounds, as Whiston says, David might have carried it on his head with little difficulty; but this weight, according to common computation, would amount to more than one hundred pounds!

If, however, משקלה mishkalah be taken for the value, not the weight then all is plain as the worth of the crown will be about £5075 15s. 7d. sterling. Now this seems to be the true sense, because of the added words with the precious stones; i.e., the gold of the crown, and the jewels with which it was adorned, were equal in value to a talent of gold.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Their king‘s crown - The word rendered their king (Malcham) is also the name of the national idol of the Ammonites (Jeremiah 49:1, Jeremiah 49:3 margin; Amos 1:15; Zephaniah 1:5). Moreover, the weight of the crown, which is calculated to be equal to 100 or 125 pounds weight, is far too great for a man to wear. On the whole, it seems most probable that the idol Malcam is here meant.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-12.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he took their king's crown from off his head,.... The crown of Hanun the king of the Ammonites, who now fell into his hands, and whom he stripped of his ensigns of royalty, who had so shamefully abused his ambassadors, 2 Samuel 10:4,

(the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones): or, "and a precious stone"; there might be more, as our version suggests, but there was one in it remarkably large and valuable; JosephusF2Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 7. sect. 5.) says it had in it a very precious stone, a sardonyx; and this, according to the TalmudF3T. Bab. Avodah Zarah, fol. 44. 1. was of the value of a talent of gold. A talent was equal to three thousand shekels, as appears from Exodus 38:25; and was in value, according to BrerewoodF4De Ponder. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 4. of our money, 4500 pounds; but according to Bishop CumberlandF5Of Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 4. p. 121. 5067 pounds, three shillings and ten pence. This crown was of the same value with the golden candlestick in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:39; and some think that value here is meant, and not the weight, a talent of gold being very heavy; according to Bishop CumberlandF6Ib. p. 119. , ninety three and three quarter pounds; some say an hundred thirteen pounds ten ounces, and more; too great a weight to be borne on the head by Hanun or David; but, what with the gold and precious stones about it, it might be equal in value to a talent of gold; but weight is expressly mentioned, and the crowns of the eastern princes were of great bulk and weight, as well as value: AthenaeusF7Apud Paschalium de Coronis, l. 9. c, 8. p. 587. makes mention of one made of ten thousand pieces of gold, placed on the throne of King Ptolemy, and of some of two cubits, of six, yea, of sixteen cubits. SomeF8Vid. Hieron. Trad. Heb. in 2 Reg. fol. 78. H. & in Paralipom. fol. 83. M. Weemse of Jewish Weights, p. 141. are of opinion that this crown was not the crown of the king of Ammon, but of Milcom or Molech, their idol, and that the proper name should be retained in the version, and that David had a crown made of it he could bear; but if, as othersF9Pfeiffer. Difficil. Script. Loc. cent. 2. loc. 87. , the Syriac talent is meant, which was but the fourth part of an Hebrew one, the difficulty is greatly lessened; for it seems to be the same crown David afterwards wore, as follows:

and it was set on David's head; to show that the kingdom was translated to him, or was become subject to him; as Alexander, on the conquest of Darius, put the Persian diadem on his own headF11Diodor. Sic. l. 17. p. 549. , in token of that monarchy being translated to him: though, after all, the phrase, "from off", may be rendered "from above" or "over"F12מעל "desuper", Montanus, "supra caput David", Munster. his head, and so it was set "above" or "over" the head of David, being supported by some means or other, that its weight did not bear thereon however, Paschalius, who wrote a learned work, "De Coronis", must be mistaken when be saysF13Ut supra, (Apud Paschalium de Coronis) l. 10. c. 10. p. 695. this seems to be the first use of a crown in the kingdom of Judah, there being no mention of a crown before, either of Saul or David, only of anointing; since express mention is made of Saul's crown, 2 Samuel 1:10; though his observation may be just, that this crown, allowed to be worn by David, was a pledge of the renewal of his royal dignity, and of his acceptance with God upon his repentance for his above sins:

and he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance; which, or at least part of it, was dedicated to the building of the sanctuary, 2 Samuel 8:11.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof [was] a s talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was [set] on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

(s) That is, 60 pounds after the weight of the common talent.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

he took their king‘s crown from off his head — While the treasures of the city were given as plunder to his soldiers, David reserved to himself the crown, which was of rarest value. Its great weight makes it probable that it was like many ancient crowns, not worn, but suspended over the head, or fixed on a canopy on the top of the throne.

the precious stonesHebrew, “stone”; was a round ball composed of pearls and other jewels, which was in the crown, and probably taken out of it to be inserted in David‘s own crown.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-12.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

He then took their king's crown ( “their king,” viz., the king of the Ammonites) from off his (the king's) head; so that he had either been taken prisoner or slain at the capture of the city. The weight of the crown was “a talent of gold, and precious stones” (sc., were upon it): as the writer of the Chronicles has correctly explained it by supplying בּהּ . The Hebrew talent (equal to 3000 shekels) was 83 1/2 Dresden pounds. But the strongest man could hardly have borne a crown of this weight upon his head for however short a time; and David could scarcely have placed it upon his own head. We must therefore assume that the account of the weight is not founded upon actual weighing, but simply upon an approximative estimate, which is somewhat too high. David also took a great quantity of booty out of the city.

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-12.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

The weight — Or rather, the price whereof, etc. For the same words both in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, are used, to signify either weight, or price. And the addition of precious stones, which are never valued by the weight of gold, makes this signification most probable. Moreover, the weight might seem too great either for the king of Ammon, or for David to wear it upon his head.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 12:30 And he took their king’s crown from off his head, the weight whereof [was] a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was [set] on David’s head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

Ver. 30. And he took their king’s crown from off his head.] After that it had been first put on by others, to show that he was now degraded of his royal dignity. So our Richard II, when to be deposed, was brought forth in a royal robe, with a crown upon his head, &c. Never, saith the historian, was prince so gorgeous with less glory and more grief.

The weight whereof was a talent of gold.] Too heavy and weighty to be worn ordinarily; held it was perhaps, or hung at solemn times, over the king’s head as he sat in a chair of state. The crown of glory is much more weighty; so that if the body were not upheld by the power of God, it were impossible it should bear it. It is "an exceeding excessive eternal weight of glory." [2 Corinthians 4:17]

With the precious stones.] It is said of our Queen Mary, that at her coronation, her head was so laden with pearls and precious stones, that she could not look up.

And it was set on David’s head.] So our Edward III was crowned in Paris, and set there a viceroy; like as David here did Shobi the son of Nahash, who therefore helped David when he fled from Absalom. [2 Samuel 17:27-28] Let us set the crown on Christ’s head, by whom we are more than conquerors. See Song of Solomon 3:11, Revelation 4:10. Canutus set his crown upon the crucifix, according to the course of those dark times, and proclaimed, saying, Let all the inhabitants of the world know that there is no mortal man worthy the name of a king, but he to whose beck heaven, earth, and sea by his laws eternal are obedient. (a)

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-12.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 12:30. And he took their king's crown, &c.— David formally deposed this king; and Dr. Trapp thinks that the form of his deposal was, by arraying him in his royal robes, and probably placing him on his throne with his crown upon his head, and then divesting him of all his ensigns of royalty. If instead of weight we read the price or value of his crown, was a talent gold, all the difficulties will be removed which have given commentators so much trouble, arising from the extraordinary weight of this crown, which certainly was too heavy to have been borne upon the head: and the original word will well bear this meaning, which the context seems to confirm; for it is there said, that the value was so much with the precious stones; but if the weight only had been spoken of, certainly the mention of the precious stones would have been improper. See Le Cene's Proposal for a new version. Some, however, who defend the present version, suppose, that the Syriac, not the Hebrew talent is here meant; the latter being four times heavier than the former. See Pfeiffer, and Michaelis.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-12.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The weight whereof was a talent of gold, or rather, the price whereof, &c. For as the Hebrew shekel signifies both a weight, and a piece of money of a certain price; so also may mishkal, as proceeding from the same root. And, in general, the same words both in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin are promiscuously used, to signify either weight or price, as is well known to the learned. And the addition of

precious stones, which are never valued by the weight of gold, makes this signification here most proper and probable. Moreover, the weight might seem too great, either for the king of Ammon or for David, to wear it upon his head. Although, if this were meant of the weight, it might be said that this was not a crown to be worn ordinarily, but merely to be put on upon the king’s head at his coronation, or upon solemn occasions, as here where this was done, in token of the translation of this kingdom to David; and, it may be, it was held up or supported by two officers of state, that it might not be too burdensome to him, and after a little while taken off.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

30.Took their king’s crown — Some take מלכם, malcam, rendered their king, as a proper name, Milcom, (compare 1 Kings 11:5; 2 Kings 23:23, and Zephaniah 1:5,) the great Ammonite idol, elsewhere called Molech. The Septuagint reads, took the crown of Molcom their king. But David would hardly have suffered the crown of that abominable idol to be put upon his head.

The weight’ a talent of gold — More than one hundred pounds. This seems incredibly heavy for a crown worn upon the head, and so many interpreters have explained the meaning as worth the weight of a gold talent. But this explanation hardly accords with the natural meaning of the words. Pfeiffer, without sufficient evidence, understands here the weight not of a Hebrew but a Syriac talent. It is better to regard the statement as an inexact but popular estimate of the weight of a crown unusually large and heavy. Sir Harford Jones Brydges describes the Persian crown of state as excessively heavy, and relates that, happening to look back, on quitting the audience chamber, he saw the king lifting his crown from his head, as if anxious to relieve himself from its oppressive weight.

With the precious stones — The meaning is, according to 1 Chronicles 20:2, that the crown was set with precious stones.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-12.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 12:30. He took the king’s crown from off his head — This was the king’s part of the spoil. The weight thereof was a talent of gold — Or, rather, the price or value of it, as the Hebrew frequently signifies, and not only weight; and so it is to be taken here; for who could be able to carry on his head such a weight as a talent; which is computed to be one hundred and twenty-five pounds. With precious stones — Which made the value of it so great. Josephus says that there was a stone of great price in the middle of the crown, which he calls a sardonyx. And it was set on David’s head — To show the inhabitants that they were to submit to him as their king.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

King. Hebrew, Malcam, "their king." Moloc, "king," or the chief idol of the Ammonites. It was forbidden to use the ornaments of the idols on Chanaan, but not of other nations. This crown might be worth a talent, on account of the gold and precious stones; (1 Paralipomenon xx. 2.; Sanchez; Bochart,) or it might weigh so much as almost 87 pounds, (Calmet) or above 113 pounds English. (Haydock) --- such immence crowns were sometimes suspended for ornament, over the throne; as Benjamin of Tudela says was done by the emperor Commenes. Pliny describes one of nine pounds; and Athenæus (v. 8,) another of 80 cubits, or 40 yards (Haydock) in circumference. (Calmet) --- The idol, or the king of Ammon, (Menochius) might have one of the like nature, suspended. The Rabbins say David caused it to hand in the air by means of a load-stone; as if it would attract gold! (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

their king"s crown = the crown of Milcom, with Septuagint. Compare 1 Chronicles 20:2. Jeremiah 49:1, Jeremiah 49:3. Amos 1:15. Zephaniah 1:5 (Comp. Bible). talent. See App-51.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

He took their king's crown from off his head. While the treasures of the city were given as plunder to his soldiers, David reserved to himself the crown, which was of rarest value. Its great weight makes it probable that it was, like many ancient crowns, not worn, but suspended over the head, or fixed on a canopy on the top of the throne; and its value a talent of gold = 5,000 pound sterling.

The precious stones - Hebrew, stone; according to Josephus, a sardonyx-was a round ball composed of pearls and other jewels, which was in the crown, and probably taken out of it, to be inserted in David's own crown.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(30) Their king’s crown.—The same Hebrew letters, translated their king, form the name of Milcom, the chief idol of the Ammonites, and hence some writer have quite unnecessarily supposed that the idol’s crown is meant.

A talent of gold.—If this is according to the Hebrew weights, the amount is extraordinary, for the silver talent was above a hundred pounds, the gold talent twice as much. But there were various other Eastern talents, as the Babylonian and Persian, of much smaller weight, and it is not unlikely that a light talent may have been in use among the Ammonites. The weight, however, on any reasonable supposition, would have been too great to allow of this crown being commonly worn.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
took
1 Chronicles 20:2
the weight
If this talent was only seven pounds, as Whiston says, David might have carried it on his head with little difficulty; but this weight, according to common computation, would amount to nearly 114 pounds! Some, therefore, think, that mishkelah should be taken for its value, not weight; which renders it perfectly plain, as the worth of the crown will be about 5,074£. 15s. 7d. sterling. The ancients mention several such large crowns, made more for sight than use. Athenæus describes a crown of gold that was 24 feet in circumference; and mentions others that were two, some four, and others five feet deep. Pliny takes notice of some that were no less than eight pounds weight. Besides the crown usually worn, it was customary for kings, in some nations, to have such large ones as described, either hung or supported over the throne, where they sat at their coronation or other solemn occasions.
in great abundance
Heb. very great.
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 1:10 - crown;  2 Samuel 17:27 - the son of Nahash;  2 Kings 11:12 - put the crown;  Psalm 21:3 - settest

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:30". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-12.html.