Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 17:27

Now when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ammiel;   Ammonites;   Barzillai;   David;   Liberality;   Lo-Debar;   Love;   Machir;   Mahanaim;   Rogelim;   Shobi;   Thompson Chain Reference - Barzillai;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Armies of Israel, the;   Compassion and Sympathy;   Manasseh, the Tribe of;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Barzillai;   Hushai;   Mahanaim;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ammiel;   Barzillai;   Gad;   Lo-Debar;   Mahanaim;   Rogelim;   Shobi;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ammiel;   Ammon;   Barzillai;   David;   Gad (1);   Gilead;   Lodebar;   Machir;   Nahash;   Rabbah;   Rogelim;   Shobi;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ammiel;   Debir;   Ironsmith;   Lo-Debar;   Machir;   Mahanaim;   Nahash;   Rogelim;   Shobi;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ammiel;   Ammon, Ammonites;   Barzillai;   Gilead;   Lo-Debar;   Machir;   Mahanaim;   Nahash;   Rabbah;   Rogelim;   Samuel, Books of;   Shobi;   War;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ammiel ;   Ammon, Ammonites, Children of Ammon;   Barzillai ;   Gileadites ;   Lodebar ;   Machir ;   Mahanaim ;   Nahash ;   Rabbah, Rabbath ;   Rogelim ;   Shobi ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nahash;   Rogelim;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   Barzillai;   Gad (2);   Lodebar;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Am'mi-El;   Barzil'la-I;   Lo-De'bar;   Ma'chir;   Rab'bah;   Roge'lim;   Sho'bi;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ammiel;   Ammon;   Barzillai;   Lo-Debar;   Machir;   Nahash;   Rogelim;   Samuel, Books of;   Serpent;   Shobi;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Barzillai;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ammon, Ammonites;   Barzillai;   Hospitality;   Judah I.;   Mahanaim;   Nahash;   Yudan;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Shobi‘s father may have been the king of the Ammonites, and Shobi appointed by David as tributary king or governor of Ammon after he took Rabbah 2 Samuel 12:29. On the other hand, Nahash may have been a common name among the Ammonites, and the Nahash of 2 Samuel 17:25 may have been of that nation.

On Machir, see the marginal reference.

Barzillai was ancestor, through a daughter, to a family of priests, who were called after him “sons of Barzillai,” and who returned from captivity with Zerubbabel, but were not allowed to officiate as priests, or eat of the holy things, through defect of a proper register Ezra 2:61-63. It is likely that being wealthy they had neglected their priestly privileges, as a means of maintenance, before the captivity.

Rogelim was situated in the highlands of Gilead, but the exact situation is not known. It means “the fullers,” being the plural of the word “Rogel,” in “En-Rogel,” 2 Samuel 17:17.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

"When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, And Machir the son of Amiel from Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans and lentils, honey and curds and sheep and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat; for they said, `The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.'"

All of the men mentioned here were powerful princes of Israel who had the grace and the ability to supply David's company with much-needed provisions. "This reaction of David's friends to his misfortunes bears strong testimony to the remarkable power he had for winning the affections of men. If a man is to be judged by the opinion of his friends, David must stand high in the judgment of history."[25]

"Shobi ... of the Ammonites" (2 Samuel 17:27). "Shobi's father may have been the king of the Ammonites; and David may have appointed him as a vassal king or governor of Ammon after he took Rabbah (2 Samuel 12:29)."[26] In any event, "He was one of the men of Rabbah to whom David had shown kindness after his capture of that city."[27]

"Amiel of Lo-debar" (2 Samuel 17:27). This man was a son of Ahithophel and the father of Bathsheba. Thus, Machir was Bathsheba's brother.

"Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim" (2 Samuel 17:27). "This man was an ancestor through a daughter of a family of priests, who were called after him, `Sons of Barzillai.' They returned from the Babylonian captivity with Ezra (Ezra 2:61-63)."[28]

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-17.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim,.... When he first came thither, 2 Samuel 17:24,

that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon: who was either the son, or rather the brother of Hanun king of the Ammonites, that used David's ambassadors in so shameful a manner, whom David overcame and deposed, and set up this brother in his room; who had showed his dislike of his brother's conduct, and now makes a grateful return to David for his favours; though some say this was Hanun himself, as Jarchi, now become a proselyte, which is not so likely; others take this man to be an Israelite that continued in Rabbah, the metropolis of the Ammonites, after it was taken by David:

and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar; the same that brought up Mephibosheth, from whom David received him and took him off of his hands, for which now he requited him, see 2 Samuel 9:5,

and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim; a place that lay under the hills of GileadF25Fuller's Pisgah-View, B. 2. c. 3. sect. 10. p. 94. ; it had its name from the "fullers" who dwelt here for the convenience of fountains of water to wash their clothes in.

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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 17:27". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-17.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,

Shobi — Who, as it may seem, disliked and disowned that barbarous action to the ambassadors; and therefore, when the rest were destroyed, was left king or governor of the residue of the Ammonites.

Machir — See above chap9:4.

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Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-17.html. 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

A MODEL FOR OLD MEN

‘Barzillai the Gileadite.’

2 Samuel 17:27 (cf. 2 Samuel 19:31-40)

See in Barzillai a model for the aged. The whole scene is one of the most touching in sacred writ, and the venerable man stands out before us with vivid lifelike distinctness, as one of the most interesting characters in this thrilling history.… We feel as if we knew him thoroughly and loved him dearly. His old age was beautiful exceedingly. As the basis of a discourse specially addressed to those advanced in life, Barzillai’s case may be profitably made use of. The following points could be pressed:—

I. His sense of the nearness of death.—‘How long have I to live?… I am this day fourscore years old.’ To him the thought of death seemed to be neither unfamiliar nor unpleasant. Remembering his fourscore years he knew it could not be far distant, and he seems quite reconciled to the fact of its approach. His calmness in the prospect does not appear to have arisen from apathy or distaste for life. His sensibilities, even at his advanced age, were keen and tender. The whole tenor of the narrative goes to show that his composure in the thought and near prospect of death was the fruit of piety. This superiority to the terrors of death was quite possible even in Old Testament times, and was enjoyed by many during that period.

Christian men and women who are advanced in years should seek to copy Barzillai’s example, accustoming themselves to the thought and approach of death. How many aged ones, alas! dread to think of their end; delight to be told how hale and fresh-looking they are, how likely they are to be long-lived, as if these things could prolong their days or postpone the appointed hour! Better far, when whitening hair, dimming sight, faltering step, and trembling hand, remind such of Barzillai’s apostrophe, ‘How long have I to live?’ and turn their thoughts towards the other world.

II. His contentment under the infirmities of age.—‘Can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women?’ He had no wish for court life, for he was no longer fit to enjoy it. His powers were waning; he was no longer able to find enjoyment in that which ministered pleasure to others. There is no discontent in his admissions of infirmity. He cheerfully acquiesces in the common lot of the ‘outward man perishing.’ Resignation marks his words. Some aged people are fretful over their infirmities. Peevishness is a common characteristic of advanced life. Others endeavour to conceal the ravages of time, and eagerly mingle in the pleasures of youth. With one foot in the grave, they wish to appear and be considered as young as possible. Both courses are alike unbecoming in those who are in ‘the sere and yellow leaf.’ Better far when old age, with all its drawbacks and infirmities, is meekly accepted and patiently borne.

III. His unworldliness.—‘Why should the king recompense it me with such a reward?’ David’s proposal would have been greedily grasped at by many. Notwithstanding its attractiveness Barzillai courteously declined it. How beautiful to see at a time of life, when men, as a rule, cling more closely to worldly things, such an unregretful renunciation of worldly honour and prosperity! Avarice, the besetting sin of old age, seems to have had no place in Barzillai’s heart. His lavish hospitality to the king and his company (2 Samuel 17:29), and his prompt declinature of all that the king’s invitation implied, show how liberal and unselfish was this aged man. He was satisfied with what he already possessed of worldly good. How many are so? Is it not too true that in all this he is a great contrast to many old people, even professed Christians? How distressing to notice the worldliness of many aged men! On the very borders of eternity, eager to ‘lay up treasures on earth’; hoarding, pinching, saving, as if a life-time were again before them wherein to spend their gains. It is painful to see the tottering step of the grey-haired competing in the race for riches. Old age is the time for being utterly weaned from all such worldliness.

IV. His unselfishness.—‘Behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good to thee.’ He manifested a kindly solicitude in the welfare of his son Chimham. The things in which the parent was no longer able to take delight, were not unsuited to a younger man. He had no selfish wish to prevent another from obtaining and finding pleasure in honours, privileges, and pursuits for which he himself was unfitted by reason of his age. How refreshing to see in one so aged this generous, kindly interest in behalf of one so far behind himself in the journey of life! Too often aged people, no longer able to ‘enjoy life,’ frown upon those younger than themselves who do enjoy it. Forgetful that they themselves were once young, they seek to crush the harmless desires and damp the seasonable enjoyments of youth. How vain and unbecoming! Can those who live mostly in the past, expect those who live the present and the future to feel as they feel, to think as they think, to act as they act? Barzillai had not only no objection that his son should enjoy that in which he himself could take no pleasure, but unselfishly made petition to the king on his behalf. Here we have a ‘looking not only on one’s own things, but also on the things of others’ in a spirit worthy of the New Testament. The most beautiful old age is that which is young-hearted, smiling and not frowning on the innocent pleasures of youth.

Illustrations

(1) ‘The “Young Men of the Bible” form a considerable and interesting group, and there has been no lack of sermons, preached and printed, concerning them. But the “Old Men of the Bible” are a no less interesting study; not merely those whose life-history is traced from youth through manhood to old age, but those who come upon the stage of Scripture history for the first time as old men, and of whose earlier life we know little or nothing. To this latter class belong such as Eliezer, Jethro, Eli, the nameless “old prophet in Bethel” (1 Kings 13), Zacharias, Simeon, Mnason. Not the least remarkable of his class is the “very aged man” Barzillai, the wealthy sheep-master of Rogelim in Gilead. Scripture notices concerning him take us back to the “troublous time” in the reign of King David.’

(2) ‘Barzillai never dreamed of being paid for what he did to David, “The people are hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness,” was the only consideration which prompted the deed. True sympathy needs only the sight of misery and distress, activity instantaneously will follow. Thank Heaven, there is a large and noble army of self-sacrificing men and women battling bravely every day with the enemy in the courts and alleys of our cities and large towns, who have not the remotest idea of having their names trumpeted before men, neither have they ever dreamed of being invited to a king’s table! They do it from love to the great King.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/2-samuel-17.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 17:27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,

Ver. 27. Shobi, the son of Nahash.] Second brother, likely, to that unworthy Hanun, [2 Samuel 10:2] who abused David’s messengers, did him much more mischief, and was therefore worthily deposed, this brother of his being set up king in his stead. We read of Attilus, king of Suecia, that he made a dog king of the Danes, in revenge of a great many injuries he had received from them. Gunno, likewise king of the Danes, made a dog king of Norway, and appointed counsellors to do all things under his title and name. David was not so spiteful: but appointed this thankful man Shobi king of those injurious Ammonites; and married his son Solomon to Naamah, this man’s sister, or daughter, likely, but a convert to the Jewish religion. [1 Kings 14:21]

And Machir.] He with whom Mephibosheth had been brought up, seeing his unexpected kindness to that poor cripple, ministereth to him.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-17.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Shobi, as it may seem, disliked and disowned that barbarous action to the ambassadors; and therefore, when the rest were destroyed, was left king or governor of the residue of the Ammonites.

Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar. See above, 2 Samuel 9:4.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-17.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 17:27. Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah — Who, probably, disliked and disowned that barbarous action to David’s ambassadors, recorded 2 Samuel 10:4, and therefore, when the agents and instruments of Hanun’s tyranny were chastised by David, was left by him in the regency of the country, with such marks of kindness and friendship as now engaged him, in his turn, to give the king all possible demonstrations of affection and gratitude in his distress. Machir, of Lo-debar — The friend and protector of Mephibosheth, who, as such, must be presumed to have been at first, in some degree, disaffected to David; but was now not only reconciled, but zealously attached to him; and probably, in a great measure, from the king’s noble manner of treating Mephibosheth. Barzillai the Gileadite — A man of a very uncommon character, very aged, very wealthy, and very generous. A man who, with all the bodily infirmities of old age, was yet clear of all those which dishonour and deform the mind in that season; equally superior to timorous caution, sordid avarice, and unsuited luxury. — Delaney.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Camp, ver. 24. (Haydock) --- Sobi, whom David had set upon the throne, instead of Hanon, chap. x. --- Machir, who had the care of Miphiboseth, chap. ix. 4. --- Berzellai. See chap. xix. 31.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Nahash. Compare 2 Samuel 10:2.

Machir. He had brought up Mephibosheth. Compare 2 Samuel 9:1

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lo'debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,

When David was come to Mahanaim. The necessities of the king and his followers were hospitably ministered to by three chiefs, whose generous loyalty is recorded with honour in the sacred narrative. That three persons should be in circumstances, at their own expense, to furnish adequate supplies of food and other necessaries to the royal fugitives can be no matter of surprise, when it is considered that the owners of so immense flocks as are reared on the extensive pasture lands of the East are far wealthier than the cultivators of land.

Shobi - must have been brother of Hanun. Disapproving, probably, of that young king's outrage upon the Israelite ambassadors, he had been made governor of Ammon by David, on the conquest of that country. [See Josephus, 'Antiquities,' b. 7:, ch. 9:, sec. 8, where he is called Siphar: Septuagint, Naas, the Vatican has: Abigaian thugatera Naas adelfeen Sarouias, Abigail, daughter of Naas and sister of Zeruiah; and the Alexandrine has-daughter of Naas, adelfon Sarouias, Naas, brother of Zeruiah.]

Machir - (see the notes at 2 Samuel 9:4.) This chief is supposed by some to have been brother of Bath-sheba, but without foundation (cf. 1 Chronicles 3:5 with 2 Samuel 11:3 of this book). His locale cannot be exactly determined, in our ignorance of the site of Lo-deber, which is known only to have been in the nomad region east of the Jordan.

Barzillai - a wealthy old grandee, whose great age and infirmities made his loyal devotion to the distressed monarch peculiarly affecting. The supplies they brought, which, besides beds for the weary, consisted of the staple produce of their rich lands and pastures, may be classified as follows:-Edibles: wheat, barley [ s

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-17.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(27) Shobi the son of Nahash.—The narrative pauses in its course a moment to speak of the assistance sent to David during the time he was at Mahanaim and while Absalom had been gathering his forces. Among those whose friendly assistance was conspicuous was “Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon.” Hanun, king of the Ammonites, was a son of Nahash, and was conquered by David at Rabbah (2 Samuel 10:1; 2 Samuel 12:29-31). It is very possible that after dismantling the royal city David had left a brother of the late king as governor over the conquered territory, and that he now came forward to show his gratitude and faithfulness. It is also possible that Shobi was the son of some Israelite named Nahash, who lived in the conquered city of Rabbah.

Machir the son of Ammiel.—See note on 2 Samuel 9:4. David now reaps a reward for his kindness to the crippled son of Jonathan.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
the son of Nahash
10:1,2; 12:29,30; 1 Samuel 11:1
Machir
9:4
Barzillai
19:31,32; 1 Kings 2:7; Ezra 2:61
Reciprocal: Genesis 32:2 - the name;  Joshua 13:26 - Mahanaim;  2 Samuel 2:8 - Mahanaim;  2 Samuel 16:1 - with a couple;  1 Kings 4:14 - Mahanaim;  1 Chronicles 6:80 - Mahanaim;  1 Chronicles 12:40 - brought;  1 Chronicles 20:1 - Rabbah;  Nehemiah 7:63 - Barzillai;  Psalm 42:6 - from the;  Proverbs 18:24 - that hath

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:27". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-17.html.