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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 18:8

For the battle there was spread over the whole countryside, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The wood devoured more people - It is generally supposed that, when the army was broken, they betook themselves to the wood, fell into pits, swamps, etc., and, being entangled, were hewn down by David's men; but the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, state that they were devoured by wild beasts in the wood.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The battle was scattered - Probably Absalom‘s forces were far more numerous than David‘s; but, most likely by Joab‘s skillful generalship, the field of battle was such that numbers did not tell, and David‘s veteran troops were able to destroy Absalom‘s rabble in detail. The wood entangled them, and was perhaps full of pits, precipices, and morasses 2 Samuel 18:17.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-18.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country,.... Or the warriors were scattered, as the Targum; Absalom's soldiers, their ranks were broken, and they were thrown into the utmost confusion, and ran about here and there all over the field or plain in which the battle was fought, and into the neighbouring wood:

and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured; there were more slain in it the in the field of battle, what by one thing or another; as by falling into pits and on stumps of trees, and being entangled in the bushes, and could make but little haste, and so were overtaken by David's men, and slain; insomuch that, as JosephusF8Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 10. sect. 2.) observes, there were more slain fleeing than fighting, and perhaps some might perish by wild beasts; so the Targum,"and the beasts of the wood slew more of the people than were slain by the sword;'and so the Syriac and Arabic versions render the words to the same purpose.


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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 Rightes 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

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-18.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the wood devoured more people than the sword — The thick forest of oaks and terebinths, by obstructing the flight, greatly aided the victors in the pursuit.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-18.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

The conflict extended over the surface of the whole land, i.e., the whole of that region (the Chethib נפצות is not the plural נפצות , which would be quite unsuitable, but is most probably a noun, נפצוּת ,nuon a , signifying bursting asunder, or wild flight; the Keri נפצת is a Niphal participle, fem. gen.); “and the wood devoured more of the people than the sword ate on the same day.” The woody region was most likely full of ravines, precipices, and marches, into which the flying foe was pursued, and where so many perished.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-18.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

The wood — More people died in the wood, either through hunger, and thirst, and weariness: or, by the wild beasts, whereof great numbers were there, which, though they were driven away from the place of the main battle, yet might easily meet with them when they fled several ways: or, by falling into ditches and pits, which were in that place, verse17, and probably were covered with grass or wood, so that they could not see them till they fell into them: and especially by David's men, who pursued them, and killed them in the wood: and the wood is rightly said to have devoured them, because it gave the occasion to their destruction, inasmuch as the trees, and ditches, and pits, entangled them, and stopped their flight, and made them an easy prey to David's men, who followed them, and slew them in the pursuit.

The sword — In the main battle: the sword being put for the battle, by a common figure.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-18.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 18:8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

Ver. 8. And the wood devoured more people that day.] While in running from death, they ran to it; sive in stipites impegerint, sive in arbores illisetint, sive in scrobes, praecipitia aut etiam feras inciderint; whether they fell upon the stubs, or fell into the ditches, or were hanged in the trees, or devoured by wild beasts, or were slain there in the pursuit, or knocked on the head by the country people; quod arguit hanc divinam esse vindictam, saith Jerome.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-18.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The battle was there scattered, i. e. the warriors being beaten in the fight, fled, and were dispersed; the abstract being put for the concrete, as poverty is put for poor men, 2 Kings 24:14, and deceit for the deceiver, and dreams for dreamers, Proverbs 12:24 13:6.

The wood devoured more people, i.e. more people died in the wood, either through hunger, and thirst, and weariness; or by the wild beasts, whereof great numbers were there, which, though they were driven away by noise and clamour from the place of the main battle, yet might easily meet with them when they fled several ways, which also might be directed and sent to them by God’s providence and just judgment to punish them for their rebellion; or by falling into ditches and pits, which were in that place, 2 Samuel 18:17, and probably were covered with grass or wood, so as they could not see them till they fell into them; or by being hanged in trees, as Absalom was, 2 Samuel 18:9; and especially by David’s men, who pursued them, and killed them in the wood: and the wood is rightly said to have devoured them, because it gave the occasion to their destruction, inasmuch as the trees, and ditches, and pits, entangled them, and stopped their flight, and made them an easy prey to David’s men, who followed them, and slew them in the pursuit, being therein directed and assisted by the people of that country, who, after the manner, fell in with the victorious side.

Than the sword devoured, to wit, in the main battle; the sword being put for the battle, by a common metonymy.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-18.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8. Scattered — For they could not march en masse through the tangled forests.

The wood devoured more people… than the sword — This forest was probably full of deep gorges and pits, into which, in their haste, multitudes were thrown and perished; others were lost; and some, perhaps, as the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic versions suggest, destroyed by wild beasts. Tristram, who passed through this region in 1864, writes: “We rose to the higher ground, and cantered through a noble forest of oaks. Perhaps we were in the woods of Mahanaim. Somewhere a little to the east of us was fought the battle with the rebellious Absalom, and by such an oak as these was he caught. In picturing the broken lines, and a rout through such an open forest, how we realized the statement: ‘The battle was there scattered over the face of all the country, and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.’ As I rode under a grand old oak tree, I, too, lost my hat and turban, which were caught by a bough.”


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-18.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 18:8. The battle was scattered over all the country — In that neighbourhood; both in the field and in the wood. The wood devoured more people than the sword — Some think the wood is said to devour them because they fell into pits, or stumbled upon stumps of trees, or pressed one another to death, as they came into strait places, or were killed by wild beasts. But the most natural meaning of the words is, that there were more slain in the wood, into which Absalom’s men fled, than in the open field; that is, more in their flight, which was stopped by the wood, than in the battle.


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

Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-18.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Country; people fighting in great numbers. But the army of Absalom was soon dispersed. (Haydock) --- Consumed, viz., by pits and precipices: (Challoner) "wild beasts." (Syriac, &c.) Many also died of their wounds, and were slain in the wood; (Calmet) so that not less, probably, than 50,000 perished on this fatal day. (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the face. Figure of speech Pleonasm, with Prosopopceia. App-6. devoured. Hebrew "multiplied to devour", to emphasise the great number. Figure of speech Prosopopaia. App-6.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

The wood devoured more people ... than the sword. The thick forest of oaks and terebinths, by obstructing the flight, greatly aided the victors in the pursuit, and was the occasion of more being slain in the rout than in the battle. This view is supported by Josephus: 'David's men were conquerors, as being superior in military strength and skill; so they pursued the rebels, as they fled away through the forests and valleys; some they took prisoners, and they killed many, more in the flight than on the field, because there fell about 20,000 that day' ('Antiquities,' b. 7:, ch. 10:, sec. 2).


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

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-18.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) The wood devoured more.—The battle and the pursuit covered a wide range of country; more were slain in the pursuit through the wood, both by accident and by the sword, than in the actual battle itself.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
in the wood
That is, probably, many more were slain in pursuit through the wood than in the battle, by falling into swamps, pits, etc., and being entangled and cut down by David's men. Such is the relation of Josephus; but the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic state, that they were devoured by wild beasts in the wood.
Exodus 15:10; Joshua 10:11; Judges 5:20,21; 1 Kings 20:30; Psalms 3:7; 43:1
devoured more
Heb. multiplied to devour.

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

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-18.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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