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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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Cherethims or Cherethites. David's body guard, along with the Pelethites. (See PELETHITES.) (2 Samuel 8:18; 2 Samuel 15:18; 2 Samuel 20:7; 2 Samuel 20:23; 1 Kings 1:38; 1 Kings 1:44; 1 Chronicles 18:17). Saul had "footmen" (runners) as his guard (1 Samuel 22:17); so Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:27-28). Couriers afterward took their place. The Cherethites and Pelethites were called out from attending the king's person only on extraordinary emergencies, as the rebellion of Sheba (2 Samuel 20:6-7). Benaiah was their commander (2 Samuel 23:23). The name is a national name; a tribe of the Philistines (1 Samuel 30:14; compare 1 Samuel 30:16; Ezekiel 25:16; Zephaniah 2:5).

Crete seems a kindred name to Cherethites; it was famed for archery, as were they; for which David chose a number of them as his body guard. Some of them probably joined him during his sojourn among the Philistines (1 Samuel 27; 29). Others he may have afterward enrolled on his conquest of the Philistines (2 Samuel 8:1). Some of the Philistine Cherethites probably colonized Crete originally, while others remained in Philistia, where they had migrated from Africa. Gittites of the Philistine Gath, to the number of 600, under Ittai, similarly followed David (2 Samuel 15:18-19). The name Pelethites may be another form of Philistines, or possibly be from Ρeleetim , (political) "refugees" from Philistia. Ewald supports the former. It is probably an ethnic name, as Cherethim. (See CAPHTOR.)

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Cherethims'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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