This chapter treats of David's being anointed king by all Israel, 1 Chronicles 11:1, which agrees with 2 Samuel 5:1 See Gill on 2 Samuel 5:1 See Gill on 2 Samuel 5:2 See Gill on 2 Samuel 5:3 and of his taking Jerusalem from the Jebusites, 1 Chronicles 11:4 the account of which we have 2 Samuel 5:6. See Gill on 2 Samuel 5:6 See Gill on 2 Samuel 5:7 See Gill on 2 Samuel 5:8 See Gill on 2 Samuel 5:9 See Gill on 2 Samuel 5:10 only here we are told, that it was Joab that smote the Jebusites first, and so was made chief captain according to David's promise; and that he also repaired the rest of the city David built round about; perhaps the fortifications demolished in taking it, 1 Chronicles 11:6 or rather, as others give the sense, he "saved alive" (b) those that remained in the city, after he had slain the lame and the blind; though a learned (d) writer conjectures it should be read, "and Joab was made the governor of the city"; and the Targum is,"Joab governed the rest of the city.''And then follows an account of David's mighty men and worthies, 1 Chronicles 11:10 of whom see the notes on 2 Samuel 23:8, 2 Samuel 23:9, 2 Samuel 23:10, 2 Samuel 23:11, 2 Samuel 23:12, 2 Samuel 23:13, 2 Samuel 23:14, 2 Samuel 23:15, 2 Samuel 23:16, 2 Samuel 23:17, 2 Samuel 23:18, 2 Samuel 23:19, 2 Samuel 23:20, 2 Samuel 23:21, 2 Samuel 23:22, 2 Samuel 23:23, 2 Samuel 23:24, 2 Samuel 23:25, 2 Samuel 23:26, 2 Samuel 23:27, 2 Samuel 23:28, 2 Samuel 23:29, 2 Samuel 23:30, 2 Samuel 23:31, 2 Samuel 23:32, 2 Samuel 23:33, 2 Samuel 23:34, 2 Samuel 23:35, 2 Samuel 23:36, 2 Samuel 23:37, 2 Samuel 23:38, 2 Samuel 23:39 and others are added here, 1 Chronicles 11:42 of whom we know no more than their names.
(b) "vivas conservavit urbis reliquias", Junius & Tremellius; Strigelius in Poli Synops. in loc. (d) Dr. Kennicot's State of the Hebrew Text, dissert. 1. p. 54.
INTRODUCTION TO 1 Chronicles 12
This chapter gives an account of those that came to David at different times, and joined and assisted him both before the death of Saul, and when persecuted by him, and after he was made king of Judah in Hebron, and before he was king of all Israel, in order to it; of the Benjaminites that came to him when at Ziklag, 1 Chronicles 12:1 of the Gadites that came to him when in the hold, 1 Chronicles 12:8 of some of Judah and Benjamin, who came to him in the same place, 1 Chronicles 12:16, and of the Manassites at the time he came with the Philistines against Saul, 1 Chronicles 12:19 and the number of the several tribes are given, that came to him at Hebron to make him king over all Israel, 1 Chronicles 12:23.
while he yet kept himself close, because of Saul the son of Kish; when he was an exile from his own country, and obliged to live retired in a foreign one, because of Saul's persecution of him, and seeking to take away his life:
and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war; not against Saul, with whom David had none, but with the Amalekites, and others, 1 Samuel 27:8.
and could use both the right hand and the left, in hurling stones, and shooting arrows out of a bow; they were ambidextrous; who could sling stones, or shoot arrows, with either, which was no small advantage to them:
even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin; they were of the tribe of Benjamin, of which Saul was, and so his brethren; and they might be, at least some of them, his relations and kinsmen; who observing the unreasonableness of Saul's enmity to David, and detesting his cruelty, and sensible of the innocence of David, and of the service he had done his country; and perhaps not being ignorant of his divine right and title to the kingdom, went over to him, to comfort, strengthen, and assist him.
and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; there is one of this name in the posterity of Jonathan, 1 Chronicles 8:36 who might be so called after some of his relations:
and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite; or Anethothite, as the Vulgate Latin version, who was of Anathoth, a city in the tribe of Benjamin, the native place of Jeremiah the prophet.
and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad, the Gederathite; one of Gederah, a city in the tribe of Judah, perhaps on the borders of that and Benjamin; Joram speaks of it as belonging to the country of the city Aelia or Jerusalem.
men of might, and men of war, fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler; warlike, valiant, and courageous men, well skilled in military discipline: whose faces were like the face of lions; bold, stern, and fierce. The philosopher observes (d), that of all creatures the lion most resembles a man, having a great mouth, a square face and forehead, large eye brows, &c.
and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains; which are remarkable for their swiftness on the mountains, see Sol 2:17. Aelianus (e) speaks of one sort of them that run as swift as a tempest. These Gadites, as with their undaunted looks and courage, intimidated their enemies, and put them to flight, so they were swift to pursue them, and overtake them.
(d) Aristot. Physiognom. c. 5. (e) De Animal. l. 14. c. 14.
one of the least was over one hundred, and the greatest over thousand; not that they were so when they came, or brought over such a number of men with them under their command; but they were promoted by David, when he came to the throne, to be centurions and chiliarchs; according to Jarchi, the sense is, that the least of them would put to flight and pursue one hundred, and the greatest of them 1000, and so fulfilled the passage in Leviticus 26:8.
when it had overflown all its banks; as it did at this time of the year, see Joshua 3:15 which is observed to show both the time of the year when they came over, and their zeal and ardour to assist David, and their boldness and intrepidity; fearless of danger, they threw themselves into Jordan, and swam over it, in all probability when the waters of it were so deep they could not ford it, and so rapid that they were in danger of being carried away with them:
and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both towards the east, and towards the west; who dwelt in the valleys, or plains of Jordan east and west; who seeing a number of men come over, took them for enemies, and fled, so Kimchi; or, as others think, these were the Philistines, who, on the defeat of Saul, took possession of the cities of Israel, in the valleys forsaken by them, 1 Samuel 31:7 or rather these were the Moabites or Arabs, who made incursions into the land of Israel for prey, the Gadites met with, when they came over Jordan.
to the hold unto David; the same as in 1 Chronicles 12:8.
and said unto them, if ye be come peaceably unto me to help me; if they were come with a good will to him, and intention to help him against his enemy, and protect him:
mine heart shall be knit unto you; they should have such a share in his affections, that their hearts would be as one, as his and Jonathan's were, 1 Samuel 18:1,
but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies; into the hands of Saul, and his courtiers, that sought his life:
seeing there is no wrong in mine hands; no injury done by him to Saul, or to them, or to any other:
the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it; he that sees all things, let him revenge it; and it is not only a wish that he would, but a prayer of faith that so it would be.
who was chief of the captains; of them that came at this time with him to David; he was afterwards Absalom's general, and designed to be David's, but was murdered by Joab:
and he said, thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse; which being spoken in this short and concise manner, as the supplement shows, denotes the vehemency with which he spake, and is expressive of their cordial fidelity to him, and their resolution to abide by him at all events:
peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; wishing all prosperity, temporal and spiritual, to him and all his confederates and auxiliaries, among whom they reckoned themselves:
for thy God helpeth thee; which they perceived by the remarkable deliverances of him out of the hand of Saul, when in imminent danger; the Targum is,"for the Word of the Lord is for thy help:"
then David received them; into the hold, and admitted them as his friends:
and made them the captains of the band; they brought with them; or in later times, when he came to the throne.
(f) "induit", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.
when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle; which was a strong proof of their cordial attachment to him:
but they helped them not: the Philistines; neither David nor his men, nor the Manassites that joined them:
for the lords of the Philistines, upon advisement; counsel taken among themselves: sent him away; that is, David and his men:
saying, he will fall to his master Saul, to the jeopardy of our heads; meaning, that he would go off with his troops to Saul, and betray them into his hands, and with their heads make his peace with him, see 1 Samuel 29:4.
Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh; that tribe being, as the rest were, divided into hundreds and thousands; these were captains over the thousands of the militia of the tribe.
for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host; or army of David.
until it was a great host, like the host of God; the heavenly host, the angels; so the Targum.
and came to David to Hebron; after the death of Ishbosheth and Abner, and when David had reigned seven years in Hebron:
to turn the kingdom of Saul to him; to transfer it to him and his family:
according to the word of the Lord; by Samuel, which they were acquainted with; and the number of those of the children of Judah, who made him their king already, and so there was the less need of a numerous appearance of them, were 6800 armed men, 1 Chronicles 12:24, of the tribe of Simeon, valiant men, 7100, 1 Chronicles 12:25, of the children of Levi 4600, 1 Chronicles 12:26, of the Aaronites or priests, with Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, according to Jarchi and Kimchi, at the head of them, 3700, 1 Chronicles 12:27, besides Zadok, a young man of the line of Eleazar, who was made high priest in the time of Solomon, who brought with him twenty two captains, 1 Chronicles 12:28 the heads of the courses of the priests, which were afterwards twenty four, 1 Chronicles 24:4 of the tribe of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, the greatest part of whom had been sticklers for the continuance of the kingdom in the family of Saul, 3000, 1 Chronicles 12:29, of the tribe of Ephraim, valiant men, 20,800, 1 Chronicles 12:30, of the half tribe of Manasseh on this side Jordan, whose names were pricked down, being given, to make David king, 18,000, 1 Chronicles 12:31, and of the tribe of Issachar, two hundred of the heads of them; men of knowledge and understanding, either in chronology or astrology, or in the proper seasons for husbandry, or for the fixing the beginning of years and months, and the intercalation of them, for keeping the several festivals; or rather were men of prudence and wisdom, and knew that this was the proper time for making David king, Ishbosheth and Abner his general being dead; and as they were men in high esteem for their parts and abilities, their brethren were at their beck and command, 1 Chronicles 12:30, and of the tribe of Zebulun, warlike men, skilful in war, and well armed, 50,000 men; and their numerous appearance showed that they were hearty and sincere, being the greatest number of all the tribes, 1 Chronicles 12:33, and of the tribe of Naphtali, 1000 captains, and with them armed men, 37,000, 1 Chronicles 12:34 and of the tribe of Dan, men skilled in war, 28,600, 1 Chronicles 12:35 and of the tribe of Asher, warlike men, 40,000, 1 Chronicles 12:36 and of the Reubenites, Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh, on the other side Jordan, military men, well armed, 120,000, 1 Chronicles 12:37, which in all made 348,800 men, and upwards.
came with a perfect heart to Hebron to make David king over Israel; they were all of one mind, and quite hearty and sincere in fixing David on the throne of all Israel:
and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart also to make David king; those who came not were of the same mind; it was the unanimous voice of the people that he should be their king.
for their brethren had prepared for them; not the inhabitants of Hebron only, but all the country round about, brought in provisions on this joyful occasion; otherwise the men of Hebron would not have been able to have provided what was sufficient for such a vast number, as appears by what follows.