2 Samuel 20:24 MEANING

2 Samuel 20:24
(24) Adoram was over the tribute.--The same office was held by Adoniram in Solomon's reign (1 Kings 4:6; 1 Kings 5:14), and by Adoram at the beginning of the reign of his successor (1 Kings 12:18). ll those may have been the same person, or at least of the same family. "The tribute" should rather be the levy, the forced labour so largely employed by Solomon. It is remarkable that there is no trace of such an office in 2 Samuel 8:16-18, nor in the parallel (1 Chronicles 18:14-17). It was a feature of Oriental despotism only introduced towards the close of David's reign, and carried to much greater length under Solomon.

Verse 24. - Adoram was over the tribute. This was a new officer, and a new thing. For the Hebrew word mas does not mean "tribute," but "forced labour." This was one of the most oppressive exactions of old time, and it continued to be practised in Europe throughout the Middle Ages until it was abolished at the end of the eighteenth century by the French Revolution, except in Russia, where the serfs were freed from it by the late emperor Alexander II. Nevertheless, it was probably made almost necessary at first by the absence of money. As there was no money for the payment of taxes, the dues of the king or lord could only be rendered by personal service. Yet even so it was exceedingly liable to be abused, and the people might be taken from their own homes and fields just when their presence there was most needed. One most painful result was that the women had to endure, upon the farm and among the cattle, a drudgery to which they were unsuited. We gather from this passage that it was David who began this practice in Israel, exacting probably only from the descendants of the Canaanites (who, nevertheless, formed a considerable portion of the inhabitants of Palestine) forced labour employed in preparing for the building of the temple, and in the fortifications of his fenced cities. Under Solomon it seems to have been extended to other classes (1 Kings 5:13, 14; but see 1 Kings 9:20-22), and reduced to a system, which pressed so heavily upon the people that it was the principal cause of the revolt of the ten tribes from Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:4). Unless the Israelites had themselves suffered severely from this exaction, they would not have been driven into rebellion by sympathy with the remains of the native races. Subsequently we find Jeremiah accusing Jehoiakim of employing forced labour (Jeremiah 22:13), but the severity with which he condemned it suggests that it had then ceased to be customary. Adoram. His appointment to this office was probably at a late period in David's reign, as he continued to hold the office under Solomon (1 Kings 4:6; 1 Kings 5:14, where he is called Adoniram), and even down to the beginning of Rehoboam's reign (1 Kings 12:18). We there read that he paid the penalty of his hateful office with his life. In 2 Chronicles 10:18 he is called Hadoram.

20:23-26 Here is the state of David's court, after his restoration. It is well when able men are appointed to discharge public duties; let all seek to perform those duties, as faithful servants to the Son of David.And Adoram was over the tribute,.... Or over those that collected and brought it, as the Targum; this was a new office, and which respected both the revenue he received from his own people, and the tribute brought him from the nations conquered by him:

and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; who was in this office before, and now continued and established in it, 2 Samuel 8:16.

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