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Adam Clarke Commentary

1 Chronicles 20

Introduction

Joab smites the city of Rabbah; and David puts the crown of its king upon his own head, and treats the people of the city with great rigour, 1 Chronicles 20:1 -3. First battle with the Philistines, 1 Chronicles 20:4 . Second battle with the Philistines, 1 Chronicles 20:5 . Third battle with the Philistines, 1 Chronicles 20:6 , 1 Chronicles 20:7 . In these battles three giants are slain, 1 Chronicles 20:8 .

Verse 1

After the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle - About the spring of the year; see the note on 2 Samuel 11:1 .After this verse the parallel place in Samuel relates the whole story of David and Bath-sheba, and the murder of Uriah, which the compiler of these books passes over as he designedly does almost every thing prejudicial to the character of David. All he states is, but David tarried at Jerusalem; and, while he thus tarried, and Joab conducted the war against the Ammonites, the awful transactions above referred to took place.

Verse 2

David took the crown of their king - off his head - See 2 Samuel 12:30 .Precious stones in it - The Targum says, "And there was set in it a precious stone, worth a talent of gold; this was that magnetic stone that supported the woven gold in the air." What does he mean?

Verse 3

He brought out the people - See this transaction particularly explained in the notes on the parallel places, 2 Samuel 12:30 -31 (note).

Verse 5

Elhanan the son of Jair - See the note on 2 Samuel 21:19 . The Targum says, "David, the son of Jesse, a pious man, who rose at midnight to sing praises to God, slew Lachmi, the brother of Goliath, the same day on which he slew Goliath the Gittite, whose spear-staff was like a weaver's beam."

Verse 6

Fingers and toes were four and twenty - See the note on 2 Samuel 21:20 .

Verse 8

These were born unto the giant in Gath - "These were born להרפא leharapha, to that Rapha in Gath, or to Arapha." So the Vulgate, Septuagint, and Chaldee.The compiler of these books passes by also the incest of Amnon with his sister Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom, and the awful consequences of all these. These should have preceded the fourth verse. These facts could not be unknown to him, for they were notorious to all; but he saw that they were already amply detailed in books which were accredited among the people, and the relations were such as no friend to piety and humanity could delight to repeat. On these grounds the reader will give him credit for the omission. See on 1 Chronicles 20:1 (note).

1 Chronicles 20


  1 And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.
  2 And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David's head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.
  3 And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
  4 And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.
  5 And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver's beam.
  6 And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the giant.
  7 But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David's brother slew him.
  8 These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.

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