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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



2 KINGS 4

 

CHAPTER IV.

 

Ver. 1.  Isboseth is omitted in Heb. but understood.  He is expressed in the Sept.  The Alex. copy generally substitutes Memphibosthai, by mistake; as he (Miphiboseth) was the son of Jonathan, v. 4.  H. --- Weakened.  Hitherto Abner had been the chief support of Saul's family.  His traitorous practices had been kept secret from Isboseth, (C.) who hoped that his former declaration had been dictated by a sudden passion, and would not be carried into effect.  C. iii. 10.  H. --- Troubled, not knowing what turn things would now take, and fearing the resentment of the sons of Sarvia, though they were convinced of David's good dispositions.  Salien, A.C. 1067.

 

Ver. 2.  Bands, (Latronum.)  Lit. "robbers," or people who live on plunder, like the posterity of Ismael, and of Esau.  Gen. xxvii. 40.  The life-guards of princes are often styled latrones, (C.) from their being stationed at their "sides," as if Laterones.  M.

              Fixumque latronis,

              Impavidus frangit telum.  Æn. xii. 7.

See Servius.  Judg. xi. 3. --- Beroth was one of the towns of the Gabaonites.  It is not certain that the inhabitants retired, in consequence of the persecution of Saul; but they went to the territory of Geth, or to another town of Benjamin.  2 Esd. xi. 33.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  That.  Heb. &c. "this day," when the historian wrote.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  Miphiboseth.  All from Beroth, (v. 2,) may be included within a parenthesis, being only mentioned here to let us know the state of affairs, (H.) and how the son of Jonathan could have no pretensions of the crown.  Grot.  C. --- He would be almost 12 years old at the death of his uncle.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  At noon, "to divide the day," as Varro (iii. 2,) writes.  This custom is very prevalent in hot countries. --- And the, &c. is all omitted in Heb. and in most ancient MSS. of S. Jerom's version.  It is taken from the Sept. (C.) who do not notice any farther the taking ears of corn, v. 6.  H. --- Probably the Heb. had this sentence formerly.  D. --- It was customary to have women to keep the doors; (Mat. xxvi. 69,) and they were often employed in cleansing wheat.  Petronius says, in lance argentea pisum purgabat.  C. --- The ears of corn, hardly ripe, were cleansed, and used as a delicious food.  T.  1 K. xvii. 17.  Sanctius.

 

Ver. 6.  Corn.  Soldiers were paid with corn, instead of money.  They came, therefore, under this pretext; or they brought some as a present to the king, (Liran) or pretended that they were come to purchase, (M.) or bringing a sample to sell; (T.) ut emptores tritici. Chal. Prot. "as though they would have fetched wheat, and they smote him under the fifth rib."

 

Ver. 7.  Parlour.  Heb. "bed-chamber." --- Wilderness.  Avoiding places frequented.  H. --- The distance was about 40 leagues, which they could not travel in one night.  C. --- Adrichomius says it was 30 hours' walk.  Sept. "west-ward."  H.

 

Ver. 8.  Life.  They wish to recall to David's remembrance what Saul had done against him, that he may approve the more of what they had perpetrated.  M. --- They supposed that, as Abner had been well received, they should obtain still greater favour.  Salien.

 

Ver. 11.  Innocent.  Isboseth was such, at least, in their regard.  He might also have mounted his father's throne, bona fide; and, at any rate, it was not their business to decide the matter (C.) in this treacherous manner.  Thus Alexander punished Bessus, who had murdered his master, Darius, with whom the former was at war.  H.

 

Ver. 12.  Feet, while they were alive, (Theodoret.  M.) almost as Adonibezec had treated many; (Judg. i. 6,) or they were first put to death, and the parts cut off were fastened to a cross; as the head and right hand of Cyrus were by his brother Artaxerxes.  Xenop. Anab. iii.  C. --- Josephus seems to be of the former opinion, saying, "he ordered them to be executed in the most excruciating torments," "while the head of Jebosthe (Isboseth) was buried with all honour."  Ant. vii. 2. --- Thus David convinced the people that he would punish crimes, when it was in his power, and that he would give no encouragement to the treason or perfidy of any one.  H.

 

 








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