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2 KINGS 23




Ver. 1.  Last words, which he spoke by inspiration, (M.) or which may be considered as the conclusion of his Psalms, and inserted after the 71st, (C.) or as a preface or summary of those divine canticles; D. or they relate to the last ages, and to the Messias, (Chal.) the end of the law.  H. --- Some think it has not been inserted among the Psalms, as not being written in verse: (Sanctius) but it is composed in the true spirit of the Hebrew poetry, though very obscure. --- Christ, who should be born of him; or David himself was appointed to be "the king" of God's people.  Sept. "he whom God raised up, the Christ of," &c.  Heb. "sovereign anointed of," &c. --- Psalmist.  The Holy Spirit directs David to speak in his own praise.  His Psalms were always most highly esteemed in Israel.  C. --- Said.  This preamble may remind us of a similar one of Balaam.  Num. xxiv. 3.  The prophets generally declare who they are.  H.


Ver. 2.  Tongue.  Nothing could more decisively prove the inspiration of the sacred books.


Ver. 3.  Strong one.  This is one of the most common titles of God, 1 K. ii. 2.  Heb. "the rock." --- In the fear.  Heb. "of the fear;" that is, of the just, who live in the fear of God.  Such abstract expressions are frequent; so "the son of the captivity, of riches," &c. mean a captive or a rich man.  C. --- God spoke such words to David as tended to promote solid virtue and piety.  H. --- We may explain the ruler, &c. of the Messias, who shall diffuse grace and glory throughout the earth.  Prot. "He that ruleth over men, must be just, ruling in the fear of God."  An excellent lesson for all in power.  H.


Ver. 4.  As the light, &c.  So shall be the kingdom of Christ.  Ch. --- Heb. "Like the morning light, shall the sun arise."  But is this sense?  Is not the sun the light of the morning?  The oldest Heb. MS. in England has the word Jehova before Sun, which seems to have acknowledged by the Sept. though now unintelligible; and thus we are freed from this difficulty, and the passage is proved to be prophetical of the great sun of justice.  Malac. iv. 2.  Isai. lx. 2.  Kennicott, Dis. i. p. 471. --- The Heb. is extremely obscure.  C. --- Prot. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springeth out of the earth by clear shining after rain.  H. --- These comparisons may be applied to the Psalms and other inspired writings, which enlighten the eyes; (Ps. xviii. 9,) or to Christ, whose glory surpasses that of the sun, (Ps. lxxi. 5,) and whose graces produce the just.  Isai. xlv. 8.  M. --- We might expect that David was going to compare the glory of his reign and of his family, with that of the rising sun.  Judg. v. ult.  But he does not finish the comparison, being filled with a sense of his own misery.  C.


Ver. 5.  Neither is my house, &c.  As if he should say: This everlasting covenant was not due to my house: but purely owing to his bounty, who is all my salvation, and my will; that is, who hath always saved me, and granted me what I desired of him; so that I and my house, through his blessing, have sprung up, and succeeded in all things.  Ch. --- He clearly distinguishes between the covenant made with him as to his earthy kingdom, and that which regards Christ.  W. --- Even the former should be of long duration.  Ps. cxxxi. 11.  H. --- Up.  Heb. seems to contradict all that had gone before; "for it shall not flourish."  C. --- Prot. "although he make it not to grow;" (H.) unless we read with an interrogation, "And shall not my family flourish?" which was a natural reverence to v. 4.  C. --- God had blessed David with the dew of heaven, and with the fatness of the earth.  M. --- His glory and happiness should not be of short duration, like the brightest summer-day, or a transient flower.  H.


Ver. 6.  But.  This word is neglected by the Sept. who enjoin this to the preceding verse.  "Because the lawless man shall not flourish.  They are all like thorns thrust out, for they shall not be handled," lest they prick.  H.


Ver. 8.  Jesbaham, the son of Hachamoni.  For this was the name of this hero, as appears from 1 Chron. xi. 11.  Ch. --- But then sitting, &c. should not be retained.  H. --- Most tender, &c.  He appeared like one tender and weak, but was indeed most valiant and strong.  It seems the Latin has here given the interpretation of the Hebrew name of the hero, to whom Jesbaham was like, instead of the name itself, which was Adino the Eznite, one much renowned of old for his valour.  Ch. --- The Vulg. has, contrary to custom, translated  many of the proper names.  C. --- The French version would suppose that Adino, the Heznite, was the hero's name; and queen Elizabeth's version (1599) is, "He that sat in the seat of wisdom, being chief of the princes, was Adino, the Eznite."  H. --- But no such person is mentioned any where else, in the Bible; and these words have been corrupted, like many others in this chapter, as may be gathered from collating it with Chronicles, &c.  Kennicott was encouraged to continue, if not to begin his labours, to shew the imperfection of the printed Hebrew, by comparing these passages, though he had formerly imagined that the text had been preserved in its original purity.  See Dis. ii. p. 496.  He shews the inaccuracy of queen Elizabeth's version, and observes that some have very abruptly inferred, that David was the first of his own mighty men, from the Vulg. which is literally, "These are the names of the valiant men of David.  Sitting in the chair, the most wise prince among the three.  The same is like the most tender," &c.  No name is here specified, (H.) though the catalogue be given expressly to honour their names. --- In the chair.  Heb. Bashebeth, "seems to be carelessly transcribed in here from the line above," as Oregim was taken from the subsequent line.  C. xxi. 19. --- Wisest.  Heb. "the Hachmonite." --- Three; it is in Heb. "the third;" and in Chron. thirty, improperly.  Prot. "the Tachmonite, that sat in the seat, chief among the captains, (the same was Adino, the Eznite) against 800 whom he slew at one time," is therefore inaccurate. --- Tachmonite has the th corrupted, from e, which stands for ben, "the son of Hachmoni;" though, as the father of Jashobeam was Zadiel, it would be better rendered the Hachmonite, being his family or local name.  It is not always possible to know which is meant.  The ellipsis in the Prot. version, and the confounding of Jashobeam with Adino, cannot be excused.  Adinu seems to be (H.) corrupted from auror, (as v. 18, and 1 Par.) "lifted up;" eatsnu, a word retained in the Arabic language, for "his spear;" (Vulg.) wood.  Le Clerc reads eatsni, which he deems inexplicable, no less than Adinu: but the best copies have eatsnu; so that we need not reject it. --- Killed, or "wounded," is the general interpretation of elol; but it signifies also, "a soldier." --- Eight is three, in Paral.  Similar mistakes have probably arisen from the use of  numeral letters.  See 4 K. viii. 26.  We read, that Abisai lifted up his spear against 300.  This was, perhaps, an usual number for a regiment of three companies.  1 K. xxix. 2.  Both Jesbahan and Abisai ventured to contend, singly, with so superior a force; but the latter displayed rather less valour, so that he did not attain unto the glory of the former; which he ought to have done, if both had killed the same number.  Kennicott would therefore translate, "These are the names of the mighty men, whom David had: Jashobeam, the Hachmonite, chief of the Three: He lifted up his spear against 300 soldiers, at one time."  He observes that thirty-seven heroes are particularly specified: (v. 39) Joab, (the captain-general) Jashobeam, Eleazar, Shammah, the first ternary) Abishai, Benaiah, and Asael; (the second ternary) after whom follow thirty, whose exploits are not recorded.  If any should still maintain that this verse is correct, we must say (H.) that Adino is a different person from Jesbaham, (as the Vulg. reads it, 1 Par.) and that he killed 800; whereas the latter was only like him, in as much as he slew 300.  M. --- The marvellous is greatly diminished by substituting 300 instead of 800, and by allowing that the heroes contended with, though they might not kill, the whole company of 300 soldiers.  See Kennicott.  It seems most rational to admit some corrections, to which we are led by the Sept. "Jesbaath, (Vatic. Jesbosthe, the Chanaanite) the son of Thakemoni.  He was the chief of the three.  Adino, the Asonean, is useless, (C.) as a proper name: when corrected, it is rendered, (H.) "he drew," &c.  Whence have they taken this, as it is not in Hebrew at present, unless they read, (C.) auror, elevavit, "he lifted up  his spear."  Ken. --- The number of 300 slain by one man, in one engagement, is also more credible than 800.  C. --- Josephus increases the number to 900; but then he supposes they were slain in various battles.  "The king had thirty-eight, chiefly renowned for their achievements...The first, Issaimos, the son of Achamani, who rushing, not once, but frequently, into the midst of the enemy, did not cease from slaughtering till he had killed 900."  We may observe that he increases the number of the mighty men.  H. --- Delany reduces it to thirty-six, though he afterwards reckons thirty-seven, erroneously making thirty-one commanders of the third order, when he ought to have allowed the odd one to be the captain-general, and placed him before the two ternaries.  Lightfoot also reckons thirty-six, and mentions them in this remarkably false order: 1, Joab; 2, Adino, of Ezni, called Jashobeam, by office; 3, Eleazar.  And in the second rank: 1, Abishai; 2, Shammah; 3, Benaiah.  Kennicott. --- All these officers were styled, Shalischim.  See Ex. xiv. 7.  C. --- A body of "Thirty" was, perhaps, originally formed by David; and, though he afterwards admitted a greater number, they all went by the first name.  Salien.


Ver. 9.  Dodo.  In Latin, Patrui ejus, which is the interpretation of the Hebrew name Dodo.  The same occurs in v. 24, (Ch). and signifies, "of his paternal uncle."  H. --- Sept. read Dudia, (C.) "of his father's brother."  He, or his father, is styled Dudai.  1 Par. xxvii. 4.  C. --- Sept. (Alex.) translates both Dodo and Dodi, "the son of his father's brother," the son of Sousei, or (Vat.) Doudei.  Dodi seems to be the more accurate here, as he is thus more distinguished from Dodo, v. 24.  Chron. v. 26.  --- Defied.  Heb. is incorrect, and ought to be a proper name as is evident from the word there.  Josephus calls it, arasamw, (perhaps originally, afasdamw) Chron. Pasdammim, or Ephesdammim.  1 K. xvii. 1.  It is hardly probable that the Hebrews should defy or upbraid the Philistines, and immediately run away.  We should therefore translate with 1 Par. men.  "He was with David at Pasdammim.  And when the Philistines were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away, he arose," &c.  Kennicott.


Ver. 10.  Sword; holding it, and exerting himself so long; (Sanctius) or on account of the blood, which glued, as it were, his hand to the sword.  Joseph.  M. --- This verse, and as far as troop in the following, is omitted in 1 Par.; so that Semma is not so much as mentioned, (H.) and of course the number thirty seven cannot be found.  Ken. --- Perhaps Samaoth may be the same hero.  1 Par. ii. 27. and xxvii. 8.  C.


Ver. 11.  Troop.  Heb. Lachaya, has been much controverted: but it appears to be the  name of Lechi, or Lehi, "the jaw-bone," (Josephus and Sept. Complut.) so memorable for the exploit of Samson.  Bochart Anim. p. 1. B. ii. 15. --- Vulg. lit. in statione, "in a station."  Some copies of the Sept. "against wild beasts;" "To hunt wild beasts."  Syr. and Arab.  But it is most probably the name of a place.  C. --- Lentils.  1 Par.  Barley seems more correct, as the field could not be full of both at the same time; (H.) and barley is of more general utility.  Kennic. --- Yet some would assert, that there was barley in one part and lentils in the other.  Buxtorf, &c.


Ver. 13.  Before this.  The exploits performed before the death of Goliath have been recorded.  The following took place soon after the taking of Jerusalem.  Heb. simply, "And three of the Schalischim came to David at harvest-time, (Paral, more correctly, to the rocks,) and into the cave," &c.  C. --- Three is undoubtedly the proper word, though the printed Heb. copies have thirty in the text; except the most ancient edition of Ximenes, 1515, which retains three, with all the versions, and some Heb. MSS. and as v. 17. itself reads among would be better above; (v. 23,) as the three officers aforesaid were not of the body of thirty, but of a still higher order. --- Harvest.  Heb. el Katsir, is never used elsewhere in this sense; and the Sept. have left the latter word as a proper name, "at Kasoar;" etsur seems to have been the original word, as in Paral. "to the rock."  Such places had frequently caverns or strong holds, 1 K. xxiv. 1. 4. --- Camp.  The Sept. also seem to have read mene, as in Par. instead of eith, which never occurs, for "a troop."  Ken. --- This camp was distant from the station at Bethlehem, (M.) which was distant from Jerusalem "two hours travel."  Maundrell. --- Giants, or Raphaim, 2 K. xxi. 18.  M.


Ver. 14.  Garrison.  Lit. "station," (H.) or advanced guard. --- In.  The b is omitted in Heb. as on many other occasions; (4 K. xiv. 14.  Ken.) owing perhaps to the following words beginning with the same letter.  H.


Ver. 15.  Gate.  David had been educated in that town.  M. --- He expresses his wish to see his native place delivered from the hands of the enemy, more than for water; (Sanctius.  Ken.) or being very thirsty, he speaks his sentiments without designing that any should attempt to procure him the water.  C. --- The three valiant men considered his desire as a law.  M. --- They were not to be condemned of rashness, though it would have been such in ordinary men.  Salien. --- David only intended to try the valour of his soldiers.  When they brought the water he would not drink, judging that precious things should be offered to God.  W.


Ver. 16.  Camp, or station of soldiers, v. 13. 14. --- Offered it, as "a libation," according to the Heb. and Sept.  Vayasec is commonly used; but vinsoc, in Par. is the truer reading, as "it contains the three radical letters; and it were greatly to be wished that the verbs in every other place had also those radical letters restored, which have been omitted by the Masorets, and supplied by their punctuations."  Ken. Dis. i. p. 154. --- Lord, as a sacrifice, worthy of him, and to teach his followers to be temperate, (M.) and not to expose their lives unnecessarily.  H. -- "He had formerly indulged himself in forbidden pleasures."  S. Greg. --- David thus asked pardon for having, undesignedly, hazarded the lives of his men, (Ken.) and gave thanks for their safe return.  Josephus. --- A libation of water was solemnly made, 1 K. vii. 6.  The pagans used water when they had no wine, as they never sat down to meat, or offered sacrifice, without making a libation.  C.  See Iliad H.  ├ćneid viii. 279.

              Dixit & in  mensa laticum libavit honorem.  Virgil, ├ćneid i. 740.


Ver. 17.  Drink.  This word is acknowledged in 1 Par. and in all the ancient versions.  Ken. --- Prot. supply, "Is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives?"  Instead of Jehova, (H.)  which ought to have m prefixed, we find maleim; (1 Par.) a word never used in such solemn appeals to the Lord.  This seems owing to the superstition of the Jews, who would not pronounce the former name, perhaps in imitation of the heathens, who kept the names of their tutelar gods secret, lest the enemy might call them out, and thus obtain possession of their country.  See Macrob. iii. 9.  No mention is made of the Romans making use of this mode of evocation at the last siege of Jerusalem, as they were unacquainted with the true name of God.  Virgil (ii. 351,) writes,---

              Excessere omnes Adytis Arisque relictis,

              Dii quibus imperium hoc steterat.  See Servius.  Kennicott.


Ver. 18.  Three.  Sept. (Alex.) and Josephus read "six hundred," (H.) against all the rest.


Ver. 19.  Three.  Heb. haci, seems to be mistaken for bossnim, "above two;" as one of the Greek versions in the Hexapla renders it, with the Sept.  "Of the three he was more honourable than two; therefore he was their captain, and yet to," &c.  Thus we see a double ternary fully established, v. 8.  Kennicott.


Ver. 20.  Banaias.  The v at the end of this man's name, is wanting in Par.  It serves to distinguish him more from one of the Thirty, who was the 11th captain in waiting on the king; (1 Par. xxvii. 14,) whereas this was the third, (Ib. v.) and one of great renown.  3 K. i. 32. --- Lions.  Heb. ari, "a lion;" and el, "god," designate people "of extraordinary valour."  Ken. --- Hence the Arabians give the title to Ali, the son-in-law of Mahammed.  Bochart, Anim. iii. 1. --- These two were noblemen, (Chal.) giants, (Joseph.) or fortresses; (Vatab.) namely, Areopolis, which is divided into two parts by the Arnon.  C. --- Some suppose that he slew three real lions.  The last, being in such a confined situation, enhanced his merit.  Cajet.  M. --- The Alex. copy of the Sept. has a great omission of the words between slew, occasioned by the word recurring twice; as also v. 21.  Dr. Milles attributes the omission of the famous text 1 John v. 7, to a similar case; marturountiV, being found in the subsequent verse.  "Proclivi admodum errore, quod norunt, quibus cum veteribus membranis res est." 2nd edit. --- "A source of frequent mistakes, as all know who have consulted old MSS."


Ver. 21.  Sight, for size.  Josephus. --- Heb. "a man of great aspect," which 1 Par. properly explains "five cubits high." --- Hand.  Sept. supply what seems to be omitted, "like a weaver's beam," (Ken.) as it is found in Paral. --- Rod, or rather "a staff," like David's.  1 K. xvii. 43. and xl. 43.  H. --- Some men, with a stick or codgel, will not fear to encounter a man armed; (C.) as we see exemplified in Q. Curtius, (ix. 7,) where Dioxippus, the Athenian wrestler, overcame Horratas of Macedon, who had challenged him out in a fit of drunkenness.  H.


Ver. 23.  Who were.  Heb. "he was honourable above the thirty."  Sept. erroneously read three; as he was only the second in this series, though superior to the body of thirty.  See v. 13.  The versions seem here perplexed, for want of observing this distinction of ranks. --- Council.  Heb. "over his obedience," or "guard."  Joseph.  C. xx. 23. --- Sept. "over his own country," mosspethu, instead of the present el mishmahto, super auscultationem suam: or rather mossmorthu, custodiam suam.  Grot.  Ken. --- Banaias held a very distinguished rank among the officers at court.  He was like the king's eye and ear.  H. --- These titles were given to some by the eastern kings.  Apuleius, Mundo.  Brisson.  Pers. i. --- Midas was said to have such great ears, only on account of his spies.  Conon. narrat. i.  C.


Ver. 24.  Was one.  Heb. the preposition b is here used, which signifies "above;" as v. 13. and 23. and as Junius renders it.  H. --- "Asael...was head of the thirty."  Arab. --- He could not be one of that body, as the number is complete without him, and he is necessary to fill up the second ternary.  The Book of Chronicles does not point this out with so much precision as it had been already done.  Kennicott. --- Asael was slain by Abner.  C. ii. 23.  He was captain of the fourth band.  1 Par. xxvii. 7. --- Elehanan, the first of the thirty. --- Dodo.  Lit. patrui ejus, "of his (Asael's) uncle," which might, perhaps, be as well translated by 1 Par. xi. 26.  See C. xxi. 19.  The Sept. give both, "Dodei, the son of his father's brother," as v. 9; (H.) or "rather those two translations are by some transcriber, or editor, injudiciously thrown together."  Kennicott.


Ver. 25.  Semma.  The same with the third hero, though his country is differently written, v. 11.  C. --- But this is very improbable, as the number of 37 would be thus destroyed.  The former was an Hararite.  The Sept. style the present captain, Samoth, in 1 Par.; Vulg. Sammoth; and the Ald. copy has Semoth here.  He was the fifth captain; (1 Par. xxvii. 8,) and the four subsequent ones relieved each other in waiting on the king. --- Harodi, more correct than Arorite, 1 Par. (H.) as the Sept. also there terminate with di. --- Elica is omitted, 1 Par. xi. (Kennic.) as he perhaps died soon; and Zabad succeeding to his honours, comes at the end of these 30 heroes.  Ib. v. 30.  Junius.


Ver. 26.  Phalti.  Par. Phalonite.  H. --- Nu has been mistaken for t.  This is the seventh captain in waiting.  Heb. "Heletz, the Pelonite."  It will suffice here to express how Kennicott would write the names of the following mighty men; referring for more particulars to his learned Diss. on 1 Chron. xi. and to the notes on that chap. v. 28, &c.  In the body of 30, he places, 1. Elehanan, the son of Dodo, of Bethlehem; 2. Shamhoth, the Harodite; 3. Elika, the Harodite; (supplied by Zabad) 4. Heletz, the Pelonite; 5. Ira, the son of Ikkesh, the Tekoite; 6. Abiezer, the Anathothite; 7. Sibbecai, the Hushathite; (as C. xxi 18.  1 Par. xx. 4. and xxvii. 11,) 8. Ilai, the Ahohite; 9. Maharai, the Netophathite; 10. Heled, the son of Baanah, the Netophathite; 11. Ithai, the son of Ribai, of Gibea, of the sons of Benjamin; 12. Benaiah, the Pirathonite; 13. Hurai, of the brooks of Gaash; 14. Abialbon, the Arbathite; 15. Azmaveth, the Bahurimite; 16. Elihaba, the Shaalbonite; 17. Gouni, (a word lost in Heb.) of the sons of Hassum; 18. Jonathan, the son of Shamha, the Hararite; (see C. xxi. 21,) 19. Ahiham, the son of Shacar, the hararite; 20. Eliphelet, the son of Abasbai, the Maacathite; 21. Eliam, the son of Ahithophel, the Gilonite; 22. Hetzrai, the Carmelite; 23. Naarai, the son of Azbai; 24. Joal, the brother of Nathan, of Tzobah; (see 1 Par.) 25. Bani, the Gadite; 26. Tzelek, the Ammonite; 27. Naharai, the Barothite, armour-bearer of Joab, the son of Zeruiah; 28. Ira, the Ithrite; 29. Gareb, the Ithrite; 30. Uriah, the Hethite.  After these follow Zabad and 15 other brave men, though less renowned than the preceding.  1 Par. xi. 42.  It is a pity that the Masorets have introduced a new mode of pronunciation, and that it has been adopted by the Prot. so that it is almost impossible to recognize in their work the scriptural names of the most ancient versions of the Sept. and Vulg.  H.


Ver. 27.  Mobonnai.  Sept. have translated the Heb. "of the sons," mobni, (Kennicott) which is corrupted from sobci, or (H.) Sobbochai, who was a Husathite.  1 Par. xi. 29.  C.


Ver. 28.  Selmon, or Ilai.


Ver. 29.  Heled.  Heb. ends improperly in b.


Ver. 30.  Heddai: d is exchanged for r in Paral.  Hurai.


Ver. 31.  Abialbon, or Abiel. --- Beromi, or Azmoth, a Bauramite.


Ver. 32.  Jonathan.  David's nephew, (1 Par.) of the sons of Assem, a Gezonite.  This ought, perhaps, to be "Gouni, of the sons," &c. otherwise the name will be lost, contrary to the design of the sacred writer.  The verse is not terminated at Jonathan.  But he was the son of Sage, (or rather of Semma, as here, v. 33) an Ararite.  1 Par.  H. --- Sage was also the son of Samma, (v. 11,) as Sage and Age are visibly the same; (C.) though of this we may doubt.  H.


Ver. 33.  Aliam, &c.  Par.  Ahiam, the son of Sachar.  The change is easy.


Ver. 34.  Eliphelet, &c. or Eliphal, the son of Ur; Hepher, a Macherathite; Ahia, a Phelonite; Hesro, a Carmelite.  See 1 Par. xi. 35.


Ver. 35.  Arbi.  Par. "Naari, the son of Azbai."  H.


Ver. 36.  Igaal, or Joel, the brother of Nathan.  To reconcile these texts, we may say the person was adopted by his brother, or had married his daughter, which was not prohibited by the law. --- Bonni, or Mibahar, the son of Agarai.


Ver. 37.  Bearer, or "squire."  W. --- He is the only one specified, though there were others.  H.


Ver. 39.  Urias, the husband of Bethsabee.  We have observed (v. 25,) that in Paral. the number of 37 is completed by Zabad, instead of Elica.  H. --- Only 36 are specified in these catalogues, as the name of the sixth hero (v. 18,) is omitted, whom some take to be Sobati, Jonathan, (C. xxi. 22,) Joiada, (v. 20,) or Joab.  C. --- But the truth is, Joab is not mentioned here at all, as he was sufficiently known for the chief; (1 Par. xi. 6,) and he makes up the number of 37.  The sixth, therefore, was Asael; (v. 24,) and after him there are exactly 30.  For though Gonni be lost, (v. 32,) Semma is substituted in the following verse.  H.



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