For it came to pass, when David was in Edom
Fighting with the Edomites, and subduing them, and putting garrisons in the land, ( 2 Samuel 8:14 )
and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain:
the Israelites that fell in battle, or whom the Edomites afterwards, through stratagem and surprise, fell upon in their garrisons and destroyed, and which caused Joab to go thither to bury them, and take vengeance on the Edomites for it; or these were the Edomites slain by David and Joab; and it has been always reckoned a piece of humanity to bury the dead of an enemy, and is to the honour of the conqueror, see ( Ezekiel 39:12 Ezekiel 39:13 ) or to suffer the enemy to bury them themselves: it is said F15, that Hercules was the first that brought up this practice, and that before they were left on the field, to be devoured by dogs; so they were in the times of the Trojan war, as appears by the writings of Homer; but burying them, in later times, was used by the Romans F16 and Greeks; and Josephus F17 delivers it as a law of Moses to bury enemies, and not suffer any dead to lie without partaking of the earth, nor to pass by or overlook any unburied; but from whence he took it, or grounds it upon, is not very evident; this is the first mention of it; though the Targum is,
``to strip the slain:''after he had smitten every male in Edom;
as he thought, intending to root out the name of them; being enraged at their falling upon the garrisons, if that was the case.
F15 Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 27.
F16 Liv. Hist. l. 39. c. 21. Vid. Kirchman. Append. ad. lib. de Funer. Roman. c. 3, 4, & 5.
F17 Antiqu. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 24. contr. Apion. l. 2. c. 29.