And carry these ten cheeses unto the captain of their
Their chiliarch or colonel, who had the command of 1000 men, and under whom Jesse's sons fought; Jarchi thinks this was Jonathan, who had 1000 men with him at Gibeah, and so now, ( 1 Samuel 13:2 ) , these cheeses were sent by Jesse to the captain, to be distributed among his men, or a present to himself, that he might use his sons well who were under his command:
and look how thy brethren fare;
whether in good health, in good spirits, and in safety:
and take their pledge;
that is, if they had been obliged for want of money to pawn any of their clothes, or what they had with them to buy food with, that he would redeem and take up the pledge, by paying the money for which they were pawned; for it is thought that soldiers at this time were not maintained at the expense of the king and government, but at their own, and the families to which they belonged: though some are of opinion that this was some token which they had sent by a messenger to their father, by which he might know he came from them, so Ben Gersom; and which David was now to take with him, and return it; or a token that he was to bring from them, whereby he might be assured of their welfare; and so the Targum, "and bring their goodness", a token of their being in good health. The Jews F26 understand it of bills of divorce to be given to their wives, that if they should die in battle, or be taken captive, that their wives might marry after three years.
F26 Hieron. Trad. Heb. in lib. Reg. fol. 76. D.