And he took their king's crown from off his head
The crown of Hanun the king of the Ammonites, who now fell into his hands, and whom he stripped of his ensigns of royalty, who had so shamefully abused his ambassadors, ( 2 Samuel 10:4 ) :
(the weight whereof [was] a talent of gold with the precious stones):
or, "and a precious stone"; there might be more, as our version suggests, but there was one in it remarkably large and valuable; Josephus F2 says it had in it a very precious stone, a sardonyx; and this, according to the Talmud F3 was of the value of a talent of gold. A talent was equal to three thousand shekels, as appears from ( Exodus 38:25 Exodus 38:26 ) ; and was in value, according to Brerewood F4 of our money, 4500 pounds; but according to Bishop Cumberland F5 5067 pounds, three shillings and ten pence. This crown was of the same value with the golden candlestick in the tabernacle, ( Exodus 25:39 ) ; and some think that value here is meant, and not the weight, a talent of gold being very heavy; according to Bishop Cumberland F6, ninety three and three quarter pounds; some say an hundred thirteen pounds ten ounces, and more; too great a weight to be borne on the head by Hanun or David; but, what with the gold and precious stones about it, it might be equal in value to a talent of gold; but weight is expressly mentioned, and the crowns of the eastern princes were of great bulk and weight, as well as value: Athenaeus F7 makes mention of one made of ten thousand pieces of gold, placed on the throne of King Ptolemy, and of some of two cubits, of six, yea, of sixteen cubits. Some F8 are of opinion that this crown was not the crown of the king of Ammon, but of Milcom or Molech, their idol, and that the proper name should be retained in the version, and that David had a crown made of it he could bear; but if, as others F9, the Syriac talent is meant, which was but the fourth part of an Hebrew one, the difficulty is greatly lessened; for it seems to be the same crown David afterwards wore, as follows:
and it was [set] on David's head;
to show that the kingdom was translated to him, or was become subject to him; as Alexander, on the conquest of Darius, put the Persian diadem on his own head F11, in token of that monarchy being translated to him: though, after all, the phrase, "from off", may be rendered "from above" or "over" F12 his head, and so it was set "above" or "over" the head of David, being supported by some means or other, that its weight did not bear thereon however, Paschalius, who wrote a learned work, "De Coronis", must be mistaken when be says F13 this seems to be the first use of a crown in the kingdom of Judah, there being no mention of a crown before, either of Saul or David, only of anointing; since express mention is made of Saul's crown, ( 2 Samuel 1:10 ) ; though his observation may be just, that this crown, allowed to be worn by David, was a pledge of the renewal of his royal dignity, and of his acceptance with God upon his repentance for his above sins:
F2 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 7. sect. 5.)
F3 T. Bab. Avodah Zarah, fol. 44. 1.
F4 De Ponder. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 4.
F5 Of Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 4. p. 121.
F6 Ib. p. 119.
F7 Apud Paschalium de Coronis, l. 9. c, 8. p. 587.
F8 Vid. Hieron. Trad. Heb. in 2 Reg. fol. 78. H. & in Paralipom. fol. 83. M. Weemse of Jewish Weights, p. 141.
F9 Pfeiffer. Difficil. Script. Loc. cent. 2. loc. 87.
F11 Diodor. Sic. l. 17. p. 549.
F12 (lem) "desuper", Montanus, "supra caput David", Munster.
F13 Ut supra, (Apud Paschalium de Coronis) l. 10. c. 10. p. 695.