1 Chronicles 12:8

8 Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains.

Read 1 Chronicles 12:8 Using Other Translations

And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
From the Gadites there went over to David at the stronghold in the wilderness mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains:
Some brave and experienced warriors from the tribe of Gad also defected to David while he was at the stronghold in the wilderness. They were expert with both shield and spear, as fierce as lions and as swift as deer on the mountains.

What does 1 Chronicles 12:8 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Chronicles 12:8

And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David, into
the hold to the wilderness
Men of the tribe of Gad, who lived on the other side Jordan; these separated themselves from the rest of their tribe, from their families and dwellings, and from the government of Saul, and came over to David, and joined him either when he was in some strong hold in the wilderness of Ziph, or Maon, ( 1 Samuel 23:14 1 Samuel 23:24 1 Samuel 23:25 ) , or, as some think, when he was at Ziklag, in the hold there, said to be in the wilderness of Judah:

men of might, and men of war, fit for the battle, that could handle
shield and buckler;
warlike, valiant, and courageous men, well skilled in military discipline: whose faces were like the face of lions; bold, stern, and fierce. The philosopher observes F4, that of all creatures the lion most resembles a man, having a great mouth, a square face and forehead, large eye brows

and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
which are remarkable for their swiftness on the mountains, see ( Song of Solomon 2:17 ) ( 8:14 ) . Aelianus F5 speaks of one sort of them that run as swift as a tempest. These Gadites, as with their undaunted looks and courage, intimidated their enemies, and put them to flight, so they were swift to pursue them, and overtake them.


FOOTNOTES:

F4 Aristot. Physiognom. c. 5.
F5 De Animal. l. 14. c. 14.
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