2 Samuel 23:8

David’s Mighty Warriors

8 These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth,a a Tahkemonite,b was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killedc in one encounter.

Read 2 Samuel 23:8 Using Other Translations

These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.
These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three. He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.
These are the names of David’s mightiest warriors. The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three —the three mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 800 enemy warriors in a single battle.

What does 2 Samuel 23:8 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
2 Samuel 23:8

These [be] the names of the mighty men whom David had
Besides Joab his general, who is not mentioned; for these were all military men under him, which are distinguished into three classes; the first and highest consisted of three only, who were general officers; and the second also of three, who perhaps were colonels of regiments; and the third of thirty, who were captains of thousands and hundreds:

the Tachmonite that sat in the seat, the chief among the captains:
not in the chief seat in the sanhedrim, and was the head of that, and so had the name of Tachmonite, from his wisdom, as the Jewish writers say; but in the council of war, where he presided under the general, or in his absence, and was, perhaps, lieutenant general, and so over all the captains; and therefore was neither David nor Joab, to whom some of the Rabbins apply these words, as observed by Kimchi; or rather he was the chief of the three to whom he belonged; his name, in ( 1 Chronicles 11:11 ) , is Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, or the son of an Hachmonite, the same as in ( 1 Chronicles 27:2 ) ; and here it may be as well read Josheb-bashebeth the Tachmonite, the same name, with a little variation; which seem to be names given him, taken from his character and office; for his proper name was as follows:

the same [was] Adino the Eznite:
so called either from the family he was of, or from the place of his birth; though a learned man thinks it should be read as in the following supplement F17,

[he lifted up his spear] against eight hundred, whom he slew at one
which, though a very extraordinary exploit, yet not more strange, or so strange as that of Shamgar's slaying six hundred men with an ox goad, ( Judges 3:31 ) , or as that of Samson's killing a thousand men with the jawbone of an ass, ( Judges 15:15 ) : in ( 1 Chronicles 11:11 ) , the number is only three hundred, which some attempt to reconcile by observing, that not the same person is meant in both places; here he is called Joshebbashebeth, there Jashobeam; here the Tachmonite, there the son of an Hachmonite; nor is he there called Adino the Eznite; but yet it seems plain that in both places the chief of the three worthies of David is meant, and so the same man: others observe, that he engaged with eight hundred, and slew three hundred of them, when the rest fled, and were pursued and killed by his men; and he routing them, and being the occasion of their being slain, the slaying of them all is ascribed to him; or he first slew three hundred, and five hundred more coming upon him, he slew them also: but what Kimchi offers seems to be best, that there were two battles, in which this officer was engaged; at one of them he slew eight hundred, and at the other three hundred; for so what is omitted in the books of Samuel, and of the Kings, is frequently supplied in the books of Chronicles, as what one evangelist in the New Testament omits, another records. The above learned writer F18 conjectures, that (v) being the first letter of the words for three and eight, and the numeral letter being here reduced to its word at length, through a mistake in the copier, was written (hnmv) , "eight", instead of (vlv) , "three": the Septuagint version is,

``he drew out his spear against eight hundred soldiers at once,''

and says nothing of slaying them; and seems to be the true sense of the word, as the same learned writer F19 has abundantly shown.


F17 Kennicott's Dissert. 1. so Hillerus in Onomastic. Sacr. p. 230, 231, renders it, "the glory of the spear or spearmen stood against eight hundred" and Weemse, "his delight was to lift up his spear". Exercitat. 16. p. 137.
F18 P. 96.
F19 P. 103.
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