12:1 Now these [are] they that came to David to a Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they [were] among the mighty men, helpers of the war.
(a) To take his part against Saul: who persecuted him. 12:2 [They were] armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in [hurling] stones and [shooting] arrows out of a bow, [even] of Sauls b brethren of Benjamin.
(b) That is, of the tribe of Benjamin, of which Saul was, and in which were excellent throwers with slings, ( Judges 20:16 ). 12:8 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 c lions, and [were] as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
(c) Meaning, fierce and terrible. 12:15 These [are] they that went over Jordan in the d first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all [them] of the valleys, [both] toward the east, and toward the west.
(d) Which the Hebrews called Nisan, or Abib, containing half March and half April, when Jordan was wont to overflow its banks, read ( Joshua 3:15 ). 12:18 Then the e spirit came upon Amasai, [who was] chief of the captains, [and he said], Thine [are we], David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace [be] unto thee, and peace [be] to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.
(e) The spirit of boldness and courage moved him to speak thus. 12:19 And there fell [some] of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they f helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to [the jeopardy of] our heads.
(f) They came only to help David, and not to help the Philistines, who were enemies of their country. 12:21 And they helped David against the g band [of the rovers]: for they [were] all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host.
(g) That is, of the Amalekites who had burned the city of Ziklag, ( 1 Samuel 30:1 1 Samuel 30:9 ). 12:22 For at [that] time day by day there came to David to help him, until [it was] a great host, like the host of h God.
(h) Meaning, mighty or strong, for the Hebrews say a thing is of God when it is excellent. 12:27 And Jehoiada [was] the leader of the i Aaronites, and with him [were] three thousand and seven hundred;
(i) Of the Levites who came by the descent of Aaron. 12:29 And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had k kept the ward of the house of Saul.
(k) That is, the greatest number took Sauls side. 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, [which were men] that had understanding of the l times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them [were] two hundred; and all their brethren [were] at their commandment.
(l) Men of good experience, who knew at all times what was to be done. 12:38 m All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel [were] of one heart to make David king.
(m) So that his whole host were 322,222. 12:39 And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their n brethren had prepared for them.
(n) The rest of the Israelites.