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1 Chronicles 12


14. one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand--David, while at Ziklag, had not so large an amount of forces as to give to each of these the command of so many men. Another meaning, therefore, must obviously be sought, and excluding was, which is a supplement by our translators, the import of the passage is, that one of the least could discomfit a hundred, and the greatest was worth a thousand ordinary men; a strong hyperbole to express their uncommon valor.

15. These are they that went over Jordan in the first month--that is, in spring, when the swollen river generally fills up the banks of its
they put to flight all them of the valleys--This was probably done at the time of their separating themselves and their purpose being discovered, they had to cut their passage through the opposing adherents of Saul, both on the eastern and western banks. The impossibility of taking the fords at such a time, and the violent rapidity of the current, make this crossing of the Jordan--in whatever way these Gadites accomplished it--a remarkable feat.

16. the children of Benjamin and Judah--It is probable that the Benjamites invited the Judahites to accompany them, in order to prevent David being suspicious of them. Their anticipations, as the result showed, were well founded. He did suspect them, but the doubts of David as to their object in repairing to him, were promptly dispelled by Amasai or Amasa, who, by the secret impulse of the Spirit, assured him of their strong attachment and their zealous service from a unanimous conviction that his cause was owned and blessed of God ( 1 Samuel 18:12-14 ).

19-22. there fell some of Manasseh--The period of their accession is fixed as the time when David came with the Philistines against Saul to battle.
but they helped them

20. As he went to Ziklag--If those Manassites joined him on his return to Ziklag, after his dismissal from the Philistine army, then their arrival took place before the battle of Gilboa could have been fought (compare 1 Samuel 29:11 ). Convinced of the desperate state of Saul's affairs, they abandoned him, and resolved to transfer their allegiance to David. But some learned men think that they came as fugitives from that disastrous field [CALMET and EWALD].
captains of the thousands . . . of Manasseh--Those seven were commanders of the large military divisions of their tribe.

21, 22. they helped David against the band--that is, the Amalekites who had pillaged Ziklag in David's absence. This military expedition was made by all his men ( 1 Samuel 30:9 ), who, as David's early helpers, are specially distinguished from those who are mentioned in the latter portion of the chapter.

22. the host of God--that is, a great and powerful army.

1 Chronicles 12:23-40 . THE ARMIES THAT CAME TO HIM AT HEBRON.

23. these are the numbers of the bands . . . that came to David to Hebron--after the death of Ish-bosheth
to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the Lord--( 1 Chronicles 10:14 , 1 Chronicles 11:3 1 Chronicles 11:10 ). The account commences with the southern tribes, Levi being associated with Judah and Simeon, as the great majority of the leading men in this tribe resided in Judah; and, after recounting the representatives of the northern tribes, it concludes with those on the east of Jordan.

27. Jehoiada, the leader of the Aaronites--not the high priest, for that was Abiathar ( 1 Samuel 23:9 ), but the leader of the Aaronite warriors, supposed to be the father of Benaiah ( 1 Chronicles 11:22 ).

29. Benjamin . . . three thousand--This small number shows the unpopularity of the movement in this tribe; and, indeed, it is expressly stated that the mass of the population had, even after Ish-bosheth's death, anxiously endeavored to secure the crown in the family of Saul.

32. children of Issachar, . . . that had understanding of the times, &c.--Jewish writers say that the people of this tribe were eminent for their acquirements in astronomical and physical science; and the object of the remark was probably to show that the intelligent and learned classes were united with the military, and had declared for David.

33. Zebulun . . . could keep rank--that is, were more disciplined soldiers than the rest.
not of double heart--Though their numbers were large, all were in a high degree well affected to David.

38. all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king--that is, entertained a unanimous desire for his elevation.

39, 40. there they were with David three days, eating and drinking--According to the statements made in the preceding verses, the number of armed warriors assembled in Hebron on this occasion amounted to three hundred thousand. Supplies of provisions were abundantly furnished, not only by the people of the neighborhood, but from distant parts of the country, for all wished the festivities to be on a scale of liberality and magnificence suitable to the auspicious occasion.

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