1 Paralipomenon xxvii.
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Now. This list is entirely of a political nature. It seems to have been made before David had obtained the throne of Israel, (ver. 7.) though perhaps the monthly division did not comprise 24,000, before that time. This regulation was very excellent, and enabled the king to have an army of 300,000 men, at a short notice. It was not attended with any material inconvenience to the people, as none were on service above a month. — Hands. Commanders in chief. — Captains. Twenty-four in number, with 240 centurions under them. — Officers. Hebrew shoterim. Septuagint, “scribes,” whose employment is not well ascertained. They perhaps acted as commissaries, or kept an account of the king’s troops, and reviewed them. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “and scribes serving the people, and the king’s orders respecting the divisions, both coming in and going out, monthly, throughout the year. One division comprised 24,000 men.
Ver. 2. Jesboam. Hebrew, “Jashobham,” as [in] chap. xi. 11. He was the first after Joab, (Haydock) and a descendant of Pharez, like David, and waiting upon the king in the month of Nisan, which almost agrees with our March (Menochius) and April. (Haydock) — Zabdiel, the Hachmonite, may therefore denote his country; (Kennicott) or Zabdiel might be his ancestor, though the same man has frequently different names. We find several companions of this general in the sequel.
Ver. 4. Dudia, or Dodi, the father of Eleazar, chap. xi. 12. (Calmet) — After him, his substitute. (Tirinus) — Hebrew, “and Macelloth, chief also of his course, consisting likewise of 24,000.” (Haydock)
Ver. 5. Priest. This we read no where else, so that some understand, “a chief officer at court,” 2 Kings viii. 18. (Calmet) — But he might be (Haydock) of the tribe of Levi. (Menochius) — His exploits are mentioned, chap. xi. 21.
Ver. 6. Company, in his absence, (Haydock) as lieutenant. (Salien)
Ver. 7. After him. He acted under his father, and succeeded (Menochius) to Asahel’s post, after Abner had slain him, 2 Kings ii. 23., and xxiii. 24. (Calmet)
Ver. 8. Samaoth. Perhaps Samma, or Sammoth of Arodi, or Arari; places with which we are not acquainted, unless they denote some of his progenitors. Jazer is well known. (Calmet) — Chap. xxvi. 34.
Ver. 9. Hari. Mentioned as one of David’s brave men, chap. xi. 28.
Ver. 10. Phallonite, or of Phalti, 2 Kings xxiii. 26.
Ver. 11. Zarahi, or of Zara, the son of Thamar, chap. xi. 29. Sobochai slew the giant Saph, 2 Kings xxi. 17.
Ver. 12. Jemini, or Benjamin. (Calmet) — The first syllable is neglected. (Menochius)
Ver. 13. Marai, or Marahai, sprung from Zara. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Ephraim. Pharathon was in this tribe. (Menochius)
Ver. 15. Holdai, called Heled, the son of Baana, chap. xi. 30., and 2 Kings xxiii. 29. — Gothoniel. So the Septuagint write Othoniel, (Haydock) so famous in the book of Judges, i. 13., and iii. 9.
Ver. 16. Chiefs, by their birth-right. The former were chosen for merit. (Tirinus) — The tribes of Aser and of Gad are omitted, either because the list was not in the hands of the author, or it was overlooked by transcribers. (Calmet) — Rubenites, with whom Em Sa joins the Gadites. (Menochius)
Ver. 18. Eliu. Probably the same with Eliab, the eldest son of Isai, (1 Kings xvi. 7.; Calmet) or the youngest but David, (chap. ii. 15.) whose name is preserved by the Syriac, &c.
Ver. 23. Heaven. It would have seemed, therefore, as if David distrusted the divine promise, (Haydock) and attempted what was impossible (Grotius) or useless. (Calmet) — He had before offended, and hence would now only number those who were wanted. (Worthington)
Ver. 24. Number, those above 20; but he acted with reluctance, (Tirinus) and the wrath of heaven prevented the entire completion of the king’s order, chap. xxi. 6., and 2 Kings xxiv. 9. — David. It would hence appear that the list was perfected, but not delivered to the king. The commissioners retained some of the lists; and, perhaps, from these, Esdras has inserted what relates to Benjamin, (chap. vii. 6.) as the account was not given in chap. xxi. 6. (Calmet) — This list may, however, have been made at another time; as we are informed that Benjamin and Levi were not numbered. (Haydock) — The Book of Kings, where we find it, is therefore a different work. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 25. Treasures of gold, &c., as those of provisions had other officers. (Calmet) — Were in. Hebrew and Septuagint add, “the fields, in the cities,” &c. (Haydock) — This must be understood of corn; wine is mentioned afterwards. Nothing could give us a higher opinion of David’s wisdom than these details.
Ver. 26. Ground, for the king. This was done at the expense of the nation, and by the people, no less than the vintage, 2 Kings viii. 12. The companions of Daniel were thus appointed to superintend the workmen of Nabuchodonosor, Daniel ii. 49. Xenophon (Cyrop. viii.) styles such, ergon epistatas, “men set over the works.” (Haydock)
Ver. 27. Cellars. Hebrew, “over the increase of the vineyards, for the wine cellars.” (Protestants) Wine was formerly kept in cisterns, in the vineyards, till it was taken into large earthen vessels, and placed in cellars.
Ver. 29. Saron, a fertile region at the foot of the mountains of Galaad; also a vale near the Mediterranean, (Calmet) in Ephraim, extending as far as Joppe. (Adrichomius) (Menochius)
Ver. 30. Ismahelite. People of that nation deal much in camels. (Calmet) — Ubil had embraced the Jewish religion, or perhaps he was originally an Israelite, but had acquired the title of Ismahelite by some exploit, or by residing long in the country. (Menochius)
Ver. 32. Man. Hebrew, “a writer.” He was a good politician and lawyer. (Grotius) — Sons, as tutors. (Du Hamel) (Calmet) — Jahiel was perhaps the brother of Jesbaam, chap. xi. 11. (Menochius)
Ver. 33. Friend. Chusai rendered the most signal service to the king, 2 Kings xvi. 23., and xvii. 1. (Calmet)
Ver. 34. After, inferior, (Salien) as Achitophel’s advice was esteemed like an oracle, (Calmet) or Joiada, a chief priest, and Abiathar, the pontiff, succeeded to his place, after he had hung himself. (Tirinus) (Du Hamel)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The twelve captains for every month: the twelve princes of the tribes. David’s several officers.
1 Now the children of Israel, according to their number, the heads of families, captains of thousands and of hundreds, and officers, that served the king according to their companies, who came in and went out every month in the year, under every chief, were four and twenty thousand.
2 Over the first company, the first month, Jesboam, the son of Zabdiel, was chief, and under him were four and twenty thousand.
3 Of the sons of Phares, the chief of all the captains in the host, in the first month.
4 The company of the second month was under Dudia, an Ahohite, and after him was another named Macelloth, who commanded a part of the army of four and twenty thousand.
5 And the captain of the third company, for the third month, was Banaias, the son of Joiada, the priest: and in his division were four and twenty thousand.
6 This is that Banaias, the most valiant among the thirty, and above the thirty. And Amizabad, his son, commanded his company.
7 The fourth, for the fourth month, was Asahel, the brother of Joab, and Zabadias, his son, after him: and in his company were four and twenty thousand.
8 The fifth captain, for the fifth month, was Samaoth, a Jezerite: and his company were four and twenty thousand.
9 The sixth, for the sixth month, was Hira, the son of Acces a Thecuite: and in his company were four and twenty thousand.
10 The seventh, for the seventh month, was Helles, a Phallonite, of the sons of Ephraim: and in his company were four and twenty thousand.
11 The eighth, for the eighth month, was Sobochai, a Husathite, of the race of Zarahi: and in his company were four and twenty thousand.
12 The ninth, for the ninth month, was Abiezer, an Anathothite, of the sons of Jemini, and in his company were four and twenty thousand.
13 The tenth, for the tenth month, was Marai, who was a Netophathite, of the race of Zarai: and in his company were four and twenty thousand.
14 The eleventh, for the eleventh month, was Banaias, a Pharathonite, of the sons of Ephraim: and in his company were four and twenty thousand.
15 The twelfth, for the twelfth month, was Holdai, a Netophathite, of the race of Gothoniel: and in his company were four and twenty thousand.
16 Now the chiefs over the tribes of Israel were these: over the Rubenites, Eliezer, the son of Zechri, was ruler: over the Simeonites, Saphatias, the son of Maacha:
17 Over the Levites, Hasabias, the son of Camuel: over the Aaronites, Sadoc:
18 Over Juda, Eliu, the brother of David: over Issachar, Amri, the son of Michael:
19 Over the Zabulonites, Jesmaias, the son of Adias: over the Nephthalites, Jerimoth, the son of Ozriel:
20 Over the sons of Ephraim: Osee, the son of Ozaziu: over the half tribe of Manasses, Joel, the son of Phadaia:
21 And over the half tribe of Manasses in Galaad, Jaddo, the son of Zacharias: and over Benjamin, Jasiel, the son of Abner.
22 And over Dan, Ezrihel, the son of Jeroham: these were the princes of the children of Israel.
23 But David would not number them from twenty years old and under: because the Lord had said that he would multiply Israel like the stars of heaven.
24 *Joab, the son of Sarvia, began to number, but he finished not: because upon this there fell wrath upon Israel: and therefore the number of them that were numbered, was not registered in the chronicles of king David.
25 And over the king’s treasures was Azmoth, the son of Adiel: and over those stores, which were in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jonathan, the son of Ozias.
26 And over the tillage, and the husbandmen, who tilled the ground, was Ezri, the son of Chelub:
27 And over the dressers of the vineyards, was Semeias, a Romathite: and over the wine-cellars, Zabdias, an Aphonite.
28 And over the olive-yards and the fig-groves, which were in the plains, was Balanam, a Gederite: and over the oil-cellars, Joas:
29 And over the herds that fed in Saron, was Setrai, a Saronite: and over the oxen in the valleys, Saphat, the son of Adli:
30 And over the camels, Ubil, an Ismahelite: and over the asses, Jadias, a Meronathite:
31 And over the sheep, Jaziz, an Agarene. All these were the rulers of the substance of king David.
32 And Jonathan, David’s uncle, a counsellor, a wise and learned man: he and Jahiel, the son of Hachamoni, were with the king’s sons.
33 And Achitophel was the king’s counsellor, and Chusai, the Arachite, the king’s friend.
34 And after Achitophel was Joiada, the son of Banaias, and Abiathar. And the general of the king’s army was Joab.
24: 1 Paralipomenon xxi. 2.; Year of the World 2987, Year before Christ 1017.