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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

2 Samuel 8

 

 

Verses 1-18

2 Samuel 8:1 And after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

2 Samuel 8:1Word Study on "Methegammah" - PTW says the Hebrew name "Methegammah" means, "bridle of bondage."

2 Samuel 8:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.

2 Samuel 8:4 — "seven hundred horsemen" - Comments- The parallel passage to 2 Samuel 8:4 is 1 Chronicles 18:4.

1 Chronicles 18:4, "And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots."

There a difference in these two verses in the number of horsemen that are mentioned. 2 Samuel 8:4 says that there are seven hundred (700) horsemen and 1 Chronicles 18:4 says that there are seven thousand (7 ,000) horsemen.

A look at the difference in the Hebrew words:

2 Samuel 8:4 - Hebrew ( וּשְׁבַע־מֵאוֹת֙ פָּרָשִׁ֔ים) for "seven hundred horsemen"

1 Chronicles 18:4 - Hebrew ( וְשִׁבְעַ֤ת אֲלָפִים֙ פָּֽרָשִׁ֔ים) for "seven thousand horsemen"

2 Samuel 8:9 When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had smitten all the host of Hadadezer,

2 Samuel 8:9 — "Toi king of Hamath" - Comments- The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 18:9 calls this king "Tou."

1 Chronicles 18:9, "Now when Tou king of Hamath heard how David had smitten all the host of Hadarezer king of Zobah;"

A look at the difference in the Hebrew names:

2 Samuel 8:9 - Hebrew ( תּׂעִי) - Toi. (H 8583)

1 Chronicles 18:9 - Hebrew ( תּׂעוּ) - Tou. (H 8583)

2 Samuel 8:10 Then Toi sent Joram his son unto king David, to salute him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, and smitten him: for Hadadezer had wars with Toi. And Joram brought with him vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass:

2 Samuel 8:10 — "Joram" - Comments- The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 18:10 calls this king by the name "Hadoram."

1 Chronicles 18:10, "He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to enquire of his welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass."

A look at the difference in the Hebrew names:

2 Samuel 8:10 - Hebrew ( יוֹרָם) - Joram. (H 3141)

1 Chronicles 18:10 - Hebrew ( הֲדוֹרָם) - Hadoram. (H 1913)

2 Samuel 8:10 — "Hadadezer" - Comments- The parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 18:10 calls this king by the name "Hadarezer."

1 Chronicles 18:10, "He sent Hadoram his son to king David, to enquire of his welfare, and to congratulate him, because he had fought against Hadarezer, and smitten him; (for Hadarezer had war with Tou;) and with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass."

A look at the difference in the Hebrew names:

2 Samuel 8:10 - Hebrew ( הֲדַדְעֶזֶר) - Hadadezer. (H 1909)

1 Chronicles 18:10 - Hebrew ( הֲדַרְעֶזֶר) - Hadarezer. (H 1928)

2 Samuel 8:13 And David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men.

2 Samuel 8:13 — "the Syrians" - Comments- The Hebrew name "Syrians" is "Arâm" ( אֲרַמ) (H 758). However, we read in the parallel passage of 1 Chronicles 18:12 that David smote the Edomites in this great battle, and not the Syrians.

1 Chronicles 18:12-13, "Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand. And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David"s servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went."

The context of the passage in 1Chronicles implies the Edomites were defeated, since the following verse immediately refers to them, "And he put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became David"s servants. Thus the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went." ( 1 Chronicles 18:13) The context of 2 Samuel 8:13 implies the Edomites as well, being followed by the same statement about garrisons in Edom, "And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David"s servants. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went." ( 2 Samuel 8:14) Christopher Wordsworth notes that the Syrians lives north east of Palestine, while this battle was fought in the Valley of Salt, located extreme south of Judah, where Judah borders Edom. 52] In addition, Psalm 60 very likely refers to this battle, telling us that David fought with Edom, and not with Syria.

52] Christopher Wordsworth, The Holy Bible in the Authorized Version; With Notes and Introductions, vol 2 (London: Rivingtons, Waterloo Place), 89.

Psalm 60:1, (To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.) "O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again."

Many scholars consider this an orthographical error, where a scribe accidentally wrote the Hebrew word for Aram (Syria) ( ארם) instead of Edom ( אדם). These words are similar except for the letters daleth ( ד) and resh ( ר) being interchanged in the middle. The error obviously occurred because the two letters are very similar. Perhaps because of the tremendous reverence that the Jews gave the Hebrew Scriptures, they feared to correct the text even when it was an obvious scribal error. Any corrections of recognized errors were made in the margin or footnote of the text, while the misspelled words were retained within in the text. Thus, the Masoretic text reads, "Syria" ( אֲרָ֖ם) (BHS). The Vulgate also reads, "Syria."

VgClem, "Fecit quoque sibi David nomen cum reverteretur capta Syria in valle Salinarum, csis decem et octo millibus."

In contrast, the LXX version read "Edom" ( τὴν ιδουμαίαν). William MacDonald adds that the Syriac version and some old Hebrew manuscripts read "Edom." 53]

53] William MacDonald, The Epistle to Philemon , in Believer's Bible Commentary, ed. Arthur Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1995), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on 2Samuel .

Brenton, "And David made [himself] a name: and when he returned he smote Idumea in Gebelem to [the number of] eighteen thousand."

Some modern versions also make the change to "Edom" (NIV, RSV).

NIV, "And David became famous after he returned from striking down eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt." ( 2 Samuel 8:13)

RSV, "And David won a name for himself. When he returned, he slew eighteen thousand E"domites in the Valley of Salt."

However, many scholars resolve this issue by suggesting that Edom was in conferate with Syria, so that the text should remain the same, being accurate.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/2-samuel-8.html. 2013.

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