1Chronicles 12

 

1Chronicles 12:1–22

 


Outline of Chapter 12:

 

         vv.     1–7           Men who Came to David at Ziklag

         vv.     8–15         Men who Came to David when in the Stronghold in the Wilderness

         vv.    16–18         Men who Came to David when in the Stronghold of Engedi

         vv.    19–21         Men who Came to David when Returning to Ziklag

         vv.    22–38         Supporters from all over Israel Come to David in Hebron

         vv.    39–40         David’s Inaugural Party in Hebron


Charts, Short Doctrines and Maps:

 

         Introduction         Integrating 1Chronicles 12 with the Book of Samuel

         Introduction         1Chronicles 12 Summarized by Keil and Delitzsch

         Introduction         1Chronicles 10–12 Presented Topically

         v.       1              Wasn’t David out of Fellowship in Ziklag?

         v.       2              The Sentence Structure of 1Chronicles 1:1–3

         v.       3              The Joash’s of Scripture

         v.       3              The Jehu’s of Scripture

         v.       4              The Jeremiah’s of Scripture

         v.       4              The Jahaziel’s of Scripture

         v.       4              The Johanan’s of Scripture

         v.       4              The Jozabad’s of Scripture

         v.       5              The Meanings of the Names of David’s Men in 1Chron. 12:5

         v.       6              The Meanings of the Names of David’s Men in 1Chron. 12:6

         v.       6              The Elkanah’s of Scripture

         v.       6              The Jesiah’s of Scripture

         v.       6              The Azareel’s of Scripture

         v.       7              The Zebadiah’s of Scripture

         v.       8              The Strongholds of David

         v.       8              A Summary of the Doctrine of ׳Ârake

         v.       9              The Obadiah’s of Scripture

         v.       9              The Eliab’s of Scripture

         vv.    10–11         The Attai’s of Scripture

         vv.    10–11         The Eliel’s of Scripture

         vv.    13–14         The Gadites and the Meanings of their Names

         v.      20              The Men from Manasseh

         v.      20              The Jediael’s of Scripture

         v.      20              The Michael’s of Scripture

         v.      20              The Elihu’s of Scripture

         v.      20              The Options of the Men from Manasseh

         v.      22              Why 1Chronicles 12:22 Should be Associated with vv. 23–40

         v.      27              The Jehoiada’s of Scripture

         v.      27              The Joiada’s of Scripture

         v.      28              The Zadok’s of Scripture

         v.      28              Were Levites Military Types?

         v.      29              Why the Tribe of Benjamin had the Fewest Men Show up to Support David

         v.      32              Commentators on the Tribe of Issachar, Who Knew what Israel Should Do

         v.      37              Barnes’ Observations Concerning Those Who Came to David in Hebron

         v.      37              The Time Line of 2Samuel 1–5 and 1Chronicles 12:23–37

         v.      37              A Summary of 1Chronicles 12

         v.      37              Theories on How Many Men Actually Showed up to Support David


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

 

Masada

Fasting


I ntroduction: It is difficult to determine how one should teach the Bible and in what order should one go. It is most typical for a good pastor to simply choose a book and teach it from beginning to end. In this way, you get the full impact of the book itself. However, what I think I will do is make an attempt to teach much of the Old Testament in chronological order. Therefore, as we go through the books of Samuel and Kings, we will stop now and again to examine a psalm, or to venture into the book of 1Chronicles.


The first third of 1Chron. 12 tells us who came to David while he was in Ziklag, which is Philistine-controlled territory, and David lived there with the blessing of Philistine king, Achish, King of Gath. We have spent a great deal of time in 1Sam. 27 examining David and determining that he was both out of God’s geographical will and, much of the time, out of fellowship. In fact, at no point in 1Sam. 27:1–30:5 could we point to David and say, “He’s back in fellowship here.” Still, men came to David while he was encamped in Ziklag, and that is what the first half of this chapter is all about.


The second half of this chapter has these men going into Hebron with David, to be inaugurated king over Judah.


Now I have seen this chapter organized in virtually the same way by almost every exegete (some disagree on the placement of v. 22); but very few try to explain the arrangement. Selman tries to explain this as a building momentum, but given that David's mighty men are all named at the end of 1Chron. 11, that he had almost universal support in 1Chron. 11:1–3; that it seems somewhat odd to then say, “Oh, by the way, here are the ones who supported David over the years” naming some, but not others. Then the order of presentation seems odd as well; first Ziklag (1Sam. 27), then David when on the run from Saul (1Sam. 23), and then back to Ziklag (1Sam. 29). To me, the order seems sort of random (which does not mean that there is a problem; there is nothing wrong with the order being random, as we do have a human author). Those named in this chapter seem to be random as well. Now, the latter half of this chapter names all 12 tribes and those who came from these tribes to support David; but in the first half, we have a few men from this tribe, and then a few men from that tribe named, and only 5 tribes are named as well. The only conclusion that I can come to is, these are key men in David’s army. A lot of those who came to David are simply malcontents. However, here we have specific men who came to David who were great leaders and men of great integrity.


One of the other minor problems which I will discuss further as we go along is, it appears as though some, if not all, of these men in the first half of this chapter were not simply malcontents, but high-ranking officers from Saul’s army. This means, at some point in time, for some reason, they had to leave Saul’s army. This also means that, sometime after this, they had to hook up with David. How can men of great integrity and military ability just walk away from Saul’s army and maintain this integrity? Also to be discussed...


Although it is clear that portions of Chronicles are taken directly from the book of Samuel (e.g., 1Chron. 10:1–12a), it is also clear that there is a great deal of information culled from other sources (our chapter, for instance). Whereas, we can match much of this chapter with portions of the narrative of the book of Samuel, the source material for 1Chron. 12 was clearly not from Samuel.


There are several ways to approach the examination of this chapter. You might be studying the book of Chronicles and this is simply the next chapter in your study. However, it is possible that you are studying the book of Samuel and you have occasion to pop in and out of the book of Chronicles to examine parallel passages. If this is what you are doing, allow me to match up the material of Samuel with this chapter of Chronicles:

Note that 1Chron. 12 is not given in chronological order.

Integrating 1Chronicles 12 with the Book of Samuel

Samuel

1Chronicles 12

Remarks

1Samuel 27:6–12

1Chron. 12:1–7

Men who Came to David at Ziklag. After spending several years running from Saul throughout much of Judah, David finally decided to move to Philistine territory in order to save himself. It should be clear that, figuring out a way to avoid one problem does not mean that you will not end up with a whole host of new problems in your life.

1Samuel 23:13–28

1Chron. 12:8–15

Men who Came to David when in the Stronghold in the Wilderness. Although we seem to have a reference in Chronicles to a specific stronghold, there are several mentioned in 1Sam. 23. Therefore, we cannot association this passage in 1Chron. 12 with a specific verse in 1Sam. 23.

1Samuel 23:29

1Chron. 12:16–18

Men who Came to David when in the Stronghold of Engedi. In 1Sam. 23:29, stronghold is in the plural, indicating that David stayed in several places when in Engedi. Whether this passage in Chronicles refers to one specific place in Engedi (which the singular suggests) or to just the various hiding places in Engedi is not something we could say with any dogmatism.

1Samuel 29:11

1Chron. 12:19–21

Men who Came to David when Returning to Ziklag. This is extremely specific here; we can almost name the day and the hour this occurred (figuratively speaking).

2Samuel 5:1–3

1Chron. 12:22–38

Supporters from all over Israel Come to David in Hebron. David remains in Hebron for 7 years; they come to him at the end of this 7 years.

1Chron. 12:39–40

David’s Inaugural Party in Hebron. This simply is a continuation of the previous verses.

It is up to you if you want to take in all of 1Chron. 12 in one gulp, or if you want to break it up as I have, and consume it a little at a time, when properly matched with its parallel passages in Samuel. In case you did not realize, many chapters in the book of Chronicles are not easy to go through verse by verse. Sometimes they seem to be nothing but this endless lists of names, the significance of which is lost on the reader after the first several verses. If this is your reaction, then I suggest that you take an occasional bite from this or that chapter of Chronicles, when appropriate to the historical study of the kings and prophets of Israel.

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Although most of the summaries I read in e-sword were uninspiring, let me include Keil and Delitzsch’s.

1Chronicles 12 Summarized by Keil and Delitzsch

Registers of the Valiant Men Who Helped David to the Kingdom - 1 Chronicles 12

This chapter contains two somewhat long registers, viz.:

(1) A register of the valiant men who before Saul's death went over to David, vv. 1-22; The first is divided into three smaller registers:

(a) that of the valiant Benjamites who came to David during his stay in Ziklag (1Chron. 12:1–7

(b) that of the Gadites and the men of Judah and Benjamin who went over to him while he remained in the mountain fastnesses;

(c) that of the Manassites who, on his return to Ziklag before Saul's last battle with the Philistines, joined themselves to him (1Chron. 12:19–22).

(2) A register of the fighting men who anointed him king in Hebron.


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Ideally speaking, you have just completed my exegesis of 1Sam. 23, 27, 29 or of 2Sam. 1, and you have come to this book and chapter next as per my suggestion at the end of those chapters. However, if you did not, then let me give you a brief summary of what has happened to date. First of all, I should clear the air about the book of Chronicles: this is a book composed around the 5th century b.c., long after many of these events took place. God apparently motivated someone to gather the existing genealogical records and historical accounts which existed at that time, and to record the divine viewpoint of the history of Israel. Since we are looking back so far, and since the thinking of most Israelite authors is not chronological, there is no reason to think that the order of these chapters is chronological. As you have seen so far in this book, Chronicles is clearly not chronological. However, generally speaking, it is. That is, what happens ten chapters later is generally a later event. However, two adjacent chapters may not be in chronological order. The first half of this chapter precedes and is coterminous with 1Chron. 10, while the second half of this chapter follows 1Chron. 10 (but precedes 1Chron. 11). However, the first and second halves of this chapter are related topically, which is a typical way for Jewish authors to organize their material.


One of the biggest myths in modern history is that Jesus was this long-haired, hippie peacenik-protester wandering around doing good things for everyone and standing in clear opposition to the military, the establishment, big oil, the government and all things big.

Why is there a chapter like this? Why is there a chapter which is, essentially, a list of names, of men who have come to David, which the barest of narrative information? There are a couple of reasons: (1) this honors these men who risked their lives to join up with David and then risked their lives again and again to fight for Israel’s freedom and security. However, just as importantly, (2) the Bible presents these military men as heroes. One of the biggest myths in modern history is that Jesus was this long-haired, hippie peacenik-protester wandering around doing good things for everyone and standing in clear opposition to the military, the establishment, big oil, the government and all things big. In Scripture, those in the military are presented as heroes—brave and selfless men who fight to protect their homeland. This does not mean that these men lack old sin natures—however, nowhere does the Bible present the notion that military men are evil and pro-war, and that those who avoid military service and protest the war are good and peace-loving. In fact, do you recall the verse which reads And your sin will find you out? Do you know what sin is being referred to in context? Pacifism and desertion—those are the sins referred to in that passage. You may or may not agree with what we find in Scripture, and that is your right. However, don’t ever try to use Scripture or the words of Jesus to justify an anti-war stance in all situations.


Okay, I realize that made very little sense, so let’s approach these chapters topically:

1Chronicles 10–12 Presented Topically

Scripture

Incident

1Chron. 10:1–10

Saul dies in battle on Mount Gilboa.

1Chron. 10:11–14

The men of Jabesh-gilead retrieve Saul’s body from being shamed; the reasons for Saul’s death is given.

1Chron. 11:1–3

David is made king over all Israel.

1Chron. 11:4–9

David makes Jerusalem his capital city.

1Chron. 11:10–12:40

David’s mighty men and supporters; many of whom assumed high positions in government after David came to power. These are further broken down into subgroups below:

1Chron. 11:11–14

Specific men who came to David and their personal exploits attested to.

1Chron. 11:15–19

3 who came to David while he was in the cave of Adullam.

1Chron. 11:20–21

Abshai.

1Chron. 11:22–25

Benaiah.

1Chron. 11:26–47

The mighty men of David’s army.

1Chron. 12:1–7

Those who came to David in Ziklag.

1Chron. 12:8–15

Those who crossed over the Jordan to come to David to his stronghold in the wilderness.

1Chron. 12:16–18

Those from Benjamin and Judah who came to David’s stronghold.

1Chron. 12:19–22

Those who came to David from Manasseh as David went to Ziklag.

1Chron. 12:23–40

Those men who came to David from all over Israel when he was in Hebron in order to show their unified support for him.

When making an attempt to teach the Bible in some sort of chronological order, 1Chron. 11–12 pose somewhat of a problem. Chapter 11 begins with David being made king over all Israel (corresponding to 2Sam. 5:1–5). Then we have a list of those who had come to David over the past few years while David was on the run (1Sam. 27–2Sam. 1), as well as those who came to David when he assumed rule over Judah (2Sam. 2:1–7).

To complicate matters, the first list of David’s supporters, 1Chron. 11:10–47 is almost identical to 2Sam. 23:8–39.


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Men who Came to David at Ziklag

1Samuel 27:6–12


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And these the ones going in unto David to Ziklag, still restraining from faces of Saul ben Kish. And the these in the mighty men helpers of the war:...

1Chronicles

12:1

And these [are] the ones who went to David [while he was] in [lit., to, for] Ziklag, still confined [or, being restrained] from the presence of Saul ben Kish. Now these [are] the mighty men, who helped David in the war [lit., helpers of the war]:...

And this is the list of those who went to David when he was in Ziklag, when he was banished from Ziklag from the presence of Saul. These are the mighty men who helped David during wartimes,...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient Texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And these the ones going in unto David to Ziklag, still restraining from faces of Saul ben Kish. And the these in the mighty men helpers of the war:...

Septuagint                              And these are they that came to Sikelag, when he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kis; and these were among the mighty, aiding him in war.

 

Significant differences:           There is a difficult verb in the Hebrew, which sounds as though David was forcefully restrained from seeing Saul; however, he chose be become an ex-patriot. The Greek seems to have trouble with that same verb. Apart from that verb, the Greek translation is essentially equivalent to the Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Some time earlier, David had gone to live in the town of Ziklag to escape from King Saul. While David was there, several brave warriors joined him to help fight his battles.

The Message                         These are the men who joined David in Ziklag; it was during the time he was banished by Saul the son of Kish; they were among the Mighty Men, good fighters.

NJB                                        These are the men who rallied to David at Ziklag while he was still being kept away from Saul son of Kish; they were among the champions, the warriors.

NLT                                        The following men joined David at Ziklag while he was hiding from Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who fought beside David in battle.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         These are the men who came to David at Ziklag when he was banished by Saul, son of Kish. They were among the soldiers who went into battle with David.

HCSB                                     The following were the men who came to David at Ziklag while he was still banned from the presence of Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who helped him in battle.

JPS (Tanakh)                         The following joined David at Ziklag while he was still in hiding from Saul son of Kish; these were the warriors who gave support in battle;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men who helped him in war.

LTHB                                     And these were those coming to David to Ziklag, while banned from the face of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty ones, helping the battle;...

Young's Updated LT              And these are those coming in unto David to Ziklag, while shut up because of Saul son of Kish, and they are among the mighty ones, helping the battle,...


What is the gist of this verse? What is going to be given in this chapter is a list of those who came to David. The first partial list will be of some who came to David while he was exiled in Ziklag.

 

1Chronicles 12:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronunced KEHLleh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective

Strong's #428 BDB #41

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

the one entering [coming, one going] [in]; he who enters [goes, comes (in)]

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the definite article

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

I would have expected to find the bêyth preposition here; instead, we have the lâmed preposition. Perhaps the idea is, these men came to David while he was in Ziklag; however, sometimes, he would be out pillaging others when they showed up.

Tsiqelag (ג-לק̣צ) [pronounced tzihke-LAHG]

transliterated Ziklag

Proper noun; location

Strong’s #6860 BDB #862


Translation: And these [are] the ones who went to David [while he was] in [lit., to, for] Ziklag,... As you will recall, David chose to leave Israel because Saul continued to pursue him. He went to the king of Gath, who let David stay in an area called Ziklag, which is pretty far south of Gath, a border city between Judah and Philistine territory. Apparently, David’s location was known to many. One might draw an analogy here to the gospel of Jesus Christ: most people could figure out how to know more about God; that is, they know where they could go if they had an interest. However, it is apparent that many just do not have the interest. Almost any person could have found David; however, the key was, whether or not they had any interest in knowing him.


Although God originally granted the city of Ziklag to Israel, it is apparent that it was under the control of the Philistines during the time of David and it is very likely that the control of this city was rather fluid. As I have pointed out in previous studies, ancient peoples did not tend to own large contiguous tracts of land; they tended to own cities and the land around the city; and often, a city might be controlled by 2 or more major powers (or they might have established some sort of an equilibrium). Given this, it is not difficult to imagine various groups of people going in and out of Ziklag without causing any sort of an incident. That is, 30 Israelites could ride into town, settle in with David, and not cause Philistia to declare war on Israel. Besides, Achish had given David permission to set up shop in Ziklag.


I want you to notice that, throughout 1Samuel, David nowhere goes out and solicits men to join with him; he does not send out letters of requests to various elders suggesting that they support him or send men to him. David did not get involved in any sort of self-promotion, nor did he make any attempts to take men who should be serving under Saul. God brought these men to David; God inspired these men to come to David. Throughout this chapter, we are going to have a list of men who have come to David, as well as huge numbers from each tribe which will come to David when he begins to rule in Hebron. However, nowhere do we read that David calls upon these men to join him—God moves them to show their support for David.


It is interesting what a writer says and does not say. The writer of Chronicles mentions these various places where David stayed or traveled through (e.g., Ziklag in vv. 1, 19–20) or the wilderness strongholds, which would be in the region along the Dead Sea (vv. 8, 16); however, the circumstances which explain David’s reason for being there are left out. There are a handful of things which I recall about studying the history of California, as I was raised there; it is possible that those who would read Chronicles were familiar, to some degree, with these details of David’s pre-king years. The writer of Samuel, on the other hand, gives us a great many historical details, without so many statistics, like a person writing news-history. He writes so close to the time of the event, so as to record a great many details and dialogue, to inform. The writer of Chronicles seems to be almost obsessed with statistics, yet rarely gives us many human historical details. Therefore, in the book of Chronicles, we would expect the places where David stayed to be mentioned, but not necessarily the circumstances or the events which go along with him staying there.


1Chronicles 12:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳ôwd (דע) [pronounced ģohd]

still, yet, again, besides, in addition to, even yet

adverb

Strong’s #5750 BDB #728

׳âtsar (ר ַצ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-TSAR]

confined, detained, restrained, exiled

Qal passive participle

Strong’s #6113 BDB #783

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, mipânîym mean from before your face, out from before your face, from one’s presence. However, together, they can also be a reference to the cause, whether near or remote, and can therefore be rendered because of, because that.

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Qîysh (שי .ק) [pronounced keesh]

transliterated Kish

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7027 BDB #885


Translation: ...still confined [or, being restrained] from the presence of Saul ben Kish. I think that there must be a better translation for this verb, but I am not sure what it would be. Most translations sound too much like David is in Ziklag due to the order of Saul. However, David is in Ziklag by his own choice. He has willingly become an ex-patriot. Of course, this was encouraged by Saul’s actions, but not as a matter of Saul’s decree. If one was to understand this verb to mean constrained of one’s own volition, that would give a better sense of the matter. David himself chose to go to Ziklag; God did not guide him there and Saul did not make it impossible for him to live in Israel (1Sam. 27:1).


1Chronicles 12:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hêmmâh (ה ָ ֵה) [pronounced haym-mawh]

they, those; themselves; these [with the definite article]

3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun

Strong’s #1992 BDB #241

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

gibbôwr (ר  ̣) [pronounced gib-BOAR]

strong men, mighty men, soldiers

masculine plural noun/adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #1368 BDB #150

׳âzar (רַזָע) [pronounced ģaw-ZAHR]

helper, one who aids; an ally

masculine plural construct, Qal active participle

Strong’s #5826 BDB #740

milechâmâh (הָמָח׃ל ̣מ) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536


Translation: Now these [are] the mighty men, who helped David in the war [lit., helpers of the war]:... David was often at war, defending Israel from her enemies. Because of this, he had a very helpful, honorable and dedicated military staff.


I need to pose a general question here: David is out of fellowship, more than likely, as we discuss near the end of 1Sam. 27 and as we will discuss again in 1Sam. 30:6 when he gets back into fellowship. Given that being in and out of fellowship can make a person almost like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, what should we think of these men and their coming to David?

Wasn’t David out of Fellowship in Ziklag?

1.      Back in 1Sam. 27:1, David makes the decision to get out of Judah and to go to the land of the Philistines.

2.      In 1Sam. 30:6, it is clear that David is back in fellowship.

3.      Between these verses, at no time does David consult God, the Ephod of God, the High Priest of God, etc. He goes to Ziklag by his own decision and, after that, continues to make his own decisions.

4.      We may reasonably assume that David is out of fellowship.

5.      This comes to a point where David is actually morally obligated to fight against Israel on the side of the Philistines (1Sam. 29).

6.      Therefore, we should have questions about David and these men who come to him.

7.      Some people, when they are out of fellowship, are like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Saul was a good example of this: he respected David and loved David almost like a son when in fellowship, and was out to kill David by any means possible when out of fellowship. In fact, when out of fellowship, Saul was capable of the most ghastly acts (see, for instance, 1Sam. 22 when he orders all the priests at Nob be slain).

8.      However, David does not appear to be quite as bi-polar as Saul.

9.      David, in fellowship, is honorable, trustworthy, charismatic, with a strong faith in God.

10.    David out of fellowship is generally honorable, generally trustworthy and charismatic. He falters when it comes to having complete faith in God, but he maintains some admirable personal qualities in or out of fellowship. Obviously, he lied to Achish King of Gath about whom he was plundering (1Sam. 27:8–12).

11.    There are believers who, out of fellowship, still have admirable qualities.

12.    There are unbelievers who have admirable qualities.

13.    Therefore, there are some who would come to David while he is in Ziklag and not really be aware of him being in or out of fellowship—in fact, for the most part, most or all of David’s associates would not be aware that he is out of fellowship. After all, there is no red or green light blinking over our heads to let everyone know whether we are in or out of fellowship.

14.    God has a plan for David, whether in our out of fellowship; David becomes a partipant of this plan and manufactures divine good while in fellowship. Out of fellowship, David is simply passing the time away, not heeding the verse Redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:16).

15.    God’s plan continues to move forward; and David will hop back on that train 1Sam. 30:6. At that point, God will have everything in order and set up for David to move forward spiritually and to have a true spiritual impact.

When you are out of fellowship for a long period of time, a lot of things might happen—good and bad; however, your life has no spiritual impact until you are back in fellowship.


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I need to mention this final phrase helpers of the war; the men who came to David are said to be helpers of the war. David is not at war with Saul; however, he is attacking a variety of tribes from his southerly position. David had been attacking the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites (we’ve discussed these groups in more detail in 1Sam. 27:8). It is his war against these groups of people that this phrase alludes to. David is aware that God wanted the heathen groups removed from the land of Israel, but David, being out of fellowship, is using that as a rationalization for what he is doing. Primarily, he is supporting his troops by raiding the nearby peoples. God has not told David to do this. Although, there is the possibility that David, while in fellowship, could have been directed by God to do this—that is, you can do the same thing in or out of fellowship, and the spiritual impact is different. For instance, you can give your church a thousand dollars, but if you are out of fellowship, it has no spiritual impact; you can be in fellowship and give your church a thousand dollars, and that can have real spiritual impact. The key is what is in your soul.


So, what should David be doing at this time? We really don’t know. Had he asked God for guidance (after all, he is traveling with the High Priest and the Ephod of God), we would know. It is possible that God would have David and his mention function in eastern Israel or in northern Israel. It is possible that David’s actions in these areas would have avoided the 7 year conflict of 2Sam. 2–4 (compare 2Sam. 5:5). Interestingly enough, R. B. Thieme Jr. suggests that we will be able to go to the hall of records in heaven and see what could have been, had we been in fellowship more often. Since God knows all of the options, the possibilities, and the results from our every action and from our every choice, this seems possible; it is an interesting concept nonetheless.


...armed ones of a bow—right-handed ones and left-handed ones—in the stones and in the arrows in the bow. From brothers of Saul, from Benjamin,...

1Chronicles

12:2

...armed with bows—[shooting] both right-handed and left-handed—[and] with stones [to sling] and with arrows for their [lit., in] bows. From the relatives of Saul, [men] of Benjamin,...

...armed with bows, being able to shoot either left or right handed; and armed with stones to sling and with arrows for their bows. From the relatives of Saul, men of Benjamin, there came to David the following men:...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          ...bending the bow, and using either hand; in hurling stones with slings, and shooting arrows: of the brethren of Saul of Benjamin.

Masoretic Text                       ......armed ones of a bow—right-handed ones and left-handed ones—in the stones and in the arrows in the bow. From brothers of Saul, from Benjamin,...

Peshitta                                  They held the bows with their left hand and the swords with their right, and their bows were filled with arrows, but David was unwilling to slay Saul, because he was the chief, the prince of the tribe of Benjamin.

Septuagint                              ...and [using] the bow with the right hand and with the left, and slingers with stones, and [shooters] with bows. Of the brothers of Saul of Benjamin,...

 

Significant differences:           The Hebrew seems to have a verb which is ignored in the Greek: armed ones. The Greek adds in slingers with, but then leaves out arrows. Although the differences are marked, the amount of difference that they actually make is minimal. At least the English which came from the Latin (the Douay-Rheims Bible) also seems to add a few words in this verse.

 

The Hebrew is quite difficult to put together into a complete, flowing thought. The Peshitta, however, has a complete thought, with some significant differences. This speaks of David’s men, but also of David choosing not to kill Saul. Given the difficulty of the Hebrew, this could have been some logical insertions based on their own imagination or upon manuscripts which we do not have access to.

 

I should mention that, there remains only a tiny fragment from the book of Chronicles found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. This fragment contains all of a couple verses.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Several of these warriors were from King Saul's own tribe of Benjamin. They were experts at using a bow and arrows, and they could shoot an arrow or sling a stone with either hand.

The Message                         They were armed with bows and could sling stones and shoot arrows either right- or left-handed. They hailed from Saul's tribe, Benjamin.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         They were armed with bows and could sling stones or shoot arrows with either their right or their left hands. They were Saul's relatives, from the tribe of Benjamin.

HCSB                                     They were archers who, using either their right or left hand, could throw stones with a sling or shoot arrows with a bow. They were Saul's relatives from Benjamin:...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       They were bowmen and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand; they were Benjaminites, Saul's kinsmen.

LTHB                                     ...right and left-handed, armed with bows, with stones, and with arrows, with the bow from the brothers of Saul, of Benjamin.

Young's Updated LT              ...armed with bow, right and left handed, with stones, and with arrows, with bows, of the brothers of Saul, of Benjamin.


What is the gist of this verse? David’s men are said to be capable of using their left or right hands; then we seem to have a sudden mention of the brothers of Saul of Benjamin, which does not seem to go anywhere. I have interpreted this final phrase as belonging to the verses which follow (and we have a similar phrasing in 1Chron. 12:8, 19, 25, 29, which would justify my interpretation).


In the Latin, the men of David carry a bow in one hand and their slings and stones in another.


In the Syriac, we are told that David chose not to go after Saul, despite the fact that David had a tremendous personal army.


1Chronicles 12:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

nâshaq (קַשָנ) [pronounced naw-SHAHK]

kissed, touching, having close contact with; armed with

masculine plural construct, Qal active participle

Strong’s #5401 BDB #676

qesheth (תק) pronounced KEH-sheth]

bow; bowmen, archers; rainbow; [used figuratively for] might, strength

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #7198 BDB #905

yâman (ן-מָי) [pronounced yaw-MAHN]

to go [turn] to the right, to choose the right; to be right-handed, to use the right hand

masculine plural, Hiphil participle

Strong’s #541 & #3231 BDB #412

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

sameal (ל-אמ-) [pronounced sahme-AHL]

to go [turn] to the left; to take the left; to be left-handed, to use the left hand

masculine plural, Hiphil participle

Strong’s #8041 BDB #970

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

eben (ןבא) [pronounced EHB-ven]

stone

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #68 BDB #6

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

chêts (ץ ̤ח) [pronounced khayts]

arrow; a wound [inflicted by an arrow]; a spear shaft

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2671 BDB #346

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

qesheth (תק) pronounced KEH-sheth]

bow; bowmen, archers; rainbow; [used figuratively for] might, strength

feminine singular noun; pausal form

Strong’s #7198 BDB #905


Translation: ...armed with bows—[shooting] both right-handed and left-handed—[and] with stones [to sling] and with arrows for their [lit., in] bows. Getting specific with the Hebrew here is quite difficult. You notice that I had to add several words and change one in order to get this to make sense in the English. It is not clear whether David had individual groups of men, some of whom were left-handed; others of whom were right-handed; or whether many could use either hand; or whether some shot the bow with one hand and threw stones with a sling using the other. However, although we cannot tie down these kinds of details, it is clear that these men are extremely adept in the art of war.


Interestingly enough, there are several references in Scripture to the Benjamites being handy with the bow, and being able to use either hand (Judges 3:15 1Chron. 8:40 2Chron. 14:8). Now, if you want to get technical, this does not mean that they were ambidextrous, which means one does not have a preference for either hand; they were simply skilled in using either hand. I used to write on the board with either hand, but I was definitely left-handed.


James Freeman suggests that these might have represented two types of bows, one for slinging stones and another for arrows. The bow for slinging stones is, insofar as I know, unknown to us; however, as Freeman points out, they may have paved the way for another invention, 250 years later, of a heavier instrument of a similar character used in sieges. Footnote


1Chronicles 12:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

âch (ח ָא) [pronounced awhk]

brother, kinsman or close relative

masculine plural construct

Strong's #251 BDB #26

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Bineyâmîyn (ןי.מָינ  ̣) [pronounced bin-yaw-MEEN]

transliterated Benjamin, it means son of [my] right hand

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1144 BDB #122

Spelled here Bineyâmîn (ן  ̣מָינ  ̣) [pronounced bin-yaw-MIN].


Translation: From the relatives of Saul, [men] of Benjamin,... As mentioned, there is a significant difference between the Syriac and the Hebrew at this point. In the Hebrew, this appears to be tied to the verses which follow; in the Syriac, this statement stands on its own in its own. In the Syriac, David is said not to go after Saul’s life, as he is the anointed of God. The Syriac reads: David was unwilling to slay Saul, because he was the chief, the prince of the tribe of Benjamin.

 

Gill comments on these men who have come to David: They were of the tribe of Benjamin, of which Saul was, and so his brethren; and they might be, at least some of them, his relations and kinsmen; who observing the unreasonableness of Saul's enmity to David, and detesting his cruelty, and sensible of the innocence of David, and of the service he had done his country; and perhaps not being ignorant of his divine right and title to the kingdom, went over to him, to comfort, strengthen, and assist him. Footnote


Because of similar phrase in vv. 8, 19, 25, 26, 30, etc., I have interpreted this phrase to begin a new sentence which is continued in the verses which follow.

The Sentence Structure of 1Chronicles 1:1–3

The Sentence Stops at v. 2

V. 2 is Continued into v. 3

1Chron. 12:1–3: And these were the ones who came to David to Ziklag, while banned from the face of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war, right and left-handed, armed with bows, with stones, and with arrows, with the bow from the brothers of Saul, of Benjamin. The chief was Ahiezer, and Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite, and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth, and Berachah, and Jehu of Anathoth... (MKJV).

1Chron. 12:1–3: These are the men who rallied to David at Ziklag while he was still being kept away from Saul son of Kish; they were among the champions, the warriors. They were equipped with bows and could sling stones or sr shoot arrows from the bow with either right hand or left.


Of Saul’s fellow-tribesmen from Benjamin: Ahiezer the leader, and Joash, sons of Hassemar of Gibeah, Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth, Berachah and Jehu of Anathoth,... (NJB).

And these were those coming to David to Ziklag, while banned from the face of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty ones, helping the battle; right and left-handed, armed with bows, with stones, and with arrows, with the bow from the brothers of Saul, of Benjamin. The head was Ahiezer, and Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Anethothite;... (LTHB).

The following were the men who came to David at Ziklag while he was still banned from the presence of Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who helped him in battle. They were archers who, using either their right or left hand, could throw stones with a sling or shoot arrows with a bow. They were Saul's relatives from Benjamin: Their chief was Ahiezer son of Shemaah the Gibeathite. Then there was his brother Joash; Jeziel and Pelet sons of Azmaveth; Beracah, Jehu the Anathothite;... (HCSB).

Some time earlier, David had gone to live in the town of Ziklag to escape from King Saul. While David was there, several brave warriors joined him to help fight his battles. Several of these warriors were from King Saul's own tribe of Benjamin. They were experts at using a bow and arrows, and they could shoot an arrow or sling a stone with either hand. Their leaders were Ahiezer and Joash, the sons of Shemaah from Gibeah. Here is a list of those men from Benjamin: Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth;... (CEV).

These were the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he was banished from the presence of saul son of Kish (they were among the warriors who helped him in battle; they were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed; they were kinsmen of Saul’s from the tribe of Benjamin): Ahiezer their chief and Joash the sons of Shemmah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah, Jehu the Anathothite,... (NIV).

The following joined David at Ziklag while he was still in hiding from Saul son of Kish; these were the warriors who gave support in battle; they were armed with the bow and could use both right hand and left hand to sling stones or shoot arrows with the bow; they were kinsmen of Saul from Benjamin. At the head were Ahiezer and Joash, sons of Shemaah of Gibeah, and Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; and Beracah and Jehu of Anathoth;... (the Tanakh).

And this is the list of those who went to David when he was in Ziklag, when he was banished from Ziklag from the presence of Saul. These are the mighty men who helped David during wartimes, armed with bows, being able to shoot either left or right handed; and armed with stones to sling and with arrows for their bows. From the relatives of Saul, men of Benjamin, there came to David the following men: the chief Ahiezer then Joash, both sons of Shemaah from Gibeah; and Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; and Beracah and Jehu, both from Anathoth;... (Kukis; the not so literal translation).

By far, the majority of translations confine v. 2 to v. 2 and do not carry it into v. 3. In general, most of the translations confine one thought and one sentence to one verse.


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At this point, we are going to begin a list of names, men who were loyal to David; men who came to David when David was persona non grata in Israel and pursued by Saul. These are men who will be with David throughout his administration as king, first over Judah, and then over a united Israel. As we go through these names, realize that God the Holy Spirit placed the names of these men here. God the Holy Spirit recognizes the faithfulness and the honor of these men, and pays homage to them. Once in a great while, you may find your name in the newspaper—perhaps it is one of those very local, free papers thrown on your lawn, and you are one name of 60 on a football team, or those who made all A’s, or of those who were never absent for a school year. Even though the recognition may be fleeting and inconsequential, it is nice to find, and many of us cut these articles out (unlike one of my younger brothers, who simply cut his name out of the paper) and save them. This is the eternal Word of God. This text stands forever. These men are recognized here by God the Holy Spirit, and they will stand recognized forever.


Application: You may wonder, what does this have to do with me? It is simple. In the Church Age, every believer has access to God the Holy Spirit; every believer has a place in God’s plan; every believer can play a position on the winning football team; and every believer potentially can find their name inscribed eternally. In the Old Testament, it was not this way. There were several dozen men who were given the Holy Spirit; several dozen men who could make a difference in the world; however, in the Church Age, every single believer in Jesus Christ is given the opportunity to make a difference and to stand forever as a testament of grace.


Application: I’ve used this illustration before, but it is worth repeating. In junior high and high school, I was not at all athletic. I was too tall, extremely skinny, weak, and terrifically uncoordinated. So, when playing tag football during P.E. in 7th grade, and Ed Nagle tells me in the huddle that I am going out for a pass, I was surprised, but I did it. I caught the pass over the goal line and still recall that time to this day; and still recall being chosen and being successful. I caught the pass because Ed threw it right into my hands. It was not a matter of some great catch or exceptional ability on my part; he put the pass right into my hands, and, surprisingly enough, I held onto it. It is over 40 years later and that is one of the few moments from junior high which I recall. This was P.E., so there was no recognition, no plaque, no name in the paper; but it was an exuberant moment in my life, one which stayed with me. Each time God throws you a pass, pretty much, all you need to do is turn around and catch it. You obviously need to know something about the plan of God, and the more you know, the greater your function can be in His plan. So bear in mind, if you are filled with the Spirit and if you are growing, God will throw you the ball now and again.


...the head Ahiezer and Joash, sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; and Beracah and Jehu the Annethothite;...

1Chronicles

12:3

...the chief [being] Ahiezer and Joash, sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; and Beracah and Jehu, Annethothites [i.e., men of Anathoth];...

...the chief Ahiezer then Joash, both sons of Shemaah from Gibeah; and Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; and Beracah and Jehu, both from Anathoth;...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...the head Ahiezer and Joash, sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth; and Beracah and Jehu the Annethothite.

Septuagint                              ...the chief was Achiezer, and Joas son of Asma the Gabathite, and Joel and Jophalet, sons of Asmoth, and Berchia, and Jeul of Anathoth,...

 

Significant differences:           Most of the differences in the name can be attributed to the differences between Greek and Hebrew. Jophalet and Pelet may actually reflect a difference of spelling, however.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Their leaders were Ahiezer and Joash, the sons of Shemaah from Gibeah. Here is a list of those men from Benjamin: Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth...

The Message                         The first was Ahiezer; then Joash son of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah; Jehu the Anathothite;...

REB                                       The foremost were Ahiezer and Joash, the sons of Shemaah of Gibeah; Jeziel and Pelet, men of Bethazmoth [lit., sons of Azmoth]; Berakah and Jehu from Anathoth;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Ahiezer was the leader, then Joash (they were the sons of Shemaah from Gibeah), Azmaveth's sons Jeziel and Pelet, Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth,...

HCSB                                     Their chief was Ahiezer son of Shemaah the Gibeathite. Then there was his brother Joash; Jeziel and Pelet sons of Azmaveth; Beracah, Jehu the Anathothite;...



Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, both sons of Shemaah of Gibeah; also Jeziel and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; Beracah, Jehu of Anathoth,...

WEB                                      The chief was Ahiezer; then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite, and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth, and Beracah, and Jehu the Anathothite,...

Young's Updated LT              The head is Ahiezer, and Joash, sons of Shemaab the Gibeathite, and Jeziel, and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth, and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite,...


What is the gist of this verse? Several men are named who came to David while he was in Ziklag.


1Chronicles 12:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

head, top, chief, front, choicest

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

Ăchîy׳ezer (ר∵ז∵עי.חֲא) [pronounced uhkh-ee-EH-zer]

my brother is help, brother of help and is transliterated Ahiezer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #295 BDB #27

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yôwâsh (שָאי) [pronounced yoh-AWSH]

Yah is strong; Yah has given [bestowed]; transliterated Joash

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3101 (& #3060) BDB #219

Alternate spellings: Yôash (שָאֹי) [pronounced yoh-AWSH] which is Strong’s #3101; and Yehôwâsh (שָאהי) [pronounced ye-hoh-AWSH], which is Strong’s #3060 BDB #219.

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Shemâ׳ah (הָעָמש) [pronounced shem-aw-ĢAW]

the rumor; and is transliterated Shemaah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8094 BDB #1035

Gibe׳âthîy (י.תָעב  ̣) [pronounced gihbe-ģaw-THEE]

hill and is transliterated Gibathite or Gibeathite

gentilic singular adjective

Strong’s #1395 BDB #149


Translation: ...the chief [being] Ahiezer and Joash, sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite;... Most interpret this verse such that Ahiezer is a leader, of sorts. The CEV recognizes all these men as leaders, which does make more sense. There are two men named Ahiezer in Scripture; one who is found mentioned several times in the first 10 chapters of Numbers; and then there is Ahiezer ben Shemmah, who is named only here. Given the context, he is probably an archer who once served under Saul. Given what Saul did and Saul’s continual pursuit of David, this man left Saul and joined up with David. I am reminded of recent current events, where a couple of cartoons which portrayed the false prophet Mohammed with a bomb strapped to his back was published by the Danes. Large groups of Muslims all over the world protested, to the point of attacking western and European embassies, killing several people in the process. I recall one comment was, “I really don’t know much about Islam or why these people are so upset over a cartoon; however, given their behavior, whatever it is they are for, I am against.” This describes the attitude of Ahiezer. He has observed Saul, recognized that whoever Saul is against probably has some true merit; and so he joins up with David.


Joash means given by Jah; there are 6 Joash’s in Scripture (ZPEB seems to have 8 listed).

The Joash’s of Scripture

1) Son of king Ahaziah and the 8th king of Judah (2Kings 11–14 1Chron. 3:11 2Chron. 22:11 24–25; there are apparently two spellings of his name).

2) Son of king Jehoahaz and the 12th king of the northern kingdom of Israel.

3) Father of Gideon (Judges 6–8).

4) A son of king Ahab 1Kings 22:26 2Chron. 18:25).

5) A descendant of Shelah the son of Judah; either the son of Shelah or the son of Jokim (1Chron. 4:22).

6) Son of Shemaah of Gibeah who resorted to David at Ziklag (1Chron. 12:3; possibly 1Chron. 27:28).

I have not investigated any of these men, to make any determination if there is any overlap. Quite obviously, if you know any Jewish history at all, it should be clear that this is not Jeremiah the prophet in this context.

This was taken from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; Hendrickson Publishers; Ⓟ1996; pp. 219–220 and from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; courtesy of e-sword; Strong’s #3060 & #3101. Don’t ask me why, but the e-sword version has more detail than my hardbound version; except that the hardbound version has the Scriptures, which the e-sword version lacks.


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Their father, Shemaah, is also listed. We have two sons, both of whom aligned themselves with the right man in history, David. This does not happen by accident; this is a tribute to the training which they received from their father, who is mentioned but once in Scripture. The family was from Gibeah. They could have chosen local pride over what is right. You may recall that has been a big problem for the men of Benjamin—apart from any reason, they often find themselves lining up behind this man or that simply because he is from the tribe of Benjamin. These two young men, taught well by their father, did not. They knew what was right and what was wrong; it was clear that King Saul was way out of line in his actions; so they chose to align themselves with David, even though he is living as an ex-pat in Ziklag.


Gibeah, by the way, is Saul’s hometown, so it is possible that some of these men are actually even related to Saul.


1Chronicles 12:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yeziwêl (ל̤או  ̣זי) [pronounced yez-ihv-ALE]

assembly of God; transliterated Jeziel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3149 BDB #402

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Peleţ (ט∵ל∵) [pronounced PEH-leht]

deliverance; an escape; and is transliterated Pelet

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6404 BDB #812

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

׳Azemâveth (ת∵וָמז-ע) [pronounced ģahze-MAW-veth]

strong until death; strong one of death and is transliterated Azmaveth

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #5820 BDB #740


Translation: ...and Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth;... We may reasonably assume, because of the context, that Jeziel and Pelet are also both former soldiers under Saul. The context indicates that these men are from Benjamin. Their father is Azmaveth, and these three are named only here. There is another Pelet (ben Jahdai) named in 1Chron. 2:47.


There are 4 or 5 different men named Azmaveth. It is possible that this Azmaveth later becomes a part of David’s military elite force, named in 2Sam. 23:31 and 1Chron. 11:33. However, whether this is the same man or not, he still raised two boys who were able to distinguish between right and wrong, a wonderful feat for any father.


Application: Here, the father who trained and raised his children right, shares in the glory, and has his name immortalized forever.


1Chronicles 12:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Berâkâh (הָכָר) [pronounced ber-aw-KAW]

blessing and is transliterated Beracah

masculine singular proper noun; also a location

Strong’s #1294 BDB #139

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yêhûw (אה̤י) [pronounced yay-HOO]

Jehovah [is] He; it is Jah [God]; transliterated Jehu

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3058 BDB #219

׳Annethôthîy (י.תֹת-ע) [pronounced ģahn-ne-thoh-THEE]

possibly affliction; transliterated Anathoth, Anethothite, Anetothite, Antothite

gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #6069 BDB #779

This refers to an inhabitant of Anathoth. There are a couple of slightly different spellings for this proper noun.


Translation: ...and Beracah and Jehu, Annethothites [i.e., men of Anathoth];... Beracah is a valley in the Judæan wilderness (2Chron. 20:26) and also the name of this man here, who is not found again in Scripture. Beracah means blessing.


There are 5 Jehu’s in Scripture; this man is mentioned only once. His name means Jah [Jehovah] is He or it is Jah! Perhaps the idea was, when he was born, his parents viewed him as blessing from God; or a proof of God’s blessing to them.

The Jehu’s of Scripture

1) The king of the northern kingdom Israel who overthrew the dynasty of Omri (1Kings 19 2Kings 9 10 12:2 13:1 14:8 15:12 2Chron. 22 25:17 Hosea 1:4).

2) Son of Hanani and an Israelite prophet in the time of Baasha and Jehoshaphat (1Kings 16 2Chron. 19:2 20:34)

3) The Antothite, a Benjamite, one of David’s mighty warriors (1Chron. 12:3).

4) A descendant of Judah of the house of Hezron (1Chron. 2:38).

5) Son of Josibiah and a chief of the tribe of Simeon (1Chron. 4:35).

I have not investigated any of these men, to make any determination if there is any overlap. Quite obviously, if you know any Jewish history at all, it should be clear that this is not Jeremiah the prophet in this context.

This was taken from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; Hendrickson Publishers; Ⓟ1996; p. 219 and from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; courtesy of e-sword; Strong’s #3058.


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Anathoth was a city of Benjamin, originally given over to the Levites; and the native place of Jeremiah the prophet. Again, we are dealing with men from Benjamin who probably know Saul and have therefore separated themselves from him.


...and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man in the thirty and over the thirty; and Jeremiah and Jahaziel and Johanan and Jozabad, the Gederathite;...

1Chronicles

12:4

...and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite—a mighty man of the 30 as well as over 30; and Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan and Jozabad, [all] inhabitants of Gederah;...

...and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, who is among David’s 30 great soldiers and over 30 men; and Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan and Jozabad, all inhabitants of Gederah;...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man in the thirty and over the thirty; and Jeremiah and Jahaziel and Johanan and Jozabad, the Gederathite;...

Septuagint                              ...and Samaias the Gabaonite a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremia, and Jeziel, and Joanan, and Jozabath of Gadarathiim,...

 

Significant differences:           No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Ishmaiah from Gibeon, who was the leader of the Thirty Warriors; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah;...

The Message                         ...Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a Mighty Man among the Thirty, a leader of the Thirty; Jeremiah; Jahaziel; Johanan; Jozabad the Gederathite;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         ...Ishmaiah from Gibeon (one of the thirty fighting men and one of their leaders), Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah,...

HCSB                                     ...Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a warrior among the Thirty and a leader over the Thirty; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Ishmaiah of Gibeon, a mighty man among the thirty and a leader over the thirty; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad of Gederah,...

MKJV                                     ...and Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty, and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,...

Young's Literal Translation     ...and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty one among the thirty, and over the thirty, and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite.


What is the gist of this verse? Ishmaiah is given some prominence as a great man among the 30 and over the 30. There are 4 other men named who came to David, all from Gederah.


1Chronicles 12:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yishema׳erâh (הָרע-מש ̣י) [pronounced yishe-mahģe-RAW]

Jehovah will hear; transliterated Ishmaiah

Masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3460 BDB #1036

Gibe׳înîy (י.נֹעב  ̣) [pronounced gibv-ģoh-NEE]

hill, hill-city; transliterated Gibeonite

gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong's #1393 BDB #149

gibbôwr (ר  ̣) [pronounced gib-BOAR]

strong man, mighty man, soldier, warrior, combatant, veteran

masculine singular noun/adjective

Strong’s #1368 BDB #150

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

shelôshîym (םי.שֹלש) [pronounced shelow-SHEEM]

thirty

plural numeral with the definite article

Strong’s #7970 BDB #1026


Translation: ...and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite—a mighty man of the 30... We are still dealing with men from the tribe of Benjamin. Gibeon, as we have studied, is a city in Benjamin. You may recall that we differentiated between Geba, Gibeah and Gibeon when we studied 1Sam. 13:15. This is a rather difficult differentiation, as they are located within a few miles of one another, all in Benjamin, and they all have the same root. It appears as though there are 30 great soldiers who come to David, of which Ishmaiah is one.


1Chronicles 12:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

shelôshîym (םי.שֹלש) [pronounced shelow-SHEEM]

thirty

plural numeral with the definite article

Strong’s #7970 BDB #1026


Translation: ...as well as over 30;... What appears to be the case is, Ishmaiah is also the head of these 30 great men. Gill Footnote understands this in the same way—that Ishmaiah brings 30 men with him, over which he is head. Keil and Delitzsch Footnote see this differently—they see Ishmaiah is one of David’s 30 heroes from 1Chron. 11, and that he was over these men, even though he is not named in that chapter. They suggest that he is not listed in 1Chron. 11 because he had died prior to this list being compiled.


1Chronicles 12:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

The Hebrew lists this as v. 5.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yiremeyâh (הָימר ̣י) [pronounced yire-me-YAW]

to loosen (the womb?); Jah will rise; whom Jehovah has appointed transliterated Jeremiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3414 BDB #941

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yachăzîyêl (ל̤אי.זֲח-י) [pronounced yahkh-uh-zee-ALE]

El [God] sees; seen of El transliterated Jahaziel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3166 BDB #303

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yôwchânân (ןָנָחי) [pronounced yoh-khaw-NAWN]

Jah has been gracious, Jah has given grace; transliterated Johanan

Masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3110 [& #3076] BDB #220

There are actually two spellings of this proper noun, which accounts for the additional Strong’s number. Most of the proper nouns in this general area of the lexicon have two spellings. We often do not see these additional spellings, as it has been the custom of many Bibles to present consistent English spellings throughout Scripture, so that when we come across Ted and Edward, we realize that it is the same person.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yôwzâbâd (דָבָזי) [pronounced yoh-zaw-BAWD]

Yah has bestowed, Yah has endowed; Yah has given; transliterated Jozabad

masculine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #3107 [& #3075] BDB #220

There is also an additional spelling for this noun.

Gedêrâthîy (י .תָר̤ד) [pronounced ged-ay-raw-THEE]

a wall; transliterated Gederathite; an inhabitant of Gederoth

gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #1452 BDB #155


Translation: ...and Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan and Jozabad, [all] inhabitants of Gederah;... Since there are so many Jeremiah’s in Scripture, I will list them below:


BDB Footnote lists 9 different men with the name Jeremiah in Scripture.

The Jeremiah’s of Scripture

1) The major prophet, son of Hilkiah of the priestly family in Anathoth; author of the prophetic book bearing his name. See the book of Jeremiah and 2Chron. 35:25 36:12, 21, 22 29:1.

2) A man of Libnah and father of Hamutal the wife of king Josiah (2Kings 23:31 24:19 Jer. 52:1).

3) A Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1Chron. 12:13).

4) A Manassehite, one of the mighty men of valour of the Transjordanic half tribe of Manasseh (1Chron. 5:24).

5) A Benjamite and warrior of David (1Chron. 12:4).

6) A Gadite warrior of David (1Chron. 12:10).

7) A priest who joined Nehemiah in the covenant ceremony (Neh. 12:1–2).

8) A priest also in the time of Nehemiah; maybe same as 7 (Neh. 10:3 12:34).

9) Father of Jaazaniah the Rechabites.

I have not investigated any of these men, to make any determination if there is any overlap. Quite obviously, if you know any Jewish history at all, it should be clear that this man in 1Chron. 12 is not Jeremiah the prophet in this context.


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As noted in previous times, there is no j in the Hebrew (or the Greek, for that matter); often, a y is transliterated as a j in the English. Yah is seen as an abbreviation for Jehovah; which explains the translations of these names. Similarly, El is an abbreviated form of Elohim, and is therefore often rendered God. Jahaziel means El sees; seen of El; Johanan means Jah has been gracious, Jah has given grace; and Jozabad means Yah has bestowed, Yah has endowed; Yah has given. You will note that the parents of these men were all thinking about Jesus Christ, the God of Israel, when they gave birth.


Jahaziel is one of 5 men with this name, as per BDB and ZPEB; therefore, I will combine the lists below: Footnote

The Jahaziel’s of Scripture

1) A Benjamite warrior who joined David at Ziklag (1Chron. 12:4).

2) A priest in the reign of David who helped move the ark; he actually was one of the two priests who blew trumpets before the Ark after it had been placed in a tent prepared by David (1Chron. 16:6).

3) A Kohathite Levite, 3rd son of Hebron (1Chron. 23:19 24:23). This would have been in the time of David.

4) A Levite, son of Zechariah, of the sons of Asaph, in the reign of Jehoshaphat (2Chron. 20:14ff).

5) An ancestor of one of the families who returned from exile with Ezra (Ezra 8:5).

Our man in this passage is mentioned but once.

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There are 10 or so Johanan’s in Scripture (8 by BDB’s count): Footnote

The Johanan’s of Scripture

1) A priest during the high priesthood of Joiakim who returned with Zerubbabel

2) A Jewish captain after the fall of Jerusalem. We find him named the most often in Scripture (2Kings 25:23 Jer. 40–42).

3) The eldest son of king Josiah; he did not follow Josiah to the throne (1Chron. 3:15).

4) A post-exilic prince of the line of David, son of Elioenai (1Chron. 3:24).

5) The father of Azariah, as well as the son of an Azariah. He was a priest in Solomon’s time (1Chron. 6:9–10; compare 1Kings 4:2).

6) A Benjamite, one of David’s mighty warriors (1Chron. 12:4).

7) A Gadite, one of David’s mighty warriors (1Chron. 12:12).

8) A returning exile, a head of a family which was descended from the sons of Azgad (Ezra 8:12). The phrase son of Hakkatan might possibly read Johanan the younger or Johanan the less.

9) A father of Azariah, a chief from the tribe of Ephraim, who protested making slaves of captive people from Judah (2Chron. 28:12). The MT reads Jehohanan instead, which is probably a lengthened version of Johanan.

10) Son of Tobias, contemporary to Nehemiah (Neh. 6:18). MT reads Jehohanan.

11) The grandson of Eliashib the High Priests, and he became the High Priest himself during the reign of Darius II (Neh. 12:22–23; compare Neh. 12:1, which it reads Jonathan, but perhaps should read Johanan).

Our guy is found only this once in Scripture.

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In BDB we have 7 men with the name Jozabad; and ZPEB lists 8: Footnote

The Jozabad’s of Scripture

1) A Korhite Levite, 2nd son of Obededom, and one of the porters of the temple and of the storehouse there in the time of David and appointed by David to be a doorkeeper (1Chron. 26:4).

2) One of David’s mighty warriors (1Chron. 12:4).

3) One or two others of David’s mighty warriors; from the tribe fo Manasseh (1Chron. 12:20).

4) Four (or so) other priests or Levites (2Chron. 31:13 35:9 Ezra 8:33 10:22–23 Neh. 8:7 11:16).

5) The son of Shomer and Shimrith, who conspired with Jozacar to assassinate Joash, king of Judah (837–800 b.c.) because he had murdered the son of the priest Jehoida, whose wife had protected the infant Joash from the murderous Athaliah (2Kings 12:21 2Chron. 24:26).

Our man is mentioned but once in this passage.

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I’m sure that is more than you wanted to know about men with the same name.


Gederah is a city which belongs to Judah, but is near the border of Benjamin and Judah. Gill tells us Joram speaks of it as belonging to the country of the city Aelia or Jerusalem. Footnote As far as I know, the gentilic adjective is found only here and the city is named only in Joshua 15:36.

 

Keil and Delitzsch write: Gedera [is] a city of the tribe of Judah in the Shephelah, which, according to Van de Velde (Reise, ii. S. 166), was probably identical with the village Ghedera, which lies to the left of the road Tel-es-Safieh to Akir, about an hour to the south-west of Jabne. In any case, it corresponds well with the statements of the Onom. Footnote Some may assume that we are speaking in this context of men coming from both Judah and Benjamin, given that Gederah is a Judæan city. Not necessarily the case, according to Keil and Delitzsch: Bertheau imagines we must conclude that the men of Judah are enumerated as well as the Benjamites. But this conclusion is not valid; for from the very beginning, when the domains and cities were assigned to the individual tribes under Joshua, they were not the exclusive possession of the individual tribes, and at a later period they were still less so. In course of time the respective tribal domains underwent (in consequence of wars and other events) many alterations, not only in extent, but also in regard to their inhabitants, so that in Saul's time single Benjamite families may quite well have had their home in the cities of Judah. Footnote


Eluzai and Jerimoth and Bealiah and Shemariah and Shephatiah the Haruphite.

1Chronicles

12:5

Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah and Shephatiah, [all] Haruphites.

Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah and Shephatiah, all Haruphites.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:


 

Masoretic Text                       Eluzai and Jerimoth and Bealiah and Shemariah and Shephatiah the Haruphite.

Septuagint                              ...Azai and Arimuth, and Baalia, and Samaraia, and Saphatias of Charaephiel,...

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, Shephatiah the Haruphite;...

LTHB                                     Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite;...

Young's Literal Translation     Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite;.


What is the gist of this verse? 5 Haruphites are mentioned as coming from the tribe of Benjamin to David.


1Chronicles 12:5

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Ele׳ûwzay (י-זעל∵א) [pronounced ehl-ģoo ZAH-ee]

God is my strength; God is defensive [God is my defense?] transliterated Eluzai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #498 BDB #46

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yerîymôwth (תמי .רי) [pronounced yeree-MOHTH]

He is most high; elevations; transliterated Jerimoth

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3406 BDB #438

There are two other slightly different spellings of this name.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Ba׳aleyâh (הָיל-ע-) [pronounced bah-ģahl-YAW]

Yah is Lord; transliterated Bealiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1183 BDB #128

According to Strong, this is one of the times when the first vowel point paţah is pronounced eh rather than ah, as evidenced (possibly) by its transliteration. Although some Hebrew lexicons and grammars provide for this alternate pronunciation, Seow does not. In the interest of consistency (which a language is not), I will pronounce anything which looks like a paţah ah.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Shemareyâh (הָי ר-מש) [pronounced shem-ahre-YAW]

Yah has kept [guarded or preserved]; transliterated Shemariah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8114 BDB #1037

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Shephaţeyâh (הָיט-פש) [pronounced shef-ahţe-YAW]

Yah has judged, Yah has vindicated; transliterated Shephatiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8203 BDB #1049

Chărîypîy (י.פי .רֲח) [pronounced khuh-ree-FEE]

harvest; reproach, transliterated Haruphite

gentilic adjective

Strong’s #2741 BDB #358

You will notice a big difference between the pronunciation and the transliteration. That is because there are a couple of letters in question; one manuscript has one spelling, another, a different spelling. If my spelling is correct, then these would be related to the Hariph clan, mentioned in Neh. 7:24 (Strong’s #2756).


Translation: Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah and Shephatiah, [all] Haruphites. There is a patriarch named in Neh. 7:24 10:19 named Hariph (or Haruph). In a parallel passage in Ezra 2:18, he is called Jorah. It is possible that these men are from this same particular clan.


I would like for you to notice the names of these men:

The Meanings of the Names of David’s Men in 1Chron. 12:5

Name

Meaning of the Name

Proposed Scenario

Eluzai

God is my strength; God is defensive [God is my defense?]

God gave the mother strength in giving birth to Eluzai.

Jerimoth

He is most high; elevations

The parents recognize the sovereignty of God and the fact that He is so far above us (not in distance, but in character)

Bealiah

Yah is Lord

The parents acknowledge that God is their sovereign.

Shemariah

Yah has kept [guarded or preserved]

God watched over the birth of this child and preserved the child’s life.

Shephatiah

Yah has judged, Yah has vindicated

A family tries for a long time to have a child; others do not believe God will bless them with a child; finally, Shephatiah is born.

I want you to notice that the parents of the men who came to David were believers in the God of Israel, Jesus Christ. They trusted Him and thought about Him as they gave birth to this child and named this child. We may reasonably assume that these parents gave their children great spiritual training and taught them spiritual discernment. At the beginning, given Saul’s great start, these men willingly joined up with his military. However, after examining what Saul did and said and compared this to the doctrine in their souls, they realized that he was so far out of line that they needed to join up with David.


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Application: Never underestimate the power of a good spiritual upbringing. By the names of these men, it is apparent that their parents presented the gospel to them, and taught them Bible doctrine. This doctrine stayed in their souls and, when the time came to show spiritual discernment, they were able—they left King Saul and joined with David. Only when you give you child the proper spiritual upbringing can they possibly know what to do and what direction to go in when they become adults.


Elkanah and Isshiah [or, Jesiah] and Azarel and Joezer and Jashobeam, the Koraheem.

1Chronicles

12:6

Elkanah, Isshiah [Jesiah], Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam, [all] Korahites.

Elkanah, Isshiah [Jesiah], Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam, all Korahites.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Elkanah and Isshiah [or, Jesiah] and Azarel and Joezer and Jashobeam, the Koraheem.

Peshitta                                  ...Elkanah, Josiah, Azariel, Shebnah, Asaph,...

Septuagint                              ...Helcana, and Jesuni, and Ozriel, and Jozara, and Sobocam, and the Corites,...

 

Significant differences:           Instead of rendering the final gentilic adjective as a descriptor for those who came before (as has been done on all previous verses), the LXX lists them as a group, included in David’s mighty men. The Latin is in agreement with the Hebrew. The Syriac lists 5 names, the final two of which do not really match up with the Greek or Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         ...Elkanah; Isshiah; Azarel; Joezer; Jashobeam; the Korahites;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam (Korah's descendants),...

HCSB                                     Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korahites;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korahites;...

LTHB                                     Elkanah, and Jesaiah, and Azarael, and Joezer, and Jashobeam the Korhites;...

Young's Literal Translation     ...Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam the Korhites,...


What is the gist of this verse? 5 Korahites are added to the list of David’s mighty men.


1Chronicles 12:6

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Eleqânâh (הָנָקל∵א) [pronounced ele-kaw-NAW]

God has created or God has taken possession of; it is transliterated Elkanah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #511 BDB #46

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yishîyyâhûw (הָ  ̣  ̣י) [pronounced yish-shee-YAW-hoo]

Yah will lend; transliterated Jesiah or Isshiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3449 BDB #674

There is a slight alternate spelling for this proper noun, where the û is left off.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳Ăzareêl (ל̤א ר-זֲע) [pronounced ģuz-ahre-ALE]

El has helped; transliterated Azarel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #5832 BDB #741

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yôw׳ezer (ר∵ז∵עי) [pronounced yoh-ĢEH-zer]

Yah is a help and is transliterated Joezer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3134 BDB #222

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yâshâbe׳âm (םָעבָשָי) [pronounced yaw-shawbe-ĢAWM]

the people will return; transliterated Jashobeam

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3434 BDB #1000

To account for the o in the transliteration, Seow tells us that, in a closed, unaccented syllable, ָ is almost always [pronounced] o. Footnote My pronunciation is only by way of a guide, to impose consistency upon a language which is not.

Qârechîym (םי.חרָק) [pronounced kohr-KEEM]

these are sons of Korah (son of Levi) or sons of Korach; transliterated Koraheem; Korhites, Korahites, Korathites

plural gentilic adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #7145 BDB #901

To account for the o in the transliteration, Seow tells us that, in a closed, unaccented syllable, ָ is almost always [pronounced] o. Footnote My pronunciation is only by way of a guide, to impose consistency upon a language which is not.


Translation: Elkanah, Isshiah [Jesiah], Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam, [all] Korahites. We cannot dogmatically assert who or what these Korahites are in this passage. We can reasonably assume that they are probably in the priestly line, and that these are Levites who have settled in Benjamin.


I would like for you to notice the names of these men:

The Meanings of the Names of David’s Men in 1Chron. 12:6

Name

Meaning of the Name

Proposed Scenario

Elkanah

God has created or God has taken possession of

These parents probably named their child after the marvelous father of Samuel.

Isshiah or Jesiah

Yah will lend

Perhaps these parents saw their child as being lent to them by God as a great blessing.

Azarel

El has helped

In their lives, in the birth of the child, and in what would come to pass, these parents recognized the God has helped them.

Joezer

Yah is a help

These parents felt the same as those directly above.

Jashobeam

the people will return

This is a fascinating name. It was known that the Jews would be forced out of the Land of Promise if they disobeyed God; and that they would return to the land if they returned to God. Parents who had this on their mind when naming their child obviously knew advanced doctrine for that day and age.

Just as in the previous verse, these parents thought about God when giving birth and when naming their children.


Application: A parent whose primary focus is on God will raise honorable and discerning children.


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There are a number of Elkanah’s in Scripture. This is a name often found in the tribe of Levi.

The Elkanah’s of Scripture

1) Samuel’s father (1Sam. 1–2).

2) A ruler in Jerusalem in the time of king Ahaz (2Chron. 28:7).

3) One of David’s mighty warriors (1Chron. 12:6).

4) Son of Korah (Ex. 6:24).

5) Several Levites (1Chron. 6:8, 10, 21; 6:11, 20; 9:19; 15:23).

Elkanah is a name commonly found in the Levite tribe, although obviously there are men outside the Levites with that name.

This was taken from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; Hendrickson Publishers; Ⓟ1996; p. 46 and from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; courtesy of e-sword; Strong’s #511.

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BDB Footnote lists 9 different men with the name Jeremiah in Scripture.

The Jesiah’s of Scripture

1) A Korhite, one of David’s mighty warriors who joined him at Ziklag (1Chron. 12:6).

2) The 5th of 5 sons of Izrahiah and one of the heads of the tribe of Issachar in the time of David (1Chron. 7:3).

3) A Levite, the 2nd son of Uzziel and grandson of Kohath (1Chron. 23:20).

4) Another Levite, son of Rehabiah 1Chron. 24:21).

5) A descendant of Harim who had a foreign wife (in the hardbound BDB, he/she is called one of those strange wives (Ezra 10:31).

This was taken from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; Hendrickson Publishers; Ⓟ1996; p. 674 and from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; courtesy of e-sword; Strong’s #3449. Owen spells his name Isshiah.


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BDB Footnote lists 9 different men with the name Jeremiah in Scripture.

The Azareel’s of Scripture

1) A Korhite warrior of David who joined him at Ziklag (1Chron. 12:6).

2) A Levite musician of the family of Heman in the time of David (1Chron. 25:18).

3) A Danite, son of Jeroham and a prince of the tribe at the census of David (1Chron. 27:22).

4) One of the sons of Bani who took a foreign wife in the time of Ezra (Ezra 10:41).

5) A priest, ancestor of Maasiai or Amashai, a priest in Jerusalem after the return from exile (Neh. 11:13).

6) A priest and musician in the time of Nehemiah (Neh. 12:36).

This was taken from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; Hendrickson Publishers; Ⓟ1996; p. 741 and from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; courtesy of e-sword; Strong’s #5832. Owen spells his name with one e.

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There is only one Joezer named in Scripture, the man we find here. There are either 1 or 2 men who serve under David with the name Jashobeam. He is listed as one of David’s 30 heroes in the previous chapter (1Chron. 11:11) and again in 1Chron. 27:2. There is also a man by the name of Jeshebeab in 1Chron. 24:13, although it is unclear whether there is any relationship or not between the names (they would not be the same person, however).


These men are called Korahites, and Gill Footnote tells us that these would be related to a Korah in the tribe of Benjamin rather than the Levite Korah. However, there is no reason to assume that there was not some mixture of the tribes. You may recall my discussions of Elkanah, the father of Samuel, in 1Sam. 1–2, and how I theorized that he was possibly a Levite (of half-Levite) or that his wife might have been half-Levite, which would explain their willingness to give their first son wholly over to the service of Jehovah.

 

Whereas, Gill was dogmatic that these were not the Levite Korahites, Keil and Delitzsch are just as dogmatic in the opposing position: The Korahites, in 1Chron. 12:6 are, without doubt (cf. Delitzsch, Ps. S. 300), descendants of the Levite Korah, one division of whom David made guardian of the thresholds of the tent erected for the ark of the covenant on Zion, because their fathers had been watchers of the entrance of the camp of Jahve, i.e., had in that earlier time held the office of watchers by the tabernacle; see on 1Chron. 9:18. The names Elkanah and Azareel are thoroughly Levitic names, and their service in the porter's office in the holy place may have roused in them the desire to fight for David, the chosen of the Lord. But there is no reason why we should, with Bertheau, interpret the words as denoting descendants of the almost unknown Korah of the tribe of Judah (1Chron. 2:43), or, with the older commentators, refer it to some other unmentioned Benjamite who bore this name. The explanation of the connection existing between these Levitic Korahites and the Benjamites, which is presupposed by the mention of them among the Benjamites, may be found in the fact that the Levites received no tribal domain of their own, and possessed only cities for dwelling in the domains of the other tribes, with whom they were consequently civilly incorporated, so that those who dwelt in the cities of Benjamin were properly reckoned among the Benjamites. At the partition of the land under Joshua, it is true, only the priests received their cities in Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin; while, on the contrary, the Kohathites, who were not priests, among whom the Korahites were, received their cities in the tribal domain of Ephraim, Dan, and half–Manasseh (Joshua 21:9–26). But when the tabernacle was transferred from Shiloh to Nob, and afterwards to Gibeon, the Korahite doorkeepers must, without doubt, have migrated to one of the Levitic cities of Benjamin, probably for the most part to Gibeon, and who were reckoned among the Benjamites. If this be so, there remains no cogent reason for supposing that in our register, besides the Benjamites, men out of other tribes are also introduced. With that there falls away at once Bertheau's further conclusion, that the author of the Chronicle has considerably abridged the register, and that from 1Chron. 12:4 onwards men of Judah also are named, the list of whom must certainly (?) have been originally introduced by special superscription similar to those in 1Chron. 12:8, 16, 19. His further reason for his conjecture – namely, that our register makes use of the qualificative epithets, “the Gibeathite,” “the Anathothite,” etc., only in a few special cases–is of no force whatever; for we are not justified in assuming that we may expect to find here, as in the register in 1 Chron 11:26–47, such qualificatives after every individual name. The character of our register cannot be arrived at by a comparison with the list of David's heroes in 1 Chron 11; it should rather be sought for by comparing it with the succeeding list, whose contents are of a similar kind with its own. David's chosen corps of thirty heroes was much more important for the history of his reign, than the lists of the men who joined themselves to him and fought on his behalf before he ascended the throne. For that reason the thirty heroes are not only mentioned by name, but their descent also is told us, while that more detailed information is not given with regard to the others just mentioned. Only the names of the Gadites and Manassites are mentioned; of the Benjamites and men of Judah, who came to him in the mountain fastness (1Chron. 12:16–18), the name of only one, Amasai, is given; while of the Benjamites who came to Ziklag, 1Chron. 12:3–7, such qualificative statements are made in reference to only a few individuals, and in these cases the object probably was to distinguish them from other well–known persons of the same name. Footnote


And Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham from the Gedor.

1Chronicles

12:7

Joelah and Zebadiah, [who are] sons of Jeroham from Gedor.

Joelah and Zebadiah, who are sons of Jeroham from Gedor.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham from the Gedor.

Septuagint                              ...and Jelia and Zabadia, sons of Iroam, and the men of Gedor.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         ...and Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         ...and Joelah and Zebadiah, Jeroham's sons from Gedor.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And Joelah and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.

Young's Updated LT              And Joelah, and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham of Gedor.


What is the gist of this verse? Two more men’s names are given, both sons of Jeroham of Gedor.


1Chronicles 12:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yôw׳êlâh (הָלא̤עי) [pronounced yoh-ģay-LAW]

may he profit; transliterated Joelah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3132 BDB #418

This is possibly the feminine active participle of Strong’s #3276, which means to gain, profit, benefit, avail.

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Zebadeyâh (הָיד-בז) [pronounced ze-bahde-YAW]

Yah has bestowed [given]; transliterated Zebadiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2069 BDB #256

An alternate spelling of this name adds a ûw to the end of it.

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yerôchâm (םָחֹרי) [pronounced ye-roh-SHAWM]

may he be compassionate; and is transliterated Jeroham

Masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3395 BDB #934

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Gedôwr (רד׃ג) [pronounced gDOOR]

wall, enclosure; transliterated Gedor

masculine singular proper noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1446 BDB #155

This is possibly equivalent to the proper noun....

Geder (רד) [pronounced GEH-der]

wall or bulwark; transliterated Gedor

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1446 BDB #155

Rotherham tells us that Gedor is what we find in many manuscripts (4 early printed editions, the Septuagint, the Syriac, the Vulgate), but that there are 6 early printed editions with Gedud instead. Footnote


Translation: Joelah and Zebadiah, [who are] sons of Jeroham from Gedor. Joelah means may he profit; and Zebadiah means Yah has given. The parents, in the first case, prayed for their son to be successful; and, in the second, gave thanks to God for their son. Their father is named may he be compassionate—probably named by his mother (but still a nice name).


There are possibly as many as 4 cities named Gedor; and whether any of them are equivalent to Geder (or Gederah) is unknown. This city may possibly found only here or here and Joshua 15:58 Footnote (but, that would place it in Judah, and it appears as though we are still in Benjamin). We discussed Geder at some length in Joshua 12:13; however, we could come to few, if any, conclusions. We discussed Gedor in Joshua 15:58 and were unable to come to any real conclusions as well (that Gedor is located in Judah). Given the name and its meaning, it is very likely that several cities had this particular name. I should add that, for some border cities, it is unclear who had control of the city. That is, a border city of Judah and Benjamin might have a significant number of inhabitants from both tribes. Therefore, it is not impossible that these men of Benjamin came from the Gedor named in Joshua 15:58.

 

Keil and Delitzsch comment: Gedor is mentioned, a city in the mountains of Judah, to the westward of the road which leads from Hebron to Jerusalem (see on Joshua 15:58); and from that fact Bertheau imagines we must conclude that the men of Judah are enumerated as well as the Benjamites. But this conclusion is not valid; for from the very beginning, when the domains and cities were assigned to the individual tribes under Joshua, they were not the exclusive possession of the individual tribes, and at a later period they were still less so. In course of time the respective tribal domains underwent (in consequence of wars and other events) many alterations, not only in extent, but also in regard to their inhabitants, so that in Saul's time single Benjamite families may quite well have had their home in the cities of Judah. Footnote


Although there is only one Joelah in Scripture, there are many men with the name Zebadiah (9, according to BDB).

The Zebadiah’s of Scripture

1) A Benjamite of the sons of Beriah (1Chron. 8:15).

2) A Benjamite of the sons of Elpaal (1Chron. 8:17).

3) One of the sons of Jeroham of Gedor and one of David’s men

4) Son of Asahel, brother of Joab, and one of David’s men (1Chron. 12:8).

5) Son of Michael, of the sons of Shephatiah, and an officer of David’s (1Chron. 27:7).

6) A priest of the sons of Immer, who had a foreign wife in the time of Ezra (Ezra 10:20).

7) A Levite, 3rd son of Meshelemiah the Korhite (1Chron. 26:2).

8) A Levite in the reign of Jehoshaphat (2Chron. 17:8).

9) Son of Ishmael and prince of the house of Judah in the reign of Jehoshaphat (Ezra 8:8).

This was taken from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; Hendrickson Publishers; Ⓟ1996; p. 256 and from The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; courtesy of e-sword; Strong’s #2069. I hope I correctly matched up the Scripture from the hardbound BDB with the e-sword version.


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Since we are about to enter into some narrative, let me remind you that we are a verse off here; this is v. 9 in the Hebrew, but v. 8 in the Greek and English.


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Men who Came to David when in the Stronghold in the Wilderness

1Samuel 23:14


In matching this passage with its parallel passage in 1Samuel, I am making an educated guess; here, we have a clear reference to David’s stronghold in the wilderness; in 1Sam. 23:14, we read: And David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver David into his hand. Whether this properly matches us to 1Sam. 23:14 is unknown, as we have several places mentioned throughout 1Sam. 23, several of which are contenders for this wilderness stronghold. Furthermore, where the word stronghold occurs in Samuel, it is always in the plural (1Sam. 23:14, 19, 29). In other words, in our passage, we are speaking of a specific fortress or stronghold in the wilderness; and in 1Sam. 23, there are several hiding places where David stayed. So matching these passages is a reasonable theory, but nothing more than that.


And from the Gadite, have separated themselves unto David to the fortress wilderness-ward mighty men of the army—men of warfare to the battle; organizers [or, valued] of the large shield and spear; and faces of lion their faces and as gazelles upon the mountains to hurry.

1Chronicles

12:8

And from the Gadites, [certain men] have separated themselves to David, to [his] fortress in the wilderness—mighty men of war—men of war with battle experience [lit., to the battle]; expert [highly valued] in the large shield and spear; their faces [as] the faces of lions, [able to] advance quickly as gazelles on the mountains.

Certain men from the territory of Gad also separated from Saul to come to David when David was in his wilderness fortress. These are great men of war, who have military experience, and are expert and highly valued with the shield and spear. They appear to be as fierce as lions, and are as fast as gazelles upon the mountains.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And from the Gadite, have separated themselves unto David to the fortress wilderness-ward mighty men of the army—men of warfare to the battle; organizers [or, valued] of the large shield and spear; and faces of lion their faces and as gazelles upon the mountains to hurry.

Septuagint                              And from Gaddi these separated themselves to David from the wilderness, strong mighty men of an array of war, bearing shields and spears, and their faces were as the face of a lion, and they were nimble as roes upon the mountains in speed.

 

Significant differences:           The word fortress is not found in the Greek or the Latin, but it is found in the Hebrew and Syriac. The participle bearing in the Greek appears to be an over-simplification of the Hebrew word that it translates (in the Syriac, it is rendered could handle and in the Latin holding). Apart from these two minor differences, there are no significant differences between these texts.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Men from the tribe of Gad also joined David at his fortress in the desert and served as his warriors. They were also brave soldiers--fierce as lions and quick as gazelles. They were always prepared to fight with shields and spears.

The Message                         There were some Gadites there who had defected to David at his wilderness fortress; they were seasoned and eager fighters who knew how to handle shield and spear. They were wild in appearance, like lions, but as agile as gazelles racing across the hills.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Some men left Gad to join David at the fortified camp in the desert. They were warriors, trained soldiers, able to fight with shields and spears. They looked like lions and were as fast as gazelles on the hills.

HCSB                                     Some Gadites defected to David at his stronghold in the desert. They were fighting men, trained for battle, expert with shield and spear. Their faces were like the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles on the mountains.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       From the Gadites there went over to David at the stronghold in the wilderness mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains:...

WEB                                      Of the Gadites there separated themselves to David to the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for war, that could handle shield and spear; whose faces were like the faces of lions, and they were as swift as the roes on the mountains;...

Young's Updated LT              And of the Gadites there have been separated unto David, to the fortress, to the wilderness, mighty of valour, men of the host for battle, setting in array target and buckler, and their faces the face of the lion, and as roes on the mountains for speed:...


What is the gist of this verse? Men who are experienced in war come to David from the Gadites, across the Jordan. These are more than sympathizers; these are extremely valuable military men.


1Chronicles 12:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Gâdîy (י.דָג) [pronounced gaw-DEE]

invader; troop; fortune; transliterated Gadite; an inhabitant or descendent of Gad

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1410 BDB #151

bâdal (ל ַד ָ) [pronounced baw-DAHL]

to be separated, to separate oneself; to be secluded [shut out]; to depart, to withdraw, to be set apart

3rd person plural, Niphal perfect

Strong's #914 BDB #95

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

metsâd (ד ָצ  ׃מ) [pronounced me-TSAWD]

the top or summit [of a mountain]; a fortress, a mountain castle; a stronghold; secure hiding place

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4679 BDB #844

midebâr (רָ ׃ד ̣מ) [pronounced mide-BAWR]

wilderness, unpopulated wilderness, desert wilderness; mouth

masculine singular noun with directional hê

Strong’s #4057 BDB #184


Translation: And from the Gadites, [certain men] have separated themselves to David, to [his] fortress in the wilderness... The subject for this verb actually does not occur until later in this verse. Therefore, I have inserted the subject certain men. The Gadites chose to remain on the east side of the Jordan. They helped their brothers secure the rest of Israel, but they liked the land east of the Jordan for ranching, and they, with the tribe of Reuben and half of the Manassehites, made their home east of the Jordan. These men had to leave their ranches, their families, their flocks, and their allegiance to Saul in order to join up with David. This was a risk and an inconvenience, to say the least.


David had a fortress or a stronghold in the wilderness, and these men came to him at this fortress, which is mentioned several times in 1Samuel (actually, in 1Samuel, the text speaks of fortresses or strongholds). What I envision is David staying at the famous Masada; however, that would only be conjecture; and, furthermore, it does not appear as though David remained at any particular place for any amount of time.


Barnes points out that some understand this to be Ziklag; others believe that this is Engedi (see 1Sam. 24:1–2); and Barnes thinks that this is probably the cave of Adullam (1Chron. 11:15–16). These all seem to be reasonable theories to me, except that, this passage does sound more like the naming of a new place, instead of referring back to Ziklag, named in v. 1.

The following are the verses related to the strongholds of David. The translations given reflect the number found in the Hebrew:

I should point out that there are actually two different but very similar Hebrew words translated stronghold. The first is metsâd (ד ָצ  ׃מ) [pronounced me-TSAWD], which means the top or summit [of a mountain]; a fortress, a mountain castle; a stronghold; a secure hiding place. This can refer both to where hunters to go to seek their prey and to where prey might flee to as a safe retreat from those hunting them. Strong’s #4679 BDB #844.

The second word is very similarly spelled, and the difference between these words escapes me: mâtsôwd (דצָמ) [pronounced maw-TZOHD], which means net; capture; fortress, castle, stronghold; defense. The other two spellings are: mâtsûwd (דצָמ) [pronounced maw-TZOOD] and metsôwdâh (הָדשמ) [pronounced matzoh-DAW] (this latter spelling is a feminine noun). Strong’s #4685 (feminine) and #4686 (masculine) BDB #844. I will underline this word.

The Strongholds of David

Scripture

Passage

 1Chron. 11:5–7

And the people of Jebus said to David, You shall not come in here. But David took the stronghold of Zion, which is the city of David. And David said, Whoever strikes the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. And Joab the son of Zeruiah went up first and was chief. David lived in the stronghold; therefore they called it the city of David. Context clearly points to this being Jerusalem; it is reasonable to assume that this is a specific walled section of Jerusalem. Here, we find both of these words used, without any reason to differentiate between them.

1Chron. 11:15–16

Three of the thirty chief men went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines were encamped in the valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. This sounds as though the cave of Adullam is the stronghold of David. However, this takes place after David is made king over Israel.

1Chron. 12:8

Of the Gadites there separated themselves to David to the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for war, that could handle shield and spear; whose faces were like the faces of lions, and they were as swift as the roes on the mountains:...

1Chron. 12:16

There came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the stronghold to David.

1Sam. 22:4–5

And he brought them before the king of Moab. And they lived with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. And the prophet Gad said to David, Do not stay in the stronghold. Leave and go into the land of Judah. And David left and came into the forest of Hareth. This passage is a little confusing, as it appears as though David would be on the other side of the Dead Sea from Moab, which places him in Judah. It is possible that he is not in Judah, or in an unoccupied area which we might see as being part of Judah, but that they did not.

1Sam. 23:14

David abode in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill-country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God didn't deliver him into his hand.

1Sam. 23:19

David abode in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill-country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but God didn't deliver him into his hand.

1Sam. 23:29

David went up from there, and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi. We do not have a specific stronghold named here, as is the case in 1Samuel.

1Sam. 24:22

David swore to Saul. Saul went home; but David and his men got them up to the stronghold.

2Sam. 5:7

And David took the stronghold of Zion; it is the city of David. This could be Masada and it may simply be a fortress built in Jerusalem. In any case, this mitigates against the idea of the stronghold of David as being Masada, as it would have been too heavily guarded at this time (David took it as king of Israel, with an entire army behind him).

2Sam. 5:17

And the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel. And all the Philistines came up to seek David. And David heard, and went down to the stronghold.

I hope that you can see, from this brief study, that, from time to time, this or that place was seen as David’s stronghold or fortress; however, it does not seem likely that we can simply associate one particular place with this designation.

Back in 1Sam. 24:22, we examined the Doctrine of Masada, which covered this material from the viewpoint of the famous Masada.


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Application: Now and again, you may have to take a stand, even when it personally inconveniences you.


1Chronicles 12:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

gibbôwr (ר  ̣) [pronounced gib-BOAR]

strong men, mighty men, soldiers

masculine plural construct; noun/adjective

Strong’s #1368 BDB #150

chayil (ל̣יַח) [pronounced CHAH-yil]

army, strength, valour, power, might; efficiency; and that which is gotten through strength—wealth, substance

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2428 BDB #298

ănâsîym (םי.שָנֲא) [pronounced uh-NAW-seem]; also spelled îyshîym (םי.שי ̣א) [pronounced ee-SHEEM]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions; soldiers, followers

masculine plural construct

Strong's #376 BDB #35

tsâbâ (א ָב ָצ) [pronounced tsawb-VAW]

army, war, or warfare

masculine singular noun

Strong's #6635 DB #838

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

milechâmâh (הָמָח׃ל ̣מ) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536


Translation:...—mighty men of war—men of war with battle experience [lit., to the battle];... These are the men who separated themselves to David. This means that they left Saul and they came to David. The words here indicate that these are battle-hardened men; men who have actual military experience; and they are very skilled in war.


1Chronicles 12:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳ârake (ַרָע) [pronounced ģaw-RAK]

to value, to estimate; to be valuable [valued]; to compare, to be compared; to equal, to be equal

masculine plural construct, Qal active participle

Strong's #6186 BDB #789

The other option is, this word began with a specific meaning which branched out in two directions:

i.To arrange [place, set] in order, in a row [an arrangement] would be the basic meaning of this word.

ii.When you arrange things together, in some sort of an order, you also are comparing them, to some degree; and in comparing them, you place a value or estimate the worth of the individual things. This would yield the second set of definitions: to value, to estimate; to be valuable [valued]; to compare, to be compared; to equal, to be equal

׳ârake (ַרָע) [pronounced ģaw-RAK']

to prepare, to organize, to set in order, to arrange in order, to set in a row

masculine plural construct, Qal active participle

Strong's #6186 BDB #789

tsinnâh (הָ̣צ) [pronounced tzin-NAW]

large shield

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6793 BDB #857

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

romach (ח-מֹר) [pronounced ROH-mahkh]

spear, lance, javelin

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7420 BDB #942

One early printed edition and the Septuagint has buckler instead. Footnote


Translation: ...expert [or, highly valued] in the large shield and spear;... There is a verb here which is rather difficult to deal with, as it is given over 20 different translations by the KJV. Even Young gives this word around 10 different translations. Therefore, to get a handle on this word, you may want to examine the Doctrine of ׳Ârake, which I cover the many different uses of this word, and attempt to provide some cohesion for the diverse meanings.


In case you have chosen not to look this doctrine up, let me provide you some of the conclusions:

A Summary of the Doctrine of ׳Ârake

There seem to be two basic meanings for this word:

1.      To arrange, to set in order, to place in a row, to place in a particular arrangement or order

2.      To value, to estimate; to be valuable [valued]; to compare, to be compared; to equal, to be equal

         a.      When followed by unto, this appears to mean to be compared, to compare.

         b.      A similar take on this word might be to equal, to be equal to.

3.      This would suggest to me that we are really dealing with a homonym which has a particular application depending upon it context.

4.      The other option is, this word began with a specific meaning which branched out in two directions:

         a.      To arrange [place, set] in order, in a row [an arrangement] would be the basic meaning of this word.

         b.      When you arrange things together, in some sort of an order, you also are comparing them, to some degree; and in comparing them, you place a value or estimate the worth of the individual things.

These conclusions are carefully justified and documented in the full doctrine.

The variety of meanings listed above might help to explain the over-simplistic translation of this word into the Greek, Latin and Syriac.


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1Chronicles 12:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

ărîy (י ̣ר ֱא) [pronounced uh-REE]

lion

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #738 BDB #71

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular); with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

as, like, according to; about, approximately

preposition of comparison or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

tsebîy (י.בצ) [pronounced tseb-VEE]

glory, splendor, honor; beauty; roebuck, gazelle

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6643 BDB #840

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

har (ר ַה) [pronounced har]

hill; mountain, mount; hill-country

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2042 (and #2022) BDB #249

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mâhar (ר ַה ָמ) [pronounced maw-HAHR]

to hasten, to hurry, to make haste; its transitive use is to prepare quickly, to bring quickly, to do quickly

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #4116 BDB #554


Translation: ...their faces [as] the faces of lions, [able to] advance quickly as gazelles on the mountains. The idea here is, these men look fierce; and they can move quickly.

 

Clarke comments: That swiftness was considered to be a grand accomplishment in a warrior, appears from all ancient writings which treat of military affairs. Footnote Gill adds: Aelianus speaks of one sort of them that run as swift as a tempest. These Gadites, as with their undaunted looks and courage, intimidated their enemies, and put them to flight, so they were swift to pursue them, and overtake them. Footnote


Ezer the head, Obadiah the second; Eliab the third;...

1Chronicles

12:9

Ezer the chief; Obadiah the second, Eliab the third;...

Ezer the chief; Obadiah the second, Eliab the third;...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Ezer the head, Obadiah the second; Eliab the third;...

Septuagint                              Aza the chief, Abdia the second, Eliab the third,...

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       There were eleven of them, ranked in the following order: Ezer the leader, then Obadiah, Eliab,...

The Message                         Ezer was the first, then Obadiah, Eliab,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Ezer was the first of these soldiers. The second was Obadiah. The third was Eliab.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Ezer the chief, Obadiah second, Eliab third,...

Young's Updated LT              Ezer the head, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,...


What is the gist of this verse? The first 3 Gadites are named: Ezer, Obadiah and Eliab.


1Chronicles 12:9

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳Êzer (רזֵע) [pronounced ĢAY-zer]

help, aid; treasure; transliterated Ezer

masculine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #5829 BDB #740.

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

head, top, chief, front, choicest

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

׳Ôbadeyâh (הָיד-בֹע) [pronounced ģoh-bahde-YAW]

a servant of Yah; transliterated Obadiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #5662 BDB #715

shenîy (י.נ∵ש) [pronounced sheh-NEE]

second, the second; two, both, double, twice; When only two items are named, it can be rendered [the] other

adjective singular numeral ordinal; with the definite article

Strong’s #8145 BDB #1041

Ĕlîyâb (ב ָאי.ל ֱא) [pronounced el-ee-AWBV]

God is father; transliterated Eliab

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #446 BDB #45

shelishîym (םי.ש̣לש) [pronounced sheli-SHEEM]

third, a third part, a third time; chambers [of the third story]

masculine/feminine adjective/ordinal numeral with the definite article

Strong’s #7992 BDB #1026


Translation: Ezer the chief; Obadiah the second, Eliab the third;... These are 3 of the 11 Gadites referred to in the previous verse—men who have known war and are great soldiers. When we come to the 11th man, we will list them and the meaning of their names.


BDB lists 4 Ezer’s, 12 or 13 Obadiah’s and 6 Eliab’s. Footnote


Let’s look at these Obadiah’s: Footnote

The Obadiah’s in Scripture

1) The 4th of the 12 minor prophets; nothing personal is known of him but it is probable that he was contemporary with Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel (the book of Obadiah).

2) Father of Ishmaiah, one of the chiefs of Zebulun in the time of David (1Chron. 27:19).

3) A Merarite Levite overseer of the work of restoring the temple in the time of king Josiah of Judah (2Chron. 34:12).

4) Chief of the household of king Ahab of Israel; and evout worshiper of Jehovah who at risk to his own life hid over 100 prophets during the persecution of Jezebel (1Kings 18).

5) A descendant of David (1Chron. 3:21).

6) A chief of the tribe of Issachar (1Chron. 7:3).

7) A Benjamite, one of the 6 sons of Azel and a descendant of king Saul (1Chron. 8:28 9:44).

8) A Levite, son of Shemaiah and a descendant of Jeduthun (1Chron. 9:16).

9) A Gadite chief, the 2nd of the lion-faced Gadites who joined David at Ziklag (1Chron. 12:9).

10) A prince of Judah in the time of king Jehoshaphat of Judah (2Chron. 17:7).

11) A priest, son of Jehiel of the sons of Joab who returned from exile with Ezra (Ezra 8:9).

12) A gatekeeper in the time of Nehemiah (Neh. 12:25).

13) One of the men who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah (perhaps the same as 12). Neh. 10:5

The e-sword version of BDB gives more details; for instance, #3 above in the actual BDB reads a Levite overseer in the time of Josiah; #7 above reads merely a Benjamite. However, the Scripture is listed in my hardcover BDB, but not in the e-sword version.

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Let’s look at these Eliab’s: Footnote

The Eliab’s of Scripture

1) Son of Helon, leader of Zebulun in the wilderness (Num. 1:9 2:7 7:24, 29).

2) A Reubenite chief, father of Dathan and Abram (Num. 16:1, 12).

3) David’s oldest brother (1Sam. 16:6 17:13, 28 1Chron. 2:13 2Chron. 11:18).

4) A Levite musician (1Chron. 15:18, 20 16:5).

5) A Gadite warrior for David (1Chron. 12:9).

6) A Kohathite (1Chron. 6:12).

On most of these, ZPEB is in general agreement (now and again, ZPEB will list 1 or 2 additional men with those names). Also, ZPEB tends to give much more information about these men.

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...Mishmannah the fourth; Jeremiah the fifth; Attai the sixth; Eliel the seventh;...

1Chronicles

12:10–11

...Mishmannah the fourth; Jeremiah the fifth; Attai the sixth; Eliel the seventh;...

...Mishmannah the fourth; Jeremiah the fifth; Attai the sixth; Eliel the seventh;...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ...Mishmannah the fourth; Jeremiah the fifth; Attai the sixth; Eliel the seventh;...

Septuagint                              ...Masmana the fourth, Jeremias the fifth, Jethi the sixth, Eliab the seventh,...

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...Mishmannah, Jeremiah, Attai, Eliel,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The fourth was Mishmannah. The fifth was Jeremiah. The sixth was Attai. The seventh was Eliel.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       ...Mishmannah fourth, Jeremiah fifth, Attai sixth, Eliel seventh,...

Young's Updated LT              ...Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth, Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,...


What is the gist of this verse? 4 more Gadites are named.


1Chronicles 12:10–11

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Mishemannâh (הָ-מש  ̣מ) [pronounced mishe-mahn-NAW]

fatness, fat piece; transliterated Mishmannah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4925 BDB #1032

Rotherham here has Mashmannah instead, saying that Mishmannah occurs in 2 early printed editions Footnote (although his footnote is difficult to understand; perhaps it is Mashmannah with occurs in those 2 early printed editions?).

rebîy׳îy (י.עי.ב ר) [pronounced re-bee-ĢEE]

a fourth

masculine singular adjective; numeral; with the definite article

Strong’s #7243 BDB #917

Yiremeyâh (הָימר ̣י) [pronounced yire-me-YAW]

to loosen (the womb?); Yah will rise; whom Jehovah has appointed transliterated Jeremiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3414 BDB #941

chămîyshîy (י.שי.מֲח) [pronounced khuh-mee-SHEE]

fifth

masculine singular numeral ordinal; with the definite article

Strong’s #2549 BDB #332

׳Attay (י--ע) [pronounced ģaht-TAH-ee]

opportune; transliterated Attai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6262 BDB #774

shishshîy (י..ש) [pronounced shish-SHEE]

sixth

masculine singular numeral ordinal; with the definite article

Strong’s #8345 BDB #995

Ělîyêl (ל̤אי.לֱא) [pronounced uh-lee-ALE]

God is (my) God; transliterated Eliel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #447 BDB #45

shebîy׳îy (י.עי.בש) [pronounced she-bee-EE]

seventh

masculine singular adjective; numeral ordinate with the definite article

Strong’s #7637 BDB #988


Translation: ...Mishmannah the fourth; Jeremiah the fifth; Attai the sixth; Eliel the seventh;... Like most of the men in this chapter, these 4 are found only here.


There is only one Mishmannah, 9 Jeremiah’s, 3 Attai’s and 7 Eliel’s in Scripture. We briefly examined all of the Jeremiah’s already.


Let’s look at these Attai’s: Footnote

The Attai’s in Scripture

1) a Judaite, grandson of Sheshan the Jerahmeelite by daughter Ahlai whom he gave in marriage to Jarha, his Egyptian slave; his grandson Zabad was one of David’s mighty warriors (1Chron. 2:35, 36).

2) one of the lion-faced warriors of Gad, captains of the host, who joined David in the wilderness (1Chron. 12:11).

3) the 2nd son of king Rehoboam of Judah by Maachah, the daughter of Absalom (2Chron. 11:20).

You should notice that most of these men named herein who have come to David are named here and here only.

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Now let’s look at these Eliel’s: Footnote

The Eliel’s of Scripture

1) 2 Levites (1Chron. 6:34 2Chron. 31:13).

2) Chief in David’s army (might be two or three different men). 1Chron. 11:46–47 12:11

3) A Levite with David in moving the ark (1Chron. 15:9, 11).

4) A chief of Manasseh (1Chron. 5:24).

5) Two chiefs of Benjamin (1Chron. 8:20, 22).

6) A chief Kohathite (1Chron. 6:19).

This is one of the few men found in both 1Chron. 11 and 12.

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...Johanan the eighth; Elzabad the ninth; Jeremiahu the tenth; Machbannai one-teen.

1Chronicles

12:12–13

Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth; Jeremiahu the tenth; Machbannai the eleventh.

Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth; Jeremiahu the tenth; and Machbannai the eleventh.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       ......Johanan the eighth; Elzabad the ninth; Jeremiahu the tenth; Machbannai one-teen.

Septuagint                              ...Joanan the eighth, Eleazer the ninth, Jeremia the tenth, Melchabanai the eleventh.

 

Significant differences: None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                              ...Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Machbannai.

The Message                         ...Johanan, Elzabad, Jeremiah, and Macbannai—eleven of them.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The eighth was Johanan. The ninth was Elzabad. The tenth was Jeremiah. The eleventh was Machbannai.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       ...Johanan eighth, Elzabad ninth, Jeremiah tenth, Machbannai eleventh.

Young's Updated LT              ...Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth, Jeremiah the tenth, Machbannai the eleventh.


What is the gist of this verse? The final 4 Gadites are named in these two verses.


1Chronicles 12:12–13

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

Yôwchânân (ןָנָחי) [pronounced yoh-khaw-NAWN]

Jah has been gracious, Jah has given grace; transliterated Johanan

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3110 [& #3076] BDB #220

shemîynîy (י.ני.מש) [pronounced she-mee-NEE]

eight

masculine singular adjective numeral; with the definite article

Strong’s #8066 & #8067 BDB #1033

Elezâbâd (דָבָזל∵א) [pronounced ele-zaw-BAWD]

God has given; transliterated Elzabad

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #443 BDB #44

teshîy׳îy (י.עי.ש) [pronounced te-shee-ĢEE]

ninth

masculine singular adjective/numeral ordinal; with the definite article

Strong’s #8671 BDB #1077

Yiremeyâhûw (הָימר ̣י) [pronounced yire-me-YAW-hoo]

to loosen (the womb?); Yah will rise; whom Jehovah has appointed transliterated Jeremiah

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3414 BDB #941

׳ăshîyrîy (י .רי.שֲע) [pronounced ģuh-shee-REE]

tenth

masculine singular, numeral ordinal; with the definite article

Strong’s #6224 BDB #798

Makebannay (י--כ-מ) [pronounced mahke-bahn-NAH-ee]

bond of the Lord; transliterated Machbanai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4344 BDB #460

׳ashetêy (י̤ש-ע) [pronounced ģahsh-TAY]

one

numeral

Strong’s #6249 BDB #799

׳âsâr (רָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWR]

ten; –teen [resulting in numbers 11–19]

masculine/feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6240 BDB #797


Translation: Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth; Jeremiahu the tenth; Machbannai the eleventh. We already examined the Johanan’s and Jeremiah’s of Scripture back in v. 4. Machbannai is found only here. There are only 2 Elzabad’s in Scripture: here and 1Chron. 26:7 (he is a Korhite Levite in that passage).


Now that we have listed all of the Gadites, let’s see what their parents named them:

The Gadites and the Meanings of their Names

Gadite

Meaning of Name

Proposed Scenario

Ezer

help, aid; treasure

The parents valued their son as a treasure and a help.

Obadiah

a servant of Yah

His parents saw him properly as God’s servant.

Elias

God is father

His parents celebrated the Fatherhood of God in their sons name.

Mishmannah

fatness, fat piece

This is a reference to prosperity, and they saw their son as being an indication of prosperity.

Jeremiah

to loosen (the womb?); Yah will rise; whom Jehovah has appointed

Even in all of these divergent meanings, Jehovah is recognized.

Attai

opportune

Not really certain here.

Eliel

God is (my) God

A recognition of God’s existence and sovereignty.

Johanan

Jah has been gracious, Jah has given grace

The former definition seems most likely; the parents were graced out to receive a son.

Elzabad

God has given

The parents recognized that a child is a gift from God.

Jeremiahu

to loosen (the womb?); Yah will rise; whom Jehovah has appointed

As above.

Machbannai

bond of the Lord

I am not as sure of BDB’s meaning here.

Although there are fewer cases than previously, still, it is clear that many of these parents thought of God when naming their sons, indicating that they probably brought their children up teaching them Bible doctrine.


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These, sons of Gadite, heads of the army, one to a hundred the young; and the great to a thousand.

1Chronicles

12:14

These sons of Gad [were] officers of the army; one as if 100 [of] the least; and [one] as if 1000 [of] the greater.

These sons of Gad were officers in Saul’s army; one of the least was equivalent to 100 men; and one of the greatest was equivalent to 1000 men.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       These, sons of Gadite, heads of the army, one to a hundred the young; and the great to a thousand.

Septuagint                              These were chiefs of the army of the sons of Gad, the least [Greek, little] one commander of a hundred, and the greatest [Greek, great] one of a thousand.

 

Significant differences:           The use of the lâmed preposition is difficult here, and not often found used in this way. The Greek translators were probably confused and used the lâmed preposition to mean over 100 (which gives us the extra word, commander in the Greek). The Latin and Syriac apparently followed the lead of the Greek here (although, I suppose that it is possible that one of the words dropped out of our Hebrew text).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       All these men were army officers; some were high-ranking officers over a thousand troops, and others were officers over a hundred troops.

The Message                         These Gadites were the cream of the crop--any one of them was worth a hundred lesser men, and the best of them were worth a thousand.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         These descendants of Gad were army officers. The least able one was in command of 100 men, and the best one was in command of 1,000.

HCSB                                     These Gadites were army commanders; the least of them was a match for a hundred, and the greatest of them for a thousand.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       These Gadites were officers of the army; the least was a match for a hundred men and the greatest for a thousand.

WEB                                      These of the sons of Gad were captains of the host: he who was least was equal to one hundred, and the greatest to one thousand.

Young's Updated LT              These are of the sons of Gad, heads of the host, one of a hundred is the least, and the greatest, of a thousand.


What is the gist of this verse? I believe the sense of this verse is, 1 of the lesser men from Gad was equivalent to 100 men; and one of the greater men was equivalent to 1000.


1Chronicles 12:14a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronunced KEHLleh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective

Strong's #428 BDB #41

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Gâd (דָג) [pronounced gawd]

invader; troop; fortune; transliterated Gad

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1410 BDB #151

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

heads, princes, officers, captains, chiefs; company, band, division

masculine plural construct

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

tsâbâ (א ָב ָצ) [pronounced tsawb-VAW]

army, war, or warfare

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #6635 DB #838


Translation: These sons of Gad [were] officers of the army;... The Gadites listed here were officers of the army, but it does not say which army. Probably what is meant was, they were officers in Saul’s army; and they risked everything to join up with David and became officers in his army (which began small, but apparently gained in size as time went on).


1Chronicles 12:14b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity; possibly particular

numeral adjective

Strong's #259 BDB #25

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

The meanings of the lâmed preposition broken down into groups: ➊ to, towards, unto; it is used both to turn one’s heart toward someone as well as to sin against someone; ➋ to, even to;  in this sense, it can be used with a number to indicate the upper limit which a multitude might approach (nearly). ➌ Lâmed can be equivalent to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς), meaning into, as in transforming into something else, changing into something else (Gen. 2:7). This use of lâmed after the verb hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW] (Strong’s #1961 BDB #224) is one thing becoming another (Gen. 2:7). ➍  Its fourth use is the mark of a dative, after verbs of giving, granting, delivering, pardoning, consulting, sending, etc. This type of dative is broken down into several categories, but one includes the translation by, which would be apropos here. ➎ With regards to, as to. Similar to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς) plus the dative. [Numbering from Gesenius]. ➏ On account of, because, propter, used of cause and reason (propter means because; Gesenius used it). ➐ Concerning, about, used of a person or thing made the object of discourse, after verbs of saying. ➑ On behalf of anyone, for anyone. ➒ As applied to a rule or standard, according to, according as, as though, as if. ➓ When associated with time, it refers to the point of time at which or in which anything is done; or it can refer to the space of time during which something is done (or occurs); at the time of.

mêâh (ה ָא ֵמ) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

qâţôn (ןטָק or ןֹט ָק) [pronounced kaw-TOHN]

small, insignificant, unimportant; lesser; a word particularly used for youth, younger

masculine singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #6995 & #6996 BDB #882


Translation: ...one as if 100 [of] the least;... The difficulty in this verse is the lâmed preposition. Once we determine how it should be used, then the rest falls into place (more or less). What we have here is sort of an equivalence—one man out of the least of these Gadites was equivalent to having 100 men.


1Chronicles 12:14c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gâdôwl (לד ָ) [pronounced gaw-DOHL]

large, great or mighty [in power, nobility, wealth; in number, or magnitude and extent], loud, older, important, distinguished; vast, unyielding, immutable, significant, astonishing

masculine singular adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #1419 BDB #152

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

The meanings of the lâmed preposition broken down into groups: ➊ to, towards, unto; it is used both to turn one’s heart toward someone as well as to sin against someone; ➋ to, even to;  in this sense, it can be used with a number to indicate the upper limit which a multitude might approach (nearly). ➌ Lâmed can be equivalent to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς), meaning into, as in transforming into something else, changing into something else (Gen. 2:7). This use of lâmed after the verb hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW] (Strong’s #1961 BDB #224) is one thing becoming another (Gen. 2:7). ➍  Its fourth use is the mark of a dative, after verbs of giving, granting, delivering, pardoning, consulting, sending, etc. This type of dative is broken down into several categories, but one includes the translation by, which would be apropos here. ➎ With regards to, as to. Similar to the Greek preposition eis (εἰς) plus the dative. [Numbering from Gesenius]. ➏ On account of, because, propter, used of cause and reason (propter means because; Gesenius used it). ➐ Concerning, about, used of a person or thing made the object of discourse, after verbs of saying. ➑ On behalf of anyone, for anyone. ➒ As applied to a rule or standard, according to, according as, as though, as if. ➓ When associated with time, it refers to the point of time at which or in which anything is done; or it can refer to the space of time during which something is done (or occurs); at the time of.

eleph (ף ל א) pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48


Translation: ...and [one] as if 1000 [of] the greater. Although the word order is slightly different, and the word one is understood from the previous phrase, the idea is, the greater of these Gadites was equivalent to 1000 men.

 

Gill offers up both alternative interpretations: one of the least was over one hundred, and the greatest over thousand: not that they were so when they came, or brought over such a number of men with them under their command; but they were promoted by David, when he came to the throne, to be centurions and chiliarchs; according to Jarchi, the sense is, that the least of them would put to flight and pursue one hundred, and the greatest of them 1000, and so fulfilled the passage in (Lev. 26:8 Deut. 32:30). Footnote Obviously, I prefer the second understanding of this. Since David only had about 600 men with him when in Ziklag, no man under him could be over 1000 men, simply because there were not a 1000 men for anyone to be over.


These [are] those who crossed over the Jordan in the month the first and he was filling up over all his banks. And so cause to flee all the valleys to the east and to the west.

1Chronicles

12:15

These [are] those who crossed over the Jordan in the first month when it was filling up over all its banks. In fact [lit., and so], all [those in] the valleys to the east and to the west were caused to flee.

These [the Gadite officers] are the very men who crossed over the Jordan River during the first month when it was overflowing all of it banks. In fact, those who lived in the valleys on both sides of the river were caused to flee at this time (because of the serious flooding).


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       These [are] those who crossed over the Jordan in the month the first and he was filling up over all his banks. And so cause to flee all the valleys to the east and to the west.

Septuagint                              These are the men that crossed over Jordan in the first month, and it had overflowed all its bank; and they drove out all the inhabitants of the valleys, from the east to the west.

 

Significant differences:           No significant differences; the Greek filled in one blank with words which would be understood in the Hebrew (the inhabitants of).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Earlier, they had crossed the Jordan River when it flooded, and they chased out the people who lived in the valleys on each side of the river.

The Message                         They were the ones who crossed the Jordan when it was at flood stage in the first month, and put everyone in the lowlands to flight, both east and west.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         In the first month of the year, these men crossed the Jordan River when it was flooding its banks. They chased away all the people in the valleys to the east and west.

HCSB                                     These are the men who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks, and put to flight all those in the valleys to the east and to the west.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       These are the men who crossed the Jordan in the first month, when it was overflowing all its banks, and put to flight all those in the valleys, to the east and to the west.

WEB                                      These are those who went over the Jordan in the first month, when it had overflowed all its banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.

Young's Updated LT              These are they who have passed over the Jordan in the first month—and it is full over all its banks–and cause all [they of] the valley to flee to the east and to the west.


What is the gist of this verse? The Gadites just named crossed over the Jordan river during the rainy season (the first month) while the river was overflowing its banks. There was so much rain at that time that, those on both sides of the river who lived in the valleys had to relocate because of flooding.


1Chronicles 12:15a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronunced KEHLleh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective

Strong's #428 BDB #41

hêm (ם ֵה) [pronounced haym]

they, those; themselves; these [with the definite article]

3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun

Strong’s #1992 BDB #241

ăsher (רשֲא) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

׳âbar (ר ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHR]

to pass over, to pass through, to pass on, to pass, to go over, to cross, to cross over

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #5674 BDB #716

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Yâredên (ן̤רָי) [pronounced yare-DAYN]

transliterated Jordan

proper noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3383 BDB #434

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

chôdesh (ש∵דֹח) [pronounced KHOH-desh]

new moon, month

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2320 BDB #294

rîshôwn (ןש̣ר) [pronounced ree-SHOWN]

first, chief, former, beginning

masculine singular adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #7223 BDB #911


Translation: These [are] those who crossed over the Jordan in the first month... The author is going to make an important point about these Gadites who chose to follow David. At the time that they made this decision, they were apparently in Gad, and they could have chosen to remain in Gad until a more convenient time. During the first month, we had a heavy period of rain, and these men could have rationalized remaining in Gad until movement was easier. However, they crossed over the Jordan River during a very difficult time.


1Chronicles 12:15b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

mâlê (א̤לָמ) [pronounced maw-LAY]

to fill, to make full, to fill up, to fulfill; to overflow

Piel participle

Strong's #4390 BDB #569

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

gâdâh (הָדָ) [pronounced gaw-DAW]

bank [of a river], shore

feminine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1415 [plural = #1428] BDB #152


Translation: ...when it was filling up over all its banks. The idea here is, not only was the river filled up to the banks, but it was overflowing its banks. Any river has a shoreline, and sometimes the river is below this shoreline and sometimes it goes above. In this case, the Jordan river was overflowing its banks because there had been so much rain. Not only could this be the rainy season, but they had been getting a superabundance of rain. Clarke suggests Footnote that this refers to the month Nisan, which is a portion of March and April, which could indicate that much of the snow of the mountains of Lebanon was beginning to melt, and that perhaps that was what caused or contributed to the flooding.


Not only does this make sense from a meteorological standpoint, but this also is in keeping with the geography of Israel. David, at this time, would be moving from place to place in the region of the Dead Sea (1Sam. 23:14 24:1).


1Chronicles 12:15c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bârach (ח -רָ) [pronounced baw-RAHKH]

to pass [go] through, to cause to flee; to put to flight

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #1272 BDB #137

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

׳emeq (ק מ ע) [pronounced ĢEH-mek]

valley, vale, lowland, deepening, depth

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6010 BDB #770

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

mizerâch (חָר׃ז ̣מ) [pronounced mize-RAHKH]

eastward, east, place of sun rising

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4217 BDB #280

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ma׳ărâb (בָרֲע -מ) [pronounced mah-guh-RAWBV]

west; (merchandise, market)

masculine singular noun (this is a homonym); with the definite article

Strong’s #4628 BDB #788


Translation: In fact [lit., and so], all [those in] the valleys to the east and to the west were caused to flee. At this point we are speaking of the inhabitants of the valley, and not of the Gadites in this passage. All of the valleys is a metonym for those who lived in the valleys alongside the River Jordan. At the time that the Gadites crossed over the Jordan, the Jordan had overflowed so much that those who lived to the east and to the west of the Jordan, in the low-lying areas, had to flee their homes and farms, as the river was overflowing and flooding them out.


My less than literal translation might give us a better sense of this verse: These [the Gadite officers] are the very men who crossed over the Jordan River during the first month when it was overflowing all of it banks. In fact, those who lived in the valleys on both sides of the river were caused to flee at this time (because of the serious flooding). The fact that these men risked their lives crossing the Jordan indicates their heroism and dedication.


One of the more ridiculous interpretations given is, the people along side of the Jordan mistook these men for enemies and headed for the hills. Footnote It is also suggested that they deserted their homes because the Philistines, after defeating Saul, moved in to take them. However, the context of this verse is that these Gadites crossed over the Jordan River, despite the fact that it was overflowing its banks—so much so, that those in the nearby valleys had to evacuate. That just seems to be a much more logical explanation.


Barnes suggests that the passage we have been studying—particularly 1Chron. 12:8–15—was copied directly from some ancient record, as the style is poetic and so unlike the style of the writer of Chronicles (and Barnes notes vv. 8 and 14 in particular). Footnote


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Men who Came to David when in the Stronghold of Engedi

1Samuel 23:29


And so come from sons of Benjamin and Judah as far as to the stronghold to David.

1Chronicles

12:16

Also, [men] from the tribes [lit., sons] of Benjamin and Judah came to David at his stronghold.

Also, men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah came to David when he was at his desert fortress.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so come from sons of Benjamin and Judah as far as to the stronghold to David.

Septuagint                              And there came some of the sons of Benjamin and Juda to the assistance of David.

 

Significant differences:           The Latin and the Hebrew are identical; the Syriac reads that they came to the camp of David and the Greek has them coming to the assistance of David.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       One time a group of men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah went to the fortress where David was staying.

The Message                         There were also men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah who joined David in his wilderness fortress.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to David at the fortified camp.

HCSB                                     Other Benjaminites and men from Judah also went to David at the stronghold.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David.

Young's Updated LT              And there come of the sons of Benjamin and Judah unto the stronghold to David.


What is the gist of this verse? When David was at another fairly well-established stronghold, men from Benjamin and Judah came to him.


1Chronicles 12:16a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Bineyâmîn (ן  ̣מָינ  ̣) [pronounced bin-yaw-MIN]

transliterated Benjamin, it means son of [my] right hand

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1144 BDB #122

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

Yehûwdâh (הָדהי) [pronounced yehoo-DAW]

possibly means to praise, to be praised; and is transliterated Judah

masculine proper noun/location

Strong’s #3063 BDB #397


Translation: Also, [men] from the tribes [lit., sons] of Benjamin and Judah came... When David was in the stronghold of Judah (Masada?), men from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah came to him. Recall that Benjamin was Saul’s tribe, so this was a particularly shaky thing for them to do.


1Chronicles 12:16b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Most translations render these two prepositions as to (ESV, NASB, KJV, LTHB, MKJV, Tanakh, WEB); a few redner the combination at (God’s Word, NAB, NJB, REB); and one of them as far as (The Emphasized Bible). Where this is rendered at, the translation invariably reads ...came to David at the stronghold.

metsâd (ד ָצ  ׃מ) [pronounced me-TSAWD]

the top or summit [of a mountain]; a fortress, a mountain castle; a stronghold; secure hiding place

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4679 BDB #844

Owen lists this as a masculine singular noun, even though it is exactly the same as we find in v. 8 (one vowel point is slightly different).

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: ...to David at his stronghold. You will recall that for some time, David had a place in Judah, possibly even at the mountain later known as Masada, where he stayed and was relatively safe from Saul. However, as nice as that theory seems, there were a number of Jebusites in Jerusalem, which David had to later conquer, so it is not as likely that David could have simply taken that particular area all to himself. It is my opinion that this is different than the stronghold mentioned in v. 8, just as the men from Benjamin who come to David are different than those mentioned in v. 2. In any case, people did know where David was and they came to him there.


And so goes out David to their faces and so he answers and so he says, “If to peace you have come unto me to help me, is to me upon you all a mind to unity; and if to beguile me to my adversaries, in not violence in my hands, sees a Elohim of our fathers and He resolves [the conflict].”

1Chronicles

12:17

Then David went out before them, spoke loudly, and he said, “If in peace you have come to me—to help me, [my] mind [lit., a mind in regard to me] is united with [lit., upon] you; and if [you are here] to betray me to my adversaries, with no violence in my hands, the Elohim of our fathers sees and He will resolve [our disagreement].”

Then David went out before these men, and loudly said, “If you have come to me in peace, to help me, then we will be united; however, if you came here to betray me to my adversaries, even though I have shown you no violence, then the God of our fathers will see your actions and judge between us.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And David went out to meet them, and said: If you are come peaceably to me to help me, let my heart be joined to you: but if you plot against me for my enemies whereas I have no iniquity in my hands, let the God of our fathers see, and judge.

Masoretic Text                       And so goes out David to their faces and so he answers and so he says, “If to peace you have come unto me to help me, is to me upon you all a mind to unity; and if to beguile me to my adversaries, in not violence in my hands, sees a Elohim of our fathers and He resolves [the conflict].”

Septuagint                              And David went out to meet them, and said to them, If ye are come peaceably to me, let my heart be at [lit., by or according to itself] peace with you: but if ye are come to betray me to my enemies unfaithfully [lit., not in truth of hand], the God of your fathers look upon it, and reprove it.

 

Significant differences:           There are two verbs in the Hebrew for speaking; the Greek pares this down to one verb. If their intentions are peaceful is two verbs in the Hebrew; one in the Greek (yet, it conveys the same meaning again).

 

There is a real difference where David says that there is no violence in his hands in the Hebrew; but this is rendered as an adverb in the Greek (unfaithfully). As you can observe, the Latin and Hebrew are in agreement (as they often are).


Allow me to insert a remark here: there is this fiction going around that someone got to the Bible and made all of these wholesale changes to it; and, most often, the Catholic Church is blamed for this. First of all, the Catholic Church allows the pope to speak ex-cathedra, meaning that he can make doctrinal pronouncements which, so many, overrules Scripture. So, there is no reason for them to make any changes to the Bible. Furthermore, if you have examined more than one chapter with me, you can see just how closely the Latin and Hebrew text are aligned. Only the most closed-minded person, if they actually examined the evidence, would ever make such a claim that someone changed the Scripture or that the Catholic Church got in there and made all kinds of changes to the Bible. That is simply not true. Now, there are a lot of evil things that the Catholic Church has done throughout its history, but, for the most part, they did not go into the Bible and alter passages in order to develop whatever kind of doctrine they wanted to develop.


The Bible had several different groups of people who preserved it. The Jews preserved the Old Testament; early Christians preserved the New Testament and, to some degree, the Old. Various splinter groups kept libraries of the Old Testament (the Dead Sea Scrolls, for instance). The Catholics translated the Bible into Latin and preserved that text. Certain Christians clung to the Greek version of the Old Testament, as this is what they could read and understand. In case you did not know, Muslims believe that the books of Moses and other Old Testament books are inspired, and they have early Arabic translations which they preserved over the years. Footnote My point is, you have a variety of groups—even groups who were in opposition to one another—who have gone out of their way to preserve Scripture, and what they have preserved is essentially the same. This particular verse is a good example of some serious textual differences. However, when all is said and done, the textual differences between the Greek and Hebrew are insignificant. They have no effect upon the meaning of the passage or upon any major or minor doctrine.


Where do we get these stories that the Catholic church or some other entity came along and made all these incredible changes to the Bible so that the doctrines that they like are in the Bible? We usually hear this from people who have absolutely no background in historical literature, who know nothing about the preservation of Scripture, the languages of Scripture, etc. Essentially, they do not like the message of the Bible themselves; they do not want there to be this Book of God out there that they must pay need to; therefore, they simply say, “It was just written by men, and the Catholic Church came along and later changed a bunch of it so that it would agree with the doctrines that they taught.” If such a person had even a little background in the preservation of Scripture, they would not make such foolish statements.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David met them outside and said, "If you are coming as friends to fight on my side, then stay and join us. But if you try to turn me over to my enemies, the God our ancestors worshiped will punish you, because I have done nothing wrong."

The Message                         When David went out to meet them, this is what he said: "If you have come in peace and to help me, you are most welcome to join this company; but if you have come to betray me to my enemies, innocent as I am, the God of our ancestors will see through you and bring judgment on you."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         David went to meet them. He told them, "If you've come to help me as friends would, then you may join me. But if you've come to betray me to my enemies, even though I haven't committed a crime, may the God of our ancestors see this and judge you."

HCSB                                     David went out to meet them and said to them, "If you have come in peace to help me, my heart will be united with you, but if you have come to betray me to my enemies even though my hands have done no wrong, may the God of our ancestors look on it and judge."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       David went out to meet them and said to them, "If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you."

LTHB                                     And David went out before them, and answered and said to them, If you have come to me for peace, to help me, I have a heart to unite with yours. But if to betray me to my foe, there is no violence in my hand; the God of our fathers shall see and reprove.

Young’s Updated LT             And David goes out before them, and answers and says to them, “If for peace you have come in unto me, to help me, I have a hear to unite with you; and if to betray me to mine adversaries—without violence in my hands—the God of our fathers sees and reproves.”


What is the gist of this verse? David goes out and speaks to these men from Benjamin and Judah, and feels them out. He tells them that he will unite with this if they have come to him in peace; and that God would judge them if they came with the intention of betraying him.


1Chronicles 12:17a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâtsâ (אָצָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces countenance; presence

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular); with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean before them, before their faces, in their presence, in their sight, in front of them.


Translation: Then David went out before them,... What has happened is, a number of men from Benjamin and Judah have shown up to David’s place on Masada (I am assuming that is where he is; it is a stronghold in the wilderness somewhere). They come to him in peace, but David is somewhat suspicious. Recall that the tribe of Benjamin is the tribe of Saul and that Saul brought in a number of Benjamites into his army and royal cabinet. Benjamin is adjacent to Judah, so he would have annexed some men of Judah to his army as well. Therefore, when men from Benjamin and Judah come to David, he is not completely trusting of them.


This is completely in line with the time that David spent in Judah, moving from hiding place to hiding place (1Sam. 23–26). Saul was after David; men who should have been grateful to David often turned him in, contacting Saul to tell Saul where David was. So, when approached by a number of Benjamites and Judahites, David is naturally going to be suspicious. Is Saul looking to infiltrate his force, attacked, and then move against David from the inside out? That is certainly a reasonable fear (and I don’t mean fear in the sense of a mental attitude sin, but simply in the sense of David being sensible and reasonable).


It is interesting that David goes out personally to meet with these men. Realize that he probably has a bounty on his head, and that any man who kills him has probably a number of things promised to him from Saul. Possibly, David has already had these men interviewed by his trusted allies with him; but, at this point, he goes out to interview these men personally.


1Chronicles 12:17b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳ânâh (הָנָע) [pronounced ģaw-NAWH]

to answer, to respond; to speak loudly, to speak up [in a public forum]; to testify; to sing, to chant, to sing responsively

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6030 BDB #772

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle, but also functions as an interrogative particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shâlôwm (םל ָש) or shâlôm (םֹלָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

2nd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: ...spoke loudly, and he said, “If in peace you have come to me—... David is either speaking loudly to these men, or they have offered him their alliance, which words are not recorded, and he is responding to what they have said. David will set up two alternative hypothetical statements, each of which he will answer with a logical result. The first option is that these men have come to David in peace.


1Chronicles 12:17c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âzar (רַזָע) [pronounced ģaw-ZAHR]

to help, to aid

Qal infinitive construct with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #5826 BDB #740


Translation: ...to help me,... The reason that these men have come to David is continued: not only have they come in peace, but they have come to help him. David is in a situation to where he must somehow support himself and the men who have joined to him; yet, at the same time, avoid Saul and Saul’s continual attacks against him.


1Chronicles 12:17d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 1st person singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

lêbab (בַבֵל) [pronounced lay-BAHBV]

mind, inner man, inner being, heart

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3824 BDB #523

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yachad (ד-ח-י) [pronounced yah-khahd]

union, joined together, unitedness, together, in unity

masculine singular noun/adverb

Strong’s #3162 BDB #403


Translation:...[my] mind [lit., a mind in regard to me] is united with [lit., upon] you;... This is a little stiff, and I am wondering if this masculine singular noun is not really a Qal infinitive construct. Even taken in that way, the two prepositions are rather difficult to interpret. We understand the general idea here: David will be united in thinking with these men. However, the prepositional phrases mean ...with regards to me upon [beside?] you... What several translations do is interpret to me as ownership or as belonging to me; affixed to mind, it means my mind, my thinking. That makes this portion of Scripture make a little more sense. Gill suggests the saying, our hearts will be as one. This is not a literal translation, by any means, but it probably conveys what David is saying.


1Chronicles 12:17e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

îm (ם ̣א) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle, but also functions as an interrogative particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

râmâh (הָמָר) [pronounced raw-MAW]

to beguile, to deceive, to mislead, to deal treacherously with, to betray

Piel infinitive construct with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #7411 BDB #941

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

tsar (ר ַצ) [pronounced tsar]

an adversary, an enemy; narrow, tight and therefore, distress, affliction, intense distress [caused by an adversary]

masculine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #6862 BDB #865


Translation: ...and if [you are here] to betray me to my adversaries,... David begins the hypothetical to introduce the other alternative. “Let’s just say that you men all showed up to eventually betray me to Saul” (or to anyone else who was against David at this time). He will lead into a different outcome. However, you will notice that, rather than threaten these men, David’s outcomes is much different than one would expect a fugitive to say.


1Chronicles 12:17f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

The bêyth preposition and the negative particle lô together, they literally mean in not. However, in actual usage, they mean with not, without and, with respect to time, in not, outside of, before. Interestingly enough, these two particles are generally joined together in poetry.

châmâç (סָמָח) [pronounced khaw-MAWS]

violence, wrong, cruelty, oppression; that which is gained by violence and wrong

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2555 BDB #329

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

kaph (ףַ) [pronounced kaf]

palm, hollow or flat of the hand, sole of the foot; bowl, spoon

feminine plural noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #3709 BDB #496

These nouns are tied together because of the fact that they are concave.


Translation: ...with no violence in my hands... This is a bit more difficult to determine—is David saying that, he has committed no violence or is he saying, I would commit no violence? This and the previous phrase read: ...and if [you are here] to betray me to my adversaries, with no violence in my hands... Saul has accused David of sedition, but David has committed no violence against Saul, his sons, his army or Israel. These men have shown up to David and he has done them no violence. Furthermore, what appears to be the case is, David would not show them any violence, as he would let God determine and judge, as we find out in the next portion of this verse.


1Chronicles 12:17g

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

rââh (ה ָאָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect apocopated form

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods or God; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

âb (ב ָא) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâkach (חַכָי) [pronounced yaw-KAHK]

when there is a dispute involved: to hammer out a decision or an agreement, to resolve a conflict, to render a decision; to argue, to dispute

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect; apocopated form

Strong’s #3198 BDB #406

When there is no dispute involved, this word means: it means to correct, to rebuke, to refute, to reprove.


Translation: ...the Elohim of our fathers sees and He will resolve [our disagreement].” David tells them the end result of their betraying him: “The God of our fathers will see all of this and he will make a proper judgment and resolve our dispute.” David trusted God to intercede and to deal with these men, if they were there simply to betray him.

 

Wesley adds: He calls God, the God of our fathers, both his fathers and theirs; thus he reminds them, not to deal ill with him; for they were both descendents from the same patriarchs, and servants of the same God. And thus he encourages himself to believe, that God would right him, if he was abused. For he was the God of his fathers; therefore a blessing was entailed upon him: and a God to all Israel in particular, as well as a Judge to all the earth. Footnote


And a Spirit clothed Amasai head of the thirty. “To you, David ben Jesse, peace; peace to you and peace to your helpers for has helped you Elohim.” And so receives them David and so gives them in heads of the troop.

1Chronicles

12:18

The Spirit came upon [lit., clothed] Amasai, head of the thirty, [and he said], “Peace to you, David ben Jesse, peace to you; and peace to your helpers, for Elohim has helped you.” Therefore, David received them and he made [lit., gave] them as [or, set them before (with) the] heads of the division.

The Spirit came upon Amasai, head of the thirty, and he said, “Peace to you, David son of Jesse, peace to you; and peace to those who help you, for God has helped you.” Therefore, David received these men and he set them with the heads of the division.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          But the spirit came upon Amasai the chief among thirty, and he said: “We are yours, O David, and for you, O son of Isai: peace, peace be to you, and peace to your helpers. For your God helps you.” So David received them, and made them captains of the band.

Masoretic Text                       And a Spirit clothed Amasai head of the thirty. “To you, David ben Jesse, peace; peace to you and peace to your helpers for has helped you Elohim.” And so receives them David and so gives them in heads of the troop.

Peshitta                                  Then the Spirit of might came upon Amasa, the son of Jatar, chief of the thirty, and he answered and said to David, “Come on, David, come on, O son of Jesse! I am also with you, peace be to you, be not afraid, and peace will be given to you from your helpers; for your God is your helper in every hour.” Then David received them, and he made them captains of the army. The Peshita adds that Amasa is the son of Jatar and the additional phrase and he answered. What Amasa says is very talky in the Syriac. What is one word and a suffix in the Hebrew, is over a half-dozen words in the Syriac. The Syriac also adds the words n every hour.

Septuagint                              And the Spirit clothed Amasai, a captain of the thirty, and he said, “Go, David, son of Jesse, you and your people, peace, peace be to you, and peace to your helpers, for your God has helped you.” And David received them, and made them captains of the forces.

 

Significant differences:           We have assumed that what we have here is primarily a quote from Amasai to David, even though and he said is not found in the Hebrew (however, it is found in the Greek, Latin and Syriac). The first word or words spoken by Amasai are different in each ancient tongue (which could simply indicate a misunderstanding of the Hebrew). There are so many differences in the Syriac, that I have dealt with them above.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Amasai, who later became the leader of the Thirty Warriors, was one of these men who went to David. God's Spirit took control of him, and he said, "We will join you, David son of Jesse! You and your followers will always be successful, because God fights on your side." So David agreed to let them stay, and he even put them in charge of his soldiers who raided enemy villages.

The Message                         Just then Amasai chief of the Thirty, moved by God's Spirit, said, We're on your side, O David, We're committed, O son of Jesse; All is well, yes, all is well with you, And all's well with whoever helps you. Yes, for your God has helped and does help you. So David took them on and assigned them a place under the chiefs of the raiders.

REB                                       At that a spirit took possession of [lit., clothed itself with] Amasai, the chief of the thirty, and he said [and he said in Greek; omitted by the Hebrew]:

‘We are on your side, David!

We are with you, son of Jesse!

All prosperity to you

and ot him who helps you,

for your God is your helper.’

So David welcomed them and attached them to the columns of his raiding parties.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Then the Spirit gave Amasai, the leader of the thirty, the strength to say, "We are yours, David. We are with you, son of Jesse. Success, success to you! Success to those who help you, because your God is helping you." So David welcomed them and made them officers over his troops.

HCSB                                     Then the Spirit took control of Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said: We are yours, David, we are with you, son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to him who helps you, for your God helps you. So David received them and made them leaders of his troops.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     And the Spirit came on Amasai, chief of the Thirty. And he said, We are yours, David, and on your side, son of Jesse. Peace, peace be on you, and peace on your helpers. For your God has helped you. And David received them and made them captains of the band.

Young’s Updated LT             And the Spirit has clothed Amasai, head of the captains: “To you, O David, and with you, O son of Jesse—peace! peace to you, and peace to your helper, for your God has helped you.” And David receives them, and put them among the heads of the troop.


What is the gist of this verse? The Holy Spirit inspired Amasai as he spoke to David. He first wishes peace upon David and his men, and indicates that he knows that God has helped and guided David. David believes him and receives these men, and places them in positions of authority.


1Chronicles 12:18a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rûwach (ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh]

wind, breath, spirit, apparition

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #7307 BDB #924

lâbash (ש-בָל) [pronounced law-BAHSH]

to put on, to clothe, to be clothed, to wear

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3847 BDB #527

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

׳Ămâsay (י-ָמֲע) [pronounced ģuh-maw-SAH-ee]

burdensome; transliterated Amasai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6022 BDB #772

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

head, top, chief, front, choicest

masculine singular construct

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

shelôshîym (םי.שֹלש) [pronounced shelow-SHEEM]

thirty

plural numeral with the definite article

Strong’s #7970 BDB #1026


Translation: The Spirit came upon [lit., clothed] Amasai, head of the thirty,... This band of 30 men had Amasai as their spokesman. Even though 30 are not mentioned, this means either (1) there are 30 men who have come to David, or (2) this term, head of 30, is a general term, which is not to be understood as referring to 30 men exactly. In war, a lieutenant might begin a battle with 35 men under him, and, at the end of the battle, have 29 men. He would still have the rank head of 30 throughout the battle. My thinking is, this is the better explanation for this phrase.


There is an Amasa who sides with Absalom against David in 2Sam. 17:25; and some say that we do not know if this is the same man or not. However, the Amasa who will side with Absalom is David’s nephew (see 2Sam. 20 1Chron. 2:17). It would not make sense for David to be suspicious of a group of men coming to him led by his own nephew. For this reason, we must assume that this is not Amasa, David’s nephew.


1Chronicles 12:18b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yîshay (י ָש̣י) [pronounced yee-SHAH-ee]

transliterated Jesse

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3448 BDB #445

shâlôwm (םל ָש) or shâlôm (םֹלָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022

shâlôwm (םל ָש) or shâlôm (םֹלָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...[and he said], “Peace to you, David ben Jesse, peace to you;... We have the repetition of the word peace as well as the lâmed preposition. It is almost poetical here. I have placed the lâmed prepositions individually with the words peace. Amasai knows exactly who David is, and he makes it clear that he wishes peace and tranquility to David; he wishes for David to remain in a peaceful, unagitated state. His showing up there was not in any way meant to disturb David.


Because the 2nd person masculine singular suffix is found several times, we must assume that Amasai is speaking to David. In the Syriac, Greek and Latin, it is clear that he is speaking to David; in the Hebrew, we must infer that.


1Chronicles 12:18c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâlôwm (םל ָש) or shâlôm (םֹלָש) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳âzar (רַזָע) [pronounced ģaw-ZAHR]

helper, one who aids; an ally

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #5826 BDB #740


Translation: ...and peace to your helpers,... Amasai wishes peace to the men who are with David, who help him. David used this verb in the previous verse, so Amasai uses it when responding to David. For all of those who have come to help David, Amasai wishes peace to them.


1Chronicles 12:18d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

׳âzar (רַזָע) [pronounced ģaw-ZAHR]

to help, to aid

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5826 BDB #740

ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods or God; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: ...for Elohim has helped you.” Amasai wishes peace to David as he recognizes that God has preserved and guided David, despite Saul’s persecution. This is important that Amasai says this, as this tells David that he is a man of God, a believer in Jesus Christ.


Again, we find the verb to help here, which might be seen as the key word in this chapter, as it is found nearly 10 times (vv. 1, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22). Interestingly enough, one of the men who has come to help David has the name Ezer, which means to help (v. 9). This entire chapter is about those who have come to David to help him.


1Chronicles 12:18e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qâbal (ל-בָק) [pronounced kaw-BAHL]

to receive, to take

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6901 BDB #867

The Hiphil form of this verb appears to have a completely different meaning.


Translation: Therefore, David received them... After listening to the Amasai says, David accepts these men, with a lot less suspicion. He recognizes that these are men who have been moved by God.


1Chronicles 12:18f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâthan (ן ַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; among, in the midst of; at, by, near, on, before, in the presence of, upon; with; to, unto, upon, up to; in respect to, on account of; by means of, about, concerning

primarily a preposition of proximity; however, it has a multitude of functions

No Strong’s # BDB #88

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

heads, princes, officers, captains, chiefs; company, band, division

masculine plural construct

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

gedûwd (דד) [pronounced geDOOD]

troop, band [of soldiers], division, detachment; an incision, cutting [of the skin]; furrow [of a field]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1416 (& #1417–1418) BDB #151


Translation: ...and he made [lit., gave] them as [or, set them before (with) the] heads of the division. This final phrase is a bit difficult. The verb found here is translated about 80 different ways in the KJV, but it primarily means to give or to place. This is followed by the bêyth preposition, which primarily means in, into. The two together have no specific meaning listed; therefore, determining the exact meaning is difficult. My thinking is, he placed them with the heads of the troops, meaning they automatically were given high-ranking positions. At first, those who were somewhat malcontent hooked up with David; however, these are well-trained and battle-hardened military men; they don’t start out as grunts and work their way up; David recognizes their skill and experience and places them in positions of authority.


Application: There are times and places where someone with great experience and background comes to a new position, and yet, their responsibilities do not reflect their background. That is, their new supervisor arrogantly has determined, “They will have to prove themselves to me first.” David did not take that approach; these men quickly became heads of divisions. By the way, if you are the person with the great experience and background, and you move to a different workplace, bear in mind that you don’t get to demand a position of power and/or prestige. That is in the hands of your new boss.


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Men who Came to David when Returning to Ziklag

1Samuel 29:11


And from Manasseh had fallen upon David in his coming with the Philistines against Saul to the battle. And he did not help them for in counsel had turned him away rulers of Philistines, to say, “In our heads he will fall unto his adonai Saul.”

1Chronicles

12:19

And [some men] from Manasseh had desert to [lit., upon] David when he had come with the Philistines to battle against Saul (he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines, by mutual agreement [lit., by counsel], saying, “He will return [lit., fall to] his lord Saul with our heads”).

Some men from Manasseh also deserted Israel for David at the time that David had come up with the Philistines to war against Saul (however, David did not help the Philistines, as they counseled together and said, “David will attack us in order to return to his master, Saul”).


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And there were some of Manasses that went over to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to fight: but he did not fight with them: because the lords of the Philistines taking counsel sent him back, saying: With the danger of our heads he will return to his master Saul.

Masoretic Text                       And from Manasseh had fallen upon David in his coming with the Philistines against Saul to the battle. And they did not help them for in counsel had turned him away rulers of Philistines, to say, “In our heads he will fall unto his adonai Saul.”

Septuagint                              And [some] came to David from Manasse, when the Philistines came against Saul to war: and he helped them not, because the captains of the Philistines took counsel, saying, “With the heads of those men will he return to his master Saul.”

 

Significant differences:           The difference of the first verb was probably a matter of trying to give a reasonable Greek translation to the Hebrew. In the Greek, we have a verb (to take) where the Hebrew has a preposition instead (in). Again, the difference is probably a matter of translation. The final verb difference is likely also a translational difference, rather than a difference of manuscripts.

 

The Latin, in some of those same places, seems to make some translational choices as well.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Some of the warriors who joined David were from the tribe of Manasseh. They had earlier gone with David when he agreed to fight on the side of the Philistines against King Saul. But as soon as the Philistine rulers realized that David might turn against them and rejoin Saul, they sent David away to the town of Ziklag.

The Message                         Some from the tribe of Manasseh also defected to David when he started out with the Philistines to go to war against Saul. In the end, they didn't actually fight because the Philistine leaders, after talking it over, sent them home, saying, "We can't trust them with our lives--they'll betray us to their master Saul."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Some men from Manasseh had deserted Saul's army to join David when he went with the Philistines to attack Saul. (However, David didn't help the Philistines because their rulers sent him away after considering the matter. They said, "It will cost us our heads when he deserts and joins his master Saul.")

HCSB                                     Some Manassites defected to David when he went with the Philistines to fight against Saul. However, they did not help the Philistines because the Philistine rulers, following consultation, sent David away. They said, "It will be our heads if he defects to his master Saul."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Some of the men of Manasseh deserted to David when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul. (Yet he did not help them, for the rulers of the Philistines took counsel and sent him away, saying, "At peril to our heads he will desert to his master Saul.")

WEB                                      Of Manasseh also there fell away some to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they didn't help them; for the lords of the Philistines on advise sent him away, saying, He will fall away to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.

Young’s Updated LT             And of Manasseh there have fallen unto David in his coming with the Philistines against Israel to battle—and they helped them not, for by counsel the princes of the Philistines sent him away, saying, “With our heads he does fall unto his master Saul.”


What is the gist of this verse? When David is about to join up with the Philistines to war against Israel, some men from Manasseh join up with him. The author-editor of Chronicles reminds us that David did not actually go to war against Israel with the Philistines, because the Philistine generals discussed the matter and determined that it would be too risky to trust David as loyal to the Philistines.


1Chronicles 12:19a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Menashsheh (ה∵-נ מ) [pronounced mehn-ahsh-SHEH]

transliterated Manasseh

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #4519 DB #586

nâphal (לַפָנ) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply; to desert

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

Extended Qal meanings: to fall [to the ground, in battle], to die, to die a violent death; a man felled [by sickness]; [a building] falling down [in decay]; about to fall, about to come to ruin; [a fetus] falling out [or, being born, being aborted]; to fall away [used of members of a body]; [a face being] cast down [in sorrow], to fall down, to come down [from heaven], to descend; [sleep, terror, calamity] to fall upon [anyone]; to throw onself, to cast onself; to rush upon; to fall prostrate, to prostrate oneself; to fall upon someone [in affection]; to fall upon [an enemy], to attack; to alight [from a beast or chariot], to let oneself down; to encamp [as an army]; [a prayer] to fall before [someone for consideration, to be heard]; to fall away, to desert, to defect. Footnote I hope that the relationship is clear between the basic meaning, to fall, and the extended understanding of this verb.

This verb used to mean to desert, to defect in 1Sam. 29:3 1Chron. 12:19 Jer. 37:13 38:19.

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

Dâvid (ד̣וָ); also Dâvîyd (די.וָ) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: And [some men] from Manasseh had deserted to [lit., upon] David... Recall that there are two Manasseh’s—east and west Manasseh. When the Philistines gathered to war against Israel, they tended to gather in the north-central vicinity. What we have here is a gathering of the Philistines, which will also include David. Since they are in the north central area, they would be close to Manasseh. Somehow, it became known that David was in this general vicinity, and men from Manasseh (probably, west Manasseh) found David and joined up with him. It is even possible that these were men who had been called upon by Saul to go to war against the Philistines. We would be speculating as to determine the exact nature of their relationship to Saul and the army of Israel.


1Chronicles 12:19b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

bôw (א) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

׳îm (ם̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

masculine plural gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun) with the definite article

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

Shâûwl (לאָש) [pronounced shaw-OOL]

which is transliterated Saul; it means asked for

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #7586 BDB #982

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

milechâmâh (הָמָח׃ל ̣מ) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536


Translation: ...when he had come with the Philistines to battle against Saul... You may recall this from our study of David in 1Sam. 29, when David found himself in a moral dilemma. He was living in Philistine territory, with the blessings of the King of Gath, which meant that David owed some loyalty to the Philistines. Therefore, when they were going to go to war against Israel, David was, in one way, obligated to join them, as he was allied with the Philistines. Achish, King of Gath, asked David to join him, so David and his small army rode up with Achish. Whether or not David had some inner conflict about this is unknown to us.


1Chronicles 12:19c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

׳âzar (רַזָע) [pronounced ģaw-ZAHR]

to help, to aid

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5826 BDB #740

Although Owen lists this as a 3rd person plural verb, I am pretty sure that it is a 3rd person masculine singular verb.


Translation: ...(he did not help them,... We are reminded that David did not actually help the Philistines war against Saul. The book of Chronicles looks back on events which have occurred and records a few things here and there. Here, the author simply reminds us that David did not end up actually fighting against Israel.


1Chronicles 12:19d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

׳êtsâh (ה ָצ ֵע) [pronounced ģay-TZAW]

counsel, advice, wisdom, purpose

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6098 BDB #420

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send off, to send away, to dismiss, to give over, to cast out, to let go, to set free, to shoot forth [branches], to shoot [an arrow]

3rd person plural, Piel perfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

çerânîym (ןרס) [pronounced se-RAW-neem]

warlords, lords, princes, czars, generals, officers; officials, VIP’s

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #5633 BDB #710

Pelishetîy (י. ש ̣ל) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

masculine plural gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun) with the definite article

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814


Translation: ...for the rulers of the Philistines, by mutual agreement [lit., by counsel],... Although Achish had complete trust in David, the other Philistine rulers were suspicious. They gathered and discussed the matter and came to a clear consensus.


1Chronicles 12:19e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

be () [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

rôsh (שאֹר) [pronounced rohsh]

heads, princes, officers, captains, chiefs; company, band, division

masculine plural noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

nâphal (לַפָנ) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply; to desert

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ădônây (יָנֹדֱא) [pronounced uh-doh-NAY]

lord, master, owner, superior, sovereign; can refer to the trinity or to an intensification of the noun; transliterated Adonai