2Samuel 8

 

2Samuel 8:1–18

The Wars of David


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


Outline of Chapter 8:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–2           David Defeats the Philistines and the Moabites

         vv.     3–8           David Defeats Hadadezer and the Syrians

         vv.     9–12         Toi, King of Hamath, Congratulates David

         vv.    13–14         David’s Defeat of the Edomites

         vv.    15–18         David’s Royal Cabinet

 

Addendum


Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         An Alternate Outline from Matthew Henry

         Introduction         An Alternate Outline from Warren Wiersbe

         Introduction         Some Points on War

         Introduction         What is a Righteous War?

         v.       1              Israel and the Philistines

         v.       1              Israel and the Philistines Continued

         v.       1              Translations of 2Samuel 8:1d

         v.       1              Interpretations of Metheg-ʾAmmâh

         v.       2              Israel and her Enemies; the Divine Perspective

         v.       2              What Does this Mean: “Two lots to kill and a complete lot to keep alive”?

         v.       2              The Prophecies of Balaam

         v.       3              A Map of David’s Israel

         v.       4              The Textual Problems of 2Samuel 8:4

         v.       4              Charioteers, Chariots or Horses?

         v.       4              “Do not multiply horses to yourself.”

         v.       5              Fausset on Damascus

         v.       5              Easton on Damascus

         v.       9              A Map Showing Hamath

         v.      10              The Joram’s of Scripture

         v.      12              What is the Problem with 2Samuel 8:12–14?

         v.      12              What Shows up Where?

         v.      12              Why is this Edom instead of Aram?

         v.      12              The Keil and Delitzsch Solution

         v.      12              The Abbreviated Doctrine of Moab and Ammon

         v.      12              Map of the Countries around Israel

         v.      12              Summary of the Doctrine of the Amalekites

         v.      13              Why Edom and not Aram in 2Samuel 8:13?

         v.      13              David Versus the Edomites

         v.      13              The Valley of Salt

         v.      13              The Problems with 2Samuel 8:13 and its Parallel Passages

         v.      13              Gill Reconciles these Passages

         v.      13              Keil and Delitzsch Reconcile these Passages

         v.      14              2Samuel 8:6 Compared to 2Samuel 8:14

         v.      16              A Condensed View of Joab

         v.      17              Some Background on Zadok the Priest

         v.      17              The Doctrine of Abiathar—Part I

         v.      17              What is the Problem with Ahimelech, Abiathar and Zadok?

         v.      17              Theories as to Why is Ahimelech Listed as the Priest Here?

         v.      17              What Exactly is Seraiah’s Position?

         v.      18              The Benaiah’s of Scripture

         v.      18              Who are the Cherethites and the Pelethites?

 

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 8


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Joab

 

Doctrine of War

Amalekites

 

 

Moab and Ammon

Philistines

 

 

Zobah

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Psalm 20

 

Psalm 60

 

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

1Chron. 18

 

 

 


I was raised up in a church were a technical vocabulary was the order of the day. However, I recognize that not every person is familiar with many spiritual terms, and particularly not those of the church I attend.

Definition of Terms

Client Nation

Client-Nation, is a national entity in which a certain number of spiritually mature Christians (the salt of the earth) have formed a pivot sufficient to sustain the nation and through which God specifically protects this nation so that believers can fulfill the divine mandates of evangelism, communication and custodianship of Bible doctrine, providing a haven for Jews, and sending missionaries abroad. The United States is a client-nation to God. A client nation must have freedom: Freedom to seek God, freedom to use one’s own volition and self-determination to succeed or fail, freedom from anarchy and tyranny, freedom for evangelism, freedom for believers to hear Bible teaching without government interference and, therefore, to grow spiritually, and freedom to send missionaries to other nations.

Divine Good

This is the good which we produce in this world while empowered by God the Holy Spirit. This is not confined to certain spiritual activities like giving, going to church, doing missionary activity, etc. (in fact, apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit, those activities would be human good, making them temporary and burned at the Judgment Seat of Christ). When we are filled with the Spirit, certain works become permanent divine good, which are rewardable. As we increase the doctrinal content of our souls, the quality and quantity of divine good that we produce becomes greater.

Laws of Divine Establishment

God has ordained certain laws for the survival and freedom of the human race during the course of human history. Anarchy exists when segments of nations ignore these laws. The laws of divine establishment provide the freedom to fulfill the divine plan as ordained in the divine decrees under many types of government. The laws of divine establishment are designed and directed toward both believer and unbeliever. They operate from the fall of man to the second advent, as well as in the Millennium with some modification in compatibility with perfect environment. These laws can be ascertained by a study of certain passages, like Rom. 13; from the assumptions behind many of the parables which Jesus gave; and from an examination of Israel as a client nation to God.

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/_files/pdf/Doctrine_of_The_Divine_Decree.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d&sf=rea&did=28

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics/chastisement.html


An Introduction to 2Samuel 8


I ntroduction: 2Sam. 8 deals with the wars of David, 2Sam. 9 with David’s kindness to Mephibosheth, and 2Sam. 10 with David’s war against Ammon and Syria. It is an interesting set of narratives and certainly calls into question the exact order of events. At first, 2Sam. 8 sounds like a summation of the wars of David and that subsequent chapters may give us more details; however, so far, I have found nothing in subsequent chapters which seems to be an expansion of what is found in this chapter. We have a few things said about Ammon in this chapter, and a war against Ammon 2 chapters hence. The natural thing for me to want to place all of these events in a specific chronological order, and the Hebrew tends to suggest such an order. This chapter begins with the phrase And it happened afterward,... 2Sam. 10:1 begins with the phrase: And it happened after this,... There is similar phrasing in 2Sam. 13:1 15:1 and everything seems to run in a general chronological order all the way to 2Sam. 21. Assuming this, which is a reasonable assumption, we will have to reconcile David receiving monies from Ammon in this chapter and his war in Ammon in 2Sam. 10.


Let’s first get the big picture. In the previous chapter, David focused on the spiritual. Remember that Jesus urged us to “First seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33 Luke 12:31). The first thing on David’s mind was the Ark of God and that it was in storage. This required David to read and study the Law of Moses (in order to figure out how to move the Ark successfully (2Sam. 6 1Chron. 13, 15–16) which in turn led to great spiritual blessing from God (the Davidic Covenant in 2Sam. 7 and 1Chron. 17). Or, as Bob Thieme Jr. would put it, spiritual prosperity comes first and professional prosperity follows. Footnote In the Church Age, we are to focus first upon the Word of God, and then on our daily lives.


As a result of David’s focus, God promised David that He had been with David everywhere that he went and that God would make David a great name (he is one of the only kings prior to, say, 400 b.c. that anyone can name). God made this promise to David in 2Sam. 7:9—which reasonably looked forward as well as backward—and God fulfills His promises to David in 2Sam. 8, 10 (see specifically 2Sam. 8:6b, 13).


So that you can see how someone else organizes this chapter.

An Alternate Outline from Matthew Henry

David having sought first the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, settling the ark as soon as he was himself well settled, we are here told how all other things were added to him. Here is an account,...

 I. Of his conquests. He triumphed,

1. Over the Philistines (2Sam. 8:1).

2. Over the Moabites (2Sam. 8:2).

3. Over the king of Zobah (2Sam. 8:3, 2Sam. 8:4).

4. Over the Syrians (2Sam. 8:5–8, 2Sam. 8:13).

5. Over the Edomites (2Sam. 8:14).

II. Of the presents that were brought him and the wealth he got from the nations he subdued, which he dedicated to God (2Sam. 8:9–12).

III. Of his court, the administration of his government (2Sam. 8:15), and his chief officers (2Sam. 8:16–18). This gives us a general idea of the prosperity of David's reign.

I must admit that I do prefer the way that Henry has divided this chapter up. However, you will note that he cheated just a little bit by putting in vv. 13–14 in under section I. Had these verses followed vv. 1–8, then this chapter would have seemed more organized.

I should make two comments here: the Syrians found in v. 13 are actually Edomites (that will be explained when we get there); and there is probably an explanation for vv. 13–14 being where they are. I don’t know what that explanation is, but that is odd that they are there and do no follow vv. 1–8. At this point, this seems more like an oh, yeah moment in the writing of Samuel, as in, oh, yeah, David also defeated the Edomites.

From Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 8.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


One of the most logical outlines comes from Wiersbe’s commentary

An Alternate Outline from Warren Wiersbe

 I. David’s wars with those around Israel:

1. The Philistines to the west (2Sam. 8:1).

2. The Moabites to the east (2Sam. 8:2).

3. The king of Zobah and the Syrians to the north (2Sam. 8:3–13).

4. The Edomites to the south (2Sam. 8:12–14).

II. David’s administration in Jerusalem (2Sam. 8:9–12).

Although Wiersbe does not have this set up in an outline form, I adopted it from his section headings.

http://books.google.com/books?id=GgLq2LR_cFcC&pg=PA765&lpg=PA765&dq=redpath+bible+commentator&source=bl&ots=NSIAK6zLq2&sig=JCXGYD1krJ36w_briQWP4IuF6nc&hl=en&ei=ShrGSYyJKIHasAP94c33Bg&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=21&ct=result#PPA567,M1


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Part of what I like to be able to do is to peer into the thinking of the writer of Scripture, and understand his reasons for writing what he writes in the order that he writes it. Often, this is the key to understanding a psalm, so that, once one understands the outline and organization of the psalm, everything else falls into place. Unfortunately, what follows in the next 3 chapters seems to be a hodge-podge of events—wars covered in 2Sam. 8 and 10 and something else entirely different in 2Sam. 9. At first, we seem to have a summation verse, where David is receiving tribute from Edom, Moab, Ammon, Philistia and Amalek (2Sam. 8:11–12); and there are brief mentions of Moab, Philistia, Zobah and Aram in vv. 1–6; a brief mention of Edom in vv. 13–14; and then Ammon and Aram wars are covered in 2Sam. 10. My problem is, I do not see an over-arching theme or organization here. Obviously, David is dealing with war in chapter 8, but then he shows mercy to one of Saul’s grandsons in 2Sam. 9. It is as if these chapters are written years later, where a few events are recalled, but usually with one or two details. In 2Sam. 10, there will be more details given on one conflict, with both Aram and Ammon. However, in this chapter, a piece of this or that war is recalled; tribute is being paid by certain nations to David, and some of these conflicts are mentioned and others are not.


However, there is some continuity here. Jesus said, “First seek the kingdom of heaven and all things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:33). So this is what David did. He established his kingship over all Israel, and then pondered his spiritual responsibilities as King of Israel. Therefore, he brought the Ark into Jerusalem (2Sam. 6), he considered building the Temple in an established and powerful Israel (2Sam. 7:1–3), and God, instead of allowing David to build the Temple, gave him the Davidic Covenant, reminding David that He has been with David everywhere that David went (2Sam. 7:4–17). So essentially, God begins to fulfill the Davidic Covenant and to continue to be with David in all that he does (2Sam. 8). That is, God is with David everywhere that he goes and God gives David victory over enemy armies (2Sam. 8:6b, 14b).


Bear in mind, some writers of Scripture are not really writers at all. Take John and Peter, for example. These are fishermen by trade. John, in the Greek, has one of the simplest vocabularies of any writer of Scripture, revealing either a lack of education or that Greek is John’s 2nd language. Peter is hard to figure. Mark writes his gospel based upon his association with Peter; and Peter, being a man of action, recalls events more than he does conversations and relationships. However, Mark may have some background in writing or some training in writing, so we are not dependent upon Peter’s lack of skill in this area in the gospel of Mark. However, Peter writes two letters, and they are quite different in the Greek. Does the second letter mark Peter’s later days as a growing scholar or what accounts for the stylistic differences between these two epistles? I digress; my point is, many of the authors of Scripture are not professional authors. However, they are moved by God the Holy Spirit to write when God wants to be written, without laying aside their personal feelings, personality, vocabulary or style of writing (or, lack of style and organization). So, what we may have in these 3 chapters are a series of recollections, inserted into the book of Samuel or simply placed together, but without much thought to their complete lack of organization.


In the previous paragraph, I had a point to make, then began to wander off in another direction; and then stopped and brought myself back to the point. That’s not really good writing; it is more recording a disorganized stream of consciousness (if you only knew). That could be what we have here. David, after becoming king of Israel, may have had a lot going on. Remember that Satan hates God and God’s plan; and David is obviously a part of this. And Satan is going to be out there influencing every nation that he can to turn against Israel to go to war against David. This could mark a period of intense conflict which may last as long as a decade, where David is constantly at war with his neighbors. During this time, there is little thought given to recording Scripture. Some history might be chronicled in a different place; and the recording of Scripture may have been done as an afterthought, more or less to bring us up to date to take us to the Bathsheba incident, which will be organized carefully and chronologically.


When I first began to study this chapter, it seemed disorganized and confusing for several reasons. One of the chief reasons was, David is spoken of as killing 18,000 Syrians down at the Valley of Salt. Then, without taking a breath, we begin talking about David putting in garrisons in Edom. The problem here is, Syria (actually, Aram) is not the word which we should find here; it ought to be Edom. This restores some organization to this chapter. Furthermore, this is the only section (that about Edom) which seems a bit out of place. The author is speaking of the nations which David conquered and is collecting tribute (taxes) from, mentions Edom, and then has an oh, yeah moment, as in, oh, yeah, let me tell you a little about David defeating Edom.


Keil and Delitzsch suggest Footnote that we are seeing in this chapter a summation of all of the wars which David participated in throughout his entire reign.


Some assert that this chapter actually precedes 2Sam. 7 in time. This is because God gives David rest from all his enemies at every side (2Sam. 7:1). At the time this statement is made, David’s primary enemies appear to be the Philistines (they are the only ones name after David becomes king over all Israel). Although I believe that Samuel is roughly in chronological order, the idea that some of these conflicts may have occurred prior to 2Sam. 7 is not preposterous. This obviously appears to be a chapter which summarizes David’s principle conflicts (or, perhaps the principle conflicts of his first decade as king). There is certainly no way that these all took place over a year or two period of time. The lack of detail suggests that this chapter was recorded after the fact, with only a few details noted of most conflicts. Therefore, it does not seem to be out of the question for there to be some overlap between the giving of the Davidic Covenant and the conflicts herein noted.


In the past several decades, there has been an emergence of a very idealized view of life. There is a very significant portion of our population who believe that world peace can be achieved, and all we have to do is stop going to war. If we can reduce the size of our military and our cache of weapons, even better. Although so-called peace movements go back as far as time itself (they say, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace—Jer. 6:14), we had a resurgence of the peace movement in the 1960's. Although its size was over-exaggerated at the time and now as well, it was still a significant portion of our population—which, in the 1970's, caused Congress to stop funding the war in Vietnam, which caused our hasty retreat, which caused the horrendous deaths of 2,000,000–3,000,000 men, women and children in the region over the following few years (far more than were killed during the entirety of this 20 year war). Some of these were our allies, some were anti-Communists, and some simply were just in the way of the revolution. These peace activists in America have grown up and represent a significant portion of our population. They have also managed to infiltrate our schools so the what little U.S. history is taught is significantly slanted. So, these same people who put flowers in the barrels of the guns of national guardsmen sincerely believe, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that peace can be achieved in our time. They have forgotten our Lord’s promise that we would hear of wars and rumors of war until He returns (Matt. 24:6).


When I first began listening to R. B. Thieme Jr., it was the 70's, and I was a peace-loving hippy from the 60's who had believed in Jesus Christ. I had marched in one peace march, was against the Vietnam War, and had long hair. So, as you may well imagine, Bob ruffled a few of my feathers when I began to listen to his teaching. Quite obviously, there were a whole lot of things which I disagreed with, and this was, in part, because I had been brainwashed to believe that Jesus was some sort of a religious hippy. I did not quite go so far as to believe Him to be some sort of a Che-type revolutionary figure; but, my vision of Jesus was of this meek, quiet hippy who wandered about teaching people to love each other. In no way, could I square this with war.


On the other hand, I had decided that the Bible was probably authoritative (although I did not know to what degree) and Bob was one of the very few men who was teaching the Bible verse by verse, which I had a hunger for. I had listened to a number of other teachers at the same time, and read lots of free and cheap literature, and finally settled upon focusing more on Bob and J. Vernon McGee because (1) they seemed to agree on most things; (2) they taught directly from the Bible, verse by verse, whole books at a time; (3) these were very different men in personality; (4) and their materials were free (which is what I could afford at the time). Although they apparently knew one another (as I found out years later), their ministries were independent, and yet, they seemed to come up with many of the same conclusions.


It took a long time and a lot of persuading, but I eventually came around to a much more conservative approach to life. Like many people, I began as a Christian thinking that the views which I held were, for the most part, compatible with Christianity, and that I just needed to merge the Bible with my own thinking and point-of-view. However, I came to find out that many of my views were in diametric opposition to the Bible. I did not like that, but I had to come to accept it.


One of the things I had problem, when it came to R. B. Thieme Jr.’s ministry was his glorification of the military, as I had not been brought up with those values. It took me many years of study, but now I appreciate his approach and his emphasis. Since 2Sam. 8 and 10 have David warring against a half dozen nations, there are some things which we need to know about war.

Some Points on War

1.      War is a normal human activity, and all of the marches for peace in the world will not end war. If the United States buried all of his weapons and dismantled its armies, we would be attacked and possibly even defeated within a year or two of doing such a stupid thing. People all over the world lust for what we have, and many think that it is simply a function of living in a prosperous country. However, the key to our prosperity is twofold: (1) the grace of God and (2) economic freedom. However, they do not recognize this, so they think if they conquer our land and us, that will make them prosperous.

2.      Back to war: like most students, I was brought up with a limited education when it comes to war. I saw wars from a very American-centric view. I never fully appreciated that, at any given time, there are probably 10 or so wars being fought around the world, and that wars have continued throughout human history, increasing as time goes on; and that the soldier represents probably the best that a country has to offer.

3.      There is a lot of war in the Bible, and the honoring of the soldier is found throughout Scripture. The greatest compliment that Jesus paid to any individual was to a Roman soldier. Jesus did not berate the man for being a soldier; Jesus did not tell him, “Now, to be perfect, you need to lay down your weapon, desert the Roman army, and follow Me.” What Jesus said was, “I have found no one in Israel with a greater faith [than this Roman soldier].”

4.      Some of the greatest men in the Bible were soldiers or men of war: David, Joshua and Moses. And in the end of the Jewish Age, Jesus will return in the 2nd Advent, and He will kill so many enemies in war, that the blood will flow as high as the horse’s bridle for nearly 200 miles (Rev. 14:20).

5.      The Bible can be very graphic when it comes to victory in war. Psalm 58:10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance [of the Lord]; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.

6.      The Bible can be equally graphic when it comes to a former priest nation being destroyed by God. Hosea 13:16 Samaria [the Northern Kingdom of a divided Israel] shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.

7.      God taught David’s hands to war. Psalm 18:34 144:1

8.      No matter how you feel about war in general, the Bible presents it matter-of-factly, and the soldiers of war are presented as heroes (e.g., David’s mighty men—2Sam. 23 1Chron. 12). There will always be wars and rumors of war (Matt. 24:6); and the occupation of a soldier is honorable. This is the view of the Bible, whether you like it or not.

9.      Jesus promised that there would be wars and rumors of wars until He returned (Matt. 24:6 Mark 13:7 Luke 21:9). At no time in the Bible is there any indication that man by reaching some point in civilization or in spiritual enlightenment, will ever move beyond war. Jesus will return and rule over the earth in the Millennium, and that will end warfare (until Satan is loosed); but prior to that Jesus will kill millions of people; and prior to that, war will be a part of human history (Rev. 19:11–21).

Please see http://www.spokanebiblechurch.com/powerpoint/WarandGod.pdf, which is a slide show presentation of the Doctrine of War in a pdf format.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


There is a lot of war throughout the Bible, and there is no indication that man is going to suddenly become civilized and no longer engage in war.

In the United States, in the year 2009, when I write this, the current president, during his campaign, indicated that Iraq was not where American soldiers needed to be. He said that he opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, and the President Bush, by committing troops to Iraq, got his eye off the ball, which was the war in Afghanistan. Since we live in a democracy, and vote, it is worthwhile to try to figure out, when is it right to go to war?

What is a Righteous War?

1.      Bear in mind that, 99.999% of the time, we are not going to be in the position to determine whether or not we, as a nation, go to war. Even in a democracy like ours, we do not vote to go to war. What if your country is on the wrong side? What if you are a coward? I will answer those questions in this doctrine.

         1)      We are under the authority of the government of the nation in which we are born. God has placed these authorities over us, and we are subject to these authorities. Rom. 13

         2)      Jesus, when He spoke to the Roman soldier, said, “Not in all Israel have I found such a great faith.” Jesus did not tell this Roman soldier, “Now, to be perfect, you need to lay aside your weapon of war and follow Me.” This man, a soldier in Caesar’s army—a centurion, a man in authority, was fine right where he was, and Jesus did not suggest any further steps which he needed to take. Matt. 8:5–10

         3)      Therefore, when our nation calls upon us to go to war, we go to war. 99.9% of the time, that is our correct decision with regards to going to war.

         4)      Now, what if you disagree with the man in command? What if you think the president is a doofus? Paul, under Roman rule, tells us that those in authority over us are placed there by God, and we ought to obey them. Rom. 13

         5)      Let’s say you are under an incredibly unjust government and they want you to go to war, what do you do? Let’s say, your government is on the wrong side in a war, what do you do? Or your government begins the wholesale slaughter of its own citizens, what do you do? These are some very rare situations for the average believer. If you have believed in Jesus Christ, and you believe in your heart of hearts that your country is completely wrong and the enemy is complete right, then the Bible also tells us what to do—renounce your own nation and join the enemy. Here is where Jane Fonda was wrong (Jane Fonda was an actress who went to our enemies during the Vietnam War and allowed herself to be photographed for propaganda purposes). She did not want to stop being an American; she was not willing to renounce her citizenship and the benefits of her citizenship. She was not willing to use her money and go to North Vietnam and say, “I want to become a part of your nation. I am willing to support you in any way that I can; I want to become one of you.” All she was willing to do was to work against her own nation, and yet remain a part of America and continue to reap the benefits from being an American. On the other hand, Rahab the prostitute worked with Israel and Joshua against her own country and became a part of Israel (Joshua 2 Matt. 1:5). Had Israel failed, she would have died as a traitor to her own country. She threw in with the enemy of her country 100%; she did not straddle any fences.

         6)      The situation of Rahab is quite rare for the believer.

         7)      What if your country is only so-so as a country and you just do not like the idea of the wars we are engaged in? When Paul laid down the law when it came to being under the authority of national leaders, he was a citizen of Rome. He would eventually be decapitated by this government. He still supported Roman authority. Rom. 13

         8)      There has to be more to your opposition than, “I don’t believe in war.” We as believers do not get that luxury. We know that war is going to continue to be a part of our experience; that there will always be wars and rumors of wars, and that nowhere in the Bible are we given an out to conveniently support our enemies while remaining beneficiaries of our own country.

         9)      Let say that you are a coward, and the draft has been reinstituted, and war has broken out. What do you do? You have to obey the laws of the land and go into the military. At some point in time, before your location is determined, you need to privately make your cowardice known to your superior officers. There is justification in the Bible for removing cowards from the military. Ideally, you should jockey for a non-combat, support position, and there are thousands of such positions. After that, you allow God to determine where you end up.

2.      The Bible does not anywhere encourage us to be conscientious objectors or to oppose war as a general principle.

3.      It is certainly helpful when the population supports a war, does not protest against a war, and is unified against our enemies. We fought a disastrous war in Vietnam, a war which divided the country, and a war where the United States suffered its first defeat. One movie star—Jane Fonda—showed her approval of the acts of our enemies, and allowed her picture to be taken while on an enemy tank which was used to kill American soldiers. Other Americans sent blood to our enemies. No doubt, the marching protestors against this war had a hand in the defeat of their own country in war, and the slaughter of approximately 3 million people by the Communists which followed our retreat. Given this turmoil, we need to understand when war is justified.

4.      Most people would understand that going to war after being attacked is justified. There are a significant number out there who, if we suffered another attack similar to 9/11, would blame this attack on America and our support of Israel or our presence in the Middle East; but, the majority of Americans would support military action against whatever movement or country attacked us. Only a very small number of Christians would suggest that those in the United States turn the other cheek because that is what Jesus would have done (in their own minds). It is important to understand that, turn the other cheek applies to retaliation because of a personal vendetta.

5.      In the Old Testament, much of the time, God would guide Israel to go to war against certain nations. We do not have this same guidance. If some president said that God told him to go to war against nation X, we would vote him out of office.

6.      However, there is evidence in the Old Testament as to what sort of wars we as a nation ought to be involved in.

7.      God told Abraham that this land which He gave his progeny would not be a reality until the iniquity of the Amorites became full (Gen. 15:16). At that point in time, Amorite meant westerner, and this referred to the peoples who inhabited the Land of Promise which God gave to Abraham (the Amorites were also a specific people in that region as well). When Abraham came into this land, most of the peoples there were okay. They were unbelievers, but they were not degenerate unbelievers (with the exception of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah). When their iniquity became full-blown, then God would give the land to the seed of Abraham.

8.      Abraham’s seed also had to become a significant population as well. So we have two things which have to come to pass: (1) a significant number of Jews who believe in Jesus Christ who are willing to trust in God and (2) the people in the land God has given the Jews have to reach a tipping point of degeneracy. 40 years after Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, both of these things came to pass.

9.      How does this relate to our topic? Israel had to have an army; the people that they were going to destroy had to have transgressed more than just occupying the land which Israel wanted. Together, these things resulted in a series of wars and battles, from the time of Joshua to the time of David, when Israel secured much of the land which God had given them. God had not decided that Palestine belonged to the Jews and that He would simply destroy anyone living in this land in order to give it over to the Jews.

10.    When the Jews took the land under Joshua, they were to offer terms of peace first (Deut. 20:10 Joshua 9:15 10:1 11:19). Quite obviously, this would be overruled by a direct command from God (Joshua 6). Since God is omniscient, God knows the hearts of the people of the cities where Israel would invade. If they are 100% in negative volition toward God, then Israel did not need to offer them terms of peace.

11.    What was the main problem with every evil nation in the land of Palestine? Idolatry, which led to either immoral or moral degeneracy.

12.    You recognize evil in some nations by whom they choose to ally themselves with. Although I know a little about the history of Nazi Germany, I know almost nothing about Japan’s pre-WWII history. However, I recognize that if Japan chose to ally themselves with Nazi Germany, then that reveals their true colors.

13.    Similarly, we know the heart of a country based upon whom they identify as their enemies. When thousands of Muslims in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria or Iran march in the streets, burn American flags and shout, “Death to America,” we know where their hearts are.

         1)      Now, you may think that this is unfair, and that we should not always identify the people with their leaders, as their leaders can be despots. God gives a people the leader they deserve or a leader who is appropriate for them.

         2)      Think about our last 3 presidents (I write in 2009) and their greatest weaknesses. President Clinton strove to be popular, followed the polls, and often did the popular thing—which indicates no core values. His acts of immorality in office and his attempt to cover them up (along with a lifetime of such acts) did not substantively hurt his popularity, even when he flat out lied to the public. This is a reflection of us, the people. After him is President George Bush, who began strong, recognizing our common enemy (whom Clinton did not fully recognize), recognize that we were at war, and took steps to deal with it. However, in moving ahead with 2 reasonably popular wars, these wars were not over fast enough, and much of the public began to moan and groan, as if this affected them directly. All they really suffered was seeing it on tv night after night after night. Although Bush remained steadfast in his opposition to terrorism and to the correct outcome of these two wars, he went haywire when it came to the economy—and when he was right (about FNMA, about social security), our other leaders stood up against him. And he is followed by President Obama, who was elected primarily because he can speak well with a teleprompter, can dance around both sides of almost any issue (our news reporters call this taking a nuanced position), and exudes an attractive personage. Within a few months, he has proposed a mountain of debt tied to worthless spending unlike anyone has ever seen before and yet there are a significant portion of our population who refuses to recognize it because he is Obama. So you see how reflective our leaders are of the population?

         3)      Of course, the examples I gave were from a democracy, but bear in mind, God is in charge, and God places appropriate leaders in charge of nations.

         4)      Iran is not a democracy, and its leader is this tiny crazy person who denies the holocaust. Although many have tried to distinguish Ahmadinejad from the Iranian people, these people still flood the streets, celebrate 9/11, shout “Death to America” for hours, and desire to see Israel destroyed. Ahmadinejad is their appropriate figurehead and leader. Obviously, there is a significant number of Iranians who are pro-American, but there has been no power shift as of yet (again, I write this in the year 2009).

14.    Furthermore, we know which countries are white hats based upon whom they choose to ally themselves with. We have alliances with nations such as Mexico, Canada, England, France, Germany, Japan and Britain (to name a few); their choosing to associate with us and to ally themselves with us tells us about their people and governments.

15.    In this chapter, Syria (Aram) will ally themselves with Hadadezer and war with David. King Toi, from the same region, will honor David when he defeats Hadadezer. This tells us about the hearts of the people and governments in this chapter at this time—those who ally themselves with David are blessed of God and those who chose to war against David are cursed by God.

16.    Note that God did not have Israel continually acting in a hostile manner against her neighbors. God did not put Israel into a 24/7/365 war mode. Egypt was continually in idolatry. God warned Israel not to go to Egypt or to depend upon Egypt, but God did not tell Israel, “You need to raise up your army and go destroy Egypt.” God did send Israel to war on many occasions against her enemies, but not against all of her enemies. At the time of Jeremiah, God expected His people to place themselves under the authority of Assyrian king Nebuchadnezzar, who had just conquered Israel. There was a remnant in the land, under Gedeliah as their governor and under Jeremiah as their spiritual leader. God did not tell them to rebel against Nebuchadnezzar; God expected them to submit themselves to Nebuchadnezzar’s rule.

17.    Let’s apply all of this to today. God has not told any of us or any of our leaders to invade this or that nation, but let’s just suppose that is somehow our decision—how do we make such a decision?

         1)      When someone goes to war against us, we have two choices: we either give up and place ourselves under their authority or we fight to preserve our freedom. Most of the time, God had Israel fight for her freedom (the book of Judges). However, in the case of Nebuchadnezzar, the people of Israel who remained alive were not to rebel against him; they were to submit to his authority. The same would have been true of the Jews under Roman rule. Rome crushed Israel because of her rebellion, but allowed Christianity to flourish, despite some heavy persecution in the beginning. Determining when to fight and when to lay down your weapons and submit requires spiritual maturity.

         2)      There are characteristics of the heathen in Palestine which are still here today: idolatry which leads to human and, particularly, child sacrifice—that is evil and is to be wiped out. You may protest and say, “No one out there is engaging in child sacrifice—not as a country.” However, when you raise your children to hate Israel and to hate America; and you raise them to commit themselves to suicide missions through cartoons and constant propaganda, and they are to do this for the glory of Allah, that is modern-day child sacrifice. Some have even strapped bombs to children and detonated them. This is highly degenerate (religious degeneracy), and it is reasonable to suppose that if God had Israel destroy peoples like this in their day, that such an enemy is fair game for us today. www.obsessionthemovie.com or http://obsessionthemovie.com/27minversion.php

         3)      Along the same lines, wanton murder by any government of its own citizenry (by Muslim fanatics or by Communists or by Nazis) is justification by itself for a righteous nation to step in. The Nazis killed millions of Jews and Christians; and the Communists have killed tens of millions of those who would not go along with their program (mostly those who believe in God; Christians and Jews and those of other religions). Wars against such forces of evil are righteous wars. In other words, our wars in Korea and Vietnam were as righteous as our war against the Nazis. When we pulled out of Vietnam, this was unrighteousness, and what followed was a bloodbath which far, far exceeded in a couple of years the number of casualties over a 16 year long war. In this alone, we know that we were right to fight against the bloody Communists and that we should have defeated them (and, in case you did not know, even one of the top generals in North Vietnam was only weeks or months away from surrendering to the United States when we pulled out).

         4)      It is important to recognize that we are in a spiritual battle and that Satan is the god of this world, and his plans and deeds are not difficult to understand. We can choose to ignore them and our news services may ignore them, but much of his activity in the world is not difficult to discern. When you see the Word of God being suppressed and children being sacrificed and children being raised to hate, you know Satan is at work and has captured the hearts of much of the population where such things are taking place.

         5)      When people reached a tipping point of degeneracy, God used Israel to destroy them—sometimes, every man, woman and child. Men with spiritual insight need to be able to recognize when this tipping point has been reached. This is one reason God has given us the Old Testament, so that by seeing Satan’s work in the Old Testament, we are able to recognize it in our contemporary world.

         6)      In a democracy, as we live in here, we need to elect leaders who are believers and who have a reasonable world-view. It should be clear that they are not given in to delusions, e.g., being able to smooth-talk our enemies; and they should demonstrate a clear understanding of America’s Christian heritage and future. Such men may not be doctrinally sound, but they may understand enough to be reasonable leaders.

18.    Summary:

         1)      Satan exists and his hatred and ferocity are well-known. Although Satan is quite able to be subtle and present himself as an angel of light, he is also willing to take center stage when it comes to leading a nation dedicated to him. What I mean is, a honest appraisal of a nation makes it clear that they are led by Satan; this is not something which is carefully hidden. Anyone who has some historical knowledge of Communism, Nazism or of radical Islamic fascism recognizes how evil these ideologies are. Just yesterday, a suicide attack was carried out in Pakistan, against a Mosque, so that a maximum number of people could be killed or injured. 50 people were killed. Islamic fascists love to target innocent Muslims and innocent people in general. It should not take a spiritual genius to recognize that is absolute evil.

         2)      God uses certain nations to defeat and sometimes to destroy nations which have become dangerous cancers in this world.

         3)      God originally used Israel to defeat and destroy evil nations; and now He primarily uses client nations (nations in which a significant portion of the people believe in Jesus Christ and where Bible doctrine is taught and from which missionaries emanate).

         4)      War is an integral part of human history; its horror duly noted. Still, we will never see the end of warfare until the Millennium. All of the marching in the world and all of the peace protests will never change this. In fact, in many cases, this will give comfort and enthusiasm to our enemies, and increase the length of war, the determination of our enemy, and the body count of our own soldiers.

         5)       When a person decides to march for peace, they need to recognize that they will probably increase the number of deaths and lengthen the war they are marching against. Vietnam is a prime example of that. One of the military leaders of the North Vietnam army (General Giap) has written about that era, and was amazed that we pulled out of Vietnam. He admits that they were months if not weeks away from surrendering. Had we remained a few more months, we would have been victorious and literally millions of lives would have been saved (these are the lives of people who trusted us and who desired freedom, as well as the lives of many innocents). Our pulling out of Vietnam was an act of evil and cowardice, and many died because of it.

         6)      Going to peace marches is more of an expression of self-righteousness than anything else.

         7)      Nations which serve Satan will be anti-God, anti-Semitic and/or anti-freedom.

         8)      When they raise their children to be sacrificed in order to promote Satan’s agenda (which is anti-God, anti-Semitic and anti-freedom), they are equivalent to a nation which sacrifices its children to some false idol. The Hitlarian youth; young people not only schooled in Communism, but schooled in a world domination by Communism; Muslim children brought up to hate and with a desire to kill Jews, Americans or Brits for Allah, indicate that a nation has reached a dangerous tipping point.

         9)      Such a nation needs to be, at minimum, contained; and, at maximum, destroyed.

         10)    When do such nations need to be destroyed? When their iniquity is full.

         11)    Evil nations are a cancer in society and their evil is spread throughout their own nation and sometimes throughout the world. Radical Muslims are an example of this, an in this past decade, have launched thousands of attacks in hundreds of countries throughout the world. Since our news ignores this, I suggest you go to www.thereligionofpeace.com to see what they are up to this past month.

         12)    Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU so see how the world we live in can be changed in a few decades by this evil mindset.

         13)    When we know the heart of one nation, we can determine the heart of other nations by whom they choose to ally themselves with and whom they choose to identify as enemies.

         14)    Since we, as Americans, living in democracy, really have little or no say in determining whether or not we ought to go to war; we can rest assured that it is a war of God—a righteous war—if it is against a people who are anti-God, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and/or anti-freedom.

         15)    Finally, I would argue that such wars—wars of choice—are more important and consequential than wars of defense against an immediate attack. Before we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, we should have recognized how evil Nazis were, who began to move against allies of ours.

         16)    Killing our enemies—and killing as many as possible of them—often results in fewer deaths and shortened wars. Most historians agree that when President Truman used atomic weapons against Japan, this shortened the war and probably reduced the total number of casualties.

         17)    As God is with David in the wars enumerated in this chapter (2Sam. 8:14b), so God will be with us as individuals and with our nation as a corporate entity.

19.    And in case you did not know this, we have one of the greatest militaries of our history serving the United States today. Even the soldiers of our allies cannot compare to our own military. A few months ago, British soldiers were captured by Iran and they allowed themselves to be used for propaganda purposes, although what they faced for the most part was, psychological warfare after being captured. The professionalism and heroism of our soldiers (almost totally ignored by our media) is an incredible blessing from God, and it reveals how closely God is working with the United States.

The weakness of the churches today is, there is not enough taught by way of mechanics and by way of application of Bible doctrine. Too many church-goers lack personal integrity and lack appreciation for our military.

Nations function as a corporate witness before God. A nation which kills its own people, which stifles freedom (particularly religious freedom) and which is anti-Semitic is cursed by God. Nations where there is freedom, where people believe in Jesus Christ, where the Word of God is taught, are nations which are blessed by God. There are times in human history where those nations blessed by God will be called upon to defeat and even to destroy cancerous nations cursed by God.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


When you first become a Christian by believing in Jesus Christ, your values, your norms and standards, and your thinking has been shaped and formed by this world. Just because you are a believer in Jesus Christ does not mean that you will hear the truth and automatically believe it.

This is a very important point. When you first become a Christian by believing in Jesus Christ, your values, your norms and standards, and your thinking has been shaped and formed by this world—by the cosmic system. Just because you are a believer in Jesus Christ does not mean that you will hear the truth and automatically believe it. It takes awhile to overcome all of the false things that you believe. Even though you begin the Christian life without scar tissue, you often return to your old habits and your old way of thinking. Therefore, it is normal for the new believer to listen to the teaching of the Word of God and reject portions of what he hears. There are many places where you may find yourself butting heads with the truth: evolution versus creationism; war being a normal human activity which will never disappear from the human experience, eternal security, the correct understanding of the gift of tongues (speaking in a real foreign language that someone else in your periphery understands; a gift which died out in the 1st century a.d.), or salvation by faith alone in Christ alone (even though you were saved that way). You simply have to give it time. You cannot go out there and find some pastor who agrees with all of the stuff that you believed in before you believed in Jesus Christ and figure that you have done good in tracking down your right pastor. Guaranteed that, for awhile at least (maybe for years), you are going to disagree with your pastor. As long as this is based upon your norms and standards from being an unbeliever, that is okay. Ideally speaking, he will teach you out of your false norms and standards.


You may recall that David has been reading the Bible (he had to do this in order to correctly move the Ark). He knows a lot of doctrine. He did this because the first time he tried to move the Ark of God, he failed. Because of this reading and studying, David knows that amount of territory which God has given to Israel. Therefore, it is quite reasonable that David, in this chapter, is simply taking the land given to Israel from God. For this reason, we do not need to have God coming to David every few months and saying, “These Arabs over here are a bunch of sadistic idolaters; go wipe them out, David.” David, based upon his reading of the Word of God, did what he knew had to be done, which expanded the territory controlled by Israel considerably (see the Map of Israel under David).


Before we begin, allow me to summarize what we are about to study. After all that as occurred in the previous chapters (the moving of the Ark, the desire to build the Temple, the Davidic Covenant), David finds himself at war again. First he deals with the Philistines to the west (v. 1) and then Moab to the east (v. 2). Far northeast of Israel is Aram (Syria) and Zobah, and the King of Zobah—Hadadezer—begins to act quite aggressively, attempting to expand his kingdom. David brings his army to stop this expansion effort, and the King of Zobah brings in the Syrians to help him (vv. 3, 5). David defeats the army of the King of Zobah, and when the Syrians are brought in to help, they are defeated simultaneously (vv. 4–5). David sets up military garrisons in Syria, and Syrian brought tribute (i.e., paid taxes) to David (v. 6). David also took spoils from Hadadezer (vv. 7–8). A king from this area, Toi of Hamath, had been at war with the King of Zobah, so Toi brought tribute and presents to David (vv. 9–10). David continued to put these presents and spoils aside for the Temple—the spoil taken from Hadadezer, Edom, Moab, Ammon, the Philistines, and Amalek (vv. 11–12). Speaking of Edom, David made a name for himself by defeating Edom, killing 18,000 of their soldiers, and setting up garrisons in Edom as well (vv. 13–14). God is responsible for all of David’s victories (v. 15). This chapter concludes with a list of the members of David’s cabinet (vv. 16–18).


You will notice a number of changes with this exegetical study of 2Sam. 8: the various English translations are now broken down into 4 groups, and 4 or 5 new translations have been added. I have also added, on occasion, the translation of R. B. Thieme Jr., taken from Bible Doctrine Study Guides @ http://www.geocities.com/gracechurchofcalf/ii_samuel_08.html


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


David Defeats the Philistines and the Moabites


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so he is after so, and so strikes David Philistines and so he humbles them and so takes David Metheg-ʾAmmâh from a hand of Philistines.

2Samuel

8:1

And so it is, after these things, that [lit., and so] David strikes down the Philistines and subdues them. Therefore, David takes Metheg-ʾAmmâh from the control [lit., hand] of the Philistines.

After all of these things occurred, David struck down the Philistines and subdued them. Because of this, he wrested control of Metheg-ʾAmmâh from the control of the Philistines.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts (using the Douay-Rheims translation; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation, respectively). When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s, I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). Halfway through the exegesis of this chapter, I discovered a more accurate English translation of the Peshitta (http://www.peshitta.org/) so some of the discussion (or lack thereof, when the actual texts are identical) reflects this discovery. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.).

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

The Septuagint was the earliest translation of a book ever made (circa 200 b.c.),and, since this was before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven. I often use the Complete Apostles’ Bible, which is an update of Brenton’s English translation of the LXX, although I will often refer back to the Greek itself (there is a Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Latin Vulgate                          And it came to pass after this that David defeated the Philistines, and brought them down, and David took the bridle of tribute out of the hand of the Philistines.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he is after so, and so strikes David Philistines and so he humbles them and so takes David Metheg-ʾAmmâh from a hand of Philistines.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    AND it came to pass after this that David smote the Philistines and defeated them; and David took Ramath-gema from the Philistines.

Septuagint (Greek)                And it came to pass after this, that David struck the Philistines, and put them to flight, and David took the tribute from out of the hand of the Philistines.

 

Significant differences:           The second conjunction in the Hebrew (and so) can be legitimately rendered that. The second verb in the Greek is one which I am unfamiliar with. Therefore, it is unclear whether it is a reasonable translation of the 2nd Hebrew verb. The same thing is true of the 3rd Greek verb. The Latin and the Syriac appear to confirm the Hebrew words which we have here (what David actually takes—Metheg-ʾAmmâh—is up for discussion).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Later, David attacked and badly defeated the Philistines. Israel was now free from their control.

Easy-to-Read Version            Later, David defeated the Philistines. The Philistine capital city had controlled a large area of land. David took control of that land.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Some time later King David attacked the Philistines again, defeated them, and ended their control over the land.

The Message                         In the days that followed, David struck hard at the Philistines--brought them to their knees and took control of the countryside.

New Century Version             Later, David defeated the Philistines, conquered them, and took the city of Metheg Ammah.

New Life Bible                        After this David won the battle against the Philistines. And he took the most important city from the Philistines.

New Living Translation           After this, David defeated and subdued the Philistines by conquering Gath, their largest town.

New Simplified Bible              King David attacked the Philistines again. He defeated them and ended their control over Methegammah.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Version      Thereafter, David attacked the Philistines and routed them, and he took back everything that [Israel] had lost to them.

God’s Word                         After this, David defeated and crushed the Philistines. He took control of the main Philistine city from them.

New American Bible              After this David attacked the Philistines and conquered them, wresting. . . from the Philistines.

NIRV                                      While David was king of Israel, he won many battles over the Philistines. He brought them under his control. He took Metheg Ammah away from them.

New Jerusalem Bible             After this, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them. From the grip of the Philistines he wrested...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And it came about after this that David made an attack on the Philistines and overcame them; and David took the authority of the mother-town from the hands of the Philistines.

Complete Apostles’ Bible      And it came to pass after this, that David attacked the Philistines, and put them to flight, and David took the tribute from out of the hand of the Philistines.

JPS (Tanakh)                         Some time afterward, David attacked the Philistines and subdued them; and David took Metheg-ammah [If not a place name, the meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain] from the Philistines.

NET Bible®                             David Subjugates Nearby Nations

Later David defeated the Philistines and subdued them. David took Metheg Ammah1 from the Philistines. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

New International Version      In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the control of the Philistines.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      After this David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

exeGeses companion Bible   THE TRIUMPHS OF DAVID

And so be it, afterward,

David smites the Peleshethiy and subdues them:

and David takes Metheg Ha Ammah

from the hand of the Peleshethiy:...

Green’s Literal Translation    And it happened afterward, David struck the Philistines, and humbled them. And David took the Bridle of the Metropolis out of the hand of the Philistines....

LTHB                                     And it happened afterward, David struck the Philistines, and humbled them. And David took the Bridle of the Metropolis out of the hand of the Philistines.

NASB                                     Now after this it came about that David defeated the Philistines and subdued them; and David took control of the chief city from the hand of the Philistines.

WEB                                      After this it happened that David struck the Philistines, and subdued them: and David took the bridle of the mother city out of the hand of the Philistines.

Young’s Updated LT             And it comes to pass afterwards that David strikes the Philistines, and humbles them, and David takes the bridle of the metropolis out of the hand of the Philistines.

 

The gist of this verse:          David, after the previous chapters, defeats the Philistines and takes what is, apparently, one of their chief cities from them.


2Samuel 8:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [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

ʾachărêy (אַחֲרֵי) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

behind, after; following; after that, afterwards; hinder parts

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

kên (כֵּן) [pronounced kane]

so, thus; upright, honest; rightly, well; [it is] so, such, so constituted;

properly, an active participle; used primarily as an adverb

Strong's #3651 BDB #485

These two words together literally mean after so; however, they appear to mean afterward, afterwards, after these things, after this, [and] after that. See Gen. 15:14 23:19 25:26 Lev. 14:36 Deut. 21:13 1Sam. 10:5.


Translation: And so it is, after these things,... The verbiage found here seems to indicate that these things found in this chapter occur after what has occurred in previous chapters. What has occurred in the previous chapters is, David moved the Ark into Jerusalem, and then began to think about building a permanent structure wherein God could be worshiped (the Temple). God told David that he would not do this, but delivered to David the Davidic Covenant. So, after these things all occurred, David found himself at war with many of the surrounding nations.


Application: This should not come as a shock to you. Israel occupies a tiny chunk of land which is approximately 0.2% of all the Middle East, and yet many countries and leaders throughout the Middle East are all worked up about this. Israel has little or no real affect on these other middle eastern countries. If the Palestinians wanted to integrate into Israel’s society or if they wanted to live peacefully side-by-side Israel, Israel would gladly accept either approach. However, the Jews are God’s people, and Satan will, until the end of time, be at war with God’s people. For this reason, we should expect very little by way of peace around Israel. As long as the Arabs are strongly driven by a Satanic religion, we should expect conflict. Whether we look at Israel today or historically, there are going to be problems between Israel and its neighbors. No president of the United States is going to be able to establish some lengthy peace between Israel and the surrounding Arabs, no matter how charismatic the president is. The more enthusiastically a president supports Israel defending herself against any and all enemies, no matter how disproportionately the response, the more likely there would be peace in the Middle East.


2Samuel 8:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Pelishetîy (פְּלִשְתִּי) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

masculine plural gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun)

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814

Here, this is spelled Pelishetîym (פְּלִשְתִּים) [pronounced pe-lish-TEEM].


Translation: ...that [lit., and so] David strikes down the Philistines... This chapter begins in such a way as to sharply contrast 2Sam. 7:1 (And it came about when the king lived in his house and Jehovah had given him rest on every side from all his enemies). David’s life is filled with a myriad of experiences. In 2Sam. 7, we see what David is like when there is no pressure—he thinks about his relationship with God and Israel’s relationship to God. Here, we have David under a great deal of pressure; he faces a myriad of enemies and defeats them. Off in the future, we will see David when he neglects his duties and hooks up with Bathsheba. His life is like our life—certainly not in the exact same experiences, but we have times of low stress and times of high stress; we have time off and we have time when we are at work and under pressure. God provides for David the resources for all of these experiences.


Quite obviously, David is a metonym for Israel’s entire army. In fact, in any of these wars, David not need even be there for the war in order for his name to be used. David is the head of state, so when the army of Israel conquers this or that city, this or that country, it can be spoken of using David’s name. Given that he was a great general under Saul and given David’s willingness to be involved, it is quite likely that he is involved in most or all of these conflicts. However, in at least one instance, David sends out Joab, and he remains at home in his palace (2Sam. 11:1).


The Philistines and David have had several run-ins in the past. Since David became king over Israel, the Philistines have arrayed themselves against David and David defeated them (2Sam. 5:17–25). This appears to be another conflict, because this verse begins with after these things. What seems likely is, a few years after David defeated them, the Philistines regrouped and returned to war against David once again.


The verb which is found here does not indicate whether David or the Philistines were the aggressors. However, earlier, the Philistines had attacked David as soon as he became king over Israel (2Sam. 5:17). And previous to this,, the Philistines had defeated Saul and his sons in battle, then caused the people of Israel to flee their cities, which the Philistines then lived in (1Sam. 31:1–7). I suspect that David was the aggressor this time.


Let’s review the history of Israel and the Philistines.

Israel and the Philistines

1.      Israel and Philistia have been traditional enemies for many centuries.

2.      During the time of the Judges, the Philistines oppressed Israel for 40 years and Samson delivered them (Judges 13–16).

3.      Under the final judge, Eli, Israel fought with the Philistines and the Philistines took the Ark of God from them (which the Israelites brought into battle as a good luck charm—1Sam. 4).

4.      The Ark caused the Philistines so many problems that they eventually returned it to Israel. All of these problems substantially weakened the Philistines for some time. 1Sam. 5–6

5.      Israel was then able to decisively defeat the Philistines in battle under Samuel’s guidance. 1Sam. 7

6.      The hatred for Israel among many Philistines was strong, and they continued to attack Israel, attempting to divide Israel by attacking central Israel while Saul was king (Saul governed Israel from central Israel). 1Sam. 13

7.      Jonathan enjoyed a tremendous victory over the Philistines in 1Sam. 14:1–23.

8.      However, despite their many setbacks, the Philistines continued to war with King Saul. 1Sam. 14:52

9.      The Philistines arrayed themselves against Israel with Goliath as their front man. David defeats Goliath and the Philistines flee. 1Sam. 17

10.    David becomes one of Saul’s main generals, defeating many enemies (which possibly includes additional skirmishes with the Philistines). However, Saul became jealous of David and began to focus his anger and jealousy against David, causing David to flee. 1Sam. 18–24

11.    Because of this rift, David goes to the Philistines to find a place to live, and he and his small army are placed in southeastern Palestine, becoming somewhat of a buffer between Israel and the Philistines. 1Sam. 27

12.    The Philistines decide to war against Saul, and David, because he is living on their land, is expected to join with them. However, Philistines who know David and know of him decide that going to war with David and his men among them was a potential threat to them, so David was let off the hook and sent back to his campsite. 1Sam. 29

13.    The Philistines wage war against Saul and his sons and are victorious, killing them, routing the Israeli soldiers, and taking over their cities in central Israel (primarily in Benjamin). 1Sam. 31:1–7

14.    After this time, Saul’s son, Ishbosheth is ruling over northern and eastern Israel and David has control of southern Israel. Central Israel is probably still under the control of the Philistines. 2Sam. 2

15.    When David solidifies his control over all Israel, the Philistines attack. This is somewhat confusing. Approximately 7 years before, the Philistines took the cities of central Israel. Whether they are still in these cities or not is unclear. However, in any case, David defeats them twice, sending them back to their traditional land in southeastern Palestine. 1Sam. 7

16.    Time passes: David moves the Ark to Jerusalem, he thinks about building a permanent structure to God, and God gives David the Davidic Covenant (2Sam. 6–7). David is again at war with the Philistines, although we are given few details here, apart from him taking Gath, which is one of the primary cities of the Philistines, being almost due east of Jerusalem. This suggests that we are speaking of new conflicts with the Philistines, rather than rehashing David’s battles with them from 2Sam. 5.

17.    Because of this recent and continuous history that Israel has with the Philistines, it is no wonder that they are mentioned first.

Quite obviously, there is a long and bloody history between Israel and the Philistines.


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2Samuel 8:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kânaʿ (כָּנַע) [pronounced kaw-NAHĢ]

to bow down, to bring anyone low, to humble, to subdue

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #3665 BDB #488


Translation: ...and subdues them. David completely defeats the Philistines. This victory will be so complete that we will not hear from the Philistines until we get to 2Sam. 21 where they will once more war against Israel (when David is much older). Because of this final defeat of the Philistines, they will bring Solomon, David’s son, tribute for many years to come (1Kings 4:21).


Allow me to continue with a few more points on the Philistines.

Israel and the Philistines Continued

18.    Israel has another war with Gath, one of the chief cities of the Philistines, in 1Chron. 20:6–8 which involves some of the giants. This appears to have taken place during the Bathsheba incident.

19.    Somehow, in all of this, David appears to have acquired a large number of Gittites (men of Gath) in his own army (there are 600 Cherethites, Pelethites and Gittites). 2Sam. 15:18

20.    Much later in David’s life, after the Absalom revolt, the Philistines will come back to war against the Israelites. It appears as though there were several battles and perhaps several wars. David and his armies would be victorious on every occasion. 2Sam. 21:15–22

21.    The references in 2Sam. 23 to the Philistines are simply recounting the heroic exploits of some of David’s soldiers.

22.    From 2Sam. 21 until the end of Solomon’s life, the Philistines brought tribute to the Israelites. 1Kings 4:21 reads: Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

23.    The next time that we hear about the Philistines, it is almost incidental. The Kingdom of Israel was divided after Solomon. The northern kingdom, under its 2nd king (Nadab) was warring against the Philistines, and Baasha killed Nadab when he was laying siege against the Philistines. Baasha became the 3rd king over the Northern Kingdom of Israel. This is 909 b.c. 1Kings 15:27

24.    24 years later, we hear about the Philistines again in an incidental way, when Omri was apparently at war against the Philistines. However, the battle with the Philistines is presented as incidental to Omri being made king over the Northern Kingdom (Omri is the 6th king of Israel). This is 885 b.c. 1Kings 16:15

25.    The Philistines are mentioned again incidentally in 2Kings 8 (circa 840 b.c.); in a passage which indicates that a woman was able to go from Israel into Philistia and live for 7 years.

26.    Hezekiah, circa 720 b.c., king of Judah, hands a crushing defeat to the Philistines in 2Kings 18:8.

27.    We do not find the Philistines mentioned in any subsequent history (Kings or Chronicles), but they are mentioned by later prophets: Jer. 25:20 47:1, 4 Ezek. 16:27, 57 25:15–16 Obad. 1:19

There are additional passages from the prophets which are coterminous with the history cited: Isa. 2:6 9:12 11:14 Amos 1:8 6:2 9:7 Zeph. 2:5.


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2Samuel 8:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

The BDB gives the following meanings: to take, take in the hand; to take and carry along; to take from, take out of, take, carry away, take away; to take to or for a person, procure, get, take possession of, select, choose, take in marriage, receive, accept; to take up or upon, put upon; to fetch; to take, lead, conduct; to take, capture, seize; to take, carry off; to take (vengeance).

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Metheg (מֶתֶג) [pronounced MEH-theg]

a bridle; control, authority

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4964 BDB #607

ʾAmmâh (אַמָּה) [pronounced ahm-MAW]

foundation; beginning; metropolis; transliterated Ammah

proper feminine singular noun/location with the definite article

Strong’s #520 BDB #52

This is the same noun which is used to mean cubit.

There is the problem, can this be seen as one place or as the control of Ammah. In the latter case, this would be a construct state, and a noun in the construct state cannot have a definite article. Since both of these nouns have definite articles, we cannot understand this to be in the construct state.

min (מִן) [pronounced mihn]

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

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular construct

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

Yâd as a construct and the min preposition are literally rendered from a hand of; together, they can also mean out of the hand of; out of the power of; from the power of.

Pelishetîy (פְּלִשְתִּי) [pronounced pe-lish-TEE]

transliterated Philistines

masculine plural gentilic adjective (acts like a proper noun)

Strong’s #6430 BDB #814

Here, this is spelled Pelishetîym (פְּלִשְתִּים) [pronounced pe-lish-TEEM].


Translation: Therefore, David takes Metheg-ʾAmmâh from the control [lit., hand] of the Philistines. David took control of Metheg-Ammâh, and it is unclear what exactly David took.


To remind you, the final portion of this verse was translated in many ways (as you will see, I tried to stay with fairly conservative translations):

Translations of 2Samuel 8:1d

Translation

Text/Commentary

A Conservative Version

And David took the bridle of the mother city out of the hand of the Philistines. This is a translation of the two words in question. The problem with a translation is, this appears to be in the construct state, but first noun in the construct state (which is actually the only noun in the construct) will not have a definite article, as this one does. I do not know if there are exceptions to this or not.

American King James Version

...and David took Methegammah out of the hand of the Philistines. Here, the two words are translated as one, to refer to a city not named elsewhere.

The Bible in Basic English

...and David took the authority of the mother-town from the hands of the Philistines. This is a translation of the two words in question.

Concordant Literal Version

...and David takes the bridle of the metropolis out of the hand of the Philistines. This is a translation of the two words in question.

Complete Apostles Bible

...and David took the tribute from out of the hand of the Philistines. The Complete Apostles Bible is based upon the Greek text. I am unfamiliar with the verb used here, but this is how this translation translates it. This would simply indicate that the Philistines were subservient to David. This would also indicate that there are troubles with the Hebrew of this verse.

Exegesis Companion Bible

...and David takes Metheg Ha Ammah

from the hand of the Peleshethiy:... The words here are transliterated as a proper noun.

Updated Bible Version 2.11

...and David took the bridle of the mother city out of the hand of the Philistines.

Since the construct form of a noun should not have a definite article, and since Metheg has a definite article, we will reasonably assume that it should not be translated as a noun in the construct state (as did many of these translations, including A Conservative Version and the Concordant Literal Version).


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It is worthwhile to see how scholars have interpreted this city. However, if you want to skip ahead to the conclusion at the end of this doctrine, that is fine. You’ll get all that you need in the two concluding paragraphs.

Interpretations of Metheg-ʾAmmâh

Commentary

Their Opinion

Barnes

Metheg-ammah must be the name of some stronghold which commanded Gath, and the taking of which made David master of Gath and her towns. Footnote

Easton

Metheg–ammah: Bridle of the mother a figurative name for a chief city, as in 2Sam. 8:1, “David took Metheg–ammah out of the hand of the Philistines” (R.V., “took the bridle of the mother–city”); i.e., subdued their capital or strongest city, viz., Gath (1Chron. 18:1). Footnote

Edersheim

The expression “taking the bridle,” means taking the command or supmacy (compare Job 30:11). The term “mother” is applied to the principal city in a district, the other towns being designated “daughters.” Footnote

Fausset

Metheg–Ammah: 2Sam. 8:1. Not in the parallel 1Chron. 18:1. The name Metheg–Ammah must have fallen into disuse, originally designating the region wherein Gath was. Rather it is figurative: "David took the bridle of the mother (Gath the metropolis, i.e. wrested the supremacy) out of the hand of the Philistines." The Arabic idiom for submission is to give up one's bridle to another. The phrase "Gath and her daughter towns" (Hebrew, 1Chron. 18:1) favors the rendering "mother." Gath became tributary to David. Footnote

Gill

[This is] the name of a province in Palestine, and from the parallel place in 1Chron. 18:1, it appears to be Gath, and its adjacent towns; but why that was called the bridle of Ammah, or the bridle of a cubit, as it may be rendered, is not easy to say. The conjecture of Kimchi is, that there was a pool or river of water, so Ammah is thought to signify; and Aquila renders it a water course, which passed through the city, having been brought from without it into it, the communication of which from place to place it may be David cut off, by stopping or turning its stream; but interpreters more generally suppose that Gath was built upon an hill called Ammah (see 2Sam. 2:24); thought to be the same with the Amgaris of Pliny though that is sometimes read Angaris, a mountain he places in Palestine; and that it was called Metheg, a bridle, because being a frontier city, and being very strong and powerful, erected into a kingdom, it was a curb and bridle upon the Israelites; but now David taking it out of their hands, opened his way for the more easy subduing the rest of their country: or the word may be rendered Metheg and her mother, that is, Gath, the metropolis, since that and her daughters, or towns, are said to be taken (1Chron. 18:1); and Metheg might be one of them. Footnote

Guzik

This is another name for the famous Philistine city of Gath. Footnote

ISBE

Metheg–Ammah: mê–theg–am´a, meth–eg–am´a (האמּה מתג, methegh hâ–'ammâh, “bridle of the metropolis”; Septuagint τὴν ἀφορισμένην, tến aphorisménên). It is probable that the place–name Metheg–Ammah in 2Sam. 8:1 the King James Version should be rendered as in the Revised Version (British and American), “the bridle of the mother city,” i.e. Gath, since we find in the parallel passage in 1Chron. 18:1 וּבנתיה גּת, gath ûbhenôthehâ, “Gath and her daughters,” i.e. daughter towns. The Septuagint has an entirely different reading: “and David took the tribute out of the hand of the Philistines,” showing that they had a different text from what we now have in the Hebrew. The text is evidently corrupt. If a place is intended its site is unknown, but it must have been in the Philistine plain and in the vicinity of Gath. Footnote

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

David took Metheg–ammah out of the hand of the Philistines––that is, Gath and her suburban towns (1Chron. 18:1). Footnote

Keil and Delitzsch

The figurative expression Metheg–ammah, “bridle of the mother,” i.e., the capital, has been explained by Alb. Schultens (on Job. 30:11) from an Arabic idiom, in which giving up one's bridle to another is equivalent to submitting to him. Gesenius also gives several proofs of this (Thes. p. 113). Others, for example Ewald, render it arm–bridle; but there is not a single passage to support the rendering “arm” for ammah. The word is a feminine form of אם, mother, and only used in a tropical sense. “Mother” is a term applied to the chief city or capital, both in Arabic and Phoenician (vid., Ges. Thes. p. 112). The same figure is also adopted in Hebrew, where the towns dependent upon the capital are called its daughters (vid., Joshua 15:45, Joshua 15:47). In 1Chron. 18:1 the figurative expression is dropped for the more literal one: “David took Gath and its daughters out of the hand of the Philistines,” i.e., he wrested Gath and the other towns from the Philistines. The Philistines had really five cities, every one with a prince of its own (Joshua 13:3). This was the case even in the time of Samuel (1Sam. 6:16–17). But in the closing years of Samuel, Gath had a king who stood at the head of all the princes of the Philistines (1Sam. 29:2., cf. 1Sam. 27:2). Thus Gath became the capital of the land of the Philistines, which held the bridle (or reins) of Philistia in its own hand. The author of the Chronicles has therefore given the correct explanation of the figure. The one suggested by Ewald, Bertheau, and others, cannot be correct, – namely, that David wrested from the Philistines the power which they had hitherto exercised over the Israelites. The simple meaning of the passage is, that David wrested from the Philistines the power which the capital had possessed over the towns dependent upon it, i.e., over the whole of the land of Philistia; in other words, he brought the capital (Gath) and the other towns of Philistia into his own power. The reference afterwards made to a king of Gath in the time of Solomon in 1Kings 2:39 is by no means at variance with this; for the king alluded to was one of the tributary sovereigns, as we may infer from the fact that Solomon ruled over all the kings on this side of the Euphrates as far as to Gaza (1Kings 5:1, 4). Footnote

New Living Bible

They translate this Gath, which is not unreasonable, as that is what we find in 1Chron. 18:1, the parallel passage. They point out that this city had been a danger and a problem for Israel since the days of Samson. Footnote

Poole

Metheg–ammah is simply Gath and her towns, as it is expressed in the parallel place in 1Chron. 18:1. It is called Metheg–ammah here (or the bridle of Ammah), because Gath was situated in the mountain of Ammah; and because it was the chief city of the Philistines, which had king (none of the other cities had a king). Therefore, Gath was the bridle which had hitherto kept the Israelites in subjection, but now was taken out of their mouths. Footnote

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Methegammah: Me'theg–am'mah. (bridle of the metropolis). A place, which David took from the Philistines, apparently, in his last war with them (2Sam. 8:1). Ammah may be taken as meaning "mother–city" or "metropolis", compare 2Sam. 20:19 (I am peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the inheritance of Jehovah?), and Metheg–he–Ammah may mean "the bridle of the mother–city" –– namely, of Gath, the chief town of the Philistines. Footnote

R. B. Thieme Jr.

Metheg ha-'Ammah - meant their 'central government' - as a bridal controls the horse, so the central government controlled the Philistine lands. Footnote

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

Methegammah or, the bridle of Ammah (2Sam. 2:24; 1Chr. 18:1–17); which is Gath, In the parallel passage of Chronicles, we read, “David took Gath and her towns;” and it is probable, that Gath and its districts were called Metheg–ammah in David’s time; which, being unusual or becoming obsolete, in the time of the author of the Chronicles, led him simply call it Gath. Footnote

Wesley

Metheg - ammah, or the bridle of Ammah, is Gath was situate in the mountain of Ammah; and because this being the chief city of the Philistines, and having a king, which none of the rest had, was the bridle which had hitherto kept the Israelites in subjection. Footnote

There seem to be two basic options here: (1) either the text is corrupted here; or (2) this is a figurative term for Gath (see the very complex explanation of Keil and Delitzsch above). Given the parallel text in 1Chron. 18:1 and the paying tribute spoken of in the LXX, it is most reasonable that we are speaking of Gath here and her daughters (i.e., the outlying towns) paying tribute to David.

It is possible and even reasonable that the editor of Chronicles read what was in the Samuel text, found it to be moderately obscure, and simplified the text for his day and age. 1Sam. 18:1: After this David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Gath and its villages out of the hand of the Philistines. The mother city being spoken of is Gath. Whether Metheg-Ammah is a Philistine name or title given to Gath or some kind of corrupted text, the parallel passage referring to Gath is probably correct (recall that, in general, the Chronicles text is probably more accurate than the Samuel text).


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This is an interesting turn of events. If you will recall, David had a reasonable relationship with the Achish King of Gath back in 1Sam. 27 and 29 (in fact, because of David’s deception in 1Sam. 27, one might even view the King of Gath as showing a little more integrity). However, bear in mind that at least 10 years have passed, and possibly as many as 20. The Philistines had conquered Israel (they defeated Saul and his sons, killing all of them on the battlefield save one), and occupied Israelite territory until David came along and handed them some serious defeats (see 1Sam. 31 and 2Sam. 5:17–25). We do not know what exactly transpired. The King of Gath trusted David, but the other soldiers did not. Providing that the Philistines remove themselves from Israelite property, there could have been an alliance between Israel and the Philistines, given David’s relationship with the king. However, apparently, that was not to be, and we have no details on the interpersonal relationship. Was the Achish King of Gath replaced? Did the other kings influence him and turn him against David? We just do not know any of these things. However, we can be certain that either he or his people turned against Israel, despite David being in power.


Application: This actually has a direct application to this day and time. We have recently elected a president (President Barrack Obama) who many people will be the man to turn the page on our foreign relationships. Even though Obama had no real experience in these matters, many believed that his propensity to talk would reduce the chances of ill feelings and even war. Here we have the illustration of David replacing Saul, and David could not be in more stark contrast to Saul. Furthermore, David had a relationship established between himself and the King of Gath from several years back. However, this does not make any difference. Not only do Israel and Philistia go to war against one another, but in this verse, David has moved against the Philistines, taking their chief city. Now, if David, who is a marked improvement over Saul and has previously established international relationships, cannot maintain peaceful relations with Philistia, it should stand to reason that our new president, who, although being dramatically different in some ways from the previous president, and yet has no experience in foreign affairs and has no real established relationships; is, therefore, far less able to maintain peaceful relations between ourselves and many of the nations with which we are at odds.


Application: Nations are what they are, and we learn a great deal about a nation by its internal practices and by its allies. Even the greatest of leaders is unable to avoid conflicts because that is just who some people are. in the age in which we live, the most intelligent rhetoric in the world is not going to dissuade North Korea or Iran from developing nuclear weapons and then building missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead. We either let them or we don’t, but no amount of talk is going to slow them down.


This particular altercation with the Philistines does not appear to be the same as that found back in 2Sam. 5:17–25 (where there are two offensive moves against David made by the Philistines). The 2Sam. 5 account sounds like simply a defensive reaction on David’s part where he finally pursues them back to their own territory. 2Sam. 8:1 sounds as though David captures and controls their great city of Gath.


——————————


And so he strikes Moab and so he measures them in the cord to make them lie down earthward; and so he measures a pair of cords to kill and a fullness of the cord to keep alive. And so is Moab to David for slaves those bringing tribute.

2Samuel

8:2

[David] also struck Moab. He measured them with a lot, making them lie down on the ground. He determined [lit., measured] two lots to kill [the man] and a complete lot to keep alive. Therefore, Moab became David’s servants, bringing [him] tribute [as he required].

David also struck the country of Moab. He then determined their fate by lot. He killed those with two lots and he let those with a full lot live. Therefore, Moab became servile to David, bringing him tribute as he required.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And he defeated Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the earth: and he measured with two lines, one to put to death, and one to save alive: and Moab was made to serve David under tribute.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so he strikes Moab and so he measures them in the cord to make them lie down earthward; and so he measures a pair of cords to kill and a fullness of the cord to keep alive. And so is Moab to David for slaves those bringing tribute.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And he defeated the Moabites, making them tie down on the ground, and measured them with a line; and he measured two lines to be put to death and one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants and brought tribute.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David smote Moab, and measured them out with lines, having laid them down on the ground: and there were two lines for slaying, and two lines he kept alive: and Moab became servants to David, yielding tribute.

 

Significant differences:           Only the Greek has David in the first phrase, which I think helps with the flow (I added it to my nearly literal translation). However, David’s name was probably not in the first phrase of the original text.

 

In the second phrase, we have the plural of lines in the Greek. It is singular elsewhere. Line is a legitimate translation of the Hebrew word we find here.

 

The Greek has the additional verb to be in the third phrase. The Hebrew verb is somewhat nebulous in meaning (I don’t know that it simply means to measure in this context), and the Greek translators may have had trouble with it as well.

 

The verb to keep alive in the Greek is in a different form than what is found in the Hebrew (it is hard to match verbs from one language to another, as the morphology of a verb is so different from language to language). The Greek verb goes one step further than the Hebrew, insofar is it refers to keeping one alive as a prisoner of war, which may be implied in the Hebrew, but is not found directly.

 

The differences noted in the Greek are fairly trivial and could reflect the flair of the translator more than working from text which is different. The English translations of the Latin and Syriac appear to be in agreement with the Hebrew text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David also defeated the Moabites. Then he made their soldiers lie down on the ground, and he measured them off with a rope. He would measure off two lengths of the rope and have those men killed, then he would measure off one length and let those men live. The people of Moab had to accept David as their ruler and pay taxes to him.

Easy English (Pocock)           Then David defeated the people from Moab. He made the prisoners lie down on the ground. Then he measured them with a line. David's army killed the prisoners who were lying by the first and second lines. But they allowed the prisoners who were lying by the third line to live. After that, the people of Moab had to serve David. They paid taxes to him.

Easy-to-Read Version            David also defeated the people of Moab. At that time he forced them to lie on the ground. Then he used a rope to separate them into rows. Two rows of men were killed, but the whole third row was allowed to live. In that way, the people of Moab became servants of David. They paid tribute [53] to him.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then he defeated the Moabites. He made the prisoners lie down on the ground and put two out of every three of them to death. So the Moabites became his subjects and paid taxes to him.

The Message                         He also fought and defeated Moab. He chose two-thirds of them randomly and executed them. The other third he spared. So the Moabites fell under David's rule and were forced to bring tribute.

New Century Version             He also defeated the people of Moab. He made them lie on the ground, and then he used a rope to measure them. Those who were measured within two rope lengths were killed, but those who were within the next rope length were allowed to live. So the people of Moab became servants of David and gave him the payment he demanded.

New Life Bible                        He won the battle against Moab, and had them lie down on the ground in straight groups. Two groups were put to death, and one group was kept alive. The Moabites became servants to David and paid taxes to him.

New Living Translation           David also conquered the land of Moab. He made the people lie down on the ground in a row, and he measured them off in groups with a length of rope. He measured off two groups to be executed for every one group to be spared. The Moabites who were spared became David's subjects and paid him tribute money.

New Simplified Bible              He defeated the Moabites. He made the prisoners lie down on the ground and put two out of every three of them to death. So the Moabites became his subjects and paid taxes to him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then David attacked Moab and divided their army into two lines as they lay on the ground. Half were to be killed and the rest were held captive. Then the Moabites became David's servants and they were required to pay him a tribute.

NIRV                                      David also won the battle over the people of Moab. He made them lie down on the ground. Then he measured them off with a piece of rope. He put two-thirds of them to death. He let the other third remain alive. So the Moabites were brought under David's rule. They gave him the gifts he required them to bring him.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And he overcame the Moabites, and he had them measured with a line when they were stretched out on the earth; marking out two lines for death and one full line for life. So the Moabites became servants to David and gave him offerings.

Context Group Version          And he struck Moab, and measured them with the line, making them to lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became slaves to David, and brought tribute.

HCSB                                     He also defeated the Moabites, and after making them lie down on the ground, he measured them off with a cord. He measured every two cord lengths of those to be put to death and one length of those to be kept alive. So the Moabites became David's subjects and brought tribute.

JPS (Tanakh)                         He also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and he measured them off with a cord; he measured out two lengths of cord for those who were to be put to death, and one length for those to be spared [I.e., he repeatedly doomed twice the number he spared]. And the Moabites became tributary vassals of David.

NET Bible®                             He defeated the Moabites. He made them lie on the ground and then used a rope to measure them off. He put two-thirds of them to death and spared the other third [translation; Hebrew "and he measured [with] two [lengths] of rope to put to death and [with] the fullness of the rope to keep alive."]. The Moabites became David's subjects and brought tribute [translation; Hebrew "and the Moabites were servants of David, carriers of tribute."].


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And he defeated Moab and he measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground. Two lines he measured to be put to death, and one full line to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.

Green’s Literal Translation    And he struck Moab, and measured them with a line; making them to lie down on the ground. And he measured two lines to cause them to died, and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites were slaves to David, bearers of a gift.

Hebrew Names Version         He struck Mo'av, and measured them with the line, making them to lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full line to keep alive. The Mo`avim became servants to David, and brought tribute.

MKJV                                     And he struck Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground. Even with two lines he measured to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became David's servants, bringing gifts.

New King James Version       Then he defeated Moab. Forcing them down to the ground, he measured them off with a line. With two lines he measured off those to be put to death, and with one full line those to be kept alive. So the Moabites became David's servants, and brought tribute.

NRSV                                     He also defeated the Moabites and, making them lie down on the ground, measured them off with a cord; he measured two lengths of cord for those who were to be put to death, and one length* for those who were to be spared. And the Moabites became servants to David and brought tribute.

Thieme                                   Also he {David} defeated Moab,

so he measured them with a line,

making them lie down to the ground

{David made the captives lie down in three straight lines}.

Consequently, he measured two lines to put to death,

and one full line to keep alive.

A Voice in the Wilderness      And he struck Moab, made them lie down on the ground, and measured them off with a line. With two lines he measured off those to be put to death, and with one full line those to be kept alive. Thus the Moabites became David's servants, and brought tribute.

Young’s Updated LT             And he strikes Moab, and measures them with a line, causing them to lie down on the earth, and he measures two lines to put to death, and the fulness of the line to keep alive, and the Moabites are to David for servants, bearers of a present.

 

The gist of this verse:          David also defeated Moab. He made a determination of which men lived and died, and those who remained alive brought him tribute.


You may notice that, in my nearly literal translation, I make use of many of the alternate meanings of the wâw consecutive.


2Samuel 8:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

The Greek inserts the proper noun David here, which may simply be a literary choice on the part of the Greek translator.

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Môwʾâb (מוֹאָב) [pronounced moh-AWBV]

of his father; transliterated Moab

masculine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #4124 BDB #555


Translation: [David] also struck Moab. Interestingly enough, we do not have anything which indicates that God did or did not tell David to go to war against all of these various countries. Given that David spoke to Nathan about building the Temple for the Ark of God, we may reasonably suppose that David was in contact with Nathan for divine guidance throughout much of his life.


Moab and Ammon are nations on the other side of the Dead Sea from Judah. They are cousins of the Jews. You will recall the Abraham, the father of the Jews, moved into the Land of Promise with his nephew Lot. Abraham and Lot finally went their separate ways. Lot had two daughters who got their father drunk and had sex with him. The children which they bore became the founders of the two nations Moab and Ammon. The borders between Israel and those two nations are quite natural, and it would be logical for these 3 nations to be trading partners. However, what was more often the case was a constant animosity between Moab and Ammon and the Jews. They were never willing to just let things be, so David was required to conquer Moab at this time.


Since Ammon is going to be mentioned in vv. 12–13 and will be central to 2Sam. 10, we will review the Doctrine of Moab and Ammon in v. 12.


Apart from Bible doctrine, Israel and Israel’s relationships with her enemies is hard to comprehend.

Israel and her Enemies; the Divine Perspective

1.      If one was to ponder the Jew as a race and Israel as a nation, there ought to be a great deal of confusion.

2.      How do people from a nation which lost its sovereignty in 586 b.c. still survive?

3.      How have these people maintained a separate identify, although they have been scattered throughout the world?

4.      How is it possible for a such a nation as Israel to reconstitute itself thousands of years later?

5.      Why do the Arabs so passionately hate the Jews?

6.      Why haven’t the Arabs crushed the Jews? The Arabs dwarf the Jews in size and population.

7.      These questions ought to confuse and mystify the unbeliever. So let’s take these questions one at a time:

8.      How do people from a nation which lost its sovereignty in 586 b.c. still survive? God still has a purpose for the Jew; the Dispensation of Israel has not yet been completed (there are 7 years to go), and when the Church Age is completed, the remainder of the Age of Israel will begin. There must be Jews scattered throughout the world and a nation Israel in existence for all of this to come to pass. Therefore, the Jews will exist to the end of human history.

9.      How have these people maintained a separate identify, although they have been scattered throughout the world? The Jews are God’s people and God will maintain their separate identity throughout human history. We must always be able to point to the Jews and recognize that God has made these people His. It is by divine design that the Jews will be scattered throughout all of the nations in the end times.

10.    How is it possible for a such a nation as Israel to reconstitute itself thousands of years later? In the end times, there will be a nation Israel. Now, we do not know when the end times will come. Despite the world appearing to be in desperate shape at this time, we do not know the day nor the hour of Jesus’ coming; so we do not know when He will return for His church (the rapture) or return to destroy the armies fighting in Israel (the 2nd Advent). This particular nation Israel may continue and it may be wiped out at some point in time. However, before the end times, there will be a nation Israel in the land.

11.    Why do the Arabs so passionately hate the Jews? Apart from the Bible, anti-Semitism is difficult to comprehend. Even the conservative movement in the United States up until the time of Ronald Reagan had a very healthy anti-Semitic branch (which was the primary reason the conservative movement would not catch on—God is not going to bless an anti-Semitic movement). The Jews are God’s people, and will remain set apart until the end of time. Those who are against God will naturally be against the Jews. This is why in the neo-liberal movement (the progressives), becoming more secular and seeing the Arabs on an equal footing with the Jews goes hand-in-hand.

12.    Why haven’t the Arabs crushed the Jews? This is one of the most amazing questions. In the Six-Day War, Egypt, Jordan and Syria went to war against Israel. Additional troops were offered up by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria (to right against Israel). Egypt has a population of around 65 million; Jordan has a population of 5 million, Syria has a population of 18 million and Israel has a population of 7 million. These 3 nations alone have populations 12x that of Israel. Furthermore, their hatred for Israel is dramatic and palpable. Therefore, ginning up the population in favor of such a war is not a difficult thing for these countries to do. And 6 other Arab nations wanted to get into the act. Furthermore, the Soviets backed the Arabs with weapons. President Nasser of Egypt had declared, “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight.” Nasser also proclaimed: “The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon are poised on the borders of Israel ... to face the challenge, while standing behind us are the armies of Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan and the whole Arab nation. This act will astound the world. Today they will know that the Arabs are arranged for battle, the critical hour has arrived. We have reached the stage of serious action and not of more declarations.” After 6 days of fighting, Israel tripled its size by the land which it captured. 6 years later, there was another Arab-Israeli war which lasted nearly a month. Again, Egypt and Syria allied themselves against the Jews. Although Israel was dramatically taken aback by a surprise attack on two fronts, Israel within days was showing military superiority over her attackers. What happened? Quite obviously, military preparedness and military might are a factor. Israel had become somewhat complacent by the 1973 Arab Israeli Conflict, but quickly bounced back. However, certainly the overwhelming factor in these (and previous) wars is God. Even though we are in the dispensation of the church, the Jews are still God’s people and still will play a dramatic role in the end of time. One of the reasons the United States has been so greatly blessed is its attitude toward the Jewish people and its support of Israel.

13.    It is because of God’s unique relationship to the Jews that all of this is as it is.

Although it is not impossible for the Arabs to administer a crushing defeat to modern-day Israel, God is still preserving His people. It would be a mistake of any American president to treat Israel and any of her Arab enemies equally.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


In this specific instance, we have no idea why Moab and David are at odds, as David generally had a good relationship with the Moabites, being that he trusted them to take care of his parents when King Saul was after him. Quite obviously, a population is going to be split; there are going to be Moabites who like David and Moabites who are against the Jews. What it depends upon is, what direction the leaders go in. If the ruler has problems with David, develops inordinate competition with him, or if the king of Moab has advisors who are poisoning his opinion; Moab, generally an ally of David’s, can turn against him.


Barnes suggests Footnote that David had some setbacks in fighting with the Syrians, and it is possible that the Moabites and the Ammonites took advantage of this moment and attempted to cut off his retreat.

 

Poole sees this quite different, portraying Moab as lifelong enemies of the Jews, which such things as David entrusting his parents to them as an anomaly. For although the king of Moab, out of hatred to Saul, pretended some kindness to David, and gave protection to his parents (1Sam. 22:3–4), yet the Moabites were perpetual and sworn enemies to the Israelites, who therefore were forbidden to admit them into the congregation of the Lord, and to seek their peace and prosperity (Deut. 23:3–6). And though God commanded them in their march to Canaan to spare the Moabites (Deut. 2:9,19), yet afterwards they proved unthankful, and insolent, and fierce enemies to God and his people (Num. 22:2,24:17–18 Judges 3:14 1Sam. 14:47), and thereby provoked God to alter his course and carriage towards them. Footnote To be clear on just one thing, God did not prohibit the Moabites from entering into the congregation of Israel as believers in Jesus Christ and sharing in the worship of Jehovah Elohim with them; God prohibited the Moabites from Jehovah worship based upon their own volition. There were notable exceptions to this, e.g., Ruth the Moabite. When we examine the doctrine of Moab and Ammon, later on in this study, we will go into greater detail on their relationship to Israel.


2Samuel 8:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâdad (מָדַד) [pronounced maw-DAHD]

to measure

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect, with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #4058 BDB #551

I don’t know that I accept this definition entirely. Perhaps there is within these definitions, the idea of to evaluate, to take the measure of a man.

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

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

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

chebel (חֶבֶל) [pronounced KHEB-vel]

rope, cord, bands; a measuring rope; a territory, lot, portion; a group [of things]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2256 BDB #286

shâkab (שָכַב) [pronounced shaw-KAHBV]

to make [anyone] lie down, to prostrate; to lay down; to cause to rest; to pour out a vessel

Hiphil infinitive absolute

Strong’s #7901 BDB #1011

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object affixed to the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular noun with the directional hê

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: He measured them with a lot, making them lie down on the ground. Exactly what happened here is difficult to determine. Many translators and theologians have David putting the defeated army of Moab into 3 lines, and he killed (ordered the killing) of two lines. This will explain some of the less literal translations.


Other translators suggest that cords or pieces of rope are involved, and somehow, a determination is made to kill or keep men alive based on the number of pieces of rope. I’ll cover this in greater detail below.


2Samuel 8:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâdad (מָדַד) [pronounced maw-DAHD]

to measure

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #4058 BDB #551

shenêy (שְנֵי) [pronounced shen-Ā]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of

dual numeral construct

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

chebel (חֶבֶל) [pronounced KHEB-vel]

rope, cord, bands; a measuring rope; a territory, lot, portion; a group [of things]

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #2256 BDB #286

lâmed (לְ) [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

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

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

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

melôʾ (מְלֹא) [pronounced melow]

fulness, that which fills, that which is full; multitude, crowd [i.e., those which fill a city]

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4393 BDB #571

chebel (חֶבֶל) [pronounced KHEB-vel]

rope, cord, bands; a measuring rope; a territory, lot, portion; a group [of things]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2256 BDB #286

lâmed (לְ) [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

châyâh (חָיָה) [pronounced khaw-YAW]

to keep alive, to deliver from death, to grant life

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #2421 & #2425 BDB #310


Translation: He determined [lit., measured] two lots to kill [the man] and a complete lot to keep alive. We are either dealing with pieces of rope or cord here, or we are dealing with lots. Let me suggest that, possibly, those who needed to be restrained with two pieces of cord were killed and those who were subservient and only required one piece of rope were kept alive. Another reasonable explanation is, David cast lots (or had his men cast lots) and determined who would live or die based upon that. As is the case throughout the Old Testament, when casting lots is mentioned, there is nothing by way of mechanics given so that this would be impossible to duplicate centuries later. That is intentional, as we, in the Church Age, can figure out what to do based upon the doctrine in our souls and not based upon some mumbo-jumbo system from a previous dispensation.


Here are the various theories of what is happening here:

What Does this Mean: “Two lots to kill and a complete lot to keep alive”?

Scripture

Text/Commentary

Barnes

David took great numbers of the Moabites prisoners of war, and made them lie down on the ground, and then divided them by a measuring line into three parts, putting two-thirds to death, and saving alive one-third. Footnote

Bullinger

Bullinger suggests that several of these nouns are metonyms. Therefore, v. 2 ought to read: And he struck Moab and measured them [the territory of he Moabites] with a line, casting them [the cities within Moab] to the ground. Footnote This does not fully explain, to my satisfaction, the remainder of this verse, which reads: And he measured two lines to put to death and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute.

Clarke

It has been generally conjectured that David, after he had conquered Moab, consigned two-thirds of the inhabitants to the sword; but I think the text will bear a meaning much more reputable to that king. The first clause of the verse seems to determine the sense; he measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground - to put to death, and with one line to keep alive. Death seems here to be referred to the cities by way of metaphor; and, from this view of the subject we may conclude that two-thirds of the cities, that is, the strong places of Moab, were erased; and not having strong places to trust to, the text adds, So the Moabites became David’s servants, and brought gifts, i.e., were obliged to pay tribute. The word line may mean the same here as our rod, i.e., the instrument by which land is measured. There are various opinions on this verse, with which I shall not trouble the reader. Footnote

Gill

...to put to death, and with one full line, to keep alive; that is, in measuring them with his lines, he divided them into two parts, one he put to death, and the other, the full line, which contained the most, he saved alive; though it seems according to our version, and so most understand it, that David slew two thirds, and saved one, and so Josephus. This must be understood of the army of the Moabites that fell into his hands, so Josephus, who persisted and refused to submit, not of all the inhabitants of the land. The Jews say, that the reason of this severe treatment of them was because they slew the father, and mother and brethren of David, whom he left to the care and custody of the king of Moab, when he fled from Saul (1Sam. 22:3); since after that they are heard no more of; though it should rather be imputed to their enmity against the people of Israel. Footnote

Henry

David stuck down the Moabites, and made them tributaries to Israel (2Sam. 8:2). He divided the country into three parts, two of which he destroyed, casting down the strong–holds, and putting all to the sword; the third part he spared, to till the ground and be servants to Israel. Footnote Matthew Henry goes on to discuss the severity of David’s actions here, saying that, if left at full strength, they would continue to be dangerous enemies of Israel.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

This refers to a well-known practice of Eastern kings, to command their prisoners of war, particularly those who, notorious for the atrocity of their crimes or distinguished by the indomitable spirit of their resistance, had greatly incensed the victors, to lie down on the ground. Then a certain portion of them, which was determined by lot, but most commonly by a measuring-line, were put to death. Our version makes him put two-thirds to death, and spare one-third. The Septuagint and Vulgate make one-half. This war usage was not, perhaps, usually practised by the people of God; but Jewish writers assert that the cause of this particular severity against this people was their having massacred David's parents and family, whom he had, during his exile, committed to the king of Moab. Footnote

Lightfoot

“He laid them on the ground and measured them with a cord, who should be slain and who should live;” and this is called meting out the valley of Succoth (Psalm 60:6). Footnote

Poole, Wesley

David made an examination of the land, divided it into 3 parts, and utterly destroyed the people in certain sections, and thus fulfilled Num. 24:17 (I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth). Footnote

R. B. Thieme Jr.

Here the picture is one line, say the middle line, is surrounded by their comrades. David, gives the command and all in the two outer lines are cut to pieces with blood flying all over the inner line and it impresses them. These men will become David's personal body guard in the future. They know what it means to be on the bad side of David and want none of it!  Footnote

Whatever is done here, it should be clear that David killed a lot of Moabites after the war. However, it should be clearly pointed out that David also saved a lot of soldiers alive. Destroying everyone of an enemy army was not unheard of in the ancient world, and God at times required that everyone—men, women and children—be destroyed. Even though this may seem harsh, David is allowing 1 out of 3 soldiers to live.

In any case, killing the enemy in war or at the conclusion of a war cannot be understood as some sort of unusually harsh treatment, as Guzik supposes. Footnote Nor is it savage and arbitrary, as Gordon calls it. Footnote War is a gruesome thing and there is no reason to think otherwise.


Chapter Outline

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Application: I write this in the year 2009, and one of the recent political topics of discussion is torture and whether or not we have treated our enemies too harshly while they are incarcerated. It is as if we can have a nice, civilized, Queensberry-style rules war, and that these rules will give the United States some sort of imagined moral authority. I must admit to being absolutely dumbfounded and amazed, as we are not talking about the 5 or 10% portion of our country which is disconnected from reality, but we are talking about a significant portion of our country. In a recent Rasmussen poll (I write this in May of 2009), 28% of American voters believe that President Obama’s decision to release memos which reveal in great detail our interrogation methods was a good decision. I must admit to being dumbfounded by this—how is it possible for 28% of Americans to believe that, in the middle of a war (2 of them in fact), that releasing the secrets of what is behind the curtain is a good idea? This simply tells us just how far gone our nation is, when 28% of Americans apparently think there is a nice way to fight a war. It is passages like these which bring us back to reality, where David, whose great grandmother is a Moabite, who entrusted his own parents to the Moabite king, now finds himself at war with the Moabites, and his mercy is, he only kills 2 out of 3 soldiers. A war ought to be fought to win, by whatever means possible.


Application: Some people ought not to even think about war—or, at least not voice their opinions. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and struggle with the idea of enhanced interrogation during a war as being a bad thing, then it is best not to express your opinions (I exclude unbelievers here, as they will have no clue, in many cases). Whereas, it would not be right to use enhanced interrogation on a common criminal, what we do in wartime is a much different thing. Take the simple example of lying—it is a commandment of God not to bear false witness. However, in wartime, a spy is going to lie—that is his job. Soldiers will lie. John McCain gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line as the names of those in his squadron. As believers, we need some discernment. I cannot just kill some person on my block, even if I think I have good reason to. However, in war, it is our Christian duty to kill as many of the enemy as our Lord allows us to. Behavior has to be adjusted and changed under war. David’s great grandmother was a Moabite; the Moabites guarded his parents when he was on the run from Saul. However, in war, David kills 2 out of 3 Moabite soldiers. The rules change under war.


Application: I watched a debate the other evening with Bill O’Reilly and a liberal, and they were debating torture. The liberal was willing to support President’s Obama use of drones to take out high value targets (which included killing civilians); but he had to draw the line when it came to dunking someone’s head into water to gain important information on possible imminent attacks. How anyone could support the former but not the latter completely boggles my mind. How it is possible to take the life of a noncombatant, calling them collateral damage; but, at the same time, to be absolutely against the harsh treatment of a soldier in order to protect the American people? How can you hold both opinions in the same brain at the same time?


Application: As believers, we have to be cognizant of situations. If you are the man of the house, and someone is breaking into your house, and so threatening your family, you do not turn the other cheek—you shoot to kill (if you have a gun). At one time, this was common sense; but, in the day that I write this, at least 28% of the American population lack common sense.


Keil and Delitzsch suggest that this particular war is also mentioned in 1Chron. 11:22a: And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a valiant man of Kabzeel, a doer of great deeds. He struck down two heroes of Moab.


We have no idea as to the particulars of this war. David sent his parents to Moab for safekeeping a few decades previous (1Sam. 22:3–4), and a part of the reason for this was, his great grandmother Ruth was a Moabite. However, we have no idea what has transpired since then. Were David’s parents ill-treated? Did a new generation of Moabites rise up who hated Israel? This is the second nation in this chapter where an alliance between David and this nation would have been natural. It is important to recognize that David was not just a warmongering king who sought to destroy every nation around him. He struck an alliance with Hiram, King of Tyre (2Sam. 6:11–12) and will also have an alliance with King Toi of Hamath (2Sam. 8:9–10). So, it is clear that David can get along with his neighbors. However, here, although we are not 100% certain of exactly what David did with these Moabites, it is clear that he killed a whole lot of them after being at war against them.


2Samuel 8:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

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

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Môwʾâb (מוֹאָב) [pronounced moh-AWBV]

of his father; transliterated Moab

masculine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #4124 BDB #555

lâmed (לְ) [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 (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (לְ) [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

ʿôbêd (עֹבֵד) [pronounced ģoh-BADE]

a slave, a servant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #5660 BDB #713

nâsâʾ (נָשָׂא) [pronounced naw-SAW]

those lifting up, bearers, those carrying; the ones exalting; those taking away

masculine plural construct, Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

minechâh (מִנְחָה) [pronounced min-HAWH]

tribute offering, gift, present; sacrifice, bloodless offering; [a general term for] offering

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4503 BDB #585


Translation: Therefore, Moab became David’s servants, bringing [him] tribute [as he required]. The Moabites would continue to pay a yearly tribute to David, and then later to Solomon and to Rehoboam, until the revolt of the ten tribes, and then they apparently continued to paid it to the kings of Israel, to the times of Ahab. After Ahab’s death, the Moabites rebelled against Israel (2Kings 1:1 3:4–5).


Here is where we must reasonably understand ancient culture. Paying tribute to a stronger, dominant country was common (1Sam. 10:27 2Chron. 26:8 Psalm 72:10 Isa. 36:16). Whether this established or implied some sort of a suzerain–vassal treaty, I don’t know. But understanding this to be a part of ancient culture better helps us to understand David and Nabal back in 1Sam. 25. David sent his men to collect a tribute from Nabal, whose shepherds had been in David’s periphery without incident. Nabal refused, and at least one commentator (Barthel) took this as David requiring protection money. This was simply the way that things were done. It may seem like gangster protectionism, but in that day and age, it was common.


As was customary in war, the loser often paid the winner tribute. One may understand this to be the natural order of things and, in some cases, this might be seen as legitimate protection money. Being conquered does not automatically mean that two nations will remain at odds with one another forever. Many people liked it when Rome conquered their area because this brought law and order to their province and put them under the protection of Rome. Quite obviously, they would be taxes by Rome; but, at the same time, they would enjoy the protection of Rome and great internal orderliness. Many conquered peoples would petition and/or pay for Roman citizenship in order to have the rights of a Roman citizen.


This could be reasonably seen as a fulfillment of the prophecy of Balaam, from Num. 24:17–19: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth. Edom shall be dispossessed; Seir also, his enemies, shall be dispossessed. Israel is doing valiantly. And one from Jacob shall exercise dominion and destroy the survivors of cities!” This refers both to David in the relative near fulfillment (400+ years later); and to Jesus Christ in the 2nd Advent.


In fact, now might be a good time to go back and review the entire set of prophecies given by Baalim:

To set the stage for this, Israel had just come out of Egypt, spent 40 or so years in the desert-wilderness, and now was traveling up along the east side of the Dead Sea to cross over into the Land of Promise from the east. In order to do this, Israel would travel through and/or along the borders of several nations, including Moab and Ammon. Israel’s only interest was in traveling through peacefully. However, these other nations too this as a military offensive and some even came out to do battle against the Jews.

Balak ben Zippor, King of Moab, hired Balaam, a gentile prophet—but a genuine prophet of God—to curse the Israelites. However, instead of cursing the Jews, Balaam blessed them. King Balak kept having Balaam move about, to see Israel from a different angle, hoping that he would curse Israel. However, he continued to bless Israel each time.

The Prophecies of Balaam

New King James Version

New Living Translation

“Balak the king of Moab has brought me from Aram,

 From the mountains of the east.

 ‘ Come, curse Jacob for me,

 And come, denounce Israel!’

How shall I curse whom God has not cursed?

 And how shall I denounce whom the LORD has not denounced?

For from the top of the rocks I see him,

 And from the hills I behold him;

 There! A people dwelling alone,

 Not reckoning itself among the nations.

Who can count the dust of Jacob,

 Or number one-fourth of Israel?

 Let me die the death of the righteous,

 And let my end be like his!”

“Balak summoned me to come from Aram;

 the king of Moab brought me from the eastern hills.

   ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me!

 Come and announce Israel’s doom.’

But how can I curse those

 whom God has not cursed?

   How can I condemn those

 whom the Lord has not condemned?

I see them from the cliff tops;

 I watch them from the hills.

   I see a people who live by themselves,

 set apart from other nations.

Who can count Jacob’s descendants, as numerous as dust?

Who can count even a fourth of Israel’s people?

   Let me die like the righteous;

 let my life end like theirs.”

(Num. 23:7b–10)

Balaam tells how Balak summoned him to curse the Jews, but, as he stands on the mountains overlooking the Jews, he cannot curse them, as God has not denounced them. The Jews are praised for their great numbers and Balaam ask to die as a Jew.

“Rise up, Balak, and hear!

 Listen to me, son of Zippor!

God is not a man, that He should lie,

 Nor a son of man, that He should repent.

 Has He said, and will He not do?

 Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

Behold, I have received a command to bless;

  He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.

“Rise up, Balak, and listen!

 Hear me, son of Zippor.

God is not a man, so he does not lie.

 He is not human, so he does not change his mind.

   Has he ever spoken and failed to act?

 Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

Listen, I received a command to bless;

 God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!

(Num. 23:18b–20)

God does not change His mind. Balaam warns that he cannot overturn with his words whom God has blessed and whom God has cursed.

He has not observed iniquity in Jacob,

 Nor has He seen wickedness in Israel.

 The LORD his God is with him,

 And the shout of a King is among them.

God brings them out of Egypt;

 He has strength like a wild ox.

For there is no sorcery against Jacob,

 Nor any divination against Israel.

 It now must be said of Jacob

 And of Israel, ‘Oh, what God has done!’

Look, a people rises like a lioness,

 And lifts itself up like a lion;

 It shall not lie down until it devours the prey,

 And drinks the blood of the slain.”

No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob;

 no trouble is in store for Israel.

   For the Lord their God is with them;

 he has been proclaimed their king.

God brought them out of Egypt;

 for them he is as strong as a wild ox.

No curse can touch Jacob;

 no magic has any power against Israel.

   For now it will be said of Jacob,

 ‘What wonders God has done for Israel!’

These people rise up like a lioness,

 like a majestic lion rousing itself.

   They refuse to rest

 until they have feasted on prey,

 drinking the blood of the slaughtered!”

(Num. 23:21–24)

God is with Israel and God is not going to allow misfortune to befall them. God, their King, leads them out of Egypt. The powers of the various gods cannot harm Israel. Israel will rise up as a great nation, defeating their enemies as a lion killing his prey.

“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor,

 The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened,

The utterance of him who hears the words of God,

 Who sees the vision of the Almighty,

 Who falls down, with eyes wide open:

“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor,

the message of the man whose eyes see clearly,

the message of one who hears the words of God,

 who sees a vision from the Almighty,

 who bows down with eyes wide open:

(Num. 24:3b–4)

What Balaam is saying is clearly a vision from God; these are the words of God.

“How lovely are your tents, O Jacob!

 Your dwellings, O Israel!

Like valleys that stretch out,

 Like gardens by the riverside,

 Like aloes planted by the LORD,

 Like cedars beside the waters.

He shall pour water from his buckets,

 And his seed shall be in many waters.

 “His king shall be higher than Agag,

 And his kingdom shall be exalted.

“How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob;

 how lovely are your homes, O Israel!

They spread before me like palm groves,

 like gardens by the riverside.

They are like tall trees planted by the Lord,

 like cedars beside the waters.

Water will flow from their buckets;

 their offspring have all they need.

   Their king will be greater than Agag;

 their kingdom will be exalted.

(Num. 24:5–7)

While these men tromp through the desert in front of him, Balaam looks into their prophetic future, seeing their wonderful homes, gardens and trees. Agag was the king of the Amalekites (this was either a family name or a title of Amalekite kings). The king of Israel will be greater than Agag, who, at this time, is seen as the greatest king of that area.

“God brings him out of Egypt;

 He has strength like a wild ox;

 He shall consume the nations, his enemies;

 He shall break their bones

 And pierce them with his arrows.

‘He bows down, he lies down as a lion;

 And as a lion, who shall rouse him?’

 “ Blessed is he who blesses you,

 And cursed is he who curses you.”

“God brought them out of Egypt;

 for them he is as strong as a wild ox.

He devours all the nations that oppose him,

 breaking their bones in pieces,

 shooting them with arrows.

Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down;

 like a lioness, who dares to arouse her?

Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel,

 and cursed is everyone who curses you.”

(Num. 24:8–9)

God brings Israel out of Egypt. Israel has tremendous strength, like an ox. Right now, Israel does not look like much—like a lion crouching down—but the hearer is warned not to disturb her.

“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor,

 And the utterance of the man whose eyes are opened;

The utterance of him who hears the words of God,

 And has the knowledge of the Most High,

 Who sees the vision of the Almighty,

 Who falls down, with eyes wide open:

“This is the message of Balaam son of Beor,

 the message of the man whose eyes see clearly,

the message of one who hears the words of God,

 who has knowledge from the Most High,

   who sees a vision from the Almighty,

 who bows down with eyes wide open:

(Num. 24:15b–16)

Balaam again reiterates that these are the words of God, that his vision is true because it comes from God. His eyes are wide open because he sees this great vision of God.

“I see Him, but not now;

 I behold Him, but not near;

 A Star shall come out of Jacob;

 A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,

 And batter the brow of Moab,

 And destroy all the sons of tumult.

“And Edom shall be a possession;

 Seir also, his enemies, shall be a possession,

 While Israel does valiantly.

Out of Jacob One shall have dominion,

 And destroy the remains of the city.”

“I see him, but not here and now.

 I perceive him, but far in the distant future.

   A star will rise from Jacob;

 a scepter will emerge from Israel.

   It will crush the foreheads of Moab’s people,

 cracking the skulls of the people of Sheth.

Edom will be taken over,

 and Seir, its enemy, will be conquered,

 while Israel marches on in triumph.

A ruler will rise in Jacob

 who will destroy the survivors of Ir.”

(Num. 24:17–19)

Balaam looks forward to two kings here—to David, who fulfills this prophecy with his defeat of Moab; and to Jesus Christ upon His return, Who will destroy all of the nations around Israel.

Then he looked on Amalek, and he took up his oracle and said:

 “ Amalek was first among the nations,

 But shall be last until he perishes.”

 Then Balaam looked over toward the people of Amalek and delivered this message:

   “Amalek was the greatest of nations,

 but its destiny is destruction!”

(Num. 24:20–22)

The Amalekites make up the greatest nation at the time that Israel is making this trek along the eastern side of the Dead Sea. They live in the land between Palestine and Egypt, a portion of which the Jews wandered through. They will be trouble for Israel even to the time of David.

Then he looked on the Kenites, and he took up his oracle and said:

 “Firm is your dwelling place,

 And your nest is set in the rock;

Nevertheless Kain shall be burned.

 How long until Asshur carries you away captive?”

Then he looked over toward the Kenites and delivered this message:

   “Your home is secure;

 your nest is set in the rocks.

 But the Kenites will be destroyed

 when Assyria takes you captive.”

(Num. 24:20–22)

The Kenites actually had mostly a good relationship with Israel. However, Assyria would eventually take them captive.

Then he took up his oracle and said:

 “Alas! Who shall live when God does this?

But ships shall come from the coasts of Cyprus,

And they shall afflict Asshur and afflict Eber,

 And so shall Amalek, until he perishes.”

 Balaam concluded his messages by saying:

   “Alas, who can survive

 unless God has willed it?

Ships will come from the coasts of Cyprus;

 they will oppress Assyria and afflict Eber,

 but they, too, will be utterly destroyed.”

(Num. 24:23–24)

Balaam even looks forward to the destruction of Assyria.

As an aside, this passage tells us that God worked in Gentile nations before Israel became a nation to God (God’s unique client nation). God had Israel compose the Scriptures, but passages like this in Numbers tell us that God worked throughout all nations when there was positive volition.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


We do not know how David determined to go to war against Moab. Was he responding to a threat, following God’s mandates or simply conquering everyone in his periphery? In this context, we are not given any information.


We know that the Palestinians today have a hard-core portion of their population who will never tolerate the Jews under any circumstance. Since the Jews have been God’s people for a long time, it is not unreasonable to suppose that there was strong anti-Semitism during the time of David. We are not told which countries favored and which countries hated this Jews in this context of this chapter. However, it would not be shocking to find that some of these nations just simply hated Israel and perpetrated acts of war against them for that reason. Recall that, when David took Jerusalem, the Philistines almost immediately gathered against him out in the valley outside of Jerusalem (part of the reason for this was, the Philistines had previously controlled some Israeli cities after they defeated Saul and his sons in battle).


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Chapter Outline

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David Defeats Hadadezer and the Syrians


And so strikes David Hadadezer son of Rehob king of Zobah in his going to return his hand in a river of [Euphrates].

2Samuel

8:3

David also struck down Hadadezer [possibly, Hadarezer], the son of Rehob, the king of Zobah when he went to restore [or, cause to return, regain] his power [lit., his hand] near the River [Euphrates].

David also defeated Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, the king of Zobah when he attempted to restore his power out as far as the Euphrates River.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          David defeated also Adarezer the son of Rohob king of Soba, when he went to extend his dominion over the river Euphrates.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so strikes David Hadadezer son of Rehob king of Zobah in his going to return his hand in a river of [Euphrates].

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then David defeated Hadarezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to have dominion at the river Euphrates.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David struck Adraazar the son of Raab king of Suba, as he went to extend his power [lit., hand] to the river Euphrates.

 

Significant differences:           The final verb is in question. It is a very common verb in the Hebrew. The verb in the Greek is unknown to me, however the verbs used in the English versions of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts seem to give the gist of the Hebrew text, although it does not appear to be an exact translation.

 

The additional word Euphrates is found in the Masorite text as a marginal note, in the ancient versions above and in the parallel passage I n1Chron. 18:3. It is reasonable to suppose that it belongs here in this verse as well.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       David set out for the Euphrates River to build a monument there. On his way, he defeated the king of Zobah, whose name was Hadadezer the son of Rehob.

Easy English (Pocock)           Hadadezer was the son of Rehob, the king of Zobah. Hadadezer had gone to the river Euphrates. He wanted to rule over the territory round the river again. But David defeated him.

Easy-to-Read Version            Hadadezer son of Rehob was king of Zobah. David defeated Hadadezer when David went to take control of the area near the Euphrates River.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then he defeated the king of the Syrian state of Zobah, Hadadezer son of Rehob, as Hadadezer was on his way to restore his control over the territory by the upper Euphrates River.

The Message                         On his way to restore his sovereignty at the River Euphrates, David next defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob the king of Zobah.

New Century Version             David also defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to take control again at the Euphrates River.

New Life Bible                        Then David won the battle against Hadadezer the son of Rehob king of Zobah, as he went to get his power again at the Euphrates River.

New Living Translation           David also destroyed the forces of Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when Hadadezer marched out to strengthen his control along the Euphrates River.

New Simplified Bible              David defeated the king of the Syrian state of Zobah, Hadadezer son of Rehob. Hadadezer was on his way to restore his control over the territory by the upper Euphrates River.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Next, David attacked AdraAzar (the son of RaAb, the king of Souba) as he was marching toward the Euphrates River.

God’s Word                         When David went to restore his control over the territory along the Euphrates River, he defeated Zobah's King Hadadezer, son of Rehob.

New American Bible              Next David defeated Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to reestablish his dominion at the Euphrates River.

NIRV                                      David fought against Hadadezer, the son of Rehob. Hadadezer was king of Zobah. He had gone to take back control of the land along the Euphrates River.

New Jerusalem Bible             David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when the latter mounted an expedition to extend his power over the River.

Revised English Bible            David also defeated Hadadezer the Rehobite, king of Zobah, who was on hi way to restore his monument of victory by the river Euphrates.

Today’s NIV                          Moreover, David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to restore his monument at [Or his control along] the Euphrates River.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And David overcame Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to make his power seen by the River.

JPS (Tanakh)                         David defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king f Zobah, who as then on his way to restore his monument [On yad in this sense, cf. 18:18; 1Chron. 18:3; 1Sam. 15:12. Others “dominion”] at the Euphrates River.

NET Bible®                             David defeated King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah when he came to reestablish [The Septuagint (LXX) has ἐπιστσαι (epistēsai, "cause to stand"). See the parallel text in 1Chron. 18:3] his authority [lit., hand] over the Euphrates [The Masoretic Text (MT) does not have the name "Euphrates" in the text. It is supplied in the margin (Qere) as one of ten places where the Masoretes believed that something was "to be read although it was not written" in the text as they had received it. The ancient versions (Septuagint (LXX), Syriac Peshitta, Vulgate) include the word. See also the parallel text in 1Chron. 18:3] River.

The Scriptures 1998              Dawid also smote Hadadezer son of Reḥob, sovereign of Tsobah, as he went to restore his rule at the River Euphrates.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                David also defeated Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the river [Euphrates].

A Conservative Version         David also smote Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his dominion at the River.

English Standard Version      David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his power at the river Euphrates.

exeGeses companion Bible   And David smites Hadad Ezer

the son of Rechob sovereign of Sobah

as he goes to turn back his hand

at the river Euphrates:.

Hebrew Names Version         David struck also Hadad`ezer the son of Rechov, king of Tzovah, as he went to recover his dominion at the River.

King James 2000 Version      David struck also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his territory at the river Euphrates.

MKJV                                     David also struck Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.

New King James Version       David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his territory at the River Euphrates.

NRSV                                     David also struck down King Hadadezer son of Rehob of Zobah, as he went to restore his monument [compare 1Sam. 15:12 2Sam. 18:18] at the river Euphrates.

A Voice in the Wilderness      David also struck Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to restore his hand at the River Euphrates.

Young’s Updated LT             And David strikes Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah, in his going to bring back his power by the River [Euphrates].

 

The gist of this verse:          The only conflict which is given any real detail is between David and Hadadezer. This verse introduces that conflict. It appears as though David steps up to curtail Hadadezer’s attempts to expand and/or restore his kingdom.


2Samuel 8:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Hădadeʿezer (הֲדַדְעֶזֶר) [pronounced huhd-ahd-ĢEH-zer]

Hadad is a helper; transliterated Hadadezer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1909 BDB #212

The proper noun found here is possibly:

Hădareʿezer (הֲדַרְעֶזֶר) [pronounced huhd-ahr-ĢEH-zehr]

 Hadar is a help; and is transliterated Hadarezer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1928 BDB #214

Hadadezer is found in 2Sam. 8:3, 5, 7–10, 12 1Kings 11:23. Hadarezer is found in: 2Sam. 10:16, 19 1Chron. 18:3, 5, 7-10 (the parallel chapter to 2Sam. 8) 19:16, 19. The d and r in Hebrew are often confounded. Many Bibles will have one or the other spellings in all of these passages.

Barnes tells us that Hadadezer, is the true form, as seen in the names Benhadad, Hadad (1Kings 11:14 15:18). Hadad was the chief idol, or sun–god, of the Syrians. Footnote

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Rechôwb (רְחוֹב) [pronounced rekh-OHBV]

broad, open place and is transliterated Rechob, Rehob

masculine singular proper noun; location

Strong's #7340 BDB #932

Also spelled Rechôb (רְחֹב) [pronounced rekh-OHBV].

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Tsôwbâh (צוֹבָה) [pronounced tzohb-VAW]

transliterated Zobah

Proper noun, territory

Strong’s #6678 BDB #844


Translation: David also struck down Hadadezer [possibly, Hadarezer], the son of Rehob, the king of Zobah... As you have seen in the Hebrew exegesis, this particular noun is in question; however, this only involves one letter and it serves to show how accurately the text was maintained. In the parallel passage in 1Chron. 18, we have the name spelled differently. Now, had someone wanted to make certain that all of the text made sense, it would have been very easy for a scribe to simply fix this chapter or fix 1Chron. 18. The accuracy of the original text was too important to the scribes to cause them to want to mess with it, even though many scribes were undoubtedly familiar with this problem.


Barnes explains that Hadad was the chief idol of the Syrians (their sun-god), and that we find it in many of the names of their rulers (2Sam. 8:3 1Kings 11:14 15:18). Footnote Therefore, the correct spelling ought to be Hadadezer.


What we know about Hadadezer is primarily from this and the next chapter of Samuel (and their parallel chapters in Chronicles).

 

BDSG (Bible Doctrine Study Guides) tell us that Hadadezer was the greatest of armored force leaders of his day. He had armored chariots. He had a great Syrian kingdom called Aram-Zobah, which was the nation of Aram-Syrian with its capital at Zobah. There was a second Syrian group at Aram-Damascus. As an added noted, the Syrians (Aram) are not to be confounded with another Semitic group called the Assyrians (Assur). With these wars, David will secure peace for Israel for the next 50 years. Footnote


Application: Peace and freedom are purchased on the battlefield. The United States has remained secure and free because of our relationship with God and because we have a great military with excellent weapons systems. Our freedom has been so great that, at the time that I write this, we, as a nation, are about to give over much of our freedom to the federal government in order to have cradle to the grave government care.


Application: A nation begins to rot internally before it falls apart. Polling research, as of 2009, reveals that atheism is increasing and people who believe in God is decreasing. A subset of those who believe in God are be those who are believers in Jesus Christ. A subset of that will be believers who are learning Bible doctrine each and every day. The size of these subsets affects our true peace and security. The more that we move away from God, the more that we look to something (government) or someone (right now, President Barrack Obama) to take up the slack.


Application: A nation is blessed directly and indirectly by God. Believers who are maturing receive direct blessing from God, and that blessing spills over to their friends, family, associates, organizations to which they belong, and geographical areas in which they live. The blessing which spills over is indirect blessing, and called blessing by association. However, besides this, when the Bible is revered, then many Biblical principles are understood as correct and followed. Let me give you an odd example: the Mormons are a cult, although many of them do genuinely believe in Jesus Christ and are saved because of that. However, they do believe strong in family, morality and the work ethic. These things come from the Bible. Therefore, Mormons, those who are believers and those who are not, even though they function outside of the plan of God, receive great blessing from God because they follow the laws of divine establishment. If the majority population of a nation understands the importance of the family and the importance of country and patriotism, that nation is prosperous. If a significant portion of a nation sits on their hands and waits for government to take care of them, that nation is headed for destruction. In any case, believers out of fellowship and unbelievers, who follow the laws of divine establishment, are blessed indirectly by God.


Application: The United States is blessed by God above any other nation in human history, and many of us have absolutely no appreciation for this. So many people just go from day-to-day and never think much about, why do we have it so good in the United States? However, it is this great combination of direct and indirect blessing combined with blessing by association.


Back to the exegesis: Zobah is a portion of Syria, and an independent country during the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon. There seem to be several kings over this area during the time of Saul (1Sam. 14:47—possibly each one ruled a city, and there may have been a loose confederation) and here, only one king is named, which could indicate some consolidation or simply to one of the kings in southern Zobah. Much of what we know about Zobah will come from this and its parallel chapter in Chronicles (Zobah is found in 1Sam. 14:47 2Sam. 8:3, 5, 12 10:6, 8 23:36 1Kings 11:23 1Chron. 18:3, 5, 9 19:6 2Chron. 8:3 Psalm 60:1). We will cover the (short) Doctrine of Zobah when we get to 1Chron. 18.


2Samuel 8:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

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

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

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.

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

Qal infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

lâmed (לְ) [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

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring [send, turn] back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, to be caused to return

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

Yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd] can connote power, strength, ability; control; leadership, guidance.

In case you are wondering where some of the translators came up with translations which involved the word monument, there are an additional handful of specialized uses for this noun: a. a sign, a monument (1Sam. 15:12 2Sam. 18:18); b. a part, a fractional part (Gen. 47:24 2Sam. 19:44 2Kings 11:7 Neh. 11:1); c. time, repetition (Gen. 43:34 Deut. 1:29). Footnote

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

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

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

nâhâr (נָהָר) [pronounced naw-HAWR]

stream, river

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #5104 BDB #625

A marginal note in the Masoretic text adds this word: Footnote This is also the reading in 1Chron. 18:3.

Pherât (פְּרָת) [pronounced fe-RAWT]

to break forth, rushing; transliterated Euphrates

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #6578 BDB #832

This is also found in the Septuagint (LXX), the Syriac Peshitta, and the Latin Vulgate. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that this word was in the original text of Samuel.


Translation: ...when he went to restore [or, cause to return, regain] his power [lit., his hand] near the River [Euphrates]. The Hebrew word yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd] means hand and is sometimes used to mean a literal hand (Ex. 4:7 1Kings 13:4 Prov. 19:24) and it is sometimes used to refer to power, strength, ability; control; leadership, guidance (see figurative uses in Isa. 1:25 14:27 Amos 1:8 Psalm 74:11). Up to this point in time, we know relatively nothing about Hadadezer. However, it is reasonable to suppose that he either had previously controlled the area as far as the Euphrates and was restoring his control over this area; or, as Barnes suggests (backing this up with 2Sam. 10:15–19), Hadadezer was going across the Euphrates to gather more troops to then bring to fight against David. Footnote


I have assumed here that it is Hadadezer who is reestablishing his kingdom near the Euphrates River (it makes no sense for David to be reestablishing his control over this area, as we are not aware of David every controlling this area before). .


We find a similar conflict between Syrian and David in 2Sam. 10:9–19, with many of the same players being involved. However, there are enough key differences (to be enumerated when we get to that chapter) to determine that these are different wars involving the same players. Since these wars are given in two separate places in Scripture with several differences in detail, it is reasonable to assume that these are two separate conflicts. Barnes suggestion above can still be valid, and that Hadadezer going across he Euphrates to get reinforcements to do battle is what he habitually does when he is going to advance against another country.


I think that it is a good idea to get an idea as to the geography of Israel and its surrounding countries, rivers and seas, so here are two maps of this area.


It may be a good idea to see how David was situated in comparison to the surrounding areas.

A Map of David’s Israel

You will notice that Aram-Zobah is in the high right-hand corner above the city of Damascus. Off to the east (the right-hand side) is the Euphrates River (which can be seen on the map below).



This map was taken from: http://www.bible-history.com/map-davids-kingdom/

davidsisrael.jpg  

davids-kingdom.jpg  

Syria marks the place where Zobah is, and you will note two things: (1) For Hadadezer to conquer all of the land on over to the Euphrates is taking a fairly large chunk of land. (2) David obviously conquered a very large portion of the Middle East.



This map is taken from:

http://www.bible-history.com/map-davids-kingdom/map-davids-kingdom_near_east.html


At this time, we do not know if this was infringing on David’s territory or not. David may have been exercising the so-called Bush Doctrine, and launching a first strike against an obviously hostile force; Hadadezer may have been encroaching on territory which belonged to David or, Hadadezer may have been going to get additional troops with which to move against David.


What David appears to be doing is taking the land which God had promised to him and which was promised originally to Abraham and later to David. Gen. 15:18–21: On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites and the Jebusites." See also Ex. 23:31 Deut. 11:24 Psalm 89:25. If this is the case, then this chapter fits in very neatly here, because the Davidic Covenant was given in the previous chapter. Whether Hadadezer is attempting to recover the boundaries of his own land or going to the Euphrates for additional troops, David’s suggested motivation here is not incompatible with either scenario.


When I first began this chapter, it seemed to be disconnected to what came before, but, what came before was both promises of God to make David’s name great and to be with him wherever he went (2Sam. 7:9); and that David’s kingdom would extend from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River (Psalm 89:25). Essentially, we are observing the fulfillment of God’s promises to David in this chapter.


Israel’s power extended as far as the Euphrates, here, under David, and later, under Solomon. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life (1Kings 4:21). Had Israel remained a united nation with doctrinally oriented kings, this would have been Israel’s future—domination over this huge mass of land followed by populating this same land. Furthermore, the end result would have been great stability to that part of the world.


Application: What is the most stable continent in the world right now? North America. We have great Muslim infiltrations throughout all of Europe, which includes a lot of anger and political unrest (I write this in 2009). We have great civil and political unrest throughout all of Africa. In the Middle East, despite the great influx of money due to their rich oil deposits, there are only a handful of places anyone would want to live in the Middle East. Muslims continue to seethe with hatred against Israel. In Asia, we have Muslim uprisings in many Asian countries; a small uprising in Thailand; and a nation (North Korea) which is developing atomic weapons and launching missile tests, which could threaten the stability of central and northern Asia. Apart from the recent drug wars in Mexico, Canada, the United States and Mexico have been very stable over the past 100+ years, without any encroachment of any of these countries. We are stable here because of the number of believers in Jesus Christ who reside in the United States and because of the dissemination of Bible doctrine throughout our land. The key to great stability in this world is the gospel of Jesus Christ and knowledge of God’s Word. This is why David stabilized the area around Israel and this is why the United States has enjoyed such great peace and prosperity over the past century or more.


——————————


And so captures David from him a thousand and seven hundreds horsemen and twenty thousand a man a footman. And so hamstrings David all the horse and so he preserves alive from him a hundred horse.

2Samuel

8:4

David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 chariot riders, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also disabled all of the chariots, but [lit., and] he kept from them 100 chariots.

David captured alive 1000 charioteers, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers from Hadadezer. He also disabled all but 100 of the chariots.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And David took from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen, and houghed all the chariot horses: and only reserved of them for one hundred chariots.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so captures David from him a thousand and seven hundreds horsemen and twenty thousand a man a footman. And so hamstrings David all the horse and so he preserves alive from him a hundred horse.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And David took from him one thousand and seven hundred chariots and twenty thousand footmen; and David destroyed all the chariots, but reserved of them one hundred chariots.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David took a thousand of his chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David disabled all his chariots, and he reserved to himself a hundred chariots.

 

Significant differences:           The Syriac has David capturing chariots rather than horsemen; and the Greek splits the first number of horsemen into 1000 chariots and 7000 horsemen. The Latin and Hebrew are almost in full agreement here.

 

Both the Syriac and the Greek have David destroying or disabling chariots rather than horses. The Hebrew word allows for this to mean horses or chariots. So all versions are in some agreement as to the original Hebrew words in the final sentence.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       In the battle, David captured seventeen hundred cavalry and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He also captured war chariots, but he destroyed all but one hundred of them.

Easy English (Pocock)           David took 1000 of Hadadezer's *chariots. He took as prisoners 7000 men who rode in the *chariots. David also took 20 000 other soldiers as prisoners. He kept 100 of their horses. Then David's soldiers cut the back of the ankles of all the other horses.

Easy-to-Read Version            David took 1,700 horse soldiers and 20,000 foot soldiers from Hadadezer. David crippled all but 100 of the chariot horses.

Good News Bible (TEV)         David captured seventeen hundred of his cavalry and twenty thousand of his foot soldiers. He kept enough horses for a hundred chariots and crippled all the rest.

New Century Version             David captured one thousand chariots, seven thousand men who rode in chariots, and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He crippled all but a hundred of the chariot horses.

New Life Bible                        David took 1700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers from him. He cut the legs of some of the war-wagon horses, but saved enough of them for 100 warwagons.

New Living Translation           David captured seventeen hundred of his cavalry and twenty thousand of his foot soldiers. He kept enough horses for a hundred chariots and crippled (hamstrung) all the rest.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          There David captured a thousand chariots, seven thousand of his cavalry, and twenty thousand of his foot soldiers. Then David had all the chariots destroyed, except for a hundred that he kept for himself.

God’s Word                         David took 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers from him. David also disabled all but 100 of their horses so that they couldn't pull chariots.

New American Bible              David captured from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen and twenty thousand foot soldiers. And he hamstrung all the chariot horses, preserving only enough for a hundred chariots.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And David took from him one thousand, seven hundred horsemen and twenty thousand footmen: and David had the leg-muscles of the horses cut, only keeping enough of them for a hundred war-carriages.

JPS (Tanakh)                         David captures 1,700 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers on his force; and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, except for 100 which he retained.

NET Bible®                             David seized from him 1,700 charioteers [The LXX has "one thousand chariots and seven thousand charioteers," a reading adopted in the text of the NIV. See the parallel text in 1 Chr 18:4] and 20,000 infantrymen. David cut the hamstrings of all but a hundred of the chariot horses.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And David took from him 1,700 horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. And David hamstrung all the chariot horses but left enough for 100 chariots.

Young’s Updated LT             And David captures from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen, and David destroys utterly the whole of the charioteers, only he leaves of them a hundred charioteers.

 

The gist of this verse:          David captures 1000 chariots (or, chariot riders) 7000 horsemen and 20,000 of Hadadezer’s infantry. He either hamstrings all of the horses, but keeps 100 of them or destroys all of the chariots, and keeps 100 of them.


2Samuel 8:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâkad (לָכַד) [pronounced law-KAHD]

to capture, to seize, to take, to choose [by lot]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3920 BDB #539

Lâkad (לָכַד) has three basic meanings: ➊ to take, to catch, to take as a capture, to capture; ➋ to intercept, to take before; to take, to chose [something by lot]. The Niphal is simply the passive of either ➊ (2Kings 16:18 Psalm 9:16 Jer. 51:56) or ➌ (1Sam. 10:20–21).

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

min (מִן) [pronounced mihn]

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

preposition of separation with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʾeleph (אֶלֶף) pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

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

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shebaʿ (שֶבַע) [pronounced sheb-VAHĢ]

seven

numeral masculine construct

Strong's #7651 BDB #987

mêʾôwth (מֵאוֹת) [pronounced may-OHTH]

hundreds

feminine plural absolute; numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

pârâsh (פָּרָש) [pronounced paw-RASH]

horse, steed; horseman

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6571 BDB #832

The Greek has David capturing 1000 chariots and 7000 horsemen as opposed to 1700 horsemen. This agrees with the 1Chron. 18:4 text.

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

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

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿeserîym (עֶשְׂרִים) [pronounced ģese-REEM]

twenty

plural numeral adjective

Strong’s #6242 BDB #797

ʾeleph (אֶלֶף) pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ragelîy (רַגְלִי) [pronounced rahge-LEE]

on foot, footmen; foot soldier

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #7273 BDB #920


Translation: David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 chariot riders, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. If you have gone through the Hebrew exegesis or looked at the other ancient translations, you know that there is a problem with the text here.


The ancient texts do not agree as to the numbers found in this verse; nor is this in agreement with 1Chron. 18:4, the parallel text. So we need to straighten this out.

The Textual Problems of 2Samuel 8:4

Source

Text

Latin Vulgate

And David took from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen,...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)

And so captures David from him a thousand and seven hundreds horsemen...

Peshitta (Syriac)

And David took from him one thousand and seven hundred chariots...

Septuagint (Greek)

And David took a thousand of his chariots, and seven thousand horsemen...

1Chron. 18:4 (parallel passage from the Hebrew)

And David took from him 1,000 chariots and 7,000 horsemen...

Josephus’ historical account

...when he [David] had joined battle with him [Hadadezer] at 'the river Euphrates, he destroyed twenty thousand of his footmen, and about seven thousand of his horsemen. He also took a thousand of his chariots, and destroyed the greatest part of them, and ordered that no more than one hundred should be kept. Footnote

Cleared up Contradictions of the Bible suggests: There are two possible solutions to these differing figures. The first by Keil and Delitzsh (page 360) is a most convincing solution. They maintain that the word for chariotry (rekeb) was inadvertently omitted by the scribe in copying 2 Samuel 8:4, and that the second figure, 7,000 (for the parasim "cavalrymen"), was necessarily reduced to 700 from the 7,000 he saw in his Vorlage for the simple reason that no one would write 7,000 after he had written 1,000 in the recording the one and the same figure. The omission of rekeb might have occurred with an earlier scribe, and a reduction from 7,000 to 700 would have then continued with the successive copies by later scribes. But in all probability the Chronicles figure is right and the Samuel numbers should be corrected to agree with that. Footnote

A second solution starts from the premise that the number had been reduced to 700 as it refers to 700 rows, each consisting of 10 horse men, making a total of 7,000. Footnote This is a less satisfying solution to me as well.

Now, I have, on many occasions, touted how many of these clear problems remain after all these years because scribes refused to mess with the text, even when they knew it was wrong. However, remember that we are dealing with human beings here that have their foibles. So, even though 99% of the scribes respected the text, and copied it letter for letter, even when they realized that there had to have been a textual error, we have one scribe here saw the problem of 1000 and 7000 horsemen, and decided to make and executive decision and to fix it. Obviously, this only compounded the error.

There is an additional problem, and that is, are we dealing with chariots, horses or men? That will be answered at the end of this verse.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


In this war with Hadarezer, David captures 1000 of his chariots, 7000 of his horsemen and 20,000 of his infantry. Although we could have David capturing horses here, the emphasis upon foot soldier suggests that David captured horsemen and foot soldiers. These would become slaves to the Hebrew people.


Because these men are all captured, there was obviously no mandate from God to destroy all of the army.


2Samuel 8:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʿâqar (עָקַר) [pronounced ģaw-KAHR]

to hamstring [horses]

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #6131 BDB #785

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

rekeb (רֶכֶב) [pronounced REH-khebv]

riders, cavalry; chariot; horses; the upper millstone [riding on a lower millstone]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7393 BDB #939

These may seem like very divergent concepts, however, they are all related to the wheel. A person might refer to his car as my wheels; their circular objects would also be given a similar name. It is usually rendered chariot(s) (Gen. 50:9 Ex. 14:6–7, 9 Deut. 11:4). My guess is that this could have been a word which had its origins in Egypt. There is another usage which apparently has to do with day to day life in the ancient kitchen, although millstone may not be correct (Deut. 24:6 Judges 9:53 2Sam. 11:21). Context makes it easy to distinguish the two divergent meanings.


Translation: David also disabled all of the chariots,... The word for chariot here could also refer to the riders of the horses or to the horses themselves (which explains the ancient translations which differ from the Hebrew). The verb we have here appears to only be used for hamstringing horses (although we only find it a handful of times throughout the Bible). The Israelites did not generally deal with chariots themselves (at least, not in David’s day or previous to that), so it would not be out of the question for them to use the word for hamstrung to also refer to disabling the chariot.


Whether you like horses or not, I could not rule out the horses being hamstrung here as part of disabling the chariots. The text seems to suggest that these are horses which are being incapacitated, but there is some wiggle-room in the text (to be discussed after v. 4c). It is not unreasonable to suppose that, because there is a bond between a horse and his master, the Hebrew army cannot capture the horsemen and keep their horses alive with them, much as they may want to.


2Samuel 8:4c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâthar (יָתַר) [pronounced yaw-THAHR]

to save over, to preserve alive; to cause someone to abound with something; to let remain, to leave; to make profit; to show [have] excess

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3498 BDB #451

min (מִן) [pronounced mihn]

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

preposition of separation with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

mêʾâh (מֵאָה) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred, a hundred, hundred

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

rekeb (רֶכֶב) [pronounced REH-khebv]

riders, cavalry; chariot; horses; the upper millstone [riding on a lower millstone]

masculine singular noun, pausal form

Strong’s #7393 BDB #939


Translation: ...but [lit., and] he kept from them 100 chariots. Again, since the noun here and in the previous part of this verse can also be rendered riders, chariots or horses, we look at the verbs for guidance, and the first verb indicates that we are dealing with horses and the second verb is consistent with dealing with living things. However, we could translate this final phrase and he saved 100 horses [for himself]. This would mean give two different meanings to the same word in the same verse. In this verse, rekeb is found 3 times, and each time, it could be translated chariot rider, chariot or horse. That is somewhat problematic.


The corrected literal version is: And so captures David from him a 1000 rekeb and 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers [masculine singular]. And so David hamstrings [disables?] all the rekeb and so he preserves from him 100 rekeb. Rekeb is a masculine singular noun, as is foot soldier (which is a masculine singular noun and a masculine singular adjective). Horsemen is a plural noun.

Because the masculine singular noun rekeb (רֶכֶב) [pronounced REH-khebv] can refer to chariot riders, chariots or to horses, we have a problem in interpreting this verse. It is found 3 times in the restored text of this verse as well as 3 times in 1Chron. 18:4.

The second sentence has rekeb twice and it appears to refer to the same thing. One might understand the 100 preserved or saved aside to come from those which are destroyed, as it reads from him, which could be seen as from those which were hamstrung (or, disabled). However, as we have the phrase from him in the previous sentence, referring to from Hadadezer, then this second time we find the phrase, it could again refer to Hadadezer.

We must be careful here not to be too genteel and think, David is really a nice guy, so he can’t oversee the killing of all of these horses, can he?

Charioteers, Chariots or Horses?

Alternate translations

Strengths and Weaknesses

David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 chariots, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also disabled all of the chariots, but [lit., and] he preserved 100 chariots.

The numbers here make perfect sense (that is, there is a reasonable ratio of chariots to horsemen to infantry) and the number of chariots which David reserves is reasonable, given that David has no chariots, and, therefore, no chariot riders. This interpretations consistently renders rekeb as chariots.


On the negative side, most translators understand the verb to mean to hamstring rather than to disable.

David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 horses, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also disabled all of the horses, but [lit., and] he preserved 100 horses.

At first these numbers don’t make sense; how do you capture 7000 horsemen and they only have 1000 horses to ride? However, some horses would be killed in battle and some would have escaped. We still have the problem of David’s men capturing 1000 horses and then killing most of them. Why are the horses listed at the beginning of this list and then why does David decide to discard almost all of them?

We would not translate rekeb as chariot rider all the way through, as David would not hamstring men, but kill them (if he so chose to do that).

David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 chariots, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also hamstrung all of the horses, but [lit., and] he kept 100 horses alive.

We can reject this reading for two reasons: (1) why speak of the capture of chariots along with horsemen and foot soldiers? (2) If 1000 chariots are captured, it is illogical to keep only 100 horses alive.

David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 chariot riders, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also hamstrung all of the horses, but [lit., and] he kept 100 horses alive.

We have a consistency insofar as, the first 3 sets of things which David captures are all men. Their numbers are in a reasonable proportion.


However, we are translating rekeb one way at the beginning, and differently the 2nd and 3rd time it appears.

David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 chariot riders, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also disables all of the chariots, but [lit., and] he preserves 100 chariots.

The proportion of infantry and calvary is reasonable. The 3 sets of things captured by David are all men, which is reasonable. David preserving 100 of the chariots is also a reasonable number.


Again, rekeb is translated one way at the beginning, and differently at the end.

David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 chariot riders, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also hamstrung all of the horses and disabled all of the chariots, but [lit., and] he kept aside 100 horses and chariots.

Here, we see the horse and the chariot as a unit, and both the horses and chariots are disabled except for 100 of them. Although rekeb is translated differently in the first sentence, we allow the other nouns of that sentence to define rekeb. Then, we are not concerned with what about all those chariots if we see the chariot and horse as a single unit (separated from their charioteer in the battle).

I know I must appear to be way too anal-retentive about this, but, in my defense, there are 27 different ways to interpret this verse (3 ways to translate rekeb the 1st time, 3 ways the 2nd and 3 ways the 3rd, which is 3x3x3 = 27 possibilities). However, this allows us to focus on the most reasonable 3 translations, which reasonably limits us in the interpretation.

In one interpretation, you are wondering, what happened to the chariots and in another, what happened to the horses?

I have darkened the final 3 interpretations which I find to be the most reasonable. The last one makes the most sense to me, which I will explain in more detail below.


Chapter Outline

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The final interpretation above makes the most sense to me. It reads: David captured from him [Hadadezer] 1000 chariot riders, 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. David also hamstrung all of the horses [and disabled all of the chariots], but [lit., and] he kept aside from them 100 horses [and chariots]. Israel did not have chariots at this time, so when confronted with them, they saw them as a unit, as one thing, even though a chariot was made up of 3 component parts: the actual chariot, a horse and a rider. So they applied one word to this unit (rekeb) much as we might use to refer to a tank, a plane or a ship in battle, even though these are operated by men (there are separate Hebrew words referring specifically to horses or to chariots—see Joshua 11:6, 9). Footnote


There is another advantage in seeing the chariot as one unit; in this way, there is no significant difference between the usage in the 1st and 2nd sentences. 1000 chariots, chariot riders, and horses were captured; we focus on the chariot riders in the 1st sentence and on the chariots and horses in the 2nd. We are dealing with the same thing, but our focus or emphasis is different.


In the first sentence, David is said to have captured 7000 horsemen and 20,000 foot soldiers. Therefore, in the same sentence, the use of the word rekeb would reasonably refer to the human element of the chariot unit. However, we then have 1000 chariots or so (some would have been destroyed and damaged in the war). The second sentence deals with that, and, again, speaks of the chariot as a unit, now of the remaining chariot and horse. There is the option of taking all of them, but Israel does not have an army of charioteers, so these have to be moved from point A to point B without many men who can drive them. They can’t simply trust their enemies to drive them to Jerusalem, so a significant number are kept and the rest are destroyed.


The verb found here usually refers to hamstringing horses, and it is unclear whether David disabled the chariots and then hamstrung the horses in place, or if he simply disabled the chariots. The LXX simply has the Jews disabling the chariots, without reference to the horses. One commentator (Clarke Footnote ) could not imagine David doing anything as inhuman as hamstringing the horses and letting them die; Gill suggests Footnote that this procedure rendered these horses worthless with regards to warfare, but allowed the horse to still live and function. Poole Footnote seems to agree with this assessment. Not being an expert on horses, I don’t know how exactly one would disable the horse for functioning with a chariot, and yet leave the horse alive and otherwise functioning.


It is interesting that chariots have been around for a long time; Egyptians, the Philistines and Hadadezer all used chariots against the Israelites. The Israelites almost always prevailed, their infantry defeating the chariots. Interestingly enough, the Jews had many occasions to capture, keep and man a chariot army, but they never seemed to choose to do this until the time of Solomon (1Kings 4:26). It could simply be that the Jews knew that, you destroy any component part of a chariot (the man, horse or the chariot itself) and you disable the chariot altogether. It could have been that God had promised the Jews victory in this or that battle, so that they depended upon Him rather than upon something like chariots. For whatever, reason, the Jews were late in using chariots.


What is not the case is, the Jews decided that having chariots would be anti-God in some way. I have seen several commentators remark that the Jews knew they were to depend upon God and not chariots (Joshua 11:6 Psalm 20:7), and therefore, would not use chariots. The idea here is, they would be depending upon chariots and horses rather than upon God if they used chariots and horses. Listen: all of Israel’s great military leaders used strategy and tactics in war. Sometimes these were dictated by God, and sometimes these were applied by the general in charge to the situation. However, if using strategy and tactics does not violate their trust in God, then horses and chariots would not either. God is depended upon in their thinking; God is depended upon by the doctrine in their souls.


Application: R. B. Thieme Jr. used to give the illustration, when you want a job, you do not go out and sit on some park bench waiting for God to drop a job on your lap. You pray, you study God’s Word, and then you engage in sensible actions (contacting various businesses with your resume in hand, dressed appropriately, arriving early for all appointments). Trust in God and dependence upon God does not mean, your actions ought to be anti-productive (sitting on that park bench). I’ve had eye surgery on both eyes. I prayed to God concerning this and prayer for the skill of the surgeons involved. Then I did all that the surgeons told me to do. In all that we do, there are many variables beyond our control. We pray to God to take care of these variables. However, this does not keep us from doing that which is right and prudent.


So, what about Deut. 17:16, which reads: “Only, he is not to multiply to himself horses nor cause the people to turn back to Egypt, so as to multiply horses, seeing Yehowah has said to you, ‘You [all] will never return that way again.’

“Do not multiply horses to yourself.”

1.      This warning was addressed to all future kings of Israel; no king of Israel was to multiply horses to himself.

2.      There were several reasons for this. Egypt was one of the primary horse traders and breeders of the ancient world (Ex. 14:5–23 1Kings 10:28–29 2Kings 7:6). If a king became focused upon horses, that would increase the king’s association with Egypt. God did not want the people of Israel (or the king of Israel) to return to or to depend upon Egypt for anything. Egypt was filled with idolatry, and God wanted Israel to have no close ties with such an idolatrous nation.

3.      The context of this particular statement was a king accumulating personal wealth to himself. Deut. 17:17 tells any future king not to multiply wives, silver or gold to himself.

4.      So, the issue here is the accumulation of excessive wealth by a ruler of Israel.

5.      Again, when a king begins to accumulate excessive wealth, which includes horses, this would encourage more time spent with Egypt, Egyptian pharaohs and Egyptian women.

6.      Whether this had any affect on military men and kings of Israel not developing a large cavalry or an large armored force (chariots), I don’t know. Misapplication of doctrine is not inconceivable. So, in Israel’s history, some may have misapplied this verse and not built up Israel’s cavalry because of it.

7.      David obviously is setting some horses and chariots aside, although it is not yet clear whether this will be for war or for personal use.

8.      However, Solomon will have a large number of chariots and horses. 1Kings 4:26.

9.      If you study Solomon’s life, you will find that he went overboard on everything. He had 1000 wives and mistresses, for instance. So, in this way, Solomon was violating God’s orders.

10.    However, when Solomon was in fellowship, he understood the real issue of war and horses: The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but to Jehovah belongs deliverance (Prov. 21:31).

11.    There are no indications that God objected to David having these horses and chariots.

12.    Furthermore, God will allow Solomon to go overboard on most everything, in order to prove a point in the book of Ecclesiastes.

13.    If Solomon acquired these things in order to keep his nation safe, then that would be reasonable. Having a well-prepared and well-armed army is the intelligent approach when it comes to world affairs. However, Solomon seemed to accumulate things simply to accumulate them, and that is where he fell into sin. Developing a skilled army protects his people is valid; buying lots and lots of stuff so that he is the richest man alive at this time, is something wholly different.

14.    David expresses the sentiment: Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Psalm 20:7) and The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue (Psalm 33:16–17). Again, this is not a call for a general or for a king to disband his army or to not use reasonably strategy and tactics (which includes the deployment of various types of forces). Ultimate faith is placed in God. To determine whether to go to war or not, when there is any question, requires going to God. Prayer prior to battle is essential. But, again, it is the emphasis rather than the actual activities which is in play here. We are ultimately delivered by God. This does not preclude acting with wisdom, using strategy and tactics.

Application: It would be difficult to determine what excessive wealth and display of such wealth would be. God does bless a limited number of believers with a great deal of wealth. Wealth is a tool when it comes to a business, and is an absolute necessity for some businesses. So, having wealth is not sinful. However, there are responsibilities of having much of this world’s goods, and each believer so blessed needs to heed these responsibilities. Motivation also plays a part here. Are you accumulating so many things so as to make your neighbors or extended family members jealous? Are you trying to buy your own happiness? Is your wealth and that purchased with your wealth standing between you and Bible doctrine? These are issues which each believer must determine for himself based upon the doctrine in their souls.


Chapter Outline

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Since David kept aside 100 chariots, it is possible that this seeded a later chariot army (1Kings 4:26).


There is no indication that these men are under corban, where David would destroy all of them. It appears as though David was reacting to the aggressive moves made by Hadadezer noted in v. 3.


Either now, or at the end of this chapter, we should exegete Psalm 20.


——————————


And so comes in Aram of Damascus to help to Hadadezer king of Zobah. And so strikes down David in Aram twenty and two thousand a man.

2Samuel

8:5

Aram of Damascus went to help Hadadezer, the king of Zobah. So David struck down 22,000 men in Aram.

The Syrians of Damascus went to aid Hadadezer, the king of Zobah. So David struck down 22,000 of their soldiers.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Adarezer the king of Soba: and David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so comes in Aram of Damascus to help to Hadadezer king of Zobah. And so strikes down David in Aram twenty and two thousand a man.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when the Edomites and the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadarezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Edomites twenty-two thousand men.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Syria of Damascus comes to help Adraazar king of Suba, and David smote twenty-two thousand men belonging to the Syrian.

 

Significant differences:           The Syriac adds in the Edomites as well as a temporal clause (at least, in the English). This is not inconsistent with the tenor of the verse. The Syriac also throws the Edomites into the second phrase as well. The Hebrew, Latin and Greek are all in agreement on this verse.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       When troops from the Aramean kingdom of Damascus came to help Hadadezer, David killed twenty thousand of them.

Easy English (Pocock)           The *Aramean men from the area of Damascus went to help Hadadezer. David's army killed 22 000 *Arameans.

Easy-to-Read Version            Arameans from Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah. But David defeated those 22,000 Arameans.

New Simplified Bible              The Syrians of Damascus sent an army to help King Hadadezer. David attacked it and killed twenty-two thousand men.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And when the Syrians came from Damascus to help AdraAzar (the king of Souba), David cut down twenty-two thousand of their men.

Revised English Bible            When the Aramaeans of Damascus came to the aid of King Hadadezer of Zobah, David destroyed twenty-two thousand of them,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And when the Aramaeans of Damascus came to the help of Hadadezer, king of Zobah, David put to the sword twenty-two thousand of the Aramaeans.

HCSB                                     When the Arameans of Damascus came to assist King Hadadezer of Zobah, David struck down 22,000 Aramean men.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   And when the Aramiy of Dammeseq

come to help Hadad Ezer sovereign of Sobah,

David smites of the Aramiy

twenty-two thousand men:.

MKJV                                     And when the Syrians of Damascus came to rescue Hadadezer king of Zobah, David killed twenty-two thousand men of the Syrians.

Thieme                                   And when the Syrians (Aram) of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David inflicted casualties in the Syrians (Aram) two and twenty thousand men.

Young’s Updated LT             And Aram of Damascus comes to give help to Hadadezer king of Zobah, and David strikes of Aram twenty and two thousand men.

 

The gist of this verse:          The Syrians (= Aram) are allies of Hadadezer and they send an army to assist him. David kills 22,000 of their men.


2Samuel 8:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

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

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

For whatever reason, the verb here is a feminine singular, but the proper noun is a masculine singular. The verb in the parallel passage in 1Chron. 18:5 is a masculine singular.

ʾĂram (אֲרַם) [pronounced uh-RAHM]

the highland, high region; exalted; and is transliterated Aram; sometimes rendered Syria, Mesopotamia

masculine singular construct, proper noun

Strong’s #758 BDB #74

Dameseq (דַּמֶּשֶׂק) [pronounced dahm-MEH-sehk]

alertness; and is transliterated Damascus

proper singular noun; location

Strong’s #1833 and #1834 BDB #199 and #200

BDB lists #1833 on p. 200 as a separate noun, which refers to damask, silk, Damascene cloth. The vowel points and the pronunciation are different. Gesenius puts this all under #1933. There are 2 more alternate spellings for this noun.

lâmed (לְ) [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

ʿâzar (עָזַר) [pronounced ģaw-ZAHR]

to help, to aid

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #5826 BDB #740

lâmed (לְ) [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

Hădadeʿezer (הֲדַדְעֶזֶר) [pronounced huhd-ahd-ĢEH-zer]

Hadad is a helper; transliterated Hadadezer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1909 BDB #212

See v. 3a for the alternative spelling (Hadarezer) and the locations for these two spellings.

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Tsôwbâh (צוֹבָה) [pronounced tzohb-VAW]

transliterated Zobah

Proper noun, territory

Strong’s #6678 BDB #844


Translation: Aram of Damascus went to help Hadadezer, the king of Zobah. First of all, there is a play on the language here. Hadadezer means Hadad is a helper. Here, Hadadezer needs a helper. David’s army is superior to his, so Aram of Damascus (the Syrians from the north) come down to help Hadadezer. This may not be the funniest thing that you have ever read, but the man who is a helper needs help, and the people who come to help him are not much help to him. Quite obviously, explaining this play on words does not make it funnier.


If you will recall the map of David’s Israel, Aram is northeast of Israel, where Syria still is today. This is essentially the same area that Hadadezer is coming from. These were thug allies who terrorized this region.


Although no leader of Damascus is named specifically, that means very little. They may have been allies of Hadadezer or under his control. In any case, there are two groups of Syrians: Aram of Zobah (v. 3) and Aram of Damascus (v. 5).


Fausset gives us a lot of good background information on Damascus, one of the most famous cities in the ancient world.

Fausset on Damascus

Damascus is the most ancient city of Syria, at the foot of the S.E. range of Antilibanus, which rises 1,500 ft. above the plain of Damascus, which is itself 2,200 above the sea. Hence, Damascus enjoys a temperate climate cooled by breezes. The plain is a circle of 30 miles diameter, watered by the Barada (the Abana of 2 Kings 5), which bursts through a narrow cleft in the mountain into the country beneath, pouring fertility on every side. This strikes the eye the more, as bareness and barrenness characterize all the hills and the plain outside. Fruit of various kinds, especially olive trees, grain and grass abound within the Damascus plain. The Barada flows through Damascus, and thence eastward 15 miles, when it divides and one stream falls into lake el Kiblijeh: another into lake esh-Shurkijeh, on the border of the desert. The wady Helbon on the north and Awaj on the south also water the plain.

The Awaj is probably the scriptural Pharpar, first mentioned in Gen. 14:15 15:2. Abraham entering Canaan by way of Damascus there obtained Eliezer as his retainer. Josephus makes Damascus to have been founded by Uz, son of Aram, grandson of Shem.

The next Scriptural notice of Damascus is 2Sam. 8:5, when "the Syrians of Damascus succored Hadadezer king of Zobah" against David. David slew 22,000 Syrians, and "put garrisons in Syria of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David and brought gifts" (1Chron. 18:3–6). Nicholaus of Damascus says Hadad (so he named him) reigned over "all Syria except Phœnicia," and began the war by attacking David, and was defeated in a last engagement at the Euphrates River. His subject Rezon, who escaped when David conquered Zobah, with the help of a band made himself king at Damascus over Syria (1Kings 11:23–25), and was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon.

What follows is future from our passage:

Hadad's family recovered the throne; or else (see Benhadad I, who helped Baasha against Asa and afterward Asa against Baasha, was grandson of Rezon). He "made himself streets" in Samaria (1Kings 20:34), so completely was he Israel's master. His son, Benhadad II, who besieged Ahab (1Kings 20:1), is the Ben–idri of the Assyrian inscriptions. These state that in spite of his having the help of the Phœnicians, Hittites and Hamathites, he was unable to oppose Assyria, which slew 20,000 of his men in just one battle. Hazael, taking advantage of his subjects' disaffection owing to their defeats, murdered Benhadad (2Kings 8:10–15; 1Kings 19:15). Hazael was defeated by Assyria in his turn, with great loss, at Antilibanus; but repulsed Ahaziah's and Jehoram's attack on Israel (2Kings 8:28), ravaged Gilead, the land of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh (2Kings 10:32–33); took also Gath, and was only diverted from Jerusalem by Jehoash giving the royal and the temple treasures (2Kings 12:17–18).

Benhadad his son continued to exercise a lordship over Israel (2Kings 13:3–7; 2Kings 13:22) at first; but Joash, Jehoahaz' son, beat him thrice, according to Elisha's dying prophecy (2Kings 13:14–19), for "the Lord had compassion on His people...because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, neither east He them from His presence us yet" (2Kings 13:23). Jeroboam II, Joash's son, further "recovered Damascus and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel...according to the word of the Lord...by Jonah the prophet" (2Kings 14:23–28), 836 B.C. Rezin of Damascus, a century later, in a respite from the Assyrian invasions, allied himself to Pekah of Israel against Judah, with a view to depose Ahaz and set up one designated "the son of Tabeal." The successive invasions of Pul and Tiglath Pileser suggested the thought of combining Syria, Israel, and Judah as a joint power against Assyria. Ahaz' leaning to Assyria made him obnoxious to Syria and Israel.

But, as their counsel was contrary to God's counsel that David's royal line should continue until Immanuel, it came to nought (2Kings 15:19, 29, 57 16:5 Isa. 7:1–6). Elath on the shore of the Red Sea, in Edom, built by Azariah of Judah on territory alleged to be Syrian, was "recovered" by Rezin. Whereupon Ahaz begged Assyria's alliance; and the very policy of Damascus and Israel against Assyria, namely, to absorb Judah, was the very means of causing their own complete absorption by Assyria (2Kings 16:6–9, 17 Isa. 7:14–25 8:6–10 10:9). The people of Damascus were carried captive to Kir, as Amos (Amo. 1:5) foretold, the region from which they originally came, associated with Elam (Isa. 22:6), probably in Lower Mesopotamia = Kish or Cush, i.e. eastern Ethiopia, the Cissia of Herodotus (G. Rawlinson).

Isaiah (Isa. 17:1) and Amos (Amos 1:4) had prophesied that Damascus should be "taken away from being a city, and should be a ruinous heap," that Jehovah should "send a fire into the house of Hazael, which should devour the palaces of Benhadad"; and Jeremiah (Jer. 49:24–25) that "Damascus is waxed feeble...How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!" By the time of the Mede–Persian supremacy Damascus had not only been rebuilt, but was the most famous city in Syria (Strabo, 16:2,19). In Paul's time (2Cor. 11:32) it was part of Aretas' kingdom.

Fausset, writing around 1900, adds, It is still a city of 150,000 inhabitants, of whom about 130,000 are Mahometans, 15,000 Christians, and about 5,000 Jews. Damascus was the center through which the trade of Tyre passed on its way to Assyria, Palmyra, Babylon, and the East.

It supplied "white wool and the wine of Helbon" (in Antilebanon, 10 miles northwest of Damascus) in return for "the wares of Tyre's making" (Ezek. 27:18). Its once famous damask and steel were not manufactured until Mahometan times, and are no longer renowned. The street called "Straight" is still there, leading from one gate to the pasha's palace, i.e. from E. to W. a mile long; it was originally divided by Corinthian colonnades into three avenues, of which the remains are still traced (Acts 9:11); called by the natives "the street of bazaars." The traditional localities of Acts 9:3, 25 2Cor. 11:33 (Paul's conversion on his way to Damascus, and his subsequent escape in a basket let down from the wall) are more than doubtful. Now es–Sham, "The East." Magnus was its bishop at the council of Nice, A.D. 325. The khalif Omar A.D. 635 took it. It fell into the hands of the Turks, its present masters, under Selim I, A.D. 1516.

Taken from Andrew Robert Fausset, Fausset’s Bible Dictionary; from e-Sword, topic: Damascus (slightly edited).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Easton is briefer and more readable:

Easton on Damascus

Damascus is the most ancient of Oriental cities; the capital of Syria (Isa. 7:8 17:3); situated about 133 miles to the north of Jerusalem. Its modern name is Esh–Sham; i.e., “the East.” The situation of this city is said to be the most beautiful of all Western Asia. It is mentioned among the conquests of the Egyptian king Thothmes III. (1500 b.c.), and in the Amarna tablets (1400 b.c.).

Damascus is first mentioned in Scripture in connection with Abraham's victory over the confederate kings under Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14:15). It was the native place of Abraham's steward (Gen. 15:2).

We do not hear of Damascus again until the time of David, when “the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer” (2Sam. 8:5; 1Chron. 18:5). In the reign of Solomon, Rezon became leader of a band who revolted from Hadadezer (1Kings 11:23), and betaking themselves to Damascus, settled there and made their leader king. There was a long war, with varying success, between the Israelites and Syrians, who at a later period became allies of Israel against Judah (2Kings 15:37).

What follows is future from our passage:

The Syrians were at length subdued by the Assyrians, the city of Damascus was taken and destroyed, and the inhabitants carried captive into Assyria (2Kings 16:7–9; compare Isa. 7:8). In this, prophecy was fulfilled (Isa. 17:1 Amos 1:4 Jer. 49:24). The kingdom of Syria remained a province of Assyria till the capture of Nineveh by the Medes (625 B.C.), when it fell under the conquerors. After passing through various vicissitudes, Syria was invaded by the Romans (64 B.C.), and Damascus became the seat of the government of the province. In a.d. 37 Aretas, the king of Arabia, became master of Damascus, having driven back Herod Antipas.

This city is memorable as the scene of Saul's conversion (Acts 9:1–25). The street called “Straight,” in which Judas lived, in whose house Saul was found by Ananias, is known by the name Sultany, or “Queen's Street.” It is the principal street of the city. Paul visited Damascus again on his return from Arabia (Gal. 1:16–17). Christianity was planted here as a centre (Acts 9:20), from which it spread to the surrounding regions.

In a.d. 634 Damascus was conquered by the growing Mohammedan power. In 1516 it fell under the dominion of the Turks, its present rulers. It is now the largest city in Asiatic Turkey. Christianity has again found a firm footing within its walls [Easton wrote in 1897, so things have changed since then].

From M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary; 1897; from e-Sword, topic: Damascus (slightly edited).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Today, Damascus has a population of approximately 1.5 million, 75% of which are Sunni Muslim and 15% are Christian. Ancient Damascus is essentially unpopulated, people moving out for a redevelopment of the area. There appears to be a modern-day struggle between completely modernizing this area and taking steps to preserve its historical significance. At present, it is on the top 100 list of endangered ancient sites of the World Monuments Fund. Footnote


RBT suggests Footnote that David used the 100 chariots from the previous verse to beef up his recognizance. They raced out and saw the Syrians coming on his flank. Therefore, David sends out a force to destroy the Syrians as well. Although this is conjecture, it is a reasonable conjecture.


2Samuel 8:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

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

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

ʾĂram (אֲרַם) [pronounced uh-RAHM]

the highland, high region; exalted; and is transliterated Aram; sometimes rendered Syria, Mesopotamia

feminine singular, proper noun

Strong’s #758 BDB #74

ʿeserîym (עֶשְׂרִים) [pronounced ģese-REEM]

twenty

plural numeral adjective

Strong’s #6242 BDB #797

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

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

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shetayim (שְתַּיִם) [pronounced shet-TAH-yim]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of

feminine numeral noun

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

ʾeleph (אֶלֶף) pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation: So David struck down 22,000 men in Aram. Because these men have foolishly aligned themselves with David’s enemies, David kills 22,000 of them.


This is quite simple: those who ally themselves with your enemies are your enemies. In this chapter, we will see two different responses to David defeating Hadadezer—here, the Syrians send an army to attack David and David defeats them. In vv. 9–10, an enemy of David’s enemies pledges his support for David. In most instances, it is not difficult to distinguish the white hat nations from the black hat nations. It is not shocking that anti-Semitic Arab nations went to Germany during World War II and pledged support to Adolf Hitler. It is exactly what we would expect.


Application: This may help to explain nationalism to those who do not get it. Many nations and peoples align themselves with Satan and others align themselves with God. This allows God to corporately bless some nations and corporately curse others. This also allows for evil, hatred and anti-Semitism to be confined geographically.


Application: The more multi-cultural a nation becomes, the more it can be swayed away from God and toward cosmic thinking. Cosmic thinking is aggressive and attempts to superimpose a mindset over those in their periphery. Those who believe in God tend to respect freedom and believe in live and let live. The United States is called a melting pot because, for many decades, those who came to America were proud to become Americans. They were proud to assimilate themselves into our culture. However, what we see in many European nations today are large groups of Muslims moving into their nations and remaining separate culturally and socially. There is no melting pot concept. A Muslim does not move to France to become a Frenchman, he moves to France to be a Muslim and to move France in that direction. They do not see themselves as Frenchmen; they do not see themselves as becoming Frenchmen through cultural assimilation. They see themselves as Muslims, as remaining Muslims and as a force to change decadent French society (at least in their immediate periphery). What we end up with are European nations which have huge pockets of people which resist European culture.


Application: A radio personality, when talking about America, emphasized the importance of language, borders and culture. These things make up a nation, and culture often determines a nation’s corporate relationship to God. These 3 things often allow a people to form a common bond which affects a nations corporate relationship to God. Our nation was founded on the bedrock principle that the rights of men are fundamental and bestowed upon man by God, not by governments. Therefore, government ought to be limited in its scope and powers. In such freedom, with this foundational principle, Christianity has flourished in America, and, as a result, God has blessed us corporately as a nation.


Application: Some sort of a world community or an international community is like a present-day European country infiltrated by non-European Muslims. There are no longer these well-defined boundaries of language, borders and culture. This is why you can walk into a Mosque in England and hear teachers call for the overthrow or destruction of England, the very country that these people moved to. It is like paying a visit to a friend’s home, and then deciding that you want to take over your friend’s house. It is absolutely wrong. For these reasons, God has established nationalism as part of divine establishment.


——————————


And so puts David garrisons in Aram of Damascus and so is Aram to David for servants carrying tribute. And so delivers Yehowah David in all that he went.

2Samuel

8:6

David then placed garrisons in Aram of Damascus and the Syrians became David’s servants, bringing [him] tribute. And Yehowah [continued to] save [and preserve] David wherever he went.

David then placed garrisons in Aram of Damascus and the Syrians became David’s vassals, bringing him taxes. Furthermore, God continued to save and preserve David wherever he went.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and Syria served David under tribute, and the Lord preserved David in all his enterprises, whithersoever he went.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so puts David garrisons in Aram of Damascus and so is Aram to David for servants carrying tribute. And so delivers Yehowah David in all where he has gone.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then David put governors in Edom and in Damascus; and the Edomites became servants to David and brought tribute. And the LORD preserved David wherever he went.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David placed a garrison in Syria near Damascus, and the Syrians became servants and bearing tribute to David; and the Lord delivered [saved, protected, preserved] David wherever he went.

 

Significant differences:           Governors is a legitimate translation for garrisons. The biggest problem with this interpretation is, we would expect 1 governor but several garrisons. I have no idea why the Greek is singular. It would not make sense for David to set up one garrison in all of Syria.

 

As has been discussed before, in the Hebrew, Aram and Edom are easily confounded. The additional language in the Syriac may have been to distinguish Edom and Damascus.

 

The English of the Latin has under tribute rather than bearing (carrying) tribute, a preposition instead of a verb.

 

Although we find the verb preserved in the English of the Vulgate and Peshitta, this word was also used in the Brenton’s translation from the Greek—so it is reasonable to assume this is the same verb in all 4 languages.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Easy-to-Read Version            Then David put groups of soldiers in Damascus, Aram. The Arameans became David’s servants and brought tribute. The Lord gave victory to David in every place he went.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Then he set up military camps in their territory, and they became his subjects and paid taxes to him. The LORD made David victorious everywhere.

The Message                         David set up a puppet government in Aram-Damascus. The Arameans became subjects of David and were forced to bring tribute. GOD gave victory to David wherever he marched.

New Century Version             Then David put groups of soldiers in Damascus in Aram. The Arameans became David's servants and gave him the payment he demanded. The Lord gave David victory everywhere he went.

New Life Bible                        Then he put groups of soldiers in Damascus of Syria. The Syrians became servants to David and were made to pay taxes to him. The Lord helped David every place he went.

New Living Translation           Then he placed several army garrisons in Damascus, the Aramean capital, and the Arameans became David's subjects and paid him tribute money. So the Lord made David victorious wherever he went.

New Simplified Bible              Then he set up military camps in their territory. They became his subjects and paid taxes to him. Jehovah made David victorious everywhere.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then David sent a detachment to Syria, where they garrisoned near Damascus, and the Syrians had to pay a tribute to David also. So, Jehovah was with David wherever he went.

God’s Word                         David put troops in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became his subjects and paid taxes to him. Everywhere David went, the LORD gave him victories.

New American Bible              David then placed garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and the Arameans became subjects, tributary to David. The LORD brought David victory in all his undertakings.

NIRV                                      He stationed some soldiers in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus. The people of Aram were brought under his rule. They gave him the gifts he required them to bring him. The Lord helped David win his battles everywhere he went.

New Jerusalem Bible             David then imposed governors on Aram of Damascus, and the Aramaeans became David's subjects and paid him tribute. Wherever David went, Yahweh gave him victory.

Revised English Bible            ...and stationed garrisons among these Aramaeans; they became subject to him and paid tribute. Thus the Lord gave David victory wherever he went.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And David put armed forces in Aram of Damascus: and the Aramaeans became servants to David and gave him offerings. And the Lord made David overcome wherever he went.

NET Bible®                             David placed garrisons in the territory of the Arameans of Damascus; the Arameans became David's subjects and brought tribute. The LORD protected10 David wherever he campaigned.

NIV – UK                                He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The LORD gave David victory wherever he went.

The Scriptures 1998              Then Dawid put watch-posts in Aram of Damascus. And the Arameans became Dawidʼs servants, and brought presents. And יהוה saved Dawid wherever he went.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                David put garrisons in Syrian Damascus, and the Syrians became [his] servants and brought tribute. The Lord preserved and gave victory to David wherever he went.

exeGeses companion Bible   and David sets stations in Aram of Dammeseq:

and the Aramiy become servants to David

to lift offerings.

And Yah Veh saves David wherever he goes.

Green’s Literal Translation    And David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus. And the Syrians became servants to David, bearers of tribute. And Jehovah saved David in all places in which he went.

MKJV                                     And David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus. And the Syrians became servants to David, bringing gifts. And Jehovah preserved David wherever he went.

Thieme                                   Then David established garrisons in Syria of Damascus.

And the Syrians became servants to David . . . bringing tribute.

Consequently Jehovah/God gave victory to David

wherever he marched.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became slaves to David, and brought tribute. And Yahweh gave victory to David wherever he went.

WEB                                      Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought tribute. Yahweh gave victory to David wherever he went.

Young’s Updated LT             And David putt garrisons in Aram of Damascus, and Aram is to David for a servant, bearing a present; and Jehovah saves David wherever he has gone.

 

The gist of this verse:          David set up garrisons throughout Aram and the Syrians became subservient to David, bringing him tribute. God continued to be with David no matter where he went.


2Samuel 8:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

sîym (שִׂים) [pronounced seem]; also spelled sûwm (שׂוּם) [pronounced soom]

to put, to place, to set; to make; to appoint

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7760 BDB #962

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

netsîyb (נְצִיב) [pronounced neTZEEBV]

pillar, prefect, garrison, post, outpost

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #5333 BDB #662

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

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

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

ʾĂram (אֲרַם) [pronounced uh-RAHM]

the highland, high region; exalted; and is transliterated Aram; sometimes rendered Syria, Mesopotamia

masculine singular construct, proper noun

Strong’s #758 BDB #74

Dameseq (דַּמֶּשֶׂק) [pronounced dahm-MEH-sehk]

alertness; and is transliterated Damascus

proper singular noun; location

Strong’s #1833 and #1834 BDB #199 and #200


Translation: David then placed garrisons in Aram of Damascus... Once a people were conquered, they owed tribute to those who conquered them. One might call this a tax or even protection money. However, the last connotation has to do with protection from the one collecting the protection money. What we have here is a king-vassal relationship; David is ruler over these people somewhat like a outlying colony, and David taxed these people. This was no doubt enforced by stationing soldiers in their land in these garrisons.


Although there is some discussion about netsîyb, and whether it should mean soldiers or garrisons, there is really only one questionable passage (1Kings 4:19), which is difficult to understand no matter which translation is chosen. Part of the problem is, this noun is very close to nâtsab, which does, in some forms, refer to a solider or to one who is in authority. In the Hebrew, without vowels, these are almost identical words.


One aspect of this, which is somewhat confusing to me, is the phrase Aram [Syria] of Damascus; I would have expected the city to be named first, as in Damascus of Syria. A construct chain consists of two nouns, so closely related as to be read one long word. Most of the time, this is expressed as A of B (A being the first noun in the construct chain). Sometimes, but not always, the first noun is changed slightly—my guess is, this is for the nouns to be better pronounced, one after the other, as this one long word. The alternative view is, the minor changes in the spelling of the word are to indicate that these two words make up a construct state (however, the first word is not always changed). Although these two nouns are arranged in a construct format, and Ăram is unchanged (which is not uncommon). Also, translating a construct does not require us to always use the word of. Sometimes the word with is used, as the example of sick with love found in SOS 2:5 (instead of sick of love). Sometimes, the second word is used to modify the first. So, instead of a seed of holiness (Isa. 6:13), we might translate this a holy seed. Footnote This does allow for us to possibly translate our phrase as a Damascian Aram or Aram with Damascus. Perhaps the idea was, there were a couple of garrisons placed in Aram out in the more spread out areas, but most of the garrisons were placed in Damascus. If this read Damascus of Aram, then all of the garrisons would have been placed in Damascus. This is a minor point, but one which I don’t find many other commentators discussing.


Keil and Delitzsch do speak Footnote to this and render this as Aram-Damascus, which suggests that the power and vigor of Aram was all in Damascus.


2Samuel 8:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

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

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

ʾĂram (אֲרַם) [pronounced uh-RAHM]

the highland, high region; exalted; and is transliterated Aram; sometimes rendered Syria, Mesopotamia

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #758 BDB #74

lâmed (לְ) [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 (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

lâmed (לְ) [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

ʿebed (עֶבֶד) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

nâsâʾ (נָשָׂא) [pronounced naw-SAW]

those lifting up, bearers, those carrying; the ones exalting; those taking away

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

minechâh (מִנְחָה) [pronounced min-HAWH]

tribute offering, gift, present; sacrifice, bloodless offering; [a general term for] offering

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4503 BDB #585


Translation: ...and the Syrians became David’s servants, bringing [him] tribute. The Syrians (Syrian = Aram) became David’s servants, or, more correctly, his vassals. They indirectly brought tribute to him. More than likely, the tribute (or taxes) were brought to the soldiers and the soldiers would send detachments to David to deliver the money to him. It costs money to have an army, and this offset these costs. This was a common arrangement in the ancient world. When a king conquered a particular city or country, he then controlled that area and was compensated for this control by tribute. A good and honorable king would provide some amount of protection for this conquered area. The garrisons would establish a military force in the area partially to collect a tribute but also as a means of protection.


2Samuel 8:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâshaʿ (יָשַע) [pronounced yaw-SHAHĢ]

to deliver, to save; to set free, to preserve; to aid, to give relief

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3467 BDB #446

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

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

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s# none BDB #88

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]; also kol (כֹּל) [pronounced kol]

all, all things, the whole, totality, the entirety, everything

masculine singular noun without the definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

In Joshua 1:7, Owen and the NASB translates these three words wherever; Young: in every [place] whither; Rotherham and the KJV: whithersoever. In 2Sam. 7:7, the NASB renders this wherever, but Owen translates it in all places. Young, in an unusual move, renders this during all [the time] that in 2Sam. 7:7. Literally, this is in all which; and wherever is a good modern rendering.

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect, pausal form

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229


Translation: And Yehowah [continued to] save [and preserve] David wherever he went. Even though there appears to be no direct or indirect communication between David and Jehovah God (none is recorded in this chapter), God still watches over and protects David.


Application: We live in the Church Age and there is no direct communication from God to us, apart from His Word. God does not tap us on the left shoulder to go left at the next street, nor does He do anything else which gives us a direct, day-to-day guidance. However, through doctrine in our souls, facing life and dealing with situations using this doctrine, God guides us. I was raised in California, but moved to Houston. Career-wise, I was spinning my wheels in California, and Houston—which was certainly not very high on my list of places to move to—seemed to be my only logical alternative. I applied at 4 different schools in the Houston area and was hired at my second-choice school, which turned out to be the right place for me to teach (the school where I wanted to teach turned to crap much faster than my school did). I have always been with small groups of believers at an Fx, never living close enough to Berachah to attend regularly, which has never been an important issue to me. I lost many jobs of various types in this process, eventually losing my teaching job, all of which were for the best. My point in recounting these things is, God took care of me and guided me to where I needed to be, every step of the way. At no time what there a shining flash of light, and a voice coming from it telling me what I needed to do.


In our passage, we have David warring against a number of nations. There is no indication that God told David, “Now, you need to attack Moab; after that, the Syrians.” Although David no doubt was guided by God, much of it was from the doctrine in his soul from studying God’s Word. He had the incomplete Word of God; we have the completed Word of God. He had a specific responsibility as king in Israel. He had access to the prophet Nathan, to two High Priests, and a limited form of the Word of God. If you do not realize this, we have the better deal. Whether we are a believer in the United States, England, Russia, the Philippines or in Saudi Arabia, God has a plan for our lives, and He can communicate to us through His Word what we ought to know and do, whether we happen to live in a client nation or a nation which is very negative toward God’s Word; whether we are raised in a family of believers or unbelievers. The more we understand the Word of God, the easier it is to figure out what to do day-to-day.


——————————


And so takes David shields of the gold which were unto servants of Hadadezer and so he brings them [to] Jerusalem.

2Samuel

8:7

David also took the shields of gold which belonged to the [lit., which are unto] servants of Hadadezer and he brought them to Jerusalem.

David also took the shields of gold which had belonged to the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And David took the arms of gold, which the servants of Adarezer wore and brought them to Jerusalem.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so takes David shields of the gold which were unto servants of Hadadezer and so he brings them [to] Jerusalem.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadarezer.

Septuagint (Greek)                And David took the golden bracelets which were on the servants of Adraazar king of Suba, and brought them to Jerusalem. And Susakim king of Egypt took them, when he went up to Jerusalem in the days of Roboam son of Solomon.

 

Significant differences:           The word in the Septuagint translated bracelets is not a New Testament word. It is possible that the Latin arms of gold includes shields as well as other weapons.

 

Although the word on in the English translation of the Peshitta might not indicate any actual difference, I included it anyway.

 

The Greek adds a completely new sentence, not found in any of the other ancient versions, nor is this found in the Chronicles text. This sounds like a gloss added by a Greek translator (which means, he may have added in what would be the equivalent of a modern-day footnote).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Hadadezer's officers had carried their arrows in gold cases hung over their shoulders, but David took these cases and brought them to Jerusalem.

Easy-to-Read Version            David took the gold shields that had belonged to Hadadezer’s servants. David took those shields and brought them to Jerusalem.

Good News Bible (TEV)         David captured the gold shields carried by Hadadezer's officials and took them to Jerusalem.

The Message                         David plundered the gold shields that belonged to the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem.

New Living Translation           David brought the gold shields of Hadadezer's officers to Jerusalem,...

New Simplified Bible              David captured the gold shields carried by Hadadezer’s officials and took them to Jerusalem.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          David took the gold armlets that the children of AdraAzar wore and brought them to Jerusalem, but these were eventually taken by SusAkim (the king of Egypt) when he attacked Jerusalem during the reign of RehoBoam, the son of Solomon.

New American Bible              David also took away the golden shields used by Hadadezer's servants and brought them to Jerusalem. (These Shishak, king of Egypt, took away when he came to Jerusalem in the days of Rehoboam, son of Solomon.)


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And David took their gold body-covers from the servants of Hadadezer and took them to Jerusalem.

JPS (Tanakh)                         David took the gold shields [or “quivers”] carried by Hadadezer’s retinue and brought them to Jerusalem;...

Judaica Press Complete T.    And David took the quivers of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem.

NET Bible®                             David took the golden shields that belonged to Hadadezer's servants and brought them to Jerusalem.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      And David took the shields of gold that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem.

Young’s Updated LT             And David takes the shields of gold which were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brings them to Jerusalem.

 

The gist of this verse:          David confiscated the shields made with gold from Hadadezer’s soldiers and brought them to Jerusalem.


2Samuel 8:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

The BDB gives the following meanings: to take, take in the hand; to take and carry along; to take from, take out of, take, carry away, take away; to take to or for a person, procure, get, take possession of, select, choose, take in marriage, receive, accept; to take up or upon, put upon; to fetch; to take, lead, conduct; to take, capture, seize; to take, carry off; to take (vengeance).

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

sheleţ (שֶלֶט) [pronounced SHEH-leht]

a shield; arms, equipment; quivers, arrows, darts

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #7982 BDB #1020

The different meanings represent differing opinions as to the meaning of this word. However, of the 7 times this word is found in the Old Testament, it could be reasonably rendered shield (s) every time (2Sam. 8:7 2Kings 11:10 1Chron. 18:7 2Chron. 23:9 SOS. 4:4 Ezek. 27:11). Furthermore, shield is the only meaning offered by BDB and Gesenius.

zâhâb (זָהָב) [pronounced zaw-HAWBV]

gold; a measure of weight [related to gold]; [figuratively used for] brilliance, splendor

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2091 BDB #262

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

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

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿebed (עֶבֶד) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

Hădadeʿezer (הֲדַדְעֶזֶר) [pronounced huhd-ahd-ĢEH-zer]

Hadad is a helper; transliterated Hadadezer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1909 BDB #212


Translation: David also took the shields of gold which belonged to the [lit., which are unto] servants of Hadadezer... Whether these are shields or not is disputed, which accounts for some of the odd translations that you saw. It is probable that these were either ornamental shields or some form of body armor which was coated with gold. We have a preposition of respect used here of these soldiers, which could either indicate great respect from David (or whoever penned these words) or they could indicate that these are renown soldiers or high-ranking soldiers in Hadadezer’s army. The fact that these are gold shields no doubt indicates that these are not simply foot soldiers who had great shields, but certainly some of the field officers of Hadadezer’s army.


David himself did not go around and personally gather these shields of gold and collect them in a wagon. David is named, but those under his authority took care of this.


Application: No doubt, you have heard the saying, if you want something done right, then you must do it yourself. When you are in a position of authority, you do not have time to do everything yourself. You must be able to find someone who is able to do this or that job and delegate the responsibility to that person. Being able to delegate is one of the major functions of authority.


2Samuel 8:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to take in, to bring, to come in with, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Yerûwshâlayim (יְרוּשָלַיִם) [pronounced yʾroo-shaw-LAH-yim]

possibly means founded upon peace or city of the Jebusites (or both); it is transliterated Jerusalem

proper singular noun, location; pausal form

Strong’s #3389 BDB #436


Translation: ...and he brought them to Jerusalem. One of the things which was commonly done in the ancient world was, when you defeated an army, you also took some of the cool things which they had. These shields caught the eye of David (or of his men) and they were appropriated and brought to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.


People collect a lot of different things and a warrior like David probably collected shields from the officers of armies which he defeated. Some of these shields were given over to God for the use in the Temple (v. 11) and some of them he apparently used for decorations. Your neck is like the tower of David, built in rows of stone; on it hang a thousand shields, all of them shields of warriors (Song. 4:4).


This set me to thinking, we will possibly knock out a demon in the final war at the end times (according to R. B. Thieme, Jr., a set of passages I have not yet studied), and it makes me wonder—are there going to be things which we as believers take as the spoils of war from this defeat of the demon army? I don’t know what they have that we can take, but all of these passages which we find here are placed here for a reason, and there are often parallel situations which are set up, and that may be what we are seeing here.


Application: In any case, if you have gotten with doctrine and, in this way, have made an impact in the Angelic Conflict, by the power of God the Holy Spirit, then you have no doubt accumulated blessings in your life (the spoils of battle). These may be material things and they may be familial relationships or vocational prosperity (you love your job) or something along these lines. I write this during an economic downturn in the United States (and even greater elsewhere) which will very likely become much worse. Just having a job might be a portion of your blessings from God.


What David is doing is collecting materials which he set aside for Solomon (not yet born) to use in the building of the Temple. Here we do have a clear spiritual parallel. David has all of these blessings which he is setting aside for the future which will be applied to spiritual things. The one thing which we take with us in death is our souls (and our divine production). The most prudent thing to do would be to accumulate wealth in our souls and wealth by way of divine good.

 

The LXX has an additional sentence here, and Keil and Delitzsch comment: The LXX has the additional clause: “And Shishak the king of Egypt took them away, when he went up against Jerusalem in the days of Rehoboam the son of Solomon,” which is neither to be found in the Chronicles nor in any other ancient version, and is merely an inference drawn by the Greek translator, or by some copyists of the LXX, from 1Kings 14:25–28 (In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house. He took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made, and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. And as often as the king went into the house of the LORD, the guard carried them and brought them back to the guardroom.). But, in the first place, the author of this gloss has overlooked the fact that the golden shields of Rehoboam which Shishak carried away, were not those captured by David, but those which Solomon had had made (1Kings 10:16); and David dedicated to the Lord all the gold and silver that he had taken (2Sam. 8:11). I.e., he put it in the treasury of the sanctuary to be reserved for the future temple, and that at the end of his reign he handed over to his son and successor Solomon all the gold, silver, iron, and brass that he had collected for the purpose, to be applied to the building of the temple (1Chron. 22:14 29:2.). Consequently the clause in question, which Thenius would adopt from the LXX into our own text, is nothing more than the production of a presumptuous Alexandrian, whose error lies upon the very surface, so that the question of its genuineness cannot for a moment be entertained. Footnote In other words, we may reasonably assume that this was a gloss (a sentence added by someone long after this passage was written), written perhaps as a footnote of sorts, but inaccurate in its content, and certainly not a part of the Word of God.


And from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, took the King David bronze much exceedingly.

2Samuel

8:8

And from Betah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took a huge amount of brass [bronze and copper].

David took a great deal of bronze, brass and copper from the cities Betah and Berothai, which were under the control of Hadadezer.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And out of Bete, and out of Beroth, cities of Adarezer, king David took an exceeding great quantity of brass.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, took the King David bronze much exceedingly.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And from Tebah and from Berothai, cities of Hadarezer, King David took a great quantity of brass and brought it to Jerusalem.

Septuagint (Greek)                And king David took from Metebac, and from the choice cities of Adraazar, very much brass: with that Solomon made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the lavers, and all the furniture.

 

Significant differences:           There is obviously a lot of problems with this verse. The Latin and Hebrew are in agreement with one another. The Septuagint matches the parallel verse in 1Chron. 18:8, but, quite obviously, does not match this verse. There are only a handful of words which match up between the Greek and Hebrew (similarly for the Hebrew of 2Sam. 8:8 and 1Chron. 18:8). So, we do not know what has happened here. Did the Samuel text become so corrupt as to vary this much (this corruption would have had to have taken place between 200 b.c. and 380 a.d.) or did the translators into Greek look at this and 1Chron. 18:8 and just make the judgment call that the Chronicles text was better and more accurate? Did they have an unreadable manuscript of 2Samuel here and take the text from Chronicles instead?

 

The Syriac takes the phrase and brought it to Jerusalem from the previous verse and adds it to the end of this verse. This may not indicate a difference in manuscript, but the reasonable choice of the translator.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       He also took a lot of bronze from the cities of Betah and Berothai, which had belonged to Hadadezer.

Easy English (Pocock)           Hadadezer also ruled the towns of Tebah and Berothai. King David took a lot of *bronze from these towns.

Easy-to-Read Version            David also took many, many things made of bronze from Tebah [57] and Berothai. (Tebah and Berothai were cities that had belonged to Hadadezer.)

Good News Bible (TEV)         He also took a great quantity of bronze from Betah and Berothai, cities ruled by Hadadezer.

The Message                         He also looted a great quantity of bronze from Tebah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer.

New Century Version             David also took many things made of bronze from Tebah and Berothai, which had been cities under Hadadezer's control.

New Living Translation           ...along with a large amount of bronze from Hadadezer's towns of Tebah[c] and Berothai.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then David went to AdraAzar's principal cities and brought back huge amounts of brass, which was used by Solomon to create [the Temple's] sacred Brass Sea, its columns, its bathing tubs, and all its utensils.

God’s Word                         King David also took a large quantity of bronze from Betah and Berothai, Hadadezer's cities.

New American Bible              From Tebah and Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David removed a very large quantity of bronze.

New Jerusalem Bible             From Betah and Berothai, towns belonging to Hadadezer, King David captured a great quantity of bronze.

Today’s NIV                          From Tebah [See some Septuagint manuscripts (see also 1 Chron. 18:8); Hebrew Betah] and Berothai, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, King David took a great quantity of bronze.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And from Tebah and Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David took a great store of brass.

Complete Apostles’ Bible      And King David took from Metebac, and from the choice cities of Hadadezer, very much brass; with that Solomon made the bronze sea, and the pillars, and the lavers, and all the furniture.

HCSB                                     King David also took huge quantities of bronze from Betah and Berothai, Hadadezer's cities.

JPS (Tanakh)                         ...and from Betah and Berothai, towns of Hadadezer, King David took a vast amount of copper.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And from Betah, and from Berotai, the cities of Hadadezer, King David took huge quantities of copper.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And from Betah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David exacted an immense amount of bronze.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and from Betach and from Berothai

cities of Hadad Ezer

sovereign David takes mighty abounding copper.

LTHB                                     And King David took very much bronze from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer.

New King James Version       Also from Betah [spelled Tibhath in 1 Chronicles 18:8] and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took a large amount of bronze.

A Voice in the Wilderness      Also from Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took a large amount of bronze.

WEB                                      From Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, king David took exceeding much brass.

Young’s Updated LT             And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David has taken very much brass.

 

The gist of this verse:          David brought the items made of metal back to Jerusalem from two of Hadadezer’s cities.


2Samuel 8:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

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

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (מִן) [pronounced mihn]

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

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

beţach (בְּטַח) [pronounced BEH-tahkh]

security, safety, confidence; transliterated Betah

masculine singular noun; a location

Strong’s #984 BDB #105

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

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

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

min (מִן) [pronounced mihn]

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

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Bêrôthay (בֵּרֹתַי) [pronounced bay-roh-THAH-ā]

cypress grove; and is transliterated Berothai

proper singular noun; a location

Strong’s #1268 BDB #92

ʿîyr (עִיר) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine plural construct

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

Hădadeʿezer (הֲדַדְעֶזֶר) [pronounced huhd-ahd-ĢEH-zer]

Hadad is a helper; transliterated Hadadezer

masculine singular proper noun; pausal form

Strong’s #1909 BDB #212

Our parallel passage in 1Chron. 18:8 reads: And from Tibhath and from Cun, cities of Hadadezer, David took a large amount of bronze. We will discuss this difference when we study 1Chron. 18.


Translation: And from Betah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer,... We find the city of Betah only here; it is not found in 1Chron. 18:8 (the parallel passage) and we will discuss this when we examine 1Chron. 18 (two different cities are named). Similarly Berothai is found only here (it may also be found in Ezra 47:16, but with a slightly different spelling). What we may reasonably surmise is, part of what David takes come from some specific cities under Hadadezer’s control. However, we know very little more than that. We do not know if these cities are identified accurately here, and there are several theories as to what cities there are.

 

The Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge tells us: Betah is probably the same as Bathne in Syria, between Beroeea and Hierapolis; and Berothai is probably the Barathena of Ptolemy, which he mentions, along with Sabe, as a city of Arabia Deserta, in the confines of the Palmyrenian district. Footnote


I personally believe that every word in the Bible is there for a reason. However, there are times, e.g., with regards to this passage, where I could not tell you what that reason is.


2Samuel 8:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542

The BDB gives the following meanings: to take, take in the hand; to take and carry along; to take from, take out of, take, carry away, take away; to take to or for a person, procure, get, take possession of, select, choose, take in marriage, receive, accept; to take up or upon, put upon; to fetch; to take, lead, conduct; to take, capture, seize; to take, carry off; to take (vengeance).

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

nechôsheth (נְחֹשֶת) [pronounced ne-KHOH-sheth]

copper, bronze, brass; that which is made of brass or copper—money, fetter, bonds, leg irons

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5178 BDB #638

Both Owen and BDB seem to spell this word the same for the masculine and feminine forms. It is identified as masculine in 2Sam. 8:8 by Owen and as masculine in general by BDB. However, the th ending generally indicates a feminine ending, so I am somewhat perplexed here.

râbâh (רָבָה) [pronounced rawb-VAWH]

to make [do] much; to multiply, to increase; to give much; to lay much; to have much; to make great; many [as a Hiphil infinitive construct]

Hiphil infinitive absolute (used here as an adverb)

Strong’s #7235 BDB #915

The Hiphil infinitive absolute is often used as an adverb: in doing much, very much, exceedingly great (the latter two with the adverb meʾôd).

meʾôd (מְאֹד) [pronounced me-ODE]

exceedingly, extremely, greatly, very

adverb

Strong’s #3966 BDB #547

The LXX adds the second sentence which is not found in the Hebrew text here, but found in 1Chron. 18:8b: With it Solomon made the bronze sea and the pillars and the vessels of bronze. In the previous verse, we observed that someone (possibly the Greek translator) added a gloss to the text, probably based on some superficial and incorrect research. Although this sentence could have been added for the same reason (although it would be accurate text this time), it is possible that this sentence dropped off the Masoretic text after the Greek translation had been made (again, the Hebrew text of Samuel is just about the weakest text of the Old Testament).


Translation: ...King David took a huge amount of brass [bronze and copper]. We are told in 1Chron. 18:8 that what David has in mind here is stuff which can be used for the Temple. Even though he knows that he will not be building the Temple, he knows that his son will be (at this time, David has not sired Solomon), and so, David is gathering up the materials which will be used to build the Temple. We are told in the parallel passage, 1Chron. 18:8, that Solomon used this when building the Temple. With this brass, Solomon made the bronze sea and the pillars and the vessels of bronze (1Chron. 18:8).


Since there is some disagreement as to the exact meaning of word which is translated brass, bronze or copper, let me suggest that, since the Israelites did not personally work with metals at this time, they may have had one word to describe these shiny metals (however, different words for silver and gold, as those metals had intrinsic value).


Again, David is taking worldly goods and setting them aside for spiritual use. He will later say, in a public address: “So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble. Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house, and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the LORD?" Then the leaders of fathers' houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king's work. They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron (1Chron. 29:2–7). When you take something of this world and give it over to a spiritual use (the most common expression of this is giving to a church, to a missionary, etc.), that has eternal impact (obviously, you must do this while filled with the Holy Spirit). These are the things which have eternal impact, and will travel with us into eternity. What is done in the Lord’s work has eternal impact both upon others (who might believe in Jesus Christ or grow spiritual as a result of our giving) and upon us as well. This is a part of the capital that we take with us into the eternal state.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


Toi, King of Hamath, Congratulates David


I put vv. 9–10 together, as they seemed to be a compound sentence. I was surprised as to how many translations treated these as separate sentences. Bear in mind, breaking the Bible down into verses and chapters was done long after the Bible had been written.


And so hears Toi King of Hamath that struck David all of an army of Hadadezer, and so sends Toi Joram his son unto the King David to ask to him to peace and to bless him upon which he fought in Hadadezer and so he struck him (for a man of wars Toi was [to] Hadadezer). And in his hand were vessels of silver and vessels of gold and vessels of bronze.

2Samuel

8:9–10

When [lit., and so] Toi, King of Hamath, heard that David defeated all of Hadadezer’s army, he [lit., Toi] sent his son Joram to King David to request peace on his behalf and to bless David [lit., him] because he waged war against Hadadezer and he defeated him (for Toi had been a man of war [with regards to] Hadadezer). And he brought articles of silver, gold and bronze [as gifts] [lit., and in his hand were vessels of silver and vessels of gold and vessels of bronze].

When Toi, the King of Hamath, heard that David had defeated Hadadezer’s army, he sent his son Joram to King David to establish a mutual peace between them and to bless David because he successfully waged war against Hadadezer and defeated him (for Toi and Hadadezer were constantly at war with one another). Joram brought vessels of gold, silver and bronze as gifts for David.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so hears Toi King of Hamath that struck David all of an army of Hadadezer, and so sends Toi Joram his son unto the King David to ask to him to peace and to bless him upon which he fought in Hadadezer and so he struck him (for a man of wars Toi was [to] Hadadezer). And in his hand were vessels of silver and vessels of gold and vessels of bronze.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when Toa king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadarezer, then Toa sent Joram his son to King David to salute him and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadarezer and defeated him; for Hadarezer was a warlike man.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Thou the king of Hemath heard that David had struck down all the host of Adraazar. And Thou sent Jedduram his son to king David, to ask him of his welfare, and to congratulate him on his fighting against Adraazar and striking him, for he was an enemy to Adraazar: and in his hands were vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass.

 

Significant differences:           The phrases to ask him to peace, to salute him, to ask him of his welfare are probably all equivalent. The compound of the preposition and relative pronoun in the Hebrew (upon which) is reasonably equivalent to because and to on in the Syriac and Greek manuscripts.

 

The Greek tells us that he [Thou] was an enemy of Adraazar; the Hebrew expresses this differently—Toi was a man of war to Hadadezer. The general sense is the same; the words are not equivalent, however.

 

The Syriac seems to be missing a lot of text at the very end, a phrase which possibly dropped off the Hebrew manuscripts which they used.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       King Toi of Hamath and King Hadadezer had been enemies. So when Toi heard that David had attacked and defeated Hadadezer's whole army, he sent his son Joram to praise and congratulate David. Joram also brought him gifts made of silver, gold, and bronze.

Easy English (Pocock)           King Toi came from the town of Hamath. He heard that David had defeated the army of Hadadezer. King Toi sent his son Joram to King David. He praised David for his success. King Toi (also called Tou) and Hadadezer were enemies. They had fought many battles. Joram gave many gold, silver and *bronze objects to David.

Easy-to-Read Version            Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated Hadadezer’s whole army.

So Toi sent his son Joram to King David. Joram greeted David and blessed him because David had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him. (Hadadezer had fought wars against Toi before.) Joram brought things made of silver, gold, and bronze.

Good News Bible (TEV)         King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated all of Hadadezer's army. So he sent his son Joram to greet King David and congratulate him for his victory over Hadadezer, against whom Toi had fought many times. Joram took David presents made of gold, silver, and bronze.

New Life Bible                        Now Toi king of Hamath heard that David had won the battle against the whole army of Hadadezer. So Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to say hello to him and pray that good would come to him, because David had fought against Hadadezer and had won. Hadadezer had been at war with Toi. Joram brought with him objects of silver, gold and brass.

New Living Translation           When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the entire army of Hadadezer, he sent his son Joram to congratulate King David for his successful campaign. Hadadezer and Toi had been enemies and were often at war. Joram presented David with many gifts of silver, gold, and bronze.

New Simplified Bible              Soon King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated Hadadezer’s entire army. He sent his son Joram to greet King David and congratulate him for fighting and defeating Hadadezer. There had often been war between Hadadezer and Toi. Joram brought articles of gold, silver, and copper with him.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And when the king of Hamath heard that David had conquered the armies of AdraAzar, he sent his son JedDuram to King David to ask for peace. He also congratulated David for beating AdraAzar, because AdraAzar was his enemy. And he brought along items of silver, gold, and brass,...

NIRV                                      Tou was king of Hamath. He heard that David had won the battle over the entire army of Hadadezer. So Tou sent his son Joram to King David. Joram greeted David. He praised him because he had won the battle over Hadadezer. Hadadezer had been at war with Tou. So Joram brought with him articles that were made out of silver, gold and bronze.

New Jerusalem Bible             When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had defeated Hadadezer's entire army, he sent his son Hadoram to King David to greet him and to congratulate him on having made war on Hadadezer and on having defeated him, since Hadadezer was at war with Tou. Hadoram brought with him objects made of silver, gold and bronze,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And when Tou, king of Hamath, had news that David had overcome all the army of Hadadezer,

He sent his son Hadoram to David, with words of peace and blessing, because he had overcome Hadadezer in the fight, for Hadadezer had wars with Tou; and Hadoram took with him vessels of silver and gold and brass:

Complete Apostles’ Bible      And Toi the king of Hemath heard that David had defeated all the armies of Hadadezer.

And Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to ask him of his welfare, and to congratulate him on his fighting against Hadadezer and smiting him, for he was an enemy to Hadadezer: and in his hands were vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Toi, the king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer. And Toi sent Joram, his son, to King David to greet him and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him: for Hadadezer had been Toi's opponent in war, and in his possession were vessels of silver and vessels of gold and vessels of copper.

NET Bible®                             When King Toi [The name is spelled "Tou" in the parallel text in 1 Chr 18:9. NIV adopts the spelling "Tou" here.] of Hamath heard that David had defeated the entire army of Hadadezer, he sent his son Joram [The name appears as "Hadoram" in the parallel text in 1 Chr 18:10] to King David to extend his best wishes [Heb "to ask concerning him for peace."] and to pronounce a blessing on him for his victory over Hadadezer, for Toi had been at war with Hadadezer [Heb "and to bless him because he fought with Hadadezer and defeated him, for Hadadezer was a man of battles with Toi."]. He brought with him various items made of silver, gold, and bronze.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible    And, when Tou king of Hamath heard that David had struck all the forces of Hadadezer, then Tou sent Hadoram his son unto King David, to ask after his welfare, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and had struck him, for Hadadezer had had wars with Tou,—and, in his hand, were vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of bronze.

English Standard Version      When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to ask about his health and to bless him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him, for Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi. And Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold, and of bronze.

exeGeses companion Bible   And Toi sovereign of Hamath hears

that David smites all the valiant of Hadad Ezer,

and Toi sends Yah Ram his son to sovereign David,

to ask shalom of him and to bless him,

because he had fought against Hadad Ezer

and smote him

- for Hadad Ezer was a man of wars with Toi.

And in his hand are instruments of silver

and instruments of gold and instruments of copper:...

NASB                                     When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer, then Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him (for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi); and Joram brought with him articles of silver, articles of gold, and articles of bronze..

NRSV                                     When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had defeated the whole army of Hadadezer, Toi sent his son Joram to King David, to greet him and to congratulate him because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him. Now Hadadezer had often been at war with Toi. Joram brought with him articles of silver, gold, and bronze;...

Thieme                                   When Toi king of Hamath

heard [consolidated the intelligence information]

that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer,

Toi sent Joram, his son, unto king David,

with congratulations/'petitions for peace' {shalom},

and to bless him {barak},

because he had 'engaged in a {preventative} war' {lacham}

against Hadadezer, and 'totally defeated'/smitten him.

For Hadadezer had 'been perpetually hostile'/'had wars' with Toi.

Furthermore, He {Joram} 'brought with him'/'presented to David'

precious articles of silver, gold, and bronze.

A Voice in the Wilderness      When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had struck down all the army of Hadadezer, then Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to ask after his peace and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and struck him (for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi); and Joram brought in his hand articles of silver, articles of gold, and articles of bronze.

Young’s Updated LT             And Toi king of Hamath hears that David has struck all the force of Hadadezer, and Toi sends Joram his son unto king David to ask of him of welfare, and to bless him, (because that he has fought against Hadadezer, and strikes him, for a man of wars with Toi had Hadadezer been), and in his hand have been vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and vessels of brass.

 

The gist of this verse:          When Toi, the King of Hamath, heard that David had defeated Hadadezer in battle, he sent his son to insure peace with David, and brought him gifts to show his good intentions.


2Samuel 8:9

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

Wâw consecutives can be used before causal sentences like כִּי to mean because, for, in that; and a wâw consecutive can be used before connives or inferential sentences, and mean so that, therefore, wherefore. Footnote

shâmaʿ (שָמַע) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen [intently], to hear, to listen and obey, [or, and act upon, give heed to, take note of], to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and be cognizant of

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

Toʿîy (תֳעִי) [pronounced TOH-ģee]

transliterated Tou, Thou, Toi

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8583 BDB #1073

This is spelled Tôʿûw (תֹּעוּ) [pronounced TOH-ģoo] in Chronicles.

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Chămâth (חֲמָת) [pronounced khuhm-AWTH]

fortress, defense, citadel; sacred enclosure; transliterated Hamath

proper singular noun/location

Strong’s #2574 BDB #332

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

chayil (חַיִל) [pronounced CHAH-yil]

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

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2428 BDB #298

Hădadeʿezer (הֲדַדְעֶזֶר) [pronounced huhd-ahd-ĢEH-zer]

Hadad is a helper; transliterated Hadadezer

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #1909 BDB #212


Translation: When [lit., and so] Toi, King of Hamath, heard that David defeated all of Hadadezer’s army,... Insofar as the grammar goes, I fudged somewhat and put a when here. Although there is a temporal connotation within this passage, what is more prominent is the causal concept—because Toi hears about David defeating Hadadezer’s army, he acts.


We do know that, in the ancient world, there were runners who attended battles and quickly brought back the good or the bad news to the main cities. I don’t know how this information was communicated to other countries, whether this was passed along when nations traded with one another or whether there was something more systematic. In any case, Toi, King of Hamath, heard about David defeating all of Hadadezer’s army.









A Map Showing Hamath

On the right is a map showing the location of Hamath, which is to the north of Israel. You can also see the Euphrates River, which is the direction in which Hadadezer’s army was moving, in order to reestablish his won territory of influence.


We will find out that Toi and Hadadezer had been at war often, and that David defeating Hadadezer was a blessing to Toi, and provided him with some peace in his own time.


Israel, during the time of David and Solomon, controlled the land as far north as Hamath (1Kings 8:65 2Kings 14:25).

2sam_08.gif

 

Taken from http://www.quicksilver899.com/Hamath/HamahMap2.jpg


As I remarked earlier, we understand the soul of a country (or, if you will, its corporate witness), by who its friends are and who its enemies are. Toi, the king of Hamath, observed that David was at war with Hadadezer, and that told him what he needed to know about David.


This is about 1000 b.c. and Hamath will remain an independent country until the time of Isaiah, circa 700 b.c. (Isa. 37:13) and it will lose this independence during the time of Jeremiah, circa 600 b.c. (Jer. 49:23). Because of the location of Hamath, Toi probably was at war with Hadadezer, as he attempted to expand his own territory.


Hamath, also known as Lebo-Hamath (Num. 13:21), Hamath the Great (Amos 6:2) and Hamath-zobah (2Chron. 8:3) Footnote , was a city located approximately 125 miles north of Damascus. It was built along both sides of the Orontes River in the valley of Lebanon, in between the mountains of Lebanon and Antilebanon. It is surrounded by hills and enjoys a warm and humid climate. It was originally populated by descendants of Canaan (Gen. 10:18). These would be Hittites, although it is not clear whether other Hittite groups conquered this area or whether these particular descendants were in control of Hamath for a very long time.


When the Jews first came into the land (circa 1440 b.c.), they explored it as far north as Lebo-Hamath (Num. 13:21), and, in times of great prosperity, Israel’s border went that far north (1Kings 8:65 2Kings 14:25). If you will examine the map above, it is apparent that is very far north for what we consider to be Israel.


Hamath, like many ancient cities, was destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions. It was first destroyed in 1750 b.c., possibly by the Hyksos. This would have been while the Jews were living in Egypt. Later, circa 1460 b.c., Thutmose III of Egypt conquered Hamath—at a time Egypt’s power would have been at a high point, right before God called Israel out of Egypt. Hamath was allied with David and Solomon, apparently bring both kings tribute (2Sam. 8:9 2Chron. 8:4). By 900 b.c., this was the center of a small Hittite kingdom again. This suggests to me that the expansion of Israel’s kingdom simply meant that people this far north paid tribute to Israel (as we will have in this chapter). Jeroboam II, a king of Israel of the divided kingdom, who lived in the first half of the 8th century b.c., reasserted Israeli control over Hamath (2Kings 14:25).


Not long after, Assyrian king Shalmaneser III (circa 860–825 b.c.) invaded Hamath on several occasions, at first being rebuffed by a fairly large coalition, which included Damascus, Israel, Hamath and 12 kings of the coast; but every few years, Shalmaneser III would return, and on the 3rd attack, he conquered Hamath. Tiglath-pileser III (745–727 b.c.) conquered Hamath, making them pay tribute, and later, in 720 b.c., Sargon II conquered Hamath. Sargon II transported his conquered peoples around, moving Israelites up into Hamath (among other places—Isa. 11:11). He brought residents of Hamath down to Israel, who brought with them their pagan gods (2Kings 17:24, 30)


Today, Hamath is found at Hama in west Syria. Hama is actually build around Hamath, which has been excavated (1931–1938) and 12 strata of occupation have been found. Footnote


2Samuel 8:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

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

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

Wâw consecutives can be used before causal sentences like כִּי to mean because, for, in that; and a wâw consecutive can be used before connives or inferential sentences, and mean so that, therefore, wherefore. Footnote

shâlach (שָלַח) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send for [forth, away], to dismiss, to deploy, to put forth, to stretch out, to reach out

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Tôʿûw (תֹּעוּ) [pronounced TOH-ģoo]

transliterated Tou, Thou, Toi

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #8583 BDB #1073

This is also spelled Toʿîy (תֳעִי) [pronounced TOH-ģee].

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

Yôwrâm (יוֹרָם) [pronounced yoh-RAWM]

Yah is exalted; transliterated Joram

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #3141 BDB #221

This is an abbreviated spelling for Yehôwrâm (יְהוֹרָם) [pronounced yeh-hoh-RAWM]. Strong’s #3088 BDB #221.

There are differences in the spelling of the king’s name and his son’s name in the parallel passage of 1Chron. 18, which will be discussed when we cover that passage.

bên (בֵּן) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced el]

unto, in, into, toward, to, regarding, against

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

meleke (מֶלֶך׃) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187


Translation: ...he [lit., Toi] sent his son Joram to King David... David’s army is quite obviously in King Toi’s general area, although, by this time, David may be back at his palace in Jerusalem (v. 7 seems to suggest this). King Toi sends his son, which is obviously not an aggressive move on his part, but one of peace.


Recall how I spoke of recognizing who people are by their friends and by their enemies? Toi and his son Joram both desire a good relationship with David. Furthermore, Joram—who has been named by his father—has a name which means Yah is exalted. This indicates that his father was a believer when Joram was born.


Joram means Yah [God] is exalted; and there are several men in the Bible with this name.

The Joram’s of Scripture

#

A Brief Bio

1.  

Son of Ahab, king of Israel. Also known as Jehoram. 2Kings 8:16, 25, 28–29 2Kings 9:14–17, 21–23, 29.

2.  

Son of Jehosphaphat; king of Judah. He is also called Jehoram. 2Kings 8:21, 23–24 1Chron. 3:11 2Chron. 22:5, 7 Matt. 1:8.

3.  

A priest, in the reign of Jehoshaphat. 2Chron. 17:8.

4.  

A Levite, ancestor of Shelomith, in the time of David. 1Chron. 26:25.

5.  

Son of Toi, king of Hamath. 2Sam. 8:10. He is called “Hadoram” in 1Chron. 18:9–10. Even though this latter name is preferred by some, he may have even received this nickname, as a believer in Jesus Christ (as it is close to his own name).

6.  

There is also a Joram in the Apocrypha. 1Esdras 1:9, also known as “Jozabad” in 2Chron. 35:9

Doctrines like this are to keep you from going off the deep end and thinking that everyone named Joram is the same person.

From: Dr. William Smith, Smith’s Bible Dictionary; 1894; from e-Sword, topic: Joram.

Additional material from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia; James Orr, Editor; ©1956 Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Ⓟ by Hendrickson Publishers; from E-Sword; Topic:  Joram.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Graphics and Short Doctrines


It is interesting how the world has changed with respect to national interrelationships. During the time of David, friends and foes alike brought David tribute. Friends, because David provided them with a modicum of protection (he beat down nations which threatened them) and foes, because David defeated them, but allowed them some modicum of sovereignty.


In today’s world, the United States—certainly not the United Nations—provides a modicum of protection for our allies abroad. However, we are the ones who provide tribute for them. This is so ingrained in my own thinking that, when studying David and Nabal (back in 1Sam. 23), I had a difficult time wrapping my brain around Nabal owing David money. However, God has poured so much grace upon our nation—something which many people do not fully recognize—that it has overflowed to many other nations. There could be parallels to the Church Age, as we are given great spiritual assets in the Church Age, and our blessings often overflow.


2Samuel 8:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [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

shâʾal (שָאַל) [pronounced shaw-AHL]

to ask [petition, request, inquire]; to demand [require]; to question, to interrogate; to ask [for a loan]; to consult; to salute

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #7592 BDB #981

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

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

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

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 (הָיָה) [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.

lâmed (לְ) [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 (שָלוֹם) or shâlôm (שָלֹם) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

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

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022


Translation: ...to request peace on his behalf... Joram requests that peace be made between Hamath and Israel. We will see that Hamath had been at odds with Hadadezer, whom David had conquered, and having a common enemy would reasonably make Toi and David allies. This would also indicate positive volition toward the God of Israel and no doubt many from Hamath believed in Jesus Christ and were saved over these centuries that they were allied with David and Solomon.


2Samuel 8:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

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

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (לְ) [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

bârake (בָּרַך׃) [pronounced baw-RAHKe]

to invoke God, to praise, to celebrate, to adore, to bless [God]; to bless [men], to invoke blessings; to bless [as God, man and other created things], therefore to cause to prosper, to make happy; to salute anyone [with a blessing]; to curse

Piel infinitive construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1288 BDB #138


Translation: ...and to bless David [lit., him]... Joram also celebrates David’s victory, congratulates him on this victory, and invokes blessing to David. Everything is done to indicate that this is a friendly peaceful visit in order to set up an alliance.


2Samuel 8:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl ]

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

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752