David is anointed king in Hebron, 1-3. He wars against the Jebusites, and takes their city, 4-9. An account of David's three mightiest heroes; and particularly of their hazardous exploit in bringing water from the well of Beth-lehem, 10-19. A list of the rest, and an account of their acts, 20-47.
Notes on Chapter 11
Then all Israel gathered themselves to David
See 2 Samuel 5:1-10, for the history contained in the first nine verses of this chapter, and the notes there.
The number of the mighty men
See 2 Samuel 23:8, the notes there. The Targum has a remarkable addition here.
"These are the numbers of the strong men who were with David; he was the potent chief of the army; he sat upon the throne of judgment, anointed with the holy oil, all the prophets and wise men standing about him. When he went to battle, he was assisted from on high; and when he sat down to teach the law, the true meaning arose up in his mind. He was elect and pleasant, of a beautiful mien and lovely countenance, exercised in wisdom, prudent in counsel, and strong in virtue; the prince of the assembly, of a melodious voice, master in hymns, and chief among the mighty. He was instructed in the use of martial weapons; he carried a spear, to which was appended the ensign of the host of Judah; he went forth according to the voice of the Holy Spirit, was victorious in battle, and overthrew with his spear three hundred men at one time."-T.
On this and some of the following verses there is a judicious note of Dr. Kennicott, which I shall take the liberty to introduce, referring to his first Dissertation on the Hebrew text for farther illustration and proof, p. 128-144.
"Among the parallel places, a comparison of which may be of very considerable service, scarce any passages will appear more effectually to correct each other than the catalogue of David's mighty men of valour, as it now stands in 2 Samuel 23:8-39, and in this chapter. About thirty-four Hebrew words have been lost out of this part of the passage in Chronicles, which are happily preserved in Samuel.
"The chief point of proof is this, that the catalogue divides these thirty-seven warriors into the captain-general, a first three, a second three, and the remaining thirty; and yet that the third captain of the first ternary is now here omitted. The following juxtaposition will show the whole deficiency, and properly supply it. But let it be observed that Jashobeam, the first captain of the first ternary, had been already mentioned, and that the history is here speaking of the second captain, namely, Eleazar.
2 Samuel 23:9: And after him was Eleazar the son ; 1 Chronicles 11:12: And after him was Eleazar the son S. of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty C. of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.
S. men with David when they defied C. 13. He was with David at Pas-dammim, and there S. the Philistines that were there gathered together to C. the Philistines were gathered together to S. battle, and the men of Israel were gone away. C. battle, * * * * * *
S. 10. He arose and smote the Philistines until his C. * * * * * * *
S. hand was weary and his hand clave unto the C. * * * * * * *
S. sword; and the Lord wrought a great victory C. * * * * * * *
S. that day: and the people returned after him only C. * * * * * * *
S. to spoil. 11. And after him was SHAMMAH. the C. * * * * * * *
S. son of Agee, the Hararite: and the Philistines C. * * * * * * *
S. were gathered together into a troop, where was C. * * * * * where was S. a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people C. a parcel of ground full of barley, and the people S. fled from the Philistines. 12. But he C. fled from before the Philistines. 14. And they set S. stood in the midst of the ground and defended C. themselves, in the midst of that parcel, and delivered S. it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord C. it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord S. wrought a great victory. C. saved than by a great deliverance.
See the notes on 2 Samuel 23:15-17.
Benaiah-slew two lion-like men of Moab
The Targum says, "Benaiah was a valiant man, fearing sin, and of a righteous conduct in Kabzeel; he slew two of the nobles of Moab, who were like two strong lions. He was a great and righteous man as any in the second sanctuary. On a certain day, having struck his foot against a dead tortoise, he went down to Shiloh, and having broken pieces of ice, he washed himself with them, and afterward went up, and read the book of the law of the priests, in which much is contained, in a short winter's day, viz., the tenth of the month Tebeth."
Plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
See Clarke on 2 Samuel 23:21.
David set him over his guard
"Made him chief ruler over his disciples."-T.
FOR other particulars, see the notes on the parallel places, where the subject is farther considered.