Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
DAVID, AND THE
1. at the time when kings go out to battle--in spring, the usual
season in ancient times for entering on a campaign; that is, a year
subsequent to the Syrian war.
Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country . . . of
Ammon--The former campaign had been disastrous, owing chiefly to the
hired auxiliaries of the Ammonites; and as it was necessary, as well as
just, that they should be severely chastised for their wanton outrage on
the Hebrew ambassadors, Joab ravaged their country and invested their
capital, Rabbah. After a protracted siege, Joab took one part of it, the
lower town or "city of waters," insulated by the winding course of the
Jabbok. Knowing that the fort called "the royal city" would soon fall,
he invited the king to come in person, and have the honor of storming
it. The knowledge of this fact (mentioned in
enables us to reconcile the two statements--"David tarried at
and "David and all the people returned to Jerusalem"
2. David took the crown of their king . . ., and found it
to weigh a talent of gold--equal to one hundred twenty-five pounds.
Some think that Malcom, rendered in our version "their king,"
should be taken as a proper name, Milcom or Molech, the Ammonite idol,
which, of course, might bear a heavy weight. But, like many other
state crowns of Eastern kings, the crown got at Rabbah was not worn on
the head, but suspended by chains of gold above the throne.
precious stones--Hebrew, a "stone," or cluster of precious stones,
which was set on David's head.
3. cut them with saws, &c.--The Hebrew word, "cut them," is, with
the difference of the final letter, the same as that rendered "put
them," in the parallel passage of Samuel
and many consider that putting them to saws, axes, and so forth, means
nothing more than that David condemned the inhabitants of Rabbah to
hard and penal servitude.
OVERTHROWS OF THE
4. war at Gezer--or Gob (see