- The captains for every month of the year, verse 1-15.
- The princes of the several tribes, verse 16-24.
- The officers of the court, verse 25-34.
Officers - The standing militia of Israel as it was settled under their several officers. Of courses - In all the business wherein the king had occasion for these persons who were to attend him by turns. Came in, &c. - who being armed and mustered, and to wait upon the king, at Jerusalem or other places, as the king should see fit. By this order near three hundred thousand of his people were instructed and exercised in the use of their arms, and fitted for the defence of their king and kingdom when it should be needful, and in the mean time sufficient provision was made against any sudden tumults or irruptions of enemies. And this monthly course was contrived that the burden of it might be easy and equally distributed among the people.
The ruler - These were the princes of the tribes, the constant rulers of the tribes; who seem to have had a superior power to these twenty four captains, and therefore are named before them, being probably the king's chief counsellors and assistants in the great affairs of his kingdom.
Tribes - Of the most of the tribes, not of all: for Gad is omitted, probably because that tribe was joined with the Reubenites under one prince.
Because - And therefore to number them all both above and under twenty years old, had been both an infinite trouble and a tempting of God, or a questioning the truth of his promises.
Vineyards - Over the workmen and labourers in the vineyards; as the next officer is over the fruit of the vineyards. In like manner, one man was over the labourers in the fields, verse 26, and another over the fruits of the fields put into stores.
All these - It is observable, here are no officers for state, none for sport, no master of the ceremonies, or of the bounds, but all for substance, agreeable to the simplicity and plainness of those times. David was a great soldier, a great scholar, and a great prince; and yet a great husband of his estate. Those magistrates who would have their subjects industrious, must themselves be examples of application to business.
A scribe - Either one learned in the laws of God, which were also the laws of the land, or, the king's secretary. King's sons - As their tutor or governour.
Counsellor - The person whose counsel in matters of state the king most prized and followed. Companion - Or his friend, 2 Samuel 15:37, the person whom he trusted with his secrets, and whose conversation was most pleasant and acceptable to him. Observe, A cunning man was his counsellor: but an honest man was his friend.
After Ahithophel - After his death, these were his chief counsellors.