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with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Chronicles 12

Those who came to David at Ziklag. (1-22) Those who came to Hebron. (23-40)

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Those who came to David at Ziklag

1 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.

2 They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul’s brethren of Benjamin.

3 The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite.

4 And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,

5 Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite,

6 Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,

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

8 And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;

9 Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,

10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,

11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,

12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,

13 Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh.

14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.

15 These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.

16 And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.

17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.

18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

19 And there fell some of Manasseh to David, when he came with the Philistines against Saul to battle: but they helped them not: for the lords of the Philistines upon advisement sent him away, saying, He will fall to his master Saul to the jeopardy of our heads.

20 As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and Michael, and Jozabad, and Elihu, and Zilthai, captains of the thousands that were of Manasseh.

21 And they helped David against the band of the rovers: for they were all mighty men of valour, and were captains in the host.

22 For at that time day by day there came to David to help him, until it was a great host, like the host of God.

Those who came to Hebron

23 And these are the numbers of the bands that were ready armed to the war, and came to David to Hebron, to turn the kingdom of Saul to him, according to the word of the LORD.

24 The children of Judah that bare shield and spear were six thousand and eight hundred, ready armed to the war.

25 Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valour for the war, seven thousand and one hundred.

26 Of the children of Levi four thousand and six hundred.

27 And Jehoiada was the leader of the Aaronites, and with him were three thousand and seven hundred;

28 And Zadok, a young man mighty of valour, and of his father’s house twenty and two captains.

29 And of the children of Benjamin, the kindred of Saul, three thousand: for hitherto the greatest part of them had kept the ward of the house of Saul.

30 And of the children of Ephraim twenty thousand and eight hundred, mighty men of valour, famous throughout the house of their fathers.

31 And of the half tribe of Manasseh eighteen thousand, which were expressed by name, to come and make David king.

32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.

33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.

34 And of Naphtali a thousand captains, and with them with shield and spear thirty and seven thousand.

35 And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.

36 And of Asher, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, forty thousand.

37 And on the other side of Jordan, of the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and of the half tribe of Manasseh, with all manner of instruments of war for the battle, an hundred and twenty thousand.

38 All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel: and all the rest also of Israel were of one heart to make David king.

39 And there they were with David three days, eating and drinking: for their brethren had prepared for them.

40 Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Siceleg, which had been given to David for a retreat. Hither many brave men came to join him. — Fled. Heb. “was shut up through fear.” C. — Sept. “was under anxiety.” H.

Ver. 2. Hand, like Aod. Judg. iii. 15. M. — Brethren, of the same tribe. The opinion which they entertained of David, must have been very great, to make them expose themselves to such dangers. In adversity, true friendship and virtue shine the most. C. — The hand of providence is here conspicuous. T.

Ver. 4. Thirty. Heb. sheloshim, denotes “the officers” of the army. C. — Prot. style this hero “Ismaiah.”

Ver. 6. Jesbaam. Probably the second after Joab. C. xi. 11. H. — Of Carehim. Heb. “the Korhites.” Ken. — So also the Sept. There were Levites, descendants of Core. M.

Ver. 8. Gaddi, a city of the tribe of Gad, (2 K. 23.) from which many went to join David, when he was in the country of Moab, (M.) as others of the Gadites did, v. 14. — Mountains. A fierce countenance and swiftness were much commended in soldiers. “The eyes are always first conquered.” Primi in omnibus præliis oculi vincuntur, says Tacitus, Mor. Germ. C. See Prov. xxx. 30. 2 K. ii. 18. M.

Ver. 14. Thousand, after David had ascended the throne. C. — At Siceleg he had only 600. M. — Some suppose that each of these officers was worth 100 men, &c. Vatab.

Ver. 15. Month, Nisan. T. — Banks. This circumstance enhances their courage. Maundrel (Alep. p. 136) went to see the Jordan, 13th March, 1697, but the river was nine feet from the banks. Its rapidity has perhaps made its bed so much deeper, that it does not overflow so frequently at present. C.

Ver. 16. Hold, in Moab, (1 K. xxii. 4. D. M.) or to Siceleg. The people of Benjamin come with those of Juda, to avoid suspicion. C.

Ver. 17. Hands. At that time he had done no injury to any man. H.

Ver. 18. Spirit of God (C. or good will. D.) prompted Amasai, the chief of “the officers.” C. — Band, or “of a company.” H.

Ver. 19. Fight. They joined him after he had left the Philistines. C. — But he. Heb. “they helped them not.” Neither David nor his partizans were involved in this danger, which might have caused their fidelity to be suspected. 1 K. xxix. H.

Ver. 20. Thousands: heads of the principal cities. Mic. v. 2. D.

Ver. 21. Rovers of Amalec, 1 K. xxx. 1.

Ver. 22. Of God; very great, (C.) particularly when Isboseth was slain 2 K. v. 1. H. — The angels are to us innumerable, Job xxv. An army in concord is compared to them. W.

Ver. 27. Joiada had the post of Eleazar over the Levites, (Num. iii. 32.) and was at the head of the warriors of his tribe, while Abiathar was high priest. C.

Ver. 28. Of excellent. Heb. “of great valour.” Saul had appointed him in the place of Achimelec, and David permitted him to retain his dignity.

Ver. 29. Followed. Heb. “kept guard at the palace.” These guards submitted to David, like the rest, after the death of Isboseth. C.

Ver. 31. Manasses, west of the Jordan. See v. 37. H.

Ver. 32. Should, in agricultural pursuits, in which those of Issachar excelled. Gen. xlix. 14. Countrymen have often more skill about the weather, then the greatest astronomers, Virg. Georg. i. M. T. — Others think that these men could calculate when the festivals would occur, (S. Jer. Trad.) or they were well versed in politics, &c. See Est. i. 13.

Ver. 40. Nephthali. All, both far and near, contributed to regale the deputies. C.