King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Chronicles 27

David’s military force. (1-15) Princes and officers. (16-34)

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David’s military force

1 Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand.

2 Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

3 Of the children of Perez was the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month.

4 And over the course of the second month was Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course was Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise were twenty and four thousand.

5 The third captain of the host for the third month was Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

6 This is that Benaiah, who was mighty among the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course was Ammizabad his son.

7 The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

8 The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

9 The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

10 The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

11 The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

12 The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

13 The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

14 The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

15 The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

Princes and officers

16 Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: the ruler of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah:

17 Of the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, Zadok:

18 Of Judah, Elihu, one of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:

19 Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel:

20 Of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:

21 Of the half tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:

22 Of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham. These were the princes of the tribes of Israel.

23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the LORD had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens.

24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David.

25 And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan the son of Uzziah:

26 And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub:

27 And over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:

28 And over the olive trees and the sycomore trees that were in the low plains was Baalhanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash:

29 And over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai:

30 Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite:

31 And over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagerite. All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David’s.

32 Also Jonathan David’s uncle was a counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons:

33 And Ahithophel was the king’s counsellor: and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion:

34 And after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king’s army was Joab.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Now. This list is entirely of a political nature. It seems to have been made before David had obtained the throne of Israel, (v. 7.) though perhaps the monthly division did not comprise 24,000, before that time. This regulation was very excellent, and enabled the king to have an army of 300,000 men, at a short notice. It was not attended with any material inconvenience to the people, as none were on service above a month. — Hands. Commanders in chief. — Captains. Twenty-four in number, with 240 centurions under them. — Officers. Heb. shoterim. Sept. “scribes,” whose employment is not well ascertained. They perhaps acted as commissaries, or kept an account of the king’s troops, and reviewed them. C. — Sept. “and scribes serving the people, and the king’s orders respecting the divisions, both coming in and going out, monthly, throughout the year. One division comprised 24,000 men.

Ver. 2. Jesboam. Heb. “Jashobham,” as C. xi. 11. He was the first after Joab, (H.) and a descendant of Pharez, like David, and waiting upon the king in the month of Nisan, which almost agrees with our March (M.) and April. H. — Zabdiel, the Hachmonite, may therefore denote his country; (Kennicott) or Zabdiel might be his ancestor, though the same man has frequently different names. We find several companions of this general in the sequel.

Ver. 4. Dudia, of Dodi, the father of Eleazar. C. xi. 12. C. — After him, his substitute. T. — Heb. “and Macelloth, chief also of his course, consisting likewise of 24,000.” H.

Ver. 5. Priest. This we read no where else, so that some understand, “a chief officer at court,” 2 K. viii. 18. C. — But he might be (H.) of the tribe of Levi. M. — His exploits are mentioned. C. xi. 21.

Ver. 6. Company, in his absence, (H.) as lieutenant. Salien.

Ver. 7. After him. He acted under his father, and succeeded (M.) to Asahel’s post, after Abner had slain him. 2 K. ii. 23. and xxiii. 24. C.

Ver. 8. Samaoth. Perhaps Samma, or Sammoth of Arodi, or Arari; places with which we are not acquainted, unless they denote some of his progenitors. Jazer is well known. C. — C. xxvi. 34.

Ver. 9. Hari. Mentioned as one of David’s brave men. C. xi. 28.

Ver. 10. Phallonite, or of Phalti. 2 K. xxiii. 26.

Ver. 11. Zarahi, or of Zara, the son of Thamar. C. xi. 29. Sobochai slew the giant Saph, 2 K. xxi. 17.

Ver. 12. Jemini, or Benjamin. C. — The first syllable is neglected. M.

Ver. 13. Marai, or Marahai, sprung from Zara. C.

Ver. 14. Ephraim. Pharathon was in this tribe. M.

Ver. 15. Holdai, called Heled, the son of Baana. C. xi. 30. and 2 K. xxiii. 29. — Gothoniel. So the Sept. write Othoniel, (H.) so famous in the book of Judges, i. 13. and iii. 9.

Ver. 16. Chiefs, by their birth-right. The former were chosen for merit. T. — The tribes of Aser and of Gad are omitted, either because the list was not in the hands of the author, or it was overlooked by transcribers. C. — Rubenites, with whom Em. Sa joins the Gadites. M.

Ver. 18. Eliu. Probably the same with Eliab, the eldest son of Isai, (1 K. xvi. 7. C.) or the youngest but David, (C. ii. 15.) whose name is preserved by the Syriac, &c.

Ver. 23. Heaven. It would have seemed, therefore, as if David distrusted the divine promise, (H.) and attempted what was impossible (Grot.) or useless. C. — He had before offended, and hence would now only number those who were wanted. W.

Ver. 24. Number, those above 20; but he acted with reluctance, (T.) and the wrath of heaven prevented the entire completion of the king’s order. C. xxi. 6. and 2 K. xxiv. 9. — David. It would hence appear that the list was perfected, but not delivered to the king. The commissioners retained some of the lists; and, perhaps from these, Esdras has inserted what relates to Benjamin, (C. vii. 6.) as the account was not given in C. xxi. 6. C. — This list may, however, have been made at another time; as we are informed that Benjamin and Levi were not numbered. H. — The Book of Kings, where we find it, is therefore a different work. D.

Ver. 25. Treasures of gold, &c. as those of provisions had other officers. C. — Were in. Heb. and Sept. add, “the fields, in the cities,” &c. H. — This must be understood of corn; wine is mentioned afterwards. Nothing could give us a higher opinion of David’s wisdom than these details.

Ver. 26. Ground, for the king. This was done at the expense of the nation, and by the people, no less than the vintage. 2 K. viii. 12. The companions of Daniel were thus appointed to superintend the workmen of Nabuchodonosor. Dan. ii. 49. Xenophon (Cyrop. viii.) styles such, ergon epistatas, “men set over the works.” H.

Ver. 27. Cellars. Heb. “over the increase of the vineyards, for the wine cellars.” Prot. Wine was formerly kept in cisterns, in the vineyards, till it was taken into large earthen vessels,and placed in cellars.

Ver. 29. Saron, a fertile region at the food of the mountains of Galaad; also a vale near the Mediterranean, (C.) in Ephraim, extending as far as Joppe. Adric. M.

Ver. 30. Ismahelite. People of that nation deal much in camels. C. — Ubil had embraced the Jewish religion, or perhaps he was originally an Israelite, but had acquired the title of Ismahelite by some exploit, or by residing long in the country. M.

Ver. 32. Man. Heb. “a writer.” He was a good politician and lawyer. Grot. — Sons, as tutors. D. C. — Jahiel was perhaps the brother of Jesbaam. C. xi. 11. M.

Ver. 33. Friend. Chusai rendered the most signal service to the king, 2 K. xvi. 23. and xvii. 1. C.

Ver. 34. After, inferior, (Salien) as Achitophel’s advice was esteemed like an oracle, (C.) or Joiada, a chief priest, and Abiathar, the pontiff, succeeded to his place, after he had hung himself. T. D.