1 Chronicles 17:18
What can David speak more to thee for the honour of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.
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(18) Samuel has the omitted “speak.” (Comp. Psalm 120:3.) The word translated “for the honour,” may be a corruption of that for “to speak.”

Of thy servant?—The Hebrew term is in the accusative case, and should be omitted as a mistaken repetition of the same word at the end of the verse.

1 Chronicles 17:18-19. For the honour of thy servant — The honour God puts upon his servants, by taking them into covenant and communion with himself, is so great, that they need not, they cannot desire to be more highly honoured. Servant’s sake — In 2 Samuel 7:21, it is, for thy word’s sake, for the sake of thy promise made to thy servant.

17:1-27 David's purposes; God's gracious promises. - This chapter is the same as 2Sa 7. See what is there said upon it. It is very observable that what in Samuel is said to be, for thy word's sake, is here said to be, "for thy servant's sake," ver. 19. Jesus Christ is both the Word of God, Re 19:13, and the Servant of God, Isa 42:1; and it is for his sake, upon account of his mediation, that the promises are made good to all believers; it is in him, that they are yea and amen. For His sake it is done, for his sake it is made known; to him we owe all this greatness, from him we are to expect all these great things. They are the unsearchable riches of Christ, which, if by faith we see in themselves, and see in the Lord Jesus, we cannot but magnify as the only true greatness, and speak honourably of them. For this blessedness may we look amidst the trials of life, and when we feel the hand of death upon us; and seek it for our children after us.For the honor of thy servant - i. e., "for the honor which Thou hast done for Thy servant." The Septuagint omits "Thy servant," and renders it: "What can David say more to Thee to glorify Thee? For Thou knowest," etc. 16. David the king … sat before the Lord, and said—(See on [386]2Sa 7:18). No text from Poole on this verse.

See Chapter Introduction What can David speak more to thee for the honor of thy servant? for thou knowest thy servant.
18. speak more] R.V. say yet more.

for the honour of thy servant] R.V. concerning the honour which is done to thy servant. Samuel omits these words.

thou knowest thy servant] Approvest, acceptest; cp. Psalm 1:6; Psalm 101:4; Jeremiah 1:5.

Verse 18. - Thy servant. The Septuagint Version has not got these words on their first occurrence. They may have found their way in wrongfully out of the next clause. They are not found in the parallel place. If they remain, they can mean nothing else than "How can David further acknowledge the honour conferred on thy servant," - a sense by no means far-fetched. 1 Chronicles 17:18Instead of the words האדם תּורת וזאת (2 Samuel 7:19), the Chronicle has המּעלה האדם כּתור וּראיתני, and sawest me (or, that thou sawest me) after the manner of men; תּור being a contraction of תּורה equals תּורה. ראה, to see, may denote to visit (cf. 2 Samuel 13:5; 2 Kings 8:29), or look upon in the sense of regard, respicere. But the word המּעלה remains obscure in any case, for elsewhere it occurs only as a substantive, in the significations, "the act of going up" (or drawing up) (Ezra 7:9), "that which goes up" (Ezekiel 11:5), "the step;" while for the signification "height" (locus superior) only this passage is adduced by Gesenius in Thes. But even had the word this signification, the word המּעלה could not signify in loco excelso equals in coelis in its present connection; and further, even were this possible, the translation et me intuitus es more hominum in coelis gives no tolerable sense. But neither can המעלה be the vocative of address, and a predicate of God, "Thou height, Jahve God," as Hgstb. Christol. i. p. 378 trans., takes it, with many older commentators. The passage Psalm 92:9, "Thou art מרום, height, sublimity for ever, Jahve," is not sufficient to prove that in our verse המּעלה is predicated of God. Without doubt, המּעלה should go with וגו ראיתני, and appears to correspond to the למרחוק of the preceding clause, in the signification: as regards the elevation, in reference to the going upwards, i.e., the exaltation of my race (seed) on high. The thought would then be this: After the manner of men, so condescendingly and graciously, as men have intercourse with each other, hast Thou looked upon or visited me in reference to the elevation of myself or my race, - the text of the Chronicle giving an explanation of the parallel narrative.

(Note: This interpretation of this extremely difficult word corresponds in sense to the not less obscure words in 2nd Samuel, and gives us, with any alteration of the text, a more fitting thought than the alterations in the reading proposed by the moderns. Ewald and Berth. would alter וראיתני into והראיתני (hiph.), and המעלה into למעלה, in order to get the meaning, "Thou hast caused me to see like the series of men upwards," i.e., the line of men who stretch from David outward into the far future in unbroken series, which Thenius rightly calls a thoroughly modern idea. Bttcher's attempt at explanation is much more artificial. He proposes, in N. k. Aehrenlese, iii. S. 225, to read למעלה...וּראיתני, and translates: "so that I saw myself, as the series of men who follow upwards shall see me, i.e., so that I could see myself as posterity will see me, at the head of a continuous family of rulers:" where the main idea has to be supplied.)

The divergence in 1 Chronicles 17:18, את־עבדּך לכבוד אליך instead of אליך לדבּר (2 Samuel 7:20), which cannot be an explanation or interpretation of Samuel's text, is less difficult of explanation. The words in Samuel, "What can David say more unto Thee?" have in this connection the very easily understood signification, What more can I say of the promise given me? and needed no explanation. When, instead of this, we read in the Chronicle, "What more can Thy servant add to Thee in regard to the honour to Thy servant?" an unprejudiced criticism must hold this text for the original, because it is the more difficult. It is the more difficult, not only on account of the omission of לדבּר, which indeed is not absolutely necessary, though serving to explain יוסיף, but mainly on account of the unusual construction of the nomen כבוד with את־עבדּך, honour towards Thy servant. The construction יהוה את דּעה is not quite analogous, for כבוד is not a nomen actionis like דּעה; את־ כבד is rather connected with the practice which begins to obtain in the later language of employing את as a general casus obliquus, instead of any more definite preposition (Ew. 277, d, S. 683f., der 7 Aufl.), and is to be translated: "honour concerning Thy servant." The assertion that את־עבדּך is to be erased as a later gloss which has crept into the text, cuts the knots, but does not untie them. That the lxx have not these words, only proves that these translators did not know what to make of them, and so just omitted them, as they have omitted the first clause of 1 Chronicles 17:19. In 1 Chronicles 17:19 also there is no valid ground for altering the עבדּך בּעבוּר of the Chronicle to make it correspond to דּברך בּעבוּר in Samuel; for the words, "for Thy servant's sake," i.e., because Thou hast chosen Thy servant, give a quite suitable sense; cf. the discussion on 2 Samuel 7:21. In the second half of the verse, however, the more extended phrases of 2nd Samuel are greatly contracted.

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