2 Samuel 12:30
And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
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(30) Their king’s crown.—The same Hebrew letters, translated their king, form the name of Milcom, the chief idol of the Ammonites, and hence some writer have quite unnecessarily supposed that the idol’s crown is meant.

A talent of gold.—If this is according to the Hebrew weights, the amount is extraordinary, for the silver talent was above a hundred pounds, the gold talent twice as much. But there were various other Eastern talents, as the Babylonian and Persian, of much smaller weight, and it is not unlikely that a light talent may have been in use among the Ammonites. The weight, however, on any reasonable supposition, would have been too great to allow of this crown being commonly worn.

2 Samuel 12:30. He took the king’s crown from off his head — This was the king’s part of the spoil. The weight thereof was a talent of gold — Or, rather, the price or value of it, as the Hebrew frequently signifies, and not only weight; and so it is to be taken here; for who could be able to carry on his head such a weight as a talent; which is computed to be one hundred and twenty-five pounds. With precious stones — Which made the value of it so great. Josephus says that there was a stone of great price in the middle of the crown, which he calls a sardonyx. And it was set on David’s head — To show the inhabitants that they were to submit to him as their king.12:26-31 To be thus severe in putting the children of Ammon to slavery was a sign that David's heart was not yet made soft by repentance, at the time when this took place. We shall be most compassionate, kind, and forgiving to others, when we most feel our need of the Lord's forgiving love, and taste the sweetness of it in our own souls.Their king's crown - The word rendered their king (Malcham) is also the name of the national idol of the Ammonites (Jeremiah 49:1, Jeremiah 49:3 margin; Amos 1:15; Zephaniah 1:5). Moreover, the weight of the crown, which is calculated to be equal to 100 or 125 pounds weight, is far too great for a man to wear. On the whole, it seems most probable that the idol Malcam is here meant. 30. he took their king's crown from off his head—While the treasures of the city were given as plunder to his soldiers, David reserved to himself the crown, which was of rarest value. Its great weight makes it probable that it was like many ancient crowns, not worn, but suspended over the head, or fixed on a canopy on the top of the throne.

the precious stones—Hebrew, "stone"; was a round ball composed of pearls and other jewels, which was in the crown, and probably taken out of it to be inserted in David's own crown.

The weight whereof was a talent of gold, or rather, the price whereof, &c. For as the Hebrew shekel signifies both a weight, and a piece of money of a certain price; so also may mishkal, as proceeding from the same root. And, in general, the same words both in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin are promiscuously used, to signify either weight or price, as is well known to the learned. And the addition of

precious stones, which are never valued by the weight of gold, makes this signification here most proper and probable. Moreover, the weight might seem too great, either for the king of Ammon or for David, to wear it upon his head. Although, if this were meant of the weight, it might be said that this was not a crown to be worn ordinarily, but merely to be put on upon the king’s head at his coronation, or upon solemn occasions, as here where this was done, in token of the translation of this kingdom to David; and, it may be, it was held up or supported by two officers of state, that it might not be too burdensome to him, and after a little while taken off. And he took their king's crown from off his head,.... The crown of Hanun the king of the Ammonites, who now fell into his hands, and whom he stripped of his ensigns of royalty, who had so shamefully abused his ambassadors, 2 Samuel 10:4,

(the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones): or, "and a precious stone"; there might be more, as our version suggests, but there was one in it remarkably large and valuable; Josephus (b) says it had in it a very precious stone, a sardonyx; and this, according to the Talmud (c) was of the value of a talent of gold. A talent was equal to three thousand shekels, as appears from Exodus 38:25; and was in value, according to Brerewood (d) of our money, 4500 pounds; but according to Bishop Cumberland (e) 5067 pounds, three shillings and ten pence. This crown was of the same value with the golden candlestick in the tabernacle, Exodus 25:39; and some think that value here is meant, and not the weight, a talent of gold being very heavy; according to Bishop Cumberland (f), ninety three and three quarter pounds; some say an hundred thirteen pounds ten ounces, and more; too great a weight to be borne on the head by Hanun or David; but, what with the gold and precious stones about it, it might be equal in value to a talent of gold; but weight is expressly mentioned, and the crowns of the eastern princes were of great bulk and weight, as well as value: Athenaeus (g) makes mention of one made of ten thousand pieces of gold, placed on the throne of King Ptolemy, and of some of two cubits, of six, yea, of sixteen cubits. Some (h) are of opinion that this crown was not the crown of the king of Ammon, but of Milcom or Molech, their idol, and that the proper name should be retained in the version, and that David had a crown made of it he could bear; but if, as others (i), the Syriac talent is meant, which was but the fourth part of an Hebrew one, the difficulty is greatly lessened; for it seems to be the same crown David afterwards wore, as follows:

and it was set on David's head; to show that the kingdom was translated to him, or was become subject to him; as Alexander, on the conquest of Darius, put the Persian diadem on his own head (k), in token of that monarchy being translated to him: though, after all, the phrase, "from off", may be rendered "from above" or "over" (l) his head, and so it was set "above" or "over" the head of David, being supported by some means or other, that its weight did not bear thereon however, Paschalius, who wrote a learned work, "De Coronis", must be mistaken when be says (m) this seems to be the first use of a crown in the kingdom of Judah, there being no mention of a crown before, either of Saul or David, only of anointing; since express mention is made of Saul's crown, 2 Samuel 1:10; though his observation may be just, that this crown, allowed to be worn by David, was a pledge of the renewal of his royal dignity, and of his acceptance with God upon his repentance for his above sins:

and he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance; which, or at least part of it, was dedicated to the building of the sanctuary, 2 Samuel 8:11.

(b) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 7. sect. 5.) (c) T. Bab. Avodah Zarah, fol. 44. 1.((d) De Ponder. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 4. (e) Of Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 4. p. 121. (f) Ib. p. 119. (g) Apud Paschalium de Coronis, l. 9. c, 8. p. 587. (h) Vid. Hieron. Trad. Heb. in 2 Reg. fol. 78. H. & in Paralipom. fol. 83. M. Weemse of Jewish Weights, p. 141. (i) Pfeiffer. Difficil. Script. Loc. cent. 2. loc. 87. (k) Diodor. Sic. l. 17. p. 549. (l) "desuper", Montanus, "supra caput David", Munster. (m) Ut supra, (Apud Paschalium de Coronis) l. 10. c. 10. p. 695.

And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a {s} talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

(s) That is, 60 pounds after the weight of the common talent.

30. their king’s crown] The word Malcham, rendered their king, may also be taken as a proper name. It occurs in Zephaniah 1:5; Jeremiah 49:1; Jeremiah 49:3 (marg.), as a form of the name of the Ammonite deity, Moloch or Milcom. The Sept. now reads Molchom their king, “their king” being probably a gloss, and “Molchom” the original reading. A Jewish tradition recorded by Jerome tells how the crown was snatched from the head of Milcom by Ittai the Gittite, because it was unlawful for a Hebrew to take spoil from an idol (Quaest. Hebr. on 1 Chronicles 20:2). But while it was natural for David to take and wear the king’s crown, as the symbol of the subjection of the Ammonites to his rule, would he not have regarded the idol’s crown with abhorrence, and have shrunk from wearing it?

a talent of gold] Estimated at more than 100 pounds. If this estimate is correct, it can never have been habitually worn, and must have been placed on David’s head for a few moments only.Verse 30. - Their king; Hebrew, Malcam. This is another mode of spelling Milcom, the god of the Ammonites, and is found also in Zephaniah 1:5, and probably in Jeremiah 49:1, 3; Amos 1:15. Strictly, Milcom or Malcom is a proper name for the supreme deity, formed from the word melec, a king, or, as it was pronounced in other Semitic dialects, Moloch. Grammatically, Malcam also means "their king," and even so belongs to Milcom. For the crown weighed a hundred pounds, a ponderous mass, which no man could possibly bear, and, least of all, when making, as was the case with the Ammonite king, his last stand for his life. But after the capture of the city, it was lifted from the head of the idol, and placed formally upon David's head, and held there for a few moments, as a sign of victory and of rejoicing over the fall of the false god. There is no reason for supposing that there is any exaggeration in the weight, nor will the Hebrew allow us to understand the talent of gold as referring to its value. 2 Samuel 12:23 is paraphrased very correctly by Clericus: "I shall go to the dead, the dead will not come to me." - 2 Samuel 12:24. David then comforted his wife Bathsheba, and lived with her again; and she bare a son, whom he called Solomon, the man of peace (cf. 1 Chronicles 22:9). David gave the child this name, because he regarded his birth as a pledge that he should now become a partaker again of peace with God, and not from any reference to the fact that the war with the Ammonites was over, and peace prevailed when he was born; although in all probability Solomon was not born till after the capture of Rabbah and the termination of the Ammonitish war. His birth is mentioned here simply because of its connection with what immediately precedes. The writer adds (in 2 Samuel 12:24, 2 Samuel 12:25), "And Jehovah loved him, and sent by the hand (through the medium) of Nathan the prophet; and he called his son Jedidiah (i.e., beloved of Jehovah), for Jehovah's sake." The subject to ויּשׁלח (he sent) cannot be David, because this would not yield any appropriate sense, but must be Jehovah, the subject of the clause immediately preceding. "To send by the hand," i.e., to make a mission by a person (vid., Exodus 4:13, etc.), is equivalent to having a commission performed by a person, or entrusting a person with a commission to another. We learn from what follows, in what the commission with which Jehovah entrusted Nathan consisted: "And he (Nathan, not Jehovah) called his (the boy's) name Jedidiah." And if Nathan is the subject to "called," there is nothing to astonish in the expression "because of the Lord." The idea is this: Nathan came to David according to Jehovah's instructions, and gave Solomon the name Jedidiah for Jehovah's sake, i.e., because Jehovah loved him. The giving of such a name was a practical declaration on the part of Jehovah that He loved Solomon, from which David could and was intended to discern that the Lord had blessed his marriage with Bathsheba. Jedidiah, therefore, was not actually adopted as Solomon's name.
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