1 Chronicles 20
Benson Commentary
And it came to pass, that after the year was expired, at the time that kings go out to battle, Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it.
A.M. 2969. — B.C. 1035.

A repetition of David’s wars with the Ammonites, and the taking of Rabbah, 1 Chronicles 20:1-3; with the giants of the Philistines, 1 Chronicles 20:4-8.


1 Chronicles 20:1. Joab led forth the army, and wasted, &c. — For this verse, see note on 2 Samuel 11:1; for 1 Chronicles 20:2-3, on 2 Samuel 12:30-31; and for the rest of the chapter, on 2 Samuel 21:15, &c. And came and besieged Rabbah — It was at this time, while Joab was besieging Rabbah, that David fell into that great sin in the matter of Uriah. And it is observable, that though the rest of the story be repeated here, that is not. The sacred writer, however, seems to have intended to give a hint of it, when he says, But David tarried at Jerusalem — This gave occasion to his sin. If he had been abroad with his army, he would have been out of the way of that temptation; but indulging his ease he fell into sin, and involved himself in many and great calamities, brought upon him and his house by a just and holy God. Now as the recording of his fall, and the circumstances of it in the former history, is an instance of the impartiality and fidelity of the sacred writers; so the avoiding the repetition of it here, when there was a fair occasion to speak of it again, is designed to teach us, that though there may be a just occasion to speak of the faults and miscarriages of others, yet we should not take delight in the repetition of them. Of those persons or actions of which we can say no good, we had best say nothing.

1 Chronicles 20:7. When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea slew him — None are more visibly marked for ruin than those that reproach God and his Israel. God will do great things rather than suffer the enemy to behave themselves proudly, Deuteronomy 32:27.

1 Chronicles 20:8. They fell by the hand of David, and of his servants — The servants of David were quite too hard for the giants of Gath in every encounter, because they had God on their side, who takes pleasure in abasing the lofty looks, and humbling the pride and haughtiness of the giants of the earth. Never let the church’s friends be disheartened by the power and pride of the church’s enemies. We need not fear great men against us, while we have the great God for us. But let it be observed that, as David’s victories, so those of the Son of David, are gradual. We do not yet see all things put under him; but we shall see this shortly, and death itself, the last enemy, like these giants, shall be subdued and triumphed over.

And David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set upon David's head: and he brought also exceeding much spoil out of the city.
And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
And it came to pass after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines; at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Sippai, that was of the children of the giant: and they were subdued.
And there was war again with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair slew Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, whose spear staff was like a weaver's beam.
And yet again there was war at Gath, where was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were four and twenty, six on each hand, and six on each foot: and he also was the son of the giant.
But when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David's brother slew him.
These were born unto the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.
Benson Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

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