[2-Samuel 8:1] AND AFTER THIS IT CAME TO PASS THAT DAVID SMOTE THE PHILISTINES, AND SUBDUED THEM: AND DAVID TOOK METHEGAMMAH OUT OF THE HAND OF THE PHILISTINES.
Shimeon ben-Ephrat opines that David fought several wars against the Philistines and won them all. Those Philistines who were near the center of the Kingdom he sent away while those who dwelt on the fringes were placed under subjection.
METHEGAMMAH: Hebrew; "Meteg-Ha-Ammah": Rashi and others identify this place with the city of Gath and say that it was the major Philistine entity at that time.
[2-Samuel 8: AND HE SMOTE MOAB, AND MEASURED THEM WITH A LINE, CASTING THEM DOWN TO THE GROUND; EVEN WITH TWO LINES MEASURED HE TO PUT TO DEATH, AND WITH ONE FULL LINE TO KEEP ALIVE. AND SO THE MOABITES BECAME DAVID'S SERVANTS, AND BROUGHT GIFTS.
According to the simple meaning as generally understood David forced the Moabites to lie down, stretched out a rope and measured apart two-thirds of them who were killed. The remaining third were kept alive but placed under subjection.
David was descended from Ruth the Moabitess. When David was fleeing from Saul he had left his parents in the care of the Moabitess (1-Samuel 22:2-4) for safe-keeping and according to the Sages the Moabites had killed them. A later inscription of Mesha king of Moab boasts of the conquest of Israelite cities and killing their inhabitants.
[2-Samuel 8:3] DAVID SMOTE ALSO HADADEZER, THE SON OF REHOB, KING OF ZOBAH, AS HE WENT TO RECOVER HIS BORDER AT THE RIVER EUPHRATES.
<<THE SON OF REHOB>> Rehob may be the name of a place otherwise known as Ruhubu in the territory of Amqi north of Calneh in the far north of Syria [Nadav Na'aman, "The Historical background of the Aramaic Inscription from Tel Dan", Eretz Israel (1999):12-18].
Solomon was to inherit the Kingdom of David which stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Euphrates and beyond:
FOR HE HAD DOMINION OVER ALL THE REGION ON THIS SIDE THE RIVER, FROM TIPHSAH EVEN TO AZZAH, OVER ALL THE KINGS ON THIS SIDE THE RIVER: AND HE HAD PEACE ON ALL SIDES ROUND ABOUT HIM [1-Kings 4:24].
Neither David nor Solomon however drove out the foreign occupants of these lands as they were supposed to. Israelites settled in all the areas under question but they dwelt alongside the other inhabitants who were destined to adversely influence them and intermix with them with mixed consequences.
<<TO RECOVER HIS BORDER>>: David was the rightful king of all Israel. The borders of Israel reach at least up unto the River Euphrates and in the past Israelites control had indeed reached that region. By conquering this area David was merely taking back what was rightfully his own.
[2-Samuel 8:4] AND DAVID TOOK FROM HIM A THOUSAND CHARIOTS, AND SEVEN HUNDRED HORSEMEN, AND TWENTY THOUSAND FOOTMEN: AND DAVID HOUGHED ALL THE CHARIOT HORSES, BUT RESERVED OF THEM FOR AN HUNDRED CHARIOTS.
The Israelites at that time relied on their infantry. David hamstrung the horses so that they could not be used for war but apparently he left them fit for work and breeding purposes and it could be from their offspring that Solomon received some of the vast numbers of horses later in his possession (1-Kings 10:26). This is apart from the horses from Egypt and the north that Solomon also acquired (1-Kings 10:29).
[2-Samuel 8:5] AND WHEN THE SYRIANS OF DAMASCUS CAME TO SUCCOUR HADADEZER KING OF ZOBAH, DAVID SLEW OF THE SYRIANS TWO AND TWENTY THOUSAND MEN.
[2-Samuel 8:6] THEN DAVID PUT GARRISONS IN SYRIA OF DAMASCUS: AND THE SYRIANS BECAME SERVANTS TO DAVID, AND BROUGHT GIFTS. AND THE LORD PRESERVED DAVID WHITHERSOEVER HE WENT.
[2-Samuel 8:7] AND DAVID TOOK THE SHIELDS OF GOLD THAT WERE ON THE SERVANTS OF HADADEZER, AND BROUGHT THEM TO JERUSALEM.
[2-Samuel 8:8] AND FROM BETAH, AND FROM BEROTHAI, CITIES OF HADADEZER, KING DAVID TOOK EXCEEDING MUCH BRASS.
[2-Samuel 8:9] WHEN TOI KING OF HAMATH HEARD THAT DAVID HAD SMITTEN ALL THE HOST OF HADADEZER,
<<TOI KING OF HAMATH>>: Toi may have been of Israelite descent. This is a subject worth examining. Alternately he may have been a righteous Gentile who along with some of his subjects adopted aspects of Israelite worships. Later perhaps they moved eastward and influenced peoples they settled amongst.
[2-Samuel 8:10] THEN TOI SENT JORAM HIS SON UNTO KING DAVID, TO SALUTE HIM, AND TO BLESS HIM, BECAUSE HE HAD FOUGHT AGAINST HADADEZER, AND SMITTEN HIM: FOR HADADEZER HAD WARS WITH TOI. AND JORAM BROUGHT WITH HIM VESSELS OF SILVER, AND VESSELS OF GOLD, AND VESSELS OF BRASS:
<<BRASS>>: Hebrew "Nechoshat" literally meaning "copper" but said to actually here mean "bronze" which is an alloy of copper and tin or copper and lead.
[2-Samuel 8:11] WHICH ALSO KING DAVID DID DEDICATE UNTO THE LORD, WITH THE SILVER AND GOLD THAT HE HAD DEDICATED OF ALL NATIONS WHICH HE SUBDUED;
Historically gold and silver were available from Ireland, copper from wales, and tin from Cornwall. Copper was also found in Lebanon and in souther Israel. Tin was available at one stage from Anatolia (European Turkey) but the source became worked out before the time of David. There were tin reserves in Afghanistan as well as in Central Asia and Central Europe but it seems doubtful whether the resources of these last two regions were exploited at that time.
[2-Samuel 8:12] OF SYRIA, AND OF MOAB, AND OF THE CHILDREN OF AMMON, AND OF THE PHILISTINES, AND OF AMALEK, AND OF THE SPOIL OF HADADEZER, SON OF REHOB, KING OF ZOBAH.
[2-Samuel 8:13] AND DAVID GAT HIM A NAME WHEN HE RETURNED FROM SMITING OF THE SYRIANS IN THE VALLEY OF SALT, BEING EIGHTEEN THOUSAND MEN.
[2-Samuel 8:14] AND HE PUT GARRISONS IN EDOM; THROUGHOUT ALL EDOM PUT HE GARRISONS, AND ALL THEY OF EDOM BECAME DAVID'S SERVANTS. AND THE LORD PRESERVED DAVID WHITHERSOEVER HE WENT.
[2-Samuel 8:15] AND DAVID REIGNED OVER ALL ISRAEL; AND DAVID EXECUTED JUDGMENT AND JUSTICE UNTO ALL HIS PEOPLE.
<<ALL HIS PEOPLE>>: And not just to segments of them, i.e. there was no discrimination and no favored elites and the like.
The exceution of justice and judgment should be the task of all rulers of Israel.
[2-Samuel 8:16] AND JOAB THE SON OF ZERUIAH WAS OVER THE HOST; AND JEHOSHAPHAT THE SON OF AHILUD WAS RECORDER;
[2-Samuel 8:17] AND ZADOK THE SON OF AHITUB, AND AHIMELECH THE SON OF ABIATHAR, WERE THE PRIESTS; AND SERAIAH WAS THE SCRIBE;
[2-Samuel 8:18] AND BENAIAH THE SON OF JEHOIADA WAS OVER BOTH THE CHERETHITES AND THE PELETHITES; AND DAVID'S SONS WERE CHIEF RULERS.
<<CHERETHITES AND THE PELETHITES>>: These were possibly foreign mercenaries perhaps from Crete. They could have been Philistines who had attached themselves to David though others disagree with such an interpretation.
Others (see Yehudah Kiel) say that the PELETHITES were descendants of JERAHMEEL (1-Chronicles 2:33) of Judah from the southern Negev Desert region.
<<CHIEF RULERS>> In Hebrew "Cohanim". The King James Version here translates "Cohanim" as chief rulers in accordance with traditional Jewish understanding (see Targum Yehonatan) though "Cohanim" usually means "priests".
BACK TO SAMUEL INDEX