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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 12

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 2

1 Chronicles 12:2. Even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin Bishop Patrick observes, that possibly these persons came to David from a generous motive, as they could not bear to see an innocent man persecuted in so violent a manner, especially after he had refused, when he had it in his power, to hurt the person who thus pursued him.

Verse 4

1 Chronicles 12:4. And over the thirty And with him thirty, Jeremiah, &c. Houbigant.

Verse 8

1 Chronicles 12:8. Like the faces of lions See 2Sa 1:23; 2 Samuel 2:18.

Verse 15

1 Chronicles 12:15. These are they that went over Jordan This seems to be mentioned as a mark of their intrepidity, who ventured to pass the Jordan at a time when its current was most rapid, and the passage extremely hazardous.

Verse 18

1 Chronicles 12:18. Then the spirit came upon Amasai See Judges 6:34.

Verse 32

1 Chronicles 12:32. Children of Issachar—that had understanding of the times See Genesis 49:15. To know what Israel ought to do; that is, says Houbigant, when the passover, the feast of pentecost, and the new moons were to be celebrated; a meaning plainly to be inferred from the foregoing words, and agreeable to Jacob's prediction concerning Issachar.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, As the time drew nearer for David's accession to the throne, God, in whose hand are the hearts of all men, appears here inclining them towards his anointed. Some of these joined him before Saul's death, but the most of them, it is probable, immediately after it.

1. Some of Saul's relations of Benjamin, men of great dexterity and valour, came to him in Ziklag.
2. Of the Gadites, some of most distinguished courage joined him in the wilderness; men who had afterwards great commands in their tribe, like lions for strength and boldness, and swift as roes to pursue their enemies. Not deterred by the overflowings of Jordan, they plunged into the rapid stream, and swam through; and on their way to the hold, meeting some plundering bands of Philistines or Moabites, they fell upon them, and routed them. Note; (1.) When we are in the way to Jesus, no difficulties must discourage us. (2.) As swift to fly from evil, and as bold in the cause of truth, ought every follower of the Son of David to be.

3. Many of Judah and Benjamin, besides those under the conduct of Amasai or Amasa, David's nephew, came to him; till, becoming a numerous body, David had suspicion that they might have some ill design. They who have been once endangered by false friends, have need to be somewhat jealous of future professions. [1.] He questions them, therefore, on their intentions: If they came peaceably, as real friends to assist him, his heart would be knit unto them; he would love them affectionately, and they should share his future welfare: if, under colour of friendship, to betray him, then he refers himself to God, as the avenger of the perfidious and deceitful. Note; (1.) There is one who seeth and judgeth, and upon whom lying lips and a deceitful tongue cannot impose. (2.) They who come to us in friendship, with professions of real regard, are entitled to a warm return of equal affection. (3.) They who have a good cause, and a good conscience, can comfortably leave their all in God's hands. [2.] Amasai, as the mouth of the company, with a spirit of wisdom and genuine affection, silences David's fears; assuring him of their fidelity; praying for his peace, and for all his friends; and professing a full confidence, that God would strengthen him to overcome all his enemies. Such a frank and zealous good wish removed David's suspicions: he received them, and preferred them, probably, when he came to the crown. Note; (1.) It is prudence to seek those for our friends who have God for their helper. (2.) He who is under the divine protection shall be kept in peace in the midst of trouble. (3.) It is our duty thus to make an unreserved surrender of ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to spend and be spent to his hourable service. (4.) Whatever strength spent in diligence, God has blessed us with for his work, we must never forget to be importunate for his blessing; else we shall labour in vain, and spend our strength for nought.

4. Of Manasseh, several chief men joined him as he went to battle with the Philistines, and in his return to Ziklag, who, being all valiant warriors, assisted him greatly in the pursuit and conquest of the Amalekites. Note; God will often, just at the critical moment, raise us up those very friends that we want.

5. After the defeat of Saul, multitudes flocked to him from every side, till his little band became a vast army. Note; They who patiently wait by faith on the promise, shall assuredly see at last the salvation of God.

2nd, During the life of Ish-bosheth the cause of the house of Saul daily weakened; on his death, all the tribes, convinced of the divine appointment of David, with joint consent assembled to make him king; and they brought with them such a force as would enable him to maintain his pretentions against all opposers. Near 350,000 valiant men met on this occasion, and, among the rest,
1. The priests and Levites shewed great zeal for David. Note; A faithful minister of God cannot but be a loyal subject to his prince.

2. The men of Issachar sent a deputation of two hundred of their chiefs, men of deep understanding, able counsellors, who knew what was for Israel's advantage, and therefore gladly welcomed David to the throne; and men of great influence, the whole tribe being under their sway. Note; A wise and able head is of greater weight to a cause, than the sword of the mighty.

3. All these are said to have a perfect heart. It was the result of conviction, that David ought, and the wish of their hearts that he might reign over them. He is truly a great king, whom his subjects obey, not only from a consciousness of duty, but from real love of his person and government.

4. So great a camp required vast provision; and so liberally did the country supply them, that they were not only fed, but feasted, while Israel rang for joy to see upon the throne the man after God's own heart. Note; When Jesus erects his throne in the heart, he gives present joy in believing; and when he comes at last to reign over his saints, then shall we be for ever filled with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 12". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/1-chronicles-12.html. 1801-1803.
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