1Chronicles 20


This short chapter is composed of isolated bits of 2Samuel Chapters 11, 12, and 21.  Presumably out of respect for David’s memory, the chronicler avoids rehashing the sin of David with Bath-sheba and her husband, Uriah, making this chapter as short as it is.

וַיְהִי לְעֵת תְּשׁוּבַת הַשָּׁנָה לְעֵת צֵאת הַמְּלָכִים וַיִּנְהַג יוֹאָב אֶת־חֵיל הַצָּבָא וַיַּשְׁחֵת אֶת־אֶרֶץ בְּנֵי־עַמּוֹן   20:1

 וַיָּבֹא וַיָּצַר אֶת־רַבָּה וְדָוִיד יֹשֵׁב בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וַיַּךְ יוֹאָב אֶת־רַבָּה וַיֶּהֶרְסֶהָ׃

1Chr. 20:1   And it was at the time of completion of the year, at the time of the going out of kings, that Joab led forth an army force and destroyed the land of the children of Ammon and came and besieged Rabbah.  But David remained in Jerusalem.  And Joab smote Rabbah and overthrew it.

The time of the year is the spring, after the winter rains.  This is when kings would go out to battle.

וַיִּקַּח דָּוִיד אֶת־עֲטֶרֶת־מַלְכָּם מֵעַל רֹאשׁוֹ וַיִּמְצָאָהּ מִשְׁקַל כִּכַּר־זָהָב וּבָהּ אֶבֶן יְקָרָה וַתְּהִי עַל־רֹאשׁ   20:2

 דָּוִיד וּשְׁלַל הָעִיר הוֹצִיא הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד׃

1Chr. 20:2   Then David took the crown of Malcam from his head and found it weighing a talent of gold -- and on it was a precious stone -- and it was on the head of David.  And the spoil of the city he brought forth was exceedingly great.

See my remarks about the crown at 2Sam. 12:30.

וְאֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ הוֹצִיא וַיָּשַׂר בַּמְּגֵרָה וּבַחֲרִיצֵי הַבַּרְזֶל וּבַמְּגֵרוֹת וְכֵן יַעֲשֶׂה דָוִיד לְכֹל עָרֵי   20:3

  בְנֵי־עַמּוֹן וַיָּשָׁב דָּוִיד וְכָל־הָעָם יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃

1Chr. 20:3   And the people who were in it he brought out and he hewed with saw, and with harrows of iron, and with axes.  And thus David would do to all the cities of the children of Ammon.  Then David returned, and all the people, to Jerusalem.

וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵיכֵן וַתַּעֲמֹד מִלְחָמָה בְּגֶזֶר עִם־פְּלִשְׁתִּים אָז הִכָּה סִבְּכַי הַחֻשָׁתִי אֶת־סִפַּי מִילִדֵי הָרְפָאִים   20:4


1Chr. 20:4   And it was after this that war arose at Gezer with the Philistines. then Sibbecai, the Hushathite, smote Sippai, one of those born of the giant, and they were subdued.

וַתְּהִי־עֹוד מִלְחָמָה אֶת־פְּלִשְׁתִּים וַיַּךְ אֶלְחָןָן בֶּן־(יָעוּר) [יָעִיר] אֶת־לַחְמִי אֲחִי גָּלְיָת הַגִּתִּי וְעֵץ חֲנִיתֹו   20:5

כִּמְנֹור אֹרְגִים׃

1Chr. 20:5   Then war occurred again with the Philistines, and Elchanan son of Jair slew Lachmi, the brother of Goliath, the Hittite, and the staff of whose spear was like a weaving beam.

The name Jair is misspelled in the parentheses.  The correction in the brackets makes the vav a second yad.  What’s of more concern, this verse and the remaining three are reminiscent of the last four verses in 2Samuel Chapter 21 (that is, 21:19 to 21:23).  However, this verse differs markedly from 2Sam. 21:19, its counterpart.  Verse 21:19 says that Elchanan son of Jaare-oregim slew Goliath.  Were they two different incidents with similarly named people?  Unlikely, the reason being the close similarity of the next three verses with the three that follow 21:19.

וַתְּהִי־עוֹד מִלְחָמָה בְּגַת וַיְהִי אִישׁ מִדָּה וְאֶצְבְּעֹתָיו שֵׁשׁ־וָשֵׁשׁ עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע וְגַם־הוּא נוֹלַד   20:6


1Chr. 20:6   And war occurred again at Gath, and there was a man of stature with fingers and toes six and six – twenty-four -- and he also was born to the giant.

וַיְחָרֵף אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל וַיַּכֵּהוּ יְהוֹנָתָן בֶּן־שִׁמְעָא אֲחִי דָוִיד׃   20:7

1Chr. 20:7   And he taunted Israel, so Jonathan son of Shimea, a brother of David, slew him.

אֵל נוּלְּדוּ לְהָרָפָא בְּגַת וַיִּפְּלוּ בְיַד־דָּוִיד וּבְיַד־עֲבָדָיו׃   20:8

1Chr. 20:8   These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.


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