Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

1 Chronicles 27

Verse 1

1 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 27

The twelve captains for every several month, 1 Chronicles 27:1-15. The princes of the twelve tribes, 1 Chronicles 27:16-22. The numbering of the people is hindered, 1 Chronicles 27:23,24. The chief keepers of David’s treasures, 1 Chronicles 27:25-31. His counsellors and friends, 1 Chronicles 27:32-34.

Their officers; the standing force or militia of Israel as it was settled under their several officers, as it here follows. In any matter of the courses, i.e. in all the business wherein the king had occasion for these persons, who were to attend upon him or his commands by courses or by turns. Or, according to all the order or state of the divisions, or, about the companies or courses into which they were distributed. Came in and went out, i.e. executed their office; which is commonly signified by this phrase, as Numbers 27:17, and elsewhere. Month by month; who were to be armed and mustered, and to wait upon the king, either at Jerusalem, or in other places, as the king should see fit. By this order near three hundred thousand of his people were instructed and exercised in the use of their arms, and fitted for the defence of their king and kingdom when it should be needful, and in the mean time sufficient provision was made against any sudden tumults or of it irruptions of enemies. And this monthly course was contrived, that the burden might be easy and equally distributed among the people.

Verse 2

Jashobeam; of whom see 2 Samuel 23:8 1 Chronicles 11:11.

Verse 3

Of Perez; or, of Pharez, of the posterity of Judah, Genesis 46:12. This seems to be understood of Jashobeam, and to be mentioned as a reason why he was the chief, &c.; and the verse may be rendered thus, He was (which is easily understood out of the foregoing words) of the children of Perez, (and consequently of the tribe of Judah, to which the pre-eminence belonged, and of which Perez was,) and he was (or, therefore he was)

the chief (to wit, in dignity and precedency, though not in power and authority, for these captains were equal in power, and Joab was their general)

of all the captains of the host, ( whose several names here follow,) and was

for the first month; therefore he was first in order, and was captain for the first month.

Verse 4

Of his course was Mikloth the ruler; who was either,

1. The captain of this course after the death of this Dodai, as Zebadiah was after Asahel, 1 Chronicles 27:7. But the differing phrase there and here sufficiently intimates that the same thing is not meant in both places. Or,

2. His lieutenant or deputy, in case of his necessary absence. But why should such a one be named here, and not in the rest of the courses? Or rather,

3. One of the officers of his course, who seems here particularly to be named as a person then of great note and eminency.

Verse 5

A chief priest; or, the chief priest; or rather, a chief prince, as this Hebrew word is oft used, as Genesis 41:45 Genesis 47:22 2 Samuel 8:18 20:26 1 Kings 4:5 2 Kings 10:11, and elsewhere. Probably he was not only a captain of this course, but a great officer in the court and state. For although the priests might take up arms in some special cases; yet it is not likely that such were constant officers in the king’s army, especially seeing the rest of the captains here named were of other tribes. Besides, neither Benaiah nor Jehoiada was high priest at that time, but Zadok or Abiathar, and before them Abimelech, in whom the priesthood had been for a long time together, even in the days of Samuel, and Saul, and David, and Solomon.

Verse 6

Who seems to have been his father’s lieutenant, because his father was captain of the king’s guard, 2 Samuel 8:18, and therefore needed a deputy in the one or in the other place.

Verse 7

The fourth captain was Asahel the brother of Joab; by which, it seems, the foundation of this project was laid whilst David was in Hebron, during which time Asahel was slain, and David’s forces were then divided into twenty-four courses, under twenty-four chief commanders, whereof Asahel was one; only it is probable that the number of their forces was much less than that which is here mentioned: but when David was fully settled in his whole kingdom, the design was perfected, and the numbers of their soldiers increased to this number.

His son after him, i.e. after his death; of which see 2 Samuel 2:23.

In his course; not Asahel’s, for in his time they were not so numerous, but Zebadiah his son.

Verse 8

Shamhuth; supposed to be the same called Shammah, 2 Samuel 23:11, and Shammoth, 1 Chronicles 11:27.

Verse 10

The Pelonite; so called also 1 Chronicles 11:27, and the Paltite, 2 Samuel 23:26.

Verse 11

Of the Zarhites; of the family of the Zarhites.

Verse 16

Over the children of Israel, i.e. these were the princes of the tribes as they are called below, 1 Chronicles 27:22, who were the most ancient and constant rulers of the tribes at all times, whether of war or peace; who seem to have had a superior power to these twenty-four captains, and therefore are named before them, 1 Chronicles 28:1, being probably the king’s chief counsellors and assistants in the great affairs of his kingdom.

Verse 18

Elihu, called also Eliab, 1 Samuel 16:6.

Verse 22

Of the most of the tribes, not of all; for Gad is omitted, probably because that tribe was joined with the Reubenites under one prince; and Asher, for some such reason, or for some other causes now unknown, and not worth our inquiry.

Verse 23

The meaning is, David, when he desired to number the people, he designed to number only those who were from twenty years old and upward, or (which is the same thing) those that drew sword, 1 Chronicles 21:5, and not those who were from twenty years old and under.

He would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens; and therefore to number them all both above and under twenty years old, had been both an infinite trouble, and a tempting of God, or a questioning of the truth of his promises. And possibly this circumstance might in part deceive or quiet David’s conscience, that his desire of knowing the number of his people did not proceed from distrust of God’s promise or providence, but from a prudent care to know the true state and strength of his kingdom.

Verse 24

Began to number, to wit, all from twenty years old and upward, as David commanded him.

He finished not; for Levi and Benjamin he counted not, 1 Chronicles 21:6. Because there fell wrath for it against Israel, whilst he was doing the work; which was one reason which made him to cease. Heb. And there fell, &c. Though David numbered them with caution and limitation, as was noted before, yet this did not hinder God’s wrath from falling upon Israel for this sin.

Neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David: the sense is either,

1. That the full number was not registered, because Levi and Benjamin were not counted by Joab. Or rather,

2. That David being sensible of and smarting for his sin, would not have the number brought in by Joab to him put into the public register, though God would have it recorded in Scripture for the instruction of succeeding ages. For he speaks not here of the account given in to the king, which was done, and was Joab’s act; but of the putting of the account into the public records, which was not done, and which could not be done but by David’s command or permission.

Verse 25

Over the king’s treasures; of gold or silver, or other things of great price, which for greater security were kept in Jerusalem, and in the king’s palace; and thither the tribute money also was sent and committed to his care.

Over the storehouses of the fruits of the earth, or that share of them which belonged to the king, which were laid up in the fields, or cities, or villages, or castles, as there was conveniency and occasion.

Verse 26

Over the king’s husbandry.

Verse 27

Over the vineyards, i.e. over the workmen and labourers in the vineyards; as the next officer is over the fruit of the vineyards. In like manner, one man was over the labourers in the fields, 1 Chronicles 27:26, and another over the fruits of the fields put into stores after the manner, 1 Chronicles 27:25.

Verse 29

Sharon; a place famous for its fruitfulness. See Isaiah 33:9 35:2.

Verse 30

The Ishmaelite; so called, either because he was born of that people, or had lived among them; or from some notable exploit which he did against them.

Verse 32

A counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe; either one learned in the laws of God, which were also the laws of the land, by which all their counsels were to be ruled; or, the king’s secretary.

With the king’s sons, as their tutor or governor.

Verse 33

The king’s counsellor; the person whose counsel in matters of state the king most prized and followed.

The king’s companion, or his friend, as he is called, 2 Samuel 15:37; the person whom he most trusted with all his secrets, and whose conversation was most pleasant and acceptable to him.

Verse 34

After Ahithophel, i.e. after his death, these were his chief counsellors.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 27". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://pro.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/1-chronicles-27.html. 1685.