2 Samuel 21:16 MEANING

2 Samuel 21:16
(16) Ishbi-benob.--The name is a strange one, and it is generally thought that some error has crept into the text, but none of the suggested emendations are free from difficulty. Perhaps the most probable is that in the Speaker's Commentary, by which for Ishbi (the Hebrew margin) they halted is read, and benob, by a very slight change in one letter, becomes at Gob; then a clause is supplied, there was a man, so that the whole reads, "David waxed faint, and they halted at Gob. And there was a man which was of the sons," &c.; 2 Samuel 21:18 (as well as 2 Samuel 21:19) seems to imply a previous battle in Gob.

Three hundred shekels.--About eight pounds; just half the weight of Goliath's spear-head (1 Samuel 17:7).

Girded with a new sword.--The word sword is not in the original, and its omission, where intended, is unusual. Either it should be girded with new armour, or else the word for new is intended to denote some otherwise unknown weapon.

Verse 16. - Ishbi-benob. The Hebrew has Ishbo-benob, which Gesenius interprets as meaning "dweller upon the height." But surely the man's name would not be Hebrew; he was a Raphah, and we shall not be able to explain his name until we know the language of the Rephaim. Of the sons of the giant; Hebrew, of the children of the Raphah; that is, he belonged to the race of the Rephaim, the word not signifying "sons," but the members of a stock. It is translated "children" in Numbers 13:22, 28, etc. (For the Rephaim, see note on 2 Samuel 5:18.) "The Raphah" may be the mythic progenitor of the Rephaim, but more probably it is simply the singular of "Rephaim," and "children of the Raphah" a more poetic way of describing the race. Three hundred shekels. It weighed, therefore, about eight pounds; the spearhead of Goliath was just twice as heavy (1 Samuel 17:7). Girded with a new. The Vulgate supplies "sword," which the Authorized Version has adopted. The Septuagint reads a "mace" instead of "new;" others think that he had a new suit of armour. If the narrator had thought it of sufficient importance to let us know that the article was new, he would scarcely have left the thing itself unspecified. It is evident, however, that the Septuagint did not read hadasha, "new," but the name of some strange warlike instrument, which being unknown to the scribes, they substituted for it a word which they did know, but which makes no sense. We cannot, however, depend upon the translation of the Septuagint, "mace." The want of special knowledge on the part of the translators of the Septuagint, though partly accounted for by the long absence from Palestine of its authors, and their having to depend entirely upon such knowledge of their language as survived at Alexandria, is more than we should have expected or can quite understand. Here, however, there is nothing remarkable in their not knowing the exact meaning of this carious weapon of the Rephaite; but plainly it could not be a mace, but must have been something that could be gift upon him. The Authorized Version, moreover, gives a look of probability to the insertion of "sword," which is wanting in the Hebrew; for it does not connect his purpose of killing David with the hadasha. The Hebrew is, "And Ishbo-benob, who was a Rephaite, and whose spear weighed three hundred shekels, and who was girt with an hadasha; and he thought to smite David."

21:15-22 These events seem to have taken place towards the end of David's reign. David fainted, but he did not flee, and God sent help in the time of need. In spiritual conflicts, even strong saints sometimes wax faint; then Satan attacks them furiously; but those who stand their ground and resist him, shall be relieved and made more than conquerors. Death is a Christian's last enemy, and a son of Anak; but through Him that triumphed for us, believers shall be more than conquerors at last, even over that enemy.And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant,.... Of Goliath, or of a giant, of the race of them:

the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight; which must be understood either of the wood of it, or of the head of it, the flaming point of it, as many interpret it; and if so, it was but half the weight of Goliath's spear, unless there was any difference of the weight of iron and of brass, see 1 Samuel 17:7,

he being girded with a new sword; or rather with a new girdle, as the Targum; and so Jarchi, which might be given him as a mark of honour, or as a token of his having a commission in the army:

thought to have slain David; his aim was at him, and perceiving him faint and feeble, thought to take the advantage of it, and dispatch him.

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