Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, , at sacred-texts.com
1 Chronicles 27:1
This verse is a general heading to the list Ch1 27:2-15. The heading has been taken from some fuller and more elaborate description of David's army, whereof the writer of Chronicles gives us only an abridgement. Omitting the captains of thousands, the captains of hundreds, and the officers (probably "scribes") who served the king, he contents himself with recording the "chief fathers" or heads of the divisions Ch1 28:1, and the number of Iraelites in each course.
1 Chronicles 27:2
Jashobeam - Jashobeam is mentioned in marginal references as the chief of David's mighty men. He is called in Ch1 11:11 "the son of Hachmoni." We learn from Ch1 27:3 that he was of the tribe of Judah, being descended from Perez (or Pharez), the son of Judah, from whom David himself sprang. See Ch1 2:3-15.
1 Chronicles 27:4
Dodai The words "Eleazar, son of," have probably fallen out before Dodai (or Dodo). According to Jewish tradition, EIeazar Ch1 11:12 was cousin to David; his father, Dodai, being Jesse's brother. Mikloth was probably second in command to Eleazar.
1 Chronicles 27:5
A chief priest - Rather, "the chief priest" - an expression by which is meant, not the high priest, but probably the high priest's deputy, who is sometimes called "the second priest" Kg2 25:18.
1 Chronicles 27:7
Asahel died before the courses, as here described, could have been instituted. Perhaps the arrangements of David in his later years were based upon institutions belonging to the period of his reign at Hebron.
1 Chronicles 27:16
Gad and Asher are omitted from this list of the tribes. Similarly, Dan and Zebulon are omitted from the genealogical survey of the tribes 1 Chr. 4-8. We can only suppose that the lists, as they came down to the writer of Chronicles, were incomplete. The "rulers" or "princes" of the tribes appear to have been the oldest lineal descendants of the patriarchs according to the law of primogeniture.
1 Chronicles 27:23
David's numbering of the people was therefore a military arrangement in order to fix the amount of his standing army. To the general Oriental prejudice against numbering possessions, etc., there was added in the case of the Jews a special objection - a feeling that it would be irreverent to attempt to count what God had promised should be countless.
1 Chronicles 27:24
Because there fell wrath - literally, "And there fell wrath." The falling of God's wrath was not the cause of Joab's ceasing. His motive is clearly stated in Ch1 21:6. See also the marginal references.
Neither was the number ... - The meaning is, that in the portion of the chronicles of King David which treated of numbers - the number of the standing army, of the Levitical and priestly courses, the singers, etc. - the return of the number of the people made by Joab was not entered. The disastrous circumstances which followed on the taking of the census perhaps produced a feeling that God might he further provoked by its being put on record in the state archives. The numbers which have come down to us must therefore have been derived from private sources.
1 Chronicles 27:25
This section is important as showing that David, the younger son of a not very opulent family Sa1 16:11, Sa1 16:20, had now become a large landed proprietor, as well as a capitalist, possessed of much moveable wealth. We may perhaps see the sources of both these kinds of property, in the successful wars which he had waged Sa1 27:8-9; Sa1 30:20; Sa2 8:4, Sa2 8:7-8, Sa2 8:12; in the revenue derived from subject kings Sa1 8:2, Sa1 8:14; Sa1 10:19; and in the purchase and occupation of lands in different places. Further, he enjoyed, of course, the usual rights of a Jewish king over the landed property of his subjects, and was thus entitled to receive a tithe of the produce in tithes (Sa1 8:15, Sa1 8:17) and in "benevolences." Compare Sa1 10:27; Sa1 16:20, etc.
The castles - Probably the watchtowers in the border districts, exposed to raids from the plundering tribes of the desert Ch2 26:10; Ch2 27:4.
In the low plains - Rather, "in the Shephelah," the proper name of the low tract between the hill country of Judaea and the Mediterranean.
1 Chronicles 27:32
A list - supplemental in character - of some chief officers of David, not mentioned before. The list cannot belong to a very late part of David's reign, since it contains the name of Ahithophel, who killed himself during Absalom's rebellion Sa2 17:23.
Was the king's companion - or, "king's friend," as in Kg1 4:5. Compare also Sa2 16:17.
After Ahithophel - i. e., next in counsel to Ahithophel: inferior to him, but superior to all others.