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Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsh, [1857-78], at

1 Chronicles Chapter 14

1 Chronicles 14:1

ch1 14:1

David's palace-building, wives and children, Ch1 14:1-7; cf. Sa2 5:11-16. Two victories over the Philistines, Ch1 14:8-17; cf. Sa2 5:17-25. - The position in which the narrative of these events stands, between the removal of the ark from Kirjath-jearim and its being brought to Jerusalem, is not to be supposed to indicate that they happened in the interval of three months, curing which the ark was left in the house of Obed-edom. The explanation of it rather is, that the author of our Chronicle, for the reasons given in page 170, desired to represent David's design to bring the ark into the capital city of his kingdom as his first undertaking after he had won Jerusalem, and was consequently compelled to bring in the events of our chapter at a later period, and for that purpose this interval of three months seemed to offer him the fittest opportunity. The whole contents of our chapter have already been commented upon in Sa2 5:1, so that we need not here do more than refer to a few subordinate points.

1 Chronicles 14:2

ch1 14:2

Instead of נשּׂא כּי, that He (Jahve) had lifted up (נשּׂא, perf. Pi.), as in Sa2 5:12, in the Chronicle we read למעלה נשּׂאת כּי, that his kingdom had been lifted up on high. The unusual form נשּׂאת may be, according to the context, the third pers. fem. perf. Niph., nisaa't having first been changed into נשּׂאת, and thus contracted into נשּׂאת; cf. Ew. 194, b. In Sa2 19:43 the same form is the infin. abs. Niph. למעלה is here, as frequently in the Chronicles, used to intensify the expression: cf. Ch1 22:5; Ch1 23:17; Ch1 29:3, Ch1 29:25; Ch2 1:1; Ch2 17:12. With regard to the sons of David, see on Ch1 3:5-8.

In the account of the victories over the Philistines, the statement (Sa2 5:17) that David went down to the mountain-hold, which has no important connection with the main fact, and would have been for the readers of the Chronicle somewhat obscure, is exchanged in Ch1 14:8 for the more general expression לפניהם ויּצא, "he went forth against them." In Ch1 14:14, the divine answer to David's question, whether he should march against the Philistines, runs thus: מעליהם הסב אחריהם תּעלה לא, Thou shalt not go up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the baca-bushes; - while in Sa2 5:23, on the contrary, we read: אל־אחריהם הסב תעלה הסב אל־א לע, Thou shalt not go up (i.e., advance against the enemy to attack them in front); turn thee behind them (i.e., to their rear), and come upon them over against the baca-bushes. Bertheau endeavours to get rid of the discrepancy, by supposing that into both texts corruptions have crept through transcribers' errors. He conjectures that the text of Samuel was originally אחריהם תּעלה לא, while in the Chronicle a transposition of the words עליהם and אחריהם was occasioned by a copyist's error, which in turn resulted in the alteration of עליהם into מעליהם. This supposition, however, stands or falls with the presumption that by תּעלה לא (Sam.) an attack is forbidden; but for that presumption no tenable grounds exist: it would rather involve a contradiction between the first part of the divine answer and the second. The last clause, "Come upon them from over against the baca-bushes," shows that the attack was not forbidden; all that was forbidden was the making of the attack by advancing straight forward: instead of that, they were to try to fall upon them in the rear, by making a circuit. The chronicler consequently gives us an explanation of the ambiguous words of 2 Samuel, which might easily be misunderstood. As David's question was doubtless expressed as it is in Ch1 14:10, הפל על האעלה, the answer תּעלה לא might be understood to mean, "Go not up against them, attack them not, but go away behind them;" but with that the following וגו להם וּבאת, "Come upon them from the baca-bushes," did not seem to harmonize. The chronicler consequently explains the first clauses of the answer thus: "Go not up straight behind them," i.e., advance not against them so as to attack them openly, "but turn thyself away from them," i.e., strike off in such a direction as to turn their flank, and come upon them from the front of the baca-bushes. In this way the apparently contradictory texts are reconciled without the alteration of a word. In Ch1 14:17, which is wanting in Samuel, the author concludes the account of these victories by the remark that they tended greatly to exalt the name of David among the nations. For similar reflections, cf. Ch2 17:10; Ch2 20:29; Ch2 14:13; and for שׁם ויּצא, Ch2 26:15.

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