Bible Commentaries

2 Samuel 8

Verses 1-18

Here we have the record of some of the victories of David, again not necessarily in chronological order. There is, however, a very close relation between this account of them and what had preceded.

The story of the king's successes contains more perhaps than is apparent on the surface. By them he strengthened his position and that of his people; but he also gathered treasure. The house of the Lord was still in his mind, and although he knew he would not be permitted to build, he was still gathering in preparation for the work of his son. The chapter ends with the account of the appointment of certain officers of state, by which the internal consolidation of the kingdom was ensured.

The functions of these officers are interesting. One was appointed to lead the army; another to be recorder, or national historian; two were priests, in all probability exercising their functions at two centers; a fifth was scribe or secretary of state; a sixth became the head of David's special bodyguard, which would seem to have been composed of foreigners. Finally, the sons of David were made priests, or as the A.V. has it, "chief rulers," the reference undoubtedly being to positions of civic, rather than religious, authority.