Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 8:3

Then David defeated Hadadezer, the son of Rehob king of Zobah, as he went to restore his rule at the River.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Euphrates;   Hadadezer;   Rehob;   Syria;   Zobah;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hadadezer or Hadarezer;   Philistines;   Rehob;   Zobah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Chariot;   Euphrates;   Israel;   Syria;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Amos, Theology of;   Israel;   Easton Bible Dictionary - David;   Euphrates;   Hadadezer;   Hadarezer;   Rabbah;   Rehob;   Rezon;   Zobah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Abraham;   Euphrates;   Hadad;   Hadarezer;   Old Testament;   Rehob (1);   Rezon;   Zoba;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Beth-Rehob;   Hadad-Ezer;   Horse;   King, Kingship;   Rivers and Waterways in the Bible;   Samuel, Books of;   Syria;   Transportation and Travel;   Zoba(h);   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - David;   Hadadezer;   Israel;   Rehob;   Rezon;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Euphrates ;   Hadadezer ;   Rehob ;   Zoba, Zobah ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Rehob;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Euphrates;   Hadadezer;   Moab;   Zobah;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Da'vid;   Hadade'zer;   Hadare'zer;   Re'hob;   Syr'ia;   Zo'ba,;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - David;   Hadadezer;   Recover;   Rehob;   Zobah;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Chronicles, Books of;   Hadadezer;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

David smote - Hadadezer - He is supposed to have been king of all Syria, except Phoenicia; and, wishing to extend his dominions to the Euphrates, invaded a part of David's dominions which lay contiguous to it; but being attacked by David, he was totally routed.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-8.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Hadadezer - Not (see the margin) Hadarezer. Hadadezer, is the true form, as seen in the names Benhadad, Hadad (1 Kings 15:18, etc.; 1 Kings 11:14, etc.). Hadad was the chief idol, or sun-god, of the Syrians.

To recover his border - literally, to cause his hand to return. The phrase is used sometimes literally, as e. g. Exodus 4:7; 1 Kings 13:4; Proverbs 19:24; and sometimes figuratively, as Isaiah 1:25; Isaiah 14:27; Amos 1:8; Psalm 74:11. The exact force of the metaphor must in each case be decided by the context. If, as is most probable, this verse relates to the circumstances more fully detailed in 2 Samuel 10:15-19, the meaning of the phrase here will be when he (Hadadezer) went to renew his attack (upon Israel), or to recruit his strength against Israel, at the river Euphrates.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-8.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE VICTORIES OF DAVID ALL THE WAY TO THE EUPHRATES

"David also defeated Hadadezer the son of Rehob, the king of Zobab, as he went to restore his power at the river Euphrates. And David took from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand foot soldiers; and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but left enough for a hundred chariots. And when the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobab, David slew twenty-two thousand men of the Syrians. Then David put garrisons in Aram of Damascus; and the Syrians became servants to David and brought tribute. And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went. And David took the shields of gold which were carried by the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. And from Beta and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took very much bronze."

"Hadadezer" (2 Samuel 8:3). This is the same person who is called Hadarezer (in 2 Samuel 10:16 in some versions) and throughout Chronicles.

"David hamstrung all the chariot horses" (2 Samuel 8:4). This was the greatest damage that could be done to a hostile military force, rendering their horses unserviceable. This was cruelty of a most contemptible kind; and a similar deed by Simeon and Levi resulted in Jacob's unfavorable reference to it in their final blessing (Genesis 49:6).

However, it seems that God approved of this action in warfare. David no doubt felt that Joshua's hamstringing the horses of an hostile force confronting him during the Conquest (Joshua 11:6,9), an action which was approved and commanded by God Himself, justified his similar action here. Nevertheless his keeping the horses for a hundred chariots was contrary to the spirit of the Law, "Which forbade horses to the Hebrews in either agriculture or war."[11] Presumably David intended to use them for formal occasions of state in Jerusalem.

"And the Lord gave victory to David wherever he went" (2 Samuel 8:6). This is the thought that dominates the whole chapter. It was not the superior military ability of David, nor the overwhelming size of his armies, nor the genius of his strategy that resulted in these amazing victories. They were the doings of the Lord. Furthermore, God's purpose in all this power being conveyed to the Chosen People should not be overlooked. In the plans designed in the eternal purpose of God, the preservation and continuity of the people of Israel, through whom the Messiah was promised, was absolutely necessary; and the development of Israel as a strong military state was a basic requirement. Without such a strong Israel, the Chosen Race would soon have been swallowed up by such godless powers as Assyria.

"Shields of gold." The meaning of the word that is thus translated "is not clear."[12] DeHoff thought that these objects, "Were probably costly ornaments worn by the Syrian soldiers."[13] Whatever these might have been, they cannot be identified with the "shields of beaten gold" which were made by King Solomon (1 Kings 10:16).

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-8.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And David also smote Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah,.... Called sometimes Aramzobah, and was a part of Syria, as its name shows. Benjamin, of TudelaF8Itinerar. p. 59. takes it to be the same with Haleb or Aleppo; JosephusF9Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 5. sect. 1.) calls it Sophene; but that is placed by PtolemyF11Geograph. l. 5. c. 13. beyond the Euphrates; whereas this country must be between that river and the land of Israel, and was contiguous to it, and near Damascus; and it was so near the land of Israel, and being conquered by David, that it became a controversy with the Jews, whether it was not to be reckoned part of it, and in several things they allow it to be equal to itF12T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 8. 1. 2. Misn. Demai, c. 6. sect. 11. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. . Rehob was the first king of this part of Syria, and then his son the second and last; he is called Hadarezer in 1 Chronicles 18:3; the letters ד "D" and ר "R", being frequently changed in the Hebrew tongue: him David fought with, and overcame:

as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates; which some understand of Hadadezer, so Jarchi and Kimchi, who attempted to recover part of his dominions that had been taken by some one or another from him, which lay upon the river Euphrates; or he endeavoured to enlarge his dominions, and carry them as far as the river, and establish the borders of them; and while he was doing this, or attempting it, David fell upon him, and routed him; or rather this refers to David, who considering that the ancient border of the land of Israel, as given to Abraham, reached to the river Euphrates, Genesis 15:18; he set out on an expedition to recover this border, and whereas the country of this king lay in his way, he invaded that; upon which Hadadezer rose up against him, and was conquered by him, and by this means the border was recovered to the kingdom of Israel, and reached so far, as is plain it did in Solomon's time, 1 Kings 4:21.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-8.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

2 Samuel 8:3-14. He smites Hadadezer and the Syrians.

Zobah — (1 Chronicles 18:3). This kingdom was bounded on the east by the Euphrates, and it extended westward from that river, perhaps as far north as Aleppo. It was long the chief among the petty kingdoms of Syria, and its king bore the hereditary title of “Hadadezer” or “Hadarezer” (“Hadad,” that is, “helped”).

as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates — in accordance with the promises God made to Israel that He would give them all the country as far as the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18; Numbers 24:17). In the first campaign David signally defeated Hadadezer. Besides a great number of foot prisoners, he took from him an immense amount of booty in chariots and horses. Reserving only a small number of the latter, he hamstrung the rest. The horses were thus mutilated because they were forbidden to the Hebrews, both in war and agriculture. So it was of no use to keep them. Besides, their neighbors placed much dependence on cavalry, but having, for want of a native breed, to procure them by purchase, the greatest damage that could be done to such enemies was to render their horses unserviceable in war. (See also Genesis 46:6; Joshua 11:6, Joshua 11:9). A king of Damascene-Syria came to Hadadezer‘s succor; but David routed those auxiliary forces also, took possession of their country, put garrisons into their fortified towns, and made them tributary.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-8.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.

As he went — David, remembering the grant which God had made to his people of all the land as far as Euphrates, and having subdued his neighbouring enemies, went to recover his rights, and stablish his dominion as far as Euphrates.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 8:3 David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.

Ver. 3. David smote also Hadadezer.] An ambitious and turbulent prince, who began to grow exceeding potent; and had already, as it may seem, subdued Damascus, and was now formidable to the Israelites. Saul had had wars with his father Zobah, [1 Samuel 14:47] and haply he might pretend that old quarrel, or the conquest of Canaan by his predecessor Cushanrishathaim.

As he went to recover.] And so must needs pass through part of Judea on the other side Jordan, or not far from it. And so if he had returned a conqueror, was like enough to invade it; for ambition is restless, and never saith, It is enough.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-8.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 8:3. To recover his border at the river The Hebrew ידו להשׁיב lehashib yado, may be literally rendered, as he went to turn back his hand, &c. David smote Hadadezer, when he, David, went to turn back his, Hadadezer's, hand, by the Euphrates; i.e. to repel Hadadezer and his forces at the river, and prevent the intended invasion of his dominions. Here then Hadadezer was also the aggressor. In the parallel place, 1 Chronicles 18:3 it is ידו להציב lehatzib yado, to establish his hand, or power, at the Euphrates. He wanted to extend his dominions to the Euphrates; and in order to it, designed to invade those of David which lay nearest to that river. David, therefore, had a right by force to prevent it.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-8.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible

Hadadezer, called Hadarezer, 1 Chronicles 18:3, the Hebrew letters daleth and reseh being alike, and so oft interchanged.

Zobah; a part of Syria, lying north-east from Canaan, towards Hamath, 1 Chronicles 18:3. See 1 Samuel 14:47.

As he went.

Quest. Who?

Answ. Either, first, Hadarezer; who, being already very potent, and going to enlarge his dominion further, David thought fit to oppose him. Or, secondly, David, who remembering the grant which God had made to his people of all the land as far as Euphrates, and having subdued his neighbouring enemies, went to recover his rights, and stablish his dominion as far as Euphrates.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-8.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Smote also Hadadezer — In 2 Samuel 10:16; 2 Samuel 10:19 and 1 Chronicles 18:3 called Hadarezer. Owing to the fragmentary character of the accounts, and it being no design, of the writer in either place to give all the details of these Aramean wars, the relation of this defeat of Hadadezer to that recorded in chap. x cannot be positively decided. The mere fact that the account of chap. x stands after this decides nothing in the case. Probably the Syrians’ interference in the Ammonitish war, as recorded in chap. x, was the occasion of David’s first battle with them, and the account of this chapter is a condensed statement of the results of that same war. By calling out his forces from beyond the Euphrates, (2 Samuel 10:16,) Hadadezer seems to have lost his dominion in that quarter. But after his defeat by the Israelites, as soon as he could gather up his scattered army he went to recover that border, (ידו of this verse,) and then David straightway pursued and gained the victories here recorded. So the order of these Syrian wars we take to be the following. The Syrians, hired by Hanun, come and fight with Joab before Medeba. 2 Samuel 10:8, see note. Being defeated they gather up again, and, being reinforced by fresh troops from beyond the Euphrates, they suffer a second defeat at Helam. 2 Samuel 10:15-19. The officers of the army, including several petty kings of Syria, make peace with David, but as soon as Hadarezer can recruit a new army he goes to recover his border beyond the river, when David pursues and defeats him a third time, and also the Syrians of Damascus, who interfere to help the king of Zobah. On Zobah see note on 1 Samuel 14:47. It was a great and powerful province of ancient Syria, and its kings were bitter foes of the Israelitish monarchy. It was rich in brass and gold, and seems to have extended over the vast plains that stretch off northeast of Damascus towards the Euphrates.

His border — Hadadezer’s border — the outskirts of his kingdom on the east. This he seems to have lost by going to assist the Ammonites. 2 Samuel 10:16.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-8.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 8:3. King of Zobah — Zobah was a part of Syria, whose eastern border was Euphrates, as the western was the land of Canaan, and the kingdom of Damascus. As he went to recover his border — That is, as David went to extend the limits of his kingdom toward the river Euphrates, he smote this king, who probably came out to oppose him. David remembered the grant which God had made to his people of all the land, as far as that river; and, having subdued his neighbouring enemies, went to recover his rights, according to the divine promise and gift.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-8.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Adarezer. He is styled Adadezer in Hebrew and this seems to have been his true name, though it is written Adarezer in Paralipomenon. Adad, or "the sun," was the chief idol of Syria, and the kings inserted the name with their own; as Benadad did. Josephus produces a fragment from Nicholaus of Damascus, in which he says that "Adad was king of Damascus, and of all Syria, except Phœnicia, and was defeated by David....His successors took his name, as the kings of Egypt did that of Ptolemy; and that the third in descent from this king, made an attack upon Samaria," and upon Achab. (Antiquities vii. 6.) --- Euphrates, which had been promised by God, Genesis xv. 18., and Numbers xxiv. 17. (Calmet) --- Adadezer was probably the aggressor. (Salien) (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-8.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Hadadezer. Some codices, with four early printed editions, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "Hadadezer" (compare 1 Chronicles 18:3, 1 Chronicles 18:5). Some divide and make it two words.

Zobah. See Psalms 60:1, and compare 1 Samuel 14:47.

recover. Hebrew cause his hand to cover: "hand "put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for possessing.

border = boundary. 1 Chronicles 18:2, "establish his dominion there".

Euphrates. Compare 1 Chronicles 18:3 and Genesis 15:18.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-8.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.

Zobah - (cf. 1 Chronicles 18:3.) This kingdom was bounded on the east by the Euphrates, and it extended westward from that river, perhaps as far north as Aleppo. Its exact situation cannot be determined; but it is supposed to lie between the Euphrates and the Orontes, toward the northeast of Damascus. It was long the chief among the petty kingdoms of [ 'Araam (Hebrew #758)] Syria, and its king bore the hereditary title of Hadadezer, or Hadarezer (Hadad, helped).

As he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates - in accordance with the promises God made to Israel, that He would give them all the country as far as the Euphrates (Genesis 15:18; Numbers 24:17). In the first campaign David signally defeated him, and, besides is great number of foot-prisoners, took from him an immense amount of booty in chariots and horses: reserving only a small number of the latter, he hamstrung the rest. The text says "seven hundred"; but in 1 Chronicles 18:4 the number is stated at "seven thousand." The reason of this mutilation was, that horses being forbidden by the Mosaic constitution to the Hebrews, both in war and agriculture, it was of no use to keep them; and their neighbours, placing much dependence on cavalry, but having, for lack of a native breed, to procure them by purchase, the greatest damage that could be done to such enemies was to render their horses unserviceable in war (see also Genesis 49:6; Joshua 11:6; Joshua 11:9). A king of Damascene-Syria [ 'Aram (Hebrew #758) Dameseq (Hebrew #1834), i:e., the highlands above Damascus, in later times called simply 'Araam (Hebrew #758), Syria (1 Kings 15:18; Isaiah 7:1-8; Amos 1:5)] came to his succour; but David routed those auxiliary forces also, and having acquired immense booty, took possession of their country, put garrisons into their fortified towns, and made them tributary.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-8.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Hadadezer . . . king of Zobah.—This name is sometimes (1 Chronicles 18:3; 1 Chronicles 18:5; 1 Chronicles 18:7, &c.) spelt “Hadarezer,” the letters d and r being much alike in Hebrew and easily confused; but the form given here is right, Hadad being the chief idol of the Syrians. Zobah (called in the title of Psalms 60 Aram-Zobah) was a kingdom, the position of which cannot be exactly determined, but lying north-east of Israel, and formerly governed by petty kings with whom Saul had wars (1 Samuel 14:47). When or by what means it had become united under a single sovereign is unknown, but from 2 Samuel 8:4 with 2 Samuel 10:6; 2 Samuel 10:16, it is plain that he was a monarch of considerable power, and controlled tribes beyond the Euphrates.

To recover his border.—Literally, to cause his hand to return, a phrase which in itself might mean either to renew his attack, or to re-establish his power. The latter is shown to be the sense here by the expression in 1 Chronicles 18:3, “to establish his dominion,” and is so translated in the LXX. What happened is more fully explained in 2 Samuel 10:13-19 : the Ammonites had obtained the help of the Syrians when their combined armies were defeated by David; Hadadezer then attempted to summon to his aid the tribes “beyond the river” (i.e., the Euphrates), but David cut short his plans by another crushing defeat, which reduced them all to subjection. Our Version inserts the word Euphrates on the authority of the margin of the Hebrew, several MSS., and all the ancient versions. The river, however, would in any case mean the Euphrates.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-8.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

David smote also Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his border at the river Euphrates.
Hadadezer
1 Chronicles 18:3
Hadarezer
Zobah.
10:6; 1 Samuel 14:47; 1 Kings 11:23,24; Psalms 60:1; *title
at the river
Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 11:24; 1 Kings 4:21; Psalms 72:8
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 1:7 - the great;  2 Samuel 10:16 - Hadarezer;  1 Chronicles 19:6 - Zobah;  2 Chronicles 8:3 - Hamathzobah;  Ezra 4:16 - thou shalt have;  Revelation 9:14 - the great

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 8:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://beta.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-8.html.