1 Chronicles 20 Not Odd Battles


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1 Chronicles 20:4 In the course of time, war broke out with the Philistines, at Gezer. At that time Sibbekai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the Rephaites, and the Philistines were subjugated.

5 In another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s rod.

6 In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot—twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. 7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

8 These were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.​

My online Bible calls these battles "War with the Philistines". Look at it tho.... A spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod and the other was a man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. These are odd battles.

Enduringword.com made some clarification for me this morning.

Now it happened afterward: This description of victory over Philistine giants shows that Israel could slay giants without David. Sibbechai… Elhanan… Jonathan: These men accomplished heroic deeds when David was finished fighting giants. God will continue to raise up leaders when the leaders of the previous generation pass from the scene.​

With tewenty-four fingers and toes, six on each hand and six on each foot: Commentators like Adam Clarke can’t resist reminding us that this is a known phenomenon. “This is not a solitary instance: Tavernier informs us that the eldest son of the emperor of Java, who reigned in 1649, had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot… I once saw a young girl, in the county of Londonderry, in Ireland, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, but her stature had nothing gigantic in it.”

The shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam: “Also has known parallels and is not the unhistorical creation which some have alleged. It was actually a javelin with a loop and cord round the shaft for greater distance and stability, and was known in the Aegean area from the twelfth century b.c. Even the Old Testament reports one in the possession of another non-Israelite (1 Chronicles 11:23).” (Selman)​

These were born to the giant in Gath: Since Goliath was from Gath (1 Samuel 17:4) these were Goliath’s sons or brothers.

“The Philistine warriors are also all called ‘Rephaites’ or descendants of Rapha, who were one of the pre-Israelite groups in Canaan (e.g. Genesis 15:20) and famous for their size.” (Selman)​

Fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants: Part of the idea is that David is conquering enemies now so it will be better for Solomon in the future. Our present victory is not only good for us now but it passes something important on to the next generation.​

Back when the Israelites went to Canaan in the first place... before they wandered around for 40 years... they sent out scouts who talked about giants. I guess there were giants... a cluster of grapes had to be carried by two men with a pole. Of course there were giants... who could tend a crop that big and still be only a few feet taller than the cluster of grapes?

So these verses are about three giants who met their demise at the hand of David's men. David did the first one, Goliath.... and then his men went after Goliath's sons and brothers as the need arose, using David's experience as a guide.

All of this is from the easy English site..

Here are three incidents that happened during battles with the Philistines. The first two of these incidents were at Gezer. Gezer was a town but it may here mean that general area. The record elsewhere says that these incidents happened at Gob (2 Samuel 21:18). The third incident was in the battle at Gath. So all these incidents happened before David took the city called Gath from Philistine control.

These huge people were called the descendants of Rephaim. Rephaim was the ancestor of an ancient group of people who were very tall. There were very few of them still alive at the time of Moses (Deuteronomy 2:21). Formerly, they lived in Bashan, which was on the east side of the Jordan river (Deuteronomy 3:11).

Sibbecai came from Hushah town in Judah. He was one of David’s 30 special soldiers (1 Chronicles 11:29). Later David divided his army into 12 groups. Each group was on duty for a month. Sibbecai was the leader of 8th group of soldiers (1 Chronicles 27:11).

Sippai is the first of the huge men that the passage mentions. Sibbecai, the Israelite soldier, was very brave when he fought this man. Because the man was so huge, it was very dangerous to fight him. But Sibbecai managed to defeat the man and to kill him.

Lahmi was the brother of Goliath whom David killed (1 Samuel chapter 17). Elhanan, son of Jair, killed Lahmi.

This other huge man with extra fingers and toes was also a descendant of Rephaim. Jonathan, a nephew of David, killed him.

All these huge men lived in the city called Gath. The passage shows that, like Goliath, these huge men were champions in the Philistines’ army.

So I thought this was just three odd battles when I first read the verses.... turns out that these three were big battles against huge men.... showing courage, bravery, talent, and smarts. Taking on someone so big that they tended the bushes that grew the grapes so huge that a cluster had to be carried on a pole between two normal sized men.... requires a plan and a lot of courage. Apparently David's men had no problem following the example David set when he took down Goliath.... when [I might add] no one else would even try.