David’s Officials

Second Samuel 20: 23-26

976 BC

When we get to this point in the narrative, the writer of the books of Samuel signals that he is closing off a major section of his scroll. He uses summaries like this in First Samuel 7:15-17 (closing off the Samuel section), First Samuel 14:49-52 (closing off the Sha’ul section), Second Samuel 8:15-18 (closing off the history of David’s rise), and now he summarizes Second Samuel 9:1 to 20:26 (closing off the history of David as the ousted king) in anticipation of David’s restoration to the throne and his final days.

Joab was the commander-in-chief over Isra’el’s entire army, a towering figure whose ability and strength didn’t seem to diminish over the years.

Benaiah son of Jehoida was over David’s mercenary soldiers, the Kerethites and Pelethites, the foreigners: He would be the one who would eventually execute Joab and become the new commander-in-chief (First Kings 2:28-35 and 4:4).

Adoniram, a new and ominous figure, makes his appearance in the royal cabinet. He was in charge of forced labor in the government of Solomon. As Joshua saved the Gibeonites from certain death by making them woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide the needs of the altar of the LORD (Joshua 9:26-27), so Adoniram put captured prisoners of war into forced labor building highways, temples and palaces. Not surprisingly, he would be stoned to death when the Kingdom was divided (First Kings 12:18).

Just as earlier in David’s reign (Cy – David’s Officials), Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder.

Sheva was secretary, evidently having succeeded Seraiah (Second Samuel 8:17).

Zadok and Abiathar remained as chief priests.

Finally, Ira the Jairite was David’s royal adviser. David’s sons were no longer seen in important positions, perhaps Absalom’s rebellion brought this about.


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