Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 20

David’s government officials

2 Samuel 20:23-26

We last read a list of David’s chief officials in 2 Samuel 8:15-18.

That list belonged to earlier in David’s rule, after the wars that first brought peace to Israel. This list (20:23-26) describes the later part of his rule, after Absalom’s and Sheba’s revolutions had failed.

There were not many changes during this time. David had tried, but failed, to replace Joab as chief commander of the army (19:13; 20:8-11). Benaiah was still in charge of the Kerethites and Pelethites, the men who formed David’s special guard in Jerusalem. Jehoshaphat was still in charge of the government’s records. However, Sheva now had the important position in the government that formerly belonged to Seraiah.

The chief priests usually continued their work for their whole lives. During David’s rule, there were two chief priests. Abiathar came from the family of Aaron’s son Ithamar; until then, all Israel’s chief priests came from this family. Zadok came from the family of Aaron’s other son, Eleazar; after Zadok, the chief priests were from his family.

David had now appointed another priest, Ira, to assist him in matters of religion. However, the main change in the government was that David had appointed Adoniram, also called Adoram, to a powerful position. His task was to force men to work for the government (see 1 Kings 5:13-14 and 1 Kings 12:18). Perhaps David had not considered that necessary previously. He had tried to establish a relationship of love between himself as the king, and Israel’s people. Absalom’s and Sheba’s revolutions had shown that it was necessary to control some of the people much more strictly.

Next part: The murder of Gibeon's people (2 Samuel 21:1)


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© 2023, Keith Simons.