Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Shobi, Makir and Barzillai

2 Samuel 17:27

Any army, or other group of people, depend upon a good supply of food. There are also many other items that they need for daily life.

David and the people with him had left their homes in Jerusalem very suddenly. They were not expecting to leave; they had no time to prepare for their journey. They left most of their possessions in Jerusalem, because they had to escape quickly. They had to carry, on a long and difficult journey, anything that they wanted to take. They would probably have been walking for 3 days when they reached Mahanaim.

So, they were very grateful when three of the richest people in that region came to help them. As soon as they heard about David’s escape, those three men decided to help. At once, they started to gather everything that the people with David would need.

Shobi was a foreigner, from Ammon. It was his brother, King Hanun, who cruelly insulted the men from Israel in chapter 10. That caused a war between Ammon and Israel. However, Shobi clearly had a very different character, and he provided generously to help David’s supporters in their difficult situation.

Makir was the rich man who had looked after Mephibosheth (9:5). So perhaps formerly he supported Saul’s family against David. However, Makir was a good and generous man. He had seen how David behaved towards Mephibosheth (2 Samuel chapter 9); and of course he approved. So he was glad when he had the opportunity to help David.

We will read more about the third man, Barzillai, in 2 Samuel 19:31-39. There is also a reference to the family of his daughter, who married one of Israel’s priests, in Nehemiah 7:63-65. That family called themselves by his name, in honour of this great man.

Next part: Some useful lessons about gifts (2 Samuel 17:28-29)


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