Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 19

The sons of Barzillai

2 Samuel 19:37-39

In 1 Kings 2:7, David told Solomon that Barzillai’s sons should have a place at the king’s table. In other words, they should eat with the king; he should consider them his friends. That made them important advisers in the government (compare 1 Samuel 20:24-25). They heard even the most important and private matters; and they were able to discuss these matters with the king.

That friendship between Barzillai’s family and David’s family began when David escaped from Absalom. During that time, Barzillai’s family provided for David, at his temporary home in Mahanaim. They lived near there, at a place called Rogelim on the east side of the Jordan river.

Kimham was the first of Barzillai’s sons who crossed the river to join David in Jerusalem. Perhaps Barzillai warned him that he should not accept all the luxury in the palace (19:35). There seems to be a later reference to the home that he chose for himself in Jeremiah 41:17. That was in Bethlehem, about 7 miles (10 kilometres) south of Jerusalem. Bethlehem had been David’s family home. There, Kimham could separate himself from the luxury of the palace – but he was still close enough to Jerusalem to advise the king when necessary.

David was glad that Kimham would accept his invitation. Kimham’s brothers came to Jerusalem later, perhaps after Barzillai’s death. There is also a reference to Barzillai’s daughter in Nehemiah 7:63. She married one of Israel’s priests. People considered Barzillai such a great man that they called her husband, the priest, by that name too.

Next part: Trouble between Judah's men, and the men from the rest of Israel (2 Samuel 19:40-43)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 1000+ page course book.


© 2023, Keith Simons.