1 Chronicles chapter 20

David enslaves Rabbah. Battles with the Philistine giants.





VERSE 1. At the time of the return of the year, at the time when kings go out, Joab led out the army and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. Joab struck Rabbah, and overthrew it.


VERSE 2. David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it. It was set on David’s head, and he brought very much plunder out of the city.

a talent of gold. A talent is about 30 kilograms or 66 pounds or 965 Troy ounces.

he brought very much plunder out of the city. David steals the vast treasuries of Rabbah for himself


VERSE 3. He brought out the people who were in it, and had them cut with saws, with iron picks, and with axes. David did so to all the cities of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

had them cut. That is, “forced them to labor” (NLT translation).

David enslaves the people of Rabbah. He puts them into forced labor.




VERSE 4. After this, war arose at Gezer with the Philistines. Then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, of the sons of the giant; and they were subdued.

war arose at Gezer. Gezar was 20 miles northwest of Jerusalem.

the Philistines. In those days, Israel had no more persistent enemy than the Philistines. Israel was never able to fully defeat them.

Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai. In this war, Sibbecai kills a Philistine giant named Sippai.

the sons of the giant. The word “sons” is plural. There is more than one giant.

In our day, many people are dismissive of the biblical accounts of giants. Their chief objections are as follows:

  • In biblical days, men were only five feet tall. Therefore a six foot tall man would have been called a giant.
  • Extraordinarily tall people have never existed.

However, even in our day, there have been giants. It is a medical condition called gigantism.

Robert Wadlow (1918–1940) is the tallest person in history for whom there is irrefutable evidence. He was nearly nine feet tall.


VERSE 5. Again there was war with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.

Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi. Elhanan killed Goliath’s brother Lahmi.

spear was like a weaver’s beam. The Bible mentions a specific type of spear used in combat.


VERSE 6. There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six on each hand and six on each foot; and he also was born to the giant.


VERSE 7. When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

Jonathan the son of Shimea. He is David’s nephew.

killed him. David’s nephew Jonathan kills the mutant Philistine giant.


VERSE 8. These were born to the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

New International Version. These were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.

descendants of Rapha in Gath. Rapha was the ancestral father of a race of giants known as Rephaites. They coexisted with the early Philistines, and perhaps even intermarried with them.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

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