The children of Ammon saw that they stank - That is, that their conduct rendered them abominable. This is the Hebrew mode of expressing such a feeling. See Genesis 34:30.
The Syrians of Bethrehob - This place was situated at the extremity of the valley between Libanus and Anti-libanus. The Syrians of Zoba were subject to Hadadezer. Maacah was in the vicinity of Mount Hermon, beyond Jordan, in the Trachonitis.
Ish-tob - This was probably the same with Tob, to which Jephthah fled from the cruelty of his brethren. It was situated in the land of Gilead.
Stank - A strong figure for to be odious or detested. Compare the marginal references
The Syrians of Beth-rehob - If identical with the Mesopotamians of 1 Chronicles 19:6, Beth-rehob is the same as Rehoboth by the river Genesis 36:37. Others think Beth-rehob (Rehob, 2 Samuel 10:8) the same as the Rehob and Beth-rehob of Numbers 13:21, near Hamath (perhaps the modern ruin of Hunin). If so, Beth-rehob, as well as Tob, must have been a colony of Aram Naharaim (compare the numbers in 1 Chronicles 19:7 and here).
Syrians of Zoba - Compare 1 Samuel 14:47 note.
King Maacah - Read the “King of Maacah” 1 Chronicles 19:6-7. For the position of Maacah, see Deuteronomy 3:14; Joshua 12:5. It appears to have been a very small state, since its king only brought a thousand men into the field.
Ish-tob - See the margin. Tob was the district where Jephthah fled when driven out by the Gileadites.
Before the conclusion of the war with the Ammonites, David, leaving the conduct of the army to Joab, returned to Jerusalem. The Syrians had already submitted to Israel, and the complete overthrow of the Ammonites appeared certain. David was surrounded by the fruits of victory and the honors of his wise and able rule. It was now, while he was at ease and unguarded, that the tempter seized the opportunity to occupy his mind. The fact that God had taken David into so close connection with Himself and had manifested so great favor toward him, should have been to him the strongest of incentives to preserve his character unblemished. But when in ease and self-security he let go his hold upon God, David yielded to Satan and brought upon his soul the stain of guilt. He, the Heaven-appointed leader of the nation, chosen by God to execute His law, himself trampled upon its precepts. He who should have been a terror to evildoers, by his own act strengthened their hands. PP 718.1
Amid the perils of his earlier life David in conscious integrity could trust his case with God. The Lord's hand had guided him safely past the unnumbered snares that had been laid for his feet. But now, guilty and unrepentant, he did not ask help and guidance from Heaven, but sought to extricate himself from the dangers in which sin had involved him. Bathsheba, whose fatal beauty had proved a snare to the king, was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of David's bravest and most faithful officers. None could foresee what would be the result should the crime become known. The law of God pronounced the adulterer guilty of death, and the proud-spirited soldier, so shamefully wronged, might avenge himself by taking the life of the king or by exciting the nation to revolt. PP 718.2
Every effort which David made to conceal his guilt proved unavailing. He had betrayed himself into the power of Satan; danger surrounded him, dishonor more bitter than death was before him. There appeared but one way of escape, and in his desperation he was hurried on to add murder to adultery. He who had compassed the destruction of Saul was seeking to lead David also to ruin. Though the temptations were different, they were alike in leading to transgression of God's law. David reasoned that if Uriah were slain by the hand of enemies in battle, the guilt of his death could not be traced home to the king, Bathsheba would be free to become David's wife, suspicion could be averted, and the royal honor would be maintained. PP 718.3Read in context »