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Chimham

Barzillai, from the Hebrew name pronounced bar-zil-aw-ee, meaning man of iron, was among the friends of King David who supplied him when he was forced to flee across The Jordan River from Jerusalem at the beginning of Absalom's rebellion.

"17:27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 17:28 Brought beds, and basins, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse, 17:29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness." (2 Samuel 17:27-29 KJV)

"The king answered, Chimham shall go over with me"

After the rebellion was defeated (see Absalom's Advisors), David returned to Jerusalem. As he was crossing the Jordan, David invited Barzillai to come to live in Jerusalem. Barzillai appreciatively declined the offer due to his advanced age, but suggested that his "servant" Chimham (who was likely Barzillai's son) go instead.

Gilead

"19:31 And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan with the king, to conduct him over Jordan. 19:32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the king of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. 19:33 And the king said unto Barzillai, Come thou over with me, and I will feed thee with me in Jerusalem.

19:34 And Barzillai said unto the king, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king unto Jerusalem? 19:35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? 19:36 Thy servant will go a little way over Jordan with the king: and why should the king recompense it me with such a reward? 19:37 Let thy servant, I pray thee, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold thy servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the king; and do to him what shall seem good unto thee.

19:38 And the king answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto thee: and whatsoever thou shalt require of me, that will I do for thee.

19:39 And all the people went over Jordan. And when the king was come over, the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place." (2 Samuel 19:31-39 KJV)

Years later, as he was about to die, the still-grateful David gave instructions to his son and successor Solomon (see The United Kingdom) to settle a number of old accounts, including to "show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai (i.e. reason that, as stated above, "servant" meant son) the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother."

"2:1 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2:2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and show thyself a man; 2:3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: 2:4 That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee (said he) a man on the throne of Israel.

2:5 Moreover thou knowest also what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the hosts of Israel, unto Abner the son of Ner, and unto Amasa the son of Jether, whom he slew, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet. 2:6 Do therefore according to thy wisdom, and let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace.

2:7 But show kindness unto the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be of those that eat at thy table: for so they came to me when I fled because of Absalom thy brother.

2:8 And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim: but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. 2:9 Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood.

2:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David." (1 Kings 2:1-10 KJV)

Fact Finder: Was "the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem" (KJV) still known in Israel centuries (there were about 4 centuries between the time of David and the time of Jeremiah) later?
Jeremiah 41:17


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