2 Samuel 8:18

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David's sons were chief rulers.

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and Pelethites,.... These, according to Josephus {k}, were the king's bodyguards, and this man is expressly said to be set over his guards, 2 Samuel 23:22; and which some think were of the nation of the Philistines, famous for archery, and slinging of stones; and so the Targum renders it,

"was appointed over the archers and slingers;''

so "choriti" in Virgil {l} are quivers for arrows; the great use of which in fighting David had observed, and therefore got a select company of these men, partly to teach Israel, and partly to guard himself: but others are of opinion that David would never suffer such as were Heathens to be so near his person, and therefore take them to be Israelites; and so some Jewish writers say they were two families in Israel; which is much better than to interpret them as others do of the sanhedrim, and even of the Urim and Thummim, as in the Targum on

1 Chronicles 18:17;

See Gill on "Zephaniah 2:5"; and it is most probable that they were Israelites, who were David's guards, and consisted of the chiefs that were with him in Philistia, and particularly at Ziklag, which lay on the south of the Cherethites, 1 Samuel 30:14; and so had their name from thence; and among the chief of those that came to him at Ziklag there was one named Peleth, from whence might come the Pelethites, and they were all of them archers; see 1 Chronicles 12:2;

and David's sons were chief rulers; princes, princes of the blood, or "chief about the king", as in 1 Chronicles 18:17; they were constant attendants at court, waiting on the king, ready at hand to do what he pleased to order; they were the chief ministers, and had the management of the principal affairs at court. Abarbinel thinks that this respects not only David's sons, but Benaiah, and the family of the Cherethites and Pelethites, who had none of them particular posts assigned them, which were settled and known, as those before mentioned had, but were always near at hand, to do whatsoever the king commanded them; and which seems better to agree with the literal order and construction of the words; which are,

And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and Pelethites,

and the sons of David, were princes, or chief rulers; or priests, who according to Gussetius {m} brought the offerings or presents to the king, and did that to him the priests did to the Lord.

{k} Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 7. c. 5. sect.4.)
{l} Aeneid. 10.
{m} Ebr. Comment. p. 366.