8:15 David reigned over all Israel; he guaranteed justice for all his people. 1
8:16 Joab son of Zeruiah was general in command of 2 the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was secretary; 8:17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar 3 were priests; Seraiah was scribe; 8:18 Benaiah son of Jehoida supervised 4 the Kerithites and Pelethites; and David’s sons were priests. 5
1 tn Heb “and David was doing what is just and fair for all his people.”
2 tn Heb “was over.”
3 tc Here Ahimelech is called “the son of Abiathar,” but NCV, CEV, and REB reverse this to conform with 1 Sam 22:20. Most recent English versions (e.g., NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) retain the order found in the MT.
5 sn That David’s sons could have been priests, in light of the fact that they were not of the priestly lineage, is strange. One must assume either (1) that the word “priest” (כֹּהֵן, kohen) during this period of time could be used in a broader sense of “chief ruler” (KJV); “chief minister” (ASV, NASB), or “royal adviser” (NIV), perhaps based on the parallel passage in 1 Chr 18:17 which has “the king’s leading officials”, or (2) that in David’s day members of the king’s family could function as a special category of “priests” (cf. NLT “priestly leaders”). The latter option seems to be the more straightforward way of understanding the word in 2 Sam 8:18.