287. Cherethites and Pelethites

2 Samuel 20:7; Genesis 37:36; 2 Samuel 20:23; 2 Samuel 23:23; Daniel 2:14
Commentators and philologists are divided in the interpretation of these terms. Lakemacher was the first to advance the idea that the Crethi and the Plethi were Philistine soldiers whom David had enlisted in his army This opinion was adopted by Ewald, and has since been agreed to by many eminent scholars and theologians, and is the view taken by Fuerst in his Hebrew Lexicon. On the other hand, others, equally eminent, contend that David would not have employed foreign soldiers as his body guard, as it is evident the Crethi and the Plethi were. Compare 2 Samuel 20:2323Now Joab was over all the host of Israel: and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites: (2 Samuel 20:23) with 23:23. Some, however, attempt to meet this objection by supposing that they were Israelites who, from a lengthy residence in foreign parts, had attracted to themselves a foreign name. See Fairbairn's Imp. Bib. Diet., a. v. Cherethites. Gesenius defines the Crethi to be executioners, and the Plethi runners or couriers; the duty of the former being to administer capital punishment, and of the latter to convey the king’s orders wherever he chose to send them. Benaiah, who commanded them (vs. 23) held an office similar to that of Potiphar under Pharaoh (Gen. 37:3636And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard. (Genesis 37:36)) and Arioch under Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2:1414Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon: (Daniel 2:14)).