The Meaning of 2 Samuel 8:4 Explained

2 Samuel 8:4

KJV: And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots.

YLT: and David captureth from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen, and David destroyeth utterly the whole of the charioteers, only he leaveth of them a hundred charioteers.

Darby: And David took from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen; and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for a hundred chariots.

ASV: And David took from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David hocked all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for a hundred chariots.

What does 2 Samuel 8:4 Mean?

Context Summary

2 Samuel 8:1-18 - Victorious On Every Side
Twice in this chapter we are told that the Lord gave victory to David "whithersoever he went," 2 Samuel 8:6; 2 Samuel 8:14. Indeed, he was more than a conqueror, for he obtained not only victory but the spoils of his foes, of which he afterward made large donations to the house of God. We are reminded of those great words: "Now thanks be unto God, who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ;" and, "They also shall overcome that are with Him [1], called and chosen and faithful," 2 Corinthians 2:14 and Revelation 17:14, r.v.
Never in this world shall we be able to lay down our weapons. Often temptations that we thought had passed out of our lives, will revive in their old vigor and present themselves with even greater subtlety and force. Resolutions and vows will fail us. We shall be constantly kept in mind of our weakness and dependence. The only victory which is permanent is our faith, which receives from Him what we cannot achieve for ourselves. It is a very humbling experience, but it is our safeguard against overweening pride. [source]

Chapter Summary: 2 Samuel 8

1  David subdues the Philistines and the Moabites
3  He smites Hadadezer, and the Syrians
9  Toi sends Joram with presents to bless him
11  David dedicates the presents and the spoil to God
14  He puts garrisons in Edom
16  David's officers

What do the individual words in 2 Samuel 8:4 mean?

And took David from him a thousand [chariots] and seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand soldiers foot soldiers and hamstrung David - all the chariot [horses] and except that he spared [enough] of them [for] a hundred chariots
וַיִּלְכֹּ֨ד דָּוִ֜ד מִמֶּ֗נּוּ אֶ֤לֶף וּשְׁבַע־ מֵאוֹת֙ פָּרָשִׁ֔ים וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים אֶ֖לֶף אִ֣ישׁ רַגְלִ֑י וַיְעַקֵּ֤ר דָּוִד֙ אֶת־ כָּל־ הָרֶ֔כֶב וַיּוֹתֵ֥ר מִמֶּ֖נּוּ מֵ֥אָה רָֽכֶב

וַיִּלְכֹּ֨ד  And  took 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: לָכַד  
Sense: to capture, take, seize.
דָּוִ֜ד  David 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּוִד  
Sense: youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.
מִמֶּ֗נּוּ  from  him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: מִן 
Sense: from, out of, on account of, off, on the side of, since, above, than, so that not, more than.
אֶ֤לֶף  a  thousand  [chariots] 
Parse: Number, masculine singular
Root: אֶלֶף 
Sense: a thousand.
וּשְׁבַע־  and  seven 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Number, feminine singular construct
Root: שֶׁבַע  
Sense: seven (cardinal number).
מֵאוֹת֙  thousand 
Parse: Number, feminine plural
Root: מֵאָה 
Sense: hundred.
פָּרָשִׁ֔ים  charioteers 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: פָּרָשׁ 
Sense: horse, steed, warhorse.
וְעֶשְׂרִ֥ים  and  twenty 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Number, common plural
Root: עֶשְׂרִים  
Sense: twenty, twentieth.
אֶ֖לֶף  thousand 
Parse: Number, masculine singular
Root: אֶלֶף 
Sense: a thousand.
אִ֣ישׁ  soldiers 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: אִישׁ 
Sense: man.
רַגְלִ֑י  foot  soldiers 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: רַגְלִי  
Sense: on foot.
וַיְעַקֵּ֤ר  and  hamstrung 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Piel, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: עָקַר 
Sense: to pluck up, root up.
דָּוִד֙  David 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּוִד  
Sense: youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.
אֶת־  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
הָרֶ֔כֶב  the  chariot  [horses] 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: רֶכֶב  
Sense: a team, chariot, chariotry, mill-stone, riders.
וַיּוֹתֵ֥ר  and  except  that  he  spared  [enough] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: יָתַר  
Sense: to be left over, remain, remain over, leave.
מִמֶּ֖נּוּ  of  them 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: מִן 
Sense: from, out of, on account of, off, on the side of, since, above, than, so that not, more than.
מֵ֥אָה  [for]  a  hundred 
Parse: Number, feminine singular
Root: מֵאָה 
Sense: hundred.
רָֽכֶב  chariots 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: רֶכֶב  
Sense: a team, chariot, chariotry, mill-stone, riders.