Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:1
sa2 8:1And David took - Gath and her towns, as it is expressed in the parallel place, Ch1 18:1. Which are called Metheg - ammah, or the bridle of Ammah, Gath was situate in the mountain of Ammah; and because this being the chief city of the Philistines, and having a king, which none of the rest had, was the bridle which had hitherto kept the Israelites in subjection.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:2
sa2 8:2Moab - For although the king of Moab, out of hatred to Saul, gave protection to his parents, Sa1 22:3-4, yet the Moabites were perpetual and sworn enemies to the Israelites, who therefore were forbidden to admit them into the congregation of the Lord. And though God commanded them in their march to Canaan, to spare the Moabites, yet afterwards they proved fierce enemies to God and his people, and thereby provoked God to alter his carriage towards them. Measured them - That is, having conquered the land, he made an estimate of it, and distributed the towns and people into three parts. Casting down - Overthrowing their towns, and utterly destroying their people in manner following. And now that prophecy, Num 24:17, was accomplished.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:3
sa2 8:3As he went - David, remembering the grant which God had made to his people of all the land as far as Euphrates, and having subdued his neighbouring enemies, went to recover his rights, and stablish his dominion as far as Euphrates.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:4
sa2 8:4Seven hundred - Or, seven hundred companies of horsemen, that is, in all seven thousand; as it is Ch1 18:4, there being ten in each company, and each ten having a ruler or captain. Houghed - - That is, cut the sinews of their legs, that they might be useless for war.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:5
sa2 8:5Of Damascus - That is, who were subject to Damascus, the chief city of Syria.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:7
sa2 8:7On the servants - Or rather, which were with the servants, that is, committed to their custody, as being kept in the king's armoury: for it is not probable they carried them into the field.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:8
sa2 8:8From Betah, &c. - In Ch1 18:8, it is, from Tibhath, and from Chun. Either therefore the same cities were called by several names, as is usual, the one by the Hebrews, the other by the Syrians, or those were two other cities, and so the brass was taken out of these four cities.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:14
sa2 8:14The Lord preserved, &c. - All David's victories were typical of the success of the gospel over the kingdom of Satan, in which the Son of David rode forth, conquering and to conquer, and will reign 'till he has brought down all opposing rule, principality and power.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:16
sa2 8:16Recorder - The treasurer, who examined all the accounts, and kept records of them.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:17
sa2 8:17Scribe - Or, secretary of state.
2 Kings (2 Samuel) 8:18
sa2 8:18Cherethites, &c. - The Cherethites and Pelethites were undoubtedly soldiers, and such as were eminent for their valour and fidelity. Most probable they were the king's guards, which consisted of these two bands, who might be distinguished either by their several weapons, or by the differing time or manner of their service. They are supposed to be thus called either, first, from their office, which was upon the king's command to cut off or punish offenders, and to preserve the king's person, as their names in the Hebrew tongue may seem to imply. Or, secondly, from some country, or place to which they had relation. As for the Cherithites, it is certain they were ether a branch of the Philistines, or a people neighbouring to them, and so might the Pelethites be too, though that be not related in scripture. And these Israelites and soldiers of David might be so called, either because they went and lived with David when he dwelt in those parts or, for some notable exploit against, or victory over these people.