re'-i (re`i, "friendly"; Rhesei): Rei, Shimei and the Gibborim who belonged to David are listed among those who did not join Adonijah in his attempt on the throne (1Ki 1:8). The name is very uncertain. Winckler (Geschichte, II, 247) identifies him with Ira, the Jairite, who was a "priest to David" (2Sa 20:26 the Revised Version margin); he tries to prove that this Ira (or Jair) was a priest of Bethlehem. Stade (GVI, I, 293, note 1) holds that Shimei and Rei were two officers of David's bodyguard. Josephus (Ant., VII, xiv, 4) has ho Daouidou philos, thus making Shimei a "friend," the courtier of 2Sa 15:37; 16:16, and omitting Rei entirely. This would call for an original reading re`h ha-melekh, or re`eh ha-melekh, and is too wide a variant from the Massoretic Text. Assuming that Rei belongs in the text, it is safe to conjecture that he was an officer of the royal guard.
Horace J. Wolf