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The story told David of the widow of Tekoah, ver. 1 - 20.
Absalom is brought back to Jerusalem, but not to court, ver. 21 - 24.
An account of Absalom's person and children, ver. 21 - 27.
He is at length introduced to David, ver. 28 - 33.
1: Was towards - He desired to see him, but was ashamed to shew
kindness to one whom God's law and his own conscience obliged him to punish;
he wanted therefore a fair pretence, which therefore Joab gave him.
2: Anoint - As they used to do when they were out of a mourning state.
5: Widow - One of them who most need thy compassion, and whom thou
art by God's law obliged in a singular manner to relieve.
9: Be guiltless - If through thy forgetfulness or neglect of this my
just cause, my adversaries prevail and destroy my son, my desire is, that
God would not lay it to the king's charge, but rather to me and mine, so
the king may be exempted thereby. Whereby she insinuates, that such an
omission will bring guilt upon him; and yet most decently orders her phrase
so as not to seem to blame or threaten the king. This sense seems best to
agree with David's answer, which shew's that she desired some farther
assurances of the king's care.
11: Remember - Remember the Lord, in whose presence thou hast made me
this promise, and who will be a witness against thee, if thou breakest it.
13: Wherefore then - If thou shouldst not permit the avengers of
blood to molest me, or to destroy my son, who are but two persons; how
unreasonable is it that thou shouldest proceed in thy endeavours to avenge
Amnon's blood upon Absalom, whose death would be grievous to the
whole commonwealth of Israel, all whose eyes are upon him as the heir of
the crown, and a wise, and valiant, and amiable person, unhappy only in this
one act of killing Amnon, which was done upon an high provocation, and
whereof thou thyself didst give the occasion by permitting Amnon to go
unpunished? Faulty - By thy word, and promise, and oath given to me for
my son, thou condemnest thyself for not allowing the same equity towards
thy own son. It is true, Absalom's case was widely different from that
which she had supposed. But David was too well affected to him, to
remark that difference, and was more desirous than she could be, to apply
that favourable judgment to his own son, which he had given concerning hers.
14: We - We shall certainly die, both thou, O king, who art therefore
obliged to take care of thy successor, Absalom; and Absalom, who, if
he do not die by the hand of justice, must shortly die by the necessity of
nature: and Amnon too must have died in the common way of all flesh, if
Absalom had not cut him off. Respect - So far as to exempt him from
this common law of dying. Not expelled - He hath given laws to this
purpose, that the man - slayer who is banished should not always continue in
banishment, but upon the High - priest's death return to his own city.
15: The people - The truth is, I was even forced to this bold address
to thee by the disposition of thy people, who are discontented at
Absalom's perpetual banishment, lest, if Absalom by his
father - in - law's assistance invade the land, the people who have a great
kindness for him, and think he is very hard used, should take up arms.
16: Hear - For I know the king is so wise and just, that I assure
myself of audience and acceptation. Deliver - To grant my request
concerning my son, and consequently the peoples petition concerning
Absalom. My son - Implying that her life was bound up in the life of
her son, and that she could not outlive his death; (and supposing that it
might be David's case also, and would therefore touch him in a tender
part, though it were not proper to say it expressly:) and thereby
suggesting, that the safety and comfort of the people of Israel,
depended upon Absalom's restitution. Inheritance - That is, out of
that land which God gave to his people to be their inheritance, and in which
alone God hath settled the place of his presence and worship: whereby she
intimates the danger of Absalom's living in a state of separation from
God, and his house, amongst idolaters.
17: Angel - In wisdom, and justice, and goodness.
Therefore - Because thou art so wise and gracious to those who in strict
justice deserve punishment, God will own and stand by thee in this thy act
of grace: or God will prosper thee in thy enterprizes.
19: Of Joab - Hast thou not said and done this by Joab's
direction. Said - It is even so, thou hast discovered the truth.
These words - As to the substance of them, but not as to all the
expressions; for these were to be varied as the king's answer gave occasion.
20: To fetch - That is, to propose his, and the peoples desire of
Absalom's restitution in this parabolical manner. In the earth - Or,
in this land, in all thy kingdom; all the counsels and devices of thy
22: Fulfilled - But it seems David had no power to dispense with
God's laws, nor to spare any whom God appointed him to destroy: for the laws
of God bound the kings and rulers, as well as the people of Israel.
How justly did God make this man, whom he had so sinfully spared, a scourge
24: Let him turn - Lest whilst be shewed some mercy to Absalom,
he should seem to approve of his sin. Likewise by this means Absalom
might be drawn to a more thorough humiliation and repentance.
25: Beauty - This is noted as the occasion of his pride, and of the
people's affection to him.
26: Weighed - Others understand this not of the weight, but of the
price of his hair.
27: Sons - All which died not long after they were born,
as may be gathered from (2Sa 18:18), where it is said, that
Absalom had no son.
32: Kill me - For it is better for me to die, than to want the sight
and favour of my dear father. Thus he insinuates himself into his father's
affections, by pretending such respect and love to him It seems that by
this time Absalom having so far recovered his father's favour, began
to grow upon him, and take so much confidence as to stand upon his own
justification, as if what he had done, had been no iniquity, at least not
such as to deserve death. See how easily wise parents may be imposed on
by their children, when they are blindly fond of them.
33: Kissed - Did the bowels of a father prevail to reconcile him to
an impenitent son? And shall penitent sinners question the compassion
of him who is the Father of mercy? If Ephraim bemoan himself, God soon
bemoans him, with all the expressions of fatherly tenderness. He is a
dear son, a pleasant child.