View 2nd Samuel 15 in the note window.
Absalom steals the hearts of the people, ver. 1 - 6.
He conspires against David, ver. 7 - 12.
David flies from Jerusalem, ver. 13 - 18.
He confers with Ittai, and passes over Kidron, ver. 19 - 23.
Sends back Zadok with the ark, ver. 24 - 29.
His prayer on this occasion, ver. 30, 31.
He concerts with Hushai, ver. 32 - 37.
1: Prepared - As being the king's eldest son, now Amnon was dead;
for Chileab, who was his eldest brother, (2Sa 3:3), was either
dead, or incapable of the government. And this course he knew would draw
the eyes of the people to him, and make them conclude that David
intended him for his successor.
2: Early - Thereby making a shew of solicitude for the good of the
public, and of every private person. Called him - Preventing him with
the offers of his assistance. And as if he were ready to make particular
enquiry into the state of his cause.
3: See - Upon some very slight hearing of their cause, he approved
it, that he might oblige all. No man - None such as will do thee justice.
The other sons and relations of the king, and the rest of the judges and
rulers under him and them, are wholly corrupted; or, at least not careful
and diligent as they should be: and my father being grown in years, is
negligent of publick affairs. It is the way of turbulent, aspiring men, to
reproach the government they are under. Even David himself, the best of
kings, could not escape the worst of censures.
7: After forty years - From the change of the government, into a
monarchy, which was about ten years before David began to reign.
So this fell out about the thirtieth year of his reign.
9: Hebron - This place he chose as being an eminent city, and next to
Jerusalem, the chief of the tribe of Judah, and the place where his
father began his kingdom, which he took for a good omen. And where it is
probable he had secured many friends. It was also at a convenient distance
11: Called - Such as Absalom had picked out as fit for his
purpose; such as were of some reputation with the king and people, which
would give a countenance to his undertaking, and give occasion to people
at first to think that this was done by his father's consent, as being now
aged, and infirm, and willing to resign the kingdom to him. It is no new
thing, for good men to be made use of by designing men to put a colour upon
12: Sacrifices - Which he did not in devotion to God; but merely that
upon this pretence he might call great numbers of people together.
14: Let us flee - For though the fort of Zion was strong, and he
might have defended himself there; yet he had not laid in provisions for a
long siege; and, if he had been once besieged there, Absalom would have
got speedy possession of his whole kingdom; whereas if he marched abroad, he
might raise a considerable army for his defence. Besides, the greatest part
of Jerusalem could not be well defended against him.
16: After him - Or, on foot, which the king chose to do, to
humble himself under the hand of God; to encourage his companions in this
hard and comfortless march; and to move compassion in his people towards
him. Concubines - For he supposed that their sex would protect them,
and their relation to David would gain them some respect, or at least,
safety from his son.
17: Far off - At some convenient distance, tho' not very far.
18: Gittites - Or rather strangers, as Ittai their head is
called, ver.(19), and they are called his brethren, ver.(20).
Probably they were Philistines by birth, born in the city or territory
of Gath, as the following words imply, who by David's counsel, and
example, were won to embrace the true religion, and had given good proof of
their military skill, and valour, and fidelity to the king.
19: Thy place - To Jerusalem, where thy settled abode now is.
The king - With Absalom who is now made king.
An exile - Not much concerned in our affairs, and therefore not fit to be
involved in our troubles.
20: Brethren - Thy countrymen the Gittites, ver.(18).
Mercy, &c. - Since I am now unable to recompense thy kindness and fidelity
to me, my hearty prayer to God is, that he would shew to thee his mercy,
in blessing thee with all sorts of blessings, and his faithfulness in
making good all these promises which he had made, not to Israelites
only, but to all true hearted proselytes, such as thou art.
21: Will thy servant be - He is a friend indeed, who loves at all
times, and will cleave to us in adversity. Thus should we cleave to the Son
of David, that neither life, nor death may separate us from his love.
22: Little ones - For being so deeply engaged for David,
he durst not leave his little ones to Absalom's mercy.
23: Kidron - Or, Cedron, which was near Jerusalem. The very
same brook that Christ passed over when he entered upon his sufferings,(Joh 18:1).
Wilderness - Which was between Jerusalem and Jericho.
24: Went up - From the ark to the city, which was on higher ground,
that so he being high - priest, might use his authority with the people, to
persuade them to do their duty; and there he staid until all those whom
he could persuade were gone forth.
25: Carry back - Out of care and reverence to the ark, which though
it might be carried our to a certain place; yet he might justly think unfit
to carry it from place to place he knew not whither, and out of respect to
the priests, whom, by this means, he thought he should expose to the rage of
Absalom, as he had before exposed them to Saul's fury.
Habitation - That is, the tabernacle which David had lately built for
it, (2Sa 6:17), in which the ark, and God, by means hereof, ordinarily
26: Let him do - That we may not complain of what is, let us see
God's hand in all events. And that we may not be afraid of what shall be,
let us see all events in God's hand.
27: A seer - A seeing, discerning, or observing man: for so
the Hebrew verb raah is often used. And this suits well with
David's mind: Thou art a wise man, and therefore fit to manage this
great business, which requires prudence and secrecy.
30: Barefoot - In testimony of his deep sorrow, and humiliation and
shame for his sins.
34: And say - That is, as faithful to thee, as I have been to thy
father. David's suggesting this crafty counsel must be reckoned amongst
his sins. Nevertheless God was pleased to direct this evil advice to a
36: There - Not in Jerusalem, but in a place near it, to which
they could easily send upon occasion.
37: Absalom came, &c. - How soon do royal cities and royal palaces
change their masters? But we look for a kingdom which cannot be moved.