Lectionary Calendar
Friday, July 12th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 15

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-37

Chapter 15

And Absalom went out from the gate of the city, and when people would come from Israel to bring a matter for judgment, he would say, Oh what a shame that my father wouldn't appoint me as judge in Israel, because I could judge in these matters. You come to see my dad, he's so busy, he hasn't got time to see anybody. But bring the matter to me, let me judge it for you. And the people would start to bow to him, and he'd take them by the hand, and he'd kiss their hands ( 2 Samuel 15:2-6 ).

He was a shrewd politician, kissing the babies, and just saying the things that the people wanted to hear. "Oh, what a shame that I wasn't placed in a position that I could really help you? Oh, I could do so much for you if I were just in this position. It's a shame my dad is so busy, he really doesn't have time for people, you know busy running things. Oh, what we could do for you!" All of this you know.

And he began to steal the hearts of the people, those that would come to Jerusalem, he would steal their hearts. And when he felt that he was in a strong enough position, he headed for Hebron with some of the key leaders and he announced his kingdom there in Hebron. And when the kingdom was announced, then Israel began to gather unto Absalom. And some of David's counselors, one especially Ahithophel went with Absalom against David ( 2 Samuel 15:7-12 ).

This dissertation of his friend Ahithophel is expressed by David in the fifty-fifth psalm. Let's turn to Psalm fifty-five, and read of David's feelings over the desertion of Ahithophel who went with Absalom.

"Give ear to my prayer O God, and hide not Thyself from my supplications. Attend unto me, and hear me, I mourn in my complaint and make a noise because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked, for they have cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. My heart is sore pained within me, and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me. And I said, O that I had wings like a dove then I would fly away and be at rest! Lo then would I wander far off and remain in the wilderness. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest. Destroy O Lord, and divide their tongues, for I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go about upon the walls thereof. Mischief also and sorrow in the midst of it. Wickedness is in the midst thereof, deceit, and guile depart not from her streets; For it was not (Here is his lament about Ahithophel), for it was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could've borne it. Neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me, then I would've hid myself from him. But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together and walked unto the house of God in company."

Then David's prayer of vengeance upon them for their deceit and treachery. So the desertion from David of some of his chief men. Yet there were those who remained true, but if word came that Absalom was coming from Hebron with an army.

Now David as I told you, his spirit is gone. Rather than defending himself, rather than setting up his troops to defend him from Absalom, and from the army that's coming with Absalom, David's spirit is gone. He makes no attempt to defend the city, to defend himself. But David begins an exodus from the city with his faithful followers and they start up over the Mount of Olives toward the wilderness. As they start up, David is weeping as he walks through the Kidron stream, and up the Mount of Olives. He has his head covered, and he's weeping and all of those that are going with him, their heads are covered, they too are weeping. What a sad and pitiful sight. David not even making a fight; David not standing up. This great valiant man not standing up, but fleeing. Absalom his son will arrive at Jerusalem, and find out there are no defenses at all against him.

And they told David, Ahithophel is among them. And David said, Lord, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. And when David came to the top of the mount of Olives, he worshipped God, and behold, Hushai ( 2 Samuel 15:31-32 ),

Who was also one of David's counselors, an older man, came to meet him, and David said, "Hey, go on home, go back to Jerusalem, and maybe you can sort of subvert the counsel of Ahithophel." So David began to set up his men also to destroy the purposes of Absalom.

And the priests had come with the ark of the covenant, and David sent them back, Zadok and Abiathar, he sent them back with the ark of the covenant ( 2 Samuel 15:35 ).

Committing it really, and it is interesting to me David at this point was committing his case totally to God. "If God wants me to come back, you know the Lord will bring me back. If the Lord is pleased to help me, then the Lord will help me." But he's not gonna defend himself. He's not fighting for himself anymore. He is a broken man, and he is committing his case totally into the hands of God because this is really the fulfillment of this prophecy, really, because of his sin. Nathan said, "your sons are gonna rebel against you". He sees this just as a God's judgment and he's accepting it. He's committing himself totally into God's hands, and into this judgment that God has brought upon him. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-samuel-15.html. 2014.
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