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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

2 Samuel 15

Verses 1-33

Absalom Attempts to Take the Kingdom from David- In 2 Samuel 15:1 to 2 Samuel 18:33 Absalom rises up to take the kingdom from his father David. Absalom was the third son of King David ( 2 Samuel 3:2-5, 1 Chronicles 3:1-4). He is soon killed in battle in fulfilment of Nathan's prophecy against David's lineage.

, "And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David"s wife. These were born to David in Hebron."

See also .

The first born Song of Solomon, Amnon, was dead. The second Song of Solomon, named Chileab, or Daniel, is mentioned nowhere else in the Scriptures. Therefore, it appears that Absalom believed that he had the right to the throne as one of the eldest living sons of King David.

Verses 1-37

Absalom Steals the Hearts of the People - In 2 Samuel 15:1-6 Absalom attempts to steal the hearts of the people. Just as Absalom tried to steal the hearts of Israel, so the Judaizers were trying to draw the Galatians away from Paul so they would follow the Judaizers and exalt them ( Galatians 4:17).

Galatians 4:17, "They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them."

2 Samuel 15:3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.

2 Samuel 15:3Comments- Absalom was saying that the king had not assigned anyone to deal with this matter, therefore making King David look bad.

2 Samuel 15:6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

2 Samuel 15:6Comments- Absalom had not been dealt with according to the word or the Law of God, and now he is allowed to freely continue in his evil deeds ( Ecclesiastes 8:11). Absalom had not only allowed a root of bitterness to spring up and defile him ( Hebrews 12:15), but he was causing many other hearts to become evil towards David with a lying, gossiping tongue.

Ecclesiastes 8:11, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

Hebrews 12:15, "Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"

2 Samuel 15:6Scripture References- Note:

Psalm 55:21, "The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords."

Proverbs 11:9, "An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered."

2 Samuel 15:7 And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

2 Samuel 15:7 — "And it came to pass after forty years" - Comments- Although the Hebrew text reads "forty years," ancient versions testify to a variant reading of "four years." For example, Josephus reads "four years." 63] The scholars tell us that the Syriac and Arabic versions, and others, read ‘four years.' KD adds the Vulgate (quattuor) and Theodoret to his list of Syriac and Arabic versions, and favours this variant reading. 64] However, some ancient witnesses retain "forty." For example, the LXX reads " τεσσαράκοντα" (forty), and the VgClem reads, "quadraginta" (forty).

63] Josephus says, "When he [Absalom] had made himself so popular among the multitude, he thought he had already the good will of the people secured to him; but when four years had passed since his father's reconciliation to him, he came to him, and besought him to give him leave to go to Hebron, and pay a sacrifice to God, because he vowed it to him when he fled out of the country. So when David had granted his request, he went thither, and great multitudes came running together to him, for he had sent to a great number so to do." (Antiquities 791)

64] C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, 1&2Samuel, in Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, trans. James Martin, in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on 2Samuel .

For this reason, a number of modern English translations read, "four years."

BBE, "Now at the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, Let me go to Hebron and give effect to the oath which I made to the Lord:"

ESV, "And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebron."

God'sWord, "Four years later Absalom said to the king, "Let me go to Hebron and keep the vow I made to the LORD."

NAB, "After a period of four years, Absalom said to the king: "Allow me to go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD."

NCV, "After four years Absalom said to King David, "Please let me go to Hebron. I want to carry out my promise that I made to the Lord."

NET, "After four years Absalom said to the king, "Let me go and repay my vow that I made to the Lord while I was in Hebron."

NLT, "After four years, Absalom said to the king, "Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and fulfill a vow I made to him."

RSV, "And at the end of four years Ab"salom said to the king, "Pray let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron."

2 Samuel 15:8 For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.

2 Samuel 15:8Comments- Absalom made a vow unto the Lord. Unfortunately, he did not keep his vow and serve the Lord the rest of his life. Instead, he tried to take the kingdom from his father in rebellion against the Lord's anointed. As a result, his life ended in a tragic death.

2 Samuel 15:12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David"s counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.

2 Samuel 15:12Comments- Ahithophel was very likely the grandfather of Bathsheba ( 2 Samuel 11:3; 2 Samuel 23:34). The murder of Uriah, Bathsheba"s husband, would have given Ahithophel a motive in defecting against King David.

2 Samuel 11:3, "And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"

2 Samuel 23:34, "Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite,"

2 Samuel 15:20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.

2 Samuel 15:20"mercy and truth be with thee" - Comments- This phrase is like the opening of many of Paul's epistles.

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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.
Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.