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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 19

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-43

1 Samuel 19:1-8 . Joab induces the king to present himself to the people.

1 Samuel 19:9-24 . The Return of David (J).

2 Samuel 19:9-15 . The two parts of 2 Samuel 19:11 must be transposed with the LXX, giving the following: Absalom’ s death left Western Palestine in a state of anarchy; the obvious remedy was the restoration of David, so that men said, “ Why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?” And the king learned what was being said throughout Israel; and king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back? They were to promise Amasa that he should supplant Joab as commander-in-chief. The men of Judah invite the king to return, and come down to the Jordan to meet him.

2 Samuel 19:16-23 . Shimei makes his peace with David ( cf. 2 Samuel 16:5).

2 Samuel 19:24-30 . Meri-baal ( 2 Samuel 4:4) comes to clear himself of the charges brought against him by Ziba ( 2 Samuel 16:3). David despairs of arriving at the truth, or is too busy to give time to the matter, or does not think it politic to offend either party; so he divides the property ( 2 Samuel 9:7, 2 Samuel 16:4) between them. Meri-baal, with the usual exaggerated Eastern courtesy, replies, “ Let him take the whole, now that my lord the king is safe home again”— words which, we may be sure, were not intended to be taken literally.

2 Samuel 19:31-39 . Barzillai ( 2 Samuel 17:27) escorts the king to the Jordan. It is generally agreed that the text and translation must be emended so as to make it clear that Barzillai came to the Jordan, but did not cross the river, thus: Barzillai declines an invitation to accompany the king to court; he will only ( 2 Samuel 19:36) come with him as far as the Jordan; he commends Chimham, probably his son, to the royal favour. As the king stood (so read for “ went over” in 2 Samuel 19:39), watching his followers cross the river, he bade farewell to Barzillai.

2 Samuel 19:40-43 . David crosses the Jordan, escorted by Judah and a contingent from Israel. The two parties engage in an unseemly wrangle as to their relative claims on the king and rights in bringing him back. The episode shows how little Judah was even yet regarded as an integral part of Israel. In 2 Samuel 19:43, instead of, “ And we have also more right in David than you,” we should read with LXX, “ And I also am the firstborn rather than thou” ; i.e. compared to Israel, Judah is a late and inferior addition to the community.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 19". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/2-samuel-19.html. 1919.
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