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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
2 Samuel 17

 

 

Introduction
1Ahithophel's counsel is overthrown by Hushai's, according to God's appointment.
15Secret intelligence is sent unto David.
23Ahithophel hangs himself.
25Amasa is made captain.
27David at Mahanaim is furnished with provisions.

Verse 1
Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night:
I will arise
Proverbs 1:16; 4:16; Isaiah 59:7,8
this night
Psalms 3:3-5; 4:8; 109:2-4

Verse 2
And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only:
weary
16:14; Deuteronomy 25:18
I will smite
1 Kings 22:31; Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 21:38; 26:31; John 11:50; 18:4-8

Verse 3
And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace.
I will bring
3:21
shall be
Isaiah 48:22; 57:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:3

Verse 4
And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
the saying
1 Samuel 18:20,21; 23:21; Esther 5:14; Romans 1:32
pleased Absalom well
Heb. was right in the eyes of Absalom.
2 Chronicles 30:4; Esther 1:21

Verse 5
Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith.
Hushai
15:32-37; 16:16-19
he saith
Heb. is in his mouth.

Verse 6
And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not; speak thou.
saying
Heb. word.

Verse 7
And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time.
given
Heb. counselled. not good.
Proverbs 31:8

Verse 8
For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.
mighty men
15:18; 21:18-22; 23:8,9,16,18,20-22; 1 Samuel 16:18; 17:34-36,50; 1 Chronicles 11:25-47; Hebrews 11:32-34
chafed in their minds
Heb. bitter of soul.
Judges 18:25
as a bear
2 Kings 2:24; Proverbs 17:12; 28:15; Daniel 7:5; Hosea 13:8
thy father is
1 Samuel 23:23

Verse 9
Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom.
he is hid
Judges 20:33; 1 Samuel 22:1; 24:3
some
Joshua 7:5; 8:6; Judges 20:32; 1 Samuel 14:14,15
over thrown
Heb. fallen.

Verse 10
And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men.
heart
1:23; 23:20; Genesis 49:9; Numbers 24:8,9; Proverbs 28:1
utterly melt
Exodus 15:15; Deuteronomy 1:28; Joshua 2:9-11; Isaiah 13:7; 19:1
thy father
1 Samuel 18:17; Hebrews 11:34
and they which
Song of Solomon 3:7

Verse 11
Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person.
all Israel
24:2; Judges 20:1
as the sand
Genesis 13:16; 22:17; Joshua 11:4; 1 Kings 4:20; 20:10
thou go
Heb. they face, or presence, go, etc. in thine.
12:28; Psalms 7:15,16; 9:16

Verse 12
So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one.
in some place
1 Samuel 23:23
we will light
This is a very beautiful and expressive figure. The dew in Palestine, and other warm climates, falls fast, sudden, and heavy; and it falls upon every spot of earth, so that not a blade of grass escapes it. It is therefore no inapt emblem of a numerous and active army; and it was, perhaps, for this reason that the Romans called their light armed forces rorarii.
1 Kings 20:10; 2 Kings 18:23; 19:24; Isaiah 10:13,14; Obadiah 1:3

Verse 13
Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.
bring ropes
In the same manner the king of Maturan, in Java, proposed pulling down a tower which the Dutch had built, by making his people and elephants pull at a number of chains, and ropes of cocoa-nut bark, thrown around it.
one small
Matthew 24:2

Verse 14
And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
the Lord
15:31; Genesis 32:28; Exodus 9:16; Deuteronomy 2:30; 2 Chronicles 25:16,20
appointed
Heb. commanded.
Psalms 33:9,10; Lamentations 3:37; Amos 9:3
to defeat
15:34; 16:23; Job 5:12-14; Proverbs 19:21; 21:30; Isaiah 8:10; 1 Corinthians 1:19,20; 1 Corinthians 3:19
good counsel
Luke 16:8

Verse 15
Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled.
Zadok
15:35

Verse 16
Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.
Lodge
15:28
but speedily
21,22; 15:14,28; 1 Samuel 20:38; Psalms 55:8; Proverbs 6:4,5; Matthew 24:16-18
be swallowed
20:19,20; Psalms 35:25; 56:2; 57:3; 1 Corinthians 15:54; 2 Corinthians 5:4

Verse 17
Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David.
Jonathan
15:27,36
stayed
Joshua 2:4-24
En-rogel
Joshua 15:7; 18:16; 1 Kings 1:9

Verse 18
Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down.
Bahurim
3:16; 16:5; 19:16

Verse 19
And the woman took and spread a covering over the well's mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known.
spread a covering
Joshua 2:4-6,5-24
the thing
Exodus 1:19

Verse 20
And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
They be gone
15:34; Exodus 1:19; Joshua 2:4,5; 1 Samuel 19:14-17; 21:2; 27:11,12
when they had sought
Joshua 2:22,23

Verse 21
And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.
Arise
15,16
thus hath Ahithophel

Verse 22
Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan.
and they passed
24; Proverbs 27:12; Matthew 10:16
there lacked
Numbers 31:49; John 18:9

Verse 23
And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
saw
Proverbs 16:18; 19:3
followed
Heb. done. his city.
15:12
put his household in order
Heb. gave charge concerning his house.
2 Kings 20:1
and hanged
15:31; 1 Samuel 31:4,5; 1 Kings 16:18; Job 31:3; Psalms 5:10; 55:23; Matthew 27:5

Verse 24
Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
Mahanaim
2:8; Genesis 32:2; Joshua 13:26

Verse 25
And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man's son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab's mother.
Amasa
19:13; 20:4,9-12
Ithra
1 Chronicles 2:16,17
Jether the Ishmaelite
Abigail. Heb. Abigal. Nahash. or, Jesse.
1 Chronicles 2:13,16

Verse 26
So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead.
land of the Gilead
Numbers 32:1-42; Deuteronomy 3:15; Joshua 17:1

Verse 27
And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
the son of Nahash
10:1,2; 12:29,30; 1 Samuel 11:1
Machir
9:4
Barzillai
19:31,32; 1 Kings 2:7; Ezra 2:61

Verse 28
Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,
beds
These no doubt consisted of skins of beasts, mats, carpets, and such like.
16:1,2; 1 Samuel 25:18; Isaiah 32:8
basons
or, cups. Sappoth, probably wooden bowls, such as the Arabs still eat out of, and knead their bread in.
earthen vessels
Keley yotzair, literally, "vessels of the potter." So when Dr. Perry visited the temple of Luxor in Egypt, he says, "We were entertained by the Caliph here with great civility and favour; he sent us, in return of our presents, several sheep, a good quantity of eggs, bardacks," etc. The bardacks, he informs us, were earthen vessels, used "to cool and refresh their water in, by means of which it drinks very cool and pleasant in the hottest seasons of the year." See Harmer, ch. vi.
Obadiah 1:3
wheat
Mr. Jones says, "Travellers use zumeet, tumeet, and limereece. Zumeet is flour mixed with honey, butter, and spice; tumeet is flour done up with organ oil: and limereece is flour mixed with water, for drink. This quenches thirst much better than water alone, satisfies a hungry appetite; cools and refreshes tired and weary spirits," etc.

Verse 29
And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
cheese of kine
1 Samuel 17:18
for David
Luke 8:3; Philippians 4:15-19
to eat
2; Psalms 34:8-10; 84:11
The people
Judges 8:4-6; Ecclesiastes 11:1,2; Isaiah 21:14; 58:7
in the wilderness
16:2,14

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-17.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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