Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 13:23

Now it came about after two full years that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Absalom;   Baal-Hazor;   Homicide;   Rape;   Revenge;   Sheep;   Tamar;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ephraim;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Entertainments;   Revenge;   Sheep;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Amnon;   Baal-Hazor;   Ephraim;   Feasts;   Sheep;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Baal;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Family Life and Relations;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Baal-Hazor;   Banquet;   Cattle;   Entertain;   Sheep;   Tamar;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Baal Hazor;   Joab;   Laban (2);   Shepherd;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Baal-Hazor;   Economic Life;   Ephron;   Ophrah;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Baal-Hazor;   Ephraim;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Amnon ;   Baalhazor ;   Ephraim ;   Tamar ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   Amnon;   Baal;   David;   Sheep;   Shepherd;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Am'non;   Ba'al,;   E'phra-Im;   Ta'mar;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Adonijah;   Baal-Hazor;   Ephraim (2);   Ephron (2);   Samuel, Books of;   Sheep;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Baal-hazor;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Absalom;   Baal-Hazor;   Banquets;   Sheep;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Absalom had sheep-shearers - These were times in which feasts were made, to which the neighbors and relatives of the family were invited.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Sheepshearing was always a time of feasting (marginal references). Baal-hazor is not known.

sa40

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

ABSALOM'S HEARTLESS REVENGE AGAINST AMNON

"After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons. And Absalom came to the king, and said, "Behold, your servant has sheepshearers; pray let the king and his servants go with your servant." But the king said to Absalom, "No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you." He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing. Then Absalom said, "If not, pray let my brother Amnon go with us." And the king said to him, "Why should he go with you"? But Absalom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him. Then Absalom commanded his servants, "Mark when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, `Strike Amnon,' then kill him. Fear not; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant." So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and each mounted his mule and fled."

"After two full years" (2 Samuel 23). "This long delay clearly marked the murder as premeditated and indicated Absalom's ambition as much as any concern for his sister's honor."[23] Absalom's inability to induce King David to attend his feast might actually have frustrated Absalom's plan to kill David himself and all of the king's sons and take over the kingdom. Such a possibility, of course, is only a conjecture, but there was some urgent reason why Absalom so passionately desired the king's attendance. The sudden flight of all the king's sons immediately after Amnon's murder indicates that they recognized Absalom as a potential murderer of all of them.

"Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor" (2 Samuel 13:23). The exact location of this place is debated, but Willis is probably correct in his identification of the place as, "The modern el-Taiyibe about twelve miles north of Jerusalem."[24]

"Why should he (Amnon) go with you?" (2 Samuel 13:26). This question by the king indicates some suspicion on his part that Absalom might have intended some harm to Amnon. After much insistence on Absalom's part, the king consented. One cannot help wondering why Amnon willingly placed himself within Absalom's power. Can it be supposed that he actually thought that he had gotten away with his shameful rape of Absalom's sister? Certainly, he was an unqualified fool for accepting Absalom's invitation. H. P. Smith wrote, "That Absalom intended to secure the throne for himself by massacring all competitors would not be a remote inference."[25]

If Absalom had intended any other murders than that of Amnon, the swift flight of all the king's sons would have effectively prevented them.

"Each mounted his mule and fled" (2 Samuel 13:29). Several able scholars assert that this is the first place in the Bible where a mule is mentioned, but this writer believes that Genesis 36:24 also mentions this animal. The particular word in Genesis 36:24, found only there in the entire Bible. The KJV translated the word "mules," as favored by Jewish scholars; and besides that, the first use of "hot springs" as a translation did not occur until the times of Jerome. (For a more adequate discussion of this see Vol. 1 (Genesis) of my series of commentaries on the Pentateuch, p. 441.)

Leviticus 19:19 forbade the Jews to breed hybrids; but the Jews either traded for them or purchased them from those who bred them. There appears to have been an extensive use of mules as saddled animals for riding by royal families. David had "his own mule," (evidently a favorite) (1 Kings 1:33).

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it came to pass after two full years,.... Two complete years after the rape was committed; so long Absalom kept it in his mind, and was contriving how to avenge it; he let it alone so long, that it might be thought by the king and Amnon, and all the family, that it was quite worn out of his mind, and entirely forgotten by him, and therefore might the more safely confide in him:

that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim; though a prince, the son of a king, he had his flocks, and attended to the care of them, and had shearers to shear them at the proper time of the year, which it now was. The Chinese shear their sheep three times a year, the spring, summer, and autumn; but the first time of shearing yields the best woolF7Semedo's History of China, part 1. ch. 3. . The place of shearing them was, no doubt, near where they were kept in Baalhazor, in the plain of Hazor, as the Targum, and so some versions; which was a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:25; and near to Ephraim; not that it was a city in the tribe of Ephraim, as Josephus saysF8Antiqu. l. 7. c. 8. sect. 2. ; but it was near to another city called Ephraim, perhaps the same as in 2 Chronicles 13:19 and in John 11:54; it lay to the northeast of Jerusalem, as you go to Jericho, and is thought by RelandF9Palestina Illustrat. tom. 1. p. 377. to lie between Bethel and Jericho; and, according to EusebiusF11Apud Reland, ib. & p. 490. & tom. 2. p. 765. , it was eight miles from Jerusalem; though JeromF12De loc. Heb. fol. 91. A. , through mistake, says twenty; and both these places, according to BuntingF13Travels, &c. p. 143, 363. , were eight miles from Jerusalem; it seems to be the same place that was spoken of in the MisnahF14Menachot, c. 8. sect. l. , called Ephraim in the valley, and which is said to be the second place in the land of Israel for fine flour, and might have its name from its fruitfulness:

and Absalom invited all the king's sons; to the sheepshearing: that is, to the feast which was usually made at such times, and still is; see Genesis 38:12.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which [is] beside Ephraim: and k Absalom invited all the king's sons.

(k) That is, to a banquet, thinking by it to fulfil his wicked purpose.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-13.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.

Two years — This circumstance of time is noted, as an aggravation of Absalom's malice, which was so implacable: and as an act of policy, that both Amnon and David might more securely comply with his desires.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 13:23 And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which [is] beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.

Ver. 23. And it came to pass after two full years.] So long Absalom had dissembled his wrath, which is - as we use to say of Runnet - the older, the stronger: and so long Amnon had gone unpunished by the patience of God, and the fondness of his father. Now, therefore, subito tollitur qui diu toleratur, God taketh the sword in hand which David - as to Amnon - bore in vain, [Romans 13:4] and executed justice upon him by such an executioner as afflicted his soul with double grief.

That Absalom had sheepshearers.] At which times there used to be feasting, - see 1 Samuel 25:7, - as there is still in many places.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-13.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

After two full years: this circumstance of time is noted, partly as an aggravation of Absalom’s malice, which was so inveterate and implacable; and partly as an act of Absalom’s policy, that both Amnon and David might more securely comply with his desires, as being now free from all suspicion of revenge.

Absalom had sheep-shearers, according to the manner of those ancient times, when princes did not give themselves up to sloth and luxury, but spent their time and pains in some honest employment.

Ephraim; either, first, The city called Ephraim, or Ephrem, John 11:54. Or, secondly, The tribe of Ephraim, towards or nigh unto which this place was situate.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.Sheepshearers — The season of sheepshearing was the occasion of a great festival. See 1 Samuel 25:4; 1 Samuel 25:8; 1 Samuel 25:36, and notes.

Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim — Probably the modern Tell Asur, which is about ten miles north of Jerusalem, and near to the ancient Ophrah, (see Joshua 18:23; 1 Samuel 13:17,) which was also called Ephraim. 2 Chronicles 13:19; John 11:54. The identity of these places, however, has not been fully established.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-13.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Two. Hebrew, "full years." He waited so long, that he might put his murderous designs in execution with less suspicion. (Haydock) --- Sheep. It was esteemed the best husbandry, "to have fine flocks;" bene pascere: (Cato) even for the nobility. --- Ephraim, or Ephrem; (John xi. 54.) probably near Bethel. (Josephus, Jewish Wars v. 33.) (Calmet) --- Nabal had made a feast on a similar occasion, 1 Kings xxv. Absalom invites his father to avoid suspicion; (Menochius) though he would be glad at his refusing to come, unless perhaps he would not have hesitated to order his brother to be murdered in his very presence, in order to punish both. (Haydock)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-13.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.

Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim. A sheep-shearing feast is a grand occasion in the East. Absalom, proposing to give such an entertainment at his estate in Baal-hazor, about eight miles northeast of Jerusalem, near a town called Ephraim (Joshua 11:10), he first invited the king and his court, but the king declining, on account of the heavy expense to which the reception of royalty would subject his son, Absalom then limited the invitation to the king's sons, which David the more readily agreed to, in the hope that it might tend to the promotion of brotherly harmony and union.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) Absalom had sheepshearers.—Absalom had now silently nourished his revenge for “two full years.” No doubt he chose also to give full opportunity for his father to punish Amnon’s iniquity if he would; and by this long quiet waiting he so far disarmed suspicion that he was able to carry out his purpose. Sheepshearing always was, and still is, a time of feasting. (Comp. 1 Samuel 25:2.) The situation of Baalhazor and of Ephraim are quite unknown, but Absalom’s property was probably not many miles from Jerusalem.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
A. M. 2974. B.C. 1030. An. Ex. Is 461. sheep-shearers
Genesis 38:12,13; 1 Samuel 25:2,4,36; 2 Kings 3:4; 2 Chronicles 26:10
invited
1 Kings 1:9,19,25
Reciprocal: Genesis 34:13 - deceitfully;  Esther 5:10 - refrained;  Proverbs 10:18 - that hideth;  Mark 6:21 - when;  John 11:54 - Ephraim

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 13:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-13.html.