Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 15:17

The king went out and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Absalom;   Cowardice;   David;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Easton Bible Dictionary - David;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abiathar;   Beth-Merhak;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   David;   Jerusalem;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Ahithophel;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Beth-Merhak;   Far House;   Ittai;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And tarried in a place - He probably waited till he saw all his friends safely out of the city.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-15.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 15:17

And the king went forth and tarried in a place which was far off.

Expatriation

Far up and far back in the history of heaven there came a period when its Most Illustrious Citizen was about to absent Himself. He was not going to sail from beach to beach. He was not going to put out from one hemisphere to another hemisphere. But He was to sail from world to world, the spaces unexplored and the immensities untravelled. Out and out and out, and on and on and on, and down and down and down He sped, until one night, with only one to greet Him when He arrived, His disembarkation so unpretending, so quiet, that it was not known on earth until the excitement in the cloud gave intimation to the Bethlehem rustics that something grand and glorious had happened. Who comes there? From what port did He sail? Why was this the place of His destination? I question the shepherds. I question the camel-drivers. I question the angels. I have found out. He was an exile. But the world had plenty of exiles. Abraham, an exile from Haran; John, an exile from Ephesus; Koscinsko, an exile from Poland; Mazzini, an exile from Italy; Victor Hugo, an exile from France; Kossuth, an exile from Hungary. But this One of whom I speak had such resounding farewell, and came into such thrilling reception--for not even an ostler went out with his lantern to light Him in--that He is more to be celebrated than any other expatriated exile of earth or heaven.

1. I remark that Christ was an imperial exile. He gob down off a throne. He took off a tiara. He closed a palace gate behind Him. His family were princes and princesses. Vashti was turned out of the throne-room by Ahasuerus. David was dethroned by Absalom’s infamy. The five kings were hurled into a cavern by Joshua’s courage. Some of the Henrys of England and some of the Louises of France were jostled on their thrones by discontented subjects. But Christ was never more honoured, or more popular, or more loved than the day He left heaven. Exiles have suffered severely, but Christ turned himself out of throne-room into sheep-pen, and down from the top to the bottom. He was not pushed off. He was not manacled for foreign transportation. He was not put out because they no more wanted him in celestial domain, but by choice departing and descending into an exile five times as long as that of Napoleon at St. Helena, and a thousand times worse; the one exile suffering for that he had destroyed nations, the other exile suffering because He came to save a world. An imperial exile. King eternal.

2. But I go further, and tell you He was an exile on a barren island. Christ came to this small Patmos of a world. When exiles are sent out they are generally sent to regions that are sandy or cold or hot. Christ came as an exile to a world scorched with heat and bitten with cold, to deserts simoom-swept, to a howling wilderness. It was the backdoor yard, seemingly, of the universe.

3. I go further, and tell you that He was an exile in a hostile country. Turkey was never so much against Russia, France was never so much against Germany as this earth was against Christ. It took Him in through the door of a stable. It thrust Him out at the point of a spear.

4. I go further, and tell you that this exile was far from home. It is ninety-three million miles from here to the sun, and all astronomers agree in saying that our solar system is only one of the smaller wheels of the great machinery of the universe turning around some one great centre, the centre so far distant it is beyond all imagination and calculation, and if, as some think, that great centre in the distance is heaven, Christ came far from home when He came here. Have you ever thought of the homesickness of Christ?--I have read how the Swiss, when they are far away from their native country, at the sound of their national air get so homesick that they fall into melancholy and sometimes they die under the homesickness. But oh I the homesickness of Christ. You have often tried to measure the other pangs of Christ, but you have never tried to measure the magnitude and ponderosity of the Saviour’s homesickness.

5. I take a step further, and tell you that Christ was in an exile which He knew would end in assassination. Holman Hunt, the master painter, has a picture in which he represents Jesus Christ in the Nazarene carpenter-shop. Around Him are the saws, the hammers, the axes, the drills of carpentry. The picture represents Christ as rising from the car-pouter’s working-bench and wearily stretching out His arms as one will after being in contracted or uncomfortable posture, and the light of that picture is so arranged that the arms of Christ, wearily stretched forth, together with His body, throw on the wall the shadow of the cross. Oh! that shadow was on everything in Christ’s lifetime. Shadow of a cross on the Bethlehem swaddling clothes. Shadow of a cross on the road over which the three fugitives fled into Egypt. Shadow of a cross on Lake Galilee as Christ walked its mosaic floor of opal and emerald and crystal. Shadow of a cross on the road to Jerusalem. Shadow of a cross on the brook Kedron, and on the Temple, and on the side of Olivet. Shadow of a cross on sunrise and sunset. Constantine, marching with his army, saw just once a cross in the sky, but Christ saw the cross all the time. For this royal exile I bespeak the love and service of all the exiles here present, and, in one sense or the other, that includes all of us. All of us exiles. This is not our home. Heaven is our home. Oh, I am so glad when the royal exile went back lie left the gate ajar, or left it wide open! “Going home!” That is the dying exclamation of the majority of Christians. (T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 15:17". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-samuel-15.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the king went forth,.... From Jerusalem; which is repeated, that it might be observed in what a hurry and fright he was:

and all the people after him; his family, court, and servants, and as many of the people of Jerusalem as chose to go with him:

and tarried at a place that was afar off; when they had got at some distance from the city, they stopped and stayed a while; it could not be a great way from it, for they had not as yet passed over the brook Kidron, 2 Samuel 15:23.

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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 15:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was i far off.

(i) That is, from Jerusalem.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-15.html. 1599-1645.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

When outside the city the king and all the people in his suite (i.e., the royal family and their servants) halted at “the house of the distance.” המּרחק is probably a proper name given to a house in the neighbourhood of the city and on the road to Jericho, which was called “the farthest house,” viz., from the city.

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-15.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.

Far off — At some convenient distance, tho' not very far.

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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 15:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-15.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 15:17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.

Ver. 17. And tarried in a place that was far off.] Aloof from the city; and yet not very far off neither, as appeareth by that which followeth.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-15.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Either to rest and refresh themselves a little; or rather, in expectation of others who should or would come after him, that they might march away in a considerable body, which might both defend the king, and invite others to come in to their assistance.

A place that was far off; at some convenient distance, but not very far.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-15.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17.A place that was far off — Literally, a house of the distance. A place outside of the city in the Kidron valley.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-15.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

House, or palace, (Haydock) at the foot of the walls, (Calmet) that all who were well disposed, might join the king's standard. Hebrew, "in a place that was far off;" (Haydock) or, "this house of flight (this family of David, in flight) stopped." (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

a place that was far off. Hebrew. Bethhammer-hah. Probably a proper name.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-15.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) Tarried in a place that was far off.—Better, halted at the far house, i.e., at a definite place known by this name, probably the last house on the outskirts of the city before the road crossed the Kidron. Here David mustered his forces and made the arrangements for his flight.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.
went forth
Psalms 3:1; *title; Psalms 3:2; 66:12; Ecclesiastes 10:7
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-15.html.