Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 15:19

Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why will you also go with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Aliens;   David;   Exile;   Friendship;   Gath;   Ittai;   Unselfishness;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ittai;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gath;   Easton Bible Dictionary - David;   Ittai;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Cherethims;   Gath;   Gittites;   Proselytes;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ittai;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel ;   Gittites ;   Ittai ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   David;   Jerusalem;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Git'tites;   It'ta-I;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Exile;   Foreigner;   Ittai;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Exile;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou art a stranger, and also an exile - Some suppose that Ittai was the son of Achish, king of Gath, who was very much attached to David, and banished from his father's court on that account. He and his six hundred men are generally supposed to have been proselytes to the Jewish religion.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 15:19

Ittai the Gittite.

Ittai the Gittite

Ittai of Gath was not only a heathen but a heathen of the heathens, a member of a race the most malignant of all the foes of the Church. Yet among the events of this day--a day over which the historian fondly if sadly lingers, more minutely and at greater length described than any other day of Old Testament history--an episode of which he is the hero finds a prominent place. It is not much we can know about him; but what we can that we desire to learn. Let us look at his environment and at himself; his People, his Position, and his Personality.

I. His people. Probably in a degree in which it can be said of no other country, Palestine has been the meeting-place and battleground of nations. From earliest historical times we find wave after wave of conquerors breaking upon, settling down, or passing over it; and there are not wanting indications that long before history began to be written the monotonous process had commenced. The shadowy forms of the earlier races can be dimly discerned, ghost-like, before the rising of the historic sun. Amongst the many pre-Hebrew arrivals and settlers--and, historically, the most important of them all--was the people to whom Ittai belonged, the Philistines. Concerning their origin, the events which led to their migration into Palestine, and the development of their power there, we know almost nothing--barely sufficient to suggest a few guesses. A reference to the genealogical table in Genesis (Genesis 10:14) suggests an Egyptian origin, whilst the Book of Deuteronomy and the Prophets Amos and Jeremiah speak of them as “Caphtorim out of Caphtor”; but the endeavour to fix a site for Caphtor has not yet been attended with success. Cappadocia, Cyprus, and Crete are all claimants; but the balance of opinion seems to incline in favour of the last-mentioned of the three. From whatever race they sprung, from whatever quarter they came, we find a tribe of them at the extreme southern limit of Palestine, on the route down to Egypt, as far back as the time of Abraham, though their very name--“strangers,” or “emigrants”--indicates that they were arrivals in the country, and not aboriginals. We shall probably not be far wrong if we suppose a small swarm of “Caphtorim from Caphtor” (say, Cretans from Crete) hiving off and settling down upon the southern border of Palestine, where the fertile land shades off into the desert on the way to Egypt; there multiplying their number and developing their genius for war; civilising, casting off nomadic habits, and acquiring those of dwellers in cities; and in due course acquiring a greater proficiency in the arts and arms than any of the rude tribes around them. Then comes the great commotion to the North consequent upon the invasion and conquest by Joshua and his Israelites. The Philistines are too far off in their southern corner to feel the shock in any direct way; but their next-door neighbours, the Avites--who occupied the great plain lying between them and the new-comers, and on whose rich corn-fields they had doubtless cast many a longing eye--are shaken to their centre. Already three of their principal towns have fallen; the great Tribe of Judah, under the hero son-in-law of Caleb, presses sore upon them; half of the plain (“Shefela”) is no longer theirs. We can then conceive of them, in their extremity and desperation, invoking the aid of their warlike and rising rivals along their southern side, who had already begun to intermarry and mingle with themselves. Nothing loth, the desired assistance is given, and soon Philistine swords--for the first time, but not for the last, by many a score--cross and crash with Hebrew spears. Four results follow:--

1. The first is a decided stop to Hebrew extension in that quarter. The captured cities are regained, and for many a day are thorns in the side of Judah, Dan, and Simeon.

2. The next is a permanent occupation by the Philistines of the territory into which they had come as allies. It was the richest part of all Palestine, excelling even the beautiful Esdraelon, and, moreover, its coast embraced the two best harbours between Egypt and Phoenicia.

3. Another result is a new name for that portion, and eventually for the whole, of Canaan. Henceforth the Plain is known from them as “Philistia”--a name which, thus derived from a heathen tribe in its south-western corner, has, curiously enough, in a slightly altered form, spread over, and to this day covers all of the Holy Land. It is an illustration of the irony of history that a name which we fondly cherish as a name holy and revered, should be thus a child of a pure heathen parentage. In vain Israel cultivated exclusiveness; ever and anon God compelled an indication of the universalism that was wrapped up in His Call. The very name which the Holy Land bears is a standing memorial of that “making of both one,” which, being one of the counsels of God from the beginning, became realised in Him in whom Jew and Gentile find their meeting-place with one another and both with Him.

4. The fourth result is a great and rapid development of the Philistine power. The supposition of a second migration from Crete, though quite possible, does not seem to be necessary. The fertility of their new possessions--the granary of Palestine--their commercial advantages, the great increase of numbers through the absorption of the Avites, Anakim, and possibly other tribes, including an influx of fugitive Amorites and Canaanites, and the separation of the dominant race as a warrior or fighting castle to the art and practice of war--these are considerations quite sufficient to account for such rapid development of power as the facts of the narrative require. With the institution of the monarchy and the establishment of a central authority in Israel, implying some amount of national cohesion in place of tribal isolation, the tables were turned. Saul inflicted many grievous defeats upon them; and after the accession of David and the perfecting of his military system they had small chance of success, in aggressive warfare at least, against their mere numerous foes. But, cooped up within their narrow borders, and forbidden aggressive war, this nation of soldiers seeks an outlet for its superfluous manhood in foreign service. As it was with Scotland and Switzerland three centuries ago, so was it with Philistia in Ittai’s time. What the Scottish and Swiss Guards were at the Court of France, what the Varangian Guard was to the Greek Emperors at Constantinople, what the “Free Companies” were to the cities and princes of Italy, that was the Philistine guard at the Court of Pharaoh and the Court of David--a reliable body of mercenaries, whose duty it was, in a general way, to fight the sovereign’s battles, and, in a special way, to guard the royal person. The nucleus of this guard appears to have been enlisted by David during his sojourn at Gath, where for a time he found a refuge from the persecuting jealousy of Saul.

II. Ittai’s position. He was captain of these mercenaries, the Philistine guard, “the Cherethites and Pelethites,” in David’s service. We must conceive of him as a stranger among strangers, a soldier in a foreign employ, an exile from home and country--either voluntarily, through a desire to push his fortunes, or by necessity, because of some disagreement or quarrel with the “Lords of the Philistines.” He is among those who, however much they may appreciate his sword, hate himself, his race, and his religion. He and his comrades belonged to a people who, possessing the qualities of strength and pertinacity, were by temperament sluggish, heavy, and dull-witted. Such is the character everywhere implied in the pictures of them given in Scripture: “They were almost the laughing-stock of their livelier and quicker neighbours--the easy prey of the rough humour of Samson, or the agility and cunning of the diminutive David” (Stanley’s “Jewish Church.”) In the city, and at the Court of Jerusalem, he and they would feel and would be regarded very much as Hereward and his Varangians felt and were regarded in the City and at the Court of Constantinople, as conceived by the historic imagination and pictured by the faithful pen of Scott in his “Count Robert of Paris.” Ittai and his guard would be the objects and the butts at once of the contemptuous civility of the courtiers, and the stinging spite of the citizens. Almost inevitably, they would draw off, isolate themselves, and as a caste, hated and hating, live there lives by themselves, reserving all their sympathies for those within the limits of their own order. Thus were these “Cherethites and Pelethites”--outside the sympathy of the people and remote from the gossip of the bazaar--when the shameful rebellion of Absalom bursts upon the astonished guard as a bolt out of a clear sky. Meanwhile David and Ittai have met. The king looks into the face, illumined with the light of the noblest feelings that shine out from the heart through the windows of the eyes: nobility meets nobility; magnanimity accepts what magnanimity offers. Two great souls meet, embrace, and grapple each to each with hooks of steel. The simple acceptance of the service proffered; the delicate recognition that further remonstrance would have been almost an outrage; the tacit treatment of the question as closed; and the renewed enrollment into a service that is to last for life--all this and much more is enwrapped in the “Go, and pass over.” The king’s son was a rebel, his counsellor a traitor; how heart must have swelled and eye filled in the presence of devotion so unselfish and so strong in the stranger.

III. The Personality That Is Here Presented To Us. We know nothing concerning him save what we gather from these scenes. We see him only twice: once as, beside the brook Kedron, within stone-cast of Gethsemane, he vows the fealty he kept so well, and once as he marches out of Mahanaim at the head of his well-drilled corps. But as the naturalist from a single typical bone can construct the whole physical frame of the animal, so from these scanty yet typical facts the moralist can give the whole moral build of the man. We experience no difficulty in the endeavour to reproduce Ittai’s moral structure. He is simplicity, fidelity, and affection embodied.

1. Simplicity, for there was no double purpose in his mind, nor double speech in his tongue; he had one loyalty and one only, a soldier’s surrender to the king whose soldier he was; one aim and one only, a servant’s service to the master whose man he was.

2. Fidelity, for selfish views and considerations seem to have found in him no place at all; he never asked, “Where is the sunny side of fortune, that I may seek it?” or, “Where the shady side, that I may shun it?” but, “Come weal or woe, be it life or be it death, I follow where faith leads.”

3. Affection, too, for manifestly this wondrous poet-king had won his love and held his heart. There was about this David a marvellous power of attracting, subduing, and holding men. (G. M. Grant, B. D.)

A specimen of nobleness

It is the darkest period of David’s life. He is fleeing, barefooted, in fear of Absalom’s approaching army. Yet he is not altogether alone. A few loyal hearts cling to him. And, amid the desolating sorrow, appears this Ittai. He is not a Hebrew; he is a Gittite--that is, a Philistine. But he is among those who will cast in their fortunes with the fleeing king. Only recently he seems to have come to Jerusalem. David sees the resolve of splendid devotion in Ittai. It will be useless to try to dissuade him further. The noble devotion of Ittai teaches these lessons:--

I. That such devotion i should show toward Jesus Christ. There must have been a singular attractiveness and winningness about the personality of David inspiring devotion to him. There is more attractiveness in Jesus Christ, and to Him, therefore, I ought to be more devoted than Ittai was to David.

1. Think of the purity of Jesus. Tennyson wrote: “I am amazed at Christ’s purity and holiness, and at His infinite beauty. The forms of religion may change, but Christ will grow more and more in the roll of the ages. His character is more wonderful than the greatest miracle.”

2. Think of Christ’s sympathy. I have read how, before they knew of mines of diamonds there, a boy in South Africa flung a stone at a stranger. The man picked up the stone, and found it diamond, and it became his treasure. So Christ finds the diamond in us. Whom others cast away He regards, receives, redeems. Matthew the publican; the woman taken in her sin, etc.

3. Think of the sacrifice of Christ. His atoning cross tells it. This Christ of purity, sympathy, sacrifice, is worthy limitless devotion.

II. What does devotion mean and involve?

1. Definite decision for its object. Ittai decided for David. There were no ifs or buts, about his decision. It was downright. So I should decide for Christ.

2. Confession. “And Ittai answered the king and said.” A real devotion does not hesitate about telling itself forth.

3. Marching under the standard of its object. Ittai followed David’s flag. If I have real devotion to Christ I will join and march with His church and people.

4. Persistence. Ittai went the whole way with David in that long march from Jerusalem to Mahanaim. So I should persistently follow Christ.

5. Service. Ittai was one of the commanders for David in the subsequent battle with Absalom. So I should give myself to service for Christ. Christ will accept my devotion as David did that of Ittai. And the object of one’s devotion is the discriminating and deciding test for life. The ignoble life has other than the highest object of devotion. (Homiletic Review.)

Ittai of Gath

Heartbroken and spiritless, David leaves Jerusalem. And as soon as he has got clear of the city he calls a halt, in order that he may master his followers and see on whom he may depend. Foremost among the little band come six hundred men from Gath--Philistines--from Goliath’s city. These men, singularly enough, the king had chosen as his bodyguard; perhaps he was not altogether sure of the loyalty of his own subjects, and possibly felt safer with foreign mercenaries, who could have no secret leanings to the deposed house of Saul. Be that as it may, the narrative tells us that these men had “come after him from Gath.” Here they are, “faithful among the faithless,” as foreign soldiers surrounding a king often are--notably, for instance, the Swiss guard in the French Revolution. It is a beautiful nature that in the depth of sorrow shrinks from dragging other people down with itself. Generosity breeds generosity, and this Philistine captain breaks out into a burst of passionate devotion, garnished, in soldier-fashion, with an unnecessary oath or two, but ringing very sincere and meaning a great deal. As for himself and his men, they have chosen their side. Whoever goes, they stay. David’s heart is touched and warmed by their outspoken loyalty; he yields and accepts their service. Ittai and his noble six hundred tramp, on, out of our sight, and all their households behind them.

I. What grand passionate self-sacrifice may be evolved out of the roughest natures.

1. A passionate personal attachment; then, that love, issuing as such love always does, in willing sacrifice that recks not for a moment of personal consequences.

2. And we see in these words a supreme restful delight in the presence of Him whom the heart loves. And wherever, in some humble measure, these emotions are realised, there you get weakness springing up into strength, and the ignoble into loftiness. Astronomers tell us that, sometimes, a star that has shone inconspicuous, and stood low down in their catalogues as of fifth or sixth magnitude, will all at once flame out, having kindled and caught fire somehow, and will blaze in the heavens, outshining Jupiter and Venus. And so some poor, vulgar, narrow nature, touched by this Promethean fire of pure love that leads to perfect sacrifice, will “flame in the, forehead of the morning sky,” an undying splendour, and a light for ever more, You have all that capacity in you, and you are all responsible for the use of it. What have you done with it? Is there any person or thing in this world that has ever been able to lift you up out of your miserable selves? Is there any magnet that has proved strong enough to raise you from the low levels along which your life creeps? Have you ever known the thrill of resolving to become the bondservant and the slave of some great cause not your own? Or are you, as so many of you are, like spiders living in the midst of your web, mainly intent upon what you can catch in it? You have these capacities slumbering in you. Have you ever set a light to that inert mass of enthusiasm that lies in you? Have you ever woke up the sleeper?

II. These possibilities of love and sacrifice point plainly to God in Christ as their true object.

III. The terrible misdirection of these capacities is the sin and the misery of the world. I will not say that such emotions, even when expended on creatures, are ever wasted. And I am not going to say that when men love each other passionately and deeply, and sacrifice themselves for one another, or for some cause or purpose affecting only temporal matters, the precious elixir of love is wasted. God forbid! But I do say that all these objects, sweet and gracious as some of them are, ennobling and elevating as some of them are, if they are taken apart from God, are insufficient to fill your hearts: and that if they are slipped in between you and God, as they often are, then they bring sin and sorrow. And so let me gather all that I have been saying into the one earnest beseeching of you that you would bring that power of uncalculating love and self-sacrificing affection which is in you, and would fasten it where it ought to fix--on Christ who died on the cross for you. Such a love will bring blessedness to you. (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Loyal to the core

If Ittai, charmed with David’s person and character, though a foreigner and a stranger, felt that he could enlist beneath his banner for life--yea, and declared that he would do so there and then--how much more may you and I, if we know what Christ has done for us, and who He is and what he deserves at our hands, at this good hour plight our troth to Him and vow, “As the Lord liveth, surely in whatsoever place my Lord and Saviour shall be, whether in death or life, even there also shall His servant be.”

I. In what form and manner was this declaration made?

1. It was made at a time when David’s fortunes were at their lowest ebb, and consequently it was made unselfishly, without the slightest idea of gain from it. To take up with Christ when everybody cries up His name is what a hypocrite would do, but to take up with Christ when they are shouting, “Away with him! away with him!” is another matter. There are times in which the simple faith of Christ is at a great discount. It is such a season that we must stand out for God’s.

2. Ittai gave himself up wholly to David when he was but newly come to him. David says, “Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us?” But Ittai does not care whether he came yesterday or twenty years ago, but he declares, “Surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether In death or life, even there also will thy servant be.” It is best to begin the Christian life with thorough consecration. Have any of you professed to be Christians, and have you never given yourselves entirely to Christ? It is time that you began again. This should be one of the earliest forms of our worship of our Master--this total resignation of ourselves to him.

3. Ittai surrendered himself to David in the most voluntary manner. No one persuaded Ittai to do this; in fact, David seems to have persuaded him the other way. David tested and tried him, but he voluntarily, out of the fulness of his heart, said, “Where my lord, the king is, there also shall his servant be.” If you believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is yours, give yourselves up to him by a distinct act and deed. Feel that one grand impulse without needing pressure or argument “The love of Christ constraineth me.”

4. Ittai did this very solemnly. He took an oath which we Christians may not do, and may not wish to do, but still we should make the surrender with quite as much solemnity.

5. And this Ittai did publicly. At any rate, he so acted that everybody saw him when David said, “Go over,” and he marched in front--the first man to pass the brook.

II. What did this declaration involve?

1. He was henceforth to be David’s servant, Of course, as his soldier, he was to fight for him, and to do his bidding, What sayest thou, man? Canst thou lift thy hand to Christ and say, “Henceforth I will live as thy servant, not doing my own will, but thy will. Thy command is henceforth my rule?” Canst thou say that? If not, do not mock him, but stand back. May the Holy Ghost give thee grace thus to begin, thus to persevere, and thus to end.

2. He was to do his utmost for David’s cause, not to be his servant in name, but his soldier, ready for scars and wounds and death, if need be, on the king’s behalf. That is what Ittai meant as in rough soldier-tones, he took the solemn oath that it should be so. Now, if thou wouldst be Christ’s disciple, determine henceforth by His grace that thou wilt defend His cause.

3. His promise declared that he would give a personal attendance upon the person of his master. That was, indeed, the pith of it. “In what place, my lord, the king, shall be, even there also will thy servant be.” Brethren, let us make the same resolve in our hearts, that wherever Christ is, there we will be.

4. He intended to share David’s condition. It David was great, Ittai would rejoice. If David was exiled, Ittai would attended his wanderings. Our point must be to resolve in God’s strength to keep to Christ in all weathers and in all companies, and that whether in life or death. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 15:19". The Biblical Illustrator. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible


"Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king; for you are a foreigner, and also an exile from your home. You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, seeing I go I know not where? Go back and take your brethren with you; and may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you." But Ittai answered the king, "As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be." And David said to Ittai, "Go then, pass on." So Ittai the Gittite passed, with all his men, and with all his little ones who were with him. And all the country wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness."

The picture that emerges here is that of David standing by the Brook Kidron, taking with him all of the city of Jerusalem who wished to accompany him. "David compelled none. Those whose hearts were with Absalom, to Absalom let them go, and so shall their doom be. They will soon have enough of him. Christ enlists none but volunteers."[20]

Apparently, David was surprised by the arrival of Ittai and his company who had come to Jerusalem only recently. That group should not be confused with the Gittites mentioned a moment earlier. Those first mentioned were the faithful six hundred veterans of many of David's victories; but Ittai's group included women, children and brethren of Ittai. It also included some powerful soldiers. Ittai himself was evidently a very powerful and skilled general, because David placed him in command of a third of the army that defeated Absalom and his forces (2 Samuel 18:2).

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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 15:19". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite,.... Who was over the band of Gittites, the six hundred men, 2 Samuel 15:22,

wherefore goest thou also with us? one should think the king should not have discouraged any from joining and following him, when his numbers were not very large, and the in such fear on account of Absalom:

return to this place; to Jerusalem, where his station was:

and abide with the king; with Absalom, who set himself up for king, and whom the people perhaps had proclaimed as such in Hebron, where the conspiracy began:

for thou art a stranger, and also an exile; not a native of Israel, but of another nation, and at a distance from it, and therefore not altogether under the same obligations to attend David in his troubles as others were; and by this it seems that he was a Gittite by nation, whatever the six hundred men were, and rather favours the first sense given of them in 2 Samuel 15:18.

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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 15:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then said the king to l Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou [art] a stranger, and also an exile.

(l) Who as some write was the king's son of Gath.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

A military commander named Ittai, who had emigrated from Gath and come over to David not long before, also accompanied the king from the city. It is evident from 2 Samuel 18:2, where Ittai is said to have commanded a third part of the army sent against Absalom, and to have been placed on an equality with Joab and Abishai the most experienced generals, that Ittai was a Philistian general who had entered David's service. The reason for his going over to David is not known. According to 2 Samuel 15:22 of this chapter, Ittai did not come alone, but brought all his family with him ( taph : the little ones). The opinion expressed by Thenius, that he had come to Jerusalem as a hostage, is merely founded upon a false interpretation of the last two clauses of the verse before us. David said to Ittai, “Wherefore goest thou also with us? return and stay with the king; for thou art a stranger, and also emigrating to thy place.” There is no irony in the words “stay with the king,” as Thenius and Clericus suppose (viz., “with the man who behaves as if he were king”); nor is there an acknowledgment of Absalom as king, which certainly could never have emanated from David. The words contain nothing more than the simple though: Do you remain with whoever is or shall be king, since there is no necessity for you as a stranger to take sides at all. This is the explanation given by Seb. Schmidt: “It is not your place to decide this context as to who ought to be king; but you may remain quiet and see whom God shall appoint as king, and whether it be I or Absalom, you can serve the one that God shall choose.” This is the only way in which we can explain the reason assigned for the admonition, viz., “Thou art a stranger,” and not an Israelite. There is some difficulty connected with the following words (rendered in the Eng. version “and also an exile”). In the Septuagint and Vulgate they are rendered καὶ ὅτι μετώκησας σὺ ἐκ τοῦ τόπου σου, et egressus es de loco tuo (and thou hast gone out from thine own place); but in adopting this rendering the translators have not only passed over the גּם (also), but have taken למקומך for ממּקומך . Nevertheless Thenius proposes to bring the text into harmony with these versions for the purpose of bringing out the meaning, “and moreover thou art one carried away from his own home.” But this is decidedly a mistake; for David would never have made a Philistine - who had just before been carried away from his own home, or, as Thenius understands it, who had been brought to Jerusalem as a hostage - the commander of a third of his army. The meaning is rather the following: “And thou hast still no fatherland,” i.e., thou art still wandering about through the earth like an exile from his country: wherever thou findest a place, and art allowed to settle, there only canst thou dwell.

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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 15:19". 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.

Thy place — To Jerusalem, where thy settled abode now is.

The king — With Absalom who is now made king.

An exile — Not much concerned in our affairs, and therefore not fit to be involved in our troubles.

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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 15:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 15:19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou [art] a stranger, and also an exile.

Ver. 19. Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite.] Who is thought by some, saith Martyr, to have been the king of Gath’s son, who was now become a proselyte, and lived in Jerusalem for religion’s sake: but this is uncertain.

And also an exile.] Tremellius rendereth it, Et etiam remigraturus es in locum tuum: and Diodat, And wilt quietly go to thy place; as if he would say, Thou art old and weak, near to thine end.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 15:19. Ittai the Gittite The Jews say, that this Ittai was the son of king Achish, and that, being obliged to quit Gath on account of his attachment to David, he came to offer him his services at the head of the six hundred men mentioned in the foregoing verse, who, as well as himself, had embraced the Jewish religion; an opinion which seems as probable as any other. It is very certain, however, that they came but the day before, 2 Samuel 15:20.; and David, from a principle of generosity, knowing them fatigued with their journey, would have had them turned back, which Ittai gallantly refused to do, vowing that wherever David was, in death or in life, there would he, his servant, be also; 2 Samuel 15:21.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Return to thy place; either, first, To thy native country of Gath, where thou wilt be remote from our broils. Or, secondly, To Jerusalem, where thy settled abode now is.

And abide, or, or abide; for he could not both go to Gath, and tarry in Jerusalem with Absalom. Although this part of the verse lies otherwise in the Hebrew text, and may be rendered thus,

Return (to wit, to Jerusalem) and abide with the king (there);

for thou art a stranger and exile from thy own place; or, in respect of thy own place, or, as concerning thy place, i. e. in regard of the place of thy birth and former habitation. With the king; with Absalom, who is now made king by the choice of the people, and therefore is able to give thee that protection and encouragement which thou deservest; whereas I am in a manner deposed, and unable to do for thee what I desired and intended.

A stranger, and also an exile; not much concerned in our affairs, and therefore not fit to be involved in our troubles.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19.Ittai the Gititte — A stranger and exile, probably from Gath, who had very recently attached himself to David, and brought with him his family, and a large number of his relatives or fellow-countrymen.

Return to thy place — The place set apart for his residence in Jerusalem.

Abide with the king — That is, with Absalom. David says this to test his loyalty.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ethai. Many assert that he was the son of Achis, and had embraced the true religion. (Menochius) --- King; Absalom, who will not molest you. (Haydock) --- Some translate the Hebrew, "Return from the king." (Syriac [and] Arabic)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

strainger = foreigner.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(19) Ittai the Gittite.—The patronymic must here be understood literally, since David calls him “a stranger and also an exile;” he had but comparatively recently (2 Samuel 15:20) attached himself to David’s service, bringing with him his family and others of his countrymen. From the fact that David afterwards entrusted him with the command of a third of his forces, it is clear that he must have been an experienced general. It cannot be shown positively that he was a proselyte, although this is probable.

In the latter part of this verse the English has unnecessarily changed the order of the words. Read, “Return and abide with the king, for thou art a stranger and an exile at thy place,” viz., at Jerusalem. David neither means to recognise Absalom as king, nor yet to speak of him ironically; he only means to tell Ittai that, as a foreigner, he need not concern himself in such a question, but is quite justified in serving the king de facto, whoever he may be. Ittai’s answer may be compared with Ruth’s (Ruth 1:16-17).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.
18:2; Ruth 1:11-13
Reciprocal: Ruth 1:15 - return;  2 Samuel 6:10 - Gittite;  2 Samuel 15:18 - Gittites;  2 Kings 2:2 - Tarry here;  Zechariah 8:23 - We will;  John 6:67 - Will

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".