Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 15:24

Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished passing from the city.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abiathar;   Ark;   David;   Minister, Christian;   Politics;   Priest;   Zadok;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ark;   Zadok;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ark of the Covenant;   Armies of Israel, the;   High Priest, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Abiathar;   Zadok;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Priest, Christ as;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Zadok;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Samuel, the Books of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abiathar;   High Priest;   Jonathan;   Samuel, Books of;   Zadok;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Priests and Levites;   Sadducees;   Samuel, Books of;   Zadok;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Sadducees (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel ;   Zadok ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Ark;   Mount olivet;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Abiathar;   Absalom;   David;   Jerusalem;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahim'a-Az;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Zadok;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Abiathar;   Absalom (1);   Ark of the Covenant;   David;   Ezekiel;   Sadducees;   Solomon;   Zadok;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ahimaaz;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abiathar;   Ark of the Covenant;   Bethar;   High Priest;   Samuel, Books of;   Zadok;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Bearing the ark - The priests knew that God had given the kingdom to David; they had no evidence that he had deposed him: they therefore chose to accompany him, and take the ark, the object of their charge, with them.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Abiathar went up - i. e., continued to ascend the Mount of Olives. Abiathar was high priest 1 Kings 2:35. Perhaps Zadok is addressed by David 2 Samuel 15:25 as the chief of those who were actually bearing the ark.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-15.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

DAVID SENT THE ARK BACK TO JERUSALEM

"Abiathar came up, and lo, Zadok came also, with all the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God, until the people had all passed out of the city. Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his habitation; but if he says, `I have no pleasure in you,' behold, here I am; let him do to me what seems good to him." The king also said to Zadok the priest, "Look, go back to the city in peace, you and Abiathar with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness, until word comes from you to inform me." So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem; and they remained there."

David appears here as the giant of faith which he was. How he had grown spiritually! He relied upon the power and lovingkindness of God as totally distinct from such a talisman as the ark of the covenant, important as that ark was. Furthermore, David courageously faced the truth that it might indeed be God's will to punish him with death for the terrible sins which had marred his life; but David would willingly submit to that, if it should be God's will. "Let him do to me what seems good to him." His whole attitude here was one of submission to God; he would fearlessly trust the outcome of Absalom's rebellion to the Lord. Let God's will be done.

"I will wait at the fords ... until word comes from you to inform me" (2 Samuel 15:28). There was also an excellent practical reason why David sent the ark and its priestly and Levitical attendants back to Jerusalem. David would require accurate and confidential information on Absalom's movements and other developments of the rebellion; and he promptly arranged to procure such information via the sons of the two priests mentioned here.

"May the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you" (2 Samuel 15:20). This is an unwelcome change from the text as given in ASV; KJV and NIV; and Willis noted, "The last line of 2 Samuel 15:20 should read, `Mercy and truth be with thee,' as in KJV, ASV, and NIV."[21]

"And Abiathar came up, and lo, Zadok came also, with all the Levites bearing the ark of the covenant of God" (2 Samuel 15:24). We are pleased indeed that the RSV has retained these words, thus effectively checkmating the old critical dictum advanced in the last century to the effect that, "The Levites are unknown to the Books of Samuel, so obviously (this mention of Levites) is a late insertion."[22] Such opinions, of course, are unacceptable. The Levites are mentioned in both Samuels, here and in 1 Samuel 6:15. Parallel accounts also which are found in Kings and Chronicles indicate most emphatically that the Levites during the reign of David fulfilled their usual purpose regarding the ark of the covenant; and there is no good reason for supposing that they were not involved here.

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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 15:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-samuel-15.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And, lo, Zadok also,.... The priest, as he is called, 2 Samuel 15:27,

and all the Levites were with him: with Zadok, or with David, and indeed with both; but the former is rather meant here, being the immediate antecedent:

bearing the ark of the covenant of God: these were the Kohathite Levites, whose business it was to bear the ark when carried from place to place, Numbers 3:31; called the ark of the covenant, because the law which was the covenant between God and the people, was put into it:

and they set down the ark of God: from off their shoulders, on which they carried it:

and Abiathar went up; who was the high priest, and whose business it was to attend the ark, and inquire before it, as occasion required; he went up very probably to the mount of Olives, later mentioned, 2 Samuel 15:30,

until all the people had done passing out of the city; for from the top of that mountain he could see the city of Jerusalem, and the people as they passed out of it, and observe when they were all come out, or however ceased coming, and so knew when it was a proper time to march forward.

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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 15:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites [were] with him, p bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went q up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.

(p) Which was the charge, of the Kohathites, (Numbers 4:4).

(q) To stand by the ark.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-15.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.

Went up — From the ark to the city, which was on higher ground, that so he being high-priest, might use his authority with the people, to persuade them to do their duty; and there he staid until all those whom he could persuade were gone forth.

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Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "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 15:24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites [were] with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.

Ver. 24. And Abiathar went up,] viz., Into some high place to see what store came, and when they left coming out of the city. In a time of common calamity, every man must do his devoir. Hμεις παντες κινδυνευομεν, και ου παιζεις; Are we perishing, and dost thou trifle? said one to another, that in a great tempest at sea asked many frivolous questions. (a)

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". 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

Bearing the ark of the covenant of God; as a pledge of God’s presence and assistance, and that David might inquire at it upon occasion.

They set down the ark of God; either in expectation of drawing forth more people to David’s party, if not from their loyalty to their lawful king, yet from their piety and reverence to the ark; or that all the people might pass along, and the ark might come in the rear of them for their safeguard and encouragement.

Abiathar went up; either,

1. From the ark, which now was in the low ground, being near the brook Cedron, to the top of the Mount of Olives, whence he had the prospect of the city and temple, as appears from Mark 13:3, where he could discern when the people ceased to come out of the city after David; which when they did, he gave notice to David that he should wait no longer, but march away and carry the ark with him. Or,

2. From the ark to the city, which was in a higher ground, that so he being high priest, might use his authority and interest with the people to persuade them to do their duty, in going forth to defend and help their king against his rebellious son; and there he staid until all those whom he could persuade were gone forth.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". 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

24.Zadok — See 2 Samuel 8:17, and note on 2 Samuel 6:17.

Bearing the ark — They felt it would not do to let this holy shrine fall into the hands of the conspirators.

Abiathar went up — Went up the ascent of Mount Olivet, leading a vast concourse of the people, until, from its side or summit, he saw the end of the procession outside the city. Here we see that Zadok and Abiathar, though at the head of different establishments, were sometimes together, and acted conjointly in the priesthood. On this occasion it seems that Zadok accompanied the ark, and remained by it while it rested in the Kidron valley, while Abiathar marched on at the head of the procession of people.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-15.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 15:24. Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him — They knew David’s great regard for them and their office, notwithstanding his failings; and the arts which Absalom had used to gain the people’s affections had made no impression upon them. They saw that he had little religion in him, and therefore they steadily adhered to David. Bearing the ark of the covenant of God — As a pledge of God’s presence and assistance. And they set down the ark of God — Either in expectation of drawing forth more people to David’s party, if not from their loyalty to their lawful king, yet from their piety and reverence to the ark; or, that all the people might pass along, and the ark might come in the rear of them, for their safeguard and encouragement. Abiathar went up — From the ark to the city, which was on higher ground; that so he, being high-priest, might use his authority with the people, to persuade them to do their duty; and there he stayed until all those whom he could persuade were gone forth.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Went up to the ark, or along with the rest. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

lo. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

God = ha-Elohim (with art.) = the [triune] God. App-4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-15.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.

Zadok also, and all the Levites ... bearing the ark. Knowing the strong religious feelings of the aged king, they brought it to accompany him in his distress. But as he could not doubt that both the ark and their sacred office would exempt them from the attacks of the rebels, he sent them back with it, not only that they might not be exposed to the perils of uncertain wandering (cf. Psalms 132:14) - or he seems to place more confidence in the symbol of the divine presence than in God himself-but that, by remaining in Jerusalem, they might render him greater service by watching the enemy's movements.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-15.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) Zadok also.—Zadok appears here as in charge of the ark, and David (2 Samuel 15:27) addresses him exclusively, while Abiathar is merely mentioned. This gives no indication of the relations existing between the two, but merely shows how matters went on this day of hurry and confusion. The language is obscure, but probably means that Zadok and the Levites brought the ark out of the city, and set it down while the multitude were assembling; meantime Abiathar led the multitude forward up the Mount of Olives until they had all come out of the city.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.
Zadok
27,35; 8:17; 20:25; 1 Kings 1:8; 2:35; 4:2-4; 1 Chronicles 6:8-12; Ezekiel 48:11
bearing
6:13; Numbers 4:15; 7:9; Joshua 3:3,6,15-17; 4:16-18; 6:4,6; 1 Samuel 4:3-5,11; 1 Chronicles 15:2
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 14:18 - Bring hither;  1 Kings 1:7 - Abiathar;  1 Kings 2:26 - barest;  1 Chronicles 6:53 - Zadok;  1 Chronicles 15:11 - Zadok;  Psalm 119:99 - than all;  Mark 2:26 - Abiathar

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-15.html.