Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 15:31

Now someone told David, saying, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And David said, "O Lord , I pray, make the counsel of Ahithophel foolishness."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Ahithophel;   David;   Zadok;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ahithophel;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Zadok;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Prayer;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Hanging;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel ;   Zadok ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   Ahithophel;   David;   Jerusalem;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahim'a-Az;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Zadok;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ahimaaz;   Ahithophel;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abiathar;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness - Ahithophel was a wise man, and well versed in state affairs; and God alone could confound his devices.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-15.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 15:31

O Lord, I pray Thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

Conspirators

Unfortunately for mankind the time of religious conspirators is not at an end. Under the fair robe of Christianity, there are men who are plotting to take away from us the liberty of conscience. There is steadily growing in number and power a party whose object is to play into the hands of that church which proclaims itself to be infallible. Let us mention that great conspirator whose name is temptation. Mr. Ruskin says that the human soul is not a machine, the wheels of which you can scrape and polish, and set it going at the rate of, twenty or thirty miles an hour. The human soul is not a machine; it is a living thing which has to grow. Converts who begin to turn over a fresh leaf and to serve the Lord Jesus are often much distressed because they are still inclined to their old sins. Let all such young believers bear in mind that they are not a perfected machine, but are rather like a seed which has to grow, or a child that has to be trained. Like the conspirators who would hand our free country over to the chains of Rome, so the tempter in your heart, is working very gradually. When I was a boy I tried to light a thick piece of wood with a match, but failed to do so. Had I taken some shavings and lit, them, and then a few chips and placed them against the log it would soon have been in a blaze. So the inward conspirator works on, little by little. If we could see the devil in every temptation, no doubt we should act as old Dunstan is said to have done; but we have a tendency to sin, and when the inward conspirator makes our besetting sin very tempting, none of us can resist it without the grace of God. (W. Birch, jun.)

Prayer for the defeat of Chose who attempt to subvert good government

I. Briefly describe a good government. Some suppose that one form of government is as good as another, provided it be equally well administered. If this opinion could be admitted all observations upon this head would be entirely superseded. But there is no foundation to imagine that the goodness or badness of any government depends solely upon its administration. It must be allowed that the ultimate design of civil government is to restrain the corruptions of human nature. And since human nature is the same at all times and in all places, the same form of government which is best for one nation is best for all nations, if they would only agree to adopt it. Hence politicians may arrive at as great perfection in the art of government as in any other art which is founded on the principles of human nature. A civil constitution ought to resemble a good time-piece: A good clock, for instance, will constantly and regularly move of itself, if it be only wound up, from day to day, or from week to week. So a good constitution will support itself, without requiring anything more of the people than barely their setting it in motion, and choosing their own rulers, at a prescribed time, and in a prescribed manner.

II. To inquire who may be said to be aiming to overthrow a good government, There is such a great diversity in the natural abilities, acquired knowledge, local situations, and temporal interests of mankind, that it is not to be expected they should be perfectly agreed in their political sentiments. Individuals, therefore, may be good subjects of a good government, though they should really think that its constitution is not so perfect as it might be; or that those in administration do not in all cases conduct public affairs so well as they might conduct them. But we may justly consider those as aiming to subvert the government, who endeavour to alienate the affections of the people from it. This was the method which Absalom pursued, in order to take the kingdom out of his father’s hands into his own. Accordingly, when we find any description of men insidiously endeavouring to alienate the affections of the people from their government, we have no room to doubt of their malevolent and traitorous designs. They are certainly seeking the power of bringing about a revolution of government; and should they attain that power, we may presume they will employ it for that purpose.

III. The propriety of praying that God would disconcert the counsels of such designing and dangerous men. And this will appear, if we consider,

1. That the subversion of a good government is one of the greatest calamities than can fair upon a people. A good government is the security of everything which they hold most dear and valuable in life. It protects their persons, their property, and all their civil and religious privileges. And if this foundation of their public safety and happiness should be taken away they would be completely ruined. Hence David demands, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

2. It is the prerogative of God to frustrate the most secret and destructive counsels of men. He knows their down-sittings and up-risings. He understands their thoughts afar off. He looks on their hearts and ponders all their purposes. They cannot conceive an evil thought nor concert a malignant design which he cannot perfectly penetrate and comprehend. He is able therefore to discover and disconcert the most subtile and secret counsels against the peace and prosperity of any people. This the inspired writers firmly believed and abundantly taught.

3. That God has often defeated the most destructive and deep-laid designs of men, in answer to prayer. David entreated God to confound the designs of Ahithophel. “O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” This prayer was graciously heard and answered. (N. Emmons, D. D.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 15:31". 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 one told David,.... That came either from Hebron or from Jerusalem:

Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom; Absalom sent for him, and it seems he came to him, and continued with him, see 2 Samuel 15:12,

and David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness; either suffer him to give foolish counsel, or confound the schemes projected by him, and let them not be carried into execution; for God can, and sometimes does, disappoint crafty counsellors, that they cannot perform what they devise, but they are taken in their own craftiness, and their counsel is carried headlong, Job 5:12; this prayer was answered, 2 Samuel 17:14.

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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 15:31". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And [one] told David, saying, Ahithophel [is] among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the t counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

(t) The counsel of the crafty worldlings does more harm than the open force of the enemy.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-15.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

David said, Turn, O Lord, … the counsel of Ahithophel — this senator being the mainstay of the conspiracy.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-15.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

(31) ¶ And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

Reader! do observe how near the Lord is to his people in all that they call upon him for. The issue of this prayer, and the success of it, the subsequent history proves. Ahithophel's counsel was considered foolishness. And through this, as an instrument in the Lord's hand, Absalom lost his cause, Oh! the privilege of the faithful, in their nearness of access to God!

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/2-samuel-15.html. 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 15:31 And [one] told David, saying, Ahithophel [is] among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

Ver. 31. Turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.] This was done accordingly: great is the power of faithful prayer, The queen-mother of Scotland was heard to say, that she more feared the prayers of John Knox than an army of fighting men.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". 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

One told David, or, David told, i.e. David being hereof informed, acquaints his friends and followers with it, to stir them up to join with him in the following prayer against him.

Turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness; either infatuate him, that he may give foolish counsel; or let his counsel be rejected as foolish, or spoiled by the foolish execution of it.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". 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

HUSHAI SENT TO DEFEAT THE COUNSEL OF AHITHOPHEL, 2 Samuel 15:31-37.

31.Turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness — This was spoken in allusion to the meaning of the name Ahithophel — brother of folly. David dreaded the far-reaching counsel of this wisest of his former friends. See note on 2 Samuel 15:12.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "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 15:31. One told David — Or, David told; that is, being informed that Ahithophel was among the conspirators, he mentioned it to his friends, to excite them to join with him in the following prayer against him. Turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. Either infatuate him, that he may give foolish counsel; or let his counsel be contemned and rejected as foolish; or let it miscarry in the execution. Thus David’s constant recourse, in all his dangers and difficulties, was unto God by prayer.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Infatuate: "render useless;" (Theodotion) "dissipate," Septuagint. (Calmet) --- God hindered the wise counsel of Achitophel from being regarded. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

told David. The news came when the trial was greatest. Compare Psalms 41:9 with Psalms 55:12-14

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "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 one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

O Lord ... turn the counsel of Ahithophel. This senator being the mainstay of the conspiracy, his defection stung David most acutely (Psalms 40:1-9).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "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

(31) One told David.—This is no doubt the meaning, but the preposition has dropped out of the Hebrew text, leaving it unintelligible, and reading literally, and David told.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
Ahithophel
12; Psalms 3:1; 41:9; 55:12,14; Matthew 26:14,15; John 13:18
O Lord
Psalms 55:15; 109:3
turn the counsel
16:23; 17:14,23; Job 5:12; 12:16-20; Isaiah 19:3,11-25; Jeremiah 8:8,9; 1 Corinthians 1:20; 3:18-20; James 3:15
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 23:34 - Eliam;  2 Kings 19:20 - which thou hast;  Nehemiah 2:4 - So I prayed;  Nehemiah 4:15 - God;  Job 5:13 - taketh;  Job 12:17 - GeneralJob 17:4 - GeneralJob 18:7 - his own;  Psalm 5:10 - let;  Psalm 33:10 - The Lord;  Psalm 43:1 - the deceitful;  Psalm 55:9 - divide;  Psalm 62:9 - of high;  Psalm 109:4 - but I;  Psalm 109:5 - hatred;  Psalm 140:8 - Grant not;  Psalm 146:9 - the way;  Isaiah 8:10 - counsel;  Isaiah 37:21 - Whereas;  Isaiah 44:25 - turneth;  Jeremiah 18:18 - counsel;  Jeremiah 50:36 - dote;  Habakkuk 2:13 - is it;  Acts 23:13 - which;  1 Corinthians 3:19 - He

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:31". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-15.html.