Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 15:34

But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father's servant in time past, so I will now be your servant,' then you can thwart the counsel of Ahithophel for me.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahithophel;   David;   Diplomacy;   Falsehood;   Friendship;   Hushai;   Prudence;   Strategy;   Zadok;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Prudence;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hushai;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Wisdom literature;   Zadok;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Friend, Friendship;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hushai;   Holman Bible Dictionary - 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 - Hitherto;   Hushai;   Samuel, Books of;   Zadok;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ahimaaz;   Ahithophel;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abiathar;   Hushai;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But if thou return to the city,.... To the city of Jerusalem, from whence it seems he came:

and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as he was by usurpation, and by the proclamation of the people with him. David directs him to address him thus, that he might have no suspicion of him, having been an old friend of his:

as I have been thy father's servant hitherto; perhaps in the character of a counsellor, as it should seem, since as such he was afterwards employed by Absalom:

so will I now also be thy servant; in whatsoever thou shall please to employ me under thee:

then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel; for being taken into Absalom's service, and made one of his counsellors, he would be privy to the advice of Ahithophel, and so be able to work against him.

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 15:34". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy u servant, O king; [as] I [have been] thy father's servant hitherto, so [will] I now also [be] thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

(u) Though Hushai was deceitful here at the king's request, we may not use this example to excuse our deceit.
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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:34". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-15.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

And say — That is, as faithful to thee, as I have been to thy father. David's suggesting this crafty counsel must be reckoned amongst his sins. Nevertheless God was pleased to direct this evil advice to a good end.

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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 15:34". "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 15:34 But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; [as] I [have been] thy father’s servant hitherto, so [will] I now also [be] thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

Ver. 34. And say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king.] Here David teacheth Hushai at the best ambiguo sermone ludificari, to mock Absalom with ambiguities, if not to dissemble with him. It is an easy thing, saith a grave interpreter (a) here, for the best men in their extremities to settle upon such counsels as are not exactly such as they ought to be.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:34". 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

i.e. I will be as faithful to thee as I have been to thy father; which he neither was nor ought to be; and therefore the profession of this was great dissimulation. And David’s suggesting this crafty counsel may be reckoned amongst his errors; which, proceeding from a violent temptation, and his present and pressing straits, God was pleased mercifully to pardon, and to direct this evil advice to a good end.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:34". 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

34.Say unto Absalom — The artifices here planned must not be regarded as rules for moral conduct, but as the stratagems of war. Hushai was commissioned to use deceit to blind the eyes of Absalom and defeat the counsel of Ahithophel. How well he succeeded in this is shown in 2 Samuel 17:1-14.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:34". "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 15:34. Say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king, &c. — This crafty counsel of David to Hushai, advising him to use such great dissimulation, cannot be justified. It must, of necessity, be reckoned among his sins, as being a plain violation of the law of truth, and only intended to deceive. Nevertheless, as this was with David the hour of temptation, and this evil advice was suggested by his present and pressing straits, God was mercifully pleased to pardon and direct it to a good end. Thou mayest for me defeat, &c. — That is, by advising different measures, which, considering the great reputation that Hushai had for wisdom, David judged Absalom would be inclined to hearken to, rather than to those proposed by Ahithophel.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:34". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Defeat; (dissipabis) "render of no effect." (Haydock) --- Thus princes keep spies in an enemy's country. (Calmet)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:34". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-15.html. 1859.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(34) Say unto Absalom.—David here counsels fraud and treachery, and Hushai willingly accepts the part assigned to him, in order to thwart Ahithophel’s counsel and weaken Absalom’s rebellion. The narrative simply states the facts without justifying them. But while we cannot too strongly condemn such a stratagem, two things are to be remembered: first, that like frauds in time of war and rebellion have been practised in all ages, and still continue; and, secondly, that David and Hushai had but slender knowledge of the Divine revelation of truth and righteousness which enables us to condemn them, and, therefore, did with a clear conscience many things which we see to be wrong.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:34". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.
return
20; Joshua 8:2; Matthew 10:16
as I have been
16:16-19
then mayest
17:5-14
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 15:27 - return;  2 Samuel 16:19 - should I not serve;  2 Samuel 17:14 - to defeat;  2 Samuel 17:20 - They be gone;  Job 5:13 - taketh;  Psalm 33:10 - The Lord

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:34". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-15.html.