Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 15:7

Now it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the Lord , in Hebron.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ambition;   Consecration;   Covenant;   Deception;   Usurpation;   Vows;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Hypocrites;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   David;   Hebron;   Vow;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hushai;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hebron;   Sacrifice and Offering;   Samuel, Books of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   David;   Jerusalem;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Hebron;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Absalom (1);   Adonijah;   Hebron (1);   Leasing;   Number;   Philistines;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Absalom;   High Place;   Machpelah;   Nazir;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

After forty years - There is no doubt that this reading is corrupt, though supported by the commonly printed Vulgate, the Septuagint, and the Chaldee. But the Syriac has arba shanin, Four years; the Arabic the same arba shinin, Four years; and Josephus has the same; so also the Sixtine edition of the Vulgate, and several MSS. of the same version. Theodoret also reads four, not forty; and most learned men are of opinion that ארבעים arbaim, Forty, is an error for אברע arba, Four; yet this reading is not supported by any Hebrew MS. yet discovered. But two of those collated by Dr. Kennicott have יום yom instead of שנה shanah, i.e., forty Days, instead of forty Years; and this is a reading more likely to be true than that in the commonly received text. We know that Absalom did stay Three years with his grandfather at Geshur, 2 Samuel 13:38; and this probably was a year after his return: the era, therefore, may be the time of his slaying his brother Amnon; and the four years include the time from his flight till the conspiracy mentioned here.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-15.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Forty years - An obvious clerical error, though a very ancient one for four years, which may date from Absalom‘s return from Geshur, or from his reconciliation with David, or from the commencement of the criminal schemes to which 2 Samuel 15:1 refers.

Hebron - This, as having been the old capital of David‘s kingdom and Absalom‘s birthplace, was well chosen. It was a natural center, had probably many inhabitants discontented at the transfer of the government to Jerusalem, and contained many of the friends of Absalom‘s youth. As the place of his birth (compare 1 Samuel 20:6), it afforded a plausible pretext for holding there the great sacrificial feast (“the serving the Lord,” 2 Samuel 15:8), which Absalom pretended to have vowed to hold to the glory of God.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-15.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

ABSALOM PROCLAIMED AS KING AT HEBRON

"And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king, "Pray let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebron. For your servant vowed a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Aram, saying, `If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the Lord.'" Then the king said to him, "Go in peace." So he arose and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, `Absalom is king at Hebron'!" With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their simplicity, and knew nothing. And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from the city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing."

"At the end of four years" (2 Samuel 15:7). The KJV and other ancient versions have "forty years" here instead of "four"; but the RSV is doubtless correct here in following the Syriac and certain texts of the LXX.[9] This indicates that it took Absalom four years from the time he was reconciled with David to launch his attempted coup de etat.

"In Hebron" (2 Samuel 15:1,9,10). The reason for Absalom's choice of Hebron as the place to launch his rebellion might have been complex. He was born in Hebron and might have had many friends there. Young wrote that, "Hebron still bore a grudge against David because he had moved the seat of his government to Jerusalem. Also, the allied clans of the Negev, through whose good offices David first mounted the throne, were jealous of the northern tribes who had become the dominant partner in the united kingdom, and whose power had made them very influential with the king."[10]

"Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel" (2 Samuel 15:10). "It is evident that much more elaborate preparations had been made for this effort of Absalom to seize the throne than appears on the surface of this concise narrative."[11]

"With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem" (2 Samuel 15:11). These were invited guests, probably the most influential and powerful men in Jerusalem; but they were not co-conspirators with Absalom. Although ignorant of Absalom's plans, they would have been supposed by the citizens of Hebron to be Absalom's partisans. Furthermore, if they had, in any manner, objected to Absalom's having himself proclaimed as king, they would have, at once, become his hostages. This was a clever maneuver indeed.

"He sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city Giloh" (2 Samuel 15:12). Ahithophel was a very wise man, and if Absalom had possessed enough intelligence to follow his counsel, he might easily have triumphed over David.

"From his city Giloh" (2 Samuel 15:12). Some have supposed this place was south or southwest of Hebron, but Willis identified it with, "The modern Khirbert Jala approximately five miles northwest of Hebron."[12] It is very significant that Ahithophel was available at the nearby city of Giloh when Absalom called for him, instead of being in the city of Jerusalem where he belonged as a confidential advisor of King David. From this Keil very logically concluded that, "Ahithophel had been previously initiated into Absalom's plans and had gone to his native city, merely that he might go to Absalom with greater ease."[13] It appears from this that Ahithophel himself might have been one of the principal architects of the rebellion. The reason usually assigned and which we mentioned earlier, is that Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba and that he hated David for David's treatment of her and for his murder of her husband Uriah. Of course, there could have been some truth in this.

However, Ahithophel was far too wise a man to have joined the conspiracy unless he had been quite sure of its success; and, no doubt, it would have been a success if his advice had been followed. But he knew that if David was given time to gather his forces the coup would fail; and when he saw that Absalom rejected his advice, he promptly committed suicide.

But if the coup had been successful, did not Ahithophel foresee that Bathsheba and her son Solomon, Ahithophel's great-grandson, would have been killed? "Even if Bathsheba had been spared (through Ahithophel's influence), there is no way that Absalom would have refrained from murdering Solomon."[14] From these considerations we still find it very difficult to imagine why Ahithophel consented to aid Absalom.

AND ALL THE WORLD WONDERED AFTER THE BEAST (Revelation 13:3)

To this writer, it seems that the above unrelated text from Revelation is an appropriate designation of the popularity that came to Absalom, as related in 2 Samuel 15:13 below.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "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 it came to pass after forty years,.... Or four years; so long it was from the reconciliation of Absalom to David, as JosephusF6Antiqu. l. 7. c. 9. sect. 1. says; and so read Theodoret on the place, the Syriac and Arabic versions: but some say it was either forty years from the time Israel first had a king; and which might be an era of reckoning with the Jews, as the era of Seleucidae was with the Greeks, on the like account; or from the time Saul slew the priests at Nob, as JeromF7Trad. Heb. in 2 lib. Reg. fol. 78. M. ; or from the time of David's being anointed by Samuel; or this was the year of Absalom's age, or of David's reign: but these, and other attempts made to account for this passage, are not entirely satisfactory; and therefore one may be tempted to conclude there must be a mistake in the copy, of "arbaim" for "arba", forty for four; which makes it quite easy, and confirms the first sense:

that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow,

which I have vowed unto the Lord, in Hebron; not what he vowed in Hebron; for according to his own account he had vowed it in Geshur, as in 2 Samuel 15:8; but his request is, that he might pay it in Hebron; which place he fixed upon, being his native place, and where David was anointed king; and which, being about twenty miles from Jerusalem, was at a proper distance to lay the scene of his conspiracy in, and bring it to perfection.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-15.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it came to pass after e forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

(e) Counting from the time that the Israelites had asked a king of Samuel.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-15.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

After forty years — From the change of the government, into a monarchy, which was about ten years before David began to reign. So this fell out about the thirtieth year of his reign.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-15.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

forty

Some authorities read "four."

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 2 Samuel 15:7". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/2-samuel-15.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 15:7 And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

Ver. 7. And it came to pass after forty years.] Not after four years, as Josephus hath it, but after forty years, via, after David’s first anointing by Samuel, say some, [1 Samuel 16:13] seven or eight years before he began his reign in Hebron, and ending about seven years before his death. Others of good note begin the computation of these forty years at the time that Israel asked a king, as if it intimated thus much, - They would needs have a king. They shall now have so many kings that they know not well which to follow; and many of them shall perish in following the usurper. Samuel had foretold the people then - but they regarded not his words - that a king would "take their sons and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and some to run before his chariots." [1 Samuel 8:11] Now they see it fulfilled in Absalom, who affected the kingdom; and by this passage, after forty years, are reminded of their sin, and what a heavy burden they had brought upon themselves. Codomannus gathereth, that for the time of the year, it was between the feasts of the passover and Pentecost; because Barzillai the Gileadite brought to David for a present "parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse." [2 Samuel 17:28]

Let me go and pay my vow.] Here religion is made a cloak to rebellion, as in the Papacy is ordinary. He knew well that his pious father would be full glad to hear that he was a votary, and would further him all that might be.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-15.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 15:7. After forty years Or rather, after four years. The Syriac and Arabic, whom Houbigant follows, read after four years. As there is no event from which the forty years can be dated, very great has been the distress of the advocates for that reading. But Josephus, Theodoret, the Manuscripts mentioned in the Benedictine edition of Jerome's version, the canon of the Hebrew verity, (supposed to be made about the ninth century, and altered by some correcting hand,) the reading of the famous Latin Bible of Sextus, the Latin manuscript in Exeter college library, marked C. 2 Samuel 2:13 and the ancient Latin manuscript written in Gothic characters, and the variations of which are published in Blanchini's Vindiciae, all have it four. See Kennicott's Dissert. vol. 2: p. 358 and Houbigant's note.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-15.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

After forty years.

Quest. Whence are these to be computed?

Answ. Not from Absalom’s birth; for he was born in Hebron some considerable time after David had begun his reign, 2 Samuel 3:3, much less from the time of his vow made, or of his return from banishment; but either, first, From the time of David’s election or designation to the kingdom. 1 Samuel 16:13. Or, secondly, From the beginning of Saul’s reign; which being a solemn time, and observable for the change of the government in Israel, might very fitly be made an epochs, from which the computation or account of times begin; as the Greeks and Romans began their accounts in the same manner, and upon the same ground. Or rather, thirdly, From the beginning of David’s reign, who reigned forty years; and so the words may be rendered, about or towards the end of forty years, i. e. in the beginning of the fortieth year. And so this very phrase is used Deuteronomy 15:1, At the end of every seven years, i.e. in the seventh year, even from the beginning of it, as is manifested and confessed. So in a like expression, After three days will I rise again, Mark 8:31, i.e. on the beginning of the third day, when Christ did rise; the number of three days being then completed when the third day is begun. And the forty years are here expressed as one motive or inducement to Absalom to rebel, because now his father’s end grew near; and one of the Hebrew doctors affirms, that there was a tradition, or rumour, or prediction, that David should reign but forty years. And Absalom might easily understand that David intended to decline him, and to make Solomon his successor, as well by the conscience of his own wickedness and unfitness for so great a trust, as by that eminent wisdom and piety which appeared in Solomon in his tender years, and that great respect and affection which his father must needs have and manifest to him upon this account, and by that promise and oath given to Bathsheba concerning his succession mentioned 1 Kings 1:30, but made before that time, which also might come to Absalom’s ear. Against this opinion two things are objected: first, That David was in the time of this rebellion a strong man, for he marched on foot, 2 Samuel 15:30, whereas in his last year he was very infirm and bedrid. Secondly, That after this rebellion was ended divers other things happened, as the three years’ famine, 2 Samuel 21:1, and other things following in the history. But it may be answered to the first, that David might in the beginning of his last year have so much strength and vigour left as to march on foot, especially when he did so humble and afflict himself, as it is apparent he did, 2 Samuel 15:30; and yet through his tedious marches, and the tormenting cares, fears, and griefs of his soul for Absalom, might be so strangely and suddenly impaired, as in the end of the same year to be very feeble and bedrid, it being a very common accident, especially in old men, and upon extraordinary occasions, to languish and decline exceedingly, and to fall from some competent degree of health and rigour, to be very infirm and bedrid, and that in the space of a few months. And to the second objection, That those histories related 2Sa 21, &c., though they be placed after this rebellion, yet indeed were done before it; the proof of which see on 2 Samuel 21:1. For it is so confessed and evident, that things are not always placed in the same order in which they were done, that it is a rule of the Hebrews, and approved by other learned men, Non datur pri us et posterius in Saetia literis; that is, There is no first and last in the order of Scripture relations. And here is a plain reason for this transplacing of this history, which is allowed in other like cases, that when once the history of Tamar’s rape had been mentioned, it was very fit to subjoin the relation of all the mischiefs which followed upon that occasion. If any infidel will yet cavil with this text and number of years, let him know, that instead of forty, the Syriac, and Arabic, and Josephus the Jew read four years; and that it is much more rational to acknowledge an error of the scribe, who copied out the sacred text, than upon so frivolous a ground to question the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures. And that some men choose the latter way rather than the former, is an evidence that they are infidels by the choice of their wills, more than by the strength of their reasons.

Let me go and pay my vow: he pretends piety, which he knew would please his father, and easily procure his consent.

Hebron is mentioned as the place, not where the vow was made, for that was at Geshur, 2 Samuel 15:8, but where he intended to perform it. The pretence for which was, that he was born in this place, 2 Samuel 3:3, and that here was a famous high place; and, till the temple was built, it was permitted to sacrifice upon the high places.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". 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

7.After forty years — This is an error in the text, for David reigned but forty years in all, (1 Kings 2:11,) and he certainly had reigned many years before Absalom’s rebellion. The Syriac and Arabic versions read four years, and with this agrees Josephus; and this, in the opinion of nearly all critics, is to be regarded as the true reading. The meaning is, four years after his restoration to the royal favour.

My vow — Whether Absalom ever made any such vow as he here pretends is altogether uncertain. Most probably it was only a pretext to enable him the better to carry out his plans of rebellion.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "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 15:7. After forty years — That is, as some say, from the change of the government into a monarchy, which change took place about ten years before David began to reign. So that this fell out about the thirtieth year of his reign. But the Syriac and Arabic, whom Houbigant follows, read, After four years; that is, from the time of his father’s reconciliation with him. Josephus, Theodoret, the manuscripts mentioned in the Benedictine edition of Jerome’s version, the canon of the Hebrew verity, (supposed to be made about the ninth century, and altered by some correcting hand,) the reading of the famous Latin Bible of Sextus, the Latin manuscript in Exeter college library, marked C. 2. 13., and the ancient Latin manuscript written in Gothic characters, the variations of which are published in Blanchini’s Vindiciæ, all have it, four; so that Grotius, and, after him, Patrick, were well supported in having pronounced so decisively, that it would admit of no doubt that an error had crept into the text, and that instead of ארבעים, arbagnim, forty, should be read ארבע, arbang, four. See Kennicott’s Dissert., vol. 2. p. 358, and Houbigant’s note. Let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the Lord in Hebron — To wit, to perform there by some solemn sacrifice. As Delaney is of opinion that a very grievous sickness of David gave Absalom occasion to take the forementioned steps, so he thinks that his father’s unexpected recovery, perhaps through God’s extraordinary influence, broke Absalom’s measures for some time, and made him postpone his wicked purpose. In the mean time, his popularity had all the field he could wish. As all the people of Israel resorted to Jerusalem thrice in every year, on the three solemn festivals, he had so often an opportunity of paying his court, and insinuating his poison, till the infection spread through the whole body of the realm, and wanted nothing but a fair occasion to display itself in all its malignity, which Absalom sought by going to Hebron.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-15.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Forty, which Vatable dates from the time when the people petitioned for a king; Salien, from the first anointing of David. (Menochius) --- It is probable enough that this number has been substituted instead of four, which Josephus, Theodoret, Syriac, Arabic, and many Latin manuscripts read; and Absalom would employ this term in securing the interest of Israel, before he declared himself openly their king. (Calmet) --- He had been so long at Jerusalem, since his return. (Salien) --- The canon of Hebrew verity, supposed to be made about the ninth century, is said (by Martinnay; Haydock) to be altered by some correcting hand, from four to forty. (Kennicott) --- This is the famous Memmian canon, which Theodulph, bishop of Orleans, is believed to have ordered, as the standard of truth, according to the Hebrew copies of that day: (Haydock) and this seems to have guided the Ben. editor of St. Jerome's works, and of his translation; so that it is no wonder if "the printed copies agree in so many places with the corrupted Hebrew." Canon Memmianus pure leget juxta Hebræum, quod nos edidimus. (Note on 2 Paralipomenon xiii. 3, 17.) The Vulgate of Sixtus V, in that passage, as well as in the present, reads the smaller numbers, as he was guided by the best Latin copies, whereas Clement VIII has also consulted "the Hebrew fountains." The former, says Kennicott, (Diss. ii. p. 205) "seems to have been printed on a juster plan....and the old Latin version is likely to be found more pure in the edition of Sixtus than in that of Clement, since the latter seems to have corrected his Latin by the modern (i.e., the corrupted) Hebrew copies." Dr. James observes, that "almost all the Latin editions received in the Church, for many years, (preceding 1590) agree with Sixtus," who here reads quatuor, with many others; so that Grotius is well supported in having pronounced so decisively, "without doubt there is a mistake, two letters having been added at the end of arba. The thing itself declares that four years had elapsed." (Kennicott) --- It appears to be indubitable, that some mistakes have taken place with regard to numbers. But that this place is incorrect may not be so certain, as the chronology of Salien, Usher, &c., explains it well enough. The Hebrew text was esteemed more correct when the last editions of St. Jerome, and of the Vulgate, were given, than it is at present. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

forty years : i.e. from David"s anointing (1 Samuel 16:13): i.e. 974-934.

my vow, which I have vowed. Figure of speech Polyptoton (App-6) = my solemn vow.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

Hebron. Where he was born, and had friends.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "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 it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

After forty years. It is generally admitted that an error has here crept into the text, and that instead of [ 'arbaa`iym (Hebrew #705)], "forty", we should read, with the Syriac and Arabic versions, and Josephus [ 'arba` (Hebrew #702)], 'four years' - i:e., after Absalom's return to Jerusalem, and his beginning to practice the base arts of gaining popularity.

My vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord - during his exile in Geshur; and the purport of it was, that whenever God's providence should pave the way for his re-establishment in Jerusalem, he would offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Hebron was the spot selected for the performance of this vow, ostensibly as being his native place (2 Samuel 3:3), and a famous high place, an ancient sacred place (Genesis 13:18; Genesis 18:1-33; Genesis 23:1-20), and a city of the priests (Joshua 21:11), in presence of whom the vow was to be paid (Leviticus 27:1-34), where sacrifices were frequently offered before the temple was built; but really as being in many respects the most suitable for the commencement of his rebellious enterprise. David, who always encouraged piety, and desired to see religious engagements punctually performed, gave his consent and blessing. What a black heart must Absalom have had when he could not only plot the ruin of his father, but pursue his treasonable designs under the mask of religion!

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "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

(7) After forty years.—The reading is certainly incorrect. Absalom was born after David began his reign in Hebron, and his whole reign was only forty years. Absalom therefore was not yet forty at his death. The reading found in the Syriac and most MSS. of the Vulgate, and adopted by Josephus, four years, is probably correct. It remains uncertain from what point this four years is to be reckoned; probably it is from Absalom’s return to Jerusalem.

Pay my vow . . . in Hebron.—We have no means of knowing whether this vow was real or fictitious; certainly Absalom now uses it as a pretext, and yet there is nothing improbable in his having actually made such a vow during his exile. Hebron was the place of his birth and childhood, as well as a holy city from very ancient times, and was thus a suitable place for the performance of his vow; it was also at a convenient distance from Jerusalem, and had been the royal city of David for the first seven years of his reign. It was thus well adapted to be the starting place of Absalom’s rebellion, and it is not unlikely, moreover, that the men of Hebron may have resented the transfer of the capital to Jerusalem, and therefore have lent a willing ear to Absalom. Like many other culprits, Absalom veils his crime under the cloak of religion, pretending submission to his father, and receiving his blessing at the very moment when he is striking at his crown and his life.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.
A. M. 2983. B.C. 1021. An. Ex. Is. 470. forty years. As David reigned in the whole only forty years, this reading is evidently corrupt, though supported by the commonly printed Vulgate, LXX., and Chaldee. But the Syriac, Arabic, Josephus, Theodoret, the Sixtine edition of the Vulgate, and several MSS. of the same version, read four years; and it is highly probable that {arbâim,} forty, is an error for {arbâ,} four, though not supported by any Hebrew MS. yet discovered. Two of those collated by Dr. Kennicott, however, have {yom,} "day," instead of {shanah,} "year," i.e., forty days instead of forty years; but this is not sufficient to outweigh the other authorities
13:38; 1 Samuel 16:1,13
let me go
13:24-27
pay
1 Samuel 16:2; Proverbs 21:27; Isaiah 58:4; Matthew 2:8; 23:14
Reciprocal: Genesis 34:14 - uncircumcised;  Numbers 21:2 - vowed;  Joshua 21:11 - is Hebron;  2 Samuel 2:1 - Hebron;  Psalm 109:7 - and let;  Proverbs 7:14 - this;  Jonah 2:9 - I will pay

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-15.html.