Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 17:11

But I counsel that all Israel be surely gathered to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea in abundance, and that you personally go into battle.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahithophel;   Armies;   Council;   Diplomacy;   Falsehood;   Friendship;   Spies;   Strategy;   War;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Prudence;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Amasa;   Hushai;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Beersheba;   Dan;   Kadesh-barnea;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Friend, Friendship;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Face;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ahithophel;   General;   Predestination;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahith'ophel;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Sand;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Beersheba;   General;   Sand;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Beer-sheba;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Absalom;   Beer-Sheba;   Dan;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Therefore I counsel,.... My advice is as follows:

that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude: not all the inhabitants of the land, but such as are fit to bear arms, or that were soldiers, employed in military affairs, in keeping garrisons, guarding the coasts, &c. even the militia of the nation, from the extreme boundary of it on the north to the extreme boundary of it on the south; in such a direction lay Dan and Beersheba. This is opposed to the counsel of Ahithophel, which was only to select twelve thousand men, and send them against David at once; and this is designed chiefly to gain time, since such a collection could not be made soon, and so David would have more time to get farther off, and to prepare the better for his defence; and this advice might be the more agreeable to Absalom, as it promised a greater certainty of success through numbers, and might feed the vanity and ambition of that prince to have such a large army under him, as well as suggested that all Israel were on his side, and at his command, and might easily be gathered to him:

and that thou go to battle in thine own person; this was another part of his advice opposed to the counsel of Ahithophel, who proposed to have the command of the twelve thousand men himself, and to leave Absalom at Jerusalem; now Hushai suggests that it would be more to his interest and his honour to take command of the army himself, and go in person into the field of battle; since this would serve to animate his soldiers, when they saw their prince at the head of them, and he would have the glory of the victory, which he might insinuate hereby Ahithophel sought to deprive him of: it is in the Hebrew text, that "thy face" or "faces go to battle"F13פניך הלכים "facies tuae euntes", Montanus, "facies tua vadat", Pagninus. , where he might be seen in person, and have the oversight and direction of things himself; the Targum is,"and thou shalt go at the head of us all;'and this advice Hushai was directed to give, and which was taken, that Absalom might fall in battle.

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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 17:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-17.html. 1999.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

“Yea ( כּי, profecto ), I advise: let all Israel be gathered round thee from Dan to Beersheba (see at Judges 20:1), numerous as the sand by the sea; and thou thyself go into the war.” פניך, thy person, i.e., thou thyself be marching. The plural הלכים is used because of פניך . For בּ הלך, to enter into anything, see 1 Kings 19:4; Isaiah 45:16; Isaiah 46:2. קרב, war, the early translators have confounded with קרב .

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:11". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-17.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person.

I counsel — His pretence was, that they might make sure, though slow work: his design was to gain David time, that he might increase his army, and make better provision for the battle; and that the present heat of the people might be cooled, and they might bethink themselves of their duty, and return to their allegiance.

Thou — For thy presence will put life and courage into thy soldiers, who will be ambitious to shew their skill and courage in defending thy person, when they know that all their actions are observed by him who hath the distribution of rewards and punishments in his hands. Besides, the glory of the victory will be wholly thine, which now Ahithophel seeks to get to himself.

Copyright Statement
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 17:11". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-17.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 17:11 Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that [is] by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person.

Ver. 11. Therefore I counsel that all Israel, &c.] This was crafty counsel, well fitted to Absalom’s ambitious humour: viz., that he should raise so great an army as was possible, and then have the heading and leading of them himself, that the honour of the victory might be ascribed to him, and not to any deputy. It is reported of Sigismund, the young king of Hungary, that beholding the greatness of his army, in his great jollity, hearing of the coming of the Turks, he should proudly say, What need we to fear the Turks, who need not at all to fear the falling of the heavens; which if they should fall, yet were we able with our spears and halberds to hold them up from failing upon us! But what was the issue? This vainglorious prince shortly after received a notable overthrow, many of his army being slain, and himself hardly escaping with his life in a little boat, like another Xerxes. (a) The young man Absalom, deceived by Hushai’s counsel, and brought into the sublime dotage of a fool’s paradise, sped not so well, but well enough for such a stigmatical Belialist.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-17.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

His pretence was, that they might have a far greater army, and make sure though slow work; his design was to gain David more time, that he might increase his army, and make better provisions for the battle; and that the present heat of the people might be cooled, and they might at last bethink themselves of their duty to David, and return to their former allegiance.

That thou go to battle in thine own person; for thy presence will put more life and courage into all thy soldiers, who will be ambitious to show their utmost skill and courage in defending thy person and cause, when they know that all their actions are observed by him who hath the distribution of rewards and punishments in his hands. So mayst thou also give counsel as occasion offers, and encourage thy men to kill David, which otherwise they may possibly be afraid to do. Besides, the glory of the victory will be wholly thine, which now Ahithophel seeks to get to himself.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-17.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 17:11. Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee — As Ahithophel proposed all imaginable advantage to the evil cause he was engaged in, from expedition, upon the principle mentioned by Tacitus, that nothing determines civil discords so happily as despatch, Hushai, on the contrary, laid himself out to protract and to delay. His design was to gain David more time, that he might increase his army and make better preparation for the battle; and that the present heat of the people for Absalom might be cooled, and they might at last bethink themselves of their duty to David, and return to their former allegiance. For delay, as the same Tacitus observes, gives ill men time to repent, and the good to unite; with a view, therefore, to gain this delay, his advice to Absalom was, that he should wait till he had collected a far larger and more complete army. That all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beer-sheba — An army made up of the bravest men of all the tribes, to which every thing must yield; and thereby to make sure though slow work. And that thou go to battle in thine own person — Intimating that his presence would put life and courage into his soldiers, who would be ambitious to show their skill and courage in defending his person, when they knew that all their actions were observed by him, who had the distribution of rewards and punishments in his hands; and intimating that the glory of the victory belonged to him alone, and that no body should pretend to rob him of it. “And whereas it was urged by Ahithophel, that he would smite the king only, as if all Absalom’s ends were to be attained by his death, Hushai intimates that the death of competitors was as necessary as that of the king, at least, the death of him who was divinely designed for the throne. And, therefore, he adds, that they should come upon David, where he could not be concealed, and whence he could not escape, nor any one of those that were with him.”

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:11". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Of them, their general. Hebrew, "and thy face shall go to battle," Exodus xxiii. 14.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

as. Figure of speech Parcemia. App-6.

thou = thou thyself. Hebrew "thy face". Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part), App-6, put to emphasise the whole person. to battle. Hebrew. karat), never used of battle (which is milhamah). Bikkrab, rendered "to battle", is an abbreviation for bekirbah = "in the midst of them", which is the reading of the Septuagint and Vulgate.

in thine own person. By all this emphasis Hushai represents Ahithophel"s personal malice (which need not disturb Absalom) as being personal pride aimed against Absalom. See verses: 2 Samuel 17:1-3, "I will arise"; "I will come"; "I will smite"; "I will bring back", &c.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-17.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) I counsel that all Israel.—Hushai had before him a difficult task. He had not only to “make the worse appear the better reason,” but to do this in face of the counsel of a man very famous for his wisdom and devoted to the interests of Absalom, while his own fidelity had but just now been called in question. He accomplishes his task successfully by emphasising all the possible hazards and contingencies of the plan recommended by Ahithophel, and by proposing, on the other hand, a plan attended with no risk, on the supposition that the great mass of Israel already were, and would continue to be, on Absalom’s side, a supposition which; with delicate flattery, he assumes as true.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person.
all Israel
24:2; Judges 20:1
as the sand
Genesis 13:16; 22:17; Joshua 11:4; 1 Kings 4:20; 20:10
thou go
Heb. they face, or presence, go, etc. in thine.
12:28; Psalms 7:15,16; 9:16
Reciprocal: Genesis 21:31 - Beersheba;  Judges 18:29 - Dan;  1 Samuel 3:20 - Dan;  1 Samuel 23:23 - I will search;  2 Samuel 3:10 - from Dan;  2 Samuel 18:2 - I will surely;  1 Kings 4:25 - from Dan;  1 Chronicles 21:2 - Beersheba;  Psalm 3:1 - how;  Hebrews 11:12 - as the sand

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-17.html.