Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 17:12

So we shall come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will fall on him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him, not even one will be left.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahithophel;   Armies;   Council;   Dew;   Diplomacy;   Falsehood;   Friendship;   Spies;   Strategy;   Symbols and Similitudes;   War;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Emblems of the Holy Spirit, the;   Prudence;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Amasa;   Dew;   Hushai;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Friend, Friendship;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Dew;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Predestination;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahith'ophel;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Botany;   Dew;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Absalom;   Dew;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

As the dew - Like the drops of dew, in the vast number of our host, and in our irresistible and unavoidable descent upon our enemies.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-17.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found,.... For such a numerous army, which would be spread abroad, could not well fail of finding him out, let him be in what lurking place he would; whereas he might lie concealed, and escape so small a number as twelve thousand men:

and we will light upon him as the dew falleth upon the ground; whose drops are innumerable, and cover all the ground where they fall; and the phrase not only expresses their numbers, but the irresistible force they should come with, and the manner, secretly, unawares, opportunely; the Romans had a sort of soldiers, called from the dew "rorarii", who carried light armour, and fought first in the battle, from whence they had their name, because dew falls before it rainsF14Valtrinus de Milit. Roman. l. 3. c. 3. :

and of him, and of all the men that are with him, there shall not be left so much as one; so that for the future Absalom would sit easy upon the throne, there being none left to molest him.

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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 17:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-17.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground — No image could have symbolized the sudden onset of an enemy so graphically to an Oriental mind as the silent, irresistible, and rapid descent of this natural moisture on every field and blade of grass.

Copyright Statement
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 17:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-17.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

“And come we to him (if we come upon him) in one of the places where he is found, we let ourselves down upon him, as the dew falls upon the earth; and of him and all the men with him there will not be one left.” נחנוּ might be a contraction of אנחנוּ, as in Genesis 42:11; Exodus 16:7-8, etc.: “so we upon him,” equivalent to “so shall we come upon him.” But if this were the meaning, we should expect עליו והינוּ . It is more correct, therefore, to take נחנוּ ekat ot as the first pers. perf. of נוּח, as the early translators have done: so do we let ourselves down upon him. (For נוּח as applied to an army encamping, see Isaiah 7:2, Isaiah 7:19; and as denoting the swarming of flies and grasshoppers, Isaiah 7:19 and Exodus 10:14.) In Ahithophel's opinion, it would be possible with a very small army to crush David and his little band, however brave his followers might be, and in fact to annihilate them altogether.

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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 17:12". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-17.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one.

As dew — That is, plenteously, suddenly, irresistibly, and on all sides; for so the dew falls.

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 17:12". "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 17:12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that [are] with him there shall not be left so much as one.

Ver. 12. So shall we come upon him.] We: q.d., I also will be one of the first and forwardest: that he might not seem to come short of Ahithophel, who had offered Absalom his service, both as a counsellor and as a commander.

There shall not be left so much as one.] Thus in every point he opposeth himself to Ahithophel, [2 Samuel 17:2] and is the rather heard.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-17.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 17:12. We will light upon him, as the dew falleth on the ground This is very beautiful and expressive. The dew in Palestine, as in several other climates, falls fast and sudden, and is therefore no unapt emblem of an active expeditious soldiery. It was, perhaps, for this reason, that the Romans called their light-armed forces rorarii. The dew falls upon every spot of the earth; not a blade of grass escapes it. A numerous army resembles it in this respect; it is able to search every where.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-17.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

As the dew falleth on the ground, i. e. plenteously, suddenly, irresistibly, and on all sides; for so the dew falls.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". 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 17:12. We will light upon him as the dew falleth upon the ground — Plenteously, suddenly, irresistibly, and on all sides; for so the dew falls. This is very beautiful and expressive. “The dew in Palestine, as in several other climates, falls fast and sudden; and is therefore an apt emblem of an active and expeditious soldiery. And it was, perhaps, for this reason that the Romans called their light armed forces, rorarii. The dew falls upon every spot of the earth; not a blade of grass escapes it. A numerous army resembles it in this respect; it is able to search everywhere.” — Delaney.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Dew, which there falleth every night, in summer, like rain, Deuteronomy xxxiii. 28. Some of the light armed troops of the Romans were called Rorarii, because they fell upon the enemy, and began the battle.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". "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 = according as.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one.

We will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground. No image could have symbolized the sudden onset of an enemy so graphically to an Oriental mind as the silent, irresistible, and rapid descent of this natural moisture on every field and blade of grass.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-17.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one.
in some place
1 Samuel 23:23
we will light
This is a very beautiful and expressive figure. The dew in Palestine, and other warm climates, falls fast, sudden, and heavy; and it falls upon every spot of earth, so that not a blade of grass escapes it. It is therefore no inapt emblem of a numerous and active army; and it was, perhaps, for this reason that the Romans called their light armed forces rorarii.
1 Kings 20:10; 2 Kings 18:23; 19:24; Isaiah 10:13,14; Obadiah 1:3
Reciprocal: Psalm 71:4 - out of the

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-17.html.