Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 17:14

Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel." For the Lord had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring calamity on Absalom.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahithophel;   Armies;   Council;   Diplomacy;   Falsehood;   Friendship;   Spies;   Strategy;   War;   Thompson Chain Reference - Ahithophel;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Providence of God, the;   Prudence;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Amasa;   Hushai;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Evil;   Friend, Friendship;   Providence of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Archite;   Prayer;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Elder;   Hushai;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel ;   Archite ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   Hushai;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahith'ophel;   Ar'chite, the;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Intend;  

The Biblical Illustrator

2 Samuel 17:14

The counsel of Hushai the Archite.

Hushai’s Counsel

Hushai saw that it was essential to gain time, “in order,” to quote the words of Tacitus, “to give the disaffected time to repent, and the loyal time to unite: crimes gain by hasty action, better counsels by delay.” His scheme was cleverly devised to appeal to Absalom’s vanity and love of display. It seemed safe and easy: it was a far more attractive idea for Absalom to march in person against, David at the head of an immense army than for him to let Achithophel complete the revolution by a decisive action at once. His vanity proved his ruin. He forgot that s general levy would involve no slight delay: he forgot that the rising was by no means certain to be general, and that when the first surprise of the insurrection was over many would return their allegiance to David. But Absalom and his counsellors were blinded by a divinely-ordered infatuation. (A. F. Kirkpatrick, M. A.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "2 Samuel 17:14". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/2-samuel-17.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said,.... That is, the elders, who before approved of the counsel of Ahithophel, 2 Samuel 17:4,

the counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel; it appeared to them most plausible, and most likely to be attended with success:

for the Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel; for so it was to Absalom and his party the best and wisest that could be given them; but it was the Lord's will it should be defeated, and therefore the minds of Absalom and of the elders of Israel were blinded:

to the intent that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom; his person and cause; that his cause might be ruined, and he himself slain in battle; see Proverbs 19:21.

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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 17:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite [is] better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the d good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might e bring evil upon Absalom.

(d) That counsel which seemed good at first to Absalom, (2 Samuel 17:4).

(e) For by the counsel of Hushai, he went to the battle, where he was destroyed.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:14". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-17.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel — The reasons specified being extremely plausible, and expressed in the strong hyperbolical language suited to dazzle an Oriental imagination, the council declared in favor of Hushai‘s advice; and their resolution was the immediate cause of the discomfiture of the rebellion, although the council itself was only a link in the chain of causation held by the controlling hand of the Lord.

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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 17:14". "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 he secured his end. Absalom and all Israel thought his advice better than that of Ahithophel; for it was intended to commend itself to Absalom and his supporters. “The counsel appeared safe; at the same time it was full of a certain kind of boasting, which pleased the younger men” (Clericus). All that Hushai had said about the bravery and heroism of David and his followers, was well founded. The deception lay in the assumption that all the people from Dan to Beersheba would crowd around Absalom as one man; whereas it might easily be foreseen, that after the first excitement of the revolution was over, and great calmness ensued, a large part of the nation and army would gather round David. But such a possibility as this never entered the minds of Absalom and his supporters. It was in this that the divine sentence referred to in 2 Samuel 17:14 was seen: “The Lord had commanded (appointed) it, to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, that he might bring the evil (intended) upon Absalom.”

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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 17:14". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-17.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.

Absalom and all, … — Be it observed, to the comfort of all that fear God, he turns all mans hearts as the rivers of water. He stands in the congregation of the mighty, has an over-ruling hand in all counsels, and a negative voice in all resolves, and laughs at mens projects against his children.

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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 17:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-17.html. 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

RIVAL COUNSELLORS

‘The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.’

2 Samuel 17:14

Ahithophel’s advice was excellent. The success of the rebellion would be insured by striking a sudden blow and securing the king’s person. A small body of picked troops might easily have overtaken David, who was not likely to get more than twelve or fifteen miles from Jerusalem the first day.

I. Anithophel’s counsel was a masterpiece, alike of sagacity and of wickedness.—He proposed to take a select body of twelve thousand out of the troops that had already flocked to Absalom’s standard, and follow the fugitive king. That very night he would set out, and in a few hours they would overtake the king and his handful of defenders; they would destroy no life but the king’s only, and thus, by an almost bloodless revolution, they would place Absalom peacefully on the throne. The advantages of the plan were obvious. It was prompt, it seemed certain of success, and it would avoid an unpopular slaughter.

II. How plausibly Hushai reasons; he insists much upon it, that David was a great soldier, a man of great conduct, courage, and experience; all knew and owned this, even Absalom himself: Thy father is a man of war, a mighty man, and not so weary and weak-handed as Ahithophel imagines. His retiring from Jerusalem must be imputed, not to his cowardice, but his prudence. His attendants, though few, were mighty men, men of celebrated bravery, and versed in all the arts of war. They were all exasperated against Absalom, were chafed in their minds and would fight with the utmost fury; so that with their courage and their rage there would be no standing before them. Thus does he represent them as formidable as Ahithophel had made them despicable. He suggests that probably David and some of his men would lie in ambush, and fall upon Absalom’s soldiers before they were aware, and the defeat, though but of a small party, would dispirit all the rest. First, He advises that all Israel should be gathered together, his taking it for granted that they were all for him, and giving him an opportunity to see them all together under his command would gratify him as much as anything. Secondly, He advises that Absalom go to battle in his own person, as if he looked upon him to be a better soldier than Ahithophel, more fit to give command and have the honour of the victory, insinuating that Ahithophel had put a slight upon him in offering to go without him. He counselled that which seemed to secure success without running any hazard. For if they could raise such vast numbers as they promised themselves, wherever they found him, they should not fail to crush him.

III. The pretences were fairer, though the grounds were unsound.—First, to sweeten his opposition, he yields the praise of wisdom to his adversary in all other counsels, that he may have leave to deny it in this; then he suggests certain apparent truths concerning David’s valour and skill, to give countenance to the inferences of his improbabilities: lastly, he cunningly feeds the proud humour of Absalom in magnifying the power and extent of his commands, and ends in the glorious boast of his fore-promised victory. As it is with faces, so with counsel, that is fair that pleaseth. The counsel of Hushai pleased better than that of Ahithophel, and so it was preferred. Absalom’s overweening vanity becomes the means of defeating the scheme and laying the foundation of Absalom’s ruin.

Illustrations

(1) ‘Hushai might have been a useful guide, but Absalom is bent on evil, and Ahithophel helps him in his wickedness. Hushai only seeks to defeat the evil counsel of the latter. This he attempts for David’s sake as well as Absalom’s. Absalom could, if he had been true, have had a most valuable counsellor in Hushai, but, under the circumstances, all Hushai can do is to endeavour to help David, or to give him time to escape, by counselling delay on the part of Absalom.’

(2) ‘“The Lord had ordained,” and Absalom forgot it. He left out the essential factor in the problem. Let me be more mindful. It is the secret of humbleness to remember that God’s plan and purpose are over all. Am I anxious about the development of my own inner life? Am I eager to render some service for Christ’s sake and Christ’s glory in the Church and in the world? It is well that it should be so. But I shall be utterly destitute of prosperity and progress, if God is not inspiring my speech and directing my labour. And it is the secret of restfulness to live in the knowledge that the King of kings pursues His own royal way. I torment myself about my growth in grace. I am sorely cast down because my endeavours on behalf of others meet with meagre success. But why should I be so careful and troubled? There is One Who has linked Himself with me, to perfect my life and to gather fruitage and vintage from what I say and do. “Ask ye who is this Same? Christ Jesus is His name.” Surely it is folly and sin to despair. But it is the secret of misery and ruin to forget that the Lord reigneth. I go down to death when I neglect His presence, and when I run counter to His law and love.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:14". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/2-samuel-17.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 17:14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite [is] better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.

Ver. 14. For the Lord had appointed.] Heb., He commanded - viz., his angels, saith Vatablus - that they should defeat Ahithophel’s counsel.

The good counsel of Ahithophel.] The Vulgate Latin for bonum good, hath utile, profitable, the profitable counsel, sc., for the attaining of that end which Absalom aimed at: for otherwise, the counsel in itself was stark stinking nought.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:14". 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

Absalom and all the men of Israel were infatuated by a Divine power, and given up to believe lies and mistakes.

The Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel; so it was, politically considered; being the wisest and most effectual course to accomplish Absalom’s end.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:14". 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 17:14. Absalom and all the men of Israel said — Being infatuated by a divine power, and given up to believe a lie. The counsel of Hushai is better, &c. — His advice was much better suited to Absalom’s cruelty, as well as his vanity; and seemingly to the interest of his ambition, as well as the safety of his followers, (who did not care to put any thing to the hazard of a small party,) and therefore it easily prevailed. Such is the wonderful overruling providence of God in more cases than we are aware of! For the Lord had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel — It was good politically considered; being the wisest and most effectual course to accomplish the end Absalom had in view. Be it observed here, to the comfort of all that fear God, he turns all men’s hearts as the rivers of water. He stands in the congregation of the mighty, has an overruling hand in all counsels, and a negative voice in all resolves, and laughs at men’s projects against his children.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:14". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Profitable, to the cause of Absalom, more than that of Chusai, which was also very plausible. (Haydock) --- Lord. The Scripture always directs us to fix our thoughts on God, as the arbiter of all human affairs. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "for the Lord had ordained to dissipate the good counsel," &c. (Haydock) --- "Plerumque qui fortunam mutaturus est consilia corrumpit, efficitque, quod miserrimum est, ut quod accidit, etiam merito accidisse videatur, et casus in culpam transeat," Peterc. ii.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

evil = the evil. Heb, ra`a". App-44.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:14". "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

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.

The counsel of Hushai ... is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. The reasons specified being extremely plausible, and expressed in the strong hyperbolical language suited to dazzle an Oriental imagination, the council declared in favour of Hushai's advice; and their resolution was the immediate cause of the discomfiture of the rebellion, although the counsel itself was only a link in the chain of causation held by the controlling hand of the Lord.

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 17:14". "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

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.
the Lord
15:31; Genesis 32:28; Exodus 9:16; Deuteronomy 2:30; 2 Chronicles 25:16,20
appointed
Heb. commanded.
Psalms 33:9,10; Lamentations 3:37; Amos 9:3
to defeat
15:34; 16:23; Job 5:12-14; Proverbs 19:21; 21:30; Isaiah 8:10; 1 Corinthians 1:19,20; 1 Corinthians 3:19
good counsel
Luke 16:8
Reciprocal: Genesis 45:5 - God;  2 Samuel 2:12 - Mahanaim;  2 Samuel 15:12 - Ahithophel;  2 Samuel 18:5 - Deal gently;  1 Kings 12:15 - that he might;  2 Chronicles 10:8 - he forsook;  Nehemiah 4:15 - God;  Job 12:17 - GeneralJob 17:4 - GeneralJob 18:7 - his own;  Psalm 5:10 - let;  Psalm 7:6 - to the;  Psalm 86:14 - assemblies;  Ecclesiastes 9:11 - that the race;  Isaiah 19:3 - and I;  Isaiah 30:28 - causing;  Jeremiah 18:18 - counsel;  Jeremiah 50:36 - dote;  Matthew 2:8 - go

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-17.html.