Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 17:20

Then Absalom's servants came to the woman at the house and said, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" And the woman said to them, "They have crossed the brook of water." And when they searched and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abiathar;   Ahimaaz;   Ahithophel;   Falsehood;   Friendship;   Jonathan;   Zadok;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Water;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahimaaz;   Ahithophel;   Hushai;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;   Prayer;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Brook;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ahimaaz;   Jehonathan;   Jonathan;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ahimaaz;   Brook;   Jonathan;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahimaaz ;   Ahithophel ;   Brook;   Jonathan ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   Ahimaaz;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ahim'a-Az;   Ahith'ophel;   Jon'athan,;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ahimaaz;   Bahurim;   Jonathan (1);   Samuel, Books of;   Zadok;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Ahimaaz;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Jonathan, Jehonathan;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

As soon as ever she had hid the men she went into the house, as if busy about her usual occupations. Had Absalom‘s servants, who had had information from some of the people of Bahurim that the men had come to this house, found her in the court it might have directed their attention to the peeled barley.

Over the brook of water - Compare 2 Samuel 16:9 note. The word for “brook” (“Michal”) occurs only here. One has been found in this very district, still so called. The woman showed great presence of mind and adroitness in not denying that they had been there.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". "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

And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house,.... Who were sent after then, had intelligence which way they took, and into what house they turned:

they said, where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan? calling them by their names, being persons well known, and as to them, so to the woman of the house, as they supposed:

and the woman said unto them, they be gone over the brook of water; the river Jordan; so the Targum,"they have already passed over Jordan;'

this was a lie she told them, which is not to be justified; the Vulgate Latin version,"they passed over hastily, having drank a little water;'and so JosephusF18Antiqu. l. 7. c. 9. sect. 7. Hudson. not. in ib. in some copies:

and when they had sought and could not find them; not only searched that house, but very probably others in Bahurim:

they returned to Jerusalem; to give an account what success they had.

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 17:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where [is] Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the i brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find [them], they returned to Jerusalem.

(i) The Chaldee text reads: Now they have passed the Jordan.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-17.html. 1599-1645.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

When Absalom's servants came and asked for the priest's sons, the woman said, They have gone over the little water-brook ( המּים מיכל, ἁπ. λεγ. ), and thus led them wrong, so that they did not find them.

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/2-samuel-17.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

Over the brook of water — That is, over Jordan. This was a manifest lie.

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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 17:20". "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 17:20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where [is] Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find [them], they returned to Jerusalem.

Ver. 20. They be gone over the brook of water.] Her hiding of them was ingenious - as women’s wits, they say, are best at a pinch; but her lie, though but officious, cannot be excused; for God could and would have wrought without it: nevertheless he is graciously pleased to lay the finger of mercy on the scars of such infirmities, where the bent and intent of the heart, for the main, is upright.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". 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 17:20. They be gone over the brook of water They passed away quickly. Houbigant. According to Josephus and the Vulgate, the meaning is, that they just drank a little water and hasted forward. Note; (1.) The weakest instruments in God's hand can answer the greatest purposes. (2.) A lie, though told to serve a good cause, ceases not therefore to be a bad thing.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". 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

Over the brook of water, i.e. over Jordan. This was a manifest lie; but because it was spoken for no hurt, but good only, many persons in those times conceived such lies to be lawful. Compare Exodus 1:19 Joshua 2:4,5. But although God was pleased to overlook and pardon the sin, and graciously to reward the good intention which accompanied them; yet it is certain that all kinds of lies are moral evils, and condemned by plain scriptures, and that we must not do evil that good may come, nor tell a lie for God’s glory, Romans 3:7,8.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". 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 17:20. When Absalom’s servants — Who were sent to pursue them; came to the woman to the house — For some had informed them that Jonathan and Ahimaaz had turned that way. The woman said, They be gone over the brook — According to Josephus, the woman told them; they made no stay at her house, but, after they had asked for a little water, made haste away: but, if they pursued them speedily, she believed they might overtake them. This, however, was a manifest lie; and, though spoken for no hurt, but good only; and though, as is probable, it was pardoned by God; yet was it certainly moral evil, as all kinds of lies are, and are condemned by plain passages of Scripture, which inform us we must not do evil that good may come, nor tell a lie for God’s glory, Romans 3:7-8.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Water. Hebrew, "they have crossed the brook of water." (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

said. Probably misdirecting them.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". "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

(20) The brook of water.—This peculiar word for brook occurs only here, and is thought by some writers to be a proper name. A small brook bearing the same name, Michal, is said to exist now in this locality. On the deceit practised by the women, comp. Joshua 2:4-7; 1 Samuel 19:12-17. The historian simply records without comment what was done.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And when Absalom's servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
They be gone
15:34; Exodus 1:19; Joshua 2:4,5; 1 Samuel 19:14-17; 21:2; 27:11,12
when they had sought
Joshua 2:22,23
Reciprocal: Judges 4:20 - Is there;  1 Samuel 19:17 - And Michal;  1 Samuel 27:10 - And David;  1 Chronicles 6:8 - Ahimaaz

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 17:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-17.html.