Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 18:13

Otherwise, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Absalom;   Citizens;   Ephraim;   Loyalty;   Parents;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahimaaz;   Joab;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Absalom;   Joab;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Fox;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abishai;   Joab;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Joab ;   Oak;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Absalom;   David;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Jo'ab;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Crime;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me - This is a strong appeal to Joab's loyalty, and respect for the orders of David; but he was proof against every fine feeling, and against every generous sentiment.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The man gives a remarkable incidental testimony to David‘s sagacity and penetration (compare 2 Samuel 14:19), and to Joab‘s known unscrupulousness.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-18.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life,.... Or "soul"; he should not only have exposed his life to danger, but acted falsely to the king, by going contrary to his orders; yea, would have done that which was contrary to his own conscience; and if he had buoyed himself up with the hope of impunity, or of a reward, he should have found himself mistaken; the textual reading is, "against his life"F12בנפשו εν τη ψυχη αυτου, Sept. "contra animam illius", Piscator. , or "soul", the life of Absalom, by taking it away:

for there is no matter hid from the king; this, though done ever so secretly, would have come to his knowledge by some means or another, and then I should have incurred his displeasure, and suffered for it:

and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me; to accuse and bring him to justice; he would have been so far from protecting him, that he would have been the first man that would have insisted on it that he should be punished for it; or why dost not thou thyself set thyself against him, and smite him? thou mayest if thou pleasest, yonder he hangs, go and smite 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 18:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-18.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 18:13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against [me].

Ver. 13. And thou thyself wouldst have set thyself.] Or, Wouldst have kept aloof off from helping me. Satan is ever accusing the saints after that he hath drawn them to sin: so that one may say to him, as this man here doth to Joab, Thou thyself, &c.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-18.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Either, first, I should have been guilty of false and perfidious dealing against the king’s express injunction, and that with the manifest hazard of my own life. Or, secondly I should have betrayed my own life. I should not only have deceived myself with false hopes, either of concealing my fact from the king, or of obtaining a reward, yea, or a pardon, from him or thee for it; but also have destroyed myself thereby, and laid a plot against my own life.

There is no matter hid from the king; this, as all other things, would certainly come to the king’s ear.

Thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me; thou wouldst have been my adversary and accuser; partly because it was thy duty to be so; and partly to vindicate thyself by casting the blame upon another. Or, thou wouldst have stood afar off, as this phrase is used, Psalms 38:11. Thou wouldst not have stood to me to intercede for my life or reward, but wouldst keep at a distance from me.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-18.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13.Falsehood against mine own life — Rather, against his life, that is, Absalom’s life, for such is the reading of the Hebrew text, (בנפשׁו,) and only the Masoretic pointing favours the English version. To work falsehood against his life means to slay him secretly, and keep it unknown by whose hand he fell. The whole verse should be thus translated: But if I had wrought falsehood againt his life, and everything (word) is not hidden from the king, even thou wouldst have set thyself in opposition.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-18.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 18:13. I should have wrought falsehood against my own life — Not only have been false and disobedient to the king, but should have betrayed my own life, and therefore not have been true to myself. For there is no matter hid from the king — This, as all other things, would certainly have come to the king’s ear. Thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me Thou wouldest have been my adversary and accuser, both because it would have been thy duty to be so, and to vindicate thyself from any blame in the matter. He knew the disposition of Joab so well, that he was sure that general would have been as forward as any one both to inform the king of what had been done, and to have had the person punished who did it, for disobeying his sovereign.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-18.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

My own. Some copies of the Hebrew and Septuagint read, "his;" others, my, &c. The soldier would have acted against his conscience, and exposed his life to danger, if he had transgressed the king's order. (Haydock) --- By me? or, omitting the mark of interrogation, "Thou wouldst have declared thyself against me." (Calmet)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

life = soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-18.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) Against mine own life.—The English, like the Vulg., here follows the margin of the Hebrew; the LXX., in most MSS., following the text, has against his life. Either makes a good sense, but the English is preferable. In this parley Joab thoroughly exposes his unscrupulous and self-willed character, and the man shows that he understood it.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
wrought
1:15,16; 4:10-12
for there is no
14:19,20; Hebrews 4:13
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 28:9 - wherefore

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-18.html.