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Go to Bible: 2 Samuel 16
“had crossed a little beyond the summit.” That is, a little beyond the summit of the Mount of Olives on his way east.
“loaded.” The Hebrew word means “bound up; tied up, or tied on.” The word does not mean “saddle,” and there were no saddles at this time in history; any “saddle” was simply a blanket that was tied on. They were a couple of donkeys that were bound up, and tied on them was all the food and wine, and once that was unloaded the donkeys had blankets on them which were tied on them.
“200 loaves of bread.” In the biblical culture, a “loaf” of bread was flat bread much like a modern pancake, but the Hebrew text simply says, “200 bread,” where “bread” is a collective plural.
“100 summer fruits.” The Hebrew omits the word “fruit” and just has “100 summer,” so the text does not tell us what Ziba brought other than that it grew in the summer, but the text does not tell us if the summer produce was fresh or, like the raisins, was dried. If it was dried, then what Ziba likely brought was 100 cakes of pressed fruit.
“skin-bottle.” A “bottle” or container made from animal skin. Ziba had enough food for quite a few people, and the skin-bottle could have been quite large in keeping with the rest of the food. [For more on skin-bottles, which were usually made from the skins of goats, see commentary on 1 Sam. 10:3].(top)
“household.” The Hebrew is simply “house,” but it means “household.”(top)
“your lord’s son.” The word “lord” is a grammatical plural, literally “lords” but meaning “lord.”
“for he said.” Ziba is lying, but supposedly quoting Mephibosheth saying that the kingdom would be restored to the house of Saul, in the person of Mephibosheth.” David should have figured out that this was a lie. Absalom did not, and never did, have any affinity for the house of Saul, and certainly would not have given up his kingship for Saul’s son, the cripple Mephibosheth. Ziba’s lie is so audacious that we are led to think that Ziba likely thought that Absalom would see Mephibosheth as a potential rival and kill him, and the truth would never become known. But Absalom did not kill Mephibosheth, who told David the truth, but even so David did not punish Ziba for his lie but did not look deeply into the matter.(top)
“bow down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body and face to the earth, as we see in this verse. The word translated “bowed down,” shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is the same Hebrew word as “worship.” [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].(top)
“Bahurim.” On a shoulder on the east side of the Mount of Olives.(top)
|2Sa 16:6||- (top)|
“man of Belial.” This is a designation of sons of the Devil. [For more on sons of Belial, see commentary on 1 Sam. 2:12. For more on the unforgivable sin and children of the Devil, see commentary on Matt. 12:31].(top)
“all the blood of the house of Saul.” This is a false accusation. David never touched Saul, much less killed him. The Philistines did that.
“your evil situation.” The Hebrew is simply “in your evil,” meaning in your evil situation, where “evil” is put by metonymy for an “evil situation.”(top)
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|2Sa 16:10||- (top)|
|2Sa 16:11||- (top)|
“look on my affliction.” The NET note explains the variant English translations well: “The Hebrew text is difficult here. It is probably preferable to read with the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate…(‘on my affliction’( rather than the Kethib of the MT…(‘on my wrongdoing’(. While this Kethib reading is understandable as an objective genitive (i.e., ‘the wrong perpetrated upon me’), it does not conform to normal Hebrew idiom for this idea. The Qere of the MT…(‘on my eyes’(, usually taken as synecdoche to mean ‘my tears,’ does not commend itself as a likely meaning.”(top)
“on the ridge of the hill close to him.” The geography is more “above” him, but he was close.
“throwing stones close to him.” Shimei likely knew that if he hit David with a stone he would be quickly killed, and so threw the stones close to him. The casting dust was symbolic and to make a scene.(top)
“arrived weary.” The LXX adds that they arrived at the Jordan River, and while that may be true, it is not in the Hebrew text. In 2 Samuel 17:22 David and the people crossed the Jordan, but that may be later.(top)
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“May the king live! May the king live!” Hushai might well have been thinking of David here, not Absalom, but people would not think that.(top)
|2Sa 16:17||- (top)|
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“both of you.” In the phrase “give your advice,” the “you” is plural, referring to Hushai and Ahithophel.(top)
“go in to your father’s concubines.” Ahithophel advised Absalom to have sex with David’s concubines. Culturally, this would make an absolute break between Absalom and David, and show that Absalom was taking David’s place as king. However, Ahithophel’s advice may have had another motivation: Ahithophel was the grandfather of Bathsheba, whom David basically raped, got pregnant, arranged for her husband Uriah to be killed, and then married. Ahithophel may have thought of Absalom having sex with David’s wives as a kind of revenge. (See commentary on 2 Samuel 15:12). The phrase “go in to” is clear enough, meaning to go in to where the concubines were and have sex with them. Ahithophel was not as graphic as saying, “go into” your father’s wives. The women were concubines, but for the purpose of humiliating David, they were his wives.(top)
“Absalom went in to his father’s concubines before the eyes all Israel.” This act of Absalom fulfilled Nathan’s prophecy that because David had taken another man’s wife and slept with her secretly (i.e., with Bathsheba), his wives would be taken by another man, who would sleep with them publicly (2 Sam. 12:11). The phrase “all Israel” tells us that many of the leaders of Israel were following Absalom at this time. The phrase “before the eyes of” is actually quite literal of the City of David. It was quite small, and people could see the palace roof quite clearly from most of the city.(top)
|2Sa 16:23||- (top)|