2 Samuel Chapter 17  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 2 Samuel 17
2Sa 17:1

“I will.” The three-verse speech of Ahithophel drips with personal animosity. Ahithophel is not a warrior, yet he speaks like one. He will choose the army himself, chase after David, come upon him while he is tired and weak, make him afraid, and kill him. Then he will bring the people back, and there will be peace. The energy for this speech is no doubt the personal animosity that Ahithophel has for David because David had sex with his granddaughter Bathsheba and arranged for her husband, Uriah, to be killed. See commentary on 2 Samuel 15:12.

2Sa 17:2

“exhausted.” The literal Hebrew is “weak (or slack) of hands” but here the idiom most likely means “exhausted.”

2Sa 17:3(top)
2Sa 17:4(top)
2Sa 17:5

“what he too says.” The Hebrew is idiomatic: “let us hear what is in his mouth too.”

2Sa 17:6(top)
2Sa 17:7

“advice that Ahithophel has given.” The Hebrew uses the noun and verb of “advice”: “The advice that Ahithophel has advised this time is not good.”

2Sa 17:8(top)
2Sa 17:9(top)
2Sa 17:10

“melt, yes, melt.” Hushai repeats the verb “melt” twice in different conjugations, thus using the figure of speech polyptoton for emphasis (see commentary on Gen. 2:16).

2Sa 17:11

“and that you go to battle in your own person.” Hushai advised Absalom to go in person to the battle, while Ahithophel advised that Absalom remain in Jerusalem while Ahithophel himself pursues David (2 Sam. 17:1, 3). Hushai likely rightly thought that if Absalom went into battle he would die there, which he did, and Absalom’s death would put an end to the rebellion.

2Sa 17:12

“there will not be left to him … even one.” Ahithophel’s advice included bringing the people back to Absalom, whereas Hushai’s advice was kill all the people who followed David. Since Absalom likely did not trust the people who followed David, getting rid of them all in one battle would seem appealing.

2Sa 17:13(top)
2Sa 17:14

“Yahweh had commanded to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel.” Yahweh was actively participating in the defeat of Absalom and the victory of David.

“bring evil on Absalom.” That is, bring disaster on Absalom.

2Sa 17:15(top)
2Sa 17:16

“fords of the wilderness.” These fords would be somewhere in the vicinity of Jericho.

2Sa 17:17

“by En-rogel.” The spring of En-rogel is 300 yards south of the Gihon Spring.

2Sa 17:18

“young man.” The Hebrew word refers to a young man, but can in certain contexts refer to a servant. This young man could have been one of Absalom's servants.

2Sa 17:19(top)
2Sa 17:20

“They have gone over the brook of water.” This woman lied to the men who came from Absalom, and in so doing may well have saved David’s life. God allows people to act in self defense and in the defense of others, and sometimes that requires telling untruths to evil people. [For more on lying and civil disobedience, see commentary Exod. 1:19].

2Sa 17:21(top)
2Sa 17:22(top)
2Sa 17:23

“he saddled his donkey.” The “saddle” that we have today, complete with stirrups, was a late invention, after the time of Christ. People rode donkeys and horses on blankets like the American Indians did.

2Sa 17:24(top)
2Sa 17:25(top)
2Sa 17:26(top)
2Sa 17:27

“And when David had come to Mahanaim.” David was driven out of Jerusalem but was well received in the Transjordan, and in a similar way the Jews of Jerusalem rejected Christ but accepted him in the Transjordan, where, for example, the feeding of the 5,000 occurred (John 10:40-42).

2Sa 17:28

“bedding.” Likely thick blankets, the normal bed and bedding for the people.

2Sa 17:29

“cheese of the herd.” The “herd” is cattle, so this would be cheese made from cows’ milk.


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