2 Samuel 16:18 MEANING

2 Samuel 16:18
Verse 18. - The men of Israel. Here and in ver. 15 the men of Israel are not contrasted with the men of Judah, but include them (see 2 Samuel 15:10). Absalom's rebellion began at Hebron, in Judaea, and the selection of Amasa, a first cousin both of David and Joab, as commander-in-chief, suggests the conclusion that Absalom's chief strength lay in David's own tribe, though men from all the tribes on the west of the Jordan had also flocked to his standard. Besides them, Hushai speaks of this people, that is, the citizens of Jerusalem. For, while there had been general lamentation at David's departure (2 Samuel 15:23), yet the citizens had admitted Absalom without a struggle, and submitted to him. David's adherents are also constantly called "the people," because they did not belong to any special tribe, but were drawn indifferently from them all.

16:15-23 The wisest counsellors of that age were Ahithophel and Hushai: Absalom thinks himself sure of success, when he has both; on them he relies, and consults not the ark, though he had that with him. But miserable counsellors were they both. Hushai would never counsel him to do wisely. Ahithophel counselled him to do wickedly; and so did as effectually betray him, as he did, who was designedly false to him: for they that advise men to sin, certainly advise them to their hurt. After all, honesty is the best policy, and will be found so in the long run. Ahithophel gave wicked counsel to Absalom; to render himself so hateful to his father, that he would never be reconciled to him; this cursed policy was of the devil. How desperately wicked is the human heart!And Hushai said to Absalom,.... In answer to his questions:

nay, but whom the Lord, and his people, and all the men of Israel choose: here again he speaks very ambiguously; for this circumlocution, or descriptive character of the king of Israel, better agrees with David, whom he might bear in mind, than with Absalom; for the Lord had chosen David, and he was anointed by his order, and all the people of Israel had chosen and anointed him likewise; but as for Absalom, it was only a part of them that had declared for him, nor was there any evidence of the Lord's choosing him; though Hushai undoubtedly would be under stood of him, and as interpreting the voice of the people to be the voice of God:

his will I be, and with him will I abide; though he designed no such thing, which was a great piece of dissimulation and hypocrisy; and if he meant David, it was a piece of deceit and equivocation: there is a various reading in the first clause; we follow the marginal reading, "to him" or "his", but the textual reading is "not": and both may be taken in by rendering the words by an interrogation, "shall I, or should I not be his" (d)? I will; that is, be his servant, faithfully obey his commands, be closely attached to him, and continue with him as a loyal subject.

(d) "non ero", Montanus; "non essem ejus?" Junius & Tremellius.

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