2Sa 15: Poss background: was David very ill at this time (cp
Psa 41:3,5,8; 55:4; Psa 38; Psa 39)?
CHARIOT AND HORSES... FIFTY MEN: An entourage
appropriate to a king!
Beware of pride and political ambition: 'I could do BETTER!'
"How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame [dishonor my Glorious One]?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods [lies]?" (Psa
HE STOLE THE HEARTS...: "He made them disaffected
toward his father, David, and robbed him of their loyalty. It is always wrong to
steal a man's possessions, but worse to rob him of his right to be loved"
FOUR YEARS: Not forty, as KJV. Prob four years after
Absalom's return from exile.
AND FULFILL A VOW I MADE TO THE LORD: Wickedness and
rebellion under the guise of religion.
AHITHOPHEL: Already a traitor, or so it seems. He was
already waiting at Giloh -- near Hebron -- and he came without question. (Note
David's laments re Ahithophel: Psa 41; 55.) Poss reason: Bathsheba was
Ahithophel's granddaughter (cp 2Sa 11:3 with 2Sa 23:34). Ahithophel's advice:
2Sa 16:21r. Obviously Ahithophel's enmity extended to Bathsheba and her
children, for bringing disgrace on the family (BS 9:56,57).
AND SO THE CONSPIRACY GAINED STRENGTH: "O LORD, how
many are my foes! How many rise up against me!" (Psa 3:1). Why? (1) Saul's
partisans still remained; (2) the affair of Bathsheba; (3) Joab's crimes; and
(4) David's illness, and seeming lack of authority.
David leaves to muster forces, to draw clear lines of division
between the two camps, to allow others to join him, to make his position firm in
Typ Christ, who withdraws and waits 2,000 years to see who are
his true followers.
TEN CONCUBINES TO TAKE CARE OF THE PALACE: Cp 10
virgins to keep watch for the bridegroom's return: Mat 25:1-13. But they do not
(or cannot?) wait faithfully for their "husband" to return: 2Sa
David's flight: see Psa 3; 42/43; 63.
SOME DISTANCE AWAY: On the far outskirts of
PELETHITES: Prob sons of Peleth, of Judah (1Ch 2:33).
They were of general family of Jerahmeelites (1Ch 2:25), who settled on extreme
southwest border of Judah (1Sa 27:10). Here, they would be neighbors of the
Philistine Cherethites (Zep 2:5; 1Sa 30:14) -- poss the link by which they came
to join themselves to Judah and David (BS 10:23).
ITTAI: Who later became a leader of a third of David's
army (2Sa 18:2). A Gentile, of Gath, more loyal than David's own son!
YOU CAME ONLY YESTERDAY: Prob a hyperbole: to suggest
that Ittai was not a "Hebrew" of long standing.
'Do not become involved in our internal disputes.'
"There is Ruth-like quality [Rth 1:16,17] in this asseveration
[serious statement] and there is almost an echo of it in the words of Jesus when
he says: 'Where I am, there shall also my servant be' (John 12:26). For all of
us, in our coming to Christ, the words of David have a special relevance: 'Thou
art a stranger and also an exile: whereas thou camest but yesterday...' Sure we
were, outside the commonwealth of Israel, having no hope and without God in the
world. And we heard the call of the King. Our hearts took fast hold of the
things concerning him and the kingdom, and we forsook our former allegiance. So
now, 'in death or life,' in 'what place my Lord the king shall be' we follow,
that in the end we might be with him for ever" (TMD 163).
"The most notable of the 600-plus men of Gath was a man named
Ittai who with his companions fled with David when Absalom rebelled. Ittai's
words to David are quite extraordinary and again reveal how much Ruth's
conversion meant to David. Indeed one is inclined to contemplate whether Ruth
had still been alive in the early years of David's life and had been involved in
his upbringing. David quite evidently had told Ittai of Ruth's words to her
mother in law because Ittai's words seem to allude to them. When David suggested
that Ittai should return from following him when he fled from Absalom, Ittai
said: 'As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place
my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy
servant be' " (KC).
So Ittai is really saying, "If David's ancestress, a Moabite,
can pledge such allegiance -- loving and absolute -- to the God of Israel and
His people, then so can I... even though a Gittite!" And then, even we Aussies
and Americans can say: "If Ruth, and Ittai, could say such things -- and do
them... then so can I!"
One final lesson: How low David must have been feeling, in
fleeing his own city and giving up his throne, upon which Yahweh had placed him!
So here we have a newcomer -- one not so long before a "godless" Gittite, a
brute beast, so to speak (vv 19,20) -- not only coming with David, but
encouraging him with these words... which (in their "Ruth" form) David must have
quoted to him!
So the lesson is for all of us: It's good to share our bright
and precious hope with others, because -- when we need it most -- one of them
might just give it back to us!
THE KING ALSO CROSSED THE KIDRON VALLEY: "David passed
that gloomy brook when flying with his mourning company from his traitor son.
The man after God's own heart was not exempt from trouble, nay, his life was
full of it. He was both the Lord's Anointed, and the Lord's Afflicted. Why then
should we expect to escape? At sorrow's gates the noblest of our race have
waited with ashes on their heads; wherefore then should we complain as though
some strange thing had happened unto us? The King of kings himself was not
favoured with a more cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of
Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without
sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that
Jesus has been tempted in all points like as we are. What is our Kidron this
morning? Is it a faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a
dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these. Is it bodily pain, poverty,
persecution, or contempt? Over each of these Kidrons the King has gone before
us. 'In all our afflictions He was afflicted' [Isa 63:9]. The idea of
strangeness in our trials must be banished at once and for ever, for he who is
the Head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think so
TAKE THE ARK OF GOD BACK INTO THE CITY: God and His ark
were to dwell only in Jerusalem (Psa 132:14).
IF I FIND FAVOR IN THE LORD'S EYES: "Let the light of
your face shine upon us, O LORD" (Psa 4:6).
THE FORDS IN THE DESERT: The plain of Jericho, by the
ford of Jordan.
BUT DAVID CONTINUED UP THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, WEEPING AS HE
WENT: This is to be contrasted with the incident in the gospels: "When
[Jesus] came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the
whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the
miracles they had seen" (Luk 19:37).
And then... compared with another incident not much later:
"When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the
Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his
disciples went into it" (John 18:1).
HIS HEAD WAS COVERED: Like a leper: Lev 13:45. Was he
ill (vv 5,6)?
O LORD, TURN AHITHOPHEL'S COUNSEL INTO FOOLISHNESS:
That is, He made Ahithophel's counsel APPEAR to be foolish -- so that Absalom
would not follow it (2Sa 17:14).