The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Samuel

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2 Samuel 16

2Sa 16:1

2Sa 16: "Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts. A poor man is shunned by all his relatives -- how much more do his friends avoid him! Though he pursues them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found" (Pro 19:6,7). "Fair weather friends."

ZIBA: Ziba, a former servant of Saul, had been commanded to farm Mephibosheth's land, so that Mephibosheth could eat bread at David's table. Ziba -- a man with a large family and many servants -- prob resented this, and sought to gain the territory of Mephibosheth (see 2Sa 9:2-12; 19:24-30).

2Sa 16:5

Vv 5-14: Note types with Christ: Shimei (of Benjamin: like Saul, and Saul of Tarsus?) curses David as he is led outside the camp to suffer (Kedron: 2Sa 15:23; Olivet: 2Sa 15:30). David, being forgiven (and thus sinless), accepts this rebuke quietly -- as coming from God. His followers beg permission to attack his accusers, but he refuses (cp Mat 26:52). No violence or anger: a "lamb" led dumb to the slaughter.

"The scene is one we would do well to carry in our hearts -- Shimei's violent language and the flying stones, and David's silent, disciplined army marching towards Jericho, with their king humbled in their midst. Another, greater than David, 'who did no sin neither was guile found in his mouth,' would bear a greater reproach outside the walls of Jerusalem. When reviled, he would not threaten but would commit himself to Him that judgeth righteously. Twelve legions of angels would be his servants, but not one of them would silence those who cursed the Son of God. Christ's submission before undeserved cursing and bitterness was part of the triumph of his spirit" (TMD 169).

SHIMEI: This same Shimei later repents (2Sa 19:16-20), and welcomes David as he returns in triumph. Later he is put to death (1Ki 2:8,44).

2Sa 16:6

HE PELTED DAVID WITH STONES: "Across that wild ravine" (WGos 169).

2Sa 16:7

YOU MAN OF BLOOD, YOU SCOUNDREL!: "Man of Belial." As if David were to blame for deaths of Saul, Jonathan, Abner, and Ishbosheth. "Many are saying of me, 'God will not deliver him' " (Psa 3:2). "How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?" (Psa 4:2).

2Sa 16:10

WHAT DO YOU AND I HAVE IN COMMON, YOU SONS OF ZERUIAH?: Which included Joab also. How completely different David was from his nephews! They were proud, ambitious; he was humble, bowing under the hand of God.

2Sa 16:11

LEAVE HIM ALONE: "In your anger do not sin" (Psa 4:4; cp Eph 4:26). Also cp Luk 9:54: "fire from heaven".

2Sa 16:16

HUSHAI: See 2Sa 15:32,37.

LONG LIVE THE KING!: But WHICH king? David, of course!

2Sa 16:18

A careful ambiguity again (as in v 16): surely 'the one chosen by Yahweh' = David, not Absalom!

2Sa 16:19

SHOULD I NOT SERVE THE SON?: Ambiguity yet again. Which son? Surely Solomon, the rightful heir!

JUST AS I SERVED YOUR FATHER, SO I WILL SERVE YOU: "As I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence!" And he was! He served David before, and now (in Absalom's presence) he continued to serve David!

2Sa 16:21

AHITHOPHEL ANSWERED, "LIE WITH YOUR FATHER'S CONCUBINES": Strategic purpose: to make a public and permanent breach, and thereby to insure the safety of those who joined the conspiracy. (Now there would be no chance that Absalom would seek his father's forgiveness, by placing the complete blame for the aborted coup on his counselors.) Ahithophel's secondary (and personal) purpose: to humiliate David in a similar way as David had humiliated Ahithophel's family.

2Sa 16:22

"If a man sleeps with his father's wife, he has dishonored his father. Both the man and the woman must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads" (Lev 20:11).

2Sa 16:23

THE ADVICE AHITHOPHEL GAVE WAS LIKE THAT OF ONE WHO INQUIRES OF GOD: That is, it was regarded as being so (cp Psa 55:13).

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