2Sa 17: "The spirit of Judas against Christ is revealed in the
wicked and treacherous action of Ahithophel against David. Ahithophel conspired
with Absalom as Judas did with the rulers of Judah. He offers a seven-point
situation to Absalom. But Absalom was not convinced that this advice would
achieve his designs on the throne (vv 1-4). He was doubtful of the genuineness
of the advice of David's former counsellor, and sought confirmation by Hushai
(vv 5,6). David's future trembled in the balance as the court waited to hear the
counsel of Hushai. Hushai sways Absalom (vv 8-14). Contemptuously brushing aside
the previous advice as unsound, he drew a picture of the extreme difficulties it
presented, then sketched a plan for a general campaign. It succeeded. A warning
is sent to David (vv 15-20). There is a near escape as an anonymous sympathiser
of David in this apparently bitter and hostile city sent a message, causing
David to retreat over the Jordan (vv 21,22). The result of Hushai's advice
causes Ahithophel to commit suicide, as did Judas after him (v 23). As a result
civil war erupts in the Land (vv 24-26), whilst the remnant with David is
strengthened in exile (vv 27-29). It is a picture of the experiences of the
multitudinous Christ as they, with their Lord David, wait in exile until the
great King will return to Zion" (GEM).
Vv 1-3: This counsel was the best calculated to succeed. A
quick strike would catch David before he was organized, and cut short a civil
war by killing David.
I WOULD STRIKE DOWN ONLY THE KING: "You do not realize
that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole
nation perish" (Joh 11:50).
AND BRING ALL THE PEOPLE BACK TO YOU: "And I will bring
back all the people to thee, as a bride returns to her husband: only thou
seekest the life of one man, and all the people shall have peace" (LXX). Such
was the depth of loyalty to David in the nation. He had once delivered them, but
how soon they forget!
Hushai had a difficult task: he had to make the worst solution
look better in the face of a man famous for his wisdom, and devoted to Absalom,
while his own fidelity was questionable. As Absalom flattered Israel, so Hushai
THE ADVICE AHITHOPHEL HAS GIVEN IS NOT GOOD THIS TIME:
In ct "last time" (2Sa 16:23).
Hushai's advice is laced with blatant flattery -- which wins
over Absalom. He plays on Absalom's pride and ambition. Absalom falls victim to
the same type of subterfuge he used against David (2Sa 15:2-6).
AS DEW SETTLES ON THE GROUND: Silently, irresistibly,
and with a rapid descent.
And so often, today also, the good counsel of nations' leaders
DO NOT SPEND THE NIGHT AT THE FORDS... CROSS OVER:
Hushai fears that Absalom may yet heed Ahithophel's sensible advice, and mount a
AND CROSSED THE JORDAN: Here see Psa 42; 43. The
reversal of the exodus and conquest of the land.
WHEN AHITHOPHEL SAW THAT HIS ADVICE HAD NOT BEEN
FOLLOWED: Ahithophel saw that following Hushai's advice meant failure to the
rebellion in the long run. There could be no doubt now that David would
AND THEN HANGED HIMSELF: // Mat 27:5.
A lapse of time implied here: Absalom has prepared his army,
but David has also!
MAHANAIM: Sig "two armies": David's and God's! Cp Gen
MAHANAIM: A strong city in a well-provisioned country.
A mountainous district, with a warlike population who loved David.
SHOBI SON OF NAHASH FROM RABBAH OF THE AMMONITES: The
governor of Ammon, placed in power by David after his conquest (JFB,
MAKIR SON OF AMMIEL FROM LO DEBAR: The leader of those
who had followed Saul and Ishbosheth (2Sa 9:4; Eder). Perhaps David's kindness
to Mephibosheth had influenced him.
BARZILLAI: A wealthy old land-owner.
Vv 28,29: "You have filled my heart with greater joy than when
their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you
alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (Psa 4:7,8).