The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Samuel

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2 Samuel 18

2Sa 18:3

TO GIVE US SUPPORT FROM THE CITY: To be of assistance (with a share of the army) to any who were forced to flee from the battle.

2Sa 18:5

Notice David has no doubt about the outcome of the battle.

2Sa 18:8

FOREST: Heb "yaar": rocky, rough land with prickly oaks, thorns (LB 306).

THE FOREST CLAIMED MORE LIVES THAT DAY THAN THE SWORD: More were killed in flight than in actual combat, because the dense forest prevented their successfully getting away.

2Sa 18:9

ABSALOM'S HEAD GOT CAUGHT: His hair, long and flowing, was snared in the branches. His natural glory was his downfall.

2Sa 18:10

HE TOLD JOAB: Joab esp hated Absalom, since it had been Joab who worked for Absalom to bring him back into favor with King David.

2Sa 18:11

Joab would have gladly let someone else slay Absalom, and bear the king's anger.

2Sa 18:16

With Absalom's death, the war had effectively ended (cp 2Sa 17:3).

2Sa 18:18

Even Absalom's burial plans were thwarted.

I HAVE NO SON TO CARRY ON THE MEMORY OF MY NAME: His three sons (2Sa 14:27) must have already been dead -- or perhaps not yet born when he erected the pillar.

2Sa 18:20

Joab commands Ahimaaz not to tell king of the death of his son (cp v 29).

2Sa 18:21

A CUSHITE: Poss Joab's slave.

2Sa 18:24

A MAN RUNNING ALONE: Only one man would not be a fugitive. If many were returning together, it could signify either victory or defeat. But one man must be a messenger.

2Sa 18:28

ALL IS WELL: Heb "shalom": peace... for the nation.

2Sa 18:29

IS THE YOUNG MAN ABSALOM SAFE?: 'Is there "shalom" (peace) for Absalom?' David's only concern.

"Is the young man... safe?" This question has often been asked by loving fathers about their sons. And sometimes the answer must be, "No, he is in great danger." The young man is not "safe", firstly, if he is at enmity with his father -- for, if a man love not his own parents on earth, how can he love his Father who is in heaven?

And, again, the answer may be, "We have seen him lately in bad company. He has associated with other young men who are of loose morals. No, the young man is not safe there."

Neither is he "safe" if he has taken to indulging in expensive habits. "Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him" (2Sa 15:1). This extravagance was a sign of evil. A youth who lavishes money upon needless luxuries is not safe.

And once again, the young man is not safe if he is especially concerned about his personal appearance. "In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him" (2Sa 14:25). When young people are taken up with their own persons, and are vain about their hair, their looks, and their clothes, then may we be sure that they are not safe, for the proud are always in danger.

BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS: He knows, but he doesn't want to say. (Why would a messenger run, with no message?) Do we hurry to reach a destination, only to find that we have no message to deliver when we arrive?

2Sa 18:31

FROM ALL WHO ROSE UP AGAINST YOU: "How many rise up against me!" (Psa 3:1).

2Sa 18:32

Even the Cushite fears to tell of Absalom's death in plain language.

2Sa 18:33

"In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent" (Psa 4:4). See in this deliverance God's providential hand, and "Be still!"

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