2 Samuel 18 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 2 Samuel 18)
18:1 And David a numbered the people that [were] with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.

(a) For certain of the Reubenites, Gadites, and of the half tribe could not bear the insolence of the son against the father, and therefore joined with David.

18:3 But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but b now [thou art] worth ten thousand of us: therefore now [it is] better that thou succour us out of the city.

(b) Signifying that a good governor is so dear to his people that they would rather lose their lives than have anything happen to him.

18:6 So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the c wood of Ephraim;

(c) So called, because the Ephraimites (as some say) fed their cattle beyond Jordan in this wood.

18:16 And Joab d blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.

(d) For he had pity on the people, who were seduced by Absalom's flattery.

18:17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great e pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.

(e) Thus God turned his vain glory to shame.

18:18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which [is] in the king's dale: for he said, I have no f son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place.

(f) It seemed that God had punished him by taking away his children, (
2 Samuel 14:27).

18:20 And Joab said unto him, Thou g shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead.

(g) For Joab bore a good affection to Ahimaaz and doubted how David would take the report of Absalom's death.

18:24 And David sat between the two h gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.

(h) He sat in the gate of the city of Mahanaim.

18:27 And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He [is] a i good man, and cometh with good tidings.

(i) He had experienced his fidelity, (
2 Samuel 17:21).

18:29 And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's k servant, and [me] thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what [it was].

(k) That is, Cushi, who was an Ethiopian.

18:33 And the king was much l moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

(l) Because he considers both the judgment of God against his sin, and could not otherwise hide his fatherly affection for his son.