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2Sa 16:1-4. ZIBA, BY FALSE SUGGESTIONS, CLAIMS HIS MASTER'S INHERITANCE.
1. Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him--This crafty man,
anticipating the certain failure of Absalom's conspiracy, took steps to
prepare for his future advancement on the restoration of the king.
2. The asses be for the king's household to ride on--The royal fugitives were moving on foot, not from inability to procure conveyances, but as being suitable to their present state of humiliation and penitence.
3. To-day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father--Such a hope might not unnaturally arise at this period of civil distraction, that the family of David would destroy themselves by their mutual broils, and the people reinstate the old dynasty. There was an air of plausibility in Ziba's story. Many, on whom the king had conferred favors, were now deserting him. No wonder, therefore, that in the excitement of momentary feeling, believing, on the report of a slanderer, Mephibosheth to be among the number, he pronounced a rash and unrighteous judgment by which a great injury was inflicted on the character and interests of a devoted friend.
2Sa 16:5-19. SHIMEI CURSES DAVID.
5-12. when king David came to Bahurim--a city of Benjamin
(2Sa 3:16; 19:16).
It is, however, only the confines of the district that are here meant.
13. went along on the hill's side over against him--as he descended
the rough road on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives, "went along
on the hill's side"--literally, "the rib of the hill."
14. refreshed themselves there--that is, in the city of Bahurim.
15-19. Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king--Hushai's devotion to David was so well-known, that his presence in the camp of the conspirators excited great surprise. Professing, however, with great address, to consider it his duty to support the cause which the course of Providence and the national will had seemingly decreed should triumph, and urging his friendship for the father as a ground of confidence in his fidelity to the son, he persuaded Absalom of his sincerity, and was admitted among the councillors of the new king.
2Sa 16:20-23. AHITHOPHEL'S COUNSEL.
20. Give counsel among you what we shall do--This is the first cabinet council on record, although the deference paid to Ahithophel gave him the entire direction of the proceedings.
21. Ahithophel said unto Absalom--This councillor saw that now the die was cast; half measures would be inexpedient. To cut off all possibility of reconciliation between the king and his rebellious son, he gave this atrocious advice regarding the treatment of the royal women who had been left in charge of the palace. Women, being held sacred, are generally left inviolate in the casualties of war. The history of the East affords only one parallel to this infamous outrage of Absalom.