Verse 21. Go - This counsel he gave, partly to revenge the injury done to Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, chap. xi, 3, who was the son of Ahithophel, chap. xxiii, 34, and principally for his own, and the people's safety, that the breach between David and Absalom might be irreparable. For this would provoke David in the highest degree and cut of all hope of reconciliation, which otherwise might have been expected by some treaty between Absalom and his tender-hearted father. But in that case his followers, and especially Ahithophel, had been left to David's mercy, and therefore obliged to prosecute the war with all vigour, and to abandon all thoughts of peace: as knowing that his father, though be might dissemble, yet would never forgive so foul a crime. Be strong - They will fight with greater courage and resolution, when they are freed from the fear of thy reconciliation, which otherwise would make their hearts faint, and hands slack in thy cause. But by this we may see the character of Absalom's party, and how abominably wicked they were, whom such a scandalous action tied the faster to him. And we may farther learn, how corrupt the body of the people was, how ripe for that judgment which is now hastening to them.
Verse 22. The top - Of the king's palace, the very place from whence David had gazed upon Bathsheba, chap. xi, 2, so that his sin was legible in the very place of his punishment. Went in - To one, or some of them. And by so doing did farther make claim to the kingdom; and, as it were, take possession of it. It being usual in the eastern countries to account the wives and concubines of the late king, to belong of right to the successor. Israel - Who saw him go into the tent; and thence concluded, that he lay with them, as he had designed to do. God had threatened by Nathan, that for his defiling Bathsheba, David's own wives should be defiled in the face of the sun. This is now fulfilled: the Lord is righteous; and no word of his shall fall to the ground.
Verse 23. The counsel, &c. - It was received by the people with equal veneration, and was usually attended with as certain success. Which is mentioned as the reason why a counsel which had so ill a face, should meet with such general approbation.