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22 hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran. Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tid23 ings ready ? But howsoever, [said he,) let me run. And he said unto him, Run. He was willing to go, whatever the consequences might be, not from the hose of reward, but being willing to bring good tidings to the king, whom he loved, and out of firudence and tenderness to firefiare him for the news of Absalom's death. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi, who went the straight road over the mountains ; being on level 24 ground he got sooner. And David sat between the two 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 run25 ning alone. And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he [be] alone, [there is] tidings in his mouth, good tidings ; because, if the army was routed, many would have 26 come flying from different ways. And he came apace, and drew near. And the watchman saw another man running : and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold [another] man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tid27 ings. And the watchman said, Methinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, who was remarkable for his sheed. And the king said, He [is] a good man, and cometh with good tidings; a good soldier, and would not run away like a coward; one that loves me well, and therefore 28 would not afflict me with evil tidings. And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well: before he came us to say any thing farticular, he cried out in triumfüh, All is well ; and then, with the reverence of a loyal subject, he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and with the fliety of a firiest, he said, Blessed [be] the Lord thy God, which hath delivered up the men that 29 listed up their hand against my lord the king. And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe He exfiressed no joy till he had heard how it had fared with Absalom. And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and [me] thy ser30 vant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what [it was.”] And the king said [unto him, Turn aside, [and] stand here. And 31 he turned aside and stood still. And, behold, Cushi came ; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king : for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee; 32 he said nothing of Absalom. And the king said unto Cushi, [Is] the young man Absalom safe 2 And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do [thee] hurt, be as [that] young man [is.] He told him in the most decent manner that he was dead, yet so, as to express his good wishes for the king, whilst he informed him of this affecting stroke. 33 And the king was much moved; he did not stay to hear the circumstances or eactent of the victory, or the manner of Absalom's death, but retired immediately to give vent to his grief, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept ; and as he went us. the stairs, he bemoaned himself, and 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 . The words are full of fiassion, the effect of excessive love and grief; one would hofie of deef concerns also, at the recollection of his heinous wickedness, and for his everdusting state ; else we can scarce think that David, with all his
*Ahimaaz did know of Absalom's death, but was not acquainted with the particulars of it ; he leaves the matter doubtful, as Cushi was to inform the §. of that matter; he gives him room to expect the worst, and so prepares his mind for what the next messenger was to say.
fartial fondness, would have been so much affected, or wished to have died for him.
1. E infer hence, that it is the part of wisdom to hearken to the advice of inferiors, and to follow it when it is founded on good reasons. This David did, in hearkening to the remonstrances of his servants against his going to battle. Stiffness and obstinacy are mischievous qualities; but they are too commonly the fault of superiors, are founded upon a bad principle, pride, and are generally productive of hurtful consequences. In the multitude of counsellors there is safety. 2. See, in this story, the miserable end of an undutiful and rebellious son ; and let all children and young people hear, and fearThis infamous wretch, Absalom, met with his death in a very surprising and uncommon manner. There are many ways of being: slain in battle ; but this was an unheard of instance, and was designed to make his punishment more remarkable, and the hand of Providence in it the more apparent. How quickly did his rebellion: come to an end, and all his gay dreams vanish ' His pillar of honour was turned into a monument of shame; his beauty perished in: the dust, and his memory rotteth. How awful, and yet how righteous was the judgment of God on this wicked son . He is still displeased with undutiful children; and will, either in this world or another, make their plagues wonderful. Honour, therefore, thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be firolonged in the land. which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 3. What a dreadful shock does the death of a wicked child give a pious parent . How terribly was David’s heart wounded, to think: of his son going down to destruction with such multiplied and aggravated guilt upon his head. He was willing to have died for him, to save him from such complete and hopeless ruin. Let parents, to prevent such painful reflections, take care to bring us their children: in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and guard against that excessive fondness for them, which prevents their correcting and restraining them when they do evil, and which was at once the ruin of Absalom, and the grief of David. And may we earnestly pray, that God would give to our children an usiright heart, that they may Know and serve the God of their fathers with a fiers:ct heart, and a willing mind, that it may be well with them for ever, -
David, through Joab's influence, ceaseth to mourn, and returns to his Kingdom ; Shimei meets him, and is fiardoned ; he has an interview with Moshibosheth and Barzillai ; and an unhappy contest arises between the tribes about bringing him home.
1 N D it was told Joab, Behold, the king weepeth and 2 L mourneth for Absalom. And the victory that day was [turned] into mourning unto all the people, it cast a dams, usion their joy: for the people heard say that day how the king was 3 grieved for his son ; and they were afflicted with him. And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people be4 ing ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.” But the king covered his face, like a deef mourner, who would neither see nor be seen ; and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absa5 lom, O Absalom, my son, my son 1 And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, as if they had committed some crime and were ashamed to show their faces, and hast disaffiointed their hofies of hraise and reward; which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines, all of which Absalom struck 6 at ; In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants : for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee - well ; by this strange and firefosterous conduct thou hast in effect declared, that thou hast no concern for them, nor for any one but .Absalom, and that thou hast no fleasure in their safety or success. 7. Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants, thank them for their service, and congratulate them on their success : for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night : and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befel thee from thy youth until now ; than all the evils of his youth, when he had friends and 8 companions about him. Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate, the filace of concourse and judgment. And all the people came before the king, to congratulate him, and firofess subjection and allegiance to him : for Israel had fled every man to his tent. 9 And all the people were at strise throughout all the tribes of Israel, blaming one another for beginning and encouraging the
... • They did not enter in triumph, but by some secret way, as if they had lost the battle; not through the gate, lest David should look upon them with an evil eye, as those who had killed his beloved son,
rebellion, and their remissnes in bringing the king back, saying, The king saved us out of the hand of our enemies, and he delivered us out of the hand of the Philistines ; and now he is iO fled out of the land for Absalom. And Absalom whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back 2 This was addressed to their elders and rulers. 1 1 And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house 2 seeing the speech 12 of all Israel is come to the king, [even] to his house " Ye, [are] my brethren, ye [are] my bones and my flesh : wherefore then are ye the last to bring back the king 2 you stand in the nearest relation to him, and therefore should be the first to show 13 him reshect. And say ye to Amasa,f [Art] thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab. He mentions his relationshift to him, as what disflosed him to flardon, and fromises him fireferment in the room of Joab, 14 to humble his insolence and funish his disobedience. And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as [the heart of ) one man; so that they sent [this word] unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants, who are ready to receive thee, and return to 15 their obedience. So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan. 16 And Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite, which [was] of Bahurim, hasted and came down with the men of Judah to 17 meet king David. And [there were] a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him ; and they 18 went over Jordan before the king.; And there went over a ferry boat to carry over the king's household, and to do what he thought good. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before 19 the king, as he was come over Jordan; And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me, neither do thou remember that which thy servant did perversely the day that my 1ord the king went out of Jerusalem, that the king should take it 20 to his heart. For thy servant doth know that I have sinned : therefore, behold, I am come the first this day of all the house of
* As things were not entirely brought to order after such confusion, David judged the advice and interposition of some people of wisdom, weight and influence, was necessary to effect it, and therefore sent to the priests, as being his friends and men of authority, who were propes to negotiate the business with the elders of Judah...Perhaps many of that tribe, had o Absalom; which was peculiarly ungrateful, considering David’s kindness to them. hey might despair of pardon, and therefore were backward in the matter. He let them know that others were ready to do it, and wondered that they, of all the tribes of Israel, were so backw + Amasa was his nephew, whom he was particularly desirous to bring over to his interest, and who (judging his own case desperate) might persuade Judah to hinder ordelay the king's return.
f Shimei brought a thousand men with him, to show his power and influence, and hoped, by bringing so considerable a body, to secure his pardon. He went over Jordan, to show ps. tuliar respect, and passed over before the king.
21 Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” But Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said,Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed 2 And David 22 gave him a refroof becoming a great and good king, and said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah, that ye should this day be adversaries unto me; that you should urge me to act against my own inclinations, to make others fear erecution, and set the feafile against me 2 shall there any man be put to death this day in Israel ? shall any thing sully the glory of this day, and be cause of lamentation, in this time of universal joy 2 for do not I know that I [am] this day king over Israel ? not only over a fiarty in it, but over all Israel, and have flower to flunish and farg3 don whom I flease ? Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die at this time, and merely usion account of what is fiast. And the king sware unto him, confirmed it with an oath, and bound him to his good behaviour. 24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came [again] in peace; thus seeming as if he was 25 greatly affected at the king's exile. And it came to pass when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me, Mephibosheth? as justice, gratitude, frudence, and a regard to thy own interest required, lest Absalom should have destroyed thee as a competitor. 26. And he answered, My lord, O king, my servant deceived me : for thy servant said, I will saddle me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the king ; because thy servant [is] lame.t 27 And he hath slandered thy servant unto my lord the king; but my lord the king [is] as an angel of God : do therefore [what 28 is] good in thine eyes. For all [of] my father's house were but dead men before my lord the king : yet didst thou set thy servant among them that did eat at thine own table. What right 29 therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king of And the king said unto him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters ? I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land. David was not willing to hear any more of the matter ; he confirmed the former affiointment of Ziba to be his steward ; and restored Mehhiéosheth half the estate, without any trouble or expense to him. 30 And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all,
* He pleaded, that he came first to submit to him; and it is remarkable that he calls mself of the house of #oseph, being a Benjamite, of the family of Saul. He would have come locommended to Bavid under that character, therefore he mentions the house of foseph, a tribe of the nearest akin to the other, Benjamin being his beloved brother.
t This is a very lame excuse, for he might have had another beast ; he could probably find one now to meet the king; he might have applied to David for one; he ate at his table; he must know when he went ; there was time enough, between the preparation for the king’s ight, and Absalom's coming to Jerusalem; there was no reason why he should not have gone; t would have been far better, than to have staid in that beastly manner at home. But he com: Plained that his servant had used him ill.
# He could not but acknowledge the king’s kindness to him, and therefore he had no tight
i. cry to the king, which he would have done, and should have done, if he had been slandered;
*...the meaning seems to be, that he submitted to the king's clemency, and hoped from his well known goodness that he would forgive him.