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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

2 Samuel 19

Verse 5

Had Absalom gained the victory, it is likely that, according to the manner of Oriental despots, he would have sought to secure his throne by killing all possible competitors Judges 9:5; 1 Kings 15:29.

Verse 8

David saw the justice of what Joab said, and the new danger which threatened him if he did not rouse himself from his grief.

For Israel ... - Not David’s followers, but as before 2Sa 17:26; 2 Samuel 18:6, 2 Samuel 18:17, Absalom’s army.

Verse 13

Of my bone ... - Render as in preceding verse, “art thou not my bone and my flesh?” It is curious to note how the phrase is used in 2 Samuel 5:1 of common descent from Israel, in 2 Samuel 19:12 of the closer kindred of the tribe of Judah, and in this verse of the yet nearer kindred between David and Amasa his sister’s son.

Captain ... in the room of Joab - It is very plain that David felt the weight of Joab’s overbearing influence to be very oppressive (compare 2 Samuel 19:22; 2 Samuel 3:39; 2 Samuel 16:10). He was, at this time, very angry with Joab for killing Absalom; and so, thinking it of vital importance to win over Amasa and the army of Judah, he did not scruple to offer him Joab’s high post.

Verse 16

Shimei being aware that Judah was unanimous in recalling the king, lost no time in trying to make his peace with David, by bringing a large Benjamite force with him.

Verse 17

Before the king - i. e., “to meet the king.” Compare 2 Samuel 20:8. The king was on the east bank, and they crossed over (by the ford) from the west bank to go to him.

Verse 18

As he was come over Jordan - Render, “when he was crossing,” i. e., just embarking for the purpose of crossing. The scene still lies on the east bank. Shimei left nothing undone to soften, if possible, David’s resentment.

Verse 20

This is the first time that the “house of Joseph,” or “Joseph,” stands for all the ten tribes of which Ephraim was the head and leader. While Saul of Benjamin was king, or while Mahanaim was the capital of his son’s kingdom, it was not natural so to name them, nor does it seem so at first sight in the mouth of Shimei the Benjamite. But it is very possible that he used the phrase for the purpose of exculpating himself and his own tribe from having taken the initiative in the rebellion, anti of insinuating that they were drawn away by the preponderating influence of the great house of Joseph. On the other hand, the phrase may be an indication that the passage was written after the separation of the kingdom of Israel, when the phrase was a common one.

Verse 24

Beard - The “moustache,” the beard of the upper lip. The fact related in this verse tends to clear Mephibosheth from the suspicion of unfaithfulness to David.

Verse 26

What appears to have happened is, that when Mephibosheth ordered Ziba to saddle the donkeys and ride with him to join David, Ziba left him under pretence of obeying, but instead laded the donkeys with provisions, and went off alone with them, thus making it impossible for Mephibosheth to follow.

Verse 29

Unable to get to the bottom of the story, and perhaps unwilling to make an enemy of Ziba, David compromised the matter by dividing the land, thus partially revoking his hasty sentence 2 Samuel 16:4. We still see the impatient temper of David.

Verse 37

Chimham - From marginal references it appears that Chimham, having accepted David’s offer, came and settled near Bethlehem. His house was still called after him at the time of the captivity.

Verse 39

The “people” is the term especially applied in this narrative to David’s followers 2 Samuel 15:17; 2 Samuel 16:14; 2Sa 17:2; 2 Samuel 18:1-2; 2 Samuel 19:2-3. They crossed by the ford, while David and his household, accompanied by Barzillai and Chimham, came over in the ferry.

Verse 41

It seems that David and his whole party made a halt at Gilgal 2 Samuel 19:15; 1 Samuel 11:14, and possibly made some solemn agreement there about the kingdom. But while they were there, “all the men of Israel,” representatives from the tribes not included in “half the people of Israel” 2 Samuel 19:40, came up in great wrath at finding that the restoration had been accomplished without consulting them, and accused the men of Judah of unfair dealing.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.