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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

2 Samuel 18

Verses 1-33

The Defeat and Death of Absalom

1. Numbered] rather, ’mustered.’

3. Succour us out of the city] David, holding Mahanaim with a sufficient force, would be of the greatest assistance to the fugitives, if his army were defeated.

5. The people heard] This statement explains 2 Samuel 18:12.

6. The wood of Ephraim] LXX reads ’Mahanaim’ here.

8. The battle was there scattered] So Joab was able to destroy Absalom’s forces in detail. The wood devoured, etc.] The thickness of the wood, its swamps, precipices, etc., militated against the fugitives, and increased the slaughter: cp. the manner of Absalom’s death.

9. Met] RV ’chanced to meet.’ By misfortune, in his flight Absalom encountered some of the pursuers. His head] The tradition that Absalom was caught by his hair comes from Josephus.

13. Against me] RV ’aloof.’ Joab would have stood on one side and let his accomplice bear the brunt of the king’s anger.

16. Joab held back the people] Absalom was dead and the war ended.

17. A very great heap of stones] This might be simply to mark his burying-place.

18. This v. is evidently parenthetical, and informs us that Absalom had a suitable permanent memorial, though the building now known as Absalom’s tomb in the vicinity of Jerusalem is of much later date. Evidently Absalom’s three sons (2 Samuel 14:27) had died before him. Place] RV ’monument.’

21. Cushi] RV ’the Cushite.’ He was probably a slave of Joab, who could be trusted to say exactly what he was told.

22. Thou hast no tidings ready] RV ’thou wilt have no reward for the tidings.’ His message would be a sad one.

23. By the way of the plain] The direct way lay across the hills, but Ahimaaz, by choosing the level road along the Jordan valley, reached his goal first.

24. Between the two gates] i.e. between the outer and the inner gate in the city wall.

25. If he be alone, there is tidings] Had he been a fugitive, he would have been followed by others.

29. And me] RV ’even me.’ I knew not what it was] This statement was untrue (2 Samuel 18:20). Probably Joab had commanded him to leave the announcement to the Cushite

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 18". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.