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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

2 Samuel 16

Verses 1-23

6. The Sorrows and Testings of the King


1. Lying Ziba (2 Samuel 16:1-4 )

2. Shimei curses and stones David (2 Samuel 16:5-14 )

3. Absalom enters Jerusalem (2 Samuel 16:15-19 )

4. Ahitophel’s wicked counsel (2 Samuel 16:20-23 )

Ziba in great craftiness meets the exiled king with provisions and acts as the false accuser of Mephibosheth. And David hastily puts all that belongs to Mephibosheth into his hands. Strange that David could believe in the falsehood of Ziba. How could one who was a helpless cripple aspire to possess a kingdom? Mephibosheth had been deceived (2 Samuel 19:26 ) by Ziba and David readily believed the lying story.

Shimei (my fame) appeared, cursing David, stoning him and his servants. His accusation that he was responsible for “all the blood of the house of Saul” was unfounded and unjust. He was not responsible for the death of Saul and Jonathan, and equally guiltless of the death of Abner and Ish-bosheth. And yet David saw something else in the curses of Shimei and in calling him a bloody man. The blood of Uriah which he had shed must have suddenly come to his mind. And when Abishai offers to kill Shimei, David rebuked him. (See Luke 9:52-56 .) “Let him curse, because the LORD hath said to him, Curse David”--”Let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.” He realizes Shimei is but an instrument in the Lord’s hands; He had permitted it and David acknowledges thus that he had deserved the curses. “It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.” His eyes now look to the Lord whose chastening hand rested so heavily upon him.

Absalom is now in Jerusalem and Hushai succeeds in his commission given to him by David. He deceives Absalom. Whom did Hushai mean, when he said, “Whom the LORD and this people, and all the men of Israel choose, his will I be, and with him will I be”? They can only be applied to David; most likely in his heart he meant David. But it was flattery which wicked Absalom gladly accepted. Absalom followed the vile counsel of Ahitophel and committed the unnatural crime to show to all Israel that the breach between him and his father David was beyond remedy. God’s predicted judgment upon David had come literally true. (See 2 Samuel 12:11-12 .) The world will yet find out that God’s judgments, though long delayed, will find ultimately their literal fulfilment.

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Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 16". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.