And the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man got him up on his mule, and fled.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)As Absalom had commanded.—It was quite customary for the servants of a prince to obey his orders without question, leaving the entire responsibility to rest with him. In this case, if Chileab (or Daniel) was already dead, as seems probable, Absalom stood next in the succession to Amnon, and, however it may have been with himself, his retainers may have looked upon this as a preparatory step towards the throne. The blow was too sudden and unexpected to allow of interference by the other princes.
Upon his mule.—Although David had reserved a number of horses from the spoil of his Syrian victories (2Samuel 8:4), the mule was still ridden by persons of distinction (2Samuel 18:9; 1Kings 1:33; 1Kings 1:38). The breeding of mules was forbidden in the Law (Leviticus 19:19), but they were brought in by commerce (1Kings 10:25).1 Kings 1:33, 1 Kings 1:38 the mule is the royal animal on which David himself rides. In 2 Samuel 18:9 Absalom rides upon a mule. 1 Kings 1:33. For though they might not promote such mixed kinds of procreation, Leviticus 19:19, yet they might use creatures so engendered.
then all the king's sons arose; from the feast, imagining they were all designed to be slain:
and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled; creatures much used in Judea instead of horses, which, though they might not be bred, might be used (o).And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. did unto Amnon, &c.] Though the princes were attended by a numerous retinue (2 Samuel 13:34), the blow was struck so suddenly and unexpectedly, that no resistance was possible, and Absalom escaped without difficulty.
upon his mule] Mules were generally used for riding at this time by persons of distinction, as Absalom (ch. 2 Samuel 18:9), David, and Solomon (1 Kings 1:33; 1 Kings 1:38).2 Samuel 13:23, 2 Samuel 13:24. Absalom postponed his revenge for two full years. He then "kept sheep-shearing," which was celebrated as a joyous festival (see 1 Samuel 25:2, 1 Samuel 25:8), "at Baal-hazor, near Ephraim," where he must therefore have had some property. The situation of Baal-hazor cannot be precisely determined. The clause "which (was) beside Ephraim" points to a situation on the border of the tribe-territory of Ephraim (juxta Ephraim, according to the Onom. s.v. Baalasor); for the Old Testament never mentions any city of that name. This definition does not exactly tally with v. Raumer's conjecture (Pal. p. 149), that Baal-Hazor may have been preserved in Tell Asr ((Rob. Pal. ii. p. 151, iii. p. 79); for this Tell is about five Roman miles to the north-east of Bethel, i.e., within the limits of the tribe of Ephraim. There is greater probability in the suggestion made by Ewald and others, that Baal-hazor is connected with the Hazor of Benjamin (Nehemiah 11:33), though the situation of Hazor has not yet been thoroughly decided; and it is merely a conjecture of Robinson's that it is to be found in Tell Asr. The following statement, that "Absalom invited all the king's sons" (sc., to the feast), somewhat anticipates the course of events: for, according to 2 Samuel 13:24, Absalom invited the king himself, together with his courtiers; and it was not till the king declined the invitation for himself, that Absalom restricted his invitation to the royal princes.
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