And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom has slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)There is not one of them left.—The story of this exaggerated report, so true to the life, indicates contemporaneous authorship.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.
that tidings came to David; perhaps brought by one who was at the entertainment, who upon seeing Amnon smitten, immediately rose up and fled with the news of it to David:
saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left; which he might suppose was the design of Absalom, and was done before that time; however, so it was ordered in Providence, that David, that rejoiced at the news of the death of Uriah, might be terrified with the tidings of the death of all his sons; and for a while it was as if it was really so, which occasioned the following behaviour in him.And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. tare his garments] Rent his clothes. The E. V. has introduced a distinction which does not exist in the Hebrew. Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 1:11.
lay on the earth] Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 12:16.
and all his servants, &c.] The Sept. and Vulg. represent a slightly different reading; “And all his servants, who stood by him, rent their clothes.”Verse 30. - Tidings came. Some of the servants seem to have fled immediately that the attack was made, and in their terror reported, not what had really happened, but what they assumed was Absalom's purpose. It shows, however, how thoroughly Absalom had dissembled when thus they entirely forgot that he had a grudge against Amnon. And David, in utter misery, tears his robes, and throws himself prostrate on the ground, while his courtiers, with rent garments, stand speechless round him. But the guilty Jonadab guesses more correctly the truth. He had probably watched Absalom closely, and distrusted his silence. Nothing, perhaps, had happened to justify his suspicions, but as soon as the tidings came he divined the real meaning. And, wicked as he was, he could never have supposed that Amnon would turn upon the woman he had wronged, and insult and disgrace her. He probably imagined that Amnon really loved her, and that the matter would be patched up. But when the wretched youth acted so shamelessly, Jonadab probably felt sure that Absalom would sooner or later take his revenge. 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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