2 Samuel 14:21
And the king said to Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) I have done.—This is the Hebrew text; the margin has thou hast done. The former is simply a form of granting Joab’s request; the latter would convey an implied censure on Joab’s stratagem, although in the next clause there is a compliance with his wish.

2 Samuel 14:21-22. The king said unto Joab — Joab seems to have stood in some part of the room all the while the woman was addressing the king; who, therefore, now turned himself from her to him as the principal agent in the business, and said, Behold, now I have done this thing — That is, the thing which thou hast contrived thus to ask. Joab fell to the ground on his face — With the politeness of a courier he returned thanks to the king, in the most fervent manner, as for the greatest obligation conferred upon himself; though, in fact, he had contrived it all to oblige the king, and give him pleasure. “A refinement of flattery and address,” says Delaney, “not easily equalled! The Jews,” he adds, “are generally considered as an illiterate, barbarous people: and the charge is so far just, that they despised the learning of other nations; but this by no means infers them either ignorant or barbarous. The single design and address of this device (the above similitude) are sufficient proofs, were there no other, to evince this people to have neither been unpolite nor uninformed.”

In that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant — But was not David faulty in granting this request? Did he not, in so doing, act in direct opposition to the laws of God, which strictly command the supreme magistrate to execute justice upon all wilful murderers, without any reservation or exception? Genesis 9:6; Numbers 35:30. Surely David had no power to dispense with God’s laws, or to spare any whom God commanded him to destroy: for the laws of God bound the kings and rulers, as well as the people of Israel, as is most evident from Deuteronomy 17:18-19; and Joshua 1:8, and many other places. And, indeed, we may see David’s sin herein in the glass of those tremendous judgments of God which befell him by means of his indulgence to Absalom. For although God’s providential dispensations be in themselves no rule whereby to judge of the good or evil actions of men; yet where they accord with God’s word, and accomplish his threatenings, as in this case they did, they are to be considered as tokens of God’s displeasure. And how justly did God make this man, whom David had so sinfully spared, to become a scourge to him!14:21-24 David was inclined to favour Absalom, yet, for the honour of his justice, he could not do it but upon application made for him, which may show the methods of Divine grace. It is true that God has thoughts of compassion toward poor sinners, not willing that any should perish; yet he is only reconciled to them through a Mediator, who pleads on their behalf. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and Christ came to this land of our banishment, to bring us to God.As an angel of God - Rather, as "the" Angel of God; and therefore whatever David decided would be right. 13-17. Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God, &c.—Her argument may be made clear in the following paraphrase:—You have granted me the pardon of a son who had slain his brother, and yet you will not grant to your subjects the restoration of Absalom, whose criminality is not greater than my son's, since he killed his brother in similar circumstances of provocation. Absalom has reason to complain that he is treated by his own father more sternly and severely than the meanest subject in the realm; and the whole nation will have cause for saying that the king shows more attention to the petition of a humble woman than to the wishes and desires of a whole kingdom. The death of my son is a private loss to my family, while the preservation of Absalom is the common interest of all Israel, who now look to him as your successor on the throne. I have done this thing, in compliance with thy desire; although in truth it was according to his own desire. He overlooks the woman in this grant, because she was but Joab’s instrument in it.

The young man; by which expression he mitigates his crime, as being an act of youthful heat, and folly, and rashness. And the king said unto Joab,.... Who was present, or but at a little distance, waiting the issue of this affair:

behold now I have done this thing; have agreed to recall Absalom, at the suit of this woman, which thou hast put her upon; or, according to the textual reading, "thou hast done this thing" (r); contrived this scheme, to let me know the mind of the people with respect to Absalom, or to represent to me the propriety of sending for him home:

go, therefore, bring the young man Absalom again; I give my consent to it, and you may send for him, or fetch him as soon as you please; it is thought he calls him a young man, to extenuate his crime, that it was done in youthful heat and passion, and therefore he should pass it over.

(r) "fecisti", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have {n} done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.

(n) I have granted your request.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21–24. Joab sent to bring Absalom back

21. I have done this thing] I have granted thy wish and restored Absalom to favour. The “read” text or Qrî has thou hast done, but the “written” text or Kthîbh (supported by the Sept. and Vulg.) is certainly right here.Verse 21. - I have done this thing. This is an Oriental form of assent, just as we say in English, "It is done," that is, as good as done, now that the order is given. A few manuscripts, nevertheless, support a Mas-soretic emendation (K'ri), namely, "Thou hast done this: go therefore," etc. But both the Septuagint and Vulgate agree with the written text (K'tib), and it is less flat and commonplace than the supposed emendation. After these allusions to David's treatment of Absalom, the woman returned again to her own affairs, to make the king believe that nothing but her own distress had led her to speak thus: "And now that I have come to speak this word to the king my lord, was (took place) because the people have put me in fear (sc., by their demand that I should give up my son to the avenger of blood); thy handmaid said (i.e., thought), I will indeed go to the king, perhaps the king will do his handmaid's word," i.e., grant her request.
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