2 Samuel 14:3
And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
14:1-20 We may notice here, how this widow pleads God's mercy, and his clemency toward poor guilty sinners. The state of sinners is a state of banishment from God. God pardons none to the dishonour of his law and justice, nor any who are impenitent; nor to the encouragement of crimes, or the hurt of others.Come to the king - The king as a judge was accessible to all his subjects (2 Samuel 15:2; compare 1 Kings 3:16). 2-21. And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman—The king was strongly attached to Absalom; and having now got over his sorrow for the violent death of Amnon, he was desirous of again enjoying the society of his favorite son, who had now been three long years absent. But a dread of public opinion and a regard to the public interests made him hesitate about recalling or pardoning his guilty son; and Joab, whose discerning mind perceived this struggle between parental affection and royal duty, devised a plan for relieving the scruples, and, at the same time, gratifying the wishes, of his master. Having procured a countrywoman of superior intelligence and address, he directed her to seek an audience of the king, and by soliciting his royal interposition in the settlement of a domestic grievance, convinced him that the life of a murderer might in some cases be saved. Tekoah was about twelve miles south of Jerusalem, and six south of Beth-lehem; and the design of bringing a woman from such a distance was to prevent either the petitioner being known, or the truth of her story easily investigated. Her speech was in the form of a parable—the circumstances—the language—the manner—well suited to the occasion, represented a case as like David's as it was policy to make it, so as not to be prematurely discovered. Having got the king pledged, she avowed it to be her design to satisfy the royal conscience, that in pardoning Absalom he was doing nothing more than he would have done in the case of a stranger, where there could be no imputation of partiality. The device succeeded; David traced its origin to Joab; and, secretly pleased at obtaining the judgment of that rough, but generally sound-thinking soldier, he commissioned him to repair to Geshur and bring home his exiled son. No text from Poole on this verse.

And come to the king,.... At his palace, in the above condition and circumstances:

and speak on this manner unto him; something to the following purpose he dictated to her:

so Joab put the words in her mouth; the substance of what she should say; the fable she was to deliver as her own case might be framed by Joab, and which she delivered word for word exactly as he put it, and the application of it; but as he knew not what questions the king would ask her, so he could not dictate to her what to reply, unless he supposed this and the other, and so formed answers; but this he left to her prudence, and for the sake of which he chose a wise woman to manage this affair.

And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. come to the king] An interesting evidence of the simplicity of the times, when the king was thus directly accessible to his subjects who had causes to be tried or grievances to be redressed. Cp. ch. 2 Samuel 15:2; 1 Kings 3:16.

2 Samuel 14:3When Joab perceived that the king's heart was against Absalom, he sent for a cunning woman from Tekoah, to work upon the king and change his mind, so that he might grant forgiveness to Absalom. 2 Samuel 14:1 is understood by the majority of commentators, in accordance with the Syriac and Vulgate, as signifying that Joab learned that the king's heart was inclined towards Absalom, was well disposed towards him again. But this explanation is neither philologically sustained, nor in accordance with the context. לב, written with על and without any verb, so that היה has to be supplied, only occurs again in Daniel 11:28, where the preposition has the meaning "against." It is no argument against this meaning here, that if David had been ill disposed towards Absalom, there would have been no necessity to state that Joab perceived it; for we cannot see why Joab should only have perceived or noticed David's friendly feelings, and not his unfriendly feelings as well. If, however, Joab had noticed the re-awakening of David's good feelings towards Absalom, there would have been no necessity for him to bring the cunning woman from Tekoah to induce him to consent to Absalom's return. Moreover, David would not in that case have refused to allow Absalom to see his face for two whole years after his return to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 14:24). Tekoah, the home of the prophet Amos, the present Tekua, two hours to the south of Bethlehem (see at Joshua 15:59, lxx). The "wise woman" was to put on mourning, as a woman who had been mourning for a long while for some one that was dead (התאבּל, to set or show herself mourning), and to go to the king in this attire, and say what Joab had put into her mouth.
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