2 Samuel 14:5
And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and my husband is dead.
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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.Spake - Seems to be an accidental error for came, which is found in many manuscipts and versions.

Help - literally, save (see the margin). It is the same cry as Hosanna, i. e. save now Psalm 118:25.

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. I am indeed a widow woman; one of them who most need thy compassion and assistance, and whom thou art by God’s law obliged in a singular manner to protect and relieve. And the king said unto her, what aileth thee?.... Or what is thy case? What is the condition, and what the circumstances, that thou art in, which require help and assistance? intimating that he was ready to grant it on knowledge thereof; however, he was ready to hear what she had to say:

and she answered, I am indeed a widow woman; of a truth a widow, as the Targum; she was really one, a widow indeed, as in 1 Timothy 5:3; not one that was separated from her husband, he being alive, or divorced from him on any account; and therefore she adds:

and mine husband is dead; and has been a long time; this she said to move the pity and compassion of the king, who, as the supreme magistrate in God's stead, was a Father of the fatherless, and the judge of the widow.

And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead.
"Only Absalom had fled and gone to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur." These words form a circumstantial clause, which the writer has inserted as a parenthesis, to define the expression "the king's sons" more particularly. If we take these words as a parenthesis, there will be no difficulty in explaining the following word "mourned," as the subject (David) may very easily be supplied from the preceding words "the king," etc. (2 Samuel 13:36). To the remark that David mourned all his life for his son (Amnon), there is attached, just as simply and quite in accordance with the facts, the more precise information concerning Absalom's flight, that he remained in Geshur three years. The repetition of the words "Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur" may be accounted for from the general diffuseness of the Hebrew style. Talmai the king of Geshur was the father of Maacah, Absalom's mother (2 Samuel 3:3). The lxx thought it necessary expressly to indicate this by inserting εἰς γῆν Χαμαχάαδ (al. γῆν Μαχάδ).
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