2 Samuel 17:17
Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David.
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(17) En-rogel.—A fountain just outside the city, on the boundary between the tribes of Benjamin and Judah (Joshua 15:7; Joshua 18:16). There are two localities which claim to represent it, each of which has its earnest advocates: the “Fountain of the Virgin,” on the western slope of the valley of the Kidron; and “Job’s Well” just below the junction of the valleys of the Kidron and Hinnom. The latter answers much better to the description in Joshua, but either will suit the present passage. The loyalty of the high priests to David must have been well known, and it would have been quite unsafe for their sons to start from the city itself as bearers of tidings to David; even with all their care they were pursued. Their hiding-place, however, was well chosen. as women resorted to the fountains to draw water, so that communications could be had without attracting observation.

A wench.The maid-servant, the definite article probably indicating some well-known maid of the high priest. The word wench is not found elsewhere in the English Bible.

17:1-21 Here was a wonderful effect of Divine Providence blinding Absalom's mind and influencing his heart, that he could not rest in Ahithophel's counsel, and that he should desire Hushai's advice. But there is no contending with that God who can arm a man against himself, and destroy him by his own mistakes and passions. Ahithophel's former counsel was followed, for God intended to correct David; but his latter counsel was not followed, for God meant not to destroy him. He can overrule all counsels. Whatever wisdom or help any man employs or affords, the success is from God alone, who will not let his people perish.En-rogel - See the marginal reference.

A wench - Hebrew "the maid servant," namely, of the high priest, either Zadok or Abiathar, or possibly one employed in some service in the temple courts. (1 Samuel 2:22 note.)

And they went and told king David - As related afterward 2 Samuel 17:21. Here mentioned by anticipation.

17. by En-rogel—the fuller's well in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, below the junction of the valley of Hinnom with that of Jehoshaphat. En-rogel, or, the fuller’s well; a place near Jerusalem, Joshua 15:7 18:16.

A wench went and told them; pretending to go thither to wash some clothes,

Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel,.... Who were the sons of the priests; these did not go into the city of Jerusalem with their parents, when they were sent back by David, 2 Samuel 15:27; but stayed by their direction at this place, which was near Jerusalem, and is called in the Targum the fuller's fountain, where they washed their clothes; and, as Kimchi and Jarchi say, by treading them with their feet, whence it had the name of Rogel, of which See Gill on Joshua 15:7,

(for they might not be seen to come into the city); having been charged by their parents to continue there for the sake of carrying intelligence to David, or because suspected by Absalom's party of carrying on such an intrigue:

and a wench went and told them: what Hushai had communicated to the priests, and what was his advice to David; this girl is supposed by Kimchi and Abarbinel to be of the family of Zadok, by whom she was sufficiently instructed to tell her message, and of whom there would be no suspicion:

and they went and told King David; the sons of the priests went and related to him all that had been transmitted to them.

Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told {g} them; and they went and told king David.

(g) Meaning, the message from their fathers.

17. Jonathan and Ahimaaz] Hushai had evidently communicated David’s plan to Zadok and Abiathar, and commissioned the young men to be in waiting at a convenient place.

En-rogel] That is, “The Fuller’s Fountain,” probably the modern “Fountain of the Virgin,” in the valley of the Kidron, just outside the city on the south-east. It was close to “the stone of Zoheleth” (1 Kings 1:9), which has been identified with the cliff Zahweileh, on which the modern village of Siloam stands. Others however suppose En-rogel to be the deep and ancient well known as “Job’s Well,” near the junction of the valleys of the Kidron and Hinnom. En-rogel was a land-mark on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin (Joshua 15:7; Joshua 18:16).

they might not be seen] For it was notorious that the high-priests were on David’s side. They knew that their movements would be watched, as the next verse shews was the case.

a wench] The maid-servant: the definite article probably denotes a particular servant belonging to the household of one of the high-priests. She could go to the fountain for water without exciting suspicion. Wench, found here only in the E. V., means a girl, usually one of low birth.

Verse 17. - Stayed by En-rogel. The two youths were posted at En-rogel, that is, the "Fuller's spring," near Jerusalem (Joshua 15:7; 1 Kings 1:9), and probably the place now known as "Job's Well," situated at the point where the valleys of Jehoshaphat and Hinnom meet. They were placed there because, though they would have been admitted into the city, they would scarcely have been allowed to leave it. Instead of wench - a term less disrespectful when the Authorized Version was made than it is now - the Hebrew has the maidservant. Probably the maid is meant whose usual duty it was to fetch water for domestic purposes, and thus her journey to the well would excite no suspicion. 2 Samuel 17:17"Jonathan and Ahimaaz (the sons of the priests: 2 Samuel 15:27) stood at the Rogel spring (the present well of Job or Nehemiah, at the south-east corner of Jerusalem: see at Job 15:7), and the maid-servant (of one of the high priests) went and told them (Hushai's message), and they went and told it to king David; for they durst not let themselves be seen to come into the city." They had therefore been staying at the Rogel spring outside the city. After what had taken place publicly, according to 2 Samuel 15:24., Absalom could not be in any doubt as to the views of the high priests. Consequently their sons could not come into the city, with the intention of leaving it again directly, to inform David of the occurrences that had taken place there as he had requested (2 Samuel 15:28). The clause "and they went and told David" anticipates the course of the affair, according to the general plan adopted by Hebrew historians, of communicating the result at the very outset wherever they possibly could.
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