2 Samuel 18:12
And the man said to Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in my hand, yet would I not put forth my hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
18:9-18 Let young people look upon Absalom, hanging on a tree, accursed, forsaken of heaven and earth; there let them read the Lord's abhorrence of rebellion against parents. Nothing can preserve men from misery and contempt, but heavenly wisdom and the grace of God.Ten shekels - (About 25 shillings.) The word "shekel" is understood, as in Genesis 20:16; Genesis 37:28. See the Exodus 38:24 note.

A girdle - Girdles were costly articles of Hebrew dress used to put money in Matthew 10:9, and given as presents 1 Samuel 18:4.

11, 12. Joab said unto the man that told him, … I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle—that is, would have raised him from the ranks to the status of a commissioned officer. Besides a sum of money, a girdle, curiously and richly wrought, was among the ancient Hebrews a mark of honor, and sometimes bestowed as a reward of military merit. This soldier, however, who may be taken as a fair sample of David's faithful subjects, had so great a respect for the king's wishes, that no prospect of reward would have tempted him to lay violent hands on Absalom. But Joab's stern sense of public duty, which satisfied him that there could be neither safety to the king, nor peace to the kingdom, nor security to him and other loyal subjects, so long as that turbulent prince lived, overcame his sensibilities, and looking upon the charge given to the generals as more befitting a parent than a prince, he ventured to disobey it. Or, take heed what (for so the Hebrew pronoun mi is sometimes used, as Judges 13:17) ye do with the young man. He expresseth David’s sense, though not his words. And the man said unto Joab,.... Disdaining his proposal:

though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand; or such a sum should be offered to me; the Arabic version is a million:

yet would I not put forth my hand against the king's son; to smite him, and slay him:

for in our hearing the king charged thee, and Abishai, and Ittai; his three generals:

saying, beware that none touch the young man Absalom; so as to slay him; they were charged to abstain from it themselves, and to watch and observe others, and keep them from doing it.

And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. Beware that none touch] Or, Have a care, all of you, of the young man Absalom: lit. as in the margin, whosoever ye be. But the Sept. and Vulg. read for my sake, as in 2 Samuel 18:5, in place of whosoever.Verse 12. - Though I should receive. The Hebrew text expresses the horror of the man at Joab's proposal much more vividly than the tame correction of the Massorites admitted into the Authorized Version: "And I, no! weighing in my palm a thousand of silver, I would not put forth my hand against the son of the king." Battle in the wood of Ephraim, and death of Absalom. - 2 Samuel 18:6, 2 Samuel 18:7. When the people, i.e., David's army, had advanced into the field against Israel (those who followed Absalom), a battle was fought "in the wood of Ephraim," when Israel was smitten by David's warriors and sustained a loss of 20,000 men. The question, where the "wood of Ephraim" was situated, is a disputed one. But both the name and the fact that, according to Joshua 17:15-16, the tribe-land of Ephraim abounded in forests, favour the idea that it was a wood in the inheritance of Ephraim, on this side of the Jordan; and this is in perfect harmony with the statement in 2 Samuel 18:23, that Ahimaaz took the way of the Jordan valley to bring the news of the victory to David, who was staying behind in Mahanaim. Nevertheless the majority of commentators have supposed that the place alluded to was a woody region on the other side of the Jordan, which had received the name of "wood Ephraim" probably after the defeat of the Ephraimites in the time of Jephthah (Judges 12:1-5). The reasons assigned are, first, that according to 2 Samuel 17:26, Absalom had encamped in Gilead, and it is not stated that he had crossed the Jordan again; secondly, that 2 Samuel 18:3 ("that thou succour us out of the city") presupposes that the battle took place in the neighbourhood of Mahanaim (Thenius); and thirdly, that after the victory the army returned to Mahanaim; whereas if the battle had been fought on this side of the Jordan, it would evidently have been much better for it to remain there and occupy Jerusalem (Ewald, Gesch. iii. p. 237). But neither of these reasons is decisive, and there is no force in the other arguments employed by Thenius. There was no necessity for an immediate occupation of Jerusalem by David's victorious army, since all Israel fled to their tents after the fall of Absalom and the defeat of his army (2 Samuel 18:17 and 2 Samuel 19:9); that is to say, such of Absalom's followers as had not fallen in or after the battle, broke up and returned home, and therefore the revolution was at an end. Consequently there was nothing left for David's army to do but to return to its king at Mahanaim, and fetch him back to Jerusalem, and reinstate him in his kingdom. The other two reasons might have some force in them, if the history before us contained a complete account of the whole course of the war. But even Ewald admits that it is restricted to a notice of the principal battle, which completely crushed the rebellion. There can be no doubt, however, that this was preceded, if not by other battles, yet by such military operations as accompany every war. This is clearly indicated in 2 Samuel 18:6, where it is stated that the army advanced into the field against Israel (2 Samuel 18:6), which evidently refers to such an advance on the part of David's army as might compel Absalom to draw back from Gilead across the Jordan, until at length a decisive battle was fought, which ended in the complete destruction of his army and his own death. Ewald observes still further, that "it seems impossible, at any rate so far as the name is concerned, to assume that the wood of Ephraim was on the other side of the Jordan, whilst according to 2 Samuel 18:23, the messenger who reported the victory went from the field of battle towards the Jordan valley in order to get to David." But the way in which Ewald tries to set aside this important point, as bearing upon the conclusion that the battle took place on this side of the Jordan, - namely, by adopting this rendering of 2 Samuel 18:23, "he ran after the manner of Kikkar, running, and therefore overtook Kushi," - is far too unnatural to meet with acceptance. Under all these circumstances, therefore, we decide in favour of the assumption that the wood of Ephraim is to be sought for in the tribe-territory of Ephraim.

The nature of the ground contributed a great deal to the utter defeat of Absalom.

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