2 Samuel 19:3
And the people got them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 19:3. The people gat them by stealth into the city — Not openly and triumphantly, as conquerors use to do; but secretly, as if they thought themselves a kind of criminals, who had contravened the king’s command, and were, on that score, in disgrace with him, and, therefore, were afraid and ashamed lest he should see them and look upon them with an evil eye, as persons that had had a hand in killing his beloved son. As people steal away when they flee in battle — As if they had lost the day and not been victorious.19:1-8 To continue to lament for so bad a son as Absalom, was very unwise, and very unworthy. Joab censures David, but not with proper respect and deference to his sovereign. A plain case may be fairly pleaded with those above us, and they may be reproved for what they do amiss, but it must not be with rudeness and insolence. Yet David took the reproof and the counsel, prudently and mildly. Timely giving way, usually prevents the ill effects of mistaken measures.There is not in the whole of the Old Testament a passage of deeper pathos than this. Compare Luke 19:41. In the Hebrew Bible this verse commences the nineteenth chapter. The King James Version follows the Greek and Latin versions. 3. the people gat them by stealth … to the city—The rumor of the king's disconsolate condition spread a universal and unseasonable gloom. His troops, instead of being welcomed back (as a victorious army always was) with music and other demonstrations of public joy, slunk secretly and silently into the city, as if ashamed after the commission of some crime. Not openly, and orderly, and triumphantly, as conquerors use to do; but secretly, and disorderly, and asunder, as if they were afraid and ashamed, lest David should see them, and look upon them with an evil eye, as those that had a hand in the killing of his dearly beloved son. And the people got them by stealth that day into the city,.... Did not march into it in companies, in a public and triumphant manner, as conquerors used to do; but entered in a private manner, one by one, or a very few together, not caring to be seen or known, at least by the king, as fearing they had incurred his displeasure: but

as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle; as if they had been conquered, and not conquerors; nay, had acted a cowardly part, and ran away; and so cared not to be seen, lest they should be reproached, or suffer for their cowardice.

And the people gat them by stealth that day into the city, as people being ashamed steal away when they flee in battle.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. gat them by stealth, &c.] Out of respect for the king’s sorrow the army stole into the city silently in small parties, like disgraced fugitives, instead of entering in military order with shouts of triumph for the victory.

that day] Clearly the day of the battle, which must therefore have been fought in the neighbourhood of Mahanaim. See notes on ch. 2 Samuel 18:6.

as people, &c.] Better, as the people steal in who have disgraced themselves by fleeing in the battle.And the king said, "Turn, and stand here," that he might hear the further news from the Cushite, who had just arrived.
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