Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night:7. Absalom, Ahitophel, and Hushai
1. The counsel of Ahitophel and Hushai (2Samuel 17:1-14)
2. The counsel made known to David (2Samuel 17:15-22)
3. Ahitophel commits suicide (2Samuel 17:23)
4. Absalom pitched in Gilead (2Samuel 17:24-26)
5. The kindness of Shobi, Machir and Barzillai (2Samuel 17:27-29)
Ahitophel’s counsel was aimed at the person of David only. He wanted to have him killed and thus by the death of the one man bring all Israel back. But Ahitophel had not reckoned with David’s Lord, who loved him and in all the chastisement through which he had to pass, was still his Lord and his Keeper. It was not Hushai who defeated the counsel of Ahitophel, but the Lord. “For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahitophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.” Hushai was evidently not present when Ahitophel spoke. When he came to Absalom and he asked his opinion he gave a different advice which Absalom and all the men of Israel adopted. The Lord gave the counsel through Hushai and then made Absalom and his men to follow the advice of Hushai. Hushai then communicated with Zadok and Abiathar as David had advised him. We do not follow the interesting story in its details. David heard of the counsel and the uncertainty of Absalom’s movement and passed over Jordan into safety. Thus through Hushai’s conspiracy, acting as a spy for David, the king had been saved. But would he have been lost if Hushai had not been acting the spy? The Lord would not have forsaken the king and though He used Hushai’s counsel yet David was the loser after all. He lost the opportunity of seeing the Lord’s power and intervention in his behalf. And how much we also lose by want of faith in Him, with whom nothing is too hard.
Ahitophel seeing his counsel defeated and unable to slay the king set his house in order and committed suicide. As stated before he is a type of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of our Lord, as Ahitophel was the betrayer of David. Like Ahitophel Judas hanged himself (Matthew 27:5).