2Samuel 17

 

2Samuel 17:1–29

The Function of Counterinsurgency in the Absalom Revolution


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


These exegetical studies are not designed for you to read each and every word. For instance, the Hebrew exegesis is put into greyish tables, so that if you want to skip over them, that is fine. If you question a translation, you can always refer back to the appropriate Hebrew tables to sort it all out.

 

The intent is to make this particular study the most complete and most accurate examination of 2Samuel 17 which is available in writing. The idea is to make every phrase, verse and passage understandable; and to make application of all that is studied.

 

Besides teaching you the doctrinal principles related to this chapter, this commentary is also to help bring this narrative to life, so that you can understand the various characters, their motivations, and the choices that they make. Ideally, you will be able to visualize the peoples and armies as they move across the landscape of the Land of Promise.


One made this known to David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators who have thrown in with Absalom.” Therefore, David prayed to God, “Frustrate, O Jehovah, the counsel and advice of Ahithophel.” And David has gone as far as the summit, where he bowed down to Elohim, and, suddenly [lit., behold], Hushai the Archite [has come] to meet him. His tunic [was] torn and [there was] dirt upon his head. (2Sam. 15:31–32). Hushai is the answer to David’s prayer.

 

“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.” (Isa. 65:24; ESV).

 

And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "the counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel," —for the Lord had ordained to frustrate the good counsel of Ahithophel in order that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom (2Sam. 17:14; JPCT).

 

R. B. Thieme, Jr.: “Insurgency is revolution; counterinsurgency is counter-revolution. Insurgency is anti-God; counter-insurgency is serving God.” Footnote

 

R. B. Thieme, Jr.: “There is a scale of values for life and a different one for counterinsurgency.” Footnote

 

Revolutionary movements often go after the youth—even to the point of brainwashing them—because of their enthusiasm, dedication and lack of historical perspective. It is easy to sell a young person on a utopian vision of the world, to be brought in by this revolution. (Kukis)


Outline of Chapter 17:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–4           Ahithophel’s Counsel to Absalom

         vv.     5–14         Absalom Calls in Hushai to Hear his Advice; Absalom Prefers Hushai’s Plan

         vv.    15–17         David’s Intelligence Network

         vv.    18–20         Jonathan and Ahimaaz, David’s Intelligence Couriers, Avoid Capture

         vv.    21–22         David Crosses over the Jordan

         v.       23           Ahithophel Hangs Himself

         vv.    24–26         The Troop Movements of David and Absalom’s Armies

         vv.    27–29         The Supply Lines for David’s Troops

 

Addendum


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         Matthew Henry’s Outline

         Introduction         The Principals of 2Samuel 17

         Introduction         The Prequel of 2Samuel 17

         Introduction         The Abbreviated Davidic Timeline

         Introduction         A Synopsis of 2Samuel 17

         Introduction         Gill Summarizes 2Samuel 17

         Introduction         God and Revolution

 

         v.       1              Evidence that this is Jerusalem Day One

         v.       2              The Doctrine of “I will strike the king by himself”

         v.       3              Various Translations of 2Samuel 17:3

         v.       3              2Samuel 17:3 Text from the Greek Septuagint

         v.       3              The Selling of Ahithophel’s Battle-Plan

         v.       4              Why There is Only One Plan

         v.       5              The Four Men

         v.       5              Why Absalom calls for Hushai

         v.       7              Warfare and Revolution Require a New Set of Values for the Believer

         v.       7              Advantage Hushai

         v.       9              Absalom and Public Opinion

         v.      11              Why Absalom was willing to go to war against David and Joab

         v.      14              Comparing the Plans

         v.      14              Links to the Doctrine of a Personal Sense of Destiny

         v.      15              Hushai the Archite

         v.      17              The Serenity Prayer

         v.      20              Legitimate Lies in Scripture

         v.      23              Why Ahithophel Killed Himself

         v.      23              Ahithophel’s Betrayal of David is a Type of Judas’s Betrayal of Jesus

         v.      24              Map of Mahanaim

         v.      24              Nave’s Topical Bible Summarizes the City of Mahanaim

         v.      25              David’s Line, Including Abigail (genealogy chart)

         v.      27              The Nahash’s of Scripture

         v.      27              Map of the Rebellion of Absalom

         v.      29              The Sharing of Our Material Goods with the Servants of God

 

         Addendum          What We Learn from 2Samuel 17

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          Edersheim Summarizes 2Samuel 17

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of 2Samuel 17

         Addendum          Word Cloud for 2Samuel 17 Exegesis

         Addendum          Word Cloud for 2Samuel 17 (Voice of the Wilderness text)


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Samuel


Pre-Introduction Links

Doctrines Covered and Alluded To

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To or Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

 

Laws of Divine Establishment

The City of Mahanaim

 

Personal Sense of Destiny

Revolution

Suicide


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

2Sam. 10

2Sam. 11

 

2Samuel 16


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 



Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. In addition to this, I will use a number of other more traditional technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Definition of Terms

Compartmental-ization arrogance

To compartmentalize means to put or divide into (compartments, categories, etc.), especially to an excessive degree. Compartmentalization arrogance takes this concept to the nth degree.

Counterinsur-gency

Those military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to counter the activities of rebels, guerrillas, etc.

Iconoclastic Arrogance

Iconoclastic arrogance is idolizing a person, which person is then mentally destroyed by the admirer's own disillusionment because a flaw in that person is discovered.

Logistics, military

Logistics is the science of the movement, supplying, and maintenance of military forces in the field.

Personal Sense of Destiny

Every believer, as a member of the body of Christ and the Royal family of God, has a destiny. This starts at the moment of belief, at the moment of salvation.

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


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An Introduction to 2Samuel 17


I ntroduction: 2Sam. 17 is, again, one of the fascinating chapters of the Bible, nearly ignored by most pastors, yet teaches great principles of doctrine and establishment. We get to see how Absalom, the criminal revolutionary thinks; and we get to see how those correctly related to King David and establishment function.


We again, as in the previous chapter, see David as the true king of Israel, the king put into place by God, the establishment king. Absalom is portrayed as an upstart who suddenly has run out of ideas, but his ego will not allow him to appear to not be in charge.


The concept of counterinsurgency warfare was begun in the previous chapter. It is continued in this chapter, and is the basis for this entire chapter. We will find counterinsurgents and patriots who lie and deceive in order to bring about David’s eventual victory over Absalom, all of which is clearly in God’s will.


This chapter allows us to see the concept of counterinsurgency play out, something which every believer in the United States needs to know and understand. This is extremely important information for those in the armed forces, particularly those in elite teams and intelligence agencies. This is also similarly applicable to law-enforcement types who operate underground, whether it be to foil drug traffickers or mafia types.


At the very end of this chapter, we see the importance of logistics in warfare.


Speaking of logistics, it ought to be well-noted that the Bible often spends a great deal of time on warfare, which includes the basic concepts of mass, strategy and tactics, logistics, surprise, troops and troop movement, and many other aspects of military action. This is not by mistake and the Bible nearly always presents those in the military as serving selflessly and honorably. Whereas, on one occasion, and one occasion only, Jesus tells one rich man to seel everything he has and give the proceeds to the poor, He never tells a military man to forsake his profession and pursue a path to world peace through disarmament (see Matt. 8:5–13, for instance). My point is, and this was difficult for me as a one-time hippie from the 60's to grasp, the Word of God treats the military as an honorable institution, and actually provides a great deal of insight for the military man. In fact, one of the final chapters of 2Samuel will be a list of military heroes who served under David.


It is always helpful to see how someone else views a chapter.

Matthew Henry’s Outline

1.      Absalom calls a council of war, in which Ahithophel urges despatch (2Sam. 17:1–4), but Hushai recommends deliberation (2Sam. 17:5–13); and Hushai's counsel is agreed to (2Sam. 17:14), for vexation at which Ahithophel hangs himself (2Sam. 17:23).

2.      Secret intelligence is sent to David (but with much difficultly) of their proceedings (2Sam. 17:15–21).

3.      David marches to the other side Jordan (2Sam. 17:22–24), and there his camp is given rations and supplies by some of his friends in that country (2Sam. 17:27–29).

4.      Absalom and his forces march after him into the land of Gilead on the other side Jordan (2Sam. 17:25–26). There we shall, in the next chapter, find the cause decided by a battle: hitherto, every thing has looked black upon poor David, but now the day of his deliverance begins to dawn.

You will note that Henry changes up the order of the chapter.

From Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 17 (chapter summary) (slightly edited).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of 2Samuel 17

Characters

Biographical Material

Absalom

Absalom is leading a rebellion against his father, King David. He has gone into Jerusalem and taken charge, while his father has left Jerusalem with a small army.

Ahithophel

Ahithophel is Absalom’s chief advisor, and he believed that he would be the man behind the man; that he would be the brains of the Absalom administration. In the previous chapter, he came to the sudden realization of just how lost Absalom was.


It appears as though Ahithophel not only wants the power of his influence, but that he desires to take his revenge against David, to the point of giving the order to have him killed.

David

King David is the establishment king of Israel, but he left Jerusalem when men in cities all over Israel stood up and proclaimed that Absalom, his son, was king in Hebron. David did not want to go to war against Absalom in the beautiful city of Jerusalem.

Husahi

Hushai is David’s mole, who, in this chapter, will find himself in the upper echelon of Absalom’s advisors. He will give advice that Absalom will choose over Ahithophel’s better advice; and this advice would slow Absalom’s revolt down.

Zadok and Abiathar

These are the two high priests of Israel who are a part of a great spy network within Jerusalem. Hushai would pass intelligence to them that they would then pass along to their sons.

Jonathan and Ahimaaz

These are the two sons of Zadok and Abiathar, who would receive intel from their fathers, and relay that information to David.

The slave girl

The link between Zadok and Abiathar and their sons would be this lone slave girl who would bring information to Jonathan and Ahimaaz. She is a supporter of David.

The young man

A young man, probably in his 20's, spots Jonathan and Ahimaaz and reports this sighting to Absalom. He is a supporter of the revolution.

The man and woman of Bahurim

These provided a safe house for Jonathan and Ahimaaz. The women hid the young men in a well and lied to the servants of Absalom to get them off the track.

Amasa

Absalom made Amasa the general over his army; this seems to be more of a symbolic appointment, rather than one made on merit.

Shobi ben Nahash of Rabbah, and Machir ben Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim

These are men who would bring supplies to David and his army while he is in Mahanaim. They appear to be acting independently of one another.

Obviously, there are a great many players in this chapter, and this scorecard will help you to keep them all straight in your mind.

We learn from this that there are some very important people involved in this revolution, and the outcome of this revolution will depend upon quite a number of people that you have never heard of; the same is true of any war.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of 2Samuel 17

2Sam. 17 continues the Absalom rebellion, and gives us a view into the psyches of the participants of this revolution.


Absalom began as a tender, thoughtful brother who wanted to protect and later to avenge his sister, who was raped by his half-brother, Amnon. Absalom was unable to pass the injustice test. In this world, we all face injustices. Absalom’s sister Tamar was raped by his half-brother Amnon, and their common father, David, did not administer justice as he should have.


Absalom took vengeance into his own hands and had Amnon killed, and then fled the country. After being out of the country for a couple of years, Joab arranged for him to come back. However, his father David would not see him, and the problem was not a half-forgiveness, but the problem was not dealing with what Amnon and Absalom had done in a court of law. There was no justice applied by David.


Absalom, by setting fire to Joab’s field, finally got David’s attention and David made up with his son; but, by that time, Absalom was lost. He had become a scheming criminal, capable of revolution against his own father.


Absalom set a plot into motion to become king. He won over many of the people at the courthouse and he had an entourage who went along with him wherever he went, which made him seem like a king. He became the new celebrity in Jerusalem and all of Israel.


Then Absalom lied about a trip to Hebron, claiming that he was going there to pay his vows. However, he went there to organize his revolt against David, and what he did was quite clever. He took 200 key people from David’s administration with him so that, when he made the claim to kingship, these men appeared to David to be in Absalom’s corner.


David left Jerusalem, and that is what the previous chapter or so was about. It appears as though David left Jerusalem in order to assess the situation properly and to avoid great bloodshed taking place within Jerusalem. At the time that David left, he did not know for certain just how powerful that Absalom was.


Along the same lines, David did not know the extent of his punishment from God. Technically speaking, David was no longer being punished; however, Absalom is the natural result of David’s polygamous life. He did not take the time to raise all of his children properly, which meant that most of them would turn out poorly. Among these, Absalom and the late Amnon were chief.


However, not knowing the extent of his difficulties, David did not give up; he did not lose faith in God; he did not reject the Word of God. He simply did the most prudent thing, which was to leave Jerusalem.


David traveled east, meaning he would go down in a valley and then come up the ascent of the Mount of Olives. David met many people on his way out of Jerusalem and as he crossed over the Mount of Olives, and three of these men became a part of David’s intelligence network. He met Zadok and Abiathar, the dual priests, and told them to return to Jerusalem, but to act as his eyes and ears in Jerusalem.


David also found out that Ahithophel had joined up with Absalom, and Ahithophel was a brilliant strategist, so David prayed for his advice to be neutralized—a quick, 5 second prayer—and God answered this prayer immediately when David ran into Hushai, also a brilliant strategist. David sent Hushai back to Jerusalem, where he was to infiltrate the Absalom inner circle.


At the end of the previous chapter, Absalom runs into Hushai on the street, in the midst of a crowd crying out, “Long live the king;” and Absalom briefly questions Hushai, and determines that, despite his previous association with David, that he is alright. In this chapter, it will be Absalom who calls upon Hushai for his advice.


In the previous chapter, Ahithophel suddenly realized that, not only was he the man behind the man, but he was the one who devised the strategy, and, to some extent, the policy. Absalom walks into Jerusalem, takes control, and suddenly, turns to Ahithophel and says, “What should I do next?” This was very telling, because one would have thought that Absalom, desiring all of this power, walking into Jerusalem, must have several things on his agenda of what he ought to do next, but he did not.


Ahithophel then suggests a brilliant and brutal move: he tells Absalom to rape the 10 mistresses that David has left behind, and to do it in nearly full public view. This benefitted Absalom, inasmuch as it hardened him; and it also took him to the point of no return. For Ahithophel, this gave him a day or two to formulate a plan for the next move.


Although we are not given a specific time frame, this first conversation between Absalom and Ahithophel could have occurred on day one of the rapes. That would have given Ahithophel more than enough time to assess the situation and to plan the next few moves. In no way would this have occurred later than a few hours after the final rape on the 2nd or 3rd day.

 


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


This timeline is simply a shortened version of the David Timeline (HTML) (PDF), with a few principle events of David’s life recorded, along with the events of this chapter. Bracketed dates are derived from the Scripture, based upon author’s original premises.

The Abbreviated David Timeline

Fenton-Farrar

(F. L. Smith)

Bible Truth 4U

Reese’s Chronology Bible

Scripture

Narrative

[1085 b.c.]

1040 b.c.

[1055 b.c.]

Ruth 4:22

David is born.

1062 b.c.

 

1029 b.c.

1Sam. 17

David defeats Goliath.

1055 b.c.

(c. 1010 b.c.)

1010 b.c.

1025 b.c.

2Sam. 2:1–4

David becomes king over Judah (the southern kingdom). David is 30. 2Sam. 5:4 David was 30 years old when he began to reign. He reigned 40 years.

1048 b.c.

(c. 1004 b.c.)

1003 b.c.

1018 b.c.

2Sam. 5:1–3

1Chron. 11:1–3

David becomes king over all Israel. He is still ruling from Hebron. David is approximately 37 years old, according to Bible Truth 4U.

1035 b.c.

 

1005 b.c.

c. 1016 b.c. (Klassen)

2Sam. 11:2–25

David’s sin with Bathsheba. He has her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in battle.

1024 b.c.

979–961 b.c. (?)

994–993 b.c.

2Sam. 15

Absalom rebels against David and David goes into exile. 2Sam. 15:6–10 And in this way Absalom did to all Israel that came to the king for judgment. And Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. And it happened at the end of 40 (4?) years, Absalom said to the king, Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to Jehovah in Hebron. For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Syria, saying, If Jehovah will indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve Jehovah. And the king said to him, Go in peace. And he arose and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the ram's horn, then you shall say, Absalom reigns in Hebron! Many have said that this reading is corrupt and ought to be 4 years. Footnote

 

 

 

2Sam. 16:1–14

David’s relationship with the two factions of Israel.

1023 b.c.

 

 

2Sam. 16:15–17:23

David gains the upper hand over Absalom by means of intrigue and deception.

1023 b.c.

 

992 b.c.

2Sam. 17:24–18:18

David defeats Absalom’s army in battle and Absalom is subsequently killed. He is approximately 30 years old (Reese).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


It was difficult to find an overall chapter title, as there are so many things going on. Originally, I gave this chapter 3 headings: Advice from Ahithophel and Hushai

David’s Intelligence Network

Troop Movement

However, all of this seems to follow under the heading of: The Function of Counterinsurgency in the Absalom Revolution.

A Synopsis of 2Samuel 17

You may recall that Ahithophel was looked to for Absalom’s first move in Jerusalem, and he was told to rape all of David’s mistresses. This gave Ahithophel time to plot the next step, and to gather as much intel as possible in order to offer good advice. So Ahithophel tells Absalom to let him lead an army against David right now, and Ahithophel would focus on finding and killing David. Vv. 1–4

Surprisingly, even though Absalom appeared to like Ahithophel’s approach, he suddenly calls for Hushai, who he believed changed allegiances from David to him. Hushai gives a rather lengthy presentation of his plan, along with a contingency plan, which Absalom likes even more than Ahithophel’s counsel. Vv. 5–14a.

The writer editorializes at this point, and tells us that God ordained that Ahithophel’s good advice be overturned so that God can bring evil upon Absalom. V. 14b

Hushai reports what he knows to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and they relay this information to their sons via an innocuous slave-girl. Vv. 15–17

However, the two sons of the priests are spotted, Absalom is told, and a search party is sent to find them. They find a place to hide, and then continue on to David once that search party gives up. They recommend to David to immediately cross over the Jordan. Vv. 18–21

David follows their advice (v. 22) while a dejected Ahithophel returns to his home to kill himself (v. 23).

David arrives in Mahanaim about the time that Absalom crosses over the Jordan. V. 24

Absalom has made a symbolic appointment over his army, and they encamp on the east side of the Jordan. Vv. 25–26

Meanwhile, David and his army are given logistical support from some true patriots east of the Jordan. Vv. 27–29

 


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


It is always good to see another summary proposed.

Gill Summarizes 2Samuel 17

This chapter relates the advice Ahithophel gave to march out speedily with a number of men in pursuit of David, which at first seemed agreeable (2Sam. 17:1); but Hushai's opinion being asked, and he giving counsel to raise a larger army, which required time, and was taken to, hereby the counsel of Ahithophel was defeated (2Sam. 17:5); upon which he hanged himself (2Sam. 17:23). These different counsels being communicated by Hushai to the priests, they found means to transmit them to David, with an instruction to him to pass over Jordan immediately; which he did, and pitched in Gilead, and whither he was followed by Absalom (2Sam. 17:15); and where he met with a supply of provisions for his army from some eminent persons in and near that place (2Sam. 17:27).

Dr. John Gill, John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible; from e-Sword, 2Sam. 17 (chapter summary) (slightly edited).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Although we have covered similar material to this in previous chapters, let’s look at a few points to get us started.

God and Revolution

1.      Revolution is anti-God.

2.      Even though David has done great wrong, and God is still dealing with David to get him out of sexual arrogance, Absalom is wrong to revolt against David.

3.      Therefore, God will be on David’s side. Yehowah had ordained that Ahithophel's good advice be defeated in order to ruin Absalom (2Sam. 17:14b).

4.      David has certainly sinned against God and he did a lousy job of raising his children, who were essentially wards of the state, not unlike welfare babies today.

5.      David was also unable to treat his children justly under the law; so he ignored the rape committed by Amnon.

6.      However, apart from the, David was a great king, and God not only approved his kingship, but protected David during this revolution.

7.      A revolution involves the breakdown of law and order, which can make evangelization and Bible teaching more difficult. Law and order must be restored for evangelization and Bible teaching to resume normal teaching patterns.

8.      Revolution means that a portion of the country will engage in unlawful acts to depose their king.

9.      We mistakenly teach that revolution in a country which overthrows some despot is a good thing, and many liberals were quietly hoping that the revolutions throughout the Middle East would result in more enlightened governments. That will not be the case. The result will eventually be a more despotic ruler, albeit younger, and probably one, in the example given, who leans toward radical Islam.

10.    We have a similar problem here with Absalom. He has not said or done anything to suggest that he believes in the Revealed God. So, there is no reason to think that his government is going to be more favorable to Yehowah worship.

11.    David has always been favorable to Yehowah worship, and greatly celebrated bringing the Ark of God to Jerusalem.

12.    People came to Israel many times to be evangelized (although they may not have realized that); under Absalom, there would be less evangelism because he was not well-disposed toward the God of his father.

13.    Therefore, specifically in this case, revolution is wrong and anti-God; and in general, revolution is wrong and anti-God.

The complete Doctrine of Revolution (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


As an aside, I began to add a new translation to the mix known as the Knox Bible. By v. 5, I discovered (yes, sometimes I am slow) that this is the translation used by the New Advent Bible.


On a personal note, you have no idea what a privilege it is to be able to lay all of this out carefully, word-by-word and verse-by-verse. Given the political unrest and insanity which seems to be a part of the United States at this time, it is wonderful to be able to present God’s approach at a time of even greater unrest in Israel.


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Ahithophel's Counsel to Absalom


We need a lead-in for this first verse, which is given to us from 2Sam. 16:20–23 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, "Give your counsel. What shall we do?" Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Go in to your father's concubines, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened." So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof. And Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom. (ESV) Absalom had effected a great revolution in Jerusalem without firing a shot (in that day, without shooting an arrow). He and his supporters come into Jerusalem, and David and his supporters are gone. There is no fighting, there is no resistence. Absalom can walk right into the palace and set up shot as the new king.


This somewhat throws Absalom out of kilter, and he does not know what to do next, so he asks Ahithophel, and Ahithophel tells him to rape David’s mistresses, which he does. This gives Ahithophel time to plan out the next move, as Ahithophel has figured out that Absalom does not have many plans at this point. This is fine with Ahithophel, who uses the time while Absalom is raping David’s mistresses to fully assess the situation and to develop a plan. When Ahithophel gives Absalom the plan for Absalom’s next move, let me suggest that Absalom has spent a day raping this mistresses and has probably raped 4 of them, maybe 5. He doesn’t know it, but this gets Absalom out of the way while Ahithophel can do the real work of gathering intel and putting together a plan.


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so says Ahithophel unto Absalom, “Let me choose, please, two-ten a thousand a man and I will rise up and I will pursue after David the night.

2Samuel

17:1

Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose [right] now 12,000 men that I may rise up and chase after David tonight.

Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose right now 12,000 men so that I may rise up and chase after David tonight.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation Footnote ; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation). I sometimes update this text, which essentially means getting rid of the thee’s and thou’s.

 

I have begun to include the Knox Bible, which was translated by Ronald Knox from the Latin Vulgate and compared with the Greek and Hebrew texts by himself over a period of nine years. I have done some updating on this version. However, I do find that it varies enough from the Latin Vulgate so that I felt it better located in the nearly literal translations (with moderate paraphrasing).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And Achitophel said to Absalom: I will choose me twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Ahithophel unto Absalom, “Let me choose, please, two-ten a thousand a man and I will rise up and I will pursue after David the night.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    MOREOVER Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David this night.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me now choose out for myself twelve thousand men, and I will arise and follow after David this night.

 

Significant differences:           No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Ahithophel said to Absalom: Let me choose twelve thousand men and attack David tonight,...

Easy English                          Ahithophel and Hushai advise Absalom

Then Ahithophel said to Absalom, `Let me choose 12 000 men. I will go and chase David tonight.

Easy-to-Read Version            Ahithophel also said to Absalom, “Let me now choose 12,000 men. Then I will chase David tonight.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Not long after that, Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose twelve thousand men, and tonight I will set out after David.

The Message                         Next Ahithophel advised Absalom, "Let me handpick twelve thousand men and go after David tonight.

New Berkeley Version           Ahithophel next recommended to Absalom, “Let me now select twelve thousand troops that I may set out and pursue David this very night.

New Life Bible                        Then Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose 12,000 men, and I will leave and go after David tonight.

New Living Translation           Now Ahithophel urged Absalom, "Let me choose 12,000 men to start out after David tonight.

The Voice                               Ahithophel had a strategy for victory over David and advised Absalom.

Ahithophel: Let me choose 12,000 men, and tonight we will pursue David.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, AhiThophel said to AbSalom: 'I'll choose twelve thousand men and go after David tonight;...

New American Bible (R.E.)    Ahithophel went on to say to Absalom: "Let me choose twelve thousand men and be off in pursuit of David tonight.

NIRV                                      One day Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Here's what I suggest. Choose 12,000 men. Start out tonight and go after David.

New Jerusalem Bible             Ahithophel said to Absalom, 'Let me choose twelve thousand men and set off this very night in pursuit of David.

New Simplified Bible              Later Ahithophel said to Absalom: »Let me choose twelve thousand men. Tonight I will set out after David.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Then Ahithophel said to Absalom, Let me take out twelve thousand men and this very night I will go after David:...

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Akhitophel advices to Capture and Murder David (b.c. 1023)

Then Akhitophel said to Absalom, “Select at once twelve thousand men, and I will start and pursue David to-night,...

The Knox Bible                      Now, said Achitophel to Absalom, let me pick twelve thousand men, and set out in pursuit of David this very night;...

New Advent Bible                  Now, said Achitophel to Absalom, let me pick twelve thousand men, and set out in pursuit of David this very night;...

NET Bible®                             The Death of Ahithophel

Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me pick out twelve thousand men. Then I will go and pursue David this very night. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

NIV – UK                                Ahithophel said to Absalom, `I would[a] choose twelve thousand men and set out tonight in pursuit of David.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Achitofel said to Avshalom, "Let me now choose 12,000 men, and I will pursue David tonight.

exeGeses companion Bible   THE COUNSEL OF HUSHAY

And Achiy Thophel says to Abi Shalom,

I pray you that I may choose twelve thousand men

and I rise and pursue after David this night:.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Moreover Achitophel said unto Avshalom, Let me now choose out shneym asar elef ish, and I will arise and pursue after Dovid halailah (this night);...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      Hushai Saves David

Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight.

NASB                                     Hushai's Counsel

Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Please let me choose 12,000 men that I may arise and pursue David tonight.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Verses 1-3: Ahithophel's Proposal}

Moreover Ahithophel requested of Absalom, let me now select twelve thousand men, will move out and pursue after David this night. {Note: This is after the rape of the 10 mistresses. Ahithophel knows David is now weak since he left Jerusalem. He has the castle guard and the local police so maybe 2000 men. He wants 12,000 of the best that move out before the rape of the city begins and many will want David back.}.

Third Millennium Bible            Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, "Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night.

Young’s Updated LT             And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, “Let me choose, I pray you, twelve thousand men, and I arise and pursue after David tonight.

 

The gist of this verse:          Ahithophel suggests that he take 12,000 troops and immediately go after David.


2Samuel 17:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾĂchîythôphel (אֲחִיתֹפֶל) [pronounced uhkh-ee-THOH-fel]

my brother is foolish; and is transliterated Ahithophel, Achitophel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #302 BDB #27

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5

An alternate form of this word is ʾAbeshâlôwm (אַבְשָלוֹם) [pronounced ahbe-shaw-LOHM].


Translation: Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom,... This comes later. Ahithophel has looked over the situation while Absalom is raping David’s mistresses in the tent. He has had 1–3 days to make an appraisal of what has taken place. He knows how many are in his army; he knows where David has gone to; he knows who has gone with David. So, while Absalom fornicated, Ahithophel did all of the leg work, gathering information and determining what their next step would be. My guess is, Ahithophel formed a plan within the first day, before Absalom has raped the final woman for that day.


You may recall from 2Samuel 16 (HTML) (PDF) (WPD) that Ahithophel suddenly realized that Absalom could only take this so far. He plotted out how to become king, but he had no plans after entering into Jerusalem. So Ahithophel had to give Absalom something to keep him busy, and he, Ahithophel, scoped out the situation.


Now that Ahithophel knows what is going on, he is prepared to make a suggestion as to what Absalom’s next step is. His idea is simple and the right way to go.


Ahithophel may have come up with this plan in the first day, after determining what David has done and what his own resources are. What Ahithophel needed was information. With Absalom busy, Ahithophel was able to find out when David left, who he took with him, and who remains behind. That information could be found out within a few hours.


2Samuel 17:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

bâchar (בָּחַר) [pronounced baw-KHAHR]

to choose; Gesenius also lists to prove, to try, to examine, to approve, to choose, to select; to love, to delight in [something], to desire

1st person singular, Qal imperfect; with the voluntative hê

Strong's #977 BDB #103

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

Nâʾ is used for a submissive and modest request. It is used to express a wish (Job 32:21: “Oh, that I may not respect any man’s person”); to incite or to urge (Jer. 5:24); it is depreciatory when affixed to the 2nd person with a particle of negation (do not, I implore you—see Gen. 33:10 19:18); with the it expresses a wish or request (Psalm 124 129:1 SOS 7:9), a challenge (Jer. 17:15), asking leave (Gen. 18:4), and depreciation with a negation (Gen. 18:32). In many of these examples, we would express this with the addition of the word let.

shenêym (שְנֵים) [pronounced she-NĀM]

two, two of, a pair of, a duo of

dual numeral (possibly a construct?)

Strong’s #8147 BDB #1040

ʿâsâr (עָשָר) [pronounced ģaw-SAWR]

ten; –teen [resulting in numbers 11–19]

masculine/feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6240 BDB #797

These two numerals together mean 12.

ʾeleph (אֶלֶף) [pronounced EH-lef]

thousand, family, (500?); military unit

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #505 (and #504) BDB #48

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation:...“Let me choose [right] now 12,000 men... Ahithophel knows how many men he has at his disposal, and he realizes that some of them are not going to go along with his proposal. Therefore, he needs to be able to choose the right men to go with him, who would be willing to right against David.


The number 12,000 suggests that Absalom had a fairly large following as well as a fairly wide base of support in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Ahithophel believed that he could get this many people and leave that very night.


By this time, Ahithophel had determined just how many men went with David, so he knows how many men that he needs to be able to both pursue David and to beat him in battle. The idea would be to kill David. That is Ahithophel’s objective, and he will share this objective with Absalom, not knowing that Absalom is able to stomach it, having been hardened by raping these women.


Again, we do not know what day this is, and Absalom might still be in the midst of operation rape. In fact, that seems very likely. Ahithophel knows that Absalom is not half the man that David is, and Ahithophel would prefer to have the pleasure of killing David anyway (or ordering his death).


2Samuel 17:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

qûwm (קוּם) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to get up; to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.


Translation: ...that I may rise up... The imperfect tense is often used for the future; and this particular verb indicates that the subject of the verb is going to do something. He has a purpose and he will go out and accomplish that purpose.


The voluntative hê indicates that Absalom is requesting permission here. He says it out of being polite, but he is certain that his plans will be green-lighted. After all, what has Absalom been doing? He has been raping 10 women, one after another, over a period or a few days. By my estimation, Absalom has raped probably 3 women by this time on the first day; perhaps 4. So Absalom becomes more and more brutalized as he rapes one woman after another; but what he does not do is figure out what his next move is. In fact, very likely, Absalom feels fairly comfortable with the idea that he is the boss and Ahithophel will make a suggestion, and then he, the boss, will decide whether to go along with his plan or not. After all, he is the king with all the power.


2Samuel 17:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

râdaph (רָדַף) [pronounced raw-DAHF]

to pursue, to follow after; to chase with hostile intent, to persecute

1st person singular, Qal imperfect with the voluntative hê

Strong’s #7291 BDB #922

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

ʾachărêy (אַחֲרֵי) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

behind, after; following; after that, afterwards; hinder parts

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

Dâvid (דָּוִד); also Dâvîyd (דָּוִיד) [pronounced daw-VEED]

beloved and is transliterated David

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1732 BDB #187

layelâh (לַיְלָה) [pronounced LAY-law]

night; that night, this night, the night

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3915 BDB #538


Translation: ...and chase after David tonight. Ahithophel knows how far David may have gotten. He has collected information. He knows that he and his troops will have to move fast to catch up to David.


Here is why I believe that this is day one in Jerusalem.

Evidence that this is Jerusalem Day One

1.      Absalom has walked into Jerusalem, and there is no resistance. He walks right into the palace and takes over.

2.      He asks for suggestions, looking specifically to Ahithophel, and Ahithophel says, “Go rape David’s mistresses.”

3.      This gets Absalom out of Ahithophel’s way, and Ahithophel can then plan the next move. For Absalom to have asked Ahithophel what to do next at the end of 2Sam. 16, means that we have come to the end of Absalom’s chess moves.

4.      It would not take Ahithophel more than 4 hours to determine roughly where David was, who was with him, what allies he had in Jerusalem, and what Absalom’s resources were by way of support.

5.      Also notice that Ahithophel’s plans here leave Absalom out. Now, why would Ahithophel take a strike force after David, but leave Absalom behind? The idea is, Absalom still has unfinished business to take care of—5 or 6 more women to rape.

6.      Ahithophel says, “I need to take this strike force out tonite; I will choose them and I will lead them out.” This is separate from Absalom and time is apparently of the essence. If Absalom is in the middle of something, raping David’s mistresses, this all makes sense. If Absalom is done with David’s mistresses, then why is he being left out of this equation?

7.      Ahithophel says “We have to leave tonite.” Absalom would clearly be included if he was not doing something already; and Ahithophel is not going to wait around an extra day or two.

8.      

Barnes appears to agree with this assessment: The night of the day on which David fled, and Absalom entered into Jerusalem. Ahithophel’s idea was to fall upon David by surprise, and in the first confusion of the surprised army to seize and kill David only. Footnote


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


V. 1 reads: Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose right now twelve-thousand men so that I may rise up and chase after David tonight. So, Absalom is raping David’s mistresses, on a break at this time, as Ahithophel suggests the next move. This next move leaves Absalom out of the picture, which makes perfect sense if Absalom is performing the important duty of raping David’s mistresses.


Ahithophel correctly suggests that time is of the essence. Without slighting Absalom, Ahithophel cannot sit around and wait 2 or 3 more days for Absalom to completely raping David’s mistresses (furthermore, Absalom cannot just quit part way through this process either). He needs to catch up to David and he needs to get David while he is on the run. 12,000 is a large enough force to strike David, but small enough to lead quickly out of Jerusalem.


The general idea of this appears to be found in Prov. 1:16 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed blood. We find similar sentiments expressed in Isa. 59:7–9 Their feet run to evil, and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths; they have made their roads crooked; no one who treads on them knows peace. Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.

 

Clarke: Had this counsel been followed, David and his little troop would soon have been destroyed; nothing but the miraculous interposition of God could have saved them. Twelve thousand chosen troops coming against him, in his totally unprepared state, would have soon settled the business of the kingdom. Ahithophel well saw that, this advice neglected, all was lost. Footnote


With each passing hour, David is allowed more and more time to think, and more time to organize his army, and to consider all of the options before him. Ahithophel knows this. The sooner that he attacks David, the better chance that he has for success. However, what Ahithophel did not count on was Absalom’s tremendous ego getting in the way.


——————————


And I will come upon him and he [is] weary and slack of [two] hands and I have made him frightened and has fled all the people who [are] with him and I have struck down the king to him alone.

2Samuel

17:2

I will come upon him when he [is] weary and discouraged [lit., slack of hands], and I will frighten him; and the people with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king by himself.

I will advance quickly against the king, while he is yet weary and discouraged in a surprise attack, causing the people with him to flee. Then I will strike down the king while he is by himself.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And coming upon him (for he is now weary, and weak handed) I will defeat him: and when all the people is put to flight that is with him, I will kill the king who will be left alone.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And I will come upon him and he [is] weary and slack of [two] hands and I have made him frightened and has fled all the people who [are] with him and I have struck down the king to him alone.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And I will overtake him while he is weary and weak, and I will throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him shall flee, and I will kill the king only.

Septuagint (Greek)                And I will come upon him when he is weary and weak-handed, and I will strike him with terror; and all the people with him shall flee, and I will smite the king alone.

 

Significant differences:           The verb to overtake is fairly similar to come upon.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           I will attack him while he is tired and weak, and I will throw him into a panic. All the troops with him will run off. I promise to kill the king alone, and I will bring all the people back to you like a bride comes back to her husband [LXX; Heb uncertain]. A portion of v. 3 was added for context.

Contemporary English V.       ...while he is tired and discouraged. He will panic, and everyone with him will run away. I won't kill anyone except David,...

Easy English                          I will attack him when he is tired and weak. I will frighten him. All the people who are with him will run away. I will kill only the king.

Easy-to-Read Version            I will catch him while he is tired and weak. I will scare him. And all his people will run away. But I will kill only King David.

Good News Bible (TEV)         I will attack him while he is tired and discouraged. He will be frightened, and all his men will run away. I will kill only the king...

The Message                         I'll come on him when he's bone tired and take him by complete surprise. The whole army will run off and I'll kill only David.

New Berkeley Version           In this way I can overtake him while he is exhausted and still without resources and throw him into a panic, so that all the men with him will run.

New Century Version             I'll catch him while he is tired and weak, and I'll frighten him so all his people will run away. But I'll kill only King David.

New Life Bible                        I will come upon him while he is tired and weak. I will fill him with fear so that all the people who are with him will run away. Then I will kill the king alone and return all the people to you. A portion of v. 3 was included for context.

The Voice                               Ahithophel: Let me choose 12,000 men, and tonight we will pursue David while he is weak and weary. We'll throw him into a panic; then all of the people will run away from him, come back to you, and be safe. I will strike down the king. If we take only the life of this one man here—your father—then everyone else can return to you. Vv. 1–3 are given for context.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          ...because, when I get there he'll be tired and weak. We'll catch him unaware and startle him; then his people will flee, and I can kill the king when he's alone.

NIRV                                      Attack him while he's tired and weak. Fill him with terror. Then all of the people who are with him will run away. Don't strike down anyone except the king.

New Jerusalem Bible             I shall fall on him while he is tired and dispirited; I shall strike terror into him, and all the people who are with him will run away. I shall kill only the king,...

New Simplified Bible              »I will attack him while he is tired and discouraged. He will be frightened! All his men will run away. I will kill only the king.

Revised English Bible            If I overtake him when he is tired and dispirited I shall cut him off from his people and they will all scatter; I shall kill no one but the king.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      ...coming over him as he labors with weak hands to make him tremble. All the people with him will flee, and I also will smite the king.

Bible in Basic English             And I will come up with him when he is tired and feeble, and make him full of fear: and all the people with him will go in flight; and I will make an attack on the king only:...

The Expanded Bible              I'll catch him while he is tired and ·weak [discouraged], and I'll ·frighten [terrorize] him so all his ·people [troops] will run away. But I'll ·kill [strike down] only King David.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and come on him whilst he is weary and weak-handed, when I shall terrify him; and all the force with him will fly, —and I will kill the king alone.

HCSB                                     I will attack him while he is weak and weary, throw him into a panic, and all the people with him will scatter. I will strike down only the king...

The Knox Bible                      ...so I shall overtake him and easily defeat him, weary as he is and unnerved; first scatter the company that went with him, and then strike him down, with none to aid him.

New Advent Bible                  ...so I shall overtake him and easily defeat him, weary as he is and unnerved; first scatter the company that went with him, and then strike him down, with none to aid him.

NET Bible®                             When I catch up with [Heb "and I will come upon him."] him he will be exhausted and worn out [Heb "exhausted and slack of hands."]. I will rout him, and the entire army that is with him will flee. I will kill only the king and will bring the entire army back to you. In exchange for the life of the man you are seeking, you will get back everyone [Heb "like the returning of all, the man whom you are seeking." The LXX reads differently: "And I will return all the people to you the way a bride returns to her husband, except for the life of the one man whom you are seeking." The other early versions also struggled with this verse. Modern translations are divided as well: the NAB, NRSV, REB, and NLT follow the LXX, while the NASB and NIV follow the Hebrew text.]. The entire army will return unharmed." Vv. 2–3 are given for context.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           I'll fall on him unexpectedly when he's tired and powerless. I'll frighten him, all the people with him will flee, and I'll attack only the king.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and I come on him

- belabored and weak handed; and tremble him:

and all the people with him flee;

and I smite the sovereign only:...

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               I will come upon him when he is weary and disheartened, and I will throw him into a panic; and when all the troops with him flee, I will kill the king alone.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak of hands, and will make him tremble with fear; and kol haAm that are with him shall flee; and I will strike HaMelech only;...

The Scriptures 1998              ...and come upon him while he is weary and weak. And I shall make him afraid and all the people who are with him shall flee. And I shall smite the sovereign alone,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king,...

Green’s Literal Translation    And I shall come on him, and he shall be weary and feeble handed. And I will make him tremble, and the people with him shall flee. And I shall strike the king by himself.

NASB                                     I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted [Lit slack of hands] and terrify him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king alone,...

Syndein/Thieme                     {Ahithophel's Plan}

Consequently, I will surprise him when he is weary and 'weak and exhausted'/ 'weak of hands' {no more nervous energy}, and will 'terrify him'/'cause him to panic'. {a tired person is irritable and 'weaker than normal'} And all the people who are with him will flee/'run away'. And I will assasinate the king while he is isolated/alone.

World English Bible                ...and I will come on him while he is weary and weak-handed, and will make him afraid; and all the people who are with him shall flee; and I will strike the king only;...

Young's Updated LT              And I will come upon him, and he [is] weary and feeble-handed, and I have caused him to tremble, and all the people have fled who are with him, and I have struck down the king by himself.

 

The gist of this verse:          Ahithophel explains that, when he catches David’s army off-guard, they will flee, and he will go to kill David specifically.


2Samuel 17:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752


Translation: I will come upon him... Notice the 1st person singular verb; Ahithophel is going to do this himself; there is no 1st person plural verb used here, which would be Absalom and Ahithophel working together. This is not out of the ordinary, as Joab led the armies of Israel for many years while David stayed in Jerusalem and ruled the country from there. David led his own troops by means of intelligence briefings that he received from soldiers (2Sam. 11:18–25 12:27–28), although it is clear that Joab ran the show and called the shots when it came to the military (2Sam. 12:26–31). My point is, what Ahithophel is suggesting is not out of line; it does not suggest any sort of usurping of Absalom’s authority.


Ahithophel has determined that David will not be expecting a sudden attack from Absalom. He will expect Absalom to enter into the city and then start being a king. If there is no David, why pursue him? That can be done later. So, when Ahithophel says, “I will come upon him;” this is a surprise attack that David will not see coming. That is the theory.


In reality, David does not know what Absalom will do; and has no idea what he is capable of. It is David’s intelligence network, shown in this chapter to be set up and functioning, which will be key to his survival. They will keep Absalom from being able to surprise David, and thus possibly gain the momentum in battle; as surprise is key in military conflict.


2Samuel 17:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one); same

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb to be, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

yâgêaʿ (יָגֵעַ) [pronounced yaw-GAY-ahģ]

[one who is] weary, tired, exhausted; wearisome

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #3023 BDB #388

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

râpheh (רָפֶה) [pronounced raw-FEH]

slack; remiss; infirm, feeble; hanging down?; discouragement, fear

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #7504 BDB #952

yâdayim (יָדַיִם) [pronounced yaw-dah-YIHM]

[two] hands; both hands figuratively for strength, power, control of a particular person

feminine dual noun

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

Together, these words mean weak-handed; both hands hanging down; discouraged, feeble, weak.


Translation: ...when he [is] weary and discouraged [lit., slack of hands],... Right now, David is tired and despondent. This is one of the worst things that could happen to him. The people have rejected him; they have gone after his son, and David will have very little heart for a war. After all, very few people have left with him.


We know that David and his men are weary; we are told this in 2Sam. 16:14.


The phrase slack of hands means that his hands are hanging down; he is despondent and discouraged. He does not have it in him to fight at this point. This would be a low point in his life. Ahithophel has rightly determined the situation as well as David’s psyche.


Furthermore, Ahithophel has determined roughly the number of men that have exited Jerusalem with David. It is not a large army by any means. At this point, David should be at his weakest mentally, emotionally and militarily. He does not even have a supply line set up, and an army cannot function without supplies. If Ahithophel strikes quickly, he expects to break through David’s small army and get to David directly.


2Samuel 17:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

chârad (חָרַד) [pronounced chaw-RAHD]

to make tremble, to cause to be terrified, to make frightened; to drive [away, out]; to rout [an army]

1st person singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #2729 BDB #353

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

him; untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to him, toward him

affixed to a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84


Translation: ...and I will frighten him;... The idea is to come upon David suddenly, and to make him afraid. David’s fear will be transmitted to the rest of his army, who will also become frightened by such a sudden attack.


2Samuel 17:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nûwç (נוּס) [pronounced noose]

to flee, to flee from, to escape, to depart, to hasten quickly [away]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #5127 BDB #630

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #854 BDB #85

Together, ʾăsher ʾêth literally mean which [is] with. I’m not sure if there is a more specialized meaning. Other translations give the meanings that [was] beside [it]; beside [it]; in [it]; along with [it].


Translation: ...and the people with him will flee. What Ahithophel expect is, David is despondent, he responds in fear, then his people look to him, look at him, and they become afraid as well.


This suggests that Ahithophel with 12,000 men would strongly outnumber David. So we do not know how many are with him, but I would estimate between 1000 and 6000.


This is the way that Ahithophel has chosen to pitch his plan. This does not mean that Ahithophel has not anticipated problems nor does it mean that Ahithophel believes that this plan will come off this smoothly. However, he is the only man with a plan, so he knows that he does not need to sell this plan to Absalom. Absalom does not have his own plan.


Therefore, Ahithophel is not going to spend time worrying Absalom about contingency plans, loss of life, or any mistakes in initial estimates. For all we know, Ahithophel may expect that he will have to destroy David’s entire army. However, to Absalom, he is painting this as a relatively simple operation. Get to David’s army, plow through his line, send his men running, and then take David out.


Remember, Ahithophel is a brilliant man with a great military mind. No doubt he has plan A, plan B and then plan C. His plan is the only plan before Absalom, so he needs to sell this plan, but not oversell it. The details will be worked out in the actual conflict, not in Absalom’s war room.


2Samuel 17:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

1st person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

meleke (מֶלֶ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bad (בַּד) [pronounced bah]

separation, by itself, alone

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #905 BDB #94

Together, the lâmed preposition and bad (ד-ב) mean in a state of separation, by itself, alone, apart.


Translation: Then I will strike down the king by himself. Here is the plan: Ahithophel wants to kill David. So Ahithophel is filled with anger and rage, and killing David is something that he has probably fantasized about for some time, and this gives him the perfect excuse to kill David.


The plan is simple: a quick surprise attack while David is still weak. Then separate David from his troops, and then kill David.


This verse reads: I will advance quickly against the king, while he is yet weary and discouraged in a surprise attack, causing the people with him to flee. Then I will strike down the king while he is by himself. We will concentrate on the final sentence.

The Doctrine of “I will strike the king by himself”

1.      In the context of this verse, the only true opposition to Absalom is his father, King David. Kill King David and support for his reign will disappear. You cannot support a dead man as king.

2.      This theme actually occurs elsewhere in Scripture. The king of Syria says to go after the king of Israel in 1Kings 22:31. This was wicked King Ahab, and even though he disguised himself, he was killed in this battle.

3.      Zechariah, which has several references to the Messiah, reads, in Zech. 13:6–7 And if one asks Him, 'What are these wounds on your back?' He will say, 'The wounds I received in the house of My friends.' "Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, against the Man who stands next to Me," declares the LORD of hosts. "Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn My hand against the little ones. The one receiving the wounds is Jesus Christ, which wounds He received in the house of My friends (Israel). When the Shepherd (again, Jesus Christ) is struck (that is put on the cross and judged for our sins), the sheep (His disciples) would scatter. God actually would allow for His disciples to be persecuted, all of them dying martyrs’ deaths, except for John.

4.      Jesus quotes Zechariah in Matt. 26:31 Then Jesus says to them, "_You*_ will all be caused to stumble [fig, caused to fall away] because of Me on this night, for it has been written, 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'  (ALT). Jesus said this to His disciples on the night in which He was betrayed; He would be struck, and His sheep would be scattered.

5.      We have a similar prophecy given by the high priest Caiaphas in John 11:49–51 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish." He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. Caiaphas was speaking of the execution of Jesus as a matter of expediency, not realizing that he was prophesying the death of Jesus Christ on behalf of all mankind.

Passages are from The Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge; by Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott, and others about 1880, with introduction by R. A. Torrey; courtesy of E-sword, 2Sam. 17:2.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The verse reads: I will advance quickly against the king, while he is yet weary and discouraged in a surprise attack, causing the people with him to flee. Then I will strike down the king while he is by himself. It is quite fascinating that Ahithophel calls David the king here. Although this may be shorthand, and this may be how David is spoken of, it is more evidence by God the Holy Spirit that David remains the true king of Israel. This may be a slip of the tongue by which Ahithophel essentially is telling Absalom, “I don’t really recognize you as king of Israel.”


To some degree, Ahithophel is playing Absalom. He knows that Absalom has taken this revolution just as far as he can take it. Ahithophel is the one who must see it through to the end. However, he is more than willing to do this. This will allow Ahithophel to take revenge against David, and to consolidate his power as the Absalom’s chief advisor, as the man behind the man.


Do not be confused here—Ahithophel does not want Absalom’s job. Ahithophel does not want to be king. He wants to be able to control the king, which is much more satisfying, and much safer during a time of political instability. Given what happened at the end of the previous chapter, Ahithophel is quite confident that he can guide Absalom in any direction that he wants.


Vv. 1–2: Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose right now twelve-thousand men so that I may rise up and chase after David tonight. I will advance quickly against the king, while he is yet weary and discouraged in a surprise attack, causing the people with him to flee. Then I will strike down the king while he is by himself.” Ahithophel has correctly determined that David is weary and discouraged, and probably without a clear logistical supply of food and other important items. Ahithophel needs to get David as quickly as possible. He cannot allow for David to build up his supplies, to get to a good place, to rest and regroup. He needs to hit David quickly; and he needs to go after the head, who is David.

 

The Pulpit Commentary: Now, if Ahithophel’s advice had been followed, he would have reached the fords as quickly as the young men did; for they lost time at Bahu-rim. Upon this David had not calculated, but supposed that anyhow he should have the interval won by Ahimaaz"s fleetness. With twelve thousand picked troops unencumbered with baggage, Ahithophel would thus have found David still on the west of the Jordan, 0and though Joab and Abishai would have done all that brave men could, yet they would scarcely have been in a position to make a long defence. And the command was to "smite the king only." A panic was inevitable, and confusion among David"s followers, who had women and children to defend; and in the midst of it Ahithophel would direct his main attack on the part where David was, and single him out for slaughter. When this was done all would be accomplished; for Absalom would become king by right of succession. Even Joab and the Gibborim would acknowledge him, and the whole nation be at peace. Footnote


What Ahithophel has suggested would work. He would have defeated and killed David. It may not have gone down exactly as he has explained it to Absalom, but it would have worked. God the Holy Spirit calls this good advice in v. 14. The more quickly Ahithophel can be on top of David, the less time David will have to organize his own troops and form a solid defense which could then be turned into an strong offense. But given time, thought and supplies, David will turn his supporters into a formidable army.


The problem for Absalom is, Ahithophel would be making two very big decisions right in a row, and this concerns Absalom. We will see that by the time we get to v. 5.


——————————


And let me bring back all of the people unto you as a return of the all; the man whom you are seeking; all of the people will be [at] peace.”

2Samuel

17:3

Let me bring back all of the people to you when everything is restored—[along with the body of] the man whom you are seeking. All of the people will be [at] peace.”

Allow me to then bring all of the people back to you, at which point everything will return to normal. Furthermore, I will bring back the body of the man you seek and all of the people will be at peace.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And I will bring back all the people, as if they were but one man: for you seek but one man: and all the people will be in peace.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And let me bring back all of the people unto you as a return of the all; the man whom you are seeking; all of the people will be [at] peace.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And I will bring back all the people to you, just as those whom you sought have come back; so all the people shall be in peace.

Septuagint (Greek)                And I will bring back all the people to you, as a bride returns to her husband: only you seek the life of one man, and all the people shall have peace.

 

Significant differences:           There is the additional phrase of as a bride returns to her husband in the Greek.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           ...and I will bring all the people back to you like a bride comes back to her husband.[a] It's only one man's life you are seeking; everyone else can be at peace."

Contemporary English V.       ...since he's the one you want to get rid of. Then I'll bring the whole nation back to you like a bride coming home to her husband. This way there won't be a civil war.

Easy English                          Then I will bring all his people back to you. When David is dead, everyone will return to you. Everyone will be safe.

Easy-to-Read Version            Then I will bring all the people back to you. If David is dead, then all the people will come back in peace.”

Good News Bible (TEV)         ...and then bring back all his men to you, like a bride returning to her husband. You want to kill only one man; the rest of the people will be safe."

The Message                         Then I'll bring the army back to you--a bride brought back to her husband! You're only after one man, after all. Then everyone will be together in peace!"

New Berkeley Version           I’ll return all the people to you as a bridge returns to her husband. Since you seek the life of only one man [I’ll...one man follows the Greek; Hebrew is unintelligible], all the people will have peace.”

New Century Version             Then I'll bring everyone back to you. If the man you are looking for is dead, everyone else will return safely."

New Life Bible                        ...and return all the people to you. All will return if the man you want to kill is dead. Then all the people will be at peace."

New Living Translation           ...and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride returns to her husband. After all, it is only one man's life that you seek.[a] Then you will be at peace with all the people."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Then I'll bring all his people back to you the way a bride is brought to her husband. And after [we've taken] the life of the man you're searching for, all the people will be at peace.

Beck’s American Translation ...and restore the entire nation to you [The Septuagint adds “as a bride returns to her husband.”]. The one man you are after means the return of all; thus the whole nation will be at peace [Had this plan been carried out, David’s cause would have been utterly lost; but God works in human minds to work out His program.].”

Christian Community Bible     Then I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. Seek the death of only one man and then all the people will be unharmed.”

God’s Word                         I'll return all the people to you as a bride is returned to her husband. Since you will be seeking the life of only one man, all the people will have peace."

New American Bible (R.E.)    Then I can bring back the rest of the people to you, as a bride returns to her husband. It is the death of only one man you are seeking; then all the people will be at peace."

NIRV                                      Bring all of the other people back. After the man you want to kill is dead, everyone else will return to you. And none of the people will be harmed."

New Jerusalem Bible             ...and I shall then bring all the people back to you, like a bride returning to her husband. You seek the life of one individual only; the people as a whole will have peace.'

New Simplified Bible              »Then I will bring back all his men to you. It will be like a bride returning to her husband. Kill one man and the rest of the people return safely.«

Today’s NIV                          ...and bring all the people back to you. The death of the man you seek will mean the return of all; all the people will be unharmed."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And I will make all the people come back to you as a bride comes back to her husband: it is the life of only one man you are going after; so all the people will be at peace.

The Expanded Bible              Then I'll bring everyone back to you [Las a bride returns to her husband] [Some Greek copies read "as a bride returns to her husband." Hebrew copies read "like the return of the whole is the man you seek."]. ·If the man you are looking for is dead [Since you seek the life of only one man], everyone else will ·return safely [be at peace]."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Then I shall turn all the people to you, as all the men whom you have sought have turned. The other people will be quiet.”

HCSB                                     ...and bring all the people back to you. When everyone returns except the man you're seeking, all the people will be at peace."

The updated Knox Bible         All the people I will bring round to your cause, as easily as I would persuade a single man; you have but one enemy, the rest of the people will be well content.

New Advent Bible                  All the people I will bring round to thy cause, as easily as I would persuade a single man; thou hast but one enemy, the rest of the people will be well content.

New Heart English Bible        I will strike the king only; and I will bring back all the people to you. The man whom you seek is as if all returned. All the people shall be in peace." A portion of v. 2 was included for context.

NIV – UK                                I would strike down only the king and bring all the people back to you. The death of the man you seek will mean the return of all; all the people will be unharmed.' A portion of v. 2 was included for context.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Then I will bring back to you all the people; and when they have all returned, except the one you are seeking, all the people will be at peace."

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and I return all the people to you

— return the man you seek and all:

— all the people being in shalom.

Hebrew Names Version         ...and I will bring back all the people to you: the man whom you seek is as if all returned: [so] all the people shall be in shalom.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               And I will bring back all the people to you; when all have come back [excet] the man you are after [to you;...are after: Meaning of Hebrew uncertain. Septuagint reads “to you as a bride comes back to her husband, you seek the life of but one man, and...”], all the people will be at peace.”

Orthodox Jewish Bible           When I return kol HaAm to you, all except the ish whom thou seekest, it is as if [kol HaAm] returned; so kol haAm shall be in shalom.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                I will bring back all the people to you. [The removal of] the man whom you seek is the assurance that all will return; and all the people will be at peace.

Context Group Version          ...and I will bring back all the people to you: all the people will return [ if ] the man you are seeking [ is struck ]: all the people shall be in peace

English Standard Version      ...and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband [Septuagint; Hebrew back to you. Like the return of the whole is the man whom you seek]. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace."

The updated Geneva Bible    And I will bring back all the people unto you: the man whom you seek [Meaning David.] [is] as if all returned: [so] all the people will be in peace.

Green’s Literal Translation    And I shall bring all the people back to you when all return, except the man whom you are seeking. All the people shall be in peace.

NASB                                     ...and I will bring back all the people to you. The return of everyone depends on the man you seek [Lit Like the return of the whole is the man whom you seek]; then all the people will be at peace."

New RSV                               ...and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man [Gk: Heb like the return of the whole (is) the man whom you seek], and all the people will be at peace.'

Syndein/Thieme                     {Objective of Ahithophel's Plan}

And I will restore/'cause to return' all the people to you {Absalom}. 'Obviously, the death of the man whom you are seeking to destroy is tantamount to the return of all the people." {Idiom: literally "which is tantamount to the return of all the people . . . is the man whom you are seeking." - means kill David and the people will recognize Absalom as the rightful leader and return.} Furthermore, {the death of David means} that all the people shall be in peace. {Note: Sounds so good and sincere. Absalom, kill your father David and you will 'save lives' - no civil war! We know Ahithophel's counsel was 'wise' and had to be frustrated. This plan of his was the only one which would have defeated David.}.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   ...and I will bring back all the people to you: all the people will return [if] the man you are seeking [is struck]: all the people will be in peace.

World English Bible                ...and I will bring back all the people to you: the man whom you seek is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace.

Young’s Updated LT             And I bring back all the people unto you—as the turning back of the whole is the man whom you are seeking—all the people are peace.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Ahithophel says that he will bring all the people back to Absalom in peace.


What appears to be the case in this verse is, there are a lot of and’s left out, and possibly because Ahithophel is very enthusiastic about his plan. There is also the possibility that much of the text was dropped out of the manuscripts, as the Greek has an additional phrase. However, this verse does make perfect sense without the addition of the text of the Greek.


2Samuel 17:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring back, to send back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, to be caused to return

1st person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect with the voluntative hê

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39


Translation: Let me bring back all of the people to you... Ahithophel plans to go after David and kill him alone. Then he will bring back these other people as errant sheep. He will bring them back into the fold, so that they will serve Absalom. Without David, who else could they serve? They have no reason to oppose Absalom, as their leader will be dead.


Ahithophel hates one man, and that is David. Ahithophel wants to take out David. Therefore, he is not concerned about the disposition of the rest of the people. He has nothing against them. He does against David, and then against anyone who stands between him and David.


Ahithophel realizes that it may not turn out this way; that it may not be so clean. However, he has no reason to specify his contingency plans to Absalom, as Ahithophel’s plan is the only one before Absalom.


2Samuel 17:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

The kaph preposition, or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke], which means like, as, according to, when this is combined with an infinitive, it can also take on the meaning as, often, when, as soon as. It carries with it a temporal connotation.

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]; also kol (כַּל) [pronounced kol]

all, all things, the whole, totality, the entirety, everything

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

There is an alternate reading to kôl.

kallâh (כַּלָּה) [pronounced kahl-LAW]

daughter-in-law, spouse, wife

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3618 BDB #483

Kallâh is rendered daughter-in-law, spouse, wife. We do not have an exact English equivalent as its translation depends upon who is speaking or who this is in reference to. It is an absolute noun which we only have relative nouns to stand in for it.

The translation would be, As when a wife is returned.


Translation: ...when everything is restored... There are some concerns with this verse—an alternate reading—which are listed in the exegesis above. It is possible that this is an idiom for, when all things are brought back to normal; when all things return to normal. Ahithophel is going to, according to his plan, bring the function of government and the people back to a normal state of affairs, but with Absalom in charge.


Now, this is probably a bit of an overstatement, because a revolution does not bring back a normal state of affairs. A revolution tears down the laws of divine establishment, and the people are left somewhat lawless. So, to bring things back to normal, Absalom is going to have to be a fairly harsh ruler—at least for awhile.


Application: After a revolution, the result is never sweetness and light. I don’t care what a lousy sob the previous ruler was, when there is a revolution, there are those who support the opposition leader and those who support the existing ruler. The those in revolution are violent enough to turn against their fellow countrymen, then, even if the revolution is successful, these fellow countrymen are not going to necessarily go quiet into the night, even if their leader has been killed. The lawlessness of the revolution is continued on both sides of the revolution after the revolution, whether the revolution is put down or whether it is successful. If a country has sunk into a state of greater lawlessness than it was before the revolution (which is inevitable), then it will take a greater force to calm the people. One side or the other will have to be broken, and that will involve great and vicious force.


Application: There were revolutions all over the Middle East in the past few years (I write this in 2013), and so many people foolishly thought the people were throwing off the yoke of tyranny and moving toward a more progressive and democratic government—perhaps not yet a Jeffersonian democracy, but a government moving in that direction. That idea is poppycock and the result of our people having their heads filled with false information about revolutions. When power is removed, then that power will be seized. When power is removed, there is a power vacuum, and those who lust after power will be there to take it and to take it by any means necessary. The end result will not be pretty; and the force used to gain and maintain power will not be much different than the force used by the original ruler.


Application: Then what about the American Revolution? “The American Revolution” is a misnomer. There was no attempt to depose or to kill King George III of England. What happened in the United States was a war for independence, which is quite different. This does not mean that everyone on our side acted as if they lacked sin natures and that everyone in Britain was evil; there were clear manifestations of the sin natures of man prevalent on both sides. God decreed the independence of the United States, and so it came to pass; but after a great deal of bloodshed and suffering.


Application: Another thing which you were lied to in school is, that this was all about taxes. Taxation without representation, as you and I learned it. There were over 25 specific complaints made by the colonists, taxation without representation being #17 of that list.


2Samuel 17:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural); with the definite article

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʾattâh (אַתָּה) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

bâqash (בָּקַש) [pronounced baw-KAHSH]

is seeking, is searching, desiring, striving after, attempting to get, is requiring, demanding, asking, seeking with desire and diligence

Piel participle

Strong’s #1245 BDB #134


Translation:...—[along with the body of] the man whom you are seeking. The man that Absalom seeks is his father David. Now, if Absalom strikes him down, then Absalom is going to be bringing back the body of the man whom you are seeking.


The lack of wâw conjunctions suggests to me that Ahithophel is quite excited about this plan, and he cannot hardly wait to tell Absalom all about it. So, where there ought to be a wâw conjunction, it is missing because he is speaking so quickly. What I think is the case is, Ahithophel does not need to sell his plan to Absalom; it is the only plan on the table. Therefore, he will lay it out—its barest outlines—as Absalom is not going to come up with his own plan.


Here may be the problem; Ahithophel has a good plan, although he would not get all of the results that he is promising. He probably needs to slow down, offer up a more likely scenario for how the people react, and sell this plan a little more. However, given the circumstances as he understands them, there is no reason to do this.

 

Matthew Henry: Ahithophel advises that David be pursued immediately, this very night, with a flying army (which he himself undertakes the command of), that the king only be smitten and his forces dispersed, and then the people that were now for him would fall in with Absalom of course, and there would not be such a long war as had been between the house of Saul and David. Footnote


There is also the possibility that the text is corrupt at this point, which will be discussed below.


What is found in the Greek here explains many of the translations above. There does appear to be something missing in the Hebrew text; unless one understands this that Ahithophel is saying that he will return the body of David to Absalom. However, the Greek is quite different, with somewhat of a different emphasis.

Various Translations of 2Samuel 17:3

Scripture

Text/Commentary

Kukis Literal (Hebrew)

And let me bring back all of the people unto you as a return of the all; the man whom you are seeking; all of the people will be [at] peace.”

Kukis nearly Literal (from Hebrew)

Let me bring back all of the people to you when everything is restored—[along with the body of] the man whom you are seeking. All of the people will be [at] peace.”

Complete Apostles Bible (Greek)

And I will bring back all the people to you, as a bride returns to her husband: only you seek the life of one man [lit., moreover, you seek the breath of a man]; so all the people shall be in peace.”

American English Bible (from the Greek)

Then I'll bring all his people back to you the way a bride is brought to her husband. And after [we've taken] the life of the man you're searching for, all the people will be at peace.’

This text is missing from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

I find myself siding with many of the translations, who believe the Greek text to be accurate. It is the Greek which informs us that the key here is isolating and killing David. There is only one man Absalom is really after, and once his father David is killed, there is nothing else that need be done.

However Keil and Delitzsch, who know the original languages much better than I do, write: It is very obvious that ηʽ νύμφη πρὸς τὸν ἄνδρα αὐτης owes its origin simply to a false reading of האיש הכּל as איש הכּלּה, and that πλὴν ψυχὴν ἀνδρὸς εʽνός has been interpolated by way of explanation from nothing but conjecture. No other of the ancient versions contains the slightest trace of a different reading from that given in the text. Footnote Further on down, we will completely exegete what is found in the Greek. Even though there is a big difference in this one phrase, there are no new doctrines introduced or contradicted, no matter how we read the text (which is the case 99% of the time with disputed readings).


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


You will note that there is a whole other way to understand this portion of the verse, if the Greek text is taken to be accurate (which at first, I believe it to be; and since changed my mind). Ahithophel promises to return all of the people to Absalom as a bride is brought to her husband. Furthermore, there is only one life which is sought here, and that is David’s.


2Samuel 17:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

shâlôwm (שָלוֹם) or shâlôm (שָלֹם) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, health and welfare, peace, prosperity, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022


Translation: All of the people will be [at] peace. This final statement might be a bit of an oversell. After a revolution, almost immediately, Absalom is promising peace and prosperity.

 

Barnes: Ahithophel means to say: “If I can only smite David, there will be no civil war, all the people will peaceably submit.”  Footnote

 

Gill: David, of whom Ahithophel speaks of contemptibly, is the sole life that Absalom sought, as well as his crown. Once he is dead, it would be all over at once with the people; they would immediately return to their own habitations, and yield obedience to Absalom as the rightful heir and successor; all depended on his death. Footnote


There is also another big plus here for both Ahithophel and Absalom: Absalom is not included in this plan. He is not riding out there with Ahithophel. In fact, presumably, he has 1 or 2 days of raping left to do (I estimate that Ahithophel brought this plan to Absalom on the first day—Ahithophel was able to gather the intelligence that he needed that quickly). In war, Absalom has no real experience, insofar as we know. Although David’s nephews are great soldiers; none of his own children are known for their service in the military. So Absalom probably has no experience with the military; or, he may have tried it and quit. We do not know (remember, he did not kill Amnon, his rapist half-brother, himself). Furthermore, Absalom is probably just a criminal but not a soldier. So, in war, Ahithophel would have to spend as much time holding Absalom’s hand as well as directing the troops; and that could get complicated. Remember, Ahithophel is the man behind the man; but that does not mean that Ahithophel wants the man in front—Absalom—to always be out there in front. Sometimes that is more trouble than it is worth.


Let’s take a look at the Greek text for this verse:

 

This section is all in a light orange, so that you can bypass this section if you so choose to. We will simply look at exactly what is found in the Greek, which is quite different from the Hebrew, and there will be a limited amount of discussion. To be frank, there is probably way more information contained in this section than the average person really needs to know.

 

2Samuel 17:3a Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

epistrephô (ἐπιστρέφω) [pronounced ep-ee-STREF-o]

 1) transitively; 1a) to turn to; 1a1) to the worship of the true God; 1b) to cause to return, to bring back; 1b1) to the love and obedience of God; 1b2) to the love for the children; 1b3) to love wisdom and righteousness; 2) intransitively; 2a) to turn to one’s self; 2b) to turn one’s self about, turn back; 2c) to return, turn back, come back

1st person singular, future active indicative

Strong’s #1994

pas (πς, πσα, πν) [pronounced pahs, PAH-sah, pahn]

each, every, any; all, entire; anyone, all things, everything; some [of all types]

masculine singular adjective, accusative case

Strong’s #3956

ton (τόν) [pronounced tahn]; also to (το) [pronounced toh]

the

masculine singular definite article in the accusative case

Strong’s #3588

laos (λαός) [pronounced lah-OSS]

people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language; of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere

masculine singular noun; accusative case

Strong's #2992

prós (πρός) [pronounced prahç]

facing, face to face with; to, towards; for; about, according to, against, among, at, because of, before, between, by, with

directional preposition with the accusative

Strong’s #4314

se (σέ) [pronounced seh]

you

2nd person singular pronoun; accusative case

Strong’s #4771 (Strong's #4571)

 

Translation: And I will turn around all the people toward you...

 

This comes after vv. 1–2, which read: Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose [right] now 12,000 men that I may rise up and chase after David tonight. I will come upon him when he [is] weary and discouraged [lit., slack of hands], and I will frighten him; and the people with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king by himself.

 

Ahithophel is looking to go after one man, King David, and to see to it that he is killed. Then Ahithophel will be able to turn the people around toward Absalom. There is no explanation as to how this will happen; but, without David to lead them, there is less reason for these followers to adhere to David.

 

2Samuel 17:3b Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

hon (ὅν) [pronounced hawn]

whom, which, what, that; to whom, to that

masculine singular relative pronoun; accusative case

Strong’s #3739

tropos (τρόπος) [pronounced TROP-oss]

 1) a manner, way, fashion; 1a) as, even as, like as; 2) manner of life, character, deportment

masculine singular noun; accusative case

Strong’s #5158

epistrephô (ἐπιστρέφω) [pronounced ep-ee-STREF-o]

 1) transitively; 1a) to turn to; 1a1) to the worship of the true God; 1b) to cause to return, to bring back; 1b1) to the love and obedience of God; 1b2) to the love for the children; 1b3) to love wisdom and righteousness; 2) intransitively; 2a) to turn to one’s self; 2b) to turn one’s self about, turn back; 2c) to return, turn back, come back

3rd person singular, present active indicative

Strong’s #1994

hê (ἡ) [pronounced hey]

the; this, that; these

feminine singular definite article; nominative and vocative cases

Strong’s #3588 (article, demonstrative pronoun) and #3739 (pronoun)

numphê (νύμφη) [pronounced noom-FAY]

 1) a betrothed woman, a bride; 2) a recently married woman, young wife; 3) a young woman; 4) a daughter-in-law

feminine singular noun; nominative case

Strong’s #3565

prós (πρός) [pronounced prahç]

facing, face to face with; to, towards; for; about, according to, against, among, at, because of, before, between, by, with

directional preposition with the accusative

Strong’s #4314

ton (τόν) [pronounced tahn]; also to (το) [pronounced toh]

the

masculine singular definite article in the accusative case

Strong’s #3588

anêr (ἀνήρ) [pronounced ah-NAIR]

man, male; adult male; husband, betrothed; [a group of] men and women [generic use]

masculine singular noun; accusative case

Strong’s #435

autês (αὐτς) [pronounced ow-TAYC]

her, hers; of her; from her

3rd person feminine singular personal or demonstrative pronoun; ablative/genitive case

Strong’s #846

 

Translation: ...who, as the bride, is turned around toward her husband. The idea is, the people belong with Absalom, as a bride belongs with her husband. They are confused somewhat about David, but if David is dead, they can be brought around to their true king.

 

2Samuel 17:3c Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

plên (πλήν) [pronounced plane]

 1) moreover, besides, but, nevertheless; 2) besides, except, but

adverb

Strong’s #4133

psuchê (ψυχή) [pronounced psoo-KHAY]

 1) breath; 1a) the breath of life; 1a1) the vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing; 1a1a) of animals; 1a1b) of men; 1b) life; 1c) that in which there is life; 1c1) a living being, a living soul; 2) the soul; 2a) the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions (our heart, soul etc

feminine singular noun; accusative case

Strong’s #5590

eis (εἰς) [pronounced ICE]

to, toward; into; in the vicinity of, near, on; concerning, on, for [with respect to time]; unto, in order to, for, for the purpose of, for the sake of, on what basis; with respect [reference] to; because of, on account of

directional preposition

Strong’s #1519

It is spelled ἐνος here.

anêr (ἀνήρ) [pronounced ah-NAIR]

man, male; adult male; husband, betrothed; [a group of] men and women [generic use]

masculine singular noun; gentive/ablative case

Strong’s #435

su (σύ) [pronounced sue]

you

2nd person singular personal pronoun; nominative case

Strong’s #4771

zêteô (ζητέω) [pronounced zay-TEH-oh]

to seek after [to find]; to seek by thinking [reasoning, inquiring]; to seek for, to aim at, to strive after; to require [demand]; to crave, to desire from someone

2nd person singular, present active indicative

Strong’s #2212

 

Translation: Moreover, you seek after the life the [one] man;... Ahithophel says that the key to all of this is David; Absalom only needs to seek after the life of one man, and that is his father. Killing David is key to everything.

 

2Samuel 17:3d Text from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also; so, too, then, that; indeed, but

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

panti (παντὶ) [pronounced pahn-TEE]

each, every, any; all, entire; anyone, all things, everything; some [of all types]

masculine singular adjective, locative, dative or instrumental case

Strong’s #3956

tô (τ) [pronounced toh]

in the; by the; by means of the; for the benefit [advantage] of; for the disadvantage of

masculine singular definite article; locative, dative, or instrumental case

Strong’s #3588

laos (λαός) [pronounced lah-OSS]

people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language; of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere

masculine singular noun; locative, dative or instrumental case

Strong's #2992

eimi (εἰμί) [pronounced eye-ME]

to be, is, was, will be; am; to exist; to stay; to occur, to take place; to be present [available]

3rd person singular, future middle indicative

Strong’s #1510

eirênê (εἰρήνη, ης, ἡ) [pronounced eye-RAY-nay]

peace, harmony, order, welfare

feminine singular noun; nominative case

Strong’s #1515

 

Translation: ...and in all the people [there] will be peace. With David out of the way, there will be peace among the people; or so Ahithophel says.

 

The entire Greek translation of v. 3 is: And I will turn around all the people toward you, who, as the bride, is turned around toward her husband. Moreover, the breath toward the husband you seek after; and in all the people [there] will be peace.

 

The updated Pulpit commentary translation Footnote reads: "And I will bring back all the people to you as a bride returns to her husband, excepting the life of the one man you seek; and for all the people there will be peace." The Pulpit commentary then makes the following observation: Ahithophel was bad enough, but scarcely so brutal as to compare to a bridal procession the sad return of David"s mourning friends and companions in arms weeping round the corpse of their master murdered at the bidding of his own son. Footnote

 

Now let’s take the Hebrew vv. 1–2 preceding the Greek of v. 3: Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose [right] now 12,000 men that I may rise up and chase after David tonight. I will come upon him when he [is] weary and discouraged [lit., slack of hands], and I will frighten him; and the people with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king by himself. Then I will turn around all the people toward you, who, as the bride, is turned around toward her husband. Moreover, you seek after the life of the [one] man; and in all the people [there] will be peace.

 

What is in this darkened section is all you really need to know about this text (although the Keil and Delitzsch commentary in the first paragraph is somewhat dense):

 

Keil and Delitzsch disagree with the Greek text, writing: It is very obvious that ηʽ νύμφη πρὸς τὸν ἄνδρα αὐτης owes its origin simply to a false reading of האיש הכּל as איש הכּלּה, and that πλὴν ψυχὴν ἀνδρὸς εʽνός has been interpolated by way of explanation from nothing but conjecture. No other of the ancient versions contains the slightest trace of a different reading from that given in the text. Footnote One ought to be wary when an exegete says it is obvious that; and even more wary when they say it is very obvious that; however, it is very obvious that Keil and Delitzsch understand the Greek and Hebrew more than I do.

 

Keil and Delitzsch translation Footnote (updated) of most of vv. 1–3: “I will choose out twelve thousand men, and arise, and pursue after David this night; and fall upon him when he is exhausted and weak, and fill him with alarm: so shall all the people that are with him flee; and I will smite the king alone (when he is alone), and then I will bring back all the people to you. As the return of the whole (the whole nation) is the man; and the whole nation will be at peace.”

 

The Pulpit commentary writes: Both the amendments of the text and the various translations offered are innumerable, but nothing is really more satisfactory than the literal rendering of the words, virtually given us in the Authorized Version. Footnote The MKJV reads: “And I will bring back all the people to you, when all return, except the man whom you are seeking. All the people shall be in peace.”

 

Even though there is a big difference in this one phrase, there are no new doctrines introduced or contradicted, no matter how we read the text (which is the case 99% of the time with disputed readings). So, you pastor may teach that, undoubtedly, the Greek text is accurate; or he may teach that he believes only the Hebrew text to be accurate, the Greek arising from an incorrect reading. However, what is taught as a result of this is essentially the same.


The English Standard Version translates these 3 verses in this way: Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace." The ESV, like many translations, incorporates the Greek into their translation.


Although there are certainly flaws in this plan—how does one really separate David from his men? Would the men run, as Ahithophel predicts. His general approach of getting their quickly with a sufficient force, hitting David hard, and going right after David specifically could be devastating. Also, not having Absalom there is helpful; Ahithophel can simply be the one in charge. He knows war; Absalom does not. The last thing he needs is Absalom freaking out in battle.


Let me suggest something else: Ahithophel has over-simplified this plan for the sake of Absalom. Does Ahithophel really believe that he can immediately separate David from his men, and that they will all run, leaving David exposed? I think not. I do not think that is a reasonable scenario and I don’t think that Ahithophel believes it to be what will happen either. I think he dumbed down this plan; he knows that there will be a lot of bloodshed, but what Ahithophel will be after is to get David and kill him by any means necessary. In other words, this could all get quite messy, but Ahithophel does not feel the need to clutter Absalom’s handsome head with all that information. What I am saying here is, to be sure, conjecture; but I am basing this upon Ahithophel’s brilliance as a man of war, along with his understanding that Absalom knows nearly nothing about war.


Application: Most people know nothing about war, except that it is gruesome. Few people have even the slightest realistic take on war. So, it is quite easy for young college students to be convinced that war is bad (particularly under the helm of a Republican president) and that we ought not to have it. However, the realistic position is, there are wars going on all the time. Although I tend to think that there are 10–15 wars going on simultaneously, R. B. Thieme, III, this evening Footnote said that he counted about 52 conflicts going on right now. I would think that he is better qualified to make this count than I am. According to the website Warsintheworld, there are 60 countries in which there are armed conflicts occurring right now. However, on most college campuses, this often eludes many of the anti-war protestors (or anti-war sympathizers). Liberals tend to think that, if you don’t see it, then it really isn’t happening. Since we do not have news on these many wars, we tend to greatly underestimate their frequency in life. As an aside, this page may help to prove just how much God has blessed the United States.


My point in all of this is, it would seem reasonable that Ahithophel gave Absalom the reduced detail version of his plan. Why try to convince Absalom that this will be messy, but Ahithophel will bring David’s head to him? So Absalom is given the sanitized version of Ahithophel’s plan.


Vv. 1–3: Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose right now twelve-thousand men so that I may rise up and chase after David tonight. I will advance quickly against the king, while he is yet weary and discouraged in a surprise attack, causing the people with him to flee. Then I will strike down the king while he is by himself. Allow me to then bring all of the people back to you, at which point everything will return to normal. Furthermore, I will bring back the body of the man you seek and all of the people will be at peace.”

The Selling of Ahithophel’s Battle-Plan

1.      There is not this big crowd of people around Absalom saying, “Listen to my plan.” There is only Ahithophel standing before him with a plan.

2.      Clearly Absalom has no plan to get David, because he used up his chess moves when he entered into Jerusalem unopposed. We found this out at the end of 2Sam. 16. Absalom planned ahead to this point, but did not determine what he ought to do next.

3.      Ahithophel has managed to distract Absalom by having him rape David’s mistresses. This requires time and concentration. He cannot fake this, as all of Israel is watching; so Absalom’s physical strength and mental prowess, which includes a mental toughness and great emotional insensitivity in order to rape these women. So Absalom is not formulating military plans. Nor is this in his wheelhouse. He has advisors for this, which boils down to Ahithophel.

4.      No matter how Ahithophel’s plan sounds to us, Ahithophel recognizes any weaknesses in the plan, and no doubt has contingency plans. He is not a stupid man; he is not a simpleton; he is not a man who will be surprised by anything that occurs on the battlefield.

5.      He and he alone stands before Absalom with a plan to finish off David and to end the revolution.

6.      And because Absalom is a non-military man, Ahithophel keeps his plan short and simple. He does not talk to Absalom about supply lines, about the number of men who are with David, about the variety of things that may happen when he clashes with David.

7.      He gives Absalom the best-case scenario, the easiest outcome, which Ahithophel himself knows may or may not occur.

8.      There is no competition; there are no competing plans, so Ahithophel does not have to sound especially impressive nor does he have to tell Absalom about every contingency plan.

9.      So, Ahithophel is not making a pitch to sell his plan; essentially he is answering the question, what do you plan to do to get David?

10.    Essentially, Ahithophel knows he’s got the job, so he has to sound competent enough to keep what he already has. The next verse indicates that he knows what is required: This plan that Ahithophel presented was agreeable, both to Absalom and to the elder of Israel who are with him.

11.    What is particularly clever about Ahithophel is, he has formulated a plan, and that plan includes handling Absalom. He has already done that. He’s got Absalom raping David’s mistresses, committing himself to a position that he cannot come back from. Furthermore, this ties up Absalom for 2–3 days. He cannot very well tell the public, “Okay, I have raped 4 of David’s mistresses. I need to go kill David and then I will come back and rape the other 6.” He cannot do that. He has to finish this job. He would look like a fool to do anything else.

12.    Absalom will not be there, looking over Ahithophel’s shoulder, saying, “I thought you said David’s people would scatter out of fear.” Ahithophel knows this is very likely; and he knows what he will do about it; but Absalom is essentially left out of the loop on Ahithophel’s contingency plans. He’s busy; he won’t be with Ahithophel; therefore, there is no reason to make this plan any more detailed than it has to be.

13.    With Absalom tied up, this leaves Ahithophel to handle the military angle. And Absalom is conveniently tied up for the next couple days, while Ahithophel is ready to gather up his troops and leave tonight. This is quite brilliant on Ahithophel’s part, because this deals with David and with Absalom.

14.    However, so there is no confusion, Ahithophel plans to get David; Ahithophel plans to end this revolution in favor of Absalom. His plan A may or may not work; but Ahithophel will bring back David’s head. He sees that as his objective, something he is completely able to pull off. He does not go into any messy details with Absalom. No need to.

Ahithophel’s approach is spot-on; the problem is, Absalom is going to suddenly haul in Hushai and ask his opinion, and this is not something that Ahithophel anticipated. I will guarantee you that Ahithophel anticipated a number of various battle scenarios with David; he did not anticipate Absalom bringing Hushai on board.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


——————————


And so is pleasing the word in eyes of Absalom and in eyes of all elders of Israel.

2Samuel

17:4

This idea was agreeable to Absalom [lit., in the eyes of Absalom] and to [lit., in the eyes of] the elders of Israel.

This plan that Ahithophel presented was agreeable, both to Absalom and to the elders of Israel who are with him.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And his saying pleased Absalom, and all the ancients of Israel.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so is pleasing the word in eyes of Absalom and in eyes of all elders of Israel.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the saying was right in the eyes of Absalom, and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel.

 

Significant differences:           Although the phrase in the eyes of is lacking in the Latin and Syriac, that does not mean that their original Hebrew text lacked these words.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           This plan seemed excellent to Absalom and the Israelite elders.

Contemporary English V.       Absalom and all the leaders of the tribes of Israel agreed that Ahithophel had a good plan.

Easy English                          Absalom and all the leaders in *Israel thought that this was good advice.

Good News Bible (TEV)         This seemed like good advice to Absalom and all the Israelite leaders.

The Message                         Absalom thought it was an excellent strategy, and all the elders of Israel agreed.

New Berkeley Version           The plan seemed good to Absalom, as well as to all the elders of Israel.

The Voice                               This advice appealed to Absalom and to Israel's elders.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Well, this sounded like a good idea to AbSalom and all the elders of IsraEl, but AbSalom said: 'Call HushAi the Arachite; for, I want to hear what he has to say about this.' V. 5 was included for context.

Beck’s American Translation Absalom and all the elders of Israel thought it was a good plan.

God’s Word                         Absalom and all the leaders of Israel approved this plan.

New American Bible              This plan was agreeable to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

New American Bible (R.E.)    This plan sounded good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.

NIRV                                      Ahithophel's plan seemed good to Absalom. It also seemed good to all of the elders of Israel.

New Jerusalem Bible             The suggestion seemed a good one to Absalom and all the elders of Israe.

New Simplified Bible              This seemed like good advice to Absalom and all the Israelite leaders.

Revised English Bible            Absalom and all the elders of Israel approved of Ahithophel’s advice;...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And the saying was pleasing to Absalom and to the responsible men of Israel.

The Expanded Bible              This plan ·seemed good to [pleased] Absalom and to all the ·leaders [elders] of Israel.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 All this advice was right in the opinion of Absalom and the opinion of all the Nobles of Israel.

HCSB                                     This proposal seemed good to Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

New Advent Bible                  Both Absalom and all the elders of Israel liked his counsel well; but Absalom would have them summon Chusai the Arachite, to find out his opinion too. V. 5 was included for context.

NET Bible®                             This seemed like a good idea to Absalom and to all the leaders [Heb "elders."] of Israel.

NIV – UK                                This plan seemed good to Absalom and to all the elders of Israel.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           What he said pleased Avshalom and all the leaders of Isra'el.

exeGeses companion Bible   ... —and the word is right in the eyes of Abi Shalom

and in the eyes of all the elders of Yisra El.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And the saying pleased Avshalom well, and kol Ziknei Yisroel.

The Scriptures 1998              And the saying pleased Ashalom and all the elders of Yisraʼĕl.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.

English Standard Version      And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

Green’s Literal Translation    And the thing was pleasing in Absalom's eyes, and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel.

Modern KJV                           And the saying pleased Absalom very much, and all the elders of Israel.

NASB                                     So the plan pleased [Lit word was pleasing in the sight of] Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

Syndein/Thieme                     And the plan seemed right to Absalom, and all the princes/elders of Israel. {those tribe leaders who revolted with Absalom - ruling revolutionary counsel}

World English Bible                The saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.

Young's Updated LT              And the thing is right in the eyes of Absalom, and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel.

 

The gist of this verse:          Absalom and his elders were pleased with Ahithophel’s plan.


2Samuel 17:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâshar (יָֹשַר) [pronounced yaw-SHAHR]

to be smooth, straight, right; figuratively, it means to be pleasing, agreeable, right (particularly when followed by in my eyes)

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3474 BDB #448

dâbâr (דָּבָר) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter, command; business, occupation; case; something; manner

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

Together, the bêyth preposition and the construct form ʿîynêy (י̤ני.ע) [pronounced ģee-NAY], literally mean in the eyes of; it can be understood to mean in the opinion of, in the thinking of, in the estimation of; as ____ sees things to be.

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5


Translation: This idea was agreeable to Absalom [lit., in the eyes of Absalom]... I have estimated that Ahithophel come to Absalom in the first day with this plan, and he presents the plan to Absalom and to his staff of elders. Absalom listened to this plan, and it sounded fine to him.


There was only one plan presented, so Ahithophel, although excited about this plan, did not fully try to sell it. As far as he knew, his was the only plan. You do not have to oversell the only plan out there. In fact, that would have looked weird. However, this became a problem, as Absalom would ask another for another plan, and that plan would be sold to Absalom.


Secondly, as I suggested before, I don’t think this was Ahithophel’s entire plan, because portions of it are best-case-scenario plans. I think that Ahithophel had a contingency plan or two, but that he was not willing to give Absalom any of the details. There was no reason to.


2Samuel 17:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿêynayim (עֵינַיִם) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine dual noun

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

Together, the bêyth preposition and the construct form ʿîynêy (י̤ני.ע) [pronounced ģee-NAY], literally mean in the eyes of; it can be understood to mean in the opinion of, in the thinking of, in the estimation of; as ____ sees things to be.

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

zeqênîym (זְקֵנִים) [pronounced zê-kay-NEEM]

old men; elders; chiefs, respected ones

masculine plural adjective; construct form

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975


Translation: ...and to [lit., in the eyes of] the elders of Israel. Apparently, Absalom did have an advisory staff who perhaps did not have many original ideas, but they made themselves available to Absalom and were loyal to him. They listened, along with Absalom, to this plan, and they liked it as well.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: The recommendation to take prompt and decisive measures before the royalist forces could be collected and arranged, evinced the deep political sagacity of this councillor. The adoption of his advice would have extinguished the cause of David; and it affords a dreadful proof of the extremities to which the heartless prince was, to secure his ambitious objects, prepared to go, that the parricidal counsel "pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel."  Footnote

 

Gill remarks: Absalom could so easily come into a scheme to take away the life of so indulgent a father, which is only to be accounted for by his ambition; but it is stranger still that the elders of Israel should be pleased with it, and agree to and determine upon the death of a prince, who had so many years ruled them with justice and equity, clemency and mercy; and fought their battles for them, and raised their nation to such a pitch of glory it never had before. Footnote No doubt that many of these men had difficulties with David’s women-chasing behavior, and were not willing to simply let God deal with him directly.


The entire verse reads: This plan that Ahithophel presented was agreeable, both to Absalom and to the elders of Israel who are with him. There is a psychology which seems to be at play here as well, which will become more clear a few verses down. Absalom’s cronies appear to be yes-men. Absalom indicates that he likes this plan, and they chime in and say, “Yes, we agree; this sounds like a great plan.” Hushai will later offer up a plan, and Absalom will like it better; and the elders will go along with him. Odd that not one of them speaks up and says, “Why don’t we lay these plans out side-by-side and examine them? Why don’t we discuss them?”


Application: There is a change of culture in the United States where many have rejected the advice of those who have lived many years and have seen a lot of things. How many times have you heard the Republican party referred to as the party of old white guys, as if this is a bad thing (or true). For a variety of reasons, our culture has leaned toward youth as being some kind of ideal; and with this comes the opinion of youth, which is often shaped by their parents and/or by their schools. Communists and socialist dictators have found that you reach down to the youth and radicalize them, and before they are smart enough to realize that they are being used, you have a movement, a revolution, or a large group of enthusiastic supporters. Now, the idea of the wisdom of youth is imbecilic, because they have no wisdom; they have no real concept of cause and effect. They lack a true historical perspective. As Rush Limbaugh has said on many occasions, “For most people, history begins the day that they are born.”


Application: A good example of this is how young people tend to line up behind Democrats and liberals at around 60% or higher. Now, it never occurs to them that these Democrats to whom they are loyal are shameless power junkies and greedheads (not all of them, but many of them); who are essentially destroying the economy for these young people who are coming up. When entering into office, President Barack Obama inherited a national debt that was too high. However, instead of dealing with national debt and the economy, which were in moderate shambles, President Obama, instead, spent money like there was no tomorrow, raising the national debt to astronomical levels, and stifling what should have been a robust rebound in the economy (as is typical after a recession). Instead, he saddled the youth—those who could not vote and those who are just able to vote—with a huge debt, as if their lives and future did not matter. The national debt today (2013) if interest rates were only 7% would cost $1 trillion/year in interest alone. Although Barack Obama is not responsible for this entire debt (there is a lot of blame to spread around to both parties), he will double the debt during his tenure as president. Who will be most affected by this debt? Young people. Who supported Obama in overwhelming majorities? Young people. History has shown us that it is not difficult to get young people to vote against their own interests; and in America, this is doubly true if the presidential candidate is cool (yes, young people in America will vote for a candidate because he is cool).


Application: It never occurs to young people that intelligent, good-looking liberals want to have as much power and control as possible and want to spend as much money as possible in order to keep their power. So, even though liberals talk about the importance of investing in education, they are pouring money into teacher unions which, in turn, pour money into their campaigns.


Israel, along with many cultures, understood the value of the aged. I suspect that much of this went back to a time, not too long before this, when Shem, Ham and Japheth were still alive, along with nearly 10 generations of descendants. These men were the only men who knew about the pre-flood civilization. In fact, only they knew about the flood itself. They may have even spoken with the revealed Lord; so a natural respect for the elderly began in that very early era and continued for many centuries and has remained an important part of many cultures.


So, Absalom has with him a group of elders, who have been alive during the reigns of Saul and David (maybe one or two go back even before Saul), so they have a good historical perspective on things. So they listen to this plan that Ahithophel puts forth, and, given their loyalty to Absalom, it sounds good to them.


Our passage, so far, reads: Later, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose right now 12,000 men so that I may rise up and chase after David tonight. I will advance quickly against the king, while he is yet weary and discouraged in a surprise attack, causing the people with him to flee. Then I will strike down the king while he is by himself. Allow me to then bring all of the people back to you, at which point everything will return to normal. Furthermore, I will bring back the body of the man you seek and all of the people will be at peace.” This plan that Ahithophel presented was agreeable, both to Absalom and to the elders of Israel who are with him.

Why There is Only One Plan

1.      No one steps forward and offers a second opinion; no one suggests this or that tweak on Ahithophel’s plan. They hear it and everyone seems to like it.

2.      It appears as if Absalom has surrounded himself with yes-men. They like this plan, but then, they will like Hushai’s plan as well (Absalom has not yet called Hushai in; at this point, no one realizes that Hushai will be called in). 2Sam. 17:14

3.      Absalom’s arrogance has squeezed our original thinking. He does not gather a set of minds with differing opinions around him; he has one man he trusts as an advisor, and other men who are pretty much going to go along with what Absalom likes.

4.      Absalom himself is out of ideas, as we saw at the end of the previous chapter.

5.      Ahithophel gave Absalom an assignment (rape David’s mistresses) to keep him busy while Ahithophel came up with a suitable plan.

6.      Ahithophel looks around, sees Absalom’s advisors, knows Absalom’s advisors, and therefore does not feel that he needs to sell his plan. He states it simply; he does not deal in contingencies, and Absalom seemingly goes along with it.

7.      Arrogant people are unable to make good decisions; and this is why Absalom will be unable to see the benefits of Ahithophel’s plan over Hushai’s.

8.      Absalom is too concerned about himself and how he is perceived. He makes himself the issue, not the defeat of his father. Therefore, he will not be able to defeat his father.

9.      Arrogance reduces options; true humility increases options. Absalom will see himself as having only one option (Hushai’s plan); and Ahithophel, therefore, will see himself as having only one option, which is suicide.

 


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


These arrogant revolutionaries think that there is something that they can do, something that they can attain, some circumstance that can take place that will give them happiness and gratification. Absalom believed that taking over the kingship of Israel from his father would make him happy; but he has it, and he is not happy. He thinks that killing his father and his father’s supporters will make him happy, but it would not.


Ahithophel believed that his plans being followed would make him happy, but they would not. When his plan is not followed, he becomes suicidal.


There is a problem which David faces here, which has not been mentioned or emphasized. David has a lot of civilians with him. He would be hard-pressed to get involved in face to face combat with all of these civilians to look out for. Some of the soldiers and guard brought their wives and children. They were ready to die—they and their whole family—if David dies. So this is a big problem, as David does not want any innocents to be killed.


The more distance that David can put between himself and Absalom, the better equipped he is to determine where the women and children can be placed. He does not want to engage in a war where there are hundreds of civilian casualties (which appears to be one of the reasons that he exited Jerusalem in the first place).


If Ahithophel strikes David quickly, he would have problems organizing his line and taking care of his civilian adjacent. Ahithophel does not say anything to Absalom about this, even though Ahithophel knows that, when he strikes David, he may have to wade through hundreds and even thousands of people in order to kill David. He is fully aware of this contingency, but has no reason to reveal it to Absalom.


For Absalom, there is a big problem with Ahithophel’s plan, and it is a problem that Absalom cannot speak of publically. Ahithophel’s plan was thought up by Ahithophel and executed by Ahithophel. Absalom does not even go along for the ride. This is a plan without Absalom in the middle of it. But he is king; as king, he is lord of his armies. But Absalom cannot say, “Your plan needs more Absalom in it.” Somewhat like the old SNL skit where Christopher Walken calls for more cow bell. Absalom wants more a plan with more Absalom in it.


So, from a technical standpoint, Ahithophel’s plan sounds great. It even sounds like it might work. But it lacks the Absalom factor. Therefore, Absalom believes he ought to explore the options which are out there.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Absalom Calls in Hushai to Hear his Advice; Absalom Prefers Hushai's Plan


And so says Absalom, “Call now also Hushai the Archite and let us hear what [is] in his mouth—him also.”

2Samuel

17:5

But Absalom said, “Call now Hushai the Archite as well and let us hear what he has to say [lit., what (is) in his mouth—also he].”

But Absalom said, “Call now Hushai the Archite and we will hear what he has to say as well.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          But Absalom said: Call Chusai the Arachite, and let us hear what he also saith.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Absalom, “Call now also Hushai the Archite and let us hear what [is] in his mouth—him also.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then Absalom said, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us likewise hear what he has to say.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Absalom said, Call now also Hushai the Archite, and let us hear what is in his mouth, even in his also.

 

Significant differences:           The English translation from the Latin and Syriac give the idiomatic translation of let’s hear what he has to say. That will be done numerous times below as well.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Hushai's advice

But Absalom said, "Call Hushai from Erek. Let's hear what he has to say as well.".

Easy English                          Then Absalom said, `Bring Hushai the *Arkite to me. I want to know what he thinks about this.'

Easy-to-Read Version            But Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Arkite. I also want to hear what he says.”

New Living Translation           Hushai Counters Ahithophel's Advice

But then Absalom said, "Bring in Hushai the Arkite. Let's see what he thinks about this.".

The Voice                               Absalom: 5 Call in Hushai the Archite, and see what he thinks.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

God’s Word                         Absalom said, "Please call Hushai, who is descended from Archi's family, and let us hear what he, too, has to say."

New American Bible (R.E.)    Counsel of Hushai.

Then Absalom said, "Now call Hushai the Archite also; let us hear what he too has to say.".

NIRV                                      But Absalom said, "Send for Hushai, the Arkite. Then we can find out what he suggests."

New Simplified Bible              Absalom said: »Bring in Hushai. Let us hear what he has to say about this.«


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             Then Absalom said, Now send for Hushai the Archite, and let us give ear to what he has to say.

The Expanded Bible              But Absalom said, "Now call Hushai the Arkite, so I can hear what he says."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Husahi counter-plots Akhitophelb.c. 1023)

Absalom, however, said, “Let us now call Hushai the Arki, for I would also hear what is his idea.”

The Knox Bible                      Both Absalom and all the elders of Israel liked his counsel well; but Absalom would have them summon Chusai the Arachite, to find out his opinion too. V. 4 is included for context.

New Advent Bible                  Both Absalom and all the elders of Israel liked his counsel well; but Absalom would have them summon Chusai the Arachite, to find out his opinion too. V. 4 is included for context. Which makes me wonder, is the New Advent Bible equivalent to the Knox Bible? At the bottom of the page, it turns out that is the case.

NET Bible®                             But Absalom said, "Call for [In the MT the verb is singular, but in the LXX, the Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate it is plural.] Hushai the Arkite, and let's hear what he has to say [Heb "what is in his mouth."]."

NIV – UK                                But Absalom said, `Summon also Hushai the Arkite, so that we can hear what he has to say as well.'


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           Then Avshalom said, "Now call also Hushai the Arki, and let's give equal hearing to what he has to say."

exeGeses companion Bible   And Abi Shalom says,

Call, I pray you, Hushay the Arkiy also

and likewise hear what is in his mouth.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Then said Avshalom, Call now Chushai the Archi also, and let us hear likewise from his peh (mouth).


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Context Group Version          Then Absalom said, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he says.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Absalom said, Please call for Hushai the Archite also. And we shall hear what is in his mouth, also he.

New King James Version       The Advice of Hushai

Then Absalom said, "Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he says too."

New RSV                               Then Absalom said, `Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear too what he has to say.'

Syndein/Thieme                     {Operation Hushai}

Then Absalom commented, "Please summon also Hushai the Archite, and let us hear likewise 'what he has to say'." {idiom: literally 'what is in his mouth'}.

Webster’s Bible Translation  Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith.

World English Bible                Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he says.

Young’s Updated LT             And Absalom says, “Call, I pray you, also for Hushai the Archite, and we hear what is in his mouth—even he.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Absalom then says to call for Hushai the Archite to come in and give his opinion.


2Samuel 17:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5

qârâʾ (קָרָא) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

call, proclaim, read, call to, call out to, assemble, summon

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

nâʾ (נָא) [pronounced naw]

now; please, I pray you, I respectfully implore (ask, or request of) you, I urge you

a primitive particle of incitement and entreaty

Strong's #4994 BDB #609

Nâʾ is used for a submissive and modest request. It is used to express a wish (Job 32:21: “Oh, that I may not respect any man’s person”); to incite or to urge (Jer. 5:24); it is depreciatory when affixed to the 2nd person with a particle of negation (do not, I implore you—see Gen. 33:10 19:18); with the it expresses a wish or request (Psalm 124 129:1 SOS 7:9), a challenge (Jer. 17:15), asking leave (Gen. 18:4), and depreciation with a negation (Gen. 18:32). In many of these examples, we would express this with the addition of the word let.

gam (גַם) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Chûwshay (חוּשַי) [pronounced khoo-SHAH-ee]

to make haste, to hurry; transliterated Hushai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2365 BDB #302

ʾArkîy (אַרְכִּי) [pronounced ahr-KEE]

from Arkansas, Footnote transliterated Archite

Gentilis adjective with the definite article

Strong’s #757 BDB #74


Translation: But Absalom said, “Call now Hushai the Archite as well... You may not realize this, but this is a momentous occasion, at least in the eyes of Absalom. He is going to issue his first order that he did not have previously scripted. Before, Absalom was the master of plans and intrigue; and he determined what he wanted to do, and then he determined just the steps that would get him to that point. But now, he is acting king in Jerusalem, he does not really know what his next move is (as was discussed in the previous chapter), because he is now as far along as his chess moves were planned. So, at this point, he is standing on a precipice, and he begins to plan out his next move, but he is now down to planning out one move in advance on the chess board.


Absalom has a tremendous ego—remember, he was brought up as the king’s son—and he killed his older half-brother, which essentially opened up the throne to him. But, like many young people, Absalom believed himself to deserve to be king simply because he was born.

 

Gill remarks about the providence of God and Absalom’s choice to call in Hushai: There is something very remarkable in the providence of God, to incline Absalom to have the opinion of Hushai upon this point, when the counsel of Ahithophel was so universally approved of. Footnote However, this is not remarkable at all; this is Absalom’s human nature.


There are 4 important men in this narrative: David, Absalom, Ahithophel and Hushai (David’s friend).

The Four Men

1.      Absalom has revolted against his father David. Absalom is in Castle Zion and David is on the trail near the fords of the Jordan, waiting to hear if he should cross over.

2.      Ahithophel is a man who has it out for David, and it appears that he is the grandfather of Bathsheba, so he has a good reason to be angry with David. However, Ahithophel ought to be able to step aside and let God deal with David.

3.      Ahithophel has just given a plan to Absalom which would probably result in the defeat and death of King David, making Absalom the undisputed king of Israel.

4.      However, Absalom calls for Hushai, David’s man in Jerusalem. But Absalom does not realize that Hushai is David’s man.

5.      Absalom will ask for Hushai’s opinion on this matter, and Hushai will denigrate the plan of Ahithophel, and offer up his own plan, which has less of a chance to be successful. However, Hushai has to sell this inferior plan to Absalom.

6.      Because Absalom is arrogant, Hushai will appeal to his arrogance, and that is the key for Absalom choosing to execute Hushai’s plan.

7.      The elders who give their opinions appear here to be men who will agree with whatever their lord Absalom has to say.

8.      No one will offer a third plan or suggest debating the two plans. Absalom will like Hushai’s plan more, and that will be that.

9.      When Absalom attempts to execute Hushai’s plan, David will be ready for him and defeat him in battle.

Ahithophel knew his plan was best, but did not try to sell it. Hushai knew his plan was inferior, so he had to appeal to Absalom’s arrogance.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Let’s explain this. Why does Absalom call for another opinion? Absalom looks at Ahithophel’s obvious excitement and enthusiasm, and he thinks, “I cannot call for advice and every single time Ahithophel offers up advice and I take it.” Absalom realizes that if, in this public setting, he takes Ahithophel’s advice over and over again, he is going to appear less of a leader and more of a follower of Ahithophel. Absalom’s ego is too big for this. He needs Ahithophel, but he cannot have Ahithophel appear as if he is running the show.


So, Absalom does what any good leader without a clue would do: “How about a second opinion?” Now, he is there in front of the elders and Ahithophel; Ahithophel has offered up a plan and everyone likes the plan. No one shouts out, “What about this?” or “What about that?” No one speaks up and says, “Let me propose this modification to Ahithophel’s plan.” No one raises his hand and says, “Why don’t we try this instead.” One person offers up a plan; and everyone agrees with it. And Absalom was apparently concerned that would be what would continue to happen; he would ask for suggestions, Ahithophel would speak, and everyone would agree.


Absalom cannot have this. He cannot have one person set the agenda time after time. Then he is no longer the true leader but a figurehead. Now Absalom looks over the small gathering before him, and no one else offers up a plan, so Absalom pulls a rabbit out of his hat: “What about Hushai? What is his opinion?” Hushai isn’t there. He is not a part of Absalom’s inner circle. But Absalom knows that Hushai will have an opinion. Absalom knows that, with two opinions, then it is up to him—Absalom the king—to make the final judgment.


Absalom, from the very beginning, was somewhat of an inclusive guy—not only did he sell himself as that way (by telling those who bowed down before him to get up)—but was willing to consider all of his resources.


Application: We had an incident like this when President Carter sent in men to rescue the hostages in Iran. The biggest problem, from what I understand is, he called in various members of different elite organizations. He brought together elite men who had never worked with one another, and did not have the same training. He was inclusive. President Obama, when ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden, did quite the opposite. He took one team of one elite group (NAVY SEALS), made sure that they were trained on this one mission, and then he sent them in to strike. No one else went in. As a result of their training and their commonality, the SEAL team was successful.


Absalom is intelligent. Just as Ahithophel determined that he would be running the show in the previous chapter, it also appears that Absalom recognized this as well—possibly just this instant—and figured that he had better bring in someone else so that Ahithophel does not overshadow him.


Absalom’s next problem is, he really believes that he can listen to both plans and figure out which plan was the best. He had no training in this area. He knows nothing about military strategy or logistics.


As a child, I had a ton of army men, and I set up all kinds of wars and battles; but I always left out one thing—logistics. My plastic army men did not need victuals. I had a very incomplete understanding of what an army needs to function. Let me suggest to you that Absalom is nearly as lacking in his understanding of the army that he commands.


2Samuel 17:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâmaʿ (שָמַע) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen [intently], to hear, to listen and obey, [or, and act upon, give heed to, take note of], to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and be cognizant of

1st person plural, Qal imperfect with the voluntative hê

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

The hê at the end is called a voluntative hê and the verb itself is known as a cohortative and is often translated with the additional word let, may, might, ought, should.

mâh (מָה) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why; what [thing]; anything, something, whatever

interrogative; exclamatory particle; indefinite pronoun; relative pronoun

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

peh (פֶּה) [pronounced peh]

mouth [of man, animal; as an organ of speech]; opening, orifice [of a river, well, etc.]; edge; extremity, end

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6310 BDB #804

gam (גַם) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one); same

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb to be, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214


Translation: ...and let us hear what he has to say [lit., what (is) in his mouth—also he].” So Absalom calls for Hushai so that his opinion can be known. Absalom assumes that getting Hushai should only take 15 minutes or an hour; and he will come in, say what is on his mind, and then Absalom, the king, can make the final determination.


If this is the first day of Absalom raping David’s mistresses, then Absalom realizes that he has time to do this, as there are still more women on his schedule to rape.


Nobody says, “Hey, Absalom, what’s your plan?” That is because Absalom does not have a plan.


V. 5 reads: But Absalom said, “Call now Hushai the Archite and we will hear what he has to say as well.” What is actually remarkable is the exchange that Absalom had with Hushai the Archite, a day previous, where Absalom rides into Jerusalem as the new king, and Hushai is there along the side shouting, “Long live the king!” Absalom interviewed Hushai; he seemed fine. You may remember the scene from the previous chapter: Now Absalom and all the Israelites came to Jerusalem. Ahithophel was also with him. When David's friend Hushai the Archite came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, "Long live the king! Long live the king!" "Is this your loyalty to your friend?" Absalom asked Hushai. "Why didn't you go with your friend?" "Not at all," Hushai answered Absalom. "I am on the side of the one that the LORD, the people, and all the men of Israel have chosen. I will stay with him. Furthermore, whom will I serve if not his son? As I served in your father's presence, I will also serve in yours." (2Sam. 16:15–19; HCSB). This appeared to be a chance meeting to Absalom, but Hushai put himself right there, where Absalom could not miss him. And now, a day later, when faced with the prospect that Ahithophel might gain too much power as his chief advisor, Absalom calls for Hushai.


Let’s summarize what has just been discussed.

Why Absalom calls for Hushai

1.      Absalom is an egomaniac and he has come to the conclusion that, by his birthright, he should have the crown of Israel.

2.      However, his plans to become king just took him to Jerusalem. When his father David is not there ready to wage war, Absalom does not have the next move ready. He wants the power, but he does not know what he is going to do with all that power.

3.      Therefore, Absalom turns to his advisors—primarily to Ahithophel—and asks what to do. Ahithophel gives Absalom some unusual advice: “Take this time and go rape your father’s concubines.” This advice was given before Absalom’s chief advisors, and this was certainly something he was able to do, so he did it.

4.      Now Absalom is about to determine what his next move should be, and again, Ahithophel gives him the solution: “Let me take an army of 12,000 men and I will isolate King David and kill him. And all the people will be returned to you in peace.”

5.      This was no doubt a good plan, and the elders all agreed.

6.      Ahithophel’s plan did not have enough Absalom in it. Absalom needs to play a starring role, and Ahithophel, in order to insure mission success, does not even given Absalom a secondary role.

7.      Another problem is, Ahithophel has given Absalom advice on what to do twice in a row; the advice is given in public; the advice is publically approved of; and Ahithophel promises to lead an army and deal with David. This all concerns Absalom. Where is he in all of this? Where is his power, brilliance and charisma?

8.      Absalom cannot let Ahithophel run the show, because his entourage would begin to look to Ahithophel for guidance.

9.      Furthermore, Absalom has never had to make a quick decision before which involved his own life and death. All that he has done in the past was plotting over a period of several years to bring to pass that which he wanted (the death of his brother; a revolution against his father David). He has never had to make a snap decision right then and there, so he is unable to with Ahithophel’s excellent plan.

10.    Since Absalom does not have an original plan of his own, not really understanding strategy and tactics, he calls for a second opinion, and who better than Hushai, who he had just run into the day before.

11.    Absalom figures that he can hear the two plans, and if Hushai’s plan is reasonable, he can go with it, so that people will not see Absalom as merely the figurehead.

12.    Absalom cannot have Ahithophel being known to be the brains behind Absalom.

13.    So there is no animus in what Absalom is doing here; he just needs to make certain that everyone knows that he is in charge.

Unlike King David, who deferred to the opinion of his nephew, General Joab, Absalom did not want to set the precedent of just being the face on an Ahithophel reign. He has been king for a few days and already, Absalom is paranoid about his own power.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Application: We saw an example of this a few years ago when new President Obama had to make a decision as to how many troops would be sent to Afghanistan. He opposed the surge in Iraq (when he was not in power), but the generals under him proposed a surge Afghanistan as well. This decision took him about 2.5 months to make (compare request date with speech on troops to be deployed there Footnote ), and he did not give the generals the number of troops that were needed, and then he set a timetable for the removal of the troops the day that he announced that he would send additional troops. The president was never called upon before to make a snap decision that involved the lives of many soldiers; in fact, he had made very few big decisions up to that point in time. In fact, with his presidency, Obama began to make decisions far more consequential than he had ever made before in his life—this was a man that, as state senator, voted present 129 times (This was 3% of Obama’s votes; fact check.org did not list any of his contemporaries to compare him to; however, a NY Times article at least suggested that Obama voted present much more often than his contemporaries). As president, it is difficult for a man to vote present on anything.


It does not matter that Hushai is not yet fully vetted; Absalom assumes that he can listen to Hushai and, as the brilliant king that he is, make the final judgment. He may appear to be testing Hushai’s loyalty as well. Absalom certainly figures that if Hushai gives him bad advice, that will be obvious to him. However, as each hour goes by, David gets further away, and more organized. Eventually, David would make Absalom’s troops come to him.


2Sam. 17:1–5 Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Please, let me choose 12,000 men, and I will set out in pursuit of David tonight. Consequently, I will attack him while he is weak and weary of hands, throw him into a panic [I will immobilize him with fear], and all the people with him will scatter. Consequently, I will strike down only the king [R. B. Thieme, Jr. says, I will assassinate the king while he is alone] and I will bring [back] all [restore] the people back to you. When everyone returns except the man [David] you're [Absalom] seeking, all the people will be at peace." This proposal [word, plan, idea] seemed good to Absalom and all the elders [princes] of Israel. Then Absalom said, "Summon Hushai the Archite also. Let's hear what he has to say as well." Absalom, unable to listen to one plan and make a good decision, calls for Hushai, and, thereby, calls for his own downfall.


——————————


And so comes in Hushai unto Absalom and so says Absalom unto him, to say, “As the word the this spoke Ahithophel; do we do his word; if not, you speak.”

2Samuel

17:6

Hushai came in to Absalom, and Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel said this [lit., as this word]; do we do what he advises [lit., do we do his word] or, if not, [then] you speak.”

When Hushai came in to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel gave us this advice; should we follow his advice or do you have a better plan?”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And when Chusai was come to Absalom, Absalom said to him: Achitophel has spoken after this manner: will we do it or not? what counsel will you give?

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so comes in Hushai unto Absalom and so says Absalom unto him, to say, “In the word the this spoke Ahithophel; do we do his word; if not, you speak.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, Ahithophel has spoken after this manner; shall we do what he has said? If not, you speak.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Hushai went in to Absalom, and Absalom spoke to him, saying, After this manner spoke Ahithophel: shall we do according to his word? But if not, speak up.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           When Hushai from Erek arrived, Absalom said to him, "This is what Ahithophel has advised. Should we follow it or not? What do you say?"

Contemporary English V.       Hushai came in, and Absalom told him what Ahithophel had planned. Then Absalom said, "Should we do what he says? And if we shouldn't, can you come up with anything better?"

Easy English                          When Hushai arrived, Absalom spoke to him. Absalom said, `Ahithophel has given us this advice. Should we do what he says? If not, tell us what to do.'

Easy-to-Read Version            Hushai came to Absalom. Absalom said to Hushai, “This is the plan Ahithophel gave. Should we follow it? If not, tell us.”

New Century Version             When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, "This is the plan Ahithophel gave. Should we follow it? If not, tell us."

The Voice                               When Hushai arrived, Absalom told him what Ahithophel had advised.

Absalom: What do you think? Should we do as he suggests? If not, tell us what you'd advise.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

Christian Community Bible     When Hushai came before Absalom, Absalom asked him, “Ahitophel has given this advice. Shall we follow it? If not, you speak.”

New American Bible              When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him: "This is what Ahithophel proposed. Shall we follow his proposal? If not, speak up."

New American Bible (R.E.)    When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him: "This is Ahithophel's plan. Shall we follow his plan? If not, give your own."

NIRV                                      Hushai came to him. Absalom said, "Ahithophel has given us his advice. Should we do what he says? If we shouldn't, tell us what you would do."

New Jerusalem Bible             When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said, 'This is what Ahithophel says. Are we to do as he suggests? If not, suggest something yourself.'

New Simplified Bible              Hushai came to Absalom. He told him what Ahithophel planned. Then Absalom said: »Should we do what he says? If we should not, can you come up with something better?«


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And when Hushai came, Absalom said to him, This is what Ahithophel has said: are we to do as he says? if not, what is your suggestion?

The Expanded Bible              When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, "This is the plan Ahithophel gave. Should we follow it? If not, ·tell us [give us your view]."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 So they brought Hushai to Absalom, when Absalom said to him, “This is the advice of Akhitophel. Shall I act upon his advice? —If not, what is your advice?”

HCSB                                     So Hushai came to Absalom, and Absalom told him: "Ahithophel offered this proposal. Should we carry out his proposal? If not, what do you say?"

New Advent (Knox) Bible       So Chusai the Arachite came in, and Absalom told him what Achitophel had said; Were it well done? he asked. What advice givest thou?

NET Bible®                             So Hushai came to Absalom. Absalom said to him, "Here is what Ahithophel has advised. Should we follow his advice? If not, what would you recommend?"

New Heart English Bible        When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, "Ahithophel has spoken like this. Shall we do what he says? If not, speak up."

NIV – UK                                When Hushai came to him, Absalom said, `Ahithophel has given this advice. Should we do what he says? If not, give us your opinion.'


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           When Hushai appeared before Avshalom, Avshalom said to him, "Achitofel has said such-and-such. Should we do what he says? If not, you tell us."

exeGeses companion Bible   And Hushay comes to Abi Shalom,

and Abi Shalom says to him, saying,

Achiy Thophel words after this word:

Work we after his word?

If not; you word.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And Hushai came to Absalom; and Absalom spoke to him saying, "In this manner has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do his bidding? If not, then you speak."

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And when Chushai was come to Avshalom, Avshalom spoke unto him, saying, Achitophel hath spoken after this manner; shall we do after his saying? If not; speak thou.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                When Hushai came, Absalom said to him, Ahithophel has counseled thus. Shall we do what he says? If not, speak up.

Concordant Literal Version    And Hushai comes in unto Absalom, and Absalom speaks unto him, saying, `According to this word has Ahithophel spoken; do we do his word? if not, you--speak you.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Hushai came in to Absalom. And Absalom spoke to him, saying, Ahithophel has spoken according to this word. Shall we do this word? If not, you speak.

NASB                                     When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to him [Lit him, saying], "Ahithophel has spoken thus [Lit according to this word]. Shall we carry out his plan [Lit do his word]? If not, you speak."

New King James Version       And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, "Ahithophel has spoken in this manner. Shall we do as he says? If not, speak up."

New RSV                               When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, `This is what Ahithophel has said; shall we do as he advises? If not, you tell us.'

 

yndein/Thieme                       {Hushai's Opportunity to Frustrate the Counsel of Ahithophel}

And when Hushai reported to Absalom, then Absalom confided in him, saying, "Ahithophel has submitted the following plan." {idiom: literally "After this manner, Ahithophel has spoken . . ."} {Note: This verse indicates Hushai's success in infiltrating the highest levels of Absalom's command. It is one thing to trust a person, but even deeper to trust his counsel.} "Shall we execute the plan?" If not, 'state your objections'/'speak you'.".

World English Bible                When Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, Ahithophel has spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not, speak up.

Young’s Updated LT             And Hushai comes in unto Absalom, and Absalom speaks unto him, saying, “According to this word has Ahithophel spoken; do we do his word? If not, you—speak you.”

 

The gist of this verse:          When Hushai comes to Absalom, Absalom lays out Ahithophel’s plan and asks Hushai’s opinion of it.


2Samuel 17:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bôwʾ (בּוֹא) [pronounced boh]

to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter, to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #935 BDB #97

Chûwshay (חוּשַי) [pronounced khoo-SHAH-ee]

to make haste, to hurry; transliterated Hushai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2365 BDB #302

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5


Translation: Hushai came in to Absalom,... This is the best way for a mole to act—he does not try to worm his way into the organization. He lets the person at the top invite him in. So, despite what some commentators incorrectly said about the previous chapter, Hushai was not a part of any upper echelon of Absalom’s until this very day when Absalom calls him in.


This obviously takes great patience on the part of Hushai, who was probably chomping at the bit to get to Absalom.


R. B. Thieme, Jr.: “Insurgency is revolution; counterinsurgency is counter-revolution. Insurgency is anti-God; counter-insurgency is serving God.” Footnote


The nation which wins clandestine warfare often wins conventional warfare as well. The same is true for a revolution; the side which best employs clandestine warfare is often the side which eventually wins the revolution.


2Samuel 17:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied); with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

A Qal infinitive construct with a preposition can introduce a purpose clause, a result clause or a temporal clause.


Translation: ...and Absalom spoke to him, saying,... Here is how Absalom looks at it—Hushai is not trying to get into his organization. If he has any allegiance to David, Absalom will be able to figure it out. And Absalom can make the call— “I will accept or reject this advice.” So Hushai can say anything—good advice, bad advice; no matter what, Absalom makes the final call. So Absalom thinks that everything is okay. What could go wrong?


So far, nothing has stood in his way for becoming king. He mapped it out, stuck to the plan, and it all came together. At this point, he believes that he is the golden boy who can do no wrong. Calling in Hushai was a simple precaution.


Absalom has a very high opinion of himself. He thinks that he can do nearly anything. Right now, he is king of Israel, and he schemed that all out. Becoming king to him, was a matter of his personal brilliance; so, despite his complete lack of experience, Absalom thinks he is smart enough to figure out of Hushai gives him good advice or not.


Absalom does not want Ahithophel to think that he is running the show, or that he is Absalom’s only brilliant advisor. If Absalom was smart, he would keep Ahithophel on, and follow his every word of advice. But that would give Ahithophel too much authority and power, and Absalom does not want to share that.


2Samuel 17:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

dâbâr (דָּבָר) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter, command

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

zeh (זֶה) [pronounced zeh]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

masculine singular demonstrative adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #2088, 2090 (& 2063) BDB #260

Together, dâbâr zeh mean this thing, this matter, this command.

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

ʾĂchîythôphel (אֲחִיתֹפֶל) [pronounced uhkh-ee-THOH-fel]

my brother is foolish; and is transliterated Ahithophel, Achitophel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #302 BDB #27


Translation: ...“Ahithophel said this [lit., as this word];... Essentially, Absalom lays out the advice given by Ahithophel. This is not an exact quote, or that much of it is left out, where Absalom says, “Ahithophel wants to get 12,000 soldiers right now and go after David and kill him.” Absalom had to lay out Ahithophel’s plan in order for Hushai to properly evaluate it and offer up an alternative.


2Samuel 17:6d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh]

interrogative particle which acts almost like a piece of punctuation, like the upside-down question mark which begins a Spanish sentence. The verb to be may be implied. This can be used in an indirect interrogation and translated whether.

Strong’s #none BDB #209

Hă (הֲ) [pronounced heh] usually an interrogative particle; but can act as indirect interrogation and be translated if, whether [or not].

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

1st person plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

dâbâr (דָּבָר) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter, command

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1697 BDB #182


Translation: ...do we do what he advises [lit., do we do his word]... Then Absalom asks Hushai, carefully watching his face: “Do we do what Ahithophel suggests?”


One has to imagine that Hushai’s mind is now working at 1000 mph. He knows up front that Ahithophel is going to have offered up a good plan—that is a given. Hushai has to disparage this plan, but not in such a way as to make it seem as if he is doing it for his own benefit. Then Hushai has to come up with an alternate plan, right there on the spot, which is inferior to Ahithophel’s plan, but one that he can sell.


2Samuel 17:6e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle, but also functions as an interrogative particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

When we have two sentences, the first introduced by the disjunctive particle ha (הַ) [pronounced hah] (Strong’s #none BDB #209) and the second by the hypothetical particle ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem] (Strong’s #518 BDB #49), this is a disjunctive question. A disjunctive question may express a real alternative or the same thought may be repeated in a different form as two parallel clauses. In the latter case, the answer no is expected. We can express this negative in several ways—this can’t be true; that makes no sense; this isn’t right.

ʾal (אַל) [pronounced al]

no, not; nothing; none; neither, nor; do not, let not [with a verb]; let there not be [with an understood verb];

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39

ʾattâh (אַתָּה) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

2nd person masculine singular, Piel imperative

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180


Translation: ...or, if not, [then] you speak.” The combination of particles here means that there is an alternative to be offered. “If you don’t think that he has a good plan, then what do you suggest? What is your idea?”


Again, Absalom thinks this is a good idea. He can reject Hushai’s idea if it is bad; and he does not look as if Ahithophel is telling him what to do. All of this sounds as if Absalom is simply picking Hushai’s brain. “Here is the plan that Ahithophel has put forth. What do you think about it? Do you have a better plan?”


The entire verse: Hushai came in to Absalom, and Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel said this [lit., as this word]; do we do what he advises [lit., do we do his word] or, if not, [then] you speak.” This is exactly what Hushai wants; he wants Absalom to call him into his inner circle; this way he can tell David exactly what is going on, and what Absalom’s plans are. And, the more difficult thing, to offer an inferior alternative plan and sell it as being better. However, Hushai has this advantage—it does not appear as if he is going to be debating his plan with Ahithophel. He is just going to state it, with the idea that it has to sound better.


In fact, Hushai has two advantages here. Absalom called him in, possibly to find a better plan than that proposed by Ahithophel. Secondly, Hushai knows Ahithophel’s plan; but Ahithophel had no idea another plan was going to be offered up.


There is the distinct possibility that Absalom is testing Hushai’s loyalty at this point, so that what he proposes will tell Absalom just whose side he is really on. If Hushai proposes a good plan, than Absalom will rest assured that he can trust Hushai in the future for additional advice.


In any case, God the Holy Spirit tells us exactly what is going on. 1Chron. 27:33 Ahithophel was the king’s counselor; but Hushai the Archite was the king’s friend. Ahithophel was, at one time, David’s advisor, but he had turned against David. Hushai, on the other hand, remained David’s friend, and his advice will counteract Ahithophel’s advice in order to save his friend David.


——————————


And so says Hushai unto Absalom, “Not good the counsel which has counseled Ahithophel in the time the this.”

2Samuel

17:7

Hushai answered [lit., said to] Absalom: “The counsel which Absalom has given [lit., counseled] [is] not good at this time.”

Hushai answered Absalom, saying, “The counsel that Absalom gave is not good advice at this time.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And Chusai said to Absalom: The counsel that Achitophel hath given this time is not good.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Hushai unto Absalom, “Not good the counsel which has counseled Ahithophel in the time the this.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good at this time.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Hushai said to Absalom, This counsel which Ahithophel has counseled this one time is not good.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Hushai said to Absalom, "This time, the advice Ahithophel has given isn't right.

Contemporary English V.       Hushai said: This time Ahithophel's advice isn't so good.

Easy English                          Hushai replied to Absalom, `This time, Ahithophel has not given good advice to you.

The Message                         Hushai said, "The counsel that Ahithophel has given in this instance is not good.

New Berkeley Version           Hushai replied to Absalom, “This time the plan recommended by Ahithophel is not wise.”

New Living Translation           "Well," Hushai replied to Absalom, "this time Ahithophel has made a mistake.

The Voice                               Hushai: 7 I don't think the advice from Ahithophel is good this time, and I'll tell you why:...


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And HushAi said to AbSalom: 'This counsel that AhiThophel has given you isn't a good idea this time.

God’s Word                         "This time Ahithophel's advice is no good," Hushai said to Absalom.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Hushai replied to Absalom, "This time Ahithophel has not given good counsel."

NIRV                                      Hushai replied to Absalom, "The advice Ahithophel has given you isn't good this time.

New Jerusalem Bible             Hushai said to Absalom, 'On this occasion the advice given by Ahithophel is not good.

New Simplified Bible              Hushai said: »This time Ahithophel’s advice is not very good.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             And Hushai said to Absalom, Ahithophel's idea is not a good one at this time.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And Hushai answered Absalom, “The advice that Akhitophel has advised is not good, for this reason.”

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And Chusai answered, No, it will not serve our turn, this counsel Achitophel has given.

NET Bible®                             Hushai replied to Absalom, "Ahithophel's advice is not sound this time [Heb "Not good is the advice which Ahithophel has advised at this time."]."


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   And Hushay says to Abi Shalom,

The counsel Achiy Thophel counsels

is not good at this time.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And Chushai said unto Avshalom, The etza (counsel) that Achitophel hath given is not tovah at this time.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Geneva Bible                  And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given [is] not good [Hushai shows himself faithful to David, in that he reproves this wicked counsel and purpose.] at this time.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Counter-Insurgency}

And Hushai said unto Absalom, "The counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good . . . at this time." {Note: In counter-insurgency, an honorable person has to do what normally would be a dishonorable act. So, if someone must deceive, the best way is 'to tell the truth'. And, that is what Hushai does here. It would be 'not good' - for David! Yet he knows the opinion of Ahithophel is highly respected so he says, the plan is good . . . but just wait a little while first. And, that is the key. David is at his weakest right now. A delay is necessary.}.

World English Bible                Hushai said to Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good.

Young’s Updated LT             And Hushai says unto Absalom, “Not good [is] the counsel that Ahithophel has counselled at this time.”

 

The gist of this verse:          Hushai first gives the blanket statement that Ahithophel’s advice is not any good.


2Samuel 17:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Chûwshay (חוּשַי) [pronounced khoo-SHAH-ee]

to make haste, to hurry; transliterated Hushai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2365 BDB #302

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5


Translation: Hushai answered [lit., said to] Absalom:... Hushai, like Ahithophel, has to be quick on his feet. He knows where David is, he knows who is with David, and he knows David’s weaknesses. At this point, through being back in Jerusalem, and having been called into the palace, and hearing Ahithophel’s plan, Hushai immediately evaluates how good Ahithophel’s plan is—and it is a good plan. So, Hushai knows that, if Ahithophel does what he wants, there is a very good chance that David will be defeated.


Here is where it gets tricky. Hushai has to denigrate Ahithophel’s plan and then offer up a superior plan, and he also has to sell this plan. How can you do that? How do you sell an inferior plan? Hushai will have to appeal to Absalom’s ego.


Although Absalom believed that he was taking the measure of the man Hushai when he interrogated him in the previous chapter, Hushai was taking the measure of Absalom. Right now, as he speaks, Hushai concentrates on Absalom and his expressions as he speaks. When Hushai presses the right button, then he needs to know that and continue with it. When giving his plan, Hushai concentrates on Absalom, which will be clear in what he says.


Hushai is going to intentionally give Absalom wrong advice in the hope that it will result in Absalom’s death. Hushai is a mole in Absalom’s organization. In order to get there, Hushai had to lie to Absalom and make it appear as if he would serve Absalom, which he has no intention of doing.

Warfare and Revolution Require a New Set of Values for the Believer

1.      Most people understand that there are different values for the believer in warfare.

2.      A believer may don the uniform of his country and kill the enemy, and he has not sinned.

3.      That same believer cannot return from the battlefield and kill people in the streets of his own country whom he perceives as personal enemies.

4.      So killing in battle, okay; killing people you don’t like, not okay. Not a difficult thing to understand and most believers do (there are few nutcases who do not get this).

5.      In fact, it is honorable and moral to kill the enemy in war. This does not include vicious attacks against the civilian population (although sometimes civilians are used in warfare, which changes this).

6.      Counterinsurgency is the clandestine warfare done by the establishment side.

7.      Under clandestine warfare, there are a whole new set of values, which values do not apply on the streets of your home town (unless, of course, you are working undercover for the police).

8.      Counterinsurgency may require you to lie, steal, intimidate, kill, assassinate, take drugs, sell drugs, and have illicit sexual affairs in order defeat the enemy. These same things are wrong in a society functioning under the laws of divine establishment.

9.      That means, the believer has a dual set of values: one set of values when he is involved in counterinsurgency and another set of values when he is off-duty and home and the war is over.

10.    Just like you can kill an enemy in battle, you can, as a man or woman involved in clandestine warfare, lie to the other side in order to gain some objective or some piece of information; and you do not have to confess that sin.

11.    Counterinsurgency is not for everyone. Only a few individuals are able to deal with the rigors of warfare; even fewer are able to deal with the rigors and dual set of values involved in counterinsurgency.

12.    A person must have an outstanding moral character to grasp his role as a counterinsurgent, one protecting his country from revolutionaries.

13.    Divine approval is confirmed by the last sentence in v. 14: Since the LORD had decreed that Ahithophel's good advice [better plan] be undermined in order to bring about Absalom's ruin.

14.    God is perfect; he cannot solicit to sin; He cannot approve of sin as a means to anything. God used Hushai’s lying to defeat Absalom.

15.    We may therefore conclude that counterinsurgency is legitimate.

16.    However, more widely applied, many believers will need to assume a new set of values during warfare, a revolution or a national or local emergency. A simple example is, you might not say boo to your next-door neighbor, but in an emergency, you may be needed to assist him or his family in some way.

17.    Emergency situations (and most of us rarely face emergency conditions) simply require us to do things differently than we normally do. Therefore, it is not difficult to see how a revolution or how being thrust into the middle of a wartime situation how our scale of values must change appropriately.

18.    The more Bible doctrine a believer has, the better that believer is able to cope with changing circumstances.

This is a very difficult doctrine for most believers. It does not matter to them that God the Holy Spirit has spent 3 chapters on this particular topic, it is very difficult for them to grasp and believe.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


2Samuel 17:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

ţôwb (טוֹב) [pronounced tohbv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better; approved

masculine feminine singular adjective which can act like a substantive

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373

As a noun, this can mean the good thing, that which is good [pleasing, approved, kind, upright, right]; goodness, uprightness, kindness, right; that which is fair [beautiful].

ʿêtsâh (אֵצָה) [pronounced ģay-TZAW]

counsel, advice, wisdom, purpose; plan

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6098 BDB #420

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

yâʿats (יָעַץ) [pronounced yaw-ĢAHTS]

to advise, to counsel; to take counsel; to decree; to consult for [anyone], to provide for; to predict, to declare future thing

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3289 BDB #419

ʾĂchîythôphel (אֲחִיתֹפֶל) [pronounced uhkh-ee-THOH-fel]

my brother is foolish; and is transliterated Ahithophel, Achitophel

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #302 BDB #27

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

paʿam (פַּעַם) [pronounced PAH-ģahm]

beat, foot, anvil, occurrence, time, steps; the connotation is the passage of time

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6471 BDB #821

zôʾth (זֹאת) [pronounced zoth]

here, this, this one; thus; possibly another

feminine of singular zeh; demonstrative pronoun, adverb; with the definite article

Strong’s #2063 (& 2088, 2090) BDB #260

Together, these appear to mean at this time.


Translation:...“The counsel which Absalom has given [lit., counseled] [is] not good at this time.” First thing, Hushai says that Absalom has been presented with a lousy plan. Hushai has to do more than that, however, and he has to explain why this plan is a bad plan.


You can bet that, while all this is going on, Hushai’s mind is going a mile a minute determining two things: what about Ahithophel’s plan is bad and what is a worse plan that he can come up with that will sound like a better plan? Myself, I would have to sit down, speak to advisors, and give this several days thought, and I might be able to pull it off. Hushai does not have the luxury; he is hearing all of this at once and he has to give a response right then and there. He does not say, “Let me get back to you on this one, Mr. Absalom.”


He does know this: Absalom is an egomaniac, so he needs to appeal to Absalom’s ego to get this through. Furthermore, he has the advantage the Absalom called on him. This suggests that, for whatever reason, Absalom wants to hear an alternative plan. Now, I think the reason he does is, Absalom does not want to appear as if Ahithophel is running the show—and following him exactly on his first two big moves as king would appear as if Ahithophel is the true power. So, there is that advantage to Hushai.


Let’s lay out Hushai’s advantages at this point.

Advantage Hushai

1.      Hushai hears Ahithophel’s plan, and knows that he is offering up an alternative plan. Ahithophel did not have that advantage. As far as Ahithophel knew, he was offering up the only plan to Absalom.

2.      Hushai can take the time to sell his plan; Ahithophel did not have to sell his plan, because his was the only plan.

3.      Hushai can take time to pick Ahithophel’s plan apart; Ahithophel did not have the chance to do this.

4.      Hushai has the advantage that Absalom called him in specifically for two things: two give his opinion of Ahithophel’s plan and to offer up a different plan. This in itself suggests that Absalom wants to go with an alternate plan.

5.      Hushai knows that, because Absalom called him in, that there is some missing ingredient or some problem with Ahithophel’s plan. If Absalom was wholeheartedly in favor of it, he would just go ahead and do it. So Hushai needs to read Absalom as he criticizes Ahithophel’s plan and offers up his own.

6.      Absalom does not mind having a great advisor, but he does not want to depend upon his only advisor for every choice. In fact, this seems like an excellent approach for Absalom to have two advisors at his beck and call. So Hushai has the additional advantage that Absalom does not want to appear completely dependent upon Ahithophel.

Hushai has several big advantages: he has to come up with an alternate plan off the top of his head, and he has to make his plan sound better than Ahithophel’s plan, yet make it worse than Ahithophel’s plan.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The entire verse reads: Hushai answered [lit., said to] Absalom: “The counsel which Absalom has given [lit., counseled] [is] not good at this time.” Hushai does something which is quite slick here, which I would not have caught if it were not for Barnes. Footnote Hushai is not denigrating Ahithophel overall. Hushai does not take a cheap shot at Ahithophel. He does not say, “That Ahithophel’s plan? Well, we know that Ahithophel is an ass.” Hushai does not use that approach. He implies here that his first piece of advice and other pieces of advice that Ahithophel has made over time have been good. But this plan that Ahithophel is offering is not good at this time. So there is no slight against Ahithophel personally. The implication may even be, “Under another set of circumstances, this plan of Ahithophel’s might be an outstanding approach; but it is not good at this time.” So Hushai is not even slighting Ahithophel’s plan. Might be a good plan; just not at this time.

 

Poole suggests: Though at other times he generally gives most wise and admirable counsel; yet, as he is a man, he seems now to be under a mistake, and not sufficiently to consider all the present circumstances of this business. Footnote


Hushai is able to think under pressure. He has been called before Absalom, the man who could kill him at a whim, a man who knows his previous affiliation with David, and he asks Hushai’s advice. If his advice seems phoney, Absalom could kill him right there on the spot. If his advice is good, then Hushai could be setting up his friend David to be killed. However, what makes Hushai a great man is, he is brilliant, he knows people, he knows how to manipulate people if necessary (he will have to manipulate Absalom), and he knows what to say to both save David and insure the demise of Absalom.


You may recall, when Hushai came to David on the Mount of Olives, David expressed concern that he might not be able to keep up, and that suggests to us that Hushai is an older man whose body could not handle the rigors of a forced march in multiple terrains. But, even though his body is giving out, his mind is clear as can be. He is still able to think circles around Absalom. Absalom respects Hushai’s brilliance, but does not realize that Hushai is using his brilliance to crush Absalom.


Absalom is a brilliant man and he knows that he is. He does not see himself as having shortcomings. A person with humility realizes that there are many areas in which he is not an expert, and he does not pretend to be an expert in every area. Being brilliant or having a high I.Q. does not qualify you to do or to be anything. But Absalom arrogance made him think that he could do anything. He can listen to these two old men and make a good decision on military tactics, something which he knows nothing about.


We have had many presidents listen to a whole host of advice and make bad decisions based upon that advice. It is not that they received bad advice, but that they chose the wrong way to go. And it is worse for arrogant Absalom, as he does not have a variety of thinking before him. He has mostly yes-men, and the last thing a leader needs when trying to make a difficult decision, is a lack of options; or no clear trusted voice in this or that area.


——————————


And so says Hushai, “You have known your father and his men, that mighty ones they [are] and [they are] bitter [vehement?] of soul like bear bereaved [of her cubs] in the field. And your father a man war and he will not lodge the night with the people.

2Samuel

17:8

Hushai also said, “You know your father and [you know] his men, that they [are] mighty men and [they are] bitter of soul, [just] like a bear bereaved [of her cubs] in the field. And [you know that] your father is a man of war and he will not spend the night with the people.

Hushai then added, “You know your father and his men—that they men are warriors and they are bitter right now, like a bear bereaved of her cubs in the field. Furthermore, your father is an experienced man of war and he knows not to spend the night in the midst of the people.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          And again Chusai said: You know your father, and the men that are with him, that they are very valiant, and bitter in their mind, as a bear raging in the wood when her whelps are taken away: and your father is a warrior, and will not lodge with the people.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And so says Hushai, “You have known your father and his men, that mighty ones they [are] and [they are] bitter [vehement?] of soul like bear bereaved [of her cubs] in the field. And your father a man war and he will not lodge the night with the people.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    For said Hushai to Absalom. You know well that your father and his servants are mighty men, and they are furious as a bear that devours the prey in the field; moreover, your father is a man of war, and will not spend the night with the people.

Septuagint (Greek)                And Hushai said, You know your father and his men, that they are very mighty, and bitter in their spirit, as a bereaved bear in the field, and as a wild boar in the plain; and your father is a man of war, and will not give the people rest.

 

Significant differences:           There is an additional phrase in the Latin that are with him, which is not in the Hebrew. The Syriac gives a different sense to the rage of the bear and the Greek adds in another phrase after the bear.

 

The final phrase of the Greek is an entirely different sense than is found in the Hebrew (or in the other ancient languages).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           You know that your father and his men are warriors," he continued, "and they are as desperate as a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Your father is a seasoned fighter. He won't spend the night with his troops.

Contemporary English V.       You know that your father and his followers are real warriors. Right now they are as fierce as a mother bear whose cubs have just been killed. Besides, your father has a lot of experience in fighting wars, and he won't be spending the night with the others.

Easy English                          You know that your father and his men are strong men. They are fierce, like a mother bear when someone steals her baby bears. Also, your father is a skilled soldier. He will not stay with his soldiers at nigh.

Easy-to-Read Version            Hushai added, “You know that your father and his men are strong men. They are as dangerous as a wild bear when something has taken its babies. Your father is a skilled fighter. He will not stay {all night} with the people.

The Message                         You know your father and his men, brave and bitterly angry--like a bear robbed of her cubs. And your father is an experienced fighter; you can be sure he won't be caught napping at a time like this.

New Berkeley Version           Hushai went on, “You know your father and his troops; they are fine soldiers, besides being embittered in their minds like a bear that has been robbed of her cubs in the open. Furthermore, you father is an experienced fighter; he is not going to stop with the people for the night.

New Century Version             Hushai added, "You know your father and his men are strong. They are as angry as a bear that is robbed of its cubs. Your father is a skilled fighter. He won't stay all night with the army.

New Life Bible                        Hushai said, "You know your father and his men. They are powerful and angry, like a bear robbed of her young ones in the field. And your father is a very able man of war. He will not stay with the people during the night.

New Living Translation           You know your father and his men; they are mighty warriors. Right now they are as enraged as a mother bear who has been robbed of her cubs. And remember that your father is an experienced man of war. He won't be spending the night among the troops.

The Voice                               You know that your father and his men are hardened soldiers. Right now they're angry, like a bear that's been robbed of her cubs in the field. Also your father is such a wise warrior that he'll know he's our target. He won't sleep in the same camp with his people.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          For, you know your father and his men; they're very brave and strong, and they're as angry as a bear that has lost its cub in a field, or a wild boar that has been cornered. And your father is a warrior, so he would never sleep with his family.

Christian Community Bible     You know that your father and his men are warriors. When enraged, they are like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert enough in war not to spend the night with his men.

God’s Word                         "You know your father and his men. They are warriors as fierce as a wild bear whose cubs have been stolen. Your father is an experienced soldier. He will not camp with the troops tonight.

New American Bible (R.E.)    And he went on to say: "You know that your father and his men are warriors, and that they are as fierce as a bear in the wild robbed of her cubs. Moreover, since your father is a skilled fighter, he will not spend the night with the army.

NIRV                                      You know your father and his men. They are fighters. They are as strong as a wild bear whose cubs have been stolen from her. Besides, your father really knows how to fight. He won't spend the night with his troops. Hos 13:8.

New Jerusalem Bible             You know', Hushai went on, 'that your father and his men are great fighters and that they are now as angry as a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Your father is a man of war: he will not let the army rest during the night.

New Simplified Bible              You know your father and his followers are mighty warriors. They are as fierce as a mother bear whose cubs have just been killed. Your father has a lot of experience in fighting wars. He will not spend the night with the others.

Revised English Bible            You know’, he went on, ‘that your father and the men with him are hardened warriors and savage as a bear in the wilds robbed of her cubs. Your rather is an old campaigner and will not spend the night with the main body,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Hushai said, "You know your father and his men are mighty. They have bitter souls, as a bear with miscarriage in the field. Your father is a man of war and does not lodge with the people.

Bible in Basic English             Hushai said further, You have knowledge of your father and his men, that they are men of war, and that their feelings are bitter, like those of a bear in the field whose young ones have been taken from her: and your father is a man of war, and will not take his night's rest with the people;...

The Expanded Bible              Hushai added, "You know your father and his men are ·strong [L?mighty fighters/warriors]. They are as ·angry [fierce] as a bear that is robbed of its cubs. Your father is a ·skilled [experienced; expert] ·fighter [in war]. He won't stay all night with the ·army [troops].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 —Then Hushai continued,—“You know your father and the men who are with him, —that they are soldiers, and sore in mind like a bear robbed of her whelps in the field, and your father is a man of war, so will not lodge with the forces.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Bethink thee now, what brave warriors they are, thy father and the men he leads; how fierce in their anger, fierce as the she-bear that lurks in a wood, when her cubs have been taken away from her; thy father is a fighting man, he will not remain there among the common folk.

NET Bible®                             Hushai went on to say, "You know your father and his men - they are soldiers and are as dangerous as a bear out in the wild that has been robbed of her cubs [The LXX (with the exception of the recensions of Origen and Lucian) repeats the description as follows: "Just as a female bear bereft of cubs in a field."]. Your father is an experienced soldier; he will not stay overnight with the army.

NIV – UK                                You know your father and his men; they are fighters, and as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Besides, your father is an experienced fighter; he will not spend the night with the troops.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           You know," continued Hushai, "that your father and his men are powerful men, and that they are as bitter as a bear deprived of her cubs in the wild. Moreover, your father is a military man, and he won't camp with the rest of the people -...

exeGeses companion Bible   For, says Hushay,

you know your father and his men are mighty;

and bitter of soul as a bereft bear in the field:

and your father is a man of war

and stays not overnight with the people.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           For, said Chushai, thou knowest Avicha and his anashim, that they be Gibborim, and they be enraged in their nefesh, as a dov (bear) robbed of her cubs in the sadeh; and Avicha is ish milchamah, and will not spend the night with HaAm (the troops).


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

English Standard Version      Hushai said, "You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people.

Green’s Literal Translation    And Hushai said, You have known your father and his men, that they are mighty men. And they are bitter of soul, like a bear bereaved of cubs in the field. And your father is a man of war, and shall not stay the night with the people.

New RSV                               Hushai continued, `You know that your father and his men are warriors, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the troops.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Verses 8:-10: Sabotage of Plan Ahithophel}

"Furthermore", Hushai advised, "you know . . . your father and his army . . . that they are great soldiers, and they have a ferocious mental attitude . . . like a {mother} bear deprived of her cubs in the bush. And your father is a 'professional soldier'/'man of war', and will not bivouac with the {fleeing and frightened} civilians.

Updated Webster Trans.        For, said Hushai, you knowest your father and his men, that they [are] mighty men, and they [are] chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and your father [is] a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.

World English Bible                Hushai said moreover, You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are fierce in their minds, as a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.

Young’s Updated LT             And Hushai says, “You have known your father and his men, that they are heroes, and they are bitter in soul as a bereaved bear in a field, and your father [is] a man of war, and does not lodge with the people.

 

The gist of this verse:          Hushai points out that David and his men are experienced soldiers and right now, they are as unpredictable and dangerous as a bear who has had her cubs taken from her. Furthermore, David would not stay the night with the troops.


The presentation of Ahithophel’s plan, as you will recall, lacked the wâw conjunctions that we would have expected. However, when Hushai speaks, every phrase is preceded by a conjunction of some sort. My guess would be that Hushai is thinking on his feet and each conjunction simply represents a new thought. Furthermore, each conjunction gives him an additional second to think about the answer that he is giving.


Now, there is certainly the possibility that Hushai, when called upon, has spent the time it takes to get to Absalom (20 minute to an hour) thinking about why he is being called and what advice Ahithophel might have given Absalom. So he may have an idea. He may have even asked the couriers who came for him—of, if they were tight-lipped, pumped them for knowledge.


Whatever the case, the structure of the two men’s sentences is much different. Ahithophel’s was unusual and could suggest that Ahithophel was excited to give his plan, or that he was originally from a different country and Hebrew was his second language; Hushai’s way of speaking here is much more common.


2Samuel 17:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (וַ) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore, consequently; because

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

Chûwshay (חוּשַי) [pronounced khoo-SHAH-ee]

to make haste, to hurry; transliterated Hushai

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2365 BDB #302

ʾattâh (אַתָּה) [pronounced aht-TAW]

you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine singular, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

yâdaʿ (יָדַע) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know, to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to become acquainted with, to know by experience, to have a knowledge of something; to see; to learn; to recognize [admit, acknowledge, confess]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾâb (אָב)[pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: Hushai also said, “You know your father... Hushai speaks directly to Absalom, and he tells him, “You know what kind of a man your father is.” But Absalom really doesn’t. David, as an errant father, did not spend enough time with any of his children, allowing his children to be raised by their mothers as wards of the state. Hushai knows this, but he appeals to Absalom directly in this way.


Absalom knows his father by reputation and by some of his recent actions which were deplorable (not making a good decision on Amnon at the very beginning), but he really does not know his father.


As mentioned before, none of David’s sons are soldiers; and it is likely that most of them (if not all of them) never spent a day out in the field with David’s army under David or under Joab. So, Absalom does not know his father; and he does not know his father as a warrior.


However, this puts Ahithophel is a bad position. He cannot just interject and say, “Well, David is not like that.” Then he is claiming to know more of about David than David’s own son the king. Furthermore, Ahithophel cannot object to anything unless it is a blatant lie that someone else can affirm as being a lie. So Ahithophel can give this enough coloring to not state an out-and-out falsehood, but to help show that Ahithophel’s advice is not good.


2Samuel 17:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ʾănâshîym (אֲנָשִים) [pronounced uh-NAW-sheem]; also spelled ʾîyshîym (אִישִים) [pronounced ee-SHEEM]

men; inhabitants, citizens; companions; soldiers, followers

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation: ...and [your know] his men,... Again, Absalom does not know David’s soldiers. He probably never endured the real hardship of war; he did not really know how tough these men really are. But Hushai pushes his buttons. “Sure, you know your father and his men...” If anyone should know David and his army, it ought to be his own sons; but Absalom cannot speak up and say, “I really don’t know any of these men. I’ve never been in my father’s army before.”


2Samuel 17:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

gibbôwr (גִּבּוֹר) [pronounced gib-BOAR]

strong man, mighty man, soldier, warrior, combatant, veteran

masculine singular noun/adjective

Strong’s #1368 BDB #150

hêmmâh (הֵמָּה) [pronounced haym-mawh]

they, those; themselves; these [with the definite article]

3rd person masculine plural personal pronoun

Strong’s #1992 BDB #241


Translation: ...that they [are] mighty men... This is quite obvious, that David’s men are great soldiers; they are warriors. They are seasoned veterans. How they feel at this moment is something else indeed, because, in the past, they had defended Israel and their families from enemies without. This was something entirely different.


2Samuel 17:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mar (מַר) [pronounced mahr]

bitter, bitterness; sad, sorrowful; fierce, vehement, powerful, raging

adjective/ substantive; masculine plural construct

Strong’s #4751 BDB #600

The final 4 words are suspect, in my opinion, as to being accurate translations for this word.

nephesh (נֶפֶש) [pronounced NEH-fesh]

soul, life, living being; breath; mind; desire, volition; will

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #5315 BDB #659

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

dôwb (דּוֹב or דֹּב) [pronounced dohbv]

bear

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1677 BDB #179

shakkûwl (שַכּוּל or שַכֻּל) [pronounced shahk-KOOL]

 childless; barren; bereaved [robbed] of children [cubs]

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #7909 BDB #1014

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

sâdeh (שָׂדֶה) [pronounced saw-DEH]

field, land, country, open field, open country

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7704 BDB #961


Translation: ...and [they are] bitter of soul, [just] like a bear bereaved [of her cubs] in the field. Ahithophel painted one picture of David, that he is weary, tired, exhausted; wearisome and he is weak-handed; both hands hanging down; discouraged, feeble, weak. These things are true, given his situation; and he is on a forced march out of Jerusalem. However, Ahithophel paints a different picture of David and his men. The word used here generally means bitter, bitterness. In fact, these or similar words are used in the KJV 34 of the 38 times this word occurs. Some of the additional definitions given here are, quite frankly, suspect.


With what has come to pass, David and his men are bitter; and you must realize that these are men who have risked their lives to preserve and protect Israel, and they have all been pushed out, so bitter is a reasonable descriptor.


Then Hushai adds the additional description, of being like a bear in the woods who has been bereaved of her cubs. This makes them very dangerous and unpredictable. Bitterness can lead men to do a number of different things; some men, when they are bitter, they become despondent. But others—David and his men—can become dangerous and unpredictable.

 

Clarke gives us quite a graphic description of this: [This is] A remarkable account of maternal affection in a she-bear: “In the year 1772, the Seahorse frigate and Carcass bomb, under the command of the Hon. Captain C. J. Phipps, afterwards Lord Mulgrave, were sent on a voyage of discovery to the north seas. In this expedition the late celebrated admiral Lord Nelson served as midshipman. While the Carcass lay locked in the ice, early one morning, the man at the masthead gave notice that three bears were making their way very fast over the frozen sea, and were directing their course towards the ship. They had no doubt been invited by the scent of some blubber of a seahorse that the crew had killed a few days before, which had been set on fire, and was burning on the ice at the time of their approach. They proved to be a she-bear and her two cubs, but the cubs were nearly as large as the dam. They ran eagerly to the fire, and drew out from the flames part of the flesh of the seahorse that remained unconsumed, and ate voraciously. The crew from the ship threw great lumps of flesh of the seahorse, which they had still left upon the ice, which the old bear fetched away singly, laid every lump before her cubs as she brought it, and dividing it, gave each a share, reserving but a small portion to herself. As she was fetching away the last piece, they levelled their muskets at the cubs, and shot them both dead; and in her retreat they wounded the dam, but not mortally. It would have drawn tears of pity from any but unfeeling minds, to have marked the affectionate concern expressed by this poor beast in the dying moments of her expiring young. Though she was sorely wounded, and could but just crawl to the place where they lay, she carried the lump of flesh she had fetched away, as she had done the others before, tore it in pieces and laid it down before them; and when she saw that they refused to eat, she laid her paws first upon one, and then upon the other, and endeavored to raise them up; all this while it was piteous to hear her moan. When she found she could not move them, she went off; and being at some distance, looked back and moaned. This not availing to entice them away, she returned, and smelling around them, began to lick their wounds. She went off a second time, as before; and having crawled a few paces, looked again behind her, and for some time stood moaning. But still her cubs not rising to follow her, she returned to them again, and with signs of inexpressible fondness went round one, and round the other, pawing them and moaning. Finding at last that they were cold and lifeless, she raised her head towards the ship, and growled a curse upon the murderers, which they returned with a volley of musket balls. She fell between her cubs, and died licking their wounds.” Had this animal got among the destroyers of her young, she would have soon shown what was implied in the chafed mind of a bear robbed of her whelps. Footnote


2Samuel 17:8e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâb (אָב)[pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe; founder, civil leader, military leader

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular construct (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536


Translation: And [you know that] your father is a man of war... Again, Hushai speaks directly to Absalom, saying, “You know your father is a man of war.” Now, lately, David has not been much of a man of war, with the exception of going to Ammon with Joab to do the final military operations. Joab has been the one to oversee David’s army. In fact, David apparently went on an extended spring break with regards to Bathsheba (and, you will recall, that we did not know how long this general behavior went on).


However, it is unquestionable that, for most of David’s career, he was a man of war—and everyone in the room knows this, but Hushai is saying this to Absalom—probably the only one in the room who does not know that much about David, his father.


2Samuel 17:8f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

lûwn (לוּן) [pronounced loon]

to cause to lodge, to cause to pass the night, to cause to spend the night; to be stubborn; to murmur or complain [as a stubborn person would]

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3885 BDB #533

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766


Translation: ...and he will not spend the night with the people. And then here is a bit of information that we have never heard before—and we do not even know if it is true. David, when at war, separates himself from his army. This has never been mentioned before in Scripture, so we do not know if Hushai is just making this up on the spot or if he is revealing to Absalom and the room and great secret of David’s.


The idea is, Ahithophel’s plan to suddenly come upon the army and to scatter them, and leave David there alone would not work, because David won’t be right there with his army. David is smart enough not to stay with his army; and that would be even more true in this situation, as the men who are with David support him specifically. If David is dead, then they have no more reason to war against Absalom.


Let’s suppose for the moment that Hushai is just making this up—isn’t he afraid to be called on this? Not necessarily. In previous wars, David would not have been a target, because these armies threatened Israel; but in this revolution, he is the only true target. Therefore, Hushai’s assertion could very well be true for this situation alone; or, if need be, Hushai could sell it as such.


In any case, Hushai is putting information out there—whether true or false—which was not known in that room. Hushai is saying, “Well, now, Absalom, you know this about your father...” when he really knows very little about the specifics his father going to war.


It also has another psychological affect—if Absalom does not question Hushai’s explanation that his father lodges away from the men—then who is the room is going to dispute this. Absalom ought to know this but he certainly does not.


This also calls into question Ahithophel’s advice. If David does not spent the night somewhere with his army, then Ahithophel’s plan cannot not work.


Like earlier in this verse, Hushai emphasizes Absalom’s supposed knowledge of his father by using the 2nd person masculine singular suffix.


Let’s take this verse as a whole: Hushai then added, “You know your father and his men—that they men are warriors and they are bitter right now, like a bear bereaved of her cubs in the field. Furthermore, your father is an experienced man of war and he knows not to spend the night in the midst of the people. Absalom cannot dispute any of what is being said because he really does not know anything about his father. And Ahithophel cannot jump in there and say, “That’s not right;” because it is close enough to the truth. Nothing that Hushai is saying is false, per se; and the final assertion appears to be a little nugget that Hushai threw in there, true or not.


If I was to make a guess, at this point in David’s retreat from Jerusalem, he has not thought to do this. He is making very good decisions, but it does not appear that he is sleeping somewhere else apart from his personal army.


However, let me also point out that Ahithophel probably had a contingency plan; and was ready to kill every last soldier with David, if necessary to get to David. However, he saw no reason to share this with Absalom, because, when laying out his plan, Ahithophel did not have to give details—his was the only plan under consideration.


——————————


Behold now, he [even] he has been hidden in one of the pits or in one of the places. And he has been as a falling in them in the first and has heard the hearer and he has said ‘Has been a slaughter in the people who follow Absalom.’

2Samuel

17:9

Listen, he has [certainly] now been hidden in one of the pits or in some other [lit., a certain] place. And it has been when [there is] a falling upon them in the first [battle], that a messenger [lit., hearer] will hear and then announce, ‘A slaughter has occurred among the people who follow Absalom.’

Listen, even now, your father has certainly hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And it will be when there is a surprise attack at first contact, then a messenger will announce, ‘A slaughter has occurred among the people who follow Absalom.’


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          Perhaps he now lies hidden in pits, or in some other place where he lies: and when any one shall fall at the first, every one that hears it shall say: There is a slaughter among the people that followed Absalom.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Behold now, he [even] he has been hidden in one of the pits or in one of the places. And he has been as a falling in them in the first and has heard the hearer and he has said ‘Has been a slaughter in the people who follow Absalom.’

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Behold now, he has hidden in one of the countries or in some other place; and when we attack them according to the first counsel, then the rumor will spread that there has been a great slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.

Septuagint (Greek)                For behold, he is now hidden in one of the hills or in some other place; and it shall come to pass when he falls upon them at the beginning, that someone will certainly hear, and say, There has been a slaughter among the people that follow after Absalom.

 

Significant differences:           Although the Latin and Hebrew have David hiding in some pit, the Syriac has him off in some country and the Greek has him in the hills.

 

The English translation from the Syriac has according to the first counsel rather than a reference to someone who hears what happens and then transmits it.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Even now he has probably hidden himself in one of the caves or some other place. When some of the troops [LXX] fall in the first attack, whoever hears it will say, `The soldiers who follow Absalom have been defeated!'

Contemporary English V.       He has probably already found a hiding place in a cave or somewhere else. As soon as anyone hears that some of your soldiers have been killed, everyone will think your whole army has been destroyed.

Easy English                          He has probably already hidden in a cave or some other place. David will attack your soldiers first. Then everyone will hear about it. They will say, "Many of Absalom's men are now dead."

Easy-to-Read Version            He is probably already hiding in a cave or some other place. If your father attacks your men first, then people will hear the news. And they will think, ‘Absalom’s followers are losing!’

Good News Bible (TEV)         Right now he is probably hiding in a cave or some other place. As soon as David attacks your men, whoever hears about it will say that your men have been defeated.

The Message                         Even while we're talking, he's probably holed up in some cave or other. If he jumps your men from ambush, word will soon get back, 'A slaughter of Absalom's army!'

New Century Version             He is probably already hiding in a cave or some other place. If the first attack fails, people will hear the news and think, `Absalom's followers are losing!'

New Life Bible                        He has now hidden himself in one of the caves, or in another place. When some of the people are killed in the first battle, whoever hears it will say, 'There have been many people killed who follow Absalom.'

New Living Translation           He has probably already hidden in some pit or cave. And when he comes out and attacks and a few of your men fall, there will be panic among your troops, and the word will spread that Absalom's men are being slaughtered.

The Voice                               He's probably hidden in a cave or some other hole where he will be hard to find. When our troops start dying in the first attack, everyone will say, "Absalom's men are being slaughtered."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          Look, he's hiding in the hills or somewhere else. So, when the attack begins, he'll hear it and say, AbSalom's people are attacking.

God’s Word                         He has already hidden in one of the ravines or some other place. If some of our soldiers are killed in the initial attack, others will definitely hear about it and say, 'The troops that support Absalom have been defeated.'

New American Bible (R.E.)    Even now he lies hidden in one of the caves or in one of his other places. And if some of our soldiers should fall at the first attack, whoever hears of it will say, `Absalom's followers have been slaughtered.'

NIRV                                      In fact, he's probably hiding in a cave or some other place right now.

"Suppose he attacks your troops first. When people hear about it, they'll say, `Many of the troops who followed Absalom have been killed.'.

New Jerusalem Bible             At this moment he is concealed in some hollow or other place. If at the outset there are casualties among our troops, word will go round that the army supporting Absalom has met with disaster.

New Simplified Bible              »He has no doubt already found a hiding place in a cave or somewhere else. When people hear that some of your soldiers have been killed, everyone will think your entire army has been destroyed.

Revised English Bible            ...even now he will be lying hidden in a pit or in some such place. Then if any of your men are killed at the outset, whoever hears the news will say, “Disaster has overtaken Absalom’s followers.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      Behold, now he conceals in one of the sinkholes, or in one of the places. Those falling in the beginning will be ||hearing|| it said, 'A plague is with the people after Absalom!'

Bible in Basic English             But he will certainly have taken cover now in some hole or secret place; and if some of our people, at the first attack, are overcome, then any hearing of it will say, There is destruction among the people who are on Absalom's side.

The Expanded Bible              He is probably already hiding in a cave or ·some other place [Lpit; hollow]. ·If the first attack fails [LWhen some of our men fall at the first attack], people will hear the news and think, `Absalom's followers are ·losing [being slaughtered]!'

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 —He will hide in some cave or in some tower. And it may be we might miss him by accident, and it will be heard of, and said, ‘There has been a defeat of the people who are following Absalom!’

New Advent (Knox) Bible       No, by now he is hidden in some pit under ground, or some other vantage-point. A few deaths among his pursuers, and the word will go round, Absalom's followers are routed!

NET Bible®                             At this very moment he is hiding out in one of the caves or in some other similar place. If it should turn out that he attacks our troops first [Heb "that he falls on them [i.e., Absalom's troops] at the first [encounter]; or "that some of them [i.e., Absalom's troops] fall at the first [encounter]."], whoever hears about it will say, `Absalom's army has been slaughtered!'


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           ...right now he's hidden in a pit or somewhere. So what will happen is this: when they begin their attack, and whoever hears about it says, 'A slaughter is taking place among Avshalom's followers,'...

exeGeses companion Bible   Behold, even now he hides in one of the pits

or in one of the places:

and so be it,

when some of them fall at the beginning,

that in hearing, a hearer says,

There is a plague among the people

who go after Abi Shalom;...

Judaica Press Complete T.    Behold, now he is surely hidden in one of the pits or one of the places; and it will come to pass, if there fall among them at the first, then someone will hear it and say, 'There has been a massacre among the people that are behind Absalom.'

Orthodox Jewish Bible           Hinei, he is hid now in one of the pits, or in some other makom; and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the outset, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a magefah (slaughter) among the people that follow Avshalom.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                Behold, he is hidden even now in some pit or other place; and when some of them are overthrown at the first, whoever hears it will say, There is a slaughter among the followers of Absalom.

Concordant Literal Version    ...lo, now, he is hidden in one of the pits, or in one of the places, and it has been, at the falling among them at the commencement, that the hearer has heard, and said, There has been a slaughter among the people who [are] after Absalom;"...

English Standard Version      Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall [Or And as he falls on them] at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, 'There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.'

Green’s Literal Translation    Behold, now he is hidden in one of the pits, or in one of the places. And it shall be, at the falling among them at the beginning, that whoever hears even shall say, There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.

Syndein/Thieme                     Behold/Now . . . he {David} has concealed himself {chaba' - Niphal tense} in some cave or other strategic position. {Note: Chaba' means to conceal for the purpose of 'aggressive offense' not defense. Hushai is counseling that David is without mercy. He will use the civilians as bait. When Absalom attacks the column, David and his men will hit them from surprise and they will not know what hit them!} So, it will come to pass {continuation of historical sequence}, when he ambushes them in the first attack {Idiom: literally: 'according to the falling among them first'}, then who ever hears the news will say, "There has been a great slaughter among the troops who follow Absalom." {Note: Hushai is saying it would be disastrous for the revolution if they lose the first battle. Next, the principle is "weak men in power rely on 'public opinion' instead of their own good judgment".}.

World English Bible                Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will happen, when some of them are fallen at the first, that whoever hears it will say, There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.

Young’s Updated LT             Lo, now, he is hidden in one of the pits, or in one of the places, and it has been, at the falling among them at the commencement, that the hearer has heard, and said, There has been a slaughter among the people who are after Absalom.

 

The gist of this verse:          Hushai suggests that already, David is hidden away where he cannot be found; and if, upon first contact, any of Absalom’s soldiers are killed, it will be noised abroad that there has been a slaughter among the people (referring to Absalom’s people).


2Samuel 17:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hinnêh (הִנֵּה) [pronounced hin-NAY]

lo, behold, or more freely, observe, look here, look, listen, note, take note; pay attention, get this, check this out

interjection, demonstrative particle

Strong’s #2009 (and #518, 2006) BDB #243

This seems to attempt to take others and put them in the place of the person saying this (so that they see the same thing); or to grab the attention of the reader. From the many times I have seen this word used in a narrative, I believe that we may update the translation to, he observed [that]. This goes along with the idea that this word is to cause us to see things from the viewpoint of someone in the narrative.

ʿattâh (עַתָּה) [pronounced ģaht-TAWH]

now, at this time, already

adverb of time

Strong’s #6258 BDB #773

hûwʾ (הוּא) [pronounced hoo]

he, it; himself as a demonstrative pronoun: that, this (one); same

3rd person masculine singular, personal pronoun; sometimes the verb to be, is implied

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

châbâʾ (חָבָא) [pronounced khawb-VAW]

to hide onself; to lie hiding; [fleeing away] secretly

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #2244 BDB #285

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾechâd (אֶחָד) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; each, every; but it can also mean a composite unity; possibly particular; anyone

numeral adjective; construct form

Strong's #259 BDB #25

ʾEchâd can function like an indefinite article, and be rendered a certain [person, place or thing]. ʾEchâd can be used elliptically to mean one time, once.

pachath (פַּחַת) [pronounced PAHKH-ahth]

pit, hole

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6354 BDB #809

ʾôw (אוֹ) [pronounced oh]

or, or rather, otherwise, also, and; if, perchance; except, or else; whether, not the least

conjunction

Strong's #176 BDB #14

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʾechâd (אֶחָד) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; each, every; but it can also mean a composite unity; possibly particular; anyone

numeral adjective; construct form

Strong's #259 BDB #25

ʾEchâd can function like an indefinite article, and be rendered a certain [person, place or thing]. ʾEchâd can be used elliptically to mean one time, once.

mâqôwm (מָקוֹם) [pronounced maw-KOHM]

place, situated; for a soldier, it may mean where he is stationed; for people in general, it would be their place of abode (which could be their house or their town)

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #4725 BDB #879


Translation: Listen, he has [certainly] now been hidden in one of the pits or in some other [lit., a certain] place. Hushai begins to explain what the reality on the ground is, and what will happen with Ahithophel’s plan. First of all, David is not going to be found among his men. He might be in a pit or some other place, but he will not be found to begin with. Recall that Ahithophel’s plan was to send David’s soldiers on the run, close in on David, and kill him alone. If Ahithophel cannot find David, then his plan would suddenly go to crap.


According to Hushai, Ahithophel’s plan will fail at the beginning, because David might not be found anywhere around. His initial attack may not turn up David. David might even stay out of the early fighting. Again, we do not know if this is true; it does not appear to be; but no one challenges Hushai, in part, because he is speaking directly to Absalom, continuing to say things like, “Well, you know your father.” The last thing that Absalom can say is, “No, I really don’t know him.” If Absalom has taken up arms against his own father, then he must know him well enough to do so.


Absalom simply makes a personal judgment call at this point. If he was on the run, and there were thousands of men coming to kill him, he would hide from them really well. Absalom is all about self-protection. Therefore, he judges his father the same way, which is wrong. We will later find out that David’s own troops will implore David to go hide, although David wants to stand and fight (2Sam. 18:3–4). David would love to go down fighting, and those with him recognize that the revolution is successful if David is killed.


2Samuel 17:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

I would have expected to find the bêyth preposition here (which looks very similar).

nâphal (נָפַל) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to fall, to lie, to die a violent death, to be brought down, to settle, to sleep deeply; to desert

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

The infinitive construct with the kaph preposition is very similar to its use with the bêyth preposition. Generally, this is seen as a temporal clause, where the preposition is translated when, as, just as, as soon as. Footnote

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

techillâh (תְּחִלָּה) [pronounced te-khil-LAW]

beginning, first, in the beginning; previously, prior to; at the commencement of

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8462 BDB #321


Translation: And it has been when [there is] a falling upon them in the first [battle],... Although Ahithophel suggests a strike force of 12,000, which is more than adequate, Hushai is giving a different outcome. There will be an initial battle; it will not be over suddenly, as Ahithophel has suggested. Remember that David’s soldiers are like a bear in the woods bereaved of her cubs, so they are bitter and unpredictable. There will be a violent push-back at the first attack against them. Remember, Ahithophel suggested that they would be sent running instead. Hushai says, they will stand and fight. He warns that in the initial battle, it is David’s soldiers that may fall upon Ahithophel’s. That is, they might be waiting for them and attack first.


All Hushai knows for certain is that David and these soldiers are on the run, leaving Jerusalem. He knows that David is relatively clear-headed, because he immediately suggested a spy network, which was brilliant. But Hushai is exaggerating David’s response to an attack by Ahithophel.


2Samuel 17:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shâmaʿ (שָמַע) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen [intently], to hear, to listen and obey, [or, and act upon, give heed to, take note of], to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and be cognizant of

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

shâmaʿ (שָמַע) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

the hearer, the listener; the one being attentive to; to one taking cognizance of; hearing, listening; being attentive

Qal active participle with the definite article

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033


Translation: ...that a messenger [lit., hearer] will hear... The hearer here is someone designated by David to keep track of what is going on (there are probably several of these men), and if something occurs, they will go to David immediately and tell him exactly what is going on.


It is also possible that this is a person who simply pays attention to what is occurring and he reports this as news, so to speak. So there may be several like this. There were newsmen in this day.


2Samuel 17:9d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

maggêphâh (מַגֵּפָה) [pronounced mahg-gay-FAW]

a blow, a slaughter, plague, pestilence

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4046 BDB #620

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʾachărêy (אַחֲרֵי) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

behind, after; following; after that, afterwards; hinder parts

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

ʾĂbîyshâlôwm (אֲבִישָלוֹם) [pronounced ub-ee-shaw-LOHM]

my father is peace and is transliterated Absalom

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #53 BDB #5


Translation: ...and then announce, ‘A slaughter has occurred among the people who follow Absalom.’ He will announce (presumably to the cities about) that there was a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.


If the hearer can refer to several people, then they will tell others (say, at the entry gate of the cities) that there has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom. If this is the case, Absalom does not want this kind of information spread across the land. Recall that Absalom became king, in part, by acting the part and by having men all over Israel stand in the midst of the city and cry out, “Absalom is king in Hebron.” If this first battle against David does not go well, that is also going to be noised abroad. This would be a serious problem with Ahithophel’s plan.


You will note that Hushai’s talk here is considerably longer that Ahithophel’s; and he paints a very plausible picture of the response of David’s troops. The elders who are there with Absalom can visualize this. Hushai has painted a picture where Absalom can see these early newscasters going about saying, “David’s army has inflicted serious casualties on Absalom’s army.” Once this picture is painted in Absalom’s mind, and in the minds of the elders, then it will be difficult for them to want to go with Ahithophel’s plan.


The entire verse reads: Listen, he has [certainly] now been hidden in one of the pits or in some other [lit., a certain] place. And it has been when [there is] a falling upon them in the first [battle], that a messenger [lit., hearer] will hear and then announce, ‘A slaughter has occurred among the people who follow Absalom.’ Dictators hate bad press and many seek to control the news that goes out there. The last thing that Absalom needs is people who hear this initial conflict and go out there telling about it to anyone who will listen (and everyone will be interested in this news). Potentially, in the first battle, Absalom could appear weak and this news might go out to everyone.


Application: During several of the early years that Barack Obama was president, he and his staff attacked Fox News, saying that they were