Ziba, by False Suggestions, Claims His Master's
1. Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met
him—This crafty man, anticipating the certain failure of
Absalom's conspiracy, took steps to prepare for his future advancement
on the restoration of the king.
a bottle of wine—a large goatskin
vessel. Its size made the supply of wine proportioned to the rest of
2. The asses be for the king's household to ride
on—The royal fugitives were moving on foot, not from
inability to procure conveyances, but as being suitable to their
present state of humiliation and penitence.
3. To-day shall the house of Israel restore me the
kingdom of my father—Such a hope might not unnaturally arise
at this period of civil distraction, that the family of David would
destroy themselves by their mutual broils, and the people reinstate the
old dynasty. There was an air of plausibility in Ziba's story. Many, on
whom the king had conferred favors, were now deserting him. No wonder,
therefore, that in the excitement of momentary feeling, believing, on
the report of a slanderer, Mephibosheth to be among the number, he
pronounced a rash and unrighteous judgment by which a great injury was
inflicted on the character and interests of a devoted friend.
2Sa 16:5-19. Shimei Curses
5-12. when king David came to Bahurim—a
city of Benjamin (2Sa 3:16; 19:16). It is, however, only the confines of
the district that are here meant.
Shimei, … a man of the family of
Saul—The misfortune of his family, and the occupation by
David of what they considered their rightful possessions, afforded a
natural, if not a justifiable cause for this ebullition of rude insults
and violence. He upbraided David as an ambitious usurper, and charged
him, as one whose misdeeds had recoiled upon his own head, to surrender
a throne to which he was not entitled. His language was that of a man
incensed by the wrongs that he conceived had been done to his house.
David was guiltless of the crime of which Shimei accused him; but his
conscience reminded him of other flagrant iniquities; and he,
therefore, regarded the cursing of this man as a chastisement from
heaven. His answer to Abishai's proposal evinced the spirit of deep and
humble resignation—the spirit of a man who watched the course of
Providence, and acknowledged Shimei as the instrument of God's
chastening hand. One thing is remarkable, that he acted more
independently of the sons of Zeruiah in this season of great distress
than he could often muster courage to do in the days of his prosperity
13. went along on the hill's side over against
him—as he descended the rough road on the eastern side of the
Mount of Olives, "went along on the hill's side"—literally, "the
rib of the hill."
threw stones at him—as a mark of
contempt and insult.
cast dust—As if to add insult to
injury, clouds of dust were thrown by this disloyal subject in the path
of his unfortunate sovereign.
14. refreshed themselves there—that is,
in the city of Bahurim.
15-19. Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the
king—Hushai's devotion to David was so well-known, that his
presence in the camp of the conspirators excited great surprise.
Professing, however, with great address, to consider it his duty to
support the cause which the course of Providence and the national will
had seemingly decreed should triumph, and urging his friendship for the
father as a ground of confidence in his fidelity to the son, he
persuaded Absalom of his sincerity, and was admitted among the
councillors of the new king.
2Sa 16:20-23. Ahithophel's
20. Give counsel among you what we shall
do—This is the first cabinet council on record, although the
deference paid to Ahithophel gave him the entire direction of the
21. Ahithophel said unto Absalom—This
councillor saw that now the die was cast; half measures would be
inexpedient. To cut off all possibility of reconciliation between the
king and his rebellious son, he gave this atrocious advice regarding
the treatment of the royal women who had been left in charge of the
palace. Women, being held sacred, are generally left inviolate in the
casualties of war. The history of the East affords only one parallel to
this infamous outrage of Absalom.