|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:21-29 Observe the aggravations of Absalom's sin: he would have Ammon slain, when least fit to go out of the world. He engaged his servants in the guilt. Those servants are ill-taught who obey wicked masters, against God's commands. Indulged children always prove crosses to godly parents, whose foolish love leads them to neglect their duty to God.
Verse 23. - Absalom had sheep shearers in Baal-hazor. The sheep shearing was a usual occasion for feasting and holiday keeping (see 1 Samuel 25:2, 8). Baal-hazor was apparently the name of Absalom's estate, situated near the town Ephraim (2 Chronicles 13:19), which, according to Eusebius, lay about eight miles north of Jerusalem. As Ephraim was near the wilderness of Judah, it was probably the same town as that to which our Lord withdrew (John 11:54). The phrase beside, literally, near, Ephraim, shows that it must be the town, and not the tribal territory, which is here meant. Two full years; Hebrew, years of days.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass after two full years,.... Two complete years after the rape was committed; so long Absalom kept it in his mind, and was contriving how to avenge it; he let it alone so long, that it might be thought by the king and Amnon, and all the family, that it was quite worn out of his mind, and entirely forgotten by him, and therefore might the more safely confide in him:
that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim; though a prince, the son of a king, he had his flocks, and attended to the care of them, and had shearers to shear them at the proper time of the year, which it now was. The Chinese shear their sheep three times a year, the spring, summer, and autumn; but the first time of shearing yields the best wool (g). The place of shearing them was, no doubt, near where they were kept in Baalhazor, in the plain of Hazor, as the Targum, and so some versions; which was a city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:25; and near to Ephraim; not that it was a city in the tribe of Ephraim, as Josephus says (h); but it was near to another city called Ephraim, perhaps the same as in 2 Chronicles 13:19 and in John 11:54; it lay to the northeast of Jerusalem, as you go to Jericho, and is thought by Reland (i) to lie between Bethel and Jericho; and, according to Eusebius (k), it was eight miles from Jerusalem; though Jerom (l), through mistake, says twenty; and both these places, according to Bunting (m), were eight miles from Jerusalem; it seems to be the same place that was spoken of in the Misnah (n), called Ephraim in the valley, and which is said to be the second place in the land of Israel for fine flour, and might have its name from its fruitfulness:
and Absalom invited all the king's sons; to the sheepshearing: that is, to the feast which was usually made at such times, and still is; see Genesis 38:12.
(g) Semedo's History of China, part 1. ch. 3.((h) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 8. sect. 2.((i) Palestina Illustrat. tom. 1. p. 377. (k) Apud Reland, ib. & p. 490. & tom. 2. p. 765. (l) De loc. Heb. fol. 91. A. (m) Travels, &c. p. 143, 363. (n) Menachot, c. 8. sect. l.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23-27. Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim—A sheep-shearing feast is a grand occasion in the East. Absalom proposed to give such an entertainment at his estate in Baal-hazor, about eight miles northeast of Jerusalem near a town called Ephraim (Jos 11:10). He first invited the king and his court; but the king declining, on account of the heavy expense to which the reception of royalty would subject him [2Sa 13:25], Absalom then limited the invitation to the king's sons [2Sa 13:26], which David the more readily agreed to, in the hope that it might tend to the promotion of brotherly harmony and union.
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