2 Samuel 13:23
And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheep shearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Absalom had sheepshearers.—Absalom had now silently nourished his revenge for “two full years.” No doubt he chose also to give full opportunity for his father to punish Amnon’s iniquity if he would; and by this long quiet waiting he so far disarmed suspicion that he was able to carry out his purpose. Sheepshearing always was, and still is, a time of feasting. (Comp. 1Samuel 25:2.) The situation of Baalhazor and of Ephraim are quite unknown, but Absalom’s property was probably not many miles from Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 13:23-25. After two full years — This circumstance of time is noted, as an aggravation of Absalom’s malice, which was so implacable; and as an act of policy, that both Amnon and David might more securely comply with his desires. Let the king and his servants go — He certainly did not wish the king to go; but invited him, to avoid all suspicion. He would not go, but blessed him — Gave him thanks for his invitation, and prayed God to bless him.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.Sheepshearing was always a time of feasting (marginal references). Baal-hazor is not known.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. After two full years: this circumstance of time is noted, partly as an aggravation of Absalom’s malice, which was so inveterate and implacable; and partly as an act of Absalom’s policy, that both Amnon and David might more securely comply with his desires, as being now free from all suspicion of revenge.

Absalom had sheep-shearers, according to the manner of those ancient times, when princes did not give themselves up to sloth and luxury, but spent their time and pains in some honest employment.

Ephraim; either, first, The city called Ephraim, or Ephrem, John 11:54. Or, secondly, The tribe of Ephraim, towards or nigh unto which this place was situate. 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.

And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and {k} Absalom invited all the king's sons.

(k) That is, to a banquet, thinking by it to fulfil his wicked purpose.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23–29. Absalom’s vengeance

23. Absalom had sheepshearers] Sheepshearing was and still is an occasion of festivity. Cp. 1 Samuel 25:7 ff.

Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim] Possibly Tell Asur, five miles north-east of Bethel, and two miles north-west of et-Taiyibeh, which is supposed to represent Ephraim. The preposition beside or near implies that Ephraim is here the name of a town not of the tribe territory. Cp. John 11:54.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. Amnon then called the boy who waited upon him, and ordered him to put out this person (the sister he had humbled), and to bolt the door behind her, so that it had the appearance of her having made a shameful proposal to him.
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