2 Samuel 14:11
Then said she, I pray you, let the king remember the LORD your God, that you would not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD lives, there shall not one hair of your son fall to the earth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) Let the king remember the Lord.—Having thus far succeeded, the crafty woman still further leads on the king to bind himself with the solemnity of an oath.

2 Samuel 14:11. Let the king remember the Lord thy God — In whose presence thou hast made me this promise, to stay the avenger of blood from causing any further destruction in my family. She intended to draw him thus distantly and insensibly into the obligation of an oath: and her address had the desired effect; for the king, to convince her of the integrity of his intentions, immediately answered, As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the ground.14:1-20 We may notice here, how this widow pleads God's mercy, and his clemency toward poor guilty sinners. The state of sinners is a state of banishment from God. God pardons none to the dishonour of his law and justice, nor any who are impenitent; nor to the encouragement of crimes, or the hurt of others.The iniquity be on me ... - Compare the principle in Genesis 9:5-6; Numbers 35:30-34. The woman therefore says, if there is any such guilt in sparing my son, may it rest upon me and my house, not on David and his throne. Compare 2 Samuel 3:28. The cunning speech of the woman extracted a more direct promise of protection from the king 2 Samuel 14:1. 9. the woman said … O king, the iniquity be on me—that is, the iniquity of arresting the course of justice and pardoning a homicide, whom the Goel was bound to slay wherever he might find him, unless in a city of refuge. This was exceeding the royal prerogative, and acting in the character of an absolute monarch. The woman's language refers to a common precaution taken by the Hebrew judges and magistrates, solemnly to transfer from themselves the responsibility of the blood they doomed to be shed, either to the accusers or the criminals (2Sa 1:16; 3:28); and sometimes the accusers took it upon themselves (Mt 27:25). Let the king remember the Lord thy God: the sense is, either, first, Make mention (as this Hebrew verb is oft rendered) of the name of the Lord thy God, to wit, in an oath, i.e. swear to me by God, that thou wilt protect me and my son against the revenger of blood; for so David did in compliance with this desire of hers. Only she was forced to express her mind in more general and ambiguous terms, because it had been presumption and rudeness for her in plain terms to desire the king’s oath, as if she durst not trust his word; yet withal she insinuates her meaning so plainly that the king understood it; and yet so handsomely and elegantly, that the king was much pleased with her wisdom, and thereby inclined to grant her request. Or, secondly, this, Remember the gracious nature of thy God, who is not too severe and rigorous to mark at all that is amiss, nor doth cut off every man-slayer, as appears from Num 35, and from the example of Cain, and from thyself, O king; though this she expresseth not, but only useth such words which she knew would give so wise and good a king occasion to reflect upon himself, and upon the goodness of God in sparing him, though a wilful murderer, that thereby he might be obliged to imitate God, in sparing the person whom she designed. Or, thirdly, this, Remember the Lord in whose presence thou hast made me this promise, and who will be a witness against thee, if thou breakest it.

That thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, Heb. lest the avenger of blood multiply to destroy, i. e. lest they cause one destruction to another, and add my surviving son to him who is slain already. Or, lest thou dost multiply avengers of blood to destroy, i. e. lest by thy connivance at their cruel and malicious proceedings against my son, thou dost encourage avengers of blood to the like furious practices, and thereby increase the number of that sort of men, and upon that pretence occasion multitudes of murders.

Lest they destroy my son; or, and let them not destroy my son; the future tense being put for the imperative mood, as is frequent.

There shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth, i. e. he shall not suffer the least damage. We have the same phrase used 1 Samuel 14:45 1 Kings 1:52 Acts 27:34: compare Matthew 10:30. Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the Lord thy God,.... Who is a God gracious and merciful, and imitate him in showing mercy to the distressed; pitying their case, having compassion upon them, and relieving them, as she hoped he would commiserate her case, and provide for the safety of her son. Some think she desires not only to give his word, but his oath, for her son's safety: "remember the Lord thy God"; i.e. make mention of him, as men do when they swear by him; swear to me by the Lord thy God:

that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son, or, "from multiplying the avenger of blood" (o); that there might not rise one after another to destroy her son: her meaning is, that the king would swear to her, and give out a general prohibition, an universal edict, that no one should slay her son; otherwise if only the avenger of blood that was next of kin was forbidden, others would rise up one after another, so that he would never be in safety:

and he said, as the Lord liveth; if she desired an oath, he granted her request, and swore by the living God:

there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth; so far shall his life be from being touched, or taken away, that the least hurt shall not be done him, as this proverbial expression signifies.

(o) "a multiplicando redemptorem sanguinis", Montanus; so the Tigurine version.

Then said she, I pray thee, let the king {f} remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

(f) Swear that they will not revenge the blood, which are many in number.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. let the king remember the Lord thy God] She presses for the further assurance of an oath in the name of God.

there shall not one hair, &c.] Cp. 1 Samuel 14:45; 1 Kings 1:52; Matthew 10:30; Luke 21:18; Acts 27:34.Verse 11. - I pray thee, let the king remember, etc. Thenius says that the woman plays well the part of a talkative gossip, but really she was using the skill for which Joab employed her in bringing the king to give her son a free pardon. Nothing short of this would serve Absalom, who already was so far forgiven as to be in no fear of actual punishment. It is remarkable that David does not hesitate finally to grant this without making further inquiry, though he must have known that a mother's pleas were not likely to be very impartial. Moreover, while in ver. 9 she had acknowledged that there might be a breach of the law in pardoning a murderer, she now appeals to the mercy of Jehovah, who had himself provided limits to the anger of the avenger of blood (see Numbers 35.). He had thus shown himself to be a God of equity, in whom mercy triumphed over the rigid enactments of law. The words which follow more exactly mean, "That the avenger of blood do not multiply destruction, and that they destroy not my son." Moved by this entreaty, the king grants her son full pardon, under the solemn guaranty of an oath. When the king asked her, "What aileth thee?" the woman described the pretended calamity which had befallen her, saying that she was a widow, and her two sons had quarrelled in the field; and as no one interposed, one of them had killed the other. The whole family had then risen up and demanded that the survivor should be given up, that they might carry out the avenging of blood upon him. Thus they sought to destroy the heir also, and extinguish the only spark that remained to her, so as to leave her husband neither name nor posterity upon the earth. The suffix attached to ויּכּו, with the object following ("he smote him, the other," 2 Samuel 14:6), may be explained from the diffuseness of the style of ordinary conversation (see at 1 Samuel 21:14). There is no reason whatever for changing the reading into יכּוּ, as the suffix ow, though unusual with verbs הל, is not without parallel; not to mention the fact that the plural יכּוּ is quite unsuitable. There is also quite as little reason for changing ונשׁמידה into וישׁמידוּ, in accordance with the Syriac and Arabic, as Michaelis and Thenius propose, on the ground that "the woman would have described her relatives as diabolically malicious men, if she had put into their mouths such words as these, 'We will destroy the heir also.' " It was the woman's intention to describe the conduct of the relations and their pursuit of blood-revenge in the harshest terms possible, in order that she might obtain help from the king. She begins to speak in her own name at the word וכבּוּ ("and so they shall quench and"), where she resorts to a figure, for the purpose of appealing to the heart of the king to defend her from the threatened destruction of her family, saying, "And so they shall quench the burning coal which is left." גּחלת is used figuratively, like τὸ ζώπυρον, the burning coal with which one kindles a fresh fire, to denote the last remnant. שׁוּם לבלתּי: "so as not to set," i.e., to preserve or leave name and remnant (i.e., posterity) to my husband.

This account differed, no doubt, from the case of Absalom, inasmuch as in his case no murder had taken place in the heat of a quarrel, and no avenger of blood demanded his death; so that the only resemblance was in the fact that there existed an intention to punish a murderer. But it was necessary to disguise the affair in this manner, in order that David might not detect her purpose, but might pronounce a decision out of pity for the poor widow which could be applied to his own conduct towards Absalom.

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