2 Samuel 14:29
Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
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(29) He would not come.—Joab felt that he had already gone far enough in procuring Absalom’s return, and, as he still continued under the displeasure of the king, he was not disposed to do anything more. Possibly also he thought Absalom should have shown some sign of penitence for his great crime.

2 Samuel 14:29. Absalom sent for Joab — This vain young man, whose only excellence seems to have been his singular beauty, weary with being so long detained in that confinement and obscurity, so mortifying to his pride, and so unfriendly to his popularity, sent a messenger to Joab, to desire to speak with him, in order to prevail upon him to solicit, by his intercession with the king, to be admitted to his presence. But he would not come to him — “The reader little versed in courts is apt to be surprised to see Joab so zealous to get Absalom recalled from exile, and afterward so cold and indifferent to have him re-established in his father’s favour. The truth is, when Joab had greatly gratified the king and gained credit with him, by bringing back Absalom to Jerusalem, he had little reason, as a minister, to be solicitous to bring him near the king’s person, and restore him to full favour; because, in that case, he might naturally apprehend that Absalom’s interest with his father might impair his own.”

14:28-33 By his insolent carriage toward Joab, Absalom brought Joab to plead for him. By his insolent message to the king, he gained his wishes. When parents and rulers countenance such characters, they will soon suffer the most fatal effects. But did the compassion of a father prevail to reconcile him to an impenitent son, and shall penitent sinners question the compassion of Him who is the Father of mercies?Three sons - These probably died in infancy (see the marginal reference). From Tamar must have been born Maachah, the mother of Abijah, and the favorite wife of Rehoboam 1 Kings 15:2; 2 Chronicles 11:20-22. 28. So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face—Whatever error David committed in authorizing the recall of Absalom, he displayed great prudence and command over his feelings afterwards—for his son was not admitted into his father's presence but was confined to his own house and the society of his own family. This slight severity was designed to bring him to sincere repentance, on perceiving that his father had not fully pardoned him, as well as to convince the people of David's abhorrence of his crime. Not being allowed to appear at court, or to adopt any state, the courtiers kept aloof; even his cousin did not deem it prudent to go into his society. For two full years his liberty was more restricted, and his life more apart from his countrymen while living in Jerusalem, than in Geshur; and he might have continued in this disgrace longer, had he not, by a violent expedient, determined (2Sa 14:30) to force his case on the attention of Joab, through whose kind and powerful influence a full reconciliation was effected between him and his father. To have sent him to the king; that by his mediation he might be admitted into the king’s favour and presence.

He would not come; partly, because perceiving David’s affections to be cold to Absalom, he would not venture his own interest for him, especially in desiring that which he feared he should be denied; partly, lest by interceding further for Absalom, he should revive the remembrance of his former murder, and meet with the reproach of one murderer’s interceding for another; and partly, because by converse with Absalom he observed his temper to be such, that if once he were fully restored to the king’s favour, he would not only eclipse and oppose Joab’s interest and power with the king, but also attempt high things, not without danger to the king and kingdom, as it happened.

Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king,.... To introduce him into his presence, being uneasy to be thus confined at his own house, and not suffered to come to court:

but he would not come to him; knowing the king's mind, and being unwilling to disoblige him by a troublesome solicitation:

and when he sent again the second time, he would not come; knowing his business with him; and perhaps between the first time of his sending and this he had sounded the king about it, and found it was not agreeable to him to admit him to access to him as yet.

Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
28–33. Absalom readmitted to David’s presence through Joab’s mediation

29. he would not come to him] Not choosing to incur David’s displeasure by visiting Absalom while he was still in disgrace.

Verse 29. - Absalom sent for Joab. As Joab had been the means of bringing him back, Absalom naturally regarded him as a friend. But Joab had performed the former service for other reasons, and it does not seem as if he really had any affection for Absalom. 2 Samuel 14:29After Absalom had sat for two whole years in his house at Jerusalem without seeing the king's face, he sent to Joab that he might obtain for him the king's full forgiveness. But as Joab would not come to him, even after he had sent for him twice, Absalom commanded his servants to set fire to one of Joab's fields which adjoined his own and was then full of barley, for the purpose of compelling him to come, as he foresaw that Joab would not take this destruction of his property quietly, but would come to him to complain. ידי אל, literally "at my hand," i.e., by the side of my field or property. The Chethib והוציתה ("come, I will set it on fire") is a Hiphil formation, according to verbs ופ, for which the Keri has והצּיתוּה, the ordinary Hiphil form of יצת in the second person plural, "go and set it one fire."
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