2 Samuel 15:16
And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 15:16. The king went forth, and all his household after him — Or, as the Hebrew, ברגליו, berag-laiv, rather means, on foot: which the king probably chose to do, that he might humble himself under the hand of God; might encourage his adherents in this hard and comfortless march; and might move compassion in his people toward him. The king left ten women — Supposing that their sex and quality, and especially their relation to him, being his concubines, would be a sufficient protection to them, and gain them some respect, or, at least, safety from his son. What became of his wives is not here related; but it is probable they went along with him, to take care of him; as the other women were left to take care of the house.

2 Samuel 15:17-18, The king went forth, and all the people after him — That is, all those of Jerusalem who were well affected to him. And tarried in a place that was far off — At a good distance from the city, where, it is likely, he put the people, that had come out in a confused state, into good order, and waited to see what other friends would join him. And all his servants passed on beside him — His household servants, or body-guards, marched probably on both hands of him. And all the Gittites, six hundred men — These marched in the front of his little army; but who they were it is hard to say; for we read nothing of them before. Some take them to have been proselytes, born in Gath of the Philistines, and think they came with Ittai to David, being attracted by the fame of his piety and happy success. Others take them to have been Jews, who had fled to David in his exile, when he was at Gath, and accompanied him ever after, not only in the time of Saul’s persecution, but after he came to the crown of Israel and Judah.15:13-23 David determined to quit Jerusalem. He took this resolve, as a penitent submitting to the rod. Before unrighteous Absalom he could justify himself, and stand out; but before the righteous God he must condemn himself, and yield to his judgments. Thus he accepts the punishment of his sin. And good men, when they themselves suffer, are anxious that others should not be led to suffer with them. He compelled none; those whose hearts were with Absalom, to Absalom let them go, and so shall their doom be. Thus Christ enlists none but willing followers. David cannot bear to think that Ittai, a stranger and an exile, a proselyte and a new convert, who ought to be encouraged and made easy, should meet with hard usage. But such value has Ittai for David's wisdom and goodness, that he will not leave him. He is a friend indeed, who loves at all times, and will adhere to us in adversity. Let us cleave to the Son of David, with full purpose of heart, and neither life nor death shall separate us from his love.And smite the city - David's kind nature induced him to spare Jerusalem the horrors of a siege, and the risk of being taken by assault. He had no standing army with which to resist this sudden attack from so unexpected a quarter. Possibly too he remembered Nathan's prophecy 2 Samuel 12:10-12. 14. David said … Arise, and let us flee—David, anxious for the preservation of the city which he had beautified, and hopeful of a greater support throughout the country, wisely resolved on leaving Jerusalem. After him, or, on foot, by comparing 2 Samuel 15:30, which the king chose to do rather than to ride; partly, to humble himself under the hand of God; partly, to encourage his companions in this hard and comfortless march; and partly, to move compassion in his people towards him.

The king left ten women; for he supposed that their sex would protect them even among barbarians, and their relation to David would gain them some respect, and, at least, safety from his son. But it seems he did not now actually consider that clause of the threatening concerning his wives, (God diverting his mind to other things,) or he thought that would be accomplished some other way, conceiving that Absalom would abhor the thoughts of such incestuous converse, especially with persons which were now grown in years. And the king went forth,.... Which determined the case:

and all his household after him family and his court; they followed his example, and attended him in his flight:

and the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house; not to defend it, which they were unable to do, but to look after the household goods and furniture, that they were not damaged by the conspirators; though one would think they could be of little service, and may wonder what he should leave them behind for; but this seems to be ordered by the overruling providence of God, to bring about what was threatened him, 2 Samuel 12:11; and it is much he had not thought of it; but it was hid from his eyes, that it might be fulfilled.

And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. And the king went forth] “It was apparently early on the morning of the day after he had received the news of the rebellion that the king left the city of Jerusalem. There is no single day in the Jewish history of which so elaborate an account remains as that which describes this memorable flight. There is none, we may add, that combines so many of David’s characteristics—his patience, his high-spirited religion, his generosity, his calculation: we miss only his daring courage. Was it crushed, for the moment, by the weight of parental grief, or of bitter remorse?” Stanley’s Lect. II. 97. Who we may ask, was the eyewitness who has preserved the picture of the scene with such minute and life-like detail? May it not have been the prophet Nathan?When Absalom went to Hebron, he sent spies into all the tribes of Israel to say, "When ye hear the sound of the trumpet, say, Absalom has become king in Hebron." We must suppose the sending the spies to have been contemporaneous with the removal of Absalom to Hebron, so that ויּשׁלח is used quite regularly, and there is no reason for translating it as a pluperfect. The messengers sent out are called "spies," because they were first of all to ascertain the feelings of the people in the different tribes, and were only to execute their commission in places where they could reckon upon support. The conspiracy had hitherto been kept very secret, as we may see from the statement in 2 Samuel 15:11 : "With Absalom there had gone two hundred men out of Jerusalem, invited (to the sacrificial festival), and going in their simplicity, who knew nothing at all of the affair." (כּל־דּבר לא: nothing at all.)
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