2 Samuel 15:23
And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) The brook Kidron.—A valley with a watercourse, filled in winter, lying immediately east of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives.

2 Samuel 15:23. All the country wept — All about Jerusalem, and the generality of the people by whom they passed, being extremely afflicted to see their king, under whom they had lived in great peace and prosperity, reduced to such extremities. It must be considered, that Absalom’s friends and partisans were gone to him to Hebron, and the rest of the people thereabouts were either well-wishers to David, or at least moved with compassion at the sad and sudden change of so great and good a king, which was sufficient to affect a heart of stone. All the people passed over — All that continued faithful to David in those parts. The king also passed over the brook Kidron — Or Cedron, which was near Jerusalem. The very same brook which Christ passed over, when he entered upon his sufferings, John 18:1. Toward the way of the wilderness — Which lay between Jerusalem and Jericho.

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.Thou camest but yesterday - Meaning, "Thou art not a native Israelite, but only a sojourner for a few years, it is not reason therefore that thou shouldst share my calamities. Return to thy place, thy adopted home Jerusalem, and to the king, Absalom" 2 Samuel 15:34-35. 23. the brook Kidron—a winter torrent that flows through the valley between the city and the eastern side of the Mount of Olives. All the country, i.e. the generality of the people by whom they passed; for it must be considered that Absalom’s friends and partisans were gone to him to Hebron, and the rest of the people thereabouts were either well-willers to David, or at least moved with compassion at the sad and sudden change of so great and good a king, which was able to affect a heart of stone.

The brook Kidron was near Jerusalem. See Matthew 26:36 John 18:1.

Toward the way of the wilderness; which was between Jerusalem and Jericho.

And all the country wept with a loud voice,.... The people that came out of the country villages round about, upon the report of the king's leaving Jerusalem, because of his son's conspiracy against him; these wept when they saw him in the circumstances in which he was, obliged to fly from a rebellious son:

and all the people passed over; the people that were with David passed over Kidron, and so the Cherethites, and Pelethites:

the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron; this explains what place it was they passed over, which is not before mentioned, but is particularly named in the account of the king's passing over it; over which same brook the Messiah, his antitype, passed a little before his sufferings and death; of which brook; see Gill on John 18:1. It is often by Josephus (m) called a valley, sometimes a brook, it having little water, except in winter; Mr. Maundrell (n) says, it ran along the bottom of the valley of Jehoshaphat, a brook in the wintertime; but without the least drop of water in it all the time, says he, we were in Jerusalem; and so Reland (o), that in summertime it ceases to be a river, and has the name of a valley; and Le Bruyn says (p), it is at present dried up; it runs along the valley of Jehoshaphat, and is not above three paces broad; it has no other but rain water, which flows from the adjacent hills:

and all the people passed over to the way of the wilderness; which lay between Jerusalem and Jericho.

(m) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 1. sect. 5. & l. 9. c. 7. sect. 3. De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 2. sect. 3. c. 4. sect. 2. c. 6. sect. 1.((n) Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 102. (o) Palestin. Illustrat. tom. 1. p. 294, 351. (p) Voyage to the Levant, ch. 48. p. 188.

And all the country wept with a loud voice, and {o} all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.

(o) That is, the four hundred men.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. all the country] Lit. all the land: the inhabitants who stood by to watch the procession, as distinguished from all the people, the army and retinue of followers accompanying David.

the brook Kidron] The ravine of Kidron is the deep ravine on the east of Jerusalem, now commonly known as the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which separates the city from the Mount of Olives. No stream now flows in it except during the heavy rains of winter, nor is there any evidence that there was anciently more water in it than at present. The name, if it is a Hebrew word, means black, referring either to the blackness of the torrent flowing through it (Job 6:16), or more probably to the gloominess of the ravine. The Sept., following the common tendency to substitute a significant name of similar sound, calls it the ravine of the cedars (χειμάρρους τῶν κέδρων—Cedrôn, cp. John 18:1). In the O. T. it is chiefly mentioned as an unhallowed spot used for a common cemetery, into which idolatrous abominations were thrown by reforming kings (1 Kings 15:13; 2 Chronicles 29:16; 2 Chronicles 30:14; 2 Kings 23:4; 2 Kings 23:6; 2 Kings 23:12; Jeremiah 31:40). The single mention of it in the N. T. is perhaps designed to recall the present occasion and to suggest the parallel between David fleeing from Jerusalem, and Christ leaving the city which had rejected Him, as the treachery of Judas was the counterpart and “fulfilment” of that of Ahithophel (John 18:1; John 13:18).

toward the way of the wilderness] The road to Jericho led through the northern part of the desert of Judah. Cp. 2 Samuel 15:28 and ch. 2 Samuel 16:2.

Verse 23. - All the country wept. This general lamentation proves that David was not really unpopular in Jerusalem, though it was there that Absalom had dazzled the people by his magnificence, and sought to win favour by his gracious ways. By the country the inhabitants are meant, who watched the king's departure; while the people are David's followers - his retinue and attendants. The brook Kidron. This is a winter torrent, dry during most of the year, but serving at the rainy seasons to carry off the rainfall from the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It lay on the east of Jerusalem, and beyond it was Mount Olivet. The direction of David's flight was toward the wild country on the east of the Jordan, in which Ishbosheth had found a refuge after the defeat of Gilboa. To reach it he must pass by Jericho, and thence through the Arabah (Jeremiah 39:4) to the ford of the Jordan, after crossing which he would be in comparative safety. Ahithophel would have followed that very night, and have attacked before David had placed the river between himself and his pursuers. 2 Samuel 15:23After this assurance of his devotedness, David let Ittai do as he pleased. ועבר לך, "go and pass on." עבר does not mean to pass by, but to go forward. Thus Ittai and his men and all his family that was with him went forward with the king. By "the little ones" (taph) we are to understand a man's whole family, as in many other instances (see at Exodus 12:37).

2 Samuel 15:22-23

The king crosses the Kidron, and sends the priests back with the ark to Jerusalem. - 2 Samuel 15:23. All the land (as in 1 Samuel 14:25) wept aloud when all the people went forward; and the king went over the brook Kidron, and all the people went over in the direction of (lit. in the face of) the way to the desert. The brook Kidron is a winter torrent, i.e., a mountain torrent which only flows during the heavy rains of winter (χείμαῤῥος τοῦ Κεδρών, John 18:1). It is on the eastern side of Jerusalem, between the city and the Mount of Olives, and derives its name from the appearance of the water when rendered muddy through the melting of the snow (cf. Job 6:16). In summer it is nothing more than a dry channel in the valley of Jehoshaphat (see Robinson, Pal. i. 396, and v. Raumer, Pal. p. 309, note 81). "The wilderness" (midbar) is the northern part of the desert of Judah, through which the road to Jericho and the Jordan lay.

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