And the king said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Samuel 15:25-26. The king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark — This he ordered, 1st, Through his care of and reverence for the ark, which, though it might be carried out to a certain place, yet, he might justly think, ought not to be taken about from place to place, he knew not whither. And, 2d, Lest, if he had carried it about with him everywhere, he should seem to trust in that which was but the token of God’s presence, more than he did in God himself, who had preserved him in the persecution of Saul, when he had not the ark with him. But was he not exposing the priests to the violence of the usurper, by thus sending them back to Jerusalem; especially as they had just given such evidence of their fidelity to their king? To this it may be answered, that David hoped the sacredness of their character would be a security to them against all violence. If I find favour in the eyes of the Lord, &c. — If he shall be pleased to pardon the sins for which he is now justly, although so severely, chastising me. He will bring me again, and show me both it and his habitation — Will restore me to the enjoyment of the privileges of his house, and the ordinances of his worship, which I shall consider one of the greatest evidences of the return of his favour, and one of the greatest blessings his goodness can confer upon me, even greater than the being restored to my palace and throne. But if he say, I have no delight in thee — I will not receive thee into my favour, nor restore thee to thy throne and city, and to the enjoyment of my ordinances. Here I am — Ready to obey him, and to submit to his will and pleasure concerning me. David saw plainly that God, according to his threatening, had raised up this evil to him out of his own house, and was punishing him for his sins, and he receives the chastisement with resignation. “I imagine,” says Dr. Delaney, “I now hear him taking up the same lamentation which Alphonsus the Wise, king of Arragon, afterward did upon a like occasion: ‘I wonder not so much at my people’s ingratitude to me, as at my own to God.’ Hence, in this spirit of humiliation, David would not presume to have the ark, the symbol of the divine presence borne before him in that war: that was an honour of which he deemed himself utterly unworthy. And, therefore, referring himself and his affairs to the disposal of the Divine Providence, he remanded Zadok and Abiathar back to the city with the ark.” Let him do with me as seemeth him good — I have nothing to object; it is all well that God doth. Thus ought we cheerfully to acquiesce in the will of God, whatever befalls us. And that we may not complain of what is, let us see God’s hand in all events. And that we may not be afraid of what shall be, let us see all events in God’s hand.1 Kings 2:35. Perhaps Zadok is addressed by David 2 Samuel 15:25 as the chief of those who were actually bearing the ark. Carry back the ark of God into the city; partly, out of care and reverence to the ark, which though sometimes it was and might be carried out to a certain place; yet he might justly think unfit to carry it from place to place he knew not whither, and to expose it to all the hazards and inconveniences to which he himself was likely to exposed; partly, out of respect to the priests, whom, by this means, he thought he should expose to the rage of Absalom, as he had before exposed them to Saul’s fury on another occasion 1Sa 22; and partly, that by this, means he might have the better opportunity to search out and to counterwork Absalom’s plots; which was so necessary, not only for himself, but for the defence and maintenance of the ark, and all God’s ordinances, and of the true religion.
His habitation, i.e. the tabernacle which David had lately built for it, 2 Samuel 6:17, in which the ark, and God, by means thereof, ordinarily dwelt. And hereby he insinuates another reason of his returning the ark to Jerusalem, be cause there was the tabernacle made for the receipt of it.
if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord: if he will appear for me, be on my side, and deliver me from those who have risen up against me:
he will bring me again: to Jerusalem, and to his palace there:
and show me both it and his habitation; the ark, and the tabernacle he had erected for it, 2 Samuel 6:17.And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. his habitation] Jerusalem, and in particular the tent where the Ark was kept, was “the habitation” (Exodus 15:13), the earthly “dwelling-place,” of Jehovah (1 Kings 8:13), so far as that could be said of any special locality (1 Kings 8:27). For the thought cp. Psalm 43:3.2 Samuel 18:2, where Ittai is said to have commanded a third part of the army sent against Absalom, and to have been placed on an equality with Joab and Abishai the most experienced generals, that Ittai was a Philistian general who had entered David's service. The reason for his going over to David is not known. According to 2 Samuel 15:22 of this chapter, Ittai did not come alone, but brought all his family with him (taph: the little ones). The opinion expressed by Thenius, that he had come to Jerusalem as a hostage, is merely founded upon a false interpretation of the last two clauses of the verse before us. David said to Ittai, "Wherefore goest thou also with us? return and stay with the king; for thou art a stranger, and also emigrating to thy place." There is no irony in the words "stay with the king," as Thenius and Clericus suppose (viz., "with the man who behaves as if he were king"); nor is there an acknowledgment of Absalom as king, which certainly could never have emanated from David. The words contain nothing more than the simple though: Do you remain with whoever is or shall be king, since there is no necessity for you as a stranger to take sides at all. This is the explanation given by Seb. Schmidt: "It is not your place to decide this context as to who ought to be king; but you may remain quiet and see whom God shall appoint as king, and whether it be I or Absalom, you can serve the one that God shall choose." This is the only way in which we can explain the reason assigned for the admonition, viz., "Thou art a stranger," and not an Israelite. There is some difficulty connected with the following words (rendered in the Eng. version "and also an exile"). In the Septuagint and Vulgate they are rendered καὶ ὅτι μετώκησας σὺ ἐκ τοῦ τόπου σου, et egressus es de loco tuo (and thou hast gone out from thine own place); but in adopting this rendering the translators have not only passed over the גּם (also), but have taken למקומך for ממּקומך. Nevertheless Thenius proposes to bring the text into harmony with these versions for the purpose of bringing out the meaning, "and moreover thou art one carried away from his own home." But this is decidedly a mistake; for David would never have made a Philistine - who had just before been carried away from his own home, or, as Thenius understands it, who had been brought to Jerusalem as a hostage - the commander of a third of his army. The meaning is rather the following: "And thou hast still no fatherland," i.e., thou art still wandering about through the earth like an exile from his country: wherever thou findest a place, and art allowed to settle, there only canst thou dwell.
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