2 Samuel 15:30
And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 15:30. David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up — To think that one who was the offspring of his own body should thus lift up the heel against him, and reflecting on his own conduct in the matter of Uriah, as the cause of this calamity. And had his head covered — Through shame and confusion. And he went up barefoot — In testimony of his deep sorrow and humiliation for the sins whereby he had procured this evil to himself; for these were the habits of mourners; and to take a holy revenge upon himself for his former delicacy and luxury. “A more memorable event, surely, was never recorded in history, nor a more moving spectacle exhibited to mortal eyes! A king, venerable for his years and victories; sacred in the characters, both of his piety and prophecy; renowned for prowess, and revered for wisdom, reduced to the condition of a fugitive! to a sudden and extreme necessity of fleeing for his life, from the presence of his own son, his darling and delight; and a whole country loudly lamenting his fate! In this condition, David went up the mount, and when he reached the summit of it, fell down prostrate before God. Josephus tells us, that when David reached the top of the mountain, he took a view of the city, and prayed to God with abundance of tears. The reader will perhaps think it worth his notice, that Josephus should tell us, that David wept and viewed the city in the same spot from which, the evangelist informs us, our blessed Saviour wept over it.” — Delaney. And is this the glorious king of Israel, the beloved of God, the wise, the victorious David, who slew his ten thousands? Strange change indeed! What has produced this sad reverse? Sin alone has wrought all this! These are its baneful effects: he forgot the commandment of the Lord his God, and from hence has flowed all this evil! You that plead an excuse for sin, because David, the man after God’s own heart, fell into it; remember, likewise, what bitter and grievous punishments he underwent for it. Are you willing to pay such a price for sin? And yet, be assured, the inviolable laws of God require you to pay it in one way or other.15:24-30 David is very careful for the safety of the ark. It is right to be more concerned for the church's prosperity than our own; to prefer the success of the gospel above our own wealth, credit, ease, and safety. Observe with what satisfaction and submission David speaks of the Divine disposal. It is our interest, as well as our duty, cheerfully to acquiesce in the will of God, whatever befalls us. 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. David's sin was ever before him, Ps 51:3; but never so plain, nor ever appearing so black as now. He never wept thus when Saul hunted him, but a wounded conscience makes troubles lie heavy, Ps 38:4.His head covered - See the marginal references and Jeremiah 14:3-4; Ezekiel 24:17; the sign of deep mourning. 30. David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet—The same pathway over that mount has been followed ever since that memorable day.

had his head covered—with a mourning wrapper. The humility and resignation of David marked strongly his sanctified spirit, induced by contrition for his transgressions. He had fallen, but it was the fall of the upright; and he rose again, submitting himself meekly in the meantime to the will of God [Chalmers].

He went barefoot, in testimony of his deep sorrow, and humiliation and shame for his sins, whereby he had procured, this evil to himself; for these were the habits of mourners, 2 Samuel 19:4 Esther 6:12 Isaiah 20:3,4 Jer 14:3,4; and to take a holy revenge upon himself for his former delicacy and luxury. And David went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet,.... So called from the olive trees that grew upon it, which is often mentioned in the New Testament, and where our Lord Jesus Christ, the antitype of David, often was, in his state of humiliation, Matthew 26:30, and from whence he ascended to heaven after his resurrection, Acts 1:12; it was about a mile from Jerusalem, to the east of it:

and wept as he went up; thinking perhaps of the wickedness and rebellion of his son, of his own hard case, to be obliged to quit his metropolis and palace, and make his flight afoot; and perhaps also of his own sins, which were the cause of his calamities:

and had his head covered; with his mantle, with which he enwraped himself as a mourner, 2 Samuel 19:4; so the Egyptians used to cover their heads in mourning, and the Romans in later times (q); so Megara in sorrowful circumstances is represented as having her head covered with a garment (r):

and he went barefoot; in token of mourning also, and like one forlorn, and going into captivity, see Isaiah 20:2,

and all the people that was with him covered every man his head; as David did, and in imitation of him, and sympathizing with him; and which was sometimes done when men were ashamed and confounded, Jeremiah 14:3,

and they went up, weeping as they went up; the mount of Olivet, grieved for their king, and the distresses and calamities that were coming upon them.

(q) Vid. Solerium de Pileo, sect. 2. p. 14, 19. (r) Senec. Hercul. furens, Acts 2.

And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head {s} covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

(s) With ashes and dust in sign of sorrow.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
30–37. Hushai commissioned to defeat Ahithophel

30. the ascent of mount Olivet] Lit. by the ascent of Olives: the name mount Olivet is derived from mons oliveti in the Vulgate of Acts 1:12. The “mount of Olives” is the ridge which rises on the east of Jerusalem above the Kidron ravine, screening the city from the desert country beyond. With the exception of this touching scene, there is little of interest connected with the Mount of Olives in the O. T. On it, perhaps on the spot already consecrated for worship (2 Samuel 15:32), Solomon erected high places for the false gods of his foreign wives (1 Kings 11:7-8), which were desecrated long afterwards by Josiah (2 Kings 23:13-14). A passing allusion to the woods which covered it (Nehemiah 8:15), and the details of the scenery in two prophetic visions (Ezekiel 11:23; Zechariah 14:4), complete the references to it in the O. T. “Its lasting glory belongs not to the Old Dispensation but to the New.” See Stanley’s Sinai and Pal. p. 185 ff.

had his head covered, and he went barefoot] The muffled head marks the deep grief which shuts itself up from the outer world: the bare feet—still a sign of mourning in the East—betoken affliction, self-humiliation, penitence. Cp ch. 2 Samuel 19:4; Esther 6:12; Ezekiel 24:17.Verse 30. - The ascent of mount Olivet; Hebrew, the ascent of the olive trees. The hill never was called Olivet, which is a word formed from the Latin mons oliveti, the mount of the olive grove. David had his head covered. This was a sign of grief among the Persians, Egyptians, and Romans, as well as the Hebrews (for whom see Ezekiel 24:17), it being originally a natural movement to conceal an outburst of tears. So we in great sorrow bury our faces in our hands. In this mark of mourning all joined, but David added the going barefoot as a sign of deeper humiliation. According to the Jewish Midrash, it was upon the Mount of Olives that David composed the third psalm. More probably it was at the fords of the Jordan, after David, wearied with the fatigues of the march, had enjoyed a short refreshing slumber, and while he was waiting for his two young friends, that he comforted himself by this outpouring of his heart to God. Zadok the priest and all the Levites (who were in Jerusalem) left the city with the fugitive king, bearing the ark of the covenant: "And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up, till all the people had come completely over from the city." ויּעל, ἀνέβη, ascendit (lxx, Vulg.), may probably be accounted for from the fact that Abiathar did not come to join the fugitives till the procession halted at the Mount of Olives; so that עלה, like ἀναβαίνειν, merely refers to his actually going up, and ויּעל affirms that Abiathar joined them until all the people from the city had arrived. The rendering proposed by Michaelis and Bttcher ("he offered sacrifices") is precluded by the fact that עלה never means to sacrifice when written without עולה, or unless the context points distinctly to sacrifices, as in 2 Samuel 24:22; 1 Samuel 2:28. The ark of the covenant was put down, because those who went out with the king made a halt, to give the people who were still coming time to join the procession.
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