2 Samuel 15:4
Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 15:4-6. Absalom said, O that I were made judge in the land! — Though he was admitted to come to court, and see the king, he had no office there, as, it seems, the rest of the king’s sons had. This he took ill, and endeavoured to bring the people to do so too, by persuading them that, if he were in authority, he would take speedy care to do them justice. When any man came nigh to do him obeisance — To fall prostrate before him as the king’s son. He put forth his hand and took him — That is, prevented him from prostrating himself, and condescended even to salute him with a kiss. In this manner did Absalom to all Israel — Robbed his father of the affections of the people, and possessed himself of them; some admiring his beauty and gallantry; others his courtesy and civility; and others being taken with his magnificent promises of the noble things he would do if he were their king.

15:1-6 David allows Absalom's pomp. Those parents know not what they do, who indulge a proud humour in their children: many young people are ruined by pride. And those commonly are most eager for authority who least understand its duties.To flatter each man by pronouncing a favorable verdict in his case, to excite a sense of grievance and discontent by censuring the king for remissness in trying the causes brought before him by his subjects, and to suggest a sure and easy remedy for all such grievances, namely, to make Absalom king; all this, coupled with great affability and courtesy, which his personal beauty and high rank made all the more effective, were the arts by which Absalom worked his way into favor with the people, who were light and fickle as himself. 2-6. Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate—Public business in the East is always transacted early in the morning—the kings sitting an hour or more to hear causes or receive petitions, in a court held anciently, and in many places still, in the open air at the city gateway; so that, as those whose circumstances led them to wait on King David required to be in attendance on his morning levees, Absalom had to rise up early and stand beside the way of the gate. Through the growing infirmities of age, or the occupation of his government with foreign wars, many private causes had long lain undecided, and a deep feeling of discontent prevailed among the people. This dissatisfaction was artfully fomented by Absalom, who addressed himself to the various suitors; and after briefly hearing their tale, he gratified everyone with a favorable opinion of his case. Studiously concealing his ambitious designs, he expressed a wish to be invested with official power, only that he might accelerate the course of justice and advance the public interests. His professions had an air of extraordinary generosity and disinterestedness, which, together with his fawning arts in lavishing civilities on all, made him a popular favorite. Thus, by forcing a contrast between his own display of public spirit and the dilatory proceedings of the court, he created a growing disgust with his father's government, as weak, careless, or corrupt, and seduced the affections of the multitude, who neither penetrated the motive nor foresaw the tendency of his conduct. Oh that I were made judge in the land! for the king had only restored Absalom to favour, but thought not fit to put him into any place of power and trust.

I would do him justice; I should refuse no man, and decline no pains to do any man good. So he pretends to a very public spirit.

Absalom said, moreover,.... To the same persons, at the same time:

oh that I were made judge in the land; by which it appears that he had no office under the king; partly either because of his crime, and so not thought fit, and partly because he appeared to be an ambitious aspiring man, and so it was thought not safe to put him into any office:

that every man that hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice; at once, without any further trouble, or coming often, and in vain, and to no purpose.

Absalom said moreover, {c} Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

(c) Thus by slander, flattery and fair promises, the wicked seek preference.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Samuel 15:4Absalom also said, "Oh that I might be judge in the land, and every one who had a cause might come before me; I would procure him justice!" ישׂמני מי is a wish: "who might (i.e., oh that one might) appoint me judge," an analogous expression to יתּן ot מי (vid., Gesenius, 136, 1, and Ewald, 329, c.). עלי placed before יבא for the sake of emphasis, may be explained from the fact that a judge sat, so that the person who stood before him rose above him (comp. Exodus 18:13 with Genesis 18:8). הצדּיק, to speak justly, or help to justice.
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