2 Samuel 15:6
And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Stole the hearts - i. e., deceived them, for so the same phrase means Genesis 31:20, Genesis 31:26. 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. i.e. He secretly and subtlety undermined his father, and robbed his father of the good opinions and affections of his people, that he might gain them to himself, by such insinuations into their affections, by his plausible and over-civil carriage. And in this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment,.... Told them there was none to be had, wished that he was in office to administer it to them, and behaved in the above loving manner towards them:

so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel; got the affections of the people in a private and clandestine manner, and robbed the king of them, who had the best right unto them.

And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom {d} stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

(d) By enticing them from his father to himself.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. stole the hearts] Robbed his father of the people’s affection and transferred it to himself. Sept. ἰδιοποιεῖτο = made his own.Verse 6. - Absalom stole the hearts. By professing anxiety to devote himself to the hearing and deciding of the people's causes, by flattering each one with the assurance that his case was so good that it needed only a hearing to be decided in his favour, and by his affability, made the more charming and irresistible by his personal beauty, he won the love of the people almost without their knowing how devoted they had become to him. When Joab came to Absalom's house in consequence of this, and complained of it, Absalom said to him, "See, I have sent to thee, to say to thee, Come hither, and I will send thee to the king, to say to him, Wherefore have I come from Geshur? it were better for me that I were there still: and now I will see the king's face; and if there is any iniquity in me, let him put me to death." This half forgiving was really worse than no forgiveness at all. Absalom might indeed very properly desire to be punished according to the law, if the king could not or might not forgive him; although the manner in which he sought to obtain forgiveness by force manifested an evident spirit of defiance, by which, with the well-known mildness of David's temper, he hoped to attain his object, and in fact did attain it. For (2 Samuel 14:33) when Joab went to the king, and announced this to him, the king sent for Absalom, and kissed him, as a sign of his restoration to favour. Nothing was said by Absalom about forgiveness; for his falling down before the king when he came into his presence, was nothing more than the ordinary manifestation of reverence with which a subject in the East approaches his king.
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