2 Samuel 15:9
And the king said to him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
15:7-12 See how willing tender parents are to believe the best concerning their children. But how easy and how wicked is it, for children to take advantage of good parents, and to deceive them with the show of religion! The principal men of Jerusalem joined Absalom's feast upon his sacrifice. Pious persons are glad to see others appear religious, and this gives occasion for deceptions. The policy of wicked men, and the subtlety of Satan, are exerted to draw good persons to countenance base designs.Forty years - An obvious clerical error, though a very ancient one for four years, which may date from Absalom's return from Geshur, or from his reconciliation with David, or from the commencement of the criminal schemes to which 2 Samuel 15:1 refers.

Hebron - This, as having been the old capital of David's kingdom and Absalom's birthplace, was well chosen. It was a natural center, had probably many inhabitants discontented at the transfer of the government to Jerusalem, and contained many of the friends of Absalom's youth. As the place of his birth (compare 1 Samuel 20:6), it afforded a plausible pretext for holding there the great sacrificial feast ("the serving the Lord," 2 Samuel 15:8), which Absalom pretended to have vowed to hold to the glory of God.

7-9. after forty years—It is generally admitted that an error has here crept into the text, and that instead of "forty," we should read with the Syriac and Arabic versions, and Josephus, "four years"—that is, after Absalom's return to Jerusalem, and his beginning to practice the base arts of gaining popularity.

my vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord—during his exile in Geshur. The purport of it was, that whenever God's providence should pave the way for his re-establishment in Jerusalem, he would offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Hebron was the spot selected for the performance of this vow, ostensibly as being his native place (2Sa 3:3), and a famous high place, where sacrifices were frequently offered before the temple was built; but really as being in many respects the most suitable for the commencement of his rebellious enterprise. David, who always encouraged piety and desired to see religious engagements punctually performed, gave his consent and his blessing.

This place he chose, as being an eminent city, and next to Jerusalem, the chief of the tribe of Judah, and the place of his birth, and the place where his father began his kingdom, which he took for a good omen, and where it is probable that he had secured many friends, and which was at some convenient distance from Jerusalem, that his father could not suddenly reach him. And the king said unto him, go in peace,.... He gave him leave to go, and wished happiness and prosperity might attend him:

so he arose and went to Hebron; with a company of men, whose number is after mentioned.

And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Absalom seeks to secure the people's favour. - 2 Samuel 15:1. Soon afterwards (this seems to be the meaning of כּן מאחרי as distinguished from כּן אהרי; cf. 2 Samuel 3:28) Absalom set up a carriage (i.e., a state-carriage; cf. 1 Samuel 8:11) and horses, and fifty men as runners before him, i.e., to run before him when he drove out, and attract the attention of the people by a display of princely pomp, as Adonijah afterwards did (1 Kings 1:5). He then went early in the morning to the side of the road to the gate of the palace, and called out to every one who was about to go to the king "for judgment," i.e., seek justice in connection with any matter in dispute, and asked him, "Of what city art thou?" and also, as we may see from the reply in 2 Samuel 15:3, inquired into his feelings towards the king, and then said, "Thy matters are good and right, but there is no hearer for thee with the king." שׁמע signifies the judicial officer, who heard complainants and examined into their different causes, for the purpose of laying them before the king for settlement. Of course the king himself could not give a hearing to every complainant, and make a personal investigation of his cause; nor could his judges procure justice for every complainant, however justly they might act, though it is possible that they may not always have performed their duty conscientiously.
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