2 Samuel 16:19
And again, whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence.
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16:15-23 The wisest counsellors of that age were Ahithophel and Hushai: Absalom thinks himself sure of success, when he has both; on them he relies, and consults not the ark, though he had that with him. But miserable counsellors were they both. Hushai would never counsel him to do wisely. Ahithophel counselled him to do wickedly; and so did as effectually betray him, as he did, who was designedly false to him: for they that advise men to sin, certainly advise them to their hurt. After all, honesty is the best policy, and will be found so in the long run. Ahithophel gave wicked counsel to Absalom; to render himself so hateful to his father, that he would never be reconciled to him; this cursed policy was of the devil. How desperately wicked is the human heart!His cursing - Another reading has "my curse," i. e., the curse that has fallen upon me. David recognizes in every word and action that he was receiving the due reward of his sin, and that which Nathan had foretold. 15-19. Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king—Hushai's devotion to David was so well-known, that his presence in the camp of the conspirators excited great surprise. Professing, however, with great address, to consider it his duty to support the cause which the course of Providence and the national will had seemingly decreed should triumph, and urging his friendship for the father as a ground of confidence in his fidelity to the son, he persuaded Absalom of his sincerity, and was admitted among the councillors of the new king. Thou art his son, and heir, and successor, and now in his place and stead; whereby my friendship which was due to him is devolved upon thee by right of inheritance; and I reckon that my friendship is not wholly alienated from him, when it is transferred upon one that came out of his bowels.

And again, whom should I serve?.... Or "secondly" (e), a second reason is here given for serving Absalom: the first was the choice of God and the people, the second follows:

should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence: he signifies, that as the kingdom was not translated into another family, but continued in succession in David's house, the alteration made was of no great consequence; it was indifferent to him whom he served, the father or the son; and he could as freely, and would as faithfully serve the son as the father; nor did he think it any breach of friendship to David, nor would David resent it, that he should serve his son, and do the best offices, and give him the best counsel he could; and he seems to bespeak the office of a counsellor, in which he had been to David, that he might be admitted into the presence of Absalom, and be of his privy council, and have the opportunity of giving his best advice.

(e) "secunda", Montanus, Munster, Vatablus; "secundo", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

And again, whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence.
2 Samuel 16:19Absalom, apparently astonished at this, said to him, "Is this thy love to thy friend (David)? why wentest thou not with thy friend?" But Hushai replied, "No; but whom Jehovah hath chosen, and this people (i.e., the people who had entered Jerusalem with Absalom), and all the men of Israel (i.e., the whole nation), to him (לא for לו, Keri) will I belong, and will remain with him. And again, whom should I serve? Is it not before his son? As I have served thy father, so will I be before thee" (i.e., serve thee). With great craftiness, Hushai declared at the very outset that Jehovah had chosen Absalom - at least he could not come to any other conclusion, judging from the results. And under such circumstances he could not have any doubt as to whom it was his duty to serve. As he had formerly served the father, so now he would serve his son Absalom. In this way he succeeded in completely deceiving Absalom, so that he placed unbounded confidence in him.
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