2 Samuel 16:2
And the king said to Ziba, What mean you by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 16:2. The asses be for the king’s household to ride on — Or, rather, some of his household, for they could not all ride on two asses, unless by turns, relieving each other, which perhaps Ziba intended; for he seems to have been very considerate in adapting his present to the wants of David and those that were with him. It appears, the king, and his wives and children, were all on foot: not because he had not, or could not procure, asses for them at Jerusalem; but because he chose they should go in this manner, as best becoming that state of penitence and humiliation in which they were.16:1-4 Ziba belied Mephibosheth. Great men ought always to be jealous of flatterers, and to be careful that they hear both sides.A couple of donkeys saddled - Those that Mephibosheth and his servant should have ridden. See 2 Samuel 19:26 note. 2. The asses be for the king's household to ride on—The royal fugitives were moving on foot, not from inability to procure conveyances, but as being suitable to their present state of humiliation and penitence. For the king’s household to ride on; for the king and his wives and children were all on foot; not that he had not or could not procure asses for them at Jerusalem, but because he chose it as best becoming that state of penitence and humiliation in which they were. And the king said unto Ziba, what meanest thou by these?.... Are they to be said, or are they presents?

and Ziba said, the asses be for the king's household to ride on; for himself, his wives, and children, his courtiers, and the principal officers of his house; it being usual in those times and countries for great personages to ride on asses, see Judges 5:10,

and the bread and summer fruits for the young men to eat; the king's menial servants, his guards and his soldiers:

and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink; where no water was to be had, that their fainting spirits might be revived, and they be able whether to fight or march.

And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The {b} asses be for the king's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.

(b) Commonly there are no viler traitors than they, who under the pretence of friendship accuse others.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. the wilderness] See note on ch. 2 Samuel 15:23.On David's arrival at the height where people were accustomed to worship, i.e., upon the top of the Mount of Olives, the Archite Hushai came to meet him with his clothes rent and earth upon his head, that is to say, in the deepest mourning (see 1 Samuel 4:12). It is evident from the words וגו אשׁר־ישׁתּחוה that there was a place of worship upon the top of the Mount of Olives, probably a bamah, such as continued to exist in different places throughout the land, even after the building of the temple. According to 2 Samuel 15:37; 2 Samuel 16:16, and 1 Chronicles 27:33, Hushai was רעה, a friend of David, i.e., one of his privy councillors. הארכּי (the Archite), if we may judge from Jos 16:2, was the name of a family whose possessions were upon the southern boundary of the tribe of Ephraim, between Bethel and Ataroth. Hushai was probably a very old man, as David said to him (2 Samuel 15:33, 2 Samuel 15:34), "If thou goest with me, thou wilt be a burden to me. But if thou returnest to the city and offerest Absalom thy services, thou canst bring for me the counsel of Ahithophel to nought. If thou sayest to Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; servant of thy father (i.e., as regards this) I was that of old, but now I am thy servant." The ו before אני introduces the apodosis both times (vid., Ewald, 348, a.).
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