Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
20. Give counsel among you what we shall do—This is the first cabinet council on record, although the deference paid to Ahithophel gave him the entire direction of the proceedings.
give counsel among you what we shall do; he orders them to form a counsel, consult among themselves what was proper to be now done at Jerusalem, whether it was right to stay here or pursue after David and his men. Absalom did not send to the high priest to ask counsel of God, by Urim and Thummim before the ark, but wholly confided in his privy council.Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. And Ahithophel said, &c.] Ahithophel advised Absalom to make a decisive assumption of royal authority by publicly taking possession of the royal harem. This act was a claim of heirship and succession, and was not regarded with abhorrence by the Israelites, whose feelings on such matters were blunted by the practice of polygamy. See note on ch. 2 Samuel 3:7. Its object was to make the breach between Absalom and his father irreparable, and to strengthen the resolution of his followers, by proving that the rebellion was not to end in his securing a pardon from his father and leaving them to their fate, but that he was determined to run all risks.
 A similar custom existed among the heathen Saxons. See Green’s Making of England, p. 246.Verse 20. - Give counsel among you; Hebrew, for you; but we have no way in English of expressing the force of this phrase. In Greek it is called the ethic dative, and is supposed to give character to the address, and indicate that those to whom the words are spoken have also an interest in the matter. 2 Samuel 17:18, the place where David rested was a considerable distance beyond Bahurim, towards the Jordan, as we may see from the fact that it is stated there that the priests' sons, who were sent to carry information to David of what was occurring in Jerusalem, hid themselves in a well at Bahurim from the officers who were following them, and consequently had to go still further in order to convey the news to David; so that it is out of the question to supply this name from 2 Samuel 16:5. It is true that we never meet with the name Ayephim again; but this applies to many other places whose existence is not called in question.
(Note: The meaning of the word, wearied or weariness, does not warrant any conjectures, even though they should be more felicitous than that of Bttcher, who proposes to alter Ayephim into Ephraim, and assumes that there was a place of this name near Mahanaim, though without reflecting that the place where David rested was on this side of the Jordan, and somewhere near to Gilgal or Jericho (2 Samuel 17:16. and 2 Samuel 17:22).)
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