2 Samuel 16:22
So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.
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(22) A tent upon the top of the house.—Nathan had foretold that the nature of David’s public punishment should correspond to the character of his secret crime. The fact that this punishment takes place on the very roof where David had first yielded to his guilty passion makes it particularly striking.

2 Samuel 16:22. So they spread a tent upon the top of the house — Of the king’s palace, the very place from whence David had gazed upon Bath-sheba: so that his sin was legible in the very place of his punishment. And Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines — To one or some of them. In the sight of all Israel — Who saw him go into the tent, and thence concluded that he had converse with them as he had designed. “An action of such profligate impiety, and abandoned impudence, as it were to be wished no sun had seen, or history related.” By this we may see the character of Absalom and his party, and how abominably wicked they must have been, whom such a scandalous action tied the faster to him. And we may further learn how corrupt the body of the people were, and how ripe for that judgment, which was now hastening toward them. Now was David’s adultery (which had been planned, and, it may be, perpetrated in the same place) judicially chastised, and God’s vengeance denounced upon it by his prophet signally executed, and his wives prostituted in the sight of the sun, 2 Samuel 12:11. The Lord is righteous, and no word of his shall fall to the ground!

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!Taking possession of the harem was the most decided act of sovereignty (see 1 Kings 2:22). It was also the greatest offence and insult that could be offered. Such an act on Absalom's part made reconciliation impossible. A further motive has been found in this advice, namely, the desire on the part of Ahithophel to make David taste the bitterness of that cup which he had caused others (Uriah and all Bath-sheba's family) to drink, and receive the measure which he had meted withal. 21. Ahithophel said unto Absalom—This councillor saw that now the die was cast; half measures would be inexpedient. To cut off all possibility of reconciliation between the king and his rebellious son, he gave this atrocious advice regarding the treatment of the royal women who had been left in charge of the palace. Women, being held sacred, are generally left inviolate in the casualties of war. The history of the East affords only one parallel to this infamous outrage of Absalom. Upon the top of the house, to wit, of the king’s palace, the very place from whence David had spied and gazed upon Bath-sheba, 2 Samuel 11:2. So that his sin was legible in the very place of his punishment.

Unto his father’s concubines, i.e. to one or some of them; and by so doing did further make claim to the kingdom as his own; and, as it were, take possession of it; it being usual in the eastern countries to account the wives and concubines of the late king to belong of right to the successor: See Poole on 2 Samuel 12:8.

In the sight of all Israel; who saw him go into the tent, and thence concluded that he lay with them, as he had designed to do.

So they spread Absalom a tent on the top of the house,.... On the top of his father's palace; this, as houses in Jerusalem and Judea were, was built flat, Deuteronomy 22:8; and it was on the very spot from whence David had a sight of Bathsheba, and conceived an impure lust after her. The Targum renders it, a canopy; which Kimchi describes as consisting of four pillars, upon and round about which curtains were hung:

and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel; they saw the tent or canopy erected, and saw him go into it, and might reasonably conclude he lay with his father's concubines, or half wives, in it; and this being done in so public a manner fulfilled the prophecy, which said it should be done in the sight of the sun, and of all Israel, 2 Samuel 12:11; this shows how corrupt the people of Israel were at this time, at least those that were with Absalom, that there should be none to object to the counsel Ahithophel gave, nor any to remonstrate against the execution of it, but all seemed to look upon it with pleasure; nor even did Hushai, David's friend, oppose it; perhaps he saw it was to no purpose.

So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.
22. upon the top of the house] The fact that the very roof on which David was walking when he secretly conceived his great sin was the public scene of its punishment, and the nature of the punishment, corresponding to the nature of the sin, as Nathan had foretold, make this retribution signally striking. See ch. 2 Samuel 12:11-12; and cp. 2 Kings 9:25-26.

Verse 22. - A tent; Hebrew, the tent; that constantly used by David and his family for the enjoyment of the cool evening breeze, and which the citizens of Jerusalem had frequently seen erected on the flat roof of David's house. It was when walking on this roof that David had given way to guilty passion, and now it is the scene of his dishonour. 2 Samuel 16:22Absalom had a tent put up on the roof of the king's palace, that his going in to the concubines might be done publicly in the sight of all Israel. For (as the historian adds in 2 Samuel 16:23 by way of explanation) the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was like a divine oracle both with David and with Absalom. The words from ועצת to ההם are placed at the commencement absolutely: "and (as for) the counsel of Ahithophel, ... as if one inquired the word of God, so was every counsel of Ahithophel." The Masoretes have supplied אישׁ as the Keri to ישׁאל. This is correct so far as the sense is concerned, but it is quite unnecessary, as ישׁאל may be taken impersonally. האלהים בּדבר שׁאל is to be explained from the formula בּעלהים שׁאל (see at Judges 1:1).
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