2 Samuel 17:10
And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
17:1-21 Here was a wonderful effect of Divine Providence blinding Absalom's mind and influencing his heart, that he could not rest in Ahithophel's counsel, and that he should desire Hushai's advice. But there is no contending with that God who can arm a man against himself, and destroy him by his own mistakes and passions. Ahithophel's former counsel was followed, for God intended to correct David; but his latter counsel was not followed, for God meant not to destroy him. He can overrule all counsels. Whatever wisdom or help any man employs or affords, the success is from God alone, who will not let his people perish.Some pit, or in some other place - The Hebrew has "in one of the pits," or "in one of the places." Hence, "place" must have some defined meaning. It probably is used here, as elsewhere, for a "dwelling-house" or "village," which might in that district be fortified houses 2 Samuel 17:12; 1 Samuel 26:25.

Hushai's argument is that there was no chance of seizing David by surprise as Ahithophel suggested. There was sure to be sharp fighting, and the terror of the names of David, Joab, Abishai, Ittai, and their companions, would magnify the first few blows received into a victory, and Absalom's men would flee in panic. It is likely that Absalom was not a man of courage, and Hushai, knowing this, adroitly magnified the terror of the warlike prowess of David and his mighty men.

CHAPTER 17

2Sa 17:1-14. Ahithophel's Counsel Overthrown by Hushai.

1-11. Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom—The recommendation to take prompt and decisive measures before the royalist forces could be collected and arranged, evinced the deep political sagacity of this councillor. The adoption of his advice would have extinguished the cause of David; and it affords a dreadful proof of the extremities to which the heartless prince was, to secure his ambitious objects, prepared to go, that the parricidal counsel "pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel." It was happily overruled, however, by the address of Hushai, who saw the imminent danger to which it would expose the king and the royal cause. He dwelt upon the warlike character and military experience of the old king—represented him and his adherents as mighty men, who would fight with desperation; and who, most probably, secure in some stronghold, would be beyond reach, while the smallest loss of Absalom's men at the outset might be fatal to the success of the conspiracy. But his dexterity was chiefly displayed in that part of his counsel which recommended a general levy throughout the country; and that Absalom should take command of it in person—thereby flattering at once the pride and ambition of the usurper. The bait was caught by the vainglorious and wicked prince.

The known fame of the prodigious valour of David and his followers will easily gain credit to that report, and strike the stoutest of our men with dread, even Ahithophel himself, if he should go with them. And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt,.... That is, whoever should hear of Absalom's forces, or a part of them, being routed, would be intimidated, though ever so courageous, or of such a lion-like temper and disposition; and even Ahithophel himself, notwithstanding all his boasted courage, his heart would fail, he would melt like water (h), Joshua 7:5; should he meet with such a rebuff at first setting out. A lion is well known for its courage as well as strength, and has not only a fierce countenance, hence we read of lion-like men in their faces, 2 Samuel 23:20; but has a courageous heart, and from thence it is thought to have its name Labi, from "leb", which signifies the heart; so Hercules is represented by the poet as having a lion's heart (i), and others also; though Leo Africanus (k) relates of some lions in Africa that are so naturally fearful that they will flee at the cry of children, particularly at a place called Agla; hence it became a proverb with the inhabitants of Fez to call blustering cowards the lions of Agla; and he speaks of great numbers of lions elsewhere (l), who are easily driven away with a small stick by the most timorous persons; but for the most part lions are very bold and daring, as well as strong, to which the allusion is here. Some apply this to David himself, who was a valiant man, and whose heart was like that of a lion, and so read the last clause with an interrogation: "shall he utterly melt?" no, he will not; he is not to be made afraid so easily as Ahithophel has intimated:

for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men: this is so universally known that it cannot be denied.

(h) , Moschi Idyll 2. ver. 45. (i) Homer. Iliad. 5. ver 639. Iliad. 7. ver. 228. Odyss. 11. ver. 279. Vid. Hesiod. Theogoniam prope finem. (k) Descriptio Africae, l. 3. p. 400. (l) Ib. p. 474.

And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Although this advice pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel (present), Absalom sent for Hushai the Archite to hear his opinion. גּם־הוּא serves to strengthen the suffix in בּפיו (cf. Ewald, 311, a.).
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