2 Samuel 17:13
Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.
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(13) Bring ropes to that city.—Hushai here makes use of hyperbole to show the irresistible power of all Israel united, and therefore the certain success of his plan. This was pleasing to the vanity and dazzling to the imagination of Absalom.

2 Samuel 17:13. If he be gotten into a city, &c. — If he should take refuge for more security in any one of the cities of Israel, they would have numbers sufficient to pull it down, stone by stone, about his ears. The expression in the original is very remarkable, but hyperbolical, suited to the vain-glorious temper of this insolent young man. Then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river — The meaning of which threat seems to be this: that they would come before that city with those cranes, or hooks, which the ancients were wont to throw upon the battlements of walls, and with which, by the help of ropes fastened to them, they were wont to pull them down piecemeal into the rivers and trenches, (filled with water,) which encompassed or adjoined to them; it being usual to build cities near some river, both for defence and other accommodations.

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.As the dew - Like the drops of dew, in the vast number of our host, and in our irresistible and unavoidable descent upon our enemies. 13. all Israel shall bring ropes to that city—In besieging a town, hooks or cranes were often thrown upon the walls or turrets, by which, with ropes attached to them, the besiegers, uniting all their force, pulled down the fortifications in a mass of ruins. Then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city; not that they should do so, or that it was the custom to do so; but it is an hyperbolical and thrasonical expression, suited to the vain-glorious temper of this insolent young man; and therefore most likely to prevail with him; implying that they would do so if they could not discover and destroy him another way; or that they should be enough to do so, if there were occasion. We will draw it into the river, adjoining to the city; it being usual to build cities near some river, both for defence, and for other accommodations.

Moreover, if he be gotten into a city,.... A strong fortified place, thinking to secure himself there, where he might hold out against those that were risen against him; the former part of the account supposes him in the field, where he would soon be detected, if hidden in a pit or any other place, or if he appeared openly would quickly be overthrown by the numerous forces of Absalom; and here it suggests, should he betake himself to a city for shelter:

then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city; scaling ropes, and thereby get upon and over the walls of it, and take it by storm; or engines worked with ropes, used for the demolishing of cities; so Tacitus speaks of "vincula tormentorum", the bands or ropes of engines, as Grotius observes; the Targum renders it by "armies", thus,"all Israel shall be gathered against the city, and surround it with armies,''besiege it in form, and so surround it that David could not possibly make his escape out of it, nor could it hold out long against such numerous forces; or this is an hyperbolical expression, as Kimchi calls it, signifying that their numbers would be so many, that they could soon and easily demolish it:

and we will draw it into the river; by the side of which it was built, or the ditch or trench around it, or the valley near it, that being built on an hill; and by this boasting, bragging, hyperbolical expression, he signifies that they should be able easily and utterly to destroy its walls, buildings, and towers, as if a number of men were to fasten a rope about anything, and by their main strength, and through their numbers, draw it down whither they pleased:

until there be not one small stone found there; and this being the case, David and his men must inevitably fall into their hands, and none escape.

Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.
13. into the river] Into the ravine. Hushai intentionally indulges in an extravagant hyperbole in order to describe the irresistible power of the force that would be gathered, if he means to suggest the idea of dragging a city bodily down from the rock on which, like most fortified cities, it was built: but perhaps he means no more than that the city should be conquered and demolished as a penalty. Compare Micah’s prophecy of the destruction of Samaria, which stood on a hill: “I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley” (Micah 1:6).

Verse 13. - The river. The word does not signify a river, but a ravine or gorge worn away by the action of a torrent. Such ravines are common in Palestine, where the streams rush along with resistless fury after the rains, but in summer are dry (Job 6:17); and their desolate beds, bordered by precipitous cliffs, are described by Isaiah as favourite places for the cruel rites of Moloch (Isaiah 57:5). Dragged to the edge of one of these gorges, the city, with its few defenders, would topple over, and in the next rainy season be entirely swept away. 2 Samuel 17:13"And if he draw back into a city, all Israel lays ropes to that city, and we drag it to the brook, till there is not even a little stone found there." עד־הנּחל: inasmuch as fortified cities were generally built upon mountains. צרור signifies a little stone, according to the ancient versions. Hushai speaks in hyperboles of the irresistible power which the whole nation would put forth when summoned together for battle, in order to make his advice appear the more plausible.
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