2 Samuel 17:16
Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Lodge not this night.—Hushai’s advice had been taken at the moment, but it might easily be exchanged for Ahithophel’s. At all events there was instant danger for David, and Hushai urges him to place the Jordan without delay between himself and the rebels.

2 Samuel 17:16-17. Now therefore send quickly — Lest Absalom’s and the people’s minds change, and Ahithophel persuade them to pursue you speedily. Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel — Or the fuller’s fountain. Being to carry the intelligence, they had not returned into the city, but found some pretence for tarrying without the walls at this place, probably that they might wash and cleanse themselves from some legal pollution. Indeed, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to have sent them out of the city without their being discovered. A wench went and told them — Being sent by Zadok, and pretending, perhaps, to go thither for water, or to wash some clothes. And they went and told King David — After a little stop in their way, as is here related.

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.Hushai, like a wise and prudent man, knowing, too, Absalom's weak and fickle character, would not depend upon the resolution, taken at his instigation, not to pursue the king, but took instant measures to advertise David of his danger. 16. send quickly, and tell David—Apparently doubting that his advice would be followed, Hushai ordered secret intelligence to be conveyed to David of all that transpired, with an urgent recommendation to cross the Jordan without a moment's delay, lest Ahithophel's address and influence might produce a change on the prince's mind, and an immediate pursuit be determined on. Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, lest the king’s and people’s minds change, and Ahithophel, by his deep wit and great interest, persuade the king to follow his former advice, and to pursue you speedily.

Now therefore send quickly and tell David,.... What has been advised to on both sides:

saying, lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness; which reached to Jericho; this advice he gave, because he knew not whether his counsel would be abode by, though preferred; Absalom and the elders of Israel might change their minds, and Ahithophel might, by the strength of his oratory, prevail upon them after all to follow his advice; and therefore, to guard against the worst, he judged it most prudential in David to make all the haste he could from that place where he was, and not continue a night longer in it; for, if Ahithophel's counsel should take place, he would be in pursuit of him that very night:

but speedily pass over; the river Jordan:

lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him: be destroyed by the forces Ahithophel should bring with him, which he would not be able to withstand.

Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass {f} over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.

(f) That is, over Jordan.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15–22. Hushai sends word to David by Jonathan and Ahimaaz

16. Lodge not this night] A prudent precaution, for Absalom might change his mind, and follow Ahithophel’s counsel after all.

in the plains of the wilderness] Perhaps we should read at the fords of the wilderness. See note on ch. 2 Samuel 15:28.

Verse 16. - Lodge not this night in the plains (at the fords) of the wilderness. The plan of Ahithophel made David's position so dangerous, that he must hesitate no longer, lest, on second thoughts, Absalom should still adopt it. Hushai had frustrated it for the present; but Ahithophel might urge it again, and get the necessary permission; and then David and all the people that were with him would be swallowed up, that is, destroyed utterly, and with ease. 2 Samuel 17:16David is informed of what has occurred. - 2 Samuel 17:15, 2 Samuel 17:16. Hushai communicated without delay to the priests Zadok and Abiathar the advice which had been given to Absalom both by Ahithophel and himself, and requested them to make it known to David as quickly as possible. "Stay not the night," he said, "by the ferries (עברות, as in 2 Samuel 15:28) of the desert; but rather go over, lest the king and all the people with him be destroyed." וגם, "and indeed," or after a negative clause, "but rather." למּלך יבלּע is either "there will be a devouring," i.e., destruction, to the king, it will fall upon him; of if we supply the subject from the previous clause תּעבור עבור as Bttcher proposes, "that it (the crossing over) may not be swallowed up or cut off from the king." There is nothing to justify Ewald's explanation, "it (misfortune) is swallowed by him." Hushai recommended of course an immediate crossing of the Jordan; because he did not know whether Absalom would really act upon his advice, although he had expressed his approval of it, or whether he might not change his mind and follow Ahithophel's counsel.
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