2 Samuel 17:18
Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; where they went down.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Samuel 17:18-19. Nevertheless a lad saw them — Who knew them to be favourers of David, and observed that they waited there with design to gain intelligence, and possibly saw the girl speaking privately to them. But they went away quickly — Suspecting by the observation which the lad made, and his after conduct, that they were discovered. And came to a man’s house in Bahurim — Turning out of the public road, as Josephus explains it, they made haste to this village. Which had a well in his court, whither they went down — For at that time of the year their wells were in many places dry, or had little water in them. And spread ground corn thereon — Under pretence of drying it by the sun, which shows that it was summer- time. Thus the woman effectually concealed them.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.Bahurim - See the marginal reference. They were not all Shimeis in Bahurim. 18. and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court—The court was that of the house, and the well an empty cistern. All the houses of the better class are furnished with such reservoirs. Nothing could more easily happen than that one of these wells, in consequence of a deficiency of water, should become dry and it would then answer as a place of retreat, such as David's friends found in the man's house at Bahurim. The spreading of a covering over the well's mouth for the drying of corn is a common practice. A lad saw them, who knew them to be favourers of David, and observed them to wait there upon design, and to gain intelligence, and possibly saw the wench speaking privately to them.

They went both of them away quickly; suspecting by this lad’s observation and carriage that they were discovered.

Wither they went down; either to some hole in the side of the pit; or to the bottom of the pit, it being then dry, as pits often were in those hot countries. And this being in so open a place, they concluded none would imagine them to be hid there. And besides, they relied upon God’s good providence, which they knew watched over David, and them for his sake. Nevertheless, a lad saw them, and told Absalom,.... Saw them conversing with the girl, and departing for David's army; according to Josephus (o), they were some horsemen that saw them about two furlongs or a quarter mile from Jerusalem, and acquainted Absalom with it:

but they went both of them away quickly; made all the haste they could with their message to David:

and came to a man's house in Bahurim; where very probably they had been informed David had been, whither he came weary, and had refreshment, 2 Samuel 16:14; or rather, perceiving they were discovered and pursued, they turned in hither, the first place they came to, for safety:

which had a well in his court; which they observed, and was the reason of their turning in:

whither they went down; to hide themselves from their pursuers, it being dry, as sometimes wells were in the summertime: Josephus says (p), a woman let them down by a rope.

(o) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 9. sect. 7. (p) Ibid.

Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. a well] A cistern, dry at the time. The existence of numerous rock-cut cisterns with narrow mouths at Almît, the probable site of Bahurim, illustrates the incident. See Pal. Expl. Fund Quarterly Statement, Jan. 1881, p. 45.Verse 18. - A lad saw them. Probably Absalom had sent out spies to watch the route which David had taken, to prevent any friends totaling him from the city, who would give him information as to the progress of events there. The word "lad" does not mean a boy; more probably he was one of the young men who formed Absalom's body guard, like the ten "lads," translated "young men," in 2 Samuel 18:15, Who bare Joab's armour. It Would be his duty to seize them, but when he tried to approach them, they fled, and made their way at full speed to Bahurim, where they were saved by the shrewdness and fidelity of a woman. Two such fleet runners would have had no difficulty in outstripping a boy, but one of Absalom's young men would have roused the neighbourhood to join in the pursuit. The well in his court really signifies a cistern for storing rainwater; but it was at that time dry, and served as a convenient hiding place for the two messengers. "And come we to him (if we come upon him) in one of the places where he is found, we let ourselves down upon him, as the dew falls upon the earth; and of him and all the men with him there will not be one left." נחנוּ might be a contraction of אנחנוּ, as in Genesis 42:11; Exodus 16:7-8, etc.: "so we upon him," equivalent to "so shall we come upon him." But if this were the meaning, we should expect עליו והינוּ. It is more correct, therefore, to take נחנוּ ekat ot as the first pers. perf. of נוּח, as the early translators have done: so do we let ourselves down upon him. (For נוּח as applied to an army encamping, see Isaiah 7:2, Isaiah 7:19; and as denoting the swarming of flies and grasshoppers, Isaiah 7:19 and Exodus 10:14.) In Ahithophel's opinion, it would be possible with a very small army to crush David and his little band, however brave his followers might be, and in fact to annihilate them altogether.
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