2 Samuel 17:24
Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
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(24) Mahanaim.—See Note on 2Samuel 2:8. The same reasons which made it a favourable place for the capital of Ish-bosheth, recommended it also as a place of refuge to David and a rallying point for his adherents.

2 Samuel 17:24. David came to Mahanaim — A place in the country of Gilead, bordering upon the land of the Ammonites, lately the residence of Ish- bosheth, and anciently the resting-place of Jacob; where God had placed him under the protection of two hosts of angels. The king’s distress here, at this time, would naturally lead him to reflect on the distress of his great ancestor in the same place; when, being encompassed with a weak and helpless family of wives and children, as David now was, he received information that Esau was coming against him with a strong band of men. And Absalom passed over Jordan — Not immediately, but as soon as all the men of Israel, who are here said to be with him, were gathered together to him, according to Hushai’s counsel, which required some time, during which David had an opportunity to strengthen himself, by gathering an army also.

17:22-29 Ahithophel hanged himself for vexation that his counsel was not followed. That will break a proud man's heart which will not break a humble man's sleep. He thought himself in danger, concluding, that, because his counsel was not followed, Absalom's cause would fail; and to prevent a possible public execution, he does justice upon himself. Thus the breath is stopped, and the head laid low, from which nothing could be expected but mischief. Absalom chased his father. But observe how God sometimes makes up to his people that comfort from strangers, which they are disappointed of in their own families. Our King needs not our help; but he assures us, that what we do for the least of his brethren, who are sick, poor, and destitute, shall be accepted and recompensed as if done to himselfMahanaim - See 2 Samuel 2:8. The same reasons which induced Abner to choose it for Ishbosheth probablv made it a good rallying point for David. It was a strong city, in a well-provisioned country, with a mountainous district for retreat in case of need, and with a warlike and friendly population. 24. Then David came to Mahanaim—in the high eastern country of Gilead, the seat of Ish-bosheth's government.

Absalom passed over Jordan—It is not said how long an interval elapsed, but there must have been sufficient time to make the intended levy throughout the kingdom.

Mahanaim; a place in the country of Gilead, bordering upon the land of the Ammonites, 2 Samuel 17:27. See Genesis 32:2 2 Samuel 2:8.

Absalom passed over Jordan; not speedily, but when all the men of Israel were gathered together according to Hushai’s counsel, who are said to be with him here, as it follows.

Then David came to Mahanaim,.... A city on the other side Jordan in the tribe of Gad, Joshua 13:26, famous for its being the place where the angels of God met Jacob, Genesis 32:1; and was for some time the seat of Ishbosheth the son of Saul, 2 Samuel 2:8;

and Absalom passed over Jordan, he, and all the men of Israel with him; not directly after David, but some time after, when, according to the counsel of Hushai, he had gathered all the warlike men of Israel to him that he could, and with this army pursued his father; not content to drive him to the other side Jordan, sought to seize his person, and take away his life, and so secure the crown and kingdom to him, of which he made no doubt, having such a numerous army, on which he relied.

Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
24–26. Progress of the Rebellion

24. to Mahanaim] See note on ch. 2 Samuel 2:8. It was chosen for David’s head-quarters as the most important and strongest city in the trans-Jordanic country, which was evidently the least disaffected.

And Absalom passed over Jordan] Before this a considerable interval must have elapsed, during which Absalom was formally anointed (ch. 2 Samuel 19:10), and a general levy of the nation raised according to Hushai’s counsel, while David had time to organize his forces and establish himself at Mahanaim.

Verse 24. - Then (Hebrew, and) David came to Mahanaim. (On Mahanaim, see note on 2 Samuel 2:8.) It was now a fortified city, with walls and gates (2 Samuel 18:24), and its strength of position, which had made it a safe capital for Ishbosheth, who had probably added to its defences, made it also a safe retreat for David while gathering his forces. As it was only about fifty miles distant from the fords of the Jordan, David had not retreated far; and, meanwhile, Absalom was wasting time in gathering "all the men of Israel" for the attack. During this interval Absalom was anointed king (2 Samuel 19:10) by the priests, with all due solemnity. 2 Samuel 17:24The account of the civil war, which terminated with Absalom's defeat and death, is introduced in 2 Samuel 17:24-26 with a description of the relative position of the two hostile parties. David had come to Mahanaim, a city probably a fortified one, on the east of the Jordan, not far from the ford of the Jabbok (see at 2 Samuel 2:8). Absalom had also gone over the Jordan, "he and all the men with him," i.e., all the fighting men that he had gathered together according to Hushai's advice, and encamped in the land of Gilead.
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