But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said to him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)By the way of the plain.—The word used here is generally applied to the valley of the Jordan and hence it has been argued that the battle could not have been fought on the eastern side of the river, since, in that case, Ahimaaz could not have reached Mahanaim by the Jordan valley except by a long and tedious detour. But the word simply means circuit, or surrounding country, and is used in Nehemiah 12:28 for the country about Jerusalem. Here it means that Ahimaaz ran “by the way of the circuit,” i.e., in all probability, by a longer but smoother road than that taken by the Cushite, so that he was able to outrun him.The way of the plain was the smoother and easier, though the longer way.
and he said unto him, run; since he would take no denial:
then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi; who ran by the way of the mountains; which though the shorter way, that through the plain was easiest, and soonest run, though the longest.But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushy.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)23. by the way of the plain] “The plain” (Heb. kikkar) is the technical term for the floor of the valley through which the Jordan runs. In our ignorance of the exact position of the battlefield, we cannot trace the routes taken by the rival runners with certainty. But in all probability what is meant is that Ahimaaz struck down into the Jordan valley, and ran by a longer but easier route to Mahanaim, while the Cushite took the direct but more difficult route over the hills.Verse 23. - Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain; Hebrew, the kikkar, or Jordan valley. The battle, as we saw in ver. 6, was fought on the eastern side of the river, and Absalom's army, in their flight, would endeavour to reach the fords of the Jordan (comp. Judges 12:5); and probably Joab had pursued them for some distance before the man found in the thicket the body of the unfortunate Absalom. The large slaughter of twenty thousand men (ver. 7) proves that the defeated rebels were vigorously followed. In carrying the news he evidently went back by the route which the troops had followed; while Ahimaaz took a longer course to the west, but one that avoided the tangles and the deep defiles of the forest. Strictly, the Kikkar, as we have seen, was the name of the Jordan valley near Jericho; but it was probably applicable also to the same sort of formation further north. On approaching Mahanaim, Ahimaaz would strike inland, and the two routes would join one another; and one reason which made Ahimaaz go more to the west was that he did net wish the Cushite to know that he had a rival. He would thus go at a steady pace, picking his way through the forest, while Ahimaaz was using his utmost speed. Joshua 7:26) and the king of Air (Joshua 8:29). This was the end of Absalom and his rebellion. "All Israel (that had crowded round him) had fled, every one to his tent" (i.e., home: see at Deuteronomy 16:7).
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