2 Samuel 19:10
And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?
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(10) We anointed over us.—There is no other mention of the anointing of Absalom, and it certainly would not have been performed by the high-priests. It may have been done by some prophet, or this may be a mere form of expression taken from the custom of anointing, and only mean “whom we appointed over us.”

Why speak ye not?—There was evidently a hesitation and delay, arising probably from a mere want of organisation, but yet of dangerous tendency. It is under these circumstances that David shows that politic power which had so often before stood him in good stead. The LXX. very unnecessarily places at the end of this verse the clause which is found at the end of 2Samuel 19:11.

19:9-15 God's providence, by the priests' persuasions and Amasa's interest, brought the people to resolve the recall of the king. David stirred not till he received this invitation. Our Lord Jesus will rule in those that invite him to the throne in their hearts, and not till he is invited. He first bows the heart, and makes it willing in the day of his power, then rules in the midst of his enemies, Ps 110:2,3.David saw the justice of what Joab said, and the new danger which threatened him if he did not rouse himself from his grief.

For Israel ... - Not David's followers, but as before 2 Samuel 17:26; 2 Samuel 18:6, 2 Samuel 18:17, Absalom's army.

2Sa 19:9-43. The Israelites Bring the King Back.

9-11. all the people were at strife throughout all the tribes of Israel—The kingdom was completely disorganized. The sentiments of three different parties are represented in 2Sa 19:9, 10: the royalists, the adherents of Absalom who had been very numerous, and those who were indifferent to the Davidic dynasty. In these circumstances the king was right in not hastening back, as a conqueror, to reascend his throne. A re-election was, in some measure, necessary. He remained for some time on the other side of Jordan, in expectation of being invited back. That invitation was given without, however, the concurrence of Judah. David, disappointed and vexed by his own tribe's apparent lukewarmness, despatched the two high priests to rouse the Judahites to take a prominent interest in his cause. It was the act of a skilful politician. Hebron having been the seat of the rebellion, it was graceful on his part to encourage their return to allegiance and duty; it was an appeal to their honor not to be the last of the tribes. But this separate message, and the preference given to them, occasioned an outburst of jealousy among the other tribes that was nearly followed by fatal consequences [see 2Sa 19:40-43].

Whom we anointed, i.e. caused to be anointed by Zadok or Abiathar, or some other of the priests, whom they persuaded or constrained to do this office: for this being a sacred ceremony, of a great reputation, and a likely means to gain the more authority and veneration from the people to Absalom, as one whom God by his vicegerent had constituted and set up; and this rite being usual upon all translations of the government from one person to another in an extraordinary way, as this confessedly was; it is not likely that they would now omit it; though otherwise anointing is frequently put for designing or constituting.

Is dead in battle; and therefore we have no obligation to him, and no hope of any thing from him.

Why speak ye not a word? the people of Israel speak thus to the elders of Israel, as appears by comparing this verse with the next. Seeing their designs for Absalom disappointed, they now repented of that undertaking, and were willing to testify so much by their forwardness to bring back David, and reestablish him.

And Absalom, whom we anointed over us,.... To be king; which either was really done by Absalom's party, or in effect by proclaiming and appointing him king:

is dead in battle; which shows the thing was not of God, and by which means they were released from their oath of allegiance to him:

now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back? nobody speaks of it, gives the least hint of it, or shows any concern about it; but the greatest coldness and indifference, as if it was a matter of no importance.

And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?
9–15. Negotiations for David’s Restoration. His return

10. whom we anointed] The anointing of Absalom is not elsewhere mentioned.

At the end of the verse the Sept. adds, “And the word of all Israel came to the king,” that is, either he heard of the movement for his restoration, or he actually received overtures from Israel. The clause is necessary to introduce 2 Samuel 19:11.

Verse 10. - Absalom, whom we anointed over us. It is evident from these words that there had been some solemn anointing and appointment of Absalom, and this accounts for the manner in which his partisans are always described as "Israel," while David's men are simply "his servants." With this anointment there must also have been a formal renunciation of David's rule, and, being thus dethroned, he does not attempt to return until the nation summons him back. As the flight of David narrated in ch. 16. was extremely hurried, the conspirators must have kept their counsel well, and whatever rumours reached him apparently he disregarded. But meanwhile representatives of the tribes secretly convened at Hebron had claimed to act in the name of Israel, and, chosen a new king. The words certainly imply that, had Absalom lived, the Israelites would have considered themselves bound to obey him. 2 Samuel 19:10Preliminaries to the return of David to Jerusalem. - 2 Samuel 19:9, 2 Samuel 19:10. As the rebellion was entirely crushed by Absalom's death, and the dispersion of his followers to their respective homes, there arose a movement among all the tribes in favour of David. "All the people were disputing (נדון, casting reproaches at one another) in all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king has saved us out of the hand of our enemies, ... and now he is fled out of the land before Absalom. But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle; and now why do ye keep still, to bring back the king?" This movement arose from the consciousness of having done an injustice to the king, in rising up in support of Absalom.
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