2 Samuel 19:41
And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said to the king, Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over Jordan?
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(41) All the men of Israel.—When David had crossed the Jordan, he naturally made a halt at Gilgal, and then the representatives of the remaining tribes came to him, full of wrath at the apparent neglect of them. Jealousies between the tribes, and especially between Judah on the one side and the ten tribes on the other, had all along existed, the tribe of Ephraim being particularly sensitive (Judges 8:1; Judges 12:1). By the successful wars of Saul these jealousies were held in check, but broke out in national separation on his death; after seven and a half years they were partially healed by David, and were kept in abeyance by the wise administration of Solomon, but at his death they broke out with fresh power, and dismembered the nation for ever.

2 Samuel 19:41. All the men of Israel — That is, those that were present. It appears that David, to gratify his own tribe, had marched on, not expecting the coming of all the great men of Israel, who were making themselves ready to wait upon him. And therefore, when they were come together, and found that the tribe of Judah were unexpectedly beforehand with them, they resented the slight put upon them; and being joined and supported in their resentment by the rest of their brethren who had reconducted the king in conjunction with Judah, they all with one voice warmly expostulated with the king upon it. Why have the men of Judah stolen thee away? — That is, why did they hasten the matter so, and not expect our concurrence and assistance, who were as zealous as themselves to bring the king back? And all David’s men with him — All his officers, guards, and soldiers. This is mentioned as an aggravation of their fault, that they not only brought the king over Jordan, but all his men too, without asking their advice. 19:40-43 The men of Israel though themselves despised, and the fiercer words of the men of Judah produced very bad effects. Much evil might be avoided, if men would watch against pride, and remember that a soft answer turneth away wrath. Though we have right and reason on our side, if we speak it with fierceness, God is displeased.It seems that David and his whole party made a halt at Gilgal 2 Samuel 19:15; 1 Samuel 11:14, and possibly made some solemn agreement there about the kingdom. But while they were there, "all the men of Israel," representatives from the tribes not included in "half the people of Israel" 2 Samuel 19:40, came up in great wrath at finding that the restoration had been accomplished without consulting them, and accused the men of Judah of unfair dealing. 40-43. the king went on to Gilgal, … and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel—Whether from impatience to move on or from some other cause, David did not wait till all the tribes had arrived to conduct him on his return to the capital. The procession began as soon as Amasa had brought the Judahite escort, and the preference given to this tribe produced a bitter jealousy, which was nearly kindling a civil war fiercer than that which had just ended. A war of words ensued between the tribes—Israel resting their argument on their superior numbers; "they had ten parts in the king," whereas Judah had no more than one. Judah grounded their right to take the lead, on the ground of their nearer relationship to the king. This was a claim dangerous to the house of David; and it shows the seeds were already sown for that tribal dissension which, before long, led to the dismemberment of the kingdom. All the men of Israel, to wit, such as were present.

Stolen thee away, i.e. conveyed thee over Jordan hastily and privily, not expecting nor desiring our consent and concurrence in the business, which we were no less ready to afford than they. It is also a secret reflection upon the king, for permitting this precipitation.

All David’s men, i.e. all thy men; such changes of persons being most frequent in the Hebrew language; thy officers, and guards, and soldiers. This is mentioned as an aggravation of their fault, that they did not only carry the king over Jordan, but all his men too, without asking their advice. And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king,.... A large number of them, the other part that did not come over with David, some of their principal men, who met him upon the road:

and said unto the king, why have our brethren, the men of Judah, stolen thee away; secretly, privately, and unknown to them, and were bringing him back to Jerusalem:

and have brought the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over Jordan? him, and his family, and soldiers.

And, behold, all the men of Israel came to the king, and said unto the king, Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away, and have brought the king, and his household, and all David's men with him, over {t} Jordan?

(t) Toward Jerusalem.

41–43. Dispute between the men of Judah and the men of Israel

41. And behold, all the men of Israel] This must be read in connexion with the preceding verse which introduces and explains it. The northern tribes had been foremost in proposing the restoration (2 Samuel 19:9-10), but owing no doubt to tribal jealousies, they had not been invited by the men of Judah to the gathering at Gilgal to welcome the king. Consequently only a fraction of them, probably those from the immediate neighbourhood and the trans-Jordanic country, were there. But while the king was still at Gilgal, the rest of the Israelite representatives arrived, and complained to David that they had been unwarrantably forestalled by Judah, and cheated of the honour and privilege of escorting him back. Cp. the instances of Ephraimite jealousy in Jdg 8:1; Jdg 12:1.

stolen thee away] Brought thee home without our knowledge. They justly censured the men of Judah for doing by themselves that which should have been the united act of the whole nation, and possibly suspected that David himself was not altogether blameless (2 Samuel 19:11-12).Verse 41. - Why have our brethren the men of Judah stolen thee away? Why, that is, have they acted by stealth and without our concurrence? As they were discussing the matter, their decision should have been awaited, and David should not have crossed until formally invited so to do. The half of Israel consisted, probably, of the trans-Jordanic tribes, upon whom those on the west of the river looked contemptuously, and of Shimei and his Benjamites, and a few more in the immediate neighbourhood. The trans-Jordanie tribes are probably those described in ver. 39 as "the people who went with David over Jordan;" for certainly a powerful body of the men who had defeated Absalom would escort David back to Jerusalem to overawe the malcontents and prevent any opposition to his return. As Barzillai had supplied the king with provisions during his stay in Mahanaim (שׁיבה for ישׁיבה, like צואה for יצואה, and other words of the same kind), because he was very wealthy (lit. great), David would gladly have taken him with him to Jerusalem, to repay him there for his kindness; but Barzillai replied (2 Samuel 19:34.), "How many days are there of the years of my life (i.e., how long shall I have yet to live), that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? I am now eighty years old; can I((still) distinguish good and evil, or will thy servant taste what I eat and drink, or listen again to the voice of the singing men and singing women? and why should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king? Thy servant would go over the Jordan with the king for a short time (i.e., could not remain long with him), and why does the king wish to repay me this favour?" ישׁב־נא: "Let thy servant return, that I may die in my city (my home), at the grave of my parents; and behold thy servant Chimham (i.e., according to the explanation given by Josephus, Barzillai's son, who had come down with his father, as we may infer from 1 Kings 2:7) may go over with my lord the king; and do to him what seemeth good to thee," i.e., show him favours at thy pleasure.
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