2 Samuel 17:24-29. - (MAHANAIM.)2 Samuel 10:1-4; 2 Samuel 12:26-31); Machir (2 Samuel 9:4); Barzillai (2 Samuel 19:31-40). On hearing of the arrival of David at Mahanaim, these three men came with one accord, brining presents, and "provided the king of sustenance while he lay" there (ch. 19:32). "We are inclined to regard them as representative men: Shobi, of the extreme border inhabitants, or rather foreign tributaries; Machir, of the former adherents of Saul; and Barzillai, of the wealthy landowners generally" (Edersheim). Whilst acting, specially, from feelings of loyalty, gratitude, and affectionate regard, they displayed a hospitality such as is often enjoined (Leviticus 25:35; Isaiah 58:7; Luke 14:13; Romans 12:13), but frequently omitted (Hebrews 13:2). It was:
1. Much needed by David and his followers, "who were like a band of beggars or marauders (Delitzsch), driven from their home, in a comparatively strange land (Psalm 61:2), beset by hostile forces (ver. 25), in want of shelter, rest, and provision (ver. 29). "The Son of man had not where to lay his head" (Luke 9:58); and in his "brethren" he is often persecuted and in want of all things (Matthew 25:35; Galatians 6:10; 1 Timothy 5:10 3John 5, 6).
2. Admirably exemplified.
(1) Spontaneously, without being solicited.
(2) Promptly, without delay.
(3) Cordially, with sympathy and pity; for they said, "The people have become hungry, and weary, and thirsty in the wilderness."
(4) Considerately; those things which were most necessary and agreeable being supplied.
(5) Generously; according to ability, and "without grudging" (1 Peter 4:9).
(6) Disinterestedly, unselfishly, with self-denial and at no little risk.
(7) Perseveringly; not (as in another familiar instance) for three days (Acts 28:7), but for nearly as many months. It not unfrequently happens that the poor and the stranger receive the most hospitable treatment from those on whom they have the least claim.
3. Eminently helpful, comforting and encouraging; a sign of the Divine care for him (Genesis 32:2) - a proof that he was not forsaken by all the people, and an influence adapted to gather others around him. "The faithfulness of human love, strengthening in need and cheering in misfortune is not only the copy, but also the means and instrument of the faithfulness of the Divine love, granted to those who bow humbly beneath God's hand and wholly trust him" (Erdmann).
4. Abundantly requited. Those who exercise it "are blessed in their doing" (James 1:25); and receive unexpected honour and benefit from their guests (2 Samuel 19:33, 38, 39; Genesis 18.; Acts 28:8) and from the Lord himself (Hebrews 6:10; Matthew 25:34). - D.
And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed.
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