2 Samuel 18

1 David viewing the armies in their march gives them charge of Absalom.

6 The Israelites are sorely smitten in the wood of Ephraim.

9 Absalom, hanging in an oak is slain by Joab, and cast into a pit.

18 Absalom's place.

19 Ahimaaz and Cushi bring tidings to David.

33 David mourns for Absalom.


Ex 17:9; Jos 8:10

captains of thousands.

1Sa 8:12

a third part.

Jud 7:16,19; 9:43

the hand of Joab.




I will surely.

17:11; Ps 3:6; 27:1-3; 118:6-8

Thou shalt.


if we flee.

17:2; 1Ki 22:31; Zec 13:7

care for us. Heb. set their heart on us. but now.The particle {âttah,} Now, is doubtless a mistake for the pronoun {attah,} Thou: and so it appears to have been read by the LXX., Vulgate, and Chaldee, and by two of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS.

worth, etc. Heb. as ten thousand of us.

La 4:20

succour. Heb. be to succour.

10:11; Ex 17:10-12

by the gate.

24; Isa 28:6

by hundreds.David's small company, by this time, was greatly recruited; but what its number was we cannot tell. Josephus says it amounted only to 4,000 men.

1; 1Sa 29:2

Deal gently.

16:11; 17:1-4,14; De 21:18-21; Ps 103:13; Lu 23:34

all the people.


wood of Ephraim.The wood of Ephraim was evidently beyond Jordan, and apparently not far from Mahanaim; and it is supposed to be the place where the Ephraimites were slain by Jephthah.

Jos 17:15,18; Jud 12:4-6

the people.

2:17; 15:6; 19:41-43

a great.

Pr 11:21; 24:21

twenty thousand men.

2:26,31; 2Ch 13:16,17; 28:6

in the wood.That is, probably, many more were slain in pursuit through the wood than in the battle, by falling into swamps, pits, etc., and being entangled and cut down by David's men. Such is the relation of Josephus; but the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic state, that they were devoured by wild beasts in the wood.

Ex 15:10; Jos 10:11; Jud 5:20,21; 1Ki 20:30; Ps 3:7; 43:1

devoured more. Heb. multiplied to devour.

his head.Riding furiously under the thick boughs of a great oak, which hung low and had never been cropped, either the twisted branches, or some low forked bough of the tree, caught him by the neck, or, as some think, by the loops into which his long hair had been pinned, which had been so much his pride, and was now justly made a halter for him. He may have hung so low from the bough, in consequence of the length of his hair, that he could not use his hands to help himself, or so entangled that his hands were bound, so that the more he struggled the more he was embarrassed. This set him up as a fair mark to the servants of David; and although David would have spared his rebellious son, if his orders had been executed, yet he could not turn the sword of Divine justice, in executing the just, righteous sentence of death on this traitorous son.

14; 14:26; 17:23; Mt 27:5

taken up.

De 21:23; 27:16,20; Job 18:8-10; 31:3; Ps 63:9,10; Pr 20:20; 30:17

Jer 48:44; Mr 7:10; Ga 3:13



receive, etc. Heb. weigh upon mine hand. in our hearing.


Beware, etc. Heb. Beware, whosoever ye be, of the, etc.


1:15,16; 4:10-12

for there is no.

14:19,20; Heb 4:13

with thee. Heb. before thee. thrust them.

5; Jud 4:21; 5:26,31; Ps 45:5; 1Th 5:3

midst. Heb. heart.

Mt 12:40


blew the trumpet.

2:28; 20:22; Nu 10:2-10; 1Co 14:8

laid.This was the ancient method of burying, whether heroes or traitors; the heap of stones being designed to perpetuate the memory of the event, whether good or bad. The Arabs in general make use of no other monument than a heap of stones over a grave. Thus, in an Arabic poem, it is related, that Hatim the father, and Adi the grandfather of Kais, having been murdered, at a time before Kais was capable of reflection, his mother kept it a profound secret; and in order to guard him against having any suspicion, she collected a parcel of stone on two hillocks in the neighbourhood, and told her son that the one was the grave of his father, and the other of his grandfather. The ancient cairns in Ireland and Scotland, and the tumuli in England, are of this kind.

Jos 7:26; 8:29; 10:27; Pr 10:7; Jer 22:18,19

reared up.

1Sa 15:12

the king's.

Ge 14:17

I have no son.

14:27; Job 18:16,17; Ps 109:13; Jer 22:30

he called.

Ge 11:4; 1Sa 15:12; Ps 49:11; Da 4:30

Absalom's place.Josephus says there was in his time, about two furlongs from Jerusalem, a marble pillar called Absalom's hand, as it is in the Hebrew, (See note on 1 Sa 15:12;) and there is one shown to the present day, in the valley of Jehoshaphat, which, though comparatively a modern structure, probably occupies the site of the original one set up by Absalom.

Ge 11:9; Ac 1:18,19


23,27-29; 15:36; 17:17

avenged him. Heb. judged him from the hand, etc.

Ps 7:6,8,9; 9:4,16; 10:14,18; Ro 12:19

bear tidings. Heb. be a man of tidings.





howsoever. Heb. be what may. ready. or, convenient.

Ro 1:28; Eph 5:4

overran Cushi.

Joh 20:4


4; 1Sa 4:13

the watchman.

2Ki 9:17-20; Isa 21:6-9,11,12; Eze 33:2-7



Methinketh. Heb. I see.

2Ki 9:20

He is a good.

1Ki 1:42; Pr 25:13,25; Isa 52:7; Ro 10:15

All is well. or, Peace be to thee. Heb. Peace. he felldown upon his face. This act was not only in reverence to the king, but in humble adoration of God, whose name he praises for this victory. The more our hearts are fixed and enlarged, in thanksgiving to God for our mercies, the better disposed we shall be to bear with patience the afflictions mixed with them.

1:2; 14:4


22:27; Ge 14:20; 24:27; 2Ch 20:26; Ps 115:1; 124:6; 144:1,2

Re 19:1-3

delivered up. Heb. shut up.

1Sa 24:18; 26:8; Ps 31:8

Is the young man Absalom safe? Heb. is there peace to, etc.I saw a great.



Tidings. Heb. Tidings is brought. the Lord.

19,28; 22:48,49; De 32:35,36; Ps 58:10; 94:1-4; 124:2,3; Lu 18:7,8Cushi was the man Joab ordered to carry the tidings to David. He was an Ethiopian, as his name signifies, and some think he was so by birth--a black, who waited on Joab, probably one of the ten who had helped to dispatch Absalom; though it was dangerous for one of those to bring the news to David, lest his fate should be the same with theirs that reported the death of Saul and Ishbosheth to him.

The enemies.Thus Cushi obliquely and slowly informs David of the death of his son Absalom.

Jud 5:31; Ps 68:1,2; Da 4:19

O my son.


would God.

12:10-23; Ps 103:13; Pr 10:1; 17:25; Jas 5:17
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