Study Notes

2Samuel 16:1-17:29


In our last study, we saw that Ab-shaw-LOME began a rebellion against his father, David the king. He did this by stealing away the hearts of the men of Israel through various means. David is now leaving Jerusalem, not desiring a battle to take place in the city, lest his people be destroyed.

16:1-4 Ziba's Deception

Tsee-BAW arrives with gifts and the news that Mef-ee-BO-sheth is planning on being crowned king. Remember that we were introduced to these two men earlier. Mef-ee-BO-sheth was the son of Jonathan who became crippled when he was five years old (2Sam. 4:4). David inquired whether there was anyone left of the house of Saul, that he could show kindness to, for Jonathan's sake. He was told about Mef-ee-BO-sheth by Tsee-BAW, the servant of Saul's house (2Sam. 9). David called for him.

2Sam. 9:7-11 And David said to him, "Do not fear, for I will surely show kindness to you for the sake of your father Jonathan, and will restore to you all the land of your grandfather Saul; and you shall eat at my table regularly." Again he prostrated himself and said, "What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?" Then the king called Saul's servant Tsee-BAW, and said to him, "All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to your master's grandson. And you and your sons and your servants shall cultivate the land for him, and you shall bring in {the produce} so that your master's grandson may have food; nevertheless Mef-ee-BO-sheth your master's grandson shall eat at my table regularly." Now Tsee-BAW had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Tsee-BAW said to the king, "According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do." So Mef-ee-BO-sheth ate at David's table as one of the king's sons.

If you think about it, David's kindness to Mef-ee-BO-sheth meant that Tsee-BAW lost his place as being the keeper of Saul's estate. Until this happened, Tsee-BAW was the boss. But now that David is fleeing Jerusalem in the wake of Ab-shaw-LOME's rebellion, Tsee-BAW sees an opportunity to gain back his position - permanently.

In actuality, as we'll see in chapter 19, all of these gifts being brought to David were really from Mef-ee-BO-sheth. He had no plans to become the king. He was loyal and devoted to David. David was deceived, and made the decision to give Tsee-BAW all of Mef-ee-BO-sheth's estate.

How can we learn to recognize deceptions? We can learn from others' mistakes. David should have waited to make his decision until he'd had a chance to talk to Mef-ee-BO-sheth personally. After all,

Prov. 18:17 The first to plead his case seems just, until another comes and examines him.

We can also learn from Joshua's mistake of being deceived. Remember that God had told Joshua to strike down all the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. But the Gibeonites deceived Israel by saying that they were from a far country. "Look at our worn-out shoes, clothes, sacks, and wineskins," they said. "When we left, everything was new. Make a covenant with us."

Josh. 9:14-15 So the men {of Israel} took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore {an oath} to them.

Joshua was deceived because he did not ask for the counsel of the Lord. If we learn to get the whole story, if we learn to pray, we will be deceived much less frequently.

16:5-8 Shimei's Cursing

When David came to Bakh-oo-REEM, a relative of King Saul's named Shim-EE, the son of Gay-RAW approached the group. He was cursing David and throwing rocks at him. Why?

He was angry because he blamed David for Saul's death. Of course, David was completely innocent of the death of Saul. When Saul was on a murderous rampage to kill David for no reason, there were many times that David had an opportunity to kill Saul. But he never did. He always refused to touch the Lord's anointed king. Saul was injured in a war with the Philistines and committed suicide by falling on his sword.

As a Christian, you will find out (if you haven't already) that there are always people that will falsely accuse you of all sorts of evil. People who will accuse you of saying or doing something you didn't. Saying that you're this way when you're not. Alleging that you deserve something that you don't.

Why does this happen? Jesus said,

John 15:18-20 "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before {it hated} you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you..."

Phil. 1:28-29 in no way alarmed by your opponents - which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God. For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake

Jesus also taught of the blessing that is accompanied by this hatred.

Matt. 5:10-12 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when {men} cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."

And Peter wrote,

1Pet. 2:19-21 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer {for it} you patiently endure it, this {finds} favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps

Christ suffered. He was falsely accused. Now it is our turn. If we really want to be identified with Jesus, we must accept every aspect of that identification. We will also be falsely accused. How do we respond? Endure it with patience.

16:9 Let Me Cut Off His Head

One guy who was not too patient was Ab-ee-SHAH-ee, the son of Tser-oo-YAW. This was one of David's most powerful mighty men. This was the guy that had wanted to kill King Saul when he and David had the chance

1Sam. 26:8 Then Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time."

Now again, he wants to strike the man who is persecuting David.

16:10-12 Perhaps The Lord

David refused Ab-ee-SHAH-ee's request to kill Shim-EE. Why? David knew it was possible that the Lord was using this to speak to David. Maybe some of what Shim-EE said was true.

Have you ever stopped to consider this for yourself? Sure, you've had your share of accusers. And most of what they said was lies. But did you pray and say, "Lord, if any of this is something that I need to hear, let me know?"

Is it just possible that God could be trying to tell you something in your adversity? A measure of truth in the accusations? Let us...

1Ths. 5:21 ...examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good

Maybe there's something for us to learn from our persecutors.

16:13-14 Refreshment From Weariness

Verse 14 reads sort of strangely, until you understand that "weary" is actually the name of the place at which they arrived. While is is certainly up for debate, my thinking is that this should read,

2Sam. 16:14 And the king and all the people who were with him arrived at Aw-YAFE, and he refreshed himself there.

Of course, regardless of the reading, there is a message for us in these two verses. Maybe you're walking your walk and there's a Shim-EE casting stones at you, cursing you. The promise is that you will come to a place of refreshment. The Lord says,

Jer. 31:25 "...I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes."

In the Lord's timing, you will come to a season of refreshing.

16:15 Ahithophel

Ab-shaw-LOME is now the self-appointed king of Israel. As he enters Jerusalem, he has with him Akh-ee-THO-fel, David's former counselor. Why was Akh-ee-THO-fel so ready to sin against David? Why was he so willing to betray his king? I believe it is because David had first sinned against him. I believe it was because his king first betrayed him.

Remember that from his roof, David had seen Bathsheba bathing. He called for her, committed adultery with her, and when she became pregnant because of it, ordered the death of her husband. You may ask, "What does Akh-ee-THO-fel have to do with that?"

In chapter 23, we read that Akh-ee-THO-fel had a son named Eliam.

2Sam. 23:34 ...Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite

When David inquired about the woman he had seen, he was told,

Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam

2Sam. 11:3 "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"

In other words, Akh-ee-THO-fel is Bathsheba's grandfather! David had committed adultery with Akh-ee-THO-fel's granddaughter, and killed his son's son-in-law! No wonder he was so willing to abandon him!

16:16-19 Hushai The Spy

Remember that Khoo-SHAH-ee the AR-kite was the guy from chapter 15.

2Sam. 15:32-37 It happened as David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, that behold, Khoo-SHAH-ee the AR-kite met him with his coat torn, and dust on his head. And David said to him, "If you pass over with me, then you will be a burden to me. But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father's servant in time past, so I will now be your servant,' then you can thwart the counsel of Akh-ee-THO-fel for me. And are not Tsaw-DOKE and Ab-yaw-THAWR the priests with you there? So it shall be that whatever you hear from the king's house, you shall report to Tsaw-DOK and Ab-yaw-THAWR the priests. Behold their two sons are with them there, Akh-ee-MAH-ats, Tsaw-DOKE's son and Jonathan, Ab-yaw-THAWR's son; and by them you shall send me everything that you hear." So Khoo-SHAH-ee, David's friend, came into the city, and Ab-shaw-LOME came into Jerusalem.

Khoo-SHAH-ee pretends to be friendly towards Ab-shaw-LOME, gaining his confidence, and a place in his kingdom. What amazes me is that Khoo-SHAH-ee actually gets through this conversation without telling even one lie. Look at what he says:

2Sam. 16:16 ..." {Long} live the king! {Long} live the king!"

David was the true king, so Khoo-SHAH-ee was speaking blessing for David, not Ab-shaw-LOME. Then he said,

2Sam. 16:18 ..."No! For whom the LORD, this people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, his will I be, and with him I will remain."

The Lord had chosen David, and all the men of Israel had too, in chapter five. Khoo-SHAH-ee was really saying that he belonged to David, and would always remain with him. Lastly, he said,

2Sam. 16:19 "And besides, whom should I serve? {Should I} not {serve} in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father's presence, so I will be in your presence."

How had Khoo-SHAH-ee served in David's presence? As a servant of David's. Now, in the presence of Ab-shaw-LOME, he will continue to be a servant of David's. This is one sneaky spy!

16:20-23 Ahithophel's Counsel

When David had fled from Jerusalem with his whole household, he left ten concubines behind to keep the house (2Samuel 15:16).

Now, following Akh-ee-THO-fel's counsel, Ab-shaw-LOME violates those concubines in a tent on the roof, making it obvious to all the people. Why would he do this? Akh-ee-THO-fel knew that the people who were behind Ab-shaw-LOME might be worried that if father and son were somehow reconciled, they would be viewed as traitors. But by this action, Ab-shaw-LOME made a seemingly unbreachable divide between himself and his father.

Now, this terrible action was also a fulfillment of the judgment that God had pronounced on David for his sin with Bathsheba. Nathan told David,

2Sam. 12:11-12 "Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give {them} to your companion, and he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.'"

Paul wrote,

Gal. 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Truly, the seeds that we sow today will someday grow up, and we will have to live with what we've planted.

17:1-4 Ahithophel's Plan

Akh-ee-THO-fel asked Ab-shaw-LOME to send an army to pursue David. His plan was that those around David would flee, and the king would be left standing alone.

17:5-14 Hushai's Counsel

Although Ab-shaw-LOME was pleased with Akh-ee-THO-fel's plan, he also called to hear Khoo-SHAH-ee's ideas. Khoo-SHAH-ee actually gave Ab-shaw-LOME another great plan. One that would certainly wipe out David. A plan that would severely outnumber David, and overwhelm him.

But the difference was that this plan bought David much-needed time. Time to cross the river to safety.

Ab-shaw-LOME liked this plan better. Why? Because David had prayed earlier,

2Sam. 15:31 ..."O LORD, I pray, make the counsel of Akh-ee-THO-fel foolishness."

David was probably thinking that the Lord would make Akh-ee-THO-fel give bad counsel. But what the Lord decided to do was to make Akh-ee-THO-fel's counsel sound foolish to Ab-shaw-LOME.

God doesn't always answer our prayers in the manner we expect Him to. But when we submit to God's plans, rather than our own, He does a much better job than we.

17:15-22 Husahi Sends Word

When Khoo-shah-ee left, he went and told the priests, Tsaw-DOKE and Ab-yaw-THAWR, what was going to happen. He told them to tell David to cross over the Jordan river tonight.

The priests' sons, Jonathan and Akh-ee-MAH-ats, were part of this ancient spy network for David, stationed at Ane Ro-GALE. They were seen and reported, but were hidden in a well. David was warned, and he and his people crossed the Jordan to safety.

17:23 Ahithophel's Suicide

Ahk-ee-THO-fel committed suicide when he saw that his counsel was not followed. He must have lived life always getting his own way, and died when he didn't.

17:24-26 Absalom On The Move

David came to Makh-an-AH-yim, while Ab-shaw-LOME crossed the Jordan with his massive army.

Ab-shaw-LOME appointed Am-aw-SAW (the son of Yith-RAW) over his army, and they camped in Ghil-AWD.

17:27-29 Blessings For David

When David God to Makh-an-AH-yim, three guys brought him a lot of supplies.

Sho-BEE the son of Naw-KHAWSH of Rab-BAW, who was the brother of Khaw-NOON, who'd rejected David's sympathies (2Sam 10).

Maw-KEER the son of Am-mee-ALE of Lo Deb-AR. He was the one who'd allowed Mephibosheth to live in his house for so many years.

Bar-zil-LAH-ee the Ghil-AWD-ite of Ro-gel-EEM, who, we will find out in chapter 19, was 80 years old.

God is always faithful to supply our needs, and he brings that help in many forms, from many different kinds of people!

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