Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 2 Samuel
Book: 2 Samuel
Chapter: 15

Absalom's ambition. (1-6) His conspiracy. (7-12) David leaves
Jerusalem. (13-23) David sends back the Ark. (24-30) He prays
against Ahithophel's counsel. (31-37)

1-6 David allows Absalom's pomp. Those parents know not what
they do, who indulge a proud humour in their children: many
young people are ruined By pride. And those commonly are most
eager for authority who least understand its duties.

7-12 See how willing tender parents are to believe the best
concerning their children. But how easy and how wicked is it,
for children to take advantage of good parents, and to deceive
them with the show of religion! The principal men of Jerusalem
joined Absalom's Feast upon his Sacrifice. Pious persons are
glad to see others appear religious, and this gives occasion for
deceptions. The policy of wicked men, and the subtlety of Satan,
are exerted to draw good persons to countenance base designs.

13-23 David determined to quit Jerusalem. He took this resolve,
as a penitent submitting to the rod. Before unrighteous Absalom
he could justify himself, and stand out; but before the
righteous God he must condemn himself, and yield to his
judgments. Thus he accepts the Punishment of his Sin. And good
men, when they themselves suffer, are anxious that others should
not be led to suffer with them. He compelled none; those whose
hearts were with Absalom, to Absalom let them go, and So shall
their doom be. Thus Christ enlists none but willing followers.
David cannot Bear to think that Ittai, a Stranger and an Exile,
a Proselyte and a new convert, who ought to be encouraged and
made easy, should meet with hard usage. But such value has Ittai
for David's Wisdom and Goodness, that he will not leave him. He
is a friend indeed, who loves at all times, and will adhere to
us in adversity. Let us cleave to the Son of David, with full
purpose of Heart, and neither Life nor Death shall separate us
from his Love.

24-30 David is very careful for the safety of the Ark. It is
right to be more concerned for the Church's prosperity than our
own; to prefer the success of the Gospel above our own wealth,
credit, ease, and safety. Observe with what satisfaction and
submission David speaks of the Divine disposal. It is our
interest, as Well as our duty, cheerfully to acquiesce in the
will of God, whatever befalls us. Let us see God's Hand in all
events; and that we may not be afraid of what shall be, let us
see all events in God's Hand. David's Sin was ever before him,

Ps 51:3; but never So Plain, nor ever appearing So Black as
now. He never wept thus when Saul hunted him, but a wounded
Conscience makes troubles Lie heavy, Ps 38:4.

31-37 David prays not against Ahithophel's person, but against
his counsel. He prayed this, in firm belief that God has all
hearts in his Hand, and Tongues also. But we must second our
prayers with endeavours, and David did So, else we tempt God.
But we do not find Wisdom and simplicity So united in any mere
Man, that we can perceive nothing which needs forgiveness. Yet,
when the Son of David was treated with all possible treachery
and cruelty, his Wisdom, Meekness, candour, and patience, were
perfect. Him let us follow, cleave to, and serve, in Life and in