Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Absalom must lead Israel’s whole army into battle against David

2 Samuel 17:11-13

Now that Hushai had explained the weaknesses of Ahithophel’s plan, he needed to offer Absalom a better plan.

It had always been the principal duty of Israel’s king to lead its men into battle (1 Samuel 8:19-20). Saul proved his qualities as king when he powerfully gathered all its men to fight in battle (1 Samuel chapter 11). On great occasions, David himself led all of Israel’s men into battle (for example, 2 Samuel 12:26-31). All the men who were able to fight came. They came from Dan in the north, from Beersheba in the south, and from everywhere that was between those cities.

Absalom had no experience as an army commander. However, if he wanted to rule Israel, he himself must be able to lead the army. If he could gather such a great army, then the brave attitudes of David’s soldiers would hardly matter. None of them would be able to stand against so many men who were fighting against them. David would be unable to hide because, with so many men, Absalom would certainly find him. That was what Hushai said.

Hushai expected that David would try to escape into a city with high walls and strong defences. Many ancient cities were like castles. There, David might consider himself safe – but Hushai laughed at the idea. Absalom would be leading so many men that they could just pull down that entire city into the valley below it. Hushai meant that they would destroy the city completely, with everyone in it.

This was truly impressive advice. So, Absalom discussed it with his other advisers.

Next part: Absalom prefers Hushai's advice (2 Samuel 17:14)


Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 1000+ page course book.


© 2023, Keith Simons.