Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Absalom prefers Hushai’s advice

2 Samuel 17:14

Absalom discussed with his advisers the advice that they had received from Ahithophel and from Hushai. Hushai had shown clearly that there were serious dangers in Ahithophel’s plan for an immediate attack. Absalom knew the men who were now supporting King David. They were, as Hushai had said, strong and brave fighters. They would certainly attack Absalom’s men fiercely, and success against them seemed very uncertain.

Hushai had argued for a later attack by the largest possible army. By that time, David would have found a place of safety in a city with strong walls. However, such a large army would be able to defeat him even there, as Hushai had said. The main problem with Hushai’s plan, therefore, was that Absalom himself would have to lead the army. Absalom had never been a military commander; he may never have fought in a battle.

However, Absalom believed that he could do it. He knew how to make people do what he wanted (for example, 2 Samuel 13:28). He could force even powerful people to obey him (14:28-33). He was an impressive man with strong ambitions. So he, and the men who advised him, decided to follow Hushai’s plan.

God had brought this about in answer to David’s prayer (15:31). David had realised that, with Ahithophel’s advice, Absalom would be much too powerful. So God showed Hushai the dangers in the plan that Ahithophel had made. He also showed Hushai a better plan, which Absalom with his proud attitudes would want to follow. However, that same plan placed the life of Absalom himself in danger.

Next part: An urgent message to save David's life (2 Samuel 17:15-16)


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