Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

An urgent message to save David’s life

2 Samuel 17:15-16

Hushai had given the best advice that he knew to Absalom. However, Hushai had previously told Absalom that he was still supporting Israel’s true king, in other words, David (16:18). He even explained that he was only helping Absalom in order to support Absalom’s father, David (16:19). Absalom heard these things, but, because of his proud attitudes, he did not understand Hushai’s words properly. Absalom thought that Hushai was now agreeing to support him, and not David.

For that reason, after Hushai had advised Absalom, Hushai went immediately to Zadok and Abiathar, the chief priests. Hushai did not yet know whether Absalom would accept his advice. If Absalom accepted Ahithophel’s advice, then David’s life would be in immediate danger. Ahithophel had advised Absalom to send 12,000 men to attack David’s camp that night. If, on the other hand, Absalom followed Hushai’s advice, David would have much longer to prepare to defend himself.

Ahimaaz and Jonathan, the sons of Zadok and Abiathar, had offered to run with a message to David. David had told them where he intended to wait (15:28). Hushai considered that place to be much too dangerous.

So, Hushai asked the priests to send an urgent message to David. It would already be night when that message arrived. David must order his men to wake up their whole camp. Everyone who supported David must cross the river Jordan at once. Otherwise, if Absalom attacked that night, David and all his supporters might die. Hushai realised that, in a battle, the results are uncertain. For that reason, he had warned Absalom how easily Ahithophel’s plan might fail (17:8-9). Then, he warned David about the terrible things that could easily happen as a result of that same plan.

Next part: Jonathan and Ahimaaz leave with the message (2 Samuel 17:17)


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