Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15

David’s concubines remain in the palace

2 Samuel 15:16

As David left Jerusalem to escape from Absalom, he was careful to take his whole, large family with him. Absalom had killed his own brother (13:29), so none of the family could expect to be safe with him. David had many children and several wives - although God’s law did not permit him to marry so many women (Deuteronomy 17:17).

David also had several concubines. These women were maids in his palace, whom David had accepted as wives of lower rank. As maids, their principal duty was to look after the women’s part of the palace, which no man ever entered. Probably, these women felt very afraid to leave the palace. David expected, of course, that Absalom would take the royal palace for himself. However, David thought that his concubines would be safe in the women’s part of the palace. In the past, Absalom seemed to care about the rights of women (13:1-30).

However, David was wrong in this matter. He was in fact acting carelessly towards these women. They were not safe with Absalom, as later events proved (16:20-22).

David had to decide about these matters very quickly. Absalom had almost reached Jerusalem, with about 12,000 soldiers (17:1). The situation was so urgent that David left the city at once, without his guards. He then waited at a certain place while they, too, gathered their wives and children (15:22). As soon as they had done that, they joined David and the rest of his supporters at that place.

Next part: David at the 'house of the distance' (2 Samuel 15:17)


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