Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16

David’s journey to the Jordan river

2 Samuel 16:13-14

Shimei continued with his insults for as long as he could. He tried to hit David and the people who were with him, with stones from the hill. Then Shimei realised that he could push dirt down from the hill. David and his supporters were going along the road below Shimei. So, their clothes became dirty. It was very unpleasant; but David would not allow his men to attack Shimei.

They passed from there into the desert. It was probably hot, and the sun was strong. This was the longest and most difficult part of the journey especially for the women and young children who were with David. Those who lived in the palace probably had little exercise normally. There was not much water available to drink. Many of them would be afraid; they did not know where they were going.

At last they reached the more pleasant valley of the Jordan river. Here, plants and trees grew plentifully. At last, the people could slow down and relax. David was waiting by the river for a message from his friends in Jerusalem (15:28). So, the people with him camped there that evening.

The distance from Jerusalem to Jericho is about 20 miles (30 kilometres). A good walker might go that far in perhaps 5 hours. David’s soldiers would have considered it easy to walk that far in a day. However, David had many people with him who were not soldiers. They all had to leave their homes at once. They were carrying all their remaining possessions with them; they had to leave many useful and valuable things in Jerusalem. So, they did very well to complete their journey to the Jordan river that day.

Next part: Hushai prays for a long life for Israel's true king (2 Samuel 16:15-16)


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