Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 19

David remains in Mahanaim

2 Samuel 19:8-10

At last, David agreed to Joab’s request. He left his private room, and sat by the city’s gate, the only entrance to the city. There, he spoke kindly to the soldiers who had risked their lives to rescue him from Absalom’s army.

This happened at Mahanaim – not in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. Mahanaim was a city on the east side of the river Jordan. Most of Israel’s people and most of its land were on the west side of the river. In Israel, and in Jerusalem, the people were ashamed that they had supported Absalom.

David did not want to cause any further trouble in Israel. So he decided not to return to his palace in Jerusalem until the people across Israel invited him back.

There seemed to be general support across Israel for David. The people remembered how David had brought peace to Israel from its many enemies. Especially, they remembered that David had defeated the army of Philistia. That country, with its powerful army, had caused constant trouble for Israel during the rule of King Saul. So, most of the people in Israel decided that they wanted David to return as their king.

However, the leaders of David’s own region, Judah, hesitated. Perhaps they were afraid of David, because they allowed Absalom to become king at Hebron in Judah (15:10). Jerusalem was by the northern border of Judah; and David considered the support of Judah’s leaders to be important.

Next part: David tries to please the leaders of Judah (2 Samuel 19:11-12)


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