Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16

Hushai’s duty is to support Israel’s true king as his friend

2 Samuel 16:17-18

It seemed to Absalom that Hushai had now decided to support Absalom instead of David. That was what Ahithophel, David’s chief adviser, had already done (15:12). Absalom considered that it would be useful to have Hushai’s advice too. However, Absalom did not accept him immediately. First, he asked Hushai some questions.

Absalom reminded Hushai that, unlike Ahithophel, Hushai was not a political adviser. Hushai had always advised David as his friend. It is easy for a political adviser to change sides – to support the side that formerly, he opposed. However, friends should be loyal to each other, because true friendship is a type of love (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). So, Absalom asked Hushai whether he was truly showing friendship. If so, then he should have gone with David, Absalom said.

Hushai replied that he considered it his duty to be the friend of Israel’s true king. It was not, therefore, a matter of personal friendship. Rather, it was a duty that he owed to God. Next, Hushai explained to Absalom who that king was. God himself had chosen that man to be Israel’s king – that happened to David in 1 Samuel 16:13. Then Israel’s people, including everyone present in Jerusalem, had accepted him – that happened to David in 2 Samuel 5:1-3.

However, Absalom thought that Hushai was describing him, Absalom – and not David. Clearly the people present in Jerusalem had accepted Absalom. Absalom hoped that he had the support of the rest of the nation, too. He therefore thought that God would support him. However, God did not choose Absalom. Absalom wrongly took authority over the nation for himself. Therefore, David remained the true king, and it was Hushai’s duty to support him.

Next part: Hushai would advise Absalom because of Hushai's friendship with David (2 Samuel 16:19)


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