Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 16

Hushai prays for a long life for Israel’s true king

2 Samuel 16:15-16

Our attention now turns back to earlier in that day. David’s friend Hushai has just arrived back in Jerusalem, as David had requested (15:37). At the same time, Absalom also arrived to take possession of Jerusalem. He brought with him an army of about 12,000 men who were loyal to him (17:1). His chief adviser was Ahithophel, who had formerly advised David. Hushai’s task was to defeat Ahithophel’s advice (15:31-34).

The first problem was how Hushai could persuade Absalom to accept him as an adviser. Hushai was clearly a very skilful adviser, but everyone knew him to be David’s friend (1 Chronicles 27:33).

Hushai did not believe that it was right to speak any lies. So, he would be careful to speak only the truth. If Absalom misunderstood him – perhaps because of his (Absalom’s) own pride – then that was Absalom’s fault.

So, Hushai greeted Absalom with the declaration: ‘May the king have a long life!’ Everyone who supported Absalom would have been saying such things. Of course Absalom thought that they were saying this about him. He was pleased that people were calling him ‘the king’ for the first time. He never thought that, by those words, Hushai might be praying for David to live a long life. However, that was the true meaning of Hushai’s words. Hushai did not believe that Absalom had any right to call himself ‘the king’. Hushai knew that David was Israel’s true king.

Next part: Hushai's duty is to support Israel's true king as his friend (2 Samuel 16:17-18)


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