Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17
Hushai did not believe that a sudden attack by Absalom’s army could defeat the men with David. We discussed the reasons in our previous article. The men who still supported David were the bravest and strongest soldiers in Israel (23:8-39).
However, there was another part in the plan that Ahithophel had given to Absalom. It was that Absalom’s men should, in that attack, try to kill David only. Ahithophel’s reason was that David’s death would end the war. David’s men would see no reason to continue to fight after David’s death.
Hushai considered that idea to be very foolish. No sensible adviser would allow David to remain with his men when his life was in such great danger. David had often hidden in caves in the past, when Saul was trying to kill him (1 Samuel 22:1 and 24:3). David would be doing the same thing now. There are many caves in the region where David was, near the river Jordan. Absalom’s soldiers could never hope to find him.
In reality, it does seem that David remained with his soldiers that night (17:21-22). Of course, Hushai did not know that. If he had been with David, he would never have advised it. However, David was acting without the benefit of Hushai’s advice. When Absalom’s army finally came, David even wanted to join his men in the battle. David only agreed not to do that when all his men insisted on it (18:2-4). Their reason was the same as the advice that Ahithophel gave to Absalom (17:2-3): in this battle, only the life of David mattered. In other words, David’s death would mean complete success for Absalom.
Next part: Absalom must lead Israel's whole army into battle against David (2 Samuel 17:11-13)
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 1000+ page course book.
© 2023, Keith Simons.