Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15
David had urged Ittai to return to Jerusalem. Ittai did not need to risk his life, David insisted. David was trusting God about his future - but he would always consider Ittai, a foreign soldier from Gath in Philistia, to be his friend.
Ittai replied in the strongest manner possible: he made a serious promise in front of God. He would not leave David in any circumstances. He was willing to live with David in the desert, without a home. He was even willing to die on David’s behalf. He reminded David that David was the king. Ittai still accepted David’s rule as his king and master - even if David had lost control of his country. David was not merely someone who, like Absalom, had chosen to become king. God had appointed David to be king; therefore, Ittai considered that it would be wrong in front of God to leave David during his troubles.
So Ittai was not supporting David in order to please him as his friend. Rather, he supported David because that was his duty to God. Formerly, he had served the false gods of Philistia - but now he served only the true God, Israel’s God, and God had given him this special work to do.
Ittai’s words would have reminded David of Ruth’s words when she left Moab to join Israel (Ruth 1:16-17). Ittai spoke those words on behalf of all the men whom he led, and their families. Once they had been foreigners - but now they belonged to Israel’s God, and so they had chosen to support David, Israel’s true king.
Next part: David crosses the Kidron (2 Samuel 15:22-23)
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