Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Jonathan and Ahimaaz hide in a well

2 Samuel 17:18-19

Doeg from Edom saw David when he was escaping from Saul (1 Samuel 21:1-9). He reported to Saul that the priests had acted to help David (1 Samuel 22:9-23). Then Doeg killed the whole family of Abiathar, the chief priest, on Saul’s orders. Only Abiathar escaped.

Now, many years later, David was escaping from Absalom. Jonathan, Abiathar’s son, together with Ahimaaz, had accepted the responsibility to take a secret message to David. The purpose of that message was to save David’s life.

So when a young man saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz, they realised the dangers at once. They were fast runners, but Absalom might send men on horses after them. So they had to find a safe place to hide. They also needed someone to tell them when the danger was over. Then, they could continue their journey.

The most dangerous part of their journey was when they passed through towns and villages. Anyone who saw them on that road might realise the reason for their journey. In Bahurim, for example, there was a powerful man who hated David (16:5). However, they still entered that town. They knew another man there who might be willing to help them.

That man owned a house with its own well. A well is a deep hole in the ground, which people have dug to obtain water. This well was deep enough for both men to climb inside, perhaps one above the other. Then, the owner’s wife covered the entrance to the well, and she put a pile of grain on top of it. So, it seemed as if there was no well in that place. There, Jonathan and Ahimaaz waited, in silence and in complete darkness.

Next part: The woman's untrue answer (2 Samuel 17:20)


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