Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

Jonathan and Ahimaaz leave with the message

2 Samuel 17:17

David had told Jonathan and Ahimaaz, the sons of the chief priests, to go back into Jerusalem with their fathers (15:27). However, it seems that they made their own plan. That night, they expected to run 20 miles (30 kilometres) with a secret message for David. David’s life depended on that message. So, it would be too dangerous for them to enter the city and then, soon afterwards, to leave it. People might realise what they were doing.

There is a spring (source of water) south of Jerusalem called En Rogel. It was about 300 yards (300 metres) south of the walls of the city at that time. Women went there often to collect water, or to wash clothes. So, it would not seem unusual if a woman left the city to go there. That was where Jonathan and Ahimaaz decided to wait.

So a maid from the chief priest’s house had the important task to take Hushai’s message to them. She would not have been able to read – but on such an occasion, and with such unusual instructions, she would have realised the importance of the message. She was responsible to save people’s lives – even the life of her king.

She managed to hand over the message to Jonathan and Ahimaaz, who began their journey. However, a young man saw them (17:18). He reported it to Absalom, perhaps because he hoped for a reward.

It seems that Jonathan and Ahimaaz themselves saw that young man. They realised that he would report them to Absalom. So, they ran only to Bahurim, the town where Shimei had insulted David (16:8). There, they hid.

Next part: Jonathan and Ahimaaz hide in a well (2 Samuel 17:18-19)


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