Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 17

The woman’s untrue answer

2 Samuel 17:20

Absalom probably realised that Israel’s chief priests supported David. However, they were safely back in Jerusalem. Absalom wanted it to seem that he had the support of the leaders of Israel’s religion (15:7-8).

So, the report that the two sons of the chief priests were running towards David’s camp, worried Absalom. The only possible reason for such behaviour seemed to be that they had a secret message for David. It seems from 2 Samuel 18:19-23 that one of them, Ahimaaz, took such messages on other occasions too.

Absalom immediately sent out a group of soldiers to stop them. They asked people questions; so they soon found the house where the two sons, Jonathan and Ahimaaz, were hiding. However, the owner’s wife had covered the well where they were. Absalom’s men could only see a pile of grain in the yard; they did not know that a well was below it.

Hushai was a very intelligent man. He managed to speak only the truth when he answered Absalom’s questions (16:17-19). However, this woman in Bahurim could not do that. So, she lied to Absalom’s soldiers. She probably only did that because it was necessary to save people’s lives. She told the soldiers that she had seen Jonathan and Ahimaaz. However, she then lied that they had already left. In fact, she knew where they were. She herself had hidden them in the well.

When the soldiers had gone, she moved the grain. Then, at last, Jonathan and Ahimaaz could leave the well and continue their journey. The soldiers did not catch them, and Jonathan and Ahimaaz reached David during the night. They had run for about 20 miles (30 kilometres).

Next part: David escapes across the river Jordan (2 Samuel 17:21-22)


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