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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



2 KINGS 16

 

CHAPTER XVI.

 

Ver. 1.  Siba was a mean character, but of sufficient discernment to judge that David would gain the day.  He came to calumniate his master; and David paid too much attention to him, though his testimony would not have been received in a court of judicature.  C. --- We must reflect that the mind of David was full of trouble, and devoid of suspicion.  H. --- But he did wrong (W.) in condemning Miphiboseth unheard. --- Raisins.  See 1 K. xxv. 18. C. --- Figs; (palatharum) which are often called caricarum.  M. --- Heb. mea kayits, "a hundred of summer" fruits, like fresh grapes, (Num. xiii. 21.) and other fruits, gathered after harvest time.  Mic. vii. 1.

 

Ver. 2.  Loaves.  Heb. "and to fight."  But the Sept. and the Masorets reject the letter l, which causes the difference.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Father: a very improbable story, as the son of Jonathan was lame, and all Israel had declared for Absalom.  M.

 

Ver. 4.  All.  In the East, crimes are generally punished with the loss of goods.  C. --- Kings.  He intimates that he had not spoken against his master, with a design to obtain his effects.  M.

 

Ver. 5.  Bahurim, a fortress of Benjamin, about an hour's walk east of Bethania.  Adric. xxviii. --- It signifies, "chosen youths;" and it is called Almut, or Almon, "youth."  1 Par. vi. 60. &c.  Hither Phaltiel conducted Michol.  C. iii. 16.  C.

 

Ver. 7.  Belial; contemner of the laws, and murderer.  M.

 

Ver. 9.  Dog.  David's nephew was moved with indignation.  He could easily have punished the insolence of Semei.  H.

 

Ver. 10.---11.  Hath bid him curse.  Not that the Lord was the author of Semei's sin, which proceeded purely from his own malice, and the abuse of his free-will; but that knowing and suffering his malicious disposition to break out on this occasion, he made use of him as his instrument to punish David for his sins.  Ch. --- He adored the justice of God; who is often said to do what he does not hinder, or what he only permits.  E. --- David is here a noble figure of Jesus Christ, excusing his executioners, (H.) and receiving the insults of the Jews, without complaining.  C. --- If Semei had not been guilty of sin, but acted according to God's will, he could not have been justly punished.  3 K. ii.  W.

 

Ver. 12.  Affliction, of which he makes a sort of sacrifice, being convinced that God will not reject the contrite and humble heart.  Ps. l. 19.  C.

 

Ver. 13.  Earth, like a man in fury.  Acts xxii. 23.

 

Ver. 14.  There, on the hill side, (H.) at Bahurim, v. 5.  M.

 

Ver. 16.  Arachite; perhaps descended from the ancient Aracites, who dwelt near Arad and Tripoli, where the pretended Sabbatic river is said to flow; (Jos. Bel. xii. 13.) or rather, as the names are written in a different manner, this person might be a native of Arachi, in Benjamin, west of Bethel.  Jos. xvi. 2.  C. --- See C. xv. 32. --- Friend.  This was his peculiar title of office.  1 Par. xxvii. 33.  C. --- King. (Salve.)  Lit. "Hail, O King," in both places.  The salutation is repeated for greater emphasis.  H.

 

Ver. 17.  Friend.  He rather accuses him of treachery.  H. --- But he does not mention the name of king, or of father, lest it should too plainly speak his own condemnation, as an ungrateful rebel.  Salien.

 

Ver. 18.  Chosen.  (Vox populi, vox Dei)  Private people are not commonly able, or allowed, to judge of the right, which the prince has to the throne.  But here Absalom was manifestly an usurper; and many still adhered to David.  C. --- Chusai assumes the character of a courtier, and flatters the prince; (Salien) who ought to have been on his guard.  See C. xv. 34.  C.

 

Ver. 21.  Their hands may be strengthened, &c.  The people might apprehend lest Absalom should be reconciled to his father; and therefore they followed him with some fear of being left in the lurch, till they saw such a crime committed, as seemed to make a reconciliation impossible.  Ch. --- This was the most heinous outrage that a son could offer to his father.  Jacob resented it to the last.  Gen. xlix. 4.  Amyntor devoted his son PhÅ“nix to all the furies, for a similar offence.  Iliad ix.  Armais treated the wives of his brother Sesostris in this manner, when he had resolved to rebel.  Joseph. c. Ap. i.

 

Ver. 22.  Israel, who saw him enter the tents, (C.) on the flat roof.  C. xi. 2. and xii. 11.  H. --- The wives of the conquered  king were reserved for the victor.  Smerdis married all the wives of his predecessor, Cambyses.  Herod. iii. 68. and 83.  C.

 

Ver. 23.  Absalom.  It tended to promote the end which was desired, (H.) whether good or bad.  His prudence is hyperbolically compared with the divine oracles; (M.) and his authority must have had great weight, since David began to take precautions, only after he had heard that Achitophel had joined the rebels; and Absalom was persuaded (C.) to perpetrate so foul and unnatural a crime publicly, no one daring to make any opposition.  Chusai was silent; as he was aware that, if he began to contradict this counsellor at first, he would only incur suspicion.  H. --- The unjust commonly endeavour by all means to attach people to themselves: but God, in the end, turns their counsels against themselves.  W.

 

 








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