Dave Burnette's Commentary

2 Samuel Chapter 15

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Nathan, Zabud, & Gad 
Date Penned: (930 BC)
Overview: A Record of David's Reign (c 1-24)
Theme: David's Struggles (c 11-24)
Message: Absalom Plots to Overthrow David  (v 1-37)

2 Samuel 15 Commentary

(15:1) David Writes Psalms During Absalom's Rebellion - David wrote several psalms during the days of Absalom's rebellion. Some of them may be Psalms 39, 41, 55, 61, and 63.

(15:2) The City Gate - The city gate was like city hall and a shopping center combined. Because Jerusalem was the nation's capital, both local and national leaders met there daily to transact business and conduct government affairs. The city gate was the perfect spot for this because government and business transactions needed witnesses to be legitimate, and anyone entering or leaving the city had to pass through the gate. Merchants set up their tent-shops near the gate for the same reason. Absalom, therefore, went to the city gate to win the hearts of Israel's leaders as well as those of the common people.

(15:5-6) A Misleading Charisma - Absalom's political strategy was to steal the hearts of the people with his good looks, grand entrances, apparent concern for justice, and friendly embraces. Many were fooled and switched their allegiance. Later, however, Absalom proved to be an evil ruler.

We need to evaluate our leaders to make sure their charisma is not a mask covering greed, deception, or hunger for power. Make sure that underneath their style and charm, they

are able to make good decisions and handle people wisely.

(15:9) Absalom Goes to Hebron -  Absalom went to Hebron because it was his hometown (3:2-3). Hebron was David's first capital as well, and there Absalom could expect to find loyal friends who would be proud of him.

(15:14) David Fails to Stop the Rebellion - Why couldn't David just crush this rebellion? There were several reasons he chose to flee: (1) The rebellion was widespread (15:10-13) and would not have been easily suppressed, possibly leading to civil war; (2) David did not want the city of Jerusalem to be destroyed; and (3) David still cared for his son and did not want to hurt him. We know that David expected to return to Jerusalem soon because he left ten of his concubines to take care of the palace (15:16).

(15:14) Courage to Wait - Had David not escaped from Jerusalem, the ensuing fight might have killed not only him but also many innocent inhabitants of the city. Some fights that we think are necessary can be costly and destructive to those around us. In such cases, it may be wise to back down and save the fight for another day--even if doing so hurts our pride. It takes courage to stand and fight, but it also takes courage to back down for the sake of others.

(15:17-18) An Importance to Obey God - David had many loyal non-Israelites in his armed forces. The Gittites, men from the Philistine city of Gath, were apparently friends David had acquired while hiding from Saul. God had a purpose in David's time spent there. The Cherethites and Pelethites also came from Philistine territory. Although Israel was supposed to destroy wicked enemies, the people were to welcome foreigners who came on friendly terms (Exodus 23:9; Deuteronomy 10:19) and try to show them the importance of obeying God.

(15:24-25) The Priests and Levites - The priests and Levites were also loyal to David.

(15:27-37) David Gains Knowledge for Absalom's Camp - David needed spies in Absalom's court to inform him of Absalom's decisions. By serving Absalom as a supposed traitor to David, Hushai could offer advice contradictory to Ahithophel's advice. Ahithophel was Absalom's adviser (and also Bath-sheba's grandfather).

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Sins Long Lasting Consequences

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue in the book of 2nd Samuel with Chapter 15. In our text, we see the National rebellion against David as Absalom plots to overthrow David, with David having to flee from Absalom. In making an application, we know how the sin that we fail to deal with will come back to us. We see David's sin with Bath-sheba progressing to the murder of her husband, the death of his infant, the rape of his daughter by his son, to have his other son murder him. Now Absalom flees to come back to try to overthrow David. There is no doubt that David loved the Lord, and looking back, if he could have seen the lasting effects of sin, he would have thought twice about his decision. Today many fail to have a hatred of sin as they commit them, but if they see into the future, they will see the destructive path it leaves and stay far from its lure. Yes, the Lord forgives, but sin's lasting effects are with us for a lifetime. How about you? Do you see the last impact of our sin? Let us learn from the text today and the life of David to stay far from sin unless we see its consequences follow us all the days of our lives.  


2 Samuel 15

2 Samuel 15

 1And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

 2And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.

 3And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.

 4Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

 5And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

 6And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

 7And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

 8For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.

 9And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.

 10But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.

 11And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.

 12And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.

 13And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.

 14And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.

 15And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.

 16And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.

 17And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.

 18And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.

 19Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.

 20Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.

 21And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

 22And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.

 23And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.

 24And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.

 25And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation:

 26But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.

 27The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.

 28See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me.

 29Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there.

 30And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

 31And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

 32And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head:

 33Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me:

 34But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

 35And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.

 36Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear.

 37So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.