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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 2 Samuel 18:9-18

Here is Absalom quite at a loss, at his wit's end first, and then at his life's end. He that began the fight, big with the expectation of triumphing over David himself, with whom, if he had had him in his power, he would not have dealt gently, is now in the greatest consternation, when he meets the servants of David, 2 Sam. 18:9. Though they were forbidden to meddle with him, he durst not look them in the face; but, finding they were near him, he clapped spurs to his mule and made the best of... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 2 Samuel 18:17

And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood ,.... In the wood of Ephraim, near to which the battle was fought, and into which Absalom fled, and where he was slain: and laid a very great heap of stones upon him : his punishment was very exemplary; he was first hanged on an oak, and then thrust through with darts, and swords, and then covered with stones, 2 Samuel 18:9 , pointing to the death that a rebellious son, according to the law, ought to die, Deuteronomy... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 2 Samuel 18:17

And laid a very great heap of stones - This was the method of burying heroes, and even traitors, the heap of stones being designed to perpetuate the memory of the event, whether good or bad. The ancient cairns or heaps of stones, in different parts of the world, are of this kind. The various tumuli or barrows in England are the same as the cairns in different parts of Ireland and Scotland. In the former, stones were not plenty; hence they heaped up great mounds of earth. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 2 Samuel 18:1-18

The facts are: 1 . David, refreshed by the aid sent him, sets himself to the work of organizing his followers, and divides them into three corps, under Joab, Abishai, and Ittai respectively. 2 . On his proposing to head the force, the people urge him to desist from doing so, pointing out that, in case of a conflict, the enemy would be sure to make an endeavour to kill him rather than to fight a regular battle. 3 . The king yields to their persuasions, and, as they suggest, abides... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 2 Samuel 18:14-18

( THE WOOD OF EPHRAIM .) The end of Absalom. After a long course of flagrant and persistent wickedness, Absalom (at the age of twenty-seven) met his deserved doom. There is not in all history a more signal instance of retribution. In it we see punishment following crime, in the way of natural consequence, and corresponding with it in the manner of its infliction. The sinner reaps as he sows. "But Justice hastes t' avenge each impious deed: Some in day's clear and open light; ... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 2 Samuel 18:17

A great pit; Hebrew, the great pit; as though there was some great hollow or well known depression in the wood, into which they cast Absalom's dead body, and raised a cairn over it. Such cairns were used as memorials of any event deemed worthy of lasting remembrance, but the similar cairn piled over the dead body of Achan ( Joshua 7:26 ) makes it probable that the act was also intended as a sign of condemnation of Absalom's conduct. All Israel fled every one to his tent. The Israelites... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - 2 Samuel 18:17

A great heap of stones - See the marginal reference. This kind of monument is common to almost all early nations. read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - 2 Samuel 18:17

2 Samuel 18:17. They took Absalom and cast him into a great pit They would not bring his body to be disposed of by his father’s order, lest it should excite his grief to excess. And laid a very great heap of stones upon him As a lasting monument of his sin and shame, and of the righteous judgment of God upon him. Thus the Israelites treated the dead body of Achan, and those of the king of Ai, and the five kings of the Amorites. See Joshua 7:26; Joshua 8:29; Joshua 10:27. Absalom was, in a... read more

Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - 2 Samuel 18:1-33

War between Absalom and David (17:1-19:8)Ahithophel advised Absalom that he needed to do only one thing to make his throne secure, and that was kill David. If he did this swiftly, without war or unnecessary bloodshed, the people would soon be fully behind him (17:1-4). Hushai, wishing to gain time for David to escape and organize his troops, advised against such a risky operation, for David was a very experienced soldier. He recommended that the whole Israelite army be assembled and Absalom... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - 2 Samuel 18:17

heap of stones . Not a memorial to honour but to warn (Joshua 7:26 ; Joshua 8:29 ). See note on 2 Samuel 18:18 . read more

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