And it came to pass after two full years
Two complete years after the rape was committed; so long Absalom kept it in his mind, and was contriving how to avenge it; he let it alone so long, that it might be thought by the king and Amnon, and all the family, that it was quite worn out of his mind, and entirely forgotten by him, and therefore might the more safely confide in him:
that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which [is] beside
though a prince, the son of a king, he had his flocks, and attended to the care of them, and had shearers to shear them at the proper time of the year, which it now was. The Chinese shear their sheep three times a year, the spring, summer, and autumn; but the first time of shearing yields the best wool F7. The place of shearing them was, no doubt, near where they were kept in Baalhazor, in the plain of Hazor, as the Targum, and so some versions; which was a city in the tribe of Judah, ( Joshua 15:25 ) ; and near to Ephraim; not that it was a city in the tribe of Ephraim, as Josephus says F8; but it was near to another city called Ephraim, perhaps the same as in ( 2 Chronicles 13:19 ) and in ( John 11:54 ) ; it lay to the northeast of Jerusalem, as you go to Jericho, and is thought by Reland F9 to lie between Bethel and Jericho; and, according to Eusebius F11, it was eight miles from Jerusalem; though Jerom F12, through mistake, says twenty; and both these places, according to Bunting F13, were eight miles from Jerusalem; it seems to be the same place that was spoken of in the Misnah F14, called Ephraim in the valley, and which is said to be the second place in the land of Israel for fine flour, and might have its name from its fruitfulness:
and Absalom invited all the king's sons;
to the sheepshearing: that is, to the feast which was usually made at such times, and still is; see ( Genesis 38:12 ) ( 1 Samuel 25:2 1 Samuel 25:8 1 Samuel 25:11 1 Samuel 25:36 ) .
F7 Semedo's History of China, part 1. ch. 3.
F8 Antiqu. l. 7. c. 8. sect. 2.
F9 Palestina Illustrat. tom. 1. p. 377.
F11 Apud Reland, ib. & p. 490. & tom. 2. p. 765.
F12 De loc. Heb. fol. 91. A.
F13 Travels p. 143, 363.
F14 Menachot, c. 8. sect. l.