And Absalom rose up early
Every morning, to show how diligent and industrious he should be, and closely apply himself to business, was he in any office trader the king, and especially when he should be king himself; this he did to ingratiate himself into the affections of the people:
and stood beside the way of the gate;
either of the king's palace, so Josephus F4, or of the city, where courts of judicature are held: the former seems most probable by what follows:
and it was [so], that when any man that had a controversy came to the
king for judgment;
that had a controversy with another man on any account, and came to the king to have it decided according to law, or the rules of justice and equity:
then Absalom called unto him, and said, of what city [art] thou?
which question he asked, only to lead on to some further discourse:
and he said, thy servant [is] of one of the tribes;
that is, of one of the cities of the tribes of Israel, and not of a city of another nation.
F4 Antiqu. l. 7. c. 9. sect. 1.