And it came to pass after forty years
Or four years; so long it was from the reconciliation of Absalom to David, as Josephus
F6 says; and so read Theodoret on the place, the Syriac and Arabic versions: but some say it was either forty years from the time Israel first had a king; and which might be an era of reckoning with the Jews, as the era of Seleucidae was with the Greeks, on the like account; or from the time Saul slew the priests at Nob, as Jerom F7; or from the time of David's being anointed by Samuel; or this was the year of Absalom's age, or of David's reign: but these, and other attempts made to account for this passage, are not entirely satisfactory; and therefore one may be tempted to conclude there must be a mistake in the copy, of "arbaim" for "arba", forty for four; which makes it quite easy, and confirms the first sense:
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;
not what he vowed in Hebron; for according to his own account he had vowed it in Geshur, as in ( 2 Samuel 15:8 ) ; but his request is, that he might pay it in Hebron; which place he fixed upon, being his native place, and where David was anointed king; and which, being about twenty miles from Jerusalem, was at a proper distance to lay the scene of his conspiracy in, and bring it to perfection.