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2 Samuel 17:10

2 Samuel 17:10

And he also [that is] valiant, whose heart is as the heart of
a lion, shall utterly melt
That is, whoever should hear of Absalom's forces, or a part of them, being routed, would be intimidated, though ever so courageous, or of such a lion-like temper and disposition; and even Ahithophel himself, notwithstanding all his boasted courage, his heart would fail, he would melt like water F8, ( Joshua 7:5 ) ; should he meet with such a rebuff at first setting out. A lion is well known for its courage as well as strength, and has not only a fierce countenance, hence we read of lion-like men in their faces, ( 2 Samuel 23:20 ) ( 1 Chronicles 12:8 ) ; but has a courageous heart, and from thence it is thought to have its name Labi, from "leb", which signifies the heart; so Hercules is represented by the poet as having a lion's heart {i}, and others also; though Leo Africanus F11 relates of some lions in Africa that are so naturally fearful that they will flee at the cry of children, particularly at a place called Agla; hence it became a proverb with the inhabitants of Fez to call blustering cowards the lions of Agla; and he speaks of great numbers of lions elsewhere F12, who are easily driven away with a small stick by the most timorous persons; but for the most part lions are very bold and daring, as well as strong, to which the allusion is here. Some apply this to David himself, who was a valiant man, and whose heart was like that of a lion, and so read the last clause with an interrogation: "shall he utterly melt?" no, he will not; he is not to be made afraid so easily as Ahithophel has intimated:

for all Israel knoweth that thy father [is] a mighty man, and [they]
which be with him [are] valiant men:
this is so universally known that it cannot be denied.


F8 (----hute leibeai udwr) , Moschi Idyll 2. ver. 45.
F9 (yumoleonta) Homer. Iliad. 5. ver 639. Iliad. 7. ver. 228. Odyss. 11. ver. 279. Vid. Hesiod. Theogoniam prope finem.
F11 Descriptio Africae, l. 3. p. 400.
F12 Ib. p. 474.