Therefore I counsel
My advice is as follows:
that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to
Beersheba, as the sand that [is] by the sea for multitude:
not all the inhabitants of the land, but such as are fit to bear arms, or that were soldiers, employed in military affairs, in keeping garrisons, guarding the coasts even the militia of the nation, from the extreme boundary of it on the north to the extreme boundary of it on the south; in such a direction lay Dan and Beersheba. This is opposed to the counsel of Ahithophel, which was only to select twelve thousand men, and send them against David at once; and this is designed chiefly to gain time, since such a collection could not be made soon, and so David would have more time to get farther off, and to prepare the better for his defence; and this advice might be the more agreeable to Absalom, as it promised a greater certainty of success through numbers, and might feed the vanity and ambition of that prince to have such a large army under him, as well as suggested that all Israel were on his side, and at his command, and might easily be gathered to him:
and that thou go to battle in thine own person;
this was another part of his advice opposed to the counsel of Ahithophel, who proposed to have the command of the twelve thousand men himself, and to leave Absalom at Jerusalem; now Hushai suggests that it would be more to his interest and his honour to take command of the army himself, and go in person into the field of battle; since this would serve to animate his soldiers, when they saw their prince at the head of them, and he would have the glory of the victory, which he might insinuate hereby Ahithophel sought to deprive him of: it is in the Hebrew text, that "thy face" or "faces go to battle" F13, where he might be seen in person, and have the oversight and direction of things himself; the Targum is,
``and thou shalt go at the head of us all;''and this advice Hushai was directed to give, and which was taken, that Absalom might fall in battle.