For (said Hushai) thou knowest thy father and his men, that
they [be] mighty men
Men of courage and valour, and not such weak-handed and weak-hearted men, and so easily intimidated, as Ahithophel suggests:
and they [be] chafed in their minds;
or "bitter in soul" F6; not merely filled with trouble and anguish, and depressed in their spirits, on account of that, as the phrase sometimes signifies; but enraged and full of wrath at the rebellion raised against their prince, which obliged them with him to leave their habitations; and now being desperate, their all lying at stake, their wives and children, their families and estates, they would fight furiously in the defence of the king and themselves, and not so soon flee as Ahithophel had represented:
as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field;
a bear is a very furious creature, especially a she bear, and the more when it has whelps, and more so when deprived of them F7, when it ranges about in the field, and in its fury attacks whomsoever it meets with; (See Gill on Hosea 13:8);
and thy father [is] a man of war;
not only bold and courageous, but expert and skilful in all the arts of war and not easy to be surprised and circumvented, as Ahithophel intimated:
and will not lodge with the people;
in the camp, but at some distance from it; partly to prevent any traitorous design upon him in it, and partly that he might not be surprised by the enemy, knowing that their chief view was to seize his person; and therefore as it would not be easy to find him where he was, he could not be smitten alone, as Ahithophel proposed.
F6 (vpn yrm) "amari animo", Pagninus, Montanus; "amaro animo", V. L. Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
F7 Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 6. c. 18. & 9. 1.