And all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel
Such of them as went down to fetch the king back, replied to the men of Israel that now met them, and objected to their conduct:
because the king [is] near of kin to us;
being of their tribe, and his palace was within their borders, and therefore they were proper persons to bring him home:
wherefore then be ye angry for this matter?
for bringing the king back, and being the first in it; for who so proper as they, not only to do their duty, but to show their affection to the king as early as possible?
have we eaten at all of the king's [cost]?
they had maintained themselves at their own expense, going and returning; they had no self-interest or selfish views to serve, but on the contrary had been at a considerable charge to meet the king, and conduct him home:
or hath he given us any gift?
no, he had not, nor did they expect any; it was not with a view to any reward that they had taken this step, but purely out of affection to the king, and for the good of their country.