Verse 14. We took sweet counsel together. It was not merely the counsel which men take together in public or upon common themes, their fellowship had been tender and confidential. The traitor had been treated lovingly, and trusted much. Solace, mutual and cheering, had grown out of their intimate communings. There were secrets between them of no common kind. Soul had been in converse with soul, at least on David's part. However feigned might have been the affection of the treacherous one, the betrayed friend had not dealt with him coldly, or guarded his utterance before him. Shame on the wretch who could belie such fellowship, and betray such confidence!
And walked unto the house of God in company. Religion had rendered their intercourse sacred, they had mingled their worship, and communed on heavenly themes. If ever any bonds ought to be held inviolable, religious connections should be. There is a measure of impiety, of a detestable sort, in the deceit which debases the union of men who make profession of godliness. Shall the very altar of God be defiled with hypocrisy? Shall the gatherings of the temple be polluted by the presence of treachery? All this was true of Ahithophel, and in a measure of Judas. His union with the Lord was on the score of faith, they were joined in the holiest of enterprises, he had been sent on the most gracious of errands. His cooperation with Jesus to serve his own abominable ends stamped him as the firstborn of hell. Better had it been for him had he never been born. Let all deceitful professors be warned by his doom, for like Ahithophel he went to his own place by his own hand, and retains a horrible preeminence in the calendar of notorious crime. Here was one source of heart break for the Redeemer, and it is shared in by his followers. Of the serpent's brood some vipers still remain, who will sting the hand that cherished them, and sell for silver those who raised them to the position which rendered it possible for them to be so abominably treacherous.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. We took sweet counsel. From qtx to be sweet, and the ordinary notion of dws for secret, the phrase dws qytmg will literally be read, we made our secret sweet. And so it may be an elegance, to signify the pleasure of his friendship, or of communicating secrets to him. Henry Hammond.
Verse 14. The first clause speaks of private intimacy, the next of association in public acts, and especially in the great festivals and processions of the temple. J. J. Stewart Perowne, 1864.
Verse 14. In company. In the end of the verse fgrk may be rendered with a noise: and so the Chaldee seems to have taken it, which reads with haste; and to that agree the Jewish doctors, who tell us men are to go in haste and with speed to the synagogue, but return thence very leisurely. Henry Hammond.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 14. The social companionships which grow out of religion.
- They are on a good foundation.
- They yield profit -- counsel.
- They yield pleasure -- sweet.
- They lead to enthusiasm -- walked in company.
- They ought to be sacredly maintained.
- But they need to be carefully watched.