2 Samuel 17:13

13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it down to the valley until not so much as a pebble is left.”

Read 2 Samuel 17:13 Using Other Translations

Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.
If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there."
And if David were to escape into some town, you will have all Israel there at your command. Then we can take ropes and drag the walls of the town into the nearest valley until every stone is torn down.”

What does 2 Samuel 17:13 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
2 Samuel 17:13

Moreover, if he be gotten into a city
A strong fortified place, thinking to secure himself there, where he might hold out against those that were risen against him; the former part of the account supposes him in the field, where he would soon be detected, if hidden in a pit or any other place, or if he appeared openly would quickly be overthrown by the numerous forces of Absalom; and here it suggests, should he betake himself to a city for shelter,

then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city;
scaling ropes, and thereby get upon and over the walls of it, and take it by storm; or engines worked with ropes, used for the demolishing of cities; so Tacitus speaks of "vincula tormentorum", the bands or ropes of engines, as Grotius observes; the Targum renders it by "armies", thus,

``all Israel shall be gathered against the city, and surround it with armies,''

besiege it in form, and so surround it that David could not possibly make his escape out of it, nor could it hold out long against such numerous forces; or this is an hyperbolical expression, as Kimchi calls it, signifying that their numbers would be so many, that they could soon and easily demolish it:

and we will draw it into the river;
by the side of which it was built, or the ditch or trench around it, or the valley near it, that being built on an hill; and by this boasting, bragging, hyperbolical expression, he signifies that they should be able easily and utterly to destroy its walls, buildings, and towers, as if a number of men were to fasten a rope about anything, and by their main strength, and through their numbers, draw it down whither they pleased:

until there be not one small stone found there;
and this being the case, David and his men must inevitably fall into their hands, and none escape.

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