Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the
people of God?
&c.] That they would be so wicked as to slay my son, or that they are the people of God that would slay Absalom; people so cruel could not be reckoned such, as the king's sons; so Abarbinel; who gives it as the sense of Ephodaeus, that by the people of God are meant Absalom, and his men; or Absalom only, one man being sometimes called people, ( Exodus 21:8 ) ; and she expostulates with the king how he could entertain such a thought, as to seek to take away his life, when he had so fully expressed himself in her case on behalf of her son, who had slain his brother; or rather the meaning is, why he should think of doing such a thing as this, so contrary to the will of the people of Israel, the people of God, who would be greatly offended and grieved at it; so contrary to their wishes, which were to see him fetched back from an Heathenish court and country, where he was in danger of being corrupted, and to be restored to his father's favour and to his country, that he might be upon the spot at his death, to succeed in the throne and kingdom; for the provocation that Absalom had to kill Amnon had greatly lessened the evil in the esteem of the people:
for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty:
he contradicts and condemns himself, in swearing that her son who had killed his brother should not die, nor an hair of his head be hurt, but should be in the utmost safety; and yet he sought to put his own son to death for a like crime, as the next clause explains it:
in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished;
meaning Absalom, who was in a foreign country, an exile, ( 2 Samuel 13:34 ) , and in danger of falling into idolatry; not daring to come home, lest his father should order him to be put to death; and which he might justly fear he would, should he return without leave, since he sought not by any means to fetch him back.