For we must needs die
As all must, herself, the king, and his sons, and indeed all men; this is the common case and lot of men; particularly she insinuates that David must die, and that there must be a successor named, and perhaps a dispute would arise about one; which might be fatal, if Absalom was not recalled in his lifetime; and that Amnon must have died in a little time if he had not been killed by his brother; and Absalom, he must die also quickly, and therefore what signifies taking away his life? he may as well live a little longer; this, however plausible, was but bad reasoning in the case of a malefactor:
and [are] as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up
which sinks into the earth, and cannot be got out of it again; so men, when they die, are buried in the earth, and cannot be gathered or restored to life again, until the resurrection of the dead; and since Amnon is dead, and he cannot be brought to life again, it is best to be easy, and not seek to take away the life of another; which is to bring him into the same irrecoverable state and condition:
neither doth God respect [any] person;
the words in the original are, "God doth not take away the soul or life" F16; of every offender, but spares them notwithstanding the crimes they have committed; and therefore it became the king to be sparing and merciful to offenders, and particularly to his own son; and perhaps she any tacitly have respect to David himself who had been guilty both of murder and adultery, either of which deserved death; and yet God had not taken away his life, but in his great mercy had spared him; and therefore, since he had received mercy, he should show it: or "God hath not taken away [his] soul or life"; the life of Absalom; he had not cut him off himself by his immediate hand, nor suffered the king's sons to take away his life, nor any other to seize upon him, and bring him to justice, whom David might have employed; but had by his providence protected and preserved him; so that it seemed to be his will and pleasure that he should not be put to death:
yet doth he devise means that his banished be not expelled from him;
from his word, worship, and ordinances, as Absalom was; and by protecting him by his providence, it looked as if it was his will, and he would find out ways and means for bringing him back to his country, his father's court, and the sanctuary of the Lord; even as, by the law concerning the cities of refuge for the manslayer, provision was made that at the death of the high priest the exiled person might return to his country.
F16 (vpn Myhla avy alw) "et non tollet Deus animam", Montanus; so the Tigurine version.