2 Samuel 17:1-14 . AHITHOPHEL'S COUNSEL OVERTHROWN BY HUSHAI.
18. and came to a man's house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court--The court was that of the house, and the well an empty cistern. All the houses of the better class are furnished with such reservoirs. Nothing could more easily happen than that one of these wells, in consequence of a deficiency of water, should become dry and it would then answer as a place of retreat, such as David's friends found in the man's house at Bahurim. The spreading of a covering over the well's mouth for the drying of corn is a common practice.
2 Samuel 17:23-29 . AHITHOPHEL HANGS HIMSELF.
23. when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed--His vanity was wounded, his pride mortified on finding that his ascendency was gone; but that chagrin was aggravated by other feelings--a painful conviction that through the delay which had been resolved on, the cause of Absalom was lost. Hastening home, therefore, he arranged his private affairs, and knowing that the storm of retributive vengeance would fall chiefly upon him as the instigator and prop of the rebellion, he hanged himself. It may be remarked that the Israelites did not, at that time, refuse the rites of sepulture even to those who died by their own hands. He had an imitator in Judas, who resembled him in his treason, as well as in his infamous end.
24. Then David came to Mahanaim--in the high eastern country of Gilead, the seat of Ish-bosheth's government.
Absalom passed over Jordan--It is not said how long an interval elapsed, but there must have been sufficient time to make the intended levy throughout the kingdom.
25. Amasa--By the genealogy it appears that this captain stood in the same relation to David as Joab, both being his nephews. Of course, Amasa was Absalom's cousin, and though himself an Israelite, his father was an Ishmaelite ( 1 Chronicles 2:17 ).
Nahash--is thought by some to be another name of Jesse, or according to others, the name of Jesse's wife.
27-29. when David was come to Mahanaim--The necessities of the king and his followers were hospitably ministered to by three chiefs, whose generous loyalty is recorded with honor in the sacred narrative.
Shobi--must have been a brother of Hanun. Disapproving, probably, of that young king's outrage upon the Israelite ambassadors, he had been made governor of Ammon by David on the conquest of that country.
Machir--(See 2 Samuel 9:4 ). Supposed by some to have been a brother of Bath-sheba, and
Barzillai--a wealthy old grandee, whose great age and infirmities made his loyal devotion to the distressed monarch peculiarly affecting. The supplies they brought, which (besides beds for the weary) consisted of the staple produce of their rich lands and pastures, may be classified a follows: eatables--wheat, barley, flour, beans, lentils, sheep, and cheese; drinkables--"honey and butter" or cream, which, being mixed together, form a thin, diluted beverage, light, cool, and refreshing. Being considered a luxurious refreshment ( Solomon 4:11 ), the supply of it shows the high respect that was paid to David by his loyal and faithful subjects at Mahanaim.
29. in the wilderness--spread out beyond the cultivated tablelands into the steppes of Hauran.