Joab causes David to cease mourning. (1-8) David returns to Jordan. (9-15) He pardons Shimei. (16-23) Mephibosheth excused. (24-30) David's parting with Barzillai. (31-39) Israel quarrels with Judah. (40-43)
Verses 1-8 To continue to lament for so bad a son as Absalom, was very unwise, and very unworthy. Joab censures David, but not with proper respect and deference to his sovereign. A plain case may be fairly pleaded with those above us, and they may be reproved for what they do amiss, but it must not be with rudeness and insolence. Yet David took the reproof and the counsel, prudently and mildly. Timely giving way, usually prevents the ill effects of mistaken measures.
Verses 9-15 God's providence, by the priests' persuasions and Amasa's interest, brought the people to resolve the recall of the king. David stirred not till he received this invitation. Our Lord Jesus will rule in those that invite him to the throne in their hearts, and not till he is invited. He first bows the heart, and makes it willing in the day of his power, then rules in the midst of his enemies, ( psalms 110:2 psalms 110:3 ) .
Verses 16-23 Those who now slight and abuse the Son of David, would be glad to make their peace when he shall come in his glory; but it will be too late. Shimei lost no time. His abuse had been personal, and with the usual right feeling of good men, David could more easily forgive it.
Verses 24-30 David recalls the forfeiture of Mephibosheth's estate; and he expressed joy for the king's return. A good man contentedly bears his own losses, while he sees Israel in peace, and the Son of David exalted.
Verses 31-39 Barzillai thought he had done himself honour in doing the king any service. Thus, when the saints shall be called to inherit the kingdom, they will be amazed at the recompence being so very far beyond the service, ( Matthew 25:37 ) . A good man would not go any where to be burdensome; or, will rather be so to his own house than to another's. It is good for all, but especially becomes old people, to think and speak much of dying. The grave is ready for me, let me go and get ready for it.
Verses 40-43 The men of Israel though themselves despised, and the fiercer words of the men of Judah produced very bad effects. Much evil might be avoided, if men would watch against pride, and remember that a soft answer turneth away wrath. Though we have right and reason on our side, if we speak it with fierceness, God is displeased.
David indulging to too much grief for the death of his son, is rebuked by Joab, and threatened with a revolt of the people from him, if he did not change his conduct, which be accordingly did, 2Sa 19:1-8; upon which the men of Israel were the first that moved for the bringing him back to Jerusalem, and the men of Judah were solicited to join with them in it, which was effected, 2Sa 19:9-15; and at Jordan, Shimei, that had cursed him, met him, and asked his pardon, and was forgiven, 2Sa 19:16-23; and when come to Jerusalem, Mephibosheth excused so well his not going out with him, that he had half his land restored to him, which had been given to his servant, 2Sa 19:24-30; and Barzillai, who had very liberally supplied the king, was allowed to return to his own city, and Chimham his son was taken to court, 2Sa 19:31-40; and a contention arose between the men of Israel and of Judah about the restoration of the king, which issued in an insurrection, as the next chapter shows, 2Sa 19:41-43.