BIBLE: II Samuel Chapter 15 – Headline “Into the Valley of Death They Rode” [History]

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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  • In scripture traveling from the east is good (the three kings), but traveling toward the east is bad (Cain was sent east of Eden, David left his throne to escape from Absalom, the captives to Babylon).
  • Bethphage – atop Mount Olives, East of Jerusalem. King David must have been in the location of Bethphage, the place Jesus would have passed through, traveling from Bethany as He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem heading westward. King David traveled eastward up the mountain.

II Samuel 15

Absalom’s Treason

II Samuel 15:1 After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

II Samuel 15:Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit (Lit. controversy) came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, “What city are you from?” And he would say, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel.”

II Samuel 15:Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your case (Lit. words) is good and right; but there is no deputy (Lit. listener) of the king to hear you.”

II Samuel 15:Moreover Absalom would say, “Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.”

II Samuel 15:And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him (Absalom), that he (Absalom) would put out his hand and take him and kiss him.

II Samuel 15:In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

  • Note: He did not “earn” their hearts, he “stole” their hearts.

II Samuel 15:Now it came to pass after forty (other translations say “four”) years that Absalom said to the king (King David), “Please, let me go to Hebron and pay the vow which I made to the Lord.

II Samuel 15:For your servant took a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If the Lord indeed brings me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’ ”

II Samuel 15:And the king (David) said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron.

II Samuel 15:10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom reigns in Hebron!’ ”

II Samuel 15:11 And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently and did not know anything (they were naive).

II Samuel 15:12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city—from Giloh—while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.

  • Ahithophel: meaning: “my brother is foolish (folly)” a counselor of David, grandfather of Bathsheba (cf 2Sa 11:3, 23:34) committed suicide when Absalom did not heed his counsel.

David Escapes from Jerusalem

II Samuel 15:13 Now a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with (Lit. after) Absalom.”

II Samuel 15:14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

II Samuel 15:15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands.”

II Samuel 15:16 Then the king (David) went out with all his household after him. But the king (David) left ten women, concubines, to keep the house (palace).

II Samuel 15:17 And the king (David) went out with all the people after him, and stopped at the outskirts.

II Samuel 15:18 Then all his servants passed before (Lit. by his hand) him; and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, passed before the king.

II Samuel 15:19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you also going with us? Return and remain with the king (Absalom?). For you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place.

  • Ittai: meaning “with me”

II Samuel 15:20 In fact, you came only yesterday. Should I make you wander up and down with us today, since I go I know not where? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you.”

II Samuel 15:21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be.”

II Samuel 15:22 So David said to Ittai, “Go, and cross over.” Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over.

II Samuel 15:23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.

  • The Brook Kidron is the place where the Garden of Gethsamane was located on the Mountain of Olives when Jesus was arrested.
    John 18:1
    Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane
    When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.

II Samuel 15:24 There was Zadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God (‘ĕlōhîm). And they set down the ark of God(‘ĕlōhîm), and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city.

  • Zadok – meaning: Righteous

II Samuel 15:25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God (‘ĕlōhîm) back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place.

  • The ark is the dwelling place of God.

II Samuel 15:26 But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.”

II Samuel 15:27 The king also said to Zadok (meaning: Righteous) the priest, “Are you not a seer (prophet)? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.

  • Ahimaaz (meaning: “My Brother is Anger/Wrath“)
  • Jonathan (meaning: “Jehovah has given”)
  • Abiathar (meaning: “My Father is Great”

II Samuel 15:28 See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”

II Samuel 15:29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God (‘ĕlōhîm) back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.

II Samuel 15:30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.

  • The Mount of Olives is the location of:
    The Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus was arrested (John 18:1 & 12)
    Where He ascended (Luke 24:50-52)(Zechariah 14:4)
    The place where Jesus will return (Acts 1:9-11)

II Samuel 15:31 Then someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”

  • “Ahithophel (meaning: “My Brother is Foolish”)
  • Ahithophel: A counselor of King David and grandfather of Bathsheba (cf 2Sa 11:3, 23:34)
~ Into the Valley of Death They Rode ~
Jesus rode into Jerusalem crossing the Valley of Kidron for the Sins of Man
Absalom rode into Jerusalem crossing one of the many valleys surrounding Jerusalem for his foolish arrogance and love of power

II Samuel 15:32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God (‘ĕlōhîm)—there was Hushai (Archaic to hasten) the Archite coming to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head.

  • Hushai (Archaic meaning: to hasten)

II Samuel 15:33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, then you will become a burden to me.

II Samuel 15:34 But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king (Absalom); as I was your father’s (King David’s) servant previously, so I will now also be your servant,’ then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me.

  • Hushai will be King David’s spy.

II Samuel 15:35 And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.

II Samuel 15:36 Indeed they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything you hear.”

II Samuel 15:37 So Hushai, David’s friend, went into the city. And Absalom came into Jerusalem.

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