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2 Samuel 15:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and fifty men as runners before him.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared for himself chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it came to pass, after this, that Absolom prepared him chariots and horses,—and fifty men, to run before him.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass afterwards, that Absalom prepareth for himself a chariot, and horses, and fifty men are running before him;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now after these things Absalom made himself chariots, and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And it came to passe after this, that Absalom prepared him charets and horses, and fiftie men to runne before him.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And it came to pass after this that Absalom{gr.Abessalom} prepared for himself chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And it came to pass after this, that Avshalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And it came to pass x1961
(1961) Complement
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
after x4480
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
(0310) Complement
From H0309; properly the hind part; generally used as an adverb or conjugation, after (in various senses).
this, y310
[0310] Standard
From H0309; properly the hind part; generally used as an adverb or conjugation, after (in various senses).
(3651) Complement
From H3559; properly set upright; hence (figuratively as adjective) just; but usually (as adverb or conjugation) rightly or so (in various applications to manner, time and relation; often with other particles).
that Avlm אַבשָׁלוֹם 53
{0053} Prime
From H0001 and H7965; father of peace (that is, friendly); Abshalom, a son of David; also (the fuller form) a later Israelite.
prepared 6213
{6213} Prime
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
him chariots 4818
{4818} Prime
Feminine of H4817; a chariot.
and horses, 5483
{5483} Prime
From an unused root meaning to skip (properly for joy); a horse (as leaping); also a swallow (from its rapid flight).
and fifty 2572
{2572} Prime
Multiple of H2568; fifty.
men 376
{0376} Prime
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
to run 7323
{7323} Prime
A primitive root; to run (for whatever reason, especially to rush).
<8801> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 309
before 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Samuel 15:1

_ _ 2 Samuel 15:1-9. Absalom steals the hearts of Israel.

_ _ Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him — This was assuming the state and equipage of a prince. The royal guards, called runners, avant couriers, amounted to fifty (1 Kings 1:5). The chariot, as the Hebrew indicates, was of a magnificent style; and the horses, a novelty among the Hebrew people, only introduced in that age as an appendage of royalty (Psalms 32:9; Psalms 66:12), formed a splendid retinue, which would make him “the observed of all observers.”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Samuel 15:1-6

_ _ Absalom is no sooner restored to his place at court than he aims to be in the throne. He that was unhumbled under his troubles became insufferably proud when they were over; and he cannot be content with the honour of being the king's son, and the prospect of being his successor, but he must be king now. His mother was a king's daughter; on that perhaps he valued himself, and despised his father, who was but the son of Jesse. She was the daughter of a heathen king, which made him the less concerned for the peace of Israel. David, in this unhappy issue of that marriage, smarted for his being unequally yoked with an unbeliever. When Absalom was restored to the king's favour, if he had had any sense of gratitude, he would have studied how to oblige his father, and make him easy; but, on the contrary, he meditates how to undermine him, by stealing the hearts of the people from him. Two things recommend a man to popular esteem — greatness and goodness.

_ _ I. Absalom looks great, 2 Samuel 15:1. He had learned of the king of Geshur (what was not allowed to the kings of Israel) to multiply horses, which made him look desirable, while his father, on his mule, looked despicable. The people desired a king like the nations; and such a one Absalom will be, appearing in pomp and magnificence, above what had been seen in Jerusalem. Samuel had foretold that this would be the manner of the king: He shall have chariots and horsemen, and some shall run before his chariots (1 Samuel 8:11); and this is Absalom's manner. Fifty footmen (in rich liveries we may suppose) running before him, to give notice of his approach, would highly gratify his pride and the people's foolish fancy. David thinks that this parade is designed only to grace his court, and connives at it. Those parents know not what they do who indulge a proud humour in their children; for I have seen more young people ruined by pride than by any one lust whatsoever.

_ _ II. Absalom will seem very good too, but with a very bad design. Had he proved himself a good son and a good subject, and set himself to serve his father's interest, he would have done his present duty, and shown himself worthy of future honours, after his father's death. Those that know how to obey well know how to rule. But to show how good a judge and how good a king he will be is but to deceive himself and others. Those are good indeed that are good in their own place, not that pretend how good they would be in other people's places. But this is all the goodness we find in Absalom.

_ _ 1. He wishes that he were a judge in Israel, 2 Samuel 15:4. He had all the pomp and all the pleasure he could wish, lived as great and in as much ease as any man could; yet this will not content him, unless he have power too: O that I were a judge in Israel! He that should himself have been judged to death for murder has the impudence to aim at being a judge of others. We read not of Absalom's wisdom, virtue, or learning in the laws, nor had he given any proofs of his love to justice, but the contrary; yet he wishes he were judge. Note, Those are commonly most ambitious of preferment that are least fit for it; the best qualified are the most modest and self-diffident, while it is no better than the spirit of an Absalom that says, O that I were a judge in Israel!

_ _ 2. He takes a very bad course for the accomplishing of his wish. Had he humbly petitioned his father to employ him in the administration of justice, and studied to qualify himself for it (according to the rule, Exodus 18:21), no doubt he would have been sure of the next judge's place that fell; but this is too mean a post for his proud spirit. It is below him to be subordinate, though to the king his father; he must be supreme or nothing. He wants to be such a judge that every man who has any cause shall come to him: in all causes, and over all persons, he must preside, little thinking what a fatigue this would be to have every man come to him. Moses himself could not bear it. Those know not what power is that grasp at so much, so very much. To gain the power he aims at, he endeavours to instil into the people's minds,

_ _ (1.) A bad opinion of the present administration, as if the affairs of the kingdom were altogether neglected, and no care taken about them. He got round him all he could that had business at the council-board, enquired what their business was; and, [1.] Upon a slight and general enquiry into their cause, he pronounced it good: Thy matters are right. A fit man indeed to be a judge, who would give judgment upon hearing one side only! For he has a bad cause indeed that cannot put a good colour upon it, when he himself has the telling of the story. But, [2.] He told them that it was to no purpose to appeal to the throne: “There is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. The king is himself old, and past business, or so taken up with his devotions that he never minds business; his sons are so addicted to their pleasures that, though they have the name of chief rulers, they take no care of the affairs committed to them.” He further seems to insinuate what a great want there was of him while he was banished and confined, and how much the public suffered by his exile; what his father said truly in Saul's reign (Psalms 75:3) he says falsely: The land and all the inhabitants of it are dissolved, all will go to wreck and ruin, unless I bear up the pillars of it. Every appellant shall be made to believe that he will never have justice done him, unless Absalom be viceroy or lord-justice. It is the way of turbulent, factious, aspiring men, to reproach the government they are under. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, and not afraid to speak evil of dignities, 2 Peter 2:10. Even David himself, the best of kings, and his administration, could not escape the worst of censures. Those that aim to usurp cry out of grievances, and pretend to design nothing but the redress of them: as Absalom here.

_ _ (2.) A good opinion of his own fitness to rule. That the people might say, “O that Absalom were a judge!” (and they are apt enough to desire changes), he recommends himself to them, [1.] As very diligent. He rose up early, and appeared in public before the rest of the king's sons were stirring, and he stood beside the way of the gate, where the courts of judgment sat, as one mightily concerned to see justice done and public business despatched. [2.] As very inquisitive and prying, and desirous to be acquainted with every one's case. He would know of what city every one was that came for judgment, that he might inform himself concerning every part of the kingdom and the state of it, 2 Samuel 15:2. [3.] As very familiar and humble. If any Israelite offered to do obeisance to him he took him and embraced him as a friend. No man's conduct could be more condescending, while his heart was as proud as Lucifer's. Ambitious projects are often carried on by a show of humility, Colossians 2:23. He knew what a grace it puts upon greatness to be affable and courteous, and how much it wins upon common people: had he been sincere in it, it would have been his praise; but to fawn upon the people that he might betray them was abominable hypocrisy. He croucheth, and humbleth himself, to draw them into his net, Psalms 10:9, Psalms 10:10.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Samuel 15:1

Prepared — As being the king's eldest son, now Amnon was dead; for Chileab, who was his eldest brother, 2 Samuel 3:3, was either dead, or incapable of the government. And this course he knew would draw the eyes of the people to him, and make them conclude that David intended him for his successor.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

2 Samuel 15:1

And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to (a) run before him.

(a) Which were as a guard to set forth his estate.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 2980, bc 1024


2 Samuel 12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give [them] unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
Deuteronomy 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
1 Samuel 8:11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint [them] for himself, for his chariots, and [to be] his horsemen; and [some] shall run before his chariots.
1 Kings 1:5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
1 Kings 1:33 The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon:
1 Kings 10:26-29 And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem. ... And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred [shekels] of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring [them] out by their means.
Psalms 20:7 Some [trust] in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
Proverbs 11:2 [When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 17:19 He loveth transgression that loveth strife: [and] he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.
Jeremiah 22:14-16 That saith, I will build me a wide house and large chambers, and cutteth him out windows; and [it is] cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. ... He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then [it was] well [with him: was] not this to know me? saith the LORD.
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Dt 17:16. 1S 8:11. 2S 12:11. 1K 1:5, 33; 10:26. Ps 20:7. Pv 11:2; 16:18; 17:19. Jr 22:14.

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