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2 Samuel 15:7 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto Jehovah, in Hebron.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said to the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Absalom said to the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay in Hebron my vow which I have vowed to Jehovah.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it came to pass, at the end of forty years, that Absolom said unto the king—Let me go, I pray thee, that I may pay my vow which I have vowed unto Yahweh, in Hebron;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass, at the end of forty years, that Absalom saith unto the king, 'Let me go, I pray thee, and I complete my vow, that I vowed to Jehovah in Hebron,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And after forty years, Absalom said to king David: Let me go, and pay my vows which I have vowed to the Lord in Hebron.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And it came to passe after fourtie yeeres, that Absalom said vnto the king, I pray thee, let mee goe and pay my vow which I haue vowed vnto the LORD in Hebron.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom{gr.Abessalom} said to his father, I will go now, and pay my vows, which I vowed to the Lord in Hebron{gr.Chebron}.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And it came to pass after forty years, that Avshalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto Yahweh, in Chevron.

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 7093
{7093} Prime
Contracted from H7112; an extremity; adverbially (with prepositional prefix) after.
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
forty 705
{0705} Prime
Multiple of H0702; forty.
years, 8141
{8141} Prime
(The first form being in plural only, the second form being feminine); from H8138; a year (as a revolution of time).
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.
said 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the king, 4428
{4428} Prime
From H4427; a king.
I pray thee, x4994
(4994) Complement
A primitive particle of incitement and entreaty, which may usually be rendered I pray, now or then; added mostly to verbs (in the imperative or future), or to interjections, occasionally to an adverb or conjugation.
let me go y3212
[3212] Standard
A primitive root (compare H1980); to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively to carry (in various senses).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
(1980) Complement
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
and pay 7999
{7999} Prime
A primitive root; to be safe (in mind, body or estate); figuratively to be (causatively make) completed; by implication to be friendly; by extension to reciprocate (in various applications).
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
my vow, 5088
{5088} Prime
From H5087; a promise (to God); also (concretely) a thing promised.
which x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
I have vowed 5087
{5087} Prime
A primitive root; to promise (positively, to do or give something to God).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
unto Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
in evrn חֶברוֹן. 2275
{2275} Prime
From H2267; seat of association; Chebron, a place in Palestine, also the name of two Israelites.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Samuel 15:7-9

_ _ after forty years — It is generally admitted that an error has here crept into the text, and that instead of “forty,” we should read with the Syriac and Arabic versions, and Josephus, “four years” — that is, after Absalom’s return to Jerusalem, and his beginning to practice the base arts of gaining popularity.

_ _ my vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord — during his exile in Geshur. The purport of it was, that whenever God’s providence should pave the way for his re-establishment in Jerusalem, he would offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Hebron was the spot selected for the performance of this vow, ostensibly as being his native place (2 Samuel 3:3), and a famous high place, where sacrifices were frequently offered before the temple was built; but really as being in many respects the most suitable for the commencement of his rebellious enterprise. David, who always encouraged piety and desired to see religious engagements punctually performed, gave his consent and his blessing.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Samuel 15:7-12

_ _ We have here the breaking out of Absalom's rebellion, which he had long been contriving. It is said to be after forty years, 2 Samuel 15:7. But whence it is to be dated we are not told; not from David's beginning his reign, for then it would fall in the last year of his life, which is not probable; but either from his first anointing by Samuel seven years before, or rather (I think) from the people's desiring a king, and the first change of the government into a monarchy, which might be about ten years before David began to reign; it is fitly dated thence, to show that the same restless spirit was still working, and still they were given to change: as fond now of a new man as then of a new model. So it fell about the thirtieth year of David's reign. Absalom's plot being now ripe for execution,

_ _ I. The place he chose for the rendezvous of his party was Hebron, the place where he was born and where his father began his reign and continued it several years, which would give some advantage to his pretensions. Every one knew Hebron to be a royal city; and it lay in the heart of Judah's lot, in which tribe, probably, he thought his interest strong.

_ _ II. The pretence he had both to go thither and to invite his friends to him there was to offer a sacrifice to God, in performance of a vow he had made during his banishment, 2 Samuel 15:7, 2 Samuel 15:8. We have cause enough to suspect that he had not made any such vow; it does not appear that he was so religiously inclined. But he that stuck not at murder and treason would not make conscience of a lie to serve his purpose. If he said he had made such a vow, nobody could disprove him. Under this pretence, 1. He got leave of his father to go to Hebron. David would be well pleased to hear that his son, in his exile, was so desirous to return to Jerusalem, not only his father's city, but the city of the living God, — that he looked up to God, to bring him back, — that he had vowed, if he were brought back, to serve the Lord, whose service he had hitherto neglected, — and that now, being brought back, he remembered his vow, and resolved to perform it. If he think fit to do it in Hebron, rather than in Sion or Gibeon, the good king is so well pleased with the thing itself that he will not object against his choice of the place. See how willing tender parents are to believe the best concerning their children, and, upon the least indication of good, to hope, even concerning those that have been untoward, that they will repent and reform. But how easy is it for children to take advantage of their good parents' credulity, and to impose upon them with the show of religion, while still they are what they were! David was overjoyed to hear that Absalom inclined to serve the Lord, and therefore readily gave him leave to go to Hebron, and to go thither with solemnity. 2. He got a good number of sober substantial citizens to go along with him, 2 Samuel 15:11. There went 200 men, probably of the principal men of Jerusalem, whom he invited to join with him in his feast upon his sacrifice; and they went in their simplicity, not in the least suspecting that Absalom had any bad design in this journey. He knew that it was to no purpose to tempt them into his plot: they were inviolably firm to David. But he drew them in to accompany him, that the common people might think that they were in his interest, and that David was deserted by some of his best friends. Note, It is no new thing for very good men, and very good things, to be made use of by designing men to put a colour upon bad practices. When religion is made a stalking-horse, and sacrifice a shoeing-horn, to sedition and usurpation it is not to be wondered at if some that were well affected to religion, as these followers of Absalom here, are imposed upon by the fallacy, and drawn in to give countenance to that, with their names, which in their heart they abhor, not having known the depths of Satan.

_ _ III. The project he laid was to get himself proclaimed king throughout all the tribes of Israel upon a signal given, 2 Samuel 15:10. Spies were sent abroad, to be ready in every country to receive the notice with satisfaction and acclamations of joy, and to make the people believe that the news was both very true and very good, and that they were all concerned to take up arms for their new king. Upon the sudden spreading of this proclamation, “Absalom reigns in Hebron,” some would conclude that David was dead, others that he had resigned: and thus those that were in the secret would draw in many to appear for Absalom, and to come into his assistance, who, if they had rightly understood the matter, would have abhorred the thought of it, but, being drawn in, would adhere to him. See what artifices ambitious men use for the compassing of their ends; and in matters of state, as well as in matters of religion, let us not be forward to believe every spirit, but try the spirits.

_ _ IV. The person he especially courted and relied upon in this affair was Ahithophel, a politic thinking man, and one that had a clear head and a great compass of thought, that had been David's counsellor, his guide and his acquaintance (Psalms 55:13), his familiar friend, in whom he trusted, who did eat of his bread, Psalms 41:9. But, upon some disgust of David's against him, or his against David, he was banished, or retired from public business, and lived privately in the country. How should a man of such good principles as David, and a man of such corrupt principles as Ahithophel, long agree? A fitter tool Absalom could not find in all the kingdom than one that was so great a statesman, and yet was disaffected to the present ministry. While Absalom was offering his sacrifices, in performance of his pretended vow, he sent for this man. So much was his heart on the projects of his ambition that he could not stay to make an end of his devotion, which showed what his eye was upon in all, and that it was but for a pretence that he made long offerings.

_ _ V. The party that joined with him proved at last very considerable. The people increased continually with Absalom, which made the conspiracy strong and formidable. Every one whom he had complimented and caressed (pronouncing his matters right and good, especially if afterwards the cause went against him) not only came himself, but made all the interest he could for him, so that he wanted not for numbers. The majority is no certain rule to judge of equity by. All the world wondered after the beast. Whether Absalom formed this design merely in the height of his ambition and fondness to rule, or whether there was not in it also malice against his father and revenge for his banishment and confinement, though this punishment was so much less than he deserved, does not appear. But, generally, that which aims at the crown aims at the head that wears it.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Samuel 15:7

After forty years — From the change of the government, into a monarchy, which was about ten years before David began to reign. So this fell out about the thirtieth year of his reign.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

2 Samuel 15:7

And it came to pass after (e) forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

(e) Counting from the time that the Israelites had asked a king of Samuel.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 2983, bc 1021, An, Ex, Is, 470

forty years:
As David reigned in the whole only forty years, this reading is evidently corrupt, though supported by the commonly printed Vulgate, LXX, and Chaldee. But the Syriac, Arabic, Josephus, Theodoret, the Sixtine edition of the Vulgate, and several manuscripts of the same version, read four years; and it is highly probable that arbaim, forty, is an error for arba, four, though not supported by any Hebrew manuscript yet discovered. Two of those collated by Dr. Kennicott, however, have yom, "day," instead of shanah, "year," i.e., forty days instead of forty years; but this is not sufficient to outweigh the other authorities.
2 Samuel 13:38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
1 Samuel 16:1 And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

let me go:

2 Samuel 13:24-27 And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant. ... But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.


1 Samuel 16:2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear [it], he will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.
Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked [is] abomination: how much more, [when] he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
Isaiah 58:4 Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as [ye do this] day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Matthew 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found [him], bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
Matthew 23:14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
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1S 16:1, 2, 13. 2S 13:24, 38. Pv 21:27. Is 58:4. Mt 2:8; 23:14.

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