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2 Samuel 18:9 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David. And Absalom was riding upon his mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between heaven and earth; and the mule that was under him went on.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that [was] under him went away.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. For Absalom was riding on [his] mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. And his head caught fast in the oak, so he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him kept going.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was suspended between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that [was] under him went away.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Absalom found himself in the presence of David's servants. And Absalom was riding upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of the great terebinth, and his head caught in the terebinth, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Now, when Absolom met the servants of David, Absolom, was riding upon a mule, and the mule came under the thick branches of a large oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, the mule that was under him passing on.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Absalom meeteth before the servants of David, and Absalom is riding on the mule, and the mule cometh in under an entangled bough of the great oak, and his head taketh hold on the oak, and he is placed between the heavens and the earth, and the mule that [is] under him hath passed on.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And it happened that Absalom met the servants of David, riding on a mule: and as the mule went under a thick and large oak, his head stuck in the oak: and while he hung between the heaven and the earth, the mule on which he rode passed on.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Absalom met the seruants of Dauid; and Absalom rode vpon a mule, and the mule went vnder the thicke boughs of a great Oke, and his head caught hold of the Oke, and hee was taken vp betweene the heauen and the earth, and the mule that [was] vnder him, went away.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Absalom{gr.Abessalom} went to meet the servants of David: and Absalom{gr.Abessalom} was mounted on his mule, and the mule came under the thick boughs of a great oak; and his head was entangled in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth; and the mule passed on from under him.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Avshalom met the servants of Dawid. And Avshalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that [was] under him went away.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Avlm אַבשָׁלוֹם 53
{0053} Prime
אַבְשָׁלוֹם
'Abiyshalowm
{ab-ee-shaw-lome'}
From H0001 and H7965; father of peace (that is, friendly); Abshalom, a son of David; also (the fuller form) a later Israelite.
met 7122
{7122} Prime
קָרָא
qara'
{kaw-raw'}
A primitive root; to encounter, whether accidentally or in a hostile manner.
z8735
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
the servants 5650
{5650} Prime
עֶבֶד
`ebed
{eh'-bed}
From H5647; a servant.
y6440
[6440] Standard
פָּנִים
paniym
{paw-neem'}
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.).
of Dwi דָּוִד. 1732
{1732} Prime
דָּוִד
David
{daw-veed'}
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
And Avlm אַבשָׁלוֹם 53
{0053} Prime
אַבְשָׁלוֹם
'Abiyshalowm
{ab-ee-shaw-lome'}
From H0001 and H7965; father of peace (that is, friendly); Abshalom, a son of David; also (the fuller form) a later Israelite.
rode 7392
{7392} Prime
רָכַב
rakab
{raw-kab'}
A primitive root; to ride (on an animal or in a vehicle); causatively to place upon (for riding or generally), to despatch.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
a mule, 6505
{6505} Prime
פֶּרֶד
pered
{peh'-red}
From H6504; a mule (perhaps from his lonely habits).
and the mule 6505
{6505} Prime
פֶּרֶד
pered
{peh'-red}
From H6504; a mule (perhaps from his lonely habits).
went 935
{0935} Prime
בּוֹא
bow'
{bo}
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
under x8478
(8478) Complement
תַּחַת
tachath
{takh'-ath}
From the same as H8430; the bottom (as depressed); only adverbially below (often with prepositional prefix underneath), in lieu of, etc.
the thick boughs 7730
{7730} Prime
שׂוֹכֹהְ
sowbek
{so'-bek}
From H5441; a thicket, that is, interlaced branches.
of a great 1419
{1419} Prime
גָּדוֹל
gadowl
{gaw-dole'}
From H1431; great (in any sense); hence older; also insolent.
oak, 424
{0424} Prime
אֵלָה
'elah
{ay-law'}
Feminine of H0352; an oak or other strong tree.
and his head 7218
{7218} Prime
רֹאשׁ
ro'sh
{roshe}
From an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively (in many applications, of place, time, rank, etc.).
caught hold 2388
{2388} Prime
חָזַק
chazaq
{khaw-zak'}
A primitive root; to fasten upon; hence to seize, be strong (figuratively courageous, causatively strengthen, cure, help, repair, fortify), obstinate; to bind, restrain, conquer.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
of the oak, 424
{0424} Prime
אֵלָה
'elah
{ay-law'}
Feminine of H0352; an oak or other strong tree.
and he was taken up 5414
{5414} Prime
נָתַן
nathan
{naw-than'}
A primitive root; to give, used with great latitude of application (put, make, etc.).
z8714
<8714> Grammar
Stem - Hophal (See H8825)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 178
between x996
(0996) Complement
בַּיִן
beyn
{bane}
(Sometimes in the plural masculine or feminine); properly the constructively contracted form of an otherwise unused noun from H0995; a distinction; but used only as a preposition, between (repeated before each noun, often with other particles); also as a conjugation, either... or.
the heaven 8064
{8064} Prime
שָׁמַיִם
shamayim
{shaw-mah'-yim}
The second form being dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve).
and the earth; 776
{0776} Prime
אֶרֶץ
'erets
{eh'-rets}
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
and the mule 6505
{6505} Prime
פֶּרֶד
pered
{peh'-red}
From H6504; a mule (perhaps from his lonely habits).
that x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
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.
[was] under x8478
(8478) Complement
תַּחַת
tachath
{takh'-ath}
From the same as H8430; the bottom (as depressed); only adverbially below (often with prepositional prefix underneath), in lieu of, etc.
him went away. 5674
{5674} Prime
עָבַר
`abar
{aw-bar'}
A primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Samuel 18:9

_ _ Absalom met the servants of David — or was overtaken. “It is necessary to be continually on one’s guard against the branches of trees; and when the hair is worn in large locks floating down the back, as was the case with a young man of the party to which I belonged, any thick boughs interposing in the path might easily dislodge a rider from his seat, and catch hold of his flowing hair” [Hartley]. Some, however, think that the sacred historian points not so much to the hair, as to the head of Absalom, which, being caught while running between two branches, was enclosed so firmly that he could not disengage himself from the hold, nor make use of his hands.

_ _ the mule that was under him went away — The Orientals, not having saddles as we do, do not sit so firmly on the beasts they ride. Absalom quitting his hold of the bridle, apparently to release himself when caught in the oak, the mule escaped.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Samuel 18:9-18

_ _ Here is Absalom quite at a loss, at his wit's end first, and then at his life's end. He that began the fight, big with the expectation of triumphing over David himself, with whom, if he had had him in his power, he would not have dealt gently, is now in the greatest consternation, when he meets the servants of David, 2 Samuel 18:9. Though they were forbidden to meddle with him, he durst not look them in the face; but, finding they were near him, he clapped spurs to his mule and made the best of his way, through thick and thin, and so rode headlong upon his own destruction. Thus he that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit, and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare, Jeremiah 48:44. David is inclined to spare him, but divine justice passes sentence upon him as a traitor, and sees it executed — that he hang by the neck, be caught alive, be embowelled, and his body dispose of disgracefully.

_ _ I. He is hanged by the neck. Riding furiously, neck or nothing, under the thick boughs of a great oak which hung low and had never been cropped, either the twisted branches, or some one forked bough of the oak, caught hold of his head, either by his neck, or, as some think, by his long hair, which had been so much his pride, and was now justly made a halter for him, and there he hung, so astonished that he could not use his hands to help himself or so entangled that his hands could not help him, but the more he struggled the more he was embarrassed. This set him up for a fair mark to the servants of David, and he had the terror and shame of seeing himself thus exposed, while he could do nothing for his own relief, neither fight nor fly. Observe concerning this, 1. That his mule went away from under him, as if glad to get clear of such a burden, and resign it to the ignominious tree. Thus the whole creation groans under the burden of man's corruption, but shall shortly be delivered from its load, Romans 8:21, Romans 8:22. 2. The he hung between heaven and earth, as unworthy of either, as abandoned of both; earth would not keep him, heaven would not take him, hell therefore opens her mouth to receive him. 3. That this was a very surprising unusual thing. It was fit that it should be so, his crime being so monstrous: if, in his flight, his mule had thrown him, and left him half-dead upon the ground, till the servants of David had come up and dispatched him, the same thing would have been done as effectually; but that would have been too common a fate for so uncommon a criminal. God will here, as in the case of those other rebels, Dathan and Abiram, create a new thing, that it may be understood how much this man has provoked the Lord, Numbers 16:29, Numbers 16:30. Absalom is here hung up, in terroremto frighten children from disobedience to their parents. See Proverbs 30:17.

_ _ II. He is caught alive by one of the servants of David, who goes directly and tells Joab in what posture he found that archrebel, 2 Samuel 18:10. Thus was he set up for a spectacle, as well as a mark, that the righteous might see him and laugh at him (Psalms 52:6), while he had this further vexation in his breast, that of all the friends he had courted and confided in, and thought he had sure in his interest, though he hung long enough to have been relieved, yet he had none at hand to disentangle him. Joab chides the man for not dispatching him (2 Samuel 18:11), telling him, if he had given that bold stroke, he would have rewarded him with ten half-crowns and a girdle, that is, a captain's commission, which perhaps was signified by the delivery of a belt or girdle; see Isaiah 22:21. But the man, though zealous enough against Absalom, justified himself in not doing it: “Dispatch him!” says he, “not for all the world: it would have cost my head: and thou thyself wast witness to the king's charge concerning him (2 Samuel 18:12), and, for all thy talk, wouldst have been my prosecutor if I had done it,” 2 Samuel 18:13. Those that love the treason hate the traitor. Joab could not deny this, nor blame the man for his caution, and therefore makes him no answer, but breaks off the discourse, under colour of haste (2 Samuel 18:14): I may not tarry thus with thee. Superiors should consider a reproof before they give it, lest they be ashamed of it afterwards, and find themselves unable to make it good.

_ _ III. He is (as I may say) embowelled and quartered, as traitors are, so pitifully mangled is he as he hangs there, and receives his death in such a manner as to see all its terrors and feel all its pain. 1. Joab throws three darts into his body, which put him, no doubt, to exquisite torment, while he is yet alive in the midst of the oak, 2 Samuel 18:14. I know not whether Joab can be justified in this direct disobedience to the command of his sovereign; was this to deal gently with the young man? Would David have suffered him to do it if he had been upon the spot? Yet this may be said for him, that, while he broke the order of a too indulgent father, he did real service both to his king and country, and would have endangered welfare of both if he had not done it. Salus populi suprema lexThe safety of the people is the supreme law. 2. Joab's young men, ten of them, smite him, before he is dispatched, 2 Samuel 18:15. They surrounded him, made a ring about him in triumph, and then smote him and slew him. So let all they enemies perish, O Lord! Joab hereupon sounds a retreat, 2 Samuel 18:16. The danger is over, now that Absalom is slain; the people will soon return to their allegiance to David, and therefore no more blood shall be spilt; no prisoners are taken, to be tried as traitors and made examples; let every man return to his tent; they are all the king's subjects, all his good subjects again.

_ _ IV. His body is disposed of disgracefully (2 Samuel 18:17, 2 Samuel 18:18): They cast it into a great pit in the wood; they would not bring it to his father (for that circumstance would but have added to his grief), nor would they preserve it to be buried, according to his order, but threw it into the next pit with indignation. Now where is the beauty he had been so proud of and for which he had been so much admired? Where are his aspiring projects, and the castles he had built in the air? His thoughts perish, and he with them. And, to signify how heavy his iniquity lay upon his bones, as the prophet speaks (Ezekiel 32:27), they raised a great heap of stones upon him, to be a monument of his villany, and to signify that he ought to have been stoned as a rebellious son, Deuteronomy 21:21. Travelers say that the place is taken note of to this day, and that it is common for passengers to throw a stone to this heap, with words to this purport: Cursed be the memory of rebellious Absalom, and cursed for ever be all wicked children that rise up in rebellion against their parents. To aggravate the ignominy of Absalom's burial, the historian takes notice of a pillar he had erected in the valley of Kidron, near Jerusalem, to be a monument for himself, and keep his name in remembrance (2 Samuel 18:18), at the foot of which, it is probable, he designed to be buried. What foolish insignificant projects do proud men fill their heads with! And what care do many people take about the disposal of their bodies, when they are dead, that have no care at all what shall become of their precious souls! Absalom had three sons (2 Samuel 14:27), but, it seems, now he had none; God had taken them away by death; and justly is a rebellious son written childless. To make up the want, he erects this pillar for a memorial; yet in this also Providence crosses him, and a rude heap of stones shall be his monument, instead of this marble pillar. Thus those that exalt themselves shall be abased. His care was to have his name kept in remembrance, and it is so, to his everlasting dishonour. He could not be content in the obscurity of the rest of David's sons, of whom nothing is recorded but their names, but would be famous, and is therefore justly made for ever infamous. The pillar shall bear his name, but not to his credit; it was designed for Absalom's glory, but proved Absalom's folly.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Samuel 18:9

The servants of David — Who, according to David's command, spared him, and gave him an opportunity to escape. His head — In which probably he was entangled by the hair of the head, which being very long and thick, might easily catch hold of a bough, especially when the great God directed it. Either he wore no helmet, or he had thrown it away as well as his other arms, to hasten his flight. Thus the matter of his pride was the instrument of his ruin.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
his head:
Riding furiously under the thick boughs of a great oak, which hung low and had never been cropped, either the twisted branches, or some low forked bough of the tree, caught him by the neck, or, as some think, by the loops into which his long hair had been pinned, which had been so much his pride, and was now justly made a halter for him. He may have hung so low from the bough, in consequence of the length of his hair, that he could not use his hands to help himself, or so entangled that his hands were bound, so that the more he struggled the more he was embarrassed. This set him up as a fair mark to the servants of David; and although David would have spared his rebellious son, if his orders had been executed, yet he could not turn the sword of Divine justice, in executing the just, righteous sentence of death on this traitorous son.
2 Samuel 18:14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he [was] yet alive in the midst of the oak.
2 Samuel 14:26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled [it]: because [the hair] was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
2 Samuel 17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled [his] ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.
Matthew 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

taken up:

Deuteronomy 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance.
Deuteronomy 27:16 Cursed [be] he that setteth light by his father or his mother. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Deuteronomy 27:20 Cursed [be] he that lieth with his father's wife; because he uncovereth his father's skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Job 18:8-10 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walketh upon a snare. ... The snare [is] laid for him in the ground, and a trap for him in the way.
Job 31:3 [Is] not destruction to the wicked? and a strange [punishment] to the workers of iniquity?
Psalms 63:9-10 But those [that] seek my soul, to destroy [it], shall go into the lower parts of the earth. ... They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
Proverbs 20:20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.
Proverbs 30:17 The eye [that] mocketh at [his] father, and despiseth to obey [his] mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
Jeremiah 48:44 He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, [even] upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
Mark 7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:
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Dt 21:23; 27:16, 20. 2S 14:26; 17:23; 18:14. Jb 18:8; 31:3. Ps 63:9. Pv 20:20; 30:17. Jr 48:44. Mt 27:5. Mk 7:10. Ga 3:13.

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