New Defender's Study Bible Notes
15:6 stole the hearts. Absalom was handsome and charming, but also cruel and ambitious. David, even with his faults, was God’s chosen leader for Israel, and certainly the greatest king Israel ever had. Absalom was treading on dangerous ground, therefore, when he attempted to undermine David’s authority in this way, and it eventually cost him his life. This should be an example to those today who would seek to displace God-called leaders from their positions. God can remove those in leadership, if it is needed, without human intervention.
15:7 forty. The number “forty” here seems to be a copyist error, since David’s entire reign lasted just forty years. The Septuagint and Syriac translations, as well as Josephus, all agree that it was “four” years, a period which fits more realistically in the account. On the other hand, the “forty years” might conceivably refer to the period of David’s popularity since slaying Goliath, rather than the length of his reign.
15:18 all the Gittites. The Cherethites, Pelethites and Gittites all seem to have been foreign soldiers who had chosen to serve David. They were apparently of Philistine background. The name Chereth probably was related to Crete, the ancestral home of the Philistines. The Gittites were from Gath, where David had spent some time while in exile from Saul. David gave them the opportunity to stay in Jerusalem, to continue in service to any future kings there, but they elected to stay with David. Benaiah was captain over the Cherethites and Pelethites (see II Samuel 20:23), and Ittai over the Gittites. The six hundred men who had served with David in Gath (I Samuel 27:2), many of whom probably were estranged Israelites, were still with David.
15:30 Mount Olivet. David wept as he ascended the Mount of Olives: a thousand years later, Jesus wept as He descended it unto Jerusalem (Luke 19:37,41). It was there He gave His great prophetic discourse (Matthew 24:3) and there He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:26,32). It was from the Mount of Olives that He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:10-12), and to the Mount of Olives that He will descend from heaven when He returns (Zechariah 14:1,4).
15:31 Ahithophel. Ahithophel, a wise counselor for both King David and Prince Absalom (II Samuel 16:23), had apparently been waiting for many years for an opportunity to take revenge against the king. Ahithophel was the father of Eliam, Bathsheba’s father (II Samuel 23:34; 11:3). Bathsheba had been the wife of Uriah before David committed adultery with her and then arranged for Uriah to be killed in battle (II Samuel 11:4,15). Furthermore, both Uriah and Eliam were among David’s “mighty men” (II Samuel 23:8,34,39), and thus close friends of David. David had foolishly and presumptuously committed adultery with Ahithophel’s granddaughter and, in effect, murdered his granddaughter’s brave and honorable husband. This also helps explain Ahithophel’s counsel to Absalom that he should commit adultery with “his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel” (II Samuel 16:21).
15:32 Hushai the Archite. Hushai was apparently of the tribe of Ephraim (the town of Archi was in Ephraim’s territory—Joshua 16:1,2).