2 Samuel 10:5 MEANING

2 Samuel 10:5
(5) Tarry at Jericho.--In consideration for his mortified ambassadors, David directs them to remain at Jericho, which lay directly on their road. Jericho had been destroyed on the first entrance of the Israelites into Canaan, and a solemn curse pronounced upon whoever "riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho." This curse fell upon Hiel, more than a century after the time of David (1 Kings 16:34). But "buildeth" is here, as often, to be understood of "fortifying"; and Jericho, under the name of "the city of palm trees" (Judges 1:16; Judges 3:13), appears to have been all along an inhabited place.

10:1-5 Nahash had been an enemy to Israel, yet had showed kindness to David. David therefore resolves gratefully to return it. If a Pharisee gives alms in pride, though God will not reward it, yet he that receives the alms ought to return thanks for it. Those who bear ill-will to their neighbours, are resolved not to believe that their neighbours bear any good-will to them. There is nothing so well meant, but it may be ill interpreted, and is wont to be so, by men who love nobody but themselves. The best men must not think it strange if they are thus misrepresented. Charity thinketh no evil. According to the usages of those days and countries, Hanun treated David's ambassadors in the most contemptuous manner. David showed much concern for his servants. Let us learn not to lay unjust reproaches to heart; they will wear off, and turn only to the shame of those who utter or do them; while the reputation wrongfully hurt in a little time grows again, as these beards did. God will bring forth thy righteousness as the light, therefore wait patiently for him, Ps 37:6,7.When they told it unto David,.... Not the ambassadors, for they were not yet arrived, but some of their servants, perhaps, they sent before them to acquaint David of the usage they had met with:

he sent to meet them: he sent men to meet them with proper garments to put on, and to assure them how much he resented the indignity done to them and him, and would avenge it in due and proper time, and to direct them where to go for the present, as follows:

because the men were greatly ashamed: to proceed on their journey, and come to court in the condition they were:

and the king said; gave orders by the messengers he sent to them:

tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, or "bud" (t):

and then return; that is, to Jerusalem; Jericho, though not yet built, might have some cottages at or near the spot on which it had stood, for the convenience of shepherds, and gatherers of fruit, in the plains of it; here the ambassadors were directed to go, it being the first place they came to when they had passed over Jordan, from the country of Ammon; and being a place where there were scarcely any inhabitants, or very few, was very proper for them in their present circumstances; and this confirms what is before observed, that it was now the custom of the Israelites not to shave their whole beards; or otherwise it was but shaving off the other half, and being now provided with other clothes, they would have had no need to have stayed at Jericho, but might have proceeded on in their journey.

(t) "germinet", Pagninus, Montanus.

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