2 Samuel 17:10 MEANING

2 Samuel 17:10
17:1-21 Here was a wonderful effect of Divine Providence blinding Absalom's mind and influencing his heart, that he could not rest in Ahithophel's counsel, and that he should desire Hushai's advice. But there is no contending with that God who can arm a man against himself, and destroy him by his own mistakes and passions. Ahithophel's former counsel was followed, for God intended to correct David; but his latter counsel was not followed, for God meant not to destroy him. He can overrule all counsels. Whatever wisdom or help any man employs or affords, the success is from God alone, who will not let his people perish.And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt,.... That is, whoever should hear of Absalom's forces, or a part of them, being routed, would be intimidated, though ever so courageous, or of such a lion-like temper and disposition; and even Ahithophel himself, notwithstanding all his boasted courage, his heart would fail, he would melt like water (h), Joshua 7:5; should he meet with such a rebuff at first setting out. A lion is well known for its courage as well as strength, and has not only a fierce countenance, hence we read of lion-like men in their faces, 2 Samuel 23:20; but has a courageous heart, and from thence it is thought to have its name Labi, from "leb", which signifies the heart; so Hercules is represented by the poet as having a lion's heart (i), and others also; though Leo Africanus (k) relates of some lions in Africa that are so naturally fearful that they will flee at the cry of children, particularly at a place called Agla; hence it became a proverb with the inhabitants of Fez to call blustering cowards the lions of Agla; and he speaks of great numbers of lions elsewhere (l), who are easily driven away with a small stick by the most timorous persons; but for the most part lions are very bold and daring, as well as strong, to which the allusion is here. Some apply this to David himself, who was a valiant man, and whose heart was like that of a lion, and so read the last clause with an interrogation: "shall he utterly melt?" no, he will not; he is not to be made afraid so easily as Ahithophel has intimated:

for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men: this is so universally known that it cannot be denied.

(h) , Moschi Idyll 2. ver. 45. (i) Homer. Iliad. 5. ver 639. Iliad. 7. ver. 228. Odyss. 11. ver. 279. Vid. Hesiod. Theogoniam prope finem. (k) Descriptio Africae, l. 3. p. 400. (l) Ib. p. 474.

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