- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and Answers - other
- Published on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 16:51
What was the wise woman’s line of reasoning in 2 Samuel 14:4-14?
The woman followed the example of the prophet Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:1-7, by getting the king to decide a hypothetical case which Joab and she had invented. When he did so, she told him (v. 13) that he was setting a bad example to the people of God, by not acting himself in accordance with the decision he had given in the case of others, and bringing home the banished Absalom, En verse i she backs this with another argument. God Himself, she points out, has devised means that His banished be not expelled from Him (referring doubtless to the cities of refuge which God had provided so that the manslayer should not have to leave the country). Why then should not David act as God does?
She thus struck two chords that were sure to find an echo in David’s heart. He would wish to set God’s people a good example, and he surely would like to act as God did. Had he not shortly before sought out the grandson of his bitter enemy, Saul, in order that he might show “the kindness of God” to him (2 Samuel 9: 3)? Of course her reasoning was bad, for she was persuading him to act at the expense of justice; and God’s “means” were not for wilful murderers such as Absalom. But “the king’s heart was toward Absalom” (v. i), so he was not difficult to persuade. His son was brought back, and all seemed well. But two factors had been ignored, the claims of God’s broken Law, and the unchanged heart of the offender; and the result was a harvest of sorrow to be reaped later.
With regard to the first two clauses of v. 14, she apparently meant to suggest that, like water spilt on the ground, that which was past, i.e. the death of Amnon, could not be recalled. Possibly also, that life is too short to be wasted in a prolonged quarrel.