David Journeys Away From Jerusalem 16:1-14
So David made it just past the summit of the hill and Mephibosheth's servant met him with donkeys to ride, raisins for the men and wine for those who felt weak.
David asked the servant where Mephibosheth;s son was. (Saul's son, Jonathan's son, Mephibosheth's son) The servant said the son stayed in Jerusalem because he thought he was going to reclaim his father's kingdom. Ryrie interprets this differently. They consider the master's son to be Mephibosheth. And then a future chapter will prove this false.
So David gave all of Mephibosheth's inheritance to the servant (taking it away from the son, I presume.)
Then David arrives in Bahurin (East of Mt of Olives) and a relative of Saul's starts screaming and throwing rocks claiming all of this is payback for David's bloodshed against Saul. Joab's brother, Abishai, asks why this loser is aloud to do this and asks permission to cut off his head. David responfs that if the Lord told this man to curse, let him curse; but maybe God will choose to do good instead of the spoken curse.
This seem like a tremendous example of how to treat people who speak ill of you (and quite a contrast to how the young David responded when the man spoke ill of David and refused to feed the men during the feast. (Abigail's husband) David assumed this cursing was part of the discipline of the Lord and accepted the man's right to say it, especially if the Lord had told him to. But he had faith that maybe God wouldn't choose the curse but might do good to David.
David was walking with a very humbled spirit. They were weary when they arrived at there new stopping place.
Absalom in Jerusalem 16:15-23
Absalom (David's son) and Ahithopel (David's senior advisor and Bathsheba's grandpa) arrive in Jerusalem.
David's spy, Hushai, immediately makes contact with Absalom. Absalom immediately questions Hushai's loyal and Husgai gives him his spiel.
Absalom asks Ahithopel, "Give your advice.What shall we do?"
Maybe I'm reading too much into it; but it seems like Absalom should have had a plan in mind. Were they that surprised by David fleeing? Was Absalom that reliant on Ahithopel's advice? This seems significant.
Ahithopel's advice was for Absalom to rape all of David's concubine in public, so all would see. Anyone who slept with the King's concubine was claiming the throne and the right to do so. So Ahithopel was picking actions to strengthen the claim to the throne.
I wonder if Ahithopel's first piece of advice was raping the concubines because he was angry with David regarding Bathsheba. Sex act for sex act? Pretty gross anyway you try to explain it. Cultural or not- that's just gross and I believe any conscious would register that as wrong. Using rape of members of society with no agency as a means of planting your leadership flag is perverse and evil. I'm king because I can force helpless members of that group to have sex with me in public? Evil, wrong, and gross.
Ryrie points out that this act would also make the chasm between David and Absalom permanent. There's no coming back from that.
Verse 23 reads as if everyone, including David and Absalom, took Ahithopel's word as the Word of God. I can't totally tell if it's true or just how it was perceived. that may be cleared up later? If true, it makes the rape advice to be as if from God. It seems to be saying that's how the advice was perceived. Not how it really was. Again, needs a closer look before I come to any conclusions.