The Archite, David's friend. Being informed of Absalom's rebellion and that David was obliged to fly from Jerusalem, he met him on an eminence without the city, with his clothes rent and his head covered with earth. David suggested that if he went with him he would be a burden to him; but that he might do him important service if he should remain in Absalom's suite as an adviser. Hushai therefore returned to Jerusalem, and by defeating the counsel of Ahithophel. And gaining time for David, to whom he sent advices, was the cause of Ahithophel's suicide and of Absalom's miscarriage, 2Sa 15:32-37; 16:16-19; 17.
quick, "the Archite," "the king's friend" (1Ch 27:33). When David fled from Jerusalem, on account of the rebellion of Absalom, and had reached the summit of Olivet, he there met Hushai, whom he sent back to Jerusalem for the purpose of counteracting the influence of Ahithophel, who had joined the ranks of Absalom (2Sa 15:32,37; 16:16-18). It was by his advice that Absalom refrained from immediately pursuing after David. By this delay the cause of Absalom was ruined, for it gave David time to muster his forces.
The Archite (Jos 16:2; Archi, or Erech, belonging to the children of Joseph, on the S. bound of Ephraim, between Bethel and Ataroth). "Friend," "companion" or privy councillor of David. Probably aged, as David says (2Sa 15:32-34,37; 16:16; 1Ch 27:33) "if thou passest on with me, thou shalt be a burden unto me" (compare 1Ch 19:19). By David's suggestion he returned to the city, and feigned to be now Absalom's friend, as he had been that of his father. (See DAVID; ABSALOM.) The policy was crooked and dishonourable; but it was overruled to Absalom's ruin by adopting Hushai's sinister counsel, rather than Ahithophel's satanically wise advice. (See AHITHOPHEL.)
He veiled his treachery with religious hypocrisy, saluting Absalom twice with" God save the king," and justifying his seeming desertion of "his friend" David, which surprised even Absalom, with the pretence so flattering to Absalom's vanity, "nay, but whom Jehovah and this people and all Israel choose, his will I be "; i.e., Jehovah's choice and the whole people's is so clear, that I had no alternative left but to accept it as a matter of duty (!); and inspiring confidence by reminding him how faithfully he had served his father, and that "as I have served in thy father's presence, so will I be in thy presence." How little usurpers can trust the sincerity of their courtiers! God punished Absalom's own treachery to his father, and religious hypocrisy, in kind (2Sa 15:7-8).
God does not sanction evil, and condemns those who "do evil that good may come,'" but allows evil to be punished by evil. Hushai spoke in hyperboles, as suited to the shallow man he was addressing, of the irresistible might with which the whole nation would light upon David "as the dew falleth on the ground." so that "of the men with him there should not be left so much as one." Fear of his father's valor, indecision, and vanity were all acted on by Hushai's plausible counsel that, instead of pursuing David at once, Absalom should wait to collect all Israel, and lead them to battle in person.
The counsel seemed safe, and at the same time gratified Absalom's boasting spirit. Hushai artfully assumed that all Israel "from Dan to Beersheba" would follow him; whereas it was much more likely that after the first surprise of the rebellion gave place to greater deliberation, a large force would gather round the rightful king. Hushai communicated Absalom's decision to Zadok and Abiathar, and these through Jonathan and Ahimaaz to David. Hushai probably died before Solomon's reign, for Zabud son of Nathan was "the king's friend" under Solomon. But Baanah son of Hushai was a commissariat officer of Solomon in Asher and Aloth (1Ki 4:5,16).
An Archite (2Sa 15:32; 17:5,14), i.e. a native of 'the border of the Archites' (Jos 16:2) to the W. of Bethel. He is further described as 'the friend of David' (Jos 15:37), while at 2Sa 16:16 the two titles are united. At the rebellion of Absalom he was induced by David to act as if he favoured the cause of the king's son. By so doing he was enabled both to defeat the plans of Ahithophel and to keep David informed (by means of Ahimaaz and Jonathan, the sons of Zadok and Abiathar the priests) of the progress of events in Jerusalem (2Sa 16:16 to 2Sa 17:23). He is probably to be identified with the father of Baana, one of Solomon's twelve commissariat officers (1Ki 4:16).
Friend and counsellor of David, who, by returning to Jerusalem at the revolt of Absalom, was able to frustrate the advice given by Ahithophel, and thus give David time to escape, and arrange his army for the war. He is called an Archite. 2-Samuel/15/32'>2Sa 15:32,2-Samuel/37'>37; 2-Samuel/16/16'>16:16-18; 2 Sam.17:5-15; 1Ki 4:16; 1Ch 27:33.