In the fifth rib - I believe חמש chomesh, which we render here and elsewhere the fifth rib, means any part of the abdominal region. The Septuagint translate it την ψοαν, the groin; the Targum, the right side of the thigh, i.e., (the phrase of the Targumist being interpreted), the privy parts. That it means some part of the abdominal region, is evident from what follows, And shed out his bowels to the ground. It appears from this that, in plain English, he ripped up his belly.
The overthrow of Absalom did not at once bring peace to the kingdom. So large a part of the nation had joined in revolt that David would not return to his capital and resume his authority without an invitation from the tribes. In the confusion that followed Absalom's defeat there was no prompt and decided action to recall the king, and when at last Judah undertook to bring back David, the jealousy of the other tribes was roused, and a counter-revolution followed. This, however, was speedily quelled, and peace returned to Israel. PP 746.1Read in context »