2 Samuel – Chapter 18: Absalom’s Death

Today’s chapter continues the story of Absalom that started a few chapters ago.  How will Absalom die?  Let’s find out.

“The king told the troops, ‘I myself will surely march out with you.’ But the men said, ‘You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.’ The king answered, ‘I will do whatever seems best to you.’” – 2 Samuel 18:2-4

David plans to go out with his men in battle but the men say no.

“The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” – 2 Samuel 18:5

Abaslom is David’s son.  It sounds as if David may have mercy on Absalom.

“There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men.” – 2 Samuel 18:7

More needless slaughter in the Bible.  It all started with God hardening the Egyptians hearts and it hasn’t stopped.

“Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.” – 2 Samuel 18:9

Seriously?  Hair caught in a tree and Absalom left hanging in midair?  This is why the Bible is so unbelievable.  The stories are ridiculous.

“Joab said, ‘I’m not going to wait like this for you.’ So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.” – 2 Samuel 18:14-15

This makes no sense.  If Joab plunged three (three!) javelins into Absalom’s heart, he wouldn’t be left alive.  Either Joab missed the heart or Joab never stabbed Absalom.  It wouldn’t take another ten men to kill a hanging, defense-less Absalom.

“The king asked the Cushite, ‘Is the young man Absalom safe?’ The Cushite replied, ‘May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.’” – 2 Samuel 18:32

This Cushite has the skills of a great politician.  A fantastic non-answer to the question of whether Absalom is safe.  David, however, seems to understand this to mean Absalom is dead and begins to grieve.

Thus, ends the story of Absalom, the son of David, who waited two years to do anything about his sister’s rape, and when he finally did do something he took justice into his own hands instead of going through proper channels.

Coming Soon:  Psalm – Chapter 26:  Of David.

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