Second Samuel 17 – 18

2 Samuel 17

Ahithophel then advised an immediate attack to slay David, and Absalom was pleased; being full of bitter hatred over his treatment by his father David over his execution of the sister rapist Amnon.

2 Samuel 17:1 Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night: 17:2 And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only: 17:3 And I will bring back all the people unto thee: the man whom thou seekest is as if all returned: so all the people shall be in peace.

Absalom was pleased but asked for a second opinion from Hushai

17:4 And the saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel. 17:5 Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he saith. 17:6 And when Hushai was come to Absalom, Absalom spake unto him, saying, Ahithophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do after his saying? if not; speak thou.

Hushai advises that David will lodge with his mighty men and not with the civilians, and being a strong and experienced man of war enraged by this rebellion; David will not be easily taken.

17:7 And Hushai said unto Absalom, The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. 17:8 For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.

Hushai warns: When David’s small band manages to kill some of Absalom’s men they will lose heart and flee away.

17:9 Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place: and it will come to pass, when some of them be overthrown at the first, that whosoever heareth it will say, There is a slaughter among the people that follow Absalom. 17:10 And he also that is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall utterly melt: for all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men.

Hushai counsels that Absalom gather together a large army before going after David.

17:11 Therefore I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. 17:12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as

one. 17:13 Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there.

Hushai’s counsel is accepted and it buys time for David.

17:14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.

Hushai then sends word to David to hide himself quickly and not camp in the open plain that night lest Absalom change his mind and attack him in the open.

17:15 Then said Hushai unto Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, Thus and thus did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel; and thus and thus have I counselled. 17:16 Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, Lodge not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but speedily pass over [Jordan]; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that are with him.

A woman was sent with a message for the sons of the priests who were in hiding

17:17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by Enrogel; for they might not be seen to come into the city: and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David.

The messengers were betrayed and almost caught on their mission to David, having to hide in a woman’s well.

17:18 Nevertheless a lad saw them, and told Absalom: but they went both of them away quickly, and came to a man’s house in Bahurim, which had a well in his court; whither they went down. 17:19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth, and spread ground corn thereon; and the thing was not known. 17:20 And when Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, they said, Where is Ahimaaz and Jonathan? And the woman said unto them, They be gone over the brook of water. And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

17:21 And it came to pass, after they were departed, that they came up out of the well, and went and told king David, and said unto David, Arise, and pass quickly over the water [river Jordan]: for thus hath Ahithophel counselled against you.

David then crossed Jordan with his own army and escaped to the east.

17:22 Then David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over Jordan: by the morning light there lacked not one of them that was not gone over Jordan.

At that point the wise Ahithophel knew that the cause of Absalom was lost and that he would die a traitor, so he hanged himself.

17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father.

17:24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom passed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.

Absalom took the cousin of Joab to be his captain in place of Joab who was loyal to David.

17:25 And Absalom made Amasa captain of the host instead of Joab: which Amasa was a man’s son, whose name was Ithra an Israelite, that went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab’s mother.

Amasa was the son of an Abigail (2 Sam 17:25), who was the sister of King David (1 Chr 2:16,17) and Zeruiah [was the mother of Joab]. Hence, Amasa was a nephew to David and a cousin of Joab, as well as a cousin to Absalom.

The two armies camped in the Golan

17:26 So Israel and Absalom pitched in the land of Gilead.

Then friends of David brought them supplies.

17:27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,

17:28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse, 17:29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.

All of this fulfilled the prophecy by Nathan, and punished David for his sins. The one who later  became Jesus Christ was allowing David to experience a lesson that he would never forget; so that he would never again depart from the Word of God for all eternity.

We are also being taught the very same lesson that we are to be passionately loyal to live by every Word of God! 

Those who idolize men and corporate entities to commit spiritual adultery with them by turning aside from the Word of God to follow them; are being taught the same lesson!  Just as David suffered, we will also suffer for our spiritual adultery in the imminent great tribulation.

We are all being taught a lesson of loyalty to God to prepare us for a righteous kingship if we do learn the lesson of absolute and total loyalty to God and to zealously learn and to live by every Word of God; regardless of the trials or temptations to do otherwise!


2 Samuel 18

Ahithophel’s vengeful and wicked counsel to Absalom regarding his father’s concubines fails, so that the action of Absalom far from bringing more followers to Absalom out of fear of David; engendered revulsion against Absalom and many in Israel rallied to go over to David; so that David now had thousands with him in the Golan.

2 Samuel 18:1 And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds over them.

David divides his army into three parts

18:2 And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also.

The people will not let David [now older] go out to the battle

18:3 But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour [command us from a headquarters in the city] us out of the city. 18:4 And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.

David asks for care to save Absalom alive

18:5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.

The battle was great

18:6 So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; 18:7 Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.

More people became lost in the forest and perished, then were killed in the fight. You can imagine running in panic through an unfamiliar forest and falling into pits, dead falls [entanglements of fallen trees], quicksand and other dangers.

18:8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

Absalom became entangled in a tree branch by his head

18:9 And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away. 18:10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.

Joab sought to take the life of Absalom, knowing that for future peace Absalom had to die for his rebellion as an example to all rebels in spite of the feelings of David for his son.

David’s failure to mete out justice on his sister raping son brought on these quarrels between David and Absalom, and Joab knew that mercy to the rebel would bring on more rebellion unless justice was done.

18:11 And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.

Joab’s soldier refused to disobey king David, forcing Joab to take personal action.

18:12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. 18:13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.

Joab and his personal aide then slew Absalom.

18:14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. 18:15 And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.

Joab then stopped the battle because the usurper was dead

18:16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people. 18:17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all [the rebels] Israel fled every one to his tent.

Absalom died childless and had a monument of stone made for himself for that reason.

18:18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king’s dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s place.

Joab delayed the messenger to David in order to send his own messenger to break the news of Absalom’s death first.

18:19 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies. 18:20 And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king’s son is dead.

18:21 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran. 18:22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? 18:23 But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run.

The son of Zadok Ahimaaz, then outran Cushi to David anyway

Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.

David was in the city and waiting for news

18:24 And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. 18:25 And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near. 18:26 And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings.

Ahimaaz announced the victory first

18:27 And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings. 18:28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king.

David asks after Absalom

18:29 And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king’s servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was. 18:30 And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.

Cushi then announces the death of Absalom.

18:31 And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. 18:32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.

David wept over the death of the usurper Absalom his beloved son.

Jesus Christ will not hold back from destroying in the lake of fire all those who reject zeal to live by every Word of God even though he loves them greatly, because he knows that they will continue to rebel and to lead others in rebellion against him and God the Father.

The lack of justice concerning Tamar and the rebellion of Absalom is more than only punishment for Uriah; it is a lesson for David in how to be a king. No king can allow rebellion and law-breaking in his kingdom and expect to have a peaceful stable kingdom; no not even God the Father and Jesus Christ!

It is the duty of a ruler to teach the people to abide by the law and to execute justice honestly and evenhandedly without regard to any person. David had to learn that, and so does the latter day Spiritual Ekklesia.

Those who teach that God will overlook our sins because he loves us, are ignorant, knowing nothing about being kings as they ought to know.  God the Father and Jesus Christ cannot afford the kind of emotional overlooking of justice which brought David so much grief.

They MUST and WILL expel all sin, commandment breaking and turning aside from any part of the whole Word of God, because even a speck of rebellion, like leaven, will ultimately infect the whole lump.

Those who wanted to return to Egypt were destroyed in the wilderness and many enemies were brought up to correct Israel when they sinned: So today, Jesus Christ will correct all who take God’s Word lightly and turn aside to follow their idols; including idols of men and corporate entities.

Any willful unrepentant sin [breaking the Word of God] is REBELLION against God the Father and Jesus Christ the King of kings, and those who do such things will be corrected, and if still unrepentant they will be destroyed in the final sea of fire.

18:33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

David had to learn the hard way that the law of God and Godly justice, trumps personal emotional feelings. We should NOT take any pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather work to bring them to repentance.  However there will be a final day of judgment and all unrepentant sinners will receive the just wages for their conduct from God; which for sin is death, regardless of how much we love them.

Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Therefore if we really love others; it is our DUTY to: Cry Aloud and Spare Not, rebuking all sin Isaiah 58; in the hope that some might be saved.


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