Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
Comments for Study 6
2 Samuel 13:1-14:33
Memory Verse: 14:14
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I. Amnon and Tamar (13:1-22)
>1. Why was Amnon's "love" for Tamar not real love? (1-2)
* 2 Samuel 13:1-2 "In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David. Amnon became frustrated to the point of illness on account of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her."
* "In the course of time" -8:1 started with the same phrase and as there it shows that 2 Samuel is not in chronological as much as topical order. These victories are believed to happen several years after Nathan's rebuke to David because of his blatant sins.
* "Amnon" -2 Samuel 3:2 states, "Sons were born to David in Hebron: His firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel."
* "Absalom" -2 Samuel 3:3 states, "his second, Kileab the son of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom the son of Maacah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur."
* David's eldest sons are now grown men with houses of their own.
* "frustrated to the point of illness" -Uncontrolled desire can consume a person's whole being, especially if is based on physical appearance. Some illnesses are the direct result of the sinful nature.
* "Tamar" -David's daughter by Maacah of Geshur (3:3) and Absalom's full sister.
* "she was a virgin" -A beautiful young lady that refrains from sexual immorality is a person of strong character.
* "it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her" -Amnon wanted to be alone with her, but it wasn't happening. He was an immoral man. He was controlled by his sinful desires. A man who is controlled by sinful desires does not understand and/or accept right from wrong. His thinking is skewed and therefore cannot be trusted.
* An immoral man is not without hope. At anytime anyone can made a resolve to stop sinning and turn to God for forgiveness and leadership. This was my case, a sinner who found grace and peace in Christ.
* Leviticus 18:9 "Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere."
* In scripture some men have very short biographies. Amnon is one of these. Like Cain before him, all that is recorded of Amnon was the mark of infamy.
* David and all Israel must have begun thinking about which of David's sons would be the heir. The event in this chapter causes David's first and third son to drop out of contention because of sin. David's second son, Kileab (2 Sam. 3:3) is not even mentioned and we are not told why he drops out of the story; only mentioned once in Scripture.
>What poor advice did his friend give him? (3-6)
* 2 Samuel 13:3-6 "Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man. He asked Amnon, "Why do you, the king's son, look so haggard morning after morning? Won't you tell me?" Amnon said to him, "I'm in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister." "Go to bed and pretend to be ill," Jonadab said. "When your father comes to see you, say to him, 'I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I may watch her and then eat it from her hand.' So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, "I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand."
* Proverbs 12:5-6 "The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them."
* Proverbs 19:20-21 "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails."
* "Jonadab" -Jonadab was one of the extended royal family. He is wise in the sense that he knew what he wanted and how to get it.
* "Shimeah" -Shimeah is Shammah in 1 Sam. 16:9.
* "shrewd" -He was astute, sharp in practical matters. Being shrewd does not mean that the person is a believer in Jesus.
* Matthew 10:16 "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
* Luke 16:8-9 "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings."
* "I'm in love with Tamar" -Amnon idea of love is based on lust and desire. His love is selfish love. This is not true love. God's love is true love. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us and we aught to lay down our life for our brothers." (1 John 3:16) 1 John 4:9-11 states, "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
* "When the king came to see him" -David must have kept track of his house and had known that Amnon was ill. Being the firstborn Amnon was the heir apparent. Any illness would have been brought immediately. David made the mistake of believing his son was a man of morality and good intentions. God had blinded David of the truth as part of the outcome of his sin against Uriah.
>What shows his lack of self control? (7-11; Prov. 25:28)
* 2 Samuel 13:7-11 "David sent word to Tamar at the palace: "Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him." So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it. Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat. "Send everyone out of here," Amnon said. So everyone left him. Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, "Come to bed with me, my sister."
* "David sent word" -David unknowingly has been played upon to the be a participant of the sins that follow. Jonadab's plan placed David a root cause with the intent of making Amnon less likely to receive punishment. Jonadab's plan counted on David's apparently common leniency toward his sons, especially when they were ill; as well has David's apparent lack of understanding on his sons' true characters. David did what is common to many parents, thinking their children are just like them.
* "the house of your brother" -Amnon was old enough to have his own house. David was not exercising his position to improve his family fortunes, all to common in politics.
* Proverbs 25:28 "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control."
* "Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon" -Tamar obeyed her father. David had put her in harms way. She must have known her half brother's immorality and yet for it seems he had been making improper advancements to her. She didn't say anything to David perhaps because she didn't believe Amnon was capable of this.
* "Send everyone out of here" -Tamar would have at least one lady-in-wating with her.
* "into my bedroom" -She did not prepare the food in his bedroom, however could see her make it through the doorway.
* Amnon pretended to be so ill as to not be able to feed himself.
* "bread" -In Hebrew the bread he requested should have been heart shaped. In Hebrew she did not serve that type of bread.
>How can a young man control his emotions and desires? (Gal. 5:22-26; 2 Peter 1:5-8)
* Galatians 5:22-26 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."
* 2 Peter 1:5-8 "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
* Hebrews 3:1 "Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess."
* Sinful man does not have the ability to overcome the sinful nature. However, the Holy Spirit can give a person the strength needed to overcome any sinful thought.
* 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
>2. How did Tamar feel? (12-13a)
* 2 Samuel 13:12-13a "Don't, my brother!" she said to him. "Don't force me. Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don't do this wicked thing. What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel."
* "Don't do this wicked thing" -Tamar resisted. She was a pure young lady, not wanted to defile herself.
* "Such a thing should not be done in Israel" -Tamar knew the words of the Lord. She also knew that Israel should not be like the kingdoms around her.
* "What about me" -Tamar knew that Amnon was acting selfishly. she knew his words of love was no love at all.
* "And what about you" -Tamar tried to plead with Amnon based on reason. Yet even though she pointed out what he was doing wasn't for his own good he would not listen. Those bent on sinful activity will not listen to logic even if it points to their own good. Sin is not logical.
* "wicked fools" -The word is Hebrew is similar to Nabal of 1 Samuel 25.
>What was she willing to do? (13b)
* 2 Samuel 13:13b "Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.
* How could Tamar had loved a man like Amnon? She couldn't have. Yet she was more repulsed by the thought of losing her virginity and honor in this way than the thought of living with a man like Amnon. So she was willing to marry Amnon.
* Sometimes we come to places in our lives where there seems to be nothing we can do (such as a loved one's illness) or none of the paths available seem pleasant. Joseph was at this place several times in his life. Peter and Paul were also at this place in their lives. Tamar is now at this place in her life. Sometimes all we can do is cry out to the Lord in prayer. "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." (Romans 8:26-27)
>How was Amnon's heart and character revealed? (14-16)
* 2 Samuel 13:14-16 "But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, "Get up and get out!" "No!" she said to him. "Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me." But he refused to listen to her."
* "he refused to listen to her" -Amnon kind of live is no love at all. Jesus shows us real love, to lay down our life for others. Any other kind of love falls short and is no love at all.
* "raped her" -Rape is selfish play for power over another.
* "Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred" -Rape is a form of hatred. Satisfied lust is no satisfaction at all.
* "Amnon's act of violence reveals him as someone incapable of contact and as an uncouth egoist. The worst for him is that there is a witness present, and Tamar is this very witness. From then on he will no longer be able to see her, for such a meeting would be a repeated, extremely shameful unmasking and intolerable confrontation with his own shortcomings as a person. (Fokkelman)
>What did Amon's act do to his half-sister? (17-19)
* 2 Samuel 13:17-19 He called his personal servant and said, "Get this woman out of here and bolt the door after her." So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing a richly ornamented robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went."
* Power and wealthy men who find themselves unable to have something become obsessed with having it to the point of loneliness.
* "bolt the door after her" -Tamar would have been completely ruined in that society. A woman who was not a virgin, no matter how that came about would not have been a candidate for anyone to marry. Now he was himself rejecting her, almost blaming her for it. Amnon had not only rejected and hated her, but he completely ruined her.
>How can such a thing happen in David's household?
* The fulfillment of the Lord's words through Nathan's denunciation and the reaping of the seed that David had sown. Shame, dishonor and murder were committed in David's own family circle. Whereas his own sins had been done in secret, those of his children were before all Israel. David also began to see the fulfillment of God's word that the sword would rise up against him. (12:11-12) In his children's ways, David was brought to understand something of how he had pained his heavenly Father by disobedience and heinous crime. In addition to all this, David had to bear the alienation of his people, the cursing of his subjects, the humiliation of his wives, and the hatred of his son. (Irving L. Jensen, A Self-Study Guide)
* Though our sins are forgiven in Jesus we still must pay the consequences our sins in this life.
* The father's sins are often repeated by his sons and daughters.
>3. How did Absalom and David react? (20-22)
* 2 Samuel 13:20-22 "Her brother Absalom said to her, "Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet now, my sister; he is your brother. Don't take this thing to heart." And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house, a desolate woman. When King David heard all this, he was furious. Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar."
* Exodus 22:16-17 "If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins."
* Deuteronomy 22:28-29 "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."
* "Has that Amnon" -Absalom used a diminutive form of Amnon's name, one probably used among family.
* "he was furious" -David had strong emotions but did not act on them. David didn't do anything.
* "he hated Amnon" -Hate left unchecked will lead to greater sins. Jesus said that hate is the same sin as murder.
>Why, even though he was furious did David do nothing? (2 Sam. 11:4-5; Prov. 5:22; Ps. 39:11)
* 2 Samuel 11:4-5 "Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
* Proverbs 5:22 "The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him; the cords of his sin hold him fast."
* Psalms 39:11 "You rebuke and discipline men for their sin; you consume their wealth like a moth-- each man is but a breath. Selah"
* Most likely his own sins had immobilized him. One act on his part now would have saved two of his sons from dying.
* Eli, Samuel, and now David were unable to control their son's sinful activities. Strangely, Saul is the only father in 1 and 2 Samuel who did not have sons listed like Eli, Samuel, and David.
II. Absalom Kills Amnon (13:23-39)
>4. Who refused to come to Absalom's party? (23-25)
* 2 Samuel 13:23-25 "Two years later, when Absalom's sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king's sons to come there. Absalom went to the king and said, "Your servant has had shearers come. Will the king and his officials please join me?" "No, my son," the king replied. "All of us should not go; we would only be a burden to you." Although Absalom urged him, he still refused to go, but gave him his blessing."
* "Two years later" -Absalom waited until almost all had forgotten what had happened.
* "Absalom's sheepshearers" -Sheep shearing was a time to celebrate and rejoice. It was pay day. Parties were common, sharing the wealth and joy of the day.
* "Baal Hazor" -Baal Hazor means "Baal of Hazor". “Baal” occurs in the Old Testament as a noun meaning, lord, owner, possessor, or husband.” So Baal at this time in Israel was occasionally used as a man's name and as a name for God; a practice that remained until immoral Baal worship was greatly practiced in Israel and rebuked by the prophets. The village Baal Hazor is modern Jebel Asur, five miles (8km) north-east of Bethel.
* "he invited all the king's sons" -Absalom was doing his best to hide his intent. He was going to act as judge and executor. He is taking justice into his own hands. Romans 12:19 says, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord."
* David must have known that Absalom's request for him to come would not be accepted. Yet it seems he gave Absalom the benefit of the doubt.
>What did Absalom do?
* 2 Samuel 13:26-29 "Then Absalom said, "If not, please let my brother Amnon come with us." The king asked him, "Why should he go with you?" But Absalom urged him, so he sent with him Amnon and the rest of the king's sons. Absalom ordered his men, "Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, 'Strike Amnon down,' then kill him. Don't be afraid. Have not I given you this order? Be strong and brave." So Absalom's men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king's sons got up, mounted their mules and fled."
* "Why should he go with you?" -David suspected something since everyone must have known that Absalom had completely avoided Amnon for two years. Yet David allowed this. Once again David will unknowingly partake in one of his son's sins.
* "high spirits from drinking wine" -Everyone knew that Amnon was prone to drink to much. A drunk is soon discovered.
>How did David react?
* 2 Samuel 13:30-33 "While they were on their way, the report came to David: "Absalom has struck down all the king's sons; not one of them is left." The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. But Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother, said, "My lord should not think that they killed all the princes; only Amnon is dead. This has been Absalom's expressed intention ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. My lord the king should not be concerned about the report that all the king's sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead."
* 2 Samuel 13:35-36 "2 Samuel 13:35 "Jonadab said to the king, "See, the king's sons are here; it has happened just as your servant said." As he finished speaking, the king's sons came in, wailing loudly. The king, too, and all his servants wept very bitterly."
* 2 Samuel 13:39 "And the spirit of the king longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon's death."
* "Jonadab" -Jonadab's stand in contrast to everyone around David at this time. He is not surprised and speaks vainly, not giving any hint that it was his advice that started the whole sad chain of events. Since he is considered wise by his peers I assume that he knew something like this would happen. Therefore, he stayed to the ready to look good to the king. Often wolves put on sheep clothings. Jesus' parable of the mustard seed mentions birds in the tree. What do birds do? Eat the seeds.
* Again David did nothing. He seems paralyzed by his own sin, unable to deal with the sins of his sons. Jacob also knew of his son's sins and yet did little to correct them. Yet it is true that Jacob and David's sons are grown men, responsible for their own actions. Yet David was made a part of these sins and therefore should have been compelled to do something about the sins he was involved in even though he himself was innocent.
* "it has happened just as your servant said" -Jonadab is a planning opportunist.
>Where did Absalom go?
* 2 Samuel 13:34 "Meanwhile, Absalom had fled. Now the man standing watch looked up and saw many people on the road west of him, coming down the side of the hill. The watchman went and told the king, "I see men in the direction of Horonaim, on the side of the hill."
* 2 Samuel 13:37-38 "Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned for his son every day. After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years."
* "Absalom had fled" -Absalom had planned to go to one of the cities of refuge. He must have planned on his father's kindness and eventual forgiveness.
* "watchman" -Every city would have a watchman. The reader is lead to participate in the intense wait for concrete proof.
* "Horonaim" -Horonaim means "twin towns" and is located in Moab. The exact location is not known.
* "Geshur" -Geshur was his mother's homeland. Geshur is in the area of Bashan between Mount Herman and the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias). (Joshua 12:5) David and Israel were on good terms with this city-state. Geshur acted as a buffer between Israel and Aram. They are not the Geshuri (Geshurites in Joshua 13:2) who lived on the south-west border of Israel.
>How can sin spread so easily be stopped? (Rom. 5:12, 15-16)
* Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned"
* Romans 5:15-16 "But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification."
* Jesus put to death sin in his body when he freely allowed himself to be sacrifice.
III. Absalom Returns to Jerusalem (14:1-33)
>6. How and why did Joab arrange Absalom's return? (1-5)
* 2 Samuel 14:1-5 "Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart longed for Absalom. So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a brought from there. He said to her, "Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don't use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead. Then go to the king and speak these words to him." And Joab put the words in her mouth. When the woman from Tekoa went to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, "Help me, O king!" The king asked her, "What is troubling you?" She said, "I am indeed a widow; my husband is dead."
* "Joab son of Zeruiah" -David's head of the army. Zeruiah was David's sister. (2 Sam. 2:13; and 1 Chron. 2:16)
* "knew that the king's heart longed for Absalom" -I suspect that Joab wasn't the only person who noticed this in the three years Absalom was living in his grandfather's city-state.
* "Tekoa" -Tekoa means place of setting up a tent.” A city in the highlands of Judah six miles (8km) south of Bethlehem and ten miles (16km) south of Jerusalem.
* "a wise women" -Joab and others must have known one of David's weaknesses had to do with sweet talking and good looking women.
* "many days grieving for the dead" -Joab and others mentioned in this study knew David's compassion and sense of righteousness. They often used these to manipulate him, even sometimes against him.
* The strengths that built up David's kingdom were the same ones that people used to try to manipulate him. Often our strengths are seen as weaknesses (sometimes correctly). How often is it aht people don't recognize what motivates and moves them? Most go through life not understanding ourselves well, while to others we are seen clearly for who we are. Loving peer review sometimes helps us understand ourselves better. Some aspects of our nature can be changed, others cannot. Just because some aspects can't be changed doesn't mean that we should try understand ourselves through self and loving peer review. David slowly grew to understand the reasons why he did things and how people used those aspects either for or against him.
* "the woman from Tekoa went to the king" -David was accessible to the common folk. This woman could approach David.
>What sad story did the wise woman tell? (6-7)
* 2 Samuel 14:6-7 "I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him. Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, 'Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir as well.' They would put out the only burning coal I have left, leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth."
* "the whole clan" -Her relatives, if the story was true, would stand to gain her dead husband's land if the only remaining son were to die. She was implying that her clan was acting selfishly, not based on the law.
* "then we will get rid of the heir" -Israel law stated that if a man died without heirs the clan would receive his land. Israel law also did all that was possible to not let this happen. The woman was accusing the false clan of not being lawful. The funny thing is that the analogy's attempt on persuading David, if successful would itself not uphold the law.
* The story the woman told was not entirely true to David and Absalom's situation. Yet Joab believed the story needed to be told in this way, perhaps to hide the truth so David wouldn't suspect or to make it sure to get the verdict he wanted.
* The truth that Joab didn't see is that David had other sons who could be the heir. The author already has told us that the Lord loved Solomon. (12:24) Yet Joab didn't recognize this, or if he did, he ignored it.
* Another truth that Joab didn't recognize either purposely or not, was that by the Law given through Moses, Absalom was guilty and should be tried and pay the price of murder. David himself was paying the price for his murdering Uriah. The story Joab spoke through the woman didn't recognize the need for a trial and if found guilty Absalom should be put to death. (Ex. 20:13; Num. 35:12-28; Deut. 5:17)
* Another fact different in the story was that the brother's murder was not premeditated. (Deut. 19:4-6) Absalom's murdering Amnon was premeditated.
>What promise did she trick David into making? (8-11)
* 2 Samuel 14:8-11 "The king said to the woman, "Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf." But the woman from Tekoa said to him, "My lord the king, let the blame rest on me and on my father's family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt." The king replied, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me, and he will not bother you again." She said, "Then let the king invoke the Lord his God to prevent the avenger of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed." "As surely as the Lord lives," he said, "not one hair of your son's head will fall to the ground."
* "let the king and his throne be without guilt" -Recognizing David's guilt.
* "the avenger of blood" -Spoken of in the Mosaic Law.
* "As sure as the Lord lives" -A common phrase used in oaths that should never be broken. Jesus taught to refrain from such oaths. "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No' be 'No'," Jesus taught. (Matt. 5:37)
* "not one hair of your son's head will fall to the ground" -David was tricked into saying Absalom would not be tried or harmed even though he had committed planned murder. David was issuing a pardon and a precedence though the fit of the story and true life was not exact.
>Why was this necessary?
* Joab believed that David and Absalom should be reunited, especially since Absalom is now presumed to be the heir. (David's second son is never mentioned and assumed either dead or unable to be king.) Even though he was David's nephew, Joab knew he could not approach David directly (perhaps he had tried). Some seats of authority have to much power over people's lives, producing fear in those subject to their power. So Joab decided to use a method that Nathan the prophet had used with David, a parable. Joab knew he couldn't deliver it or David would recognize it right away. So he sought for a wise woman to deliver the sad parable.
* Was Joab a wise peacemaker? Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." So was Joab doing right? By making David pronounce freedom from punishment, Joab was a kind of peacemaker, though the peace message was not based on absolute truth. By delivering the gospel we are peacemakers of God's truth. As Joab sought a wise way to deliver the peacemaking message to David, so we should be wise in delivering the gospel to people though without compromising the truth. Paul wrote, "And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." (Colossians 4:3-6)
* Joab's peace message sets the stage for Absalom's rebellion and death. When we deliver the gospel we need to full of grace and truth as Jesus was. (John 1:14, 17; Col. 1:6; 2 John 1:3)
* In the past some religious leaders have used banishment as a public punishment for personal attacks against them; some even sitting this passage to justify their actions. Acts against God should be dealt with in grace and truth. Acts against an individual, whether leader or not, should be dealt with personally, not publicly. A religious leader should not use his position as a weapon against an individual even if the act was wrong. Jesus did not do this. He is humble and gentle, sacrificing himself instead of calling down fire from heaven on those who reject him. If a leader uses his position wrongly in this way, then he is not acting in the Lord's will and way. Later, David will leave Jerusalem rather than use his seat to resist his son aspirations for power at David's expense.
>7. What characteristic of God did she remind David? (12-14)
* 2 Samuel 14:12-14 "Then the woman said, "Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king." "Speak," he replied. The woman said, "Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of God? When the king says this, does he not convict himself, for the king has not brought back his banished son? Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him."
* "against the people of God" -Was this so? Was David's actions toward Absalom against the nation? Was David keeping the crowned prince away from the people wrong to the people? The woman's suggestion is that David has done the same thing to Israel that her family members have done to her. The author does not say this. However, the author suggests that Joab believe this to be true.
* "does he not convict himself" -I say no because of points already stated. Yet, David didn't see it this way. He used this event as an excuse to bring his son back without trial or punishment. Joab most likely believed he was saving David from embarrassment.
* "God does not take away life" -Though we die, we live. Even the guilty continue to live, waiting trial before the Lord. This is true. However, he is suggesting that the avenging of blood is contrary to God's ways of dealing with people. She is distorting Biblical teaching of God's justice. She dwells on the mercy of God without acknowledging the truth and justice of God. How truth and mercy are fulfilled has already been addressed here.
* "he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him" -This was a truth that David experienced himself. God does reconcile us and at the same time satisfy justice. When it says that Jesus was full of grace and truth, it means that he brought forgiveness while satisfying the law. The Lord told Adam, "If you sin, you will die." And so Jesus died in our place, satisfying justice.
* "does he not convict himself" -David is not the blood avenger as the woman is implying by the story.
* "like water spilled on the ground" -She's stating that once Absalom is dead he cannot be brought back. She's also implying that blood revenge will not return Amnon, the victim of murder to life. Water spilled on the ground cannot be recovered. Though these things are true, they go against the Mosaic Law that cries for justice.
>How does God reconcile us to him? (Eph. 2:14-18; Col. 1:19-20)
* Ephesians 2:14-18 "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit."
* Colossians 1:19-20 "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
* The woman's fact about God making a way for reconciliation was correct in part. Reconciliation is made, but not at the sacrifice of truth. Did David's recall of Absalom through pardon satisfy justice? No. For David who killed Uriah, David did not die; rather his son died. So how was Amnon's death atoned for? Who died, for the law requires death? Eventually Absalom would die by Joab's own hand; irony that is a lesson for all.
>How had David personally experienced God's reconciling love? (Ps. 32:1-2, 5)
* Psalms 32:1-2 "Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit."
* Psalms 32:5 "Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord"-- and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah"
* We should never forget what Jesus did on our behalf. The pain of the rod of men because he receiving our sins in his body, and thus separated for a time from his Father and then death is the true act of love and justice. Jesus didn't have to do this for us. Remembering what Jesus did should prompt us to stop sinning.
* Luke 22:19 states, "And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
* 2 Timothy 2:8 states, "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,"
>8. What capacity did she remind King David that he had? (15-17)
* 2 Samuel 14:15-17 "And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, 'I will speak to the king; perhaps he will do what his servant asks. Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from the inheritance God gave us.' And now your servant says, 'May the word of my lord the king bring me rest, for my lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil. May the Lord your God be with you.'"
* "the people have made me afraid" -She is reverting to her analogy, stating her clan who is seeking blood revenge has made her afraid.
* "my lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil" -Flattery based in the fact that the seat of judge was with the king. Yet, angles do not judge.
* "May the Lord your God be with you" -David would indeed need the Lord's help. In stating this the woman was directing David to base his opinion of her and his son considering the Lord was watching him and he should fear the Lord's hand.
>When David discovered who was behind this, what further quality did she say that David had?
* 2 Samuel 14:19-20 "The king asked, "Isn't the hand of Joab with you in all this?" The woman answered, "As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant. Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God--he knows everything that happens in the land."
* "Joab did this to change the present situation" -She had stated the people wanted Absalom to return. The truth is that Joab wanted David to stop worrying about his son and get on with the role of a king; one of which was fighting wars. Since Joab was head of the army, this was probably his goal all along.
* "my Lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God" -She is "buttering David up", that is appealing to his pride to escape punishment for the deception.
* "he knows everything" -Was this true?
>What can we learn from her? (Matt. 5:9; James 3:18)
* Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God."
* James 3:18 "Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."
* As stated earlier, we need to be peacemakers stating both grace and truth. She only stated grace; ignoring truth. In the end her form of peacemaking lead to more death and pain.
>9. Why did David request to see Absalom?
* 2 Samuel 14:21-22 "The king said to Joab, "Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom." Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king. Joab said, "Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant's request."
* Joab knew that he could have been punished for this.
>What noticeable quality did Absalom have? (23-27)
* 2 Samuel 14:23-27 "Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. But the king said, "He must go to his own house; he must not see my face." So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king. In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. Whenever he cut the hair of his head--he used to cut his hair from time to time when it became too heavy for him--he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard. Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. The daughter's name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman."
* "he must not see my face" -Thus David is saying that Abalom does not have the king's favor; implying that his wil not be the next king of Israel.
* "In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom" -His outward appearance did not equal his heart's ugliness.
* "he would weigh it" -A sign of vain.
* "Tamar" -Perhaps after his sister.
>10. How did Absalom finally get an audience with the king? (28-33)
* 2 Samuel 14:28-33 "Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king's face. Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come. Then he said to his servants, "Look, Joab's field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire." So Absalom's servants set the field on fire. Then Joab did go to Absalom's house and he said to him, "Why have your servants set my field on fire?" Absalom said to Joab, "Look, I sent word to you and said, 'Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, "Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!"' Now then, I want to see the king's face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death." So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom."
* The fact that Joab would not go to Absalom shows that Joab's actions was not for Absalom's benefit.
* The fact that Joab didn't go to Absalom shows that Absalom's power has been reduced. Everyone knew that he wasn't going to be the heir.
>What do his actions show about him?
* "set it on fire" -Absalom was a cruel hearted man. If it were not for Joab, he would still be in exile. Yet to get what he wanted, he brought damage to the very man who helped him.
* "if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death." -Absalom is bold and self-righteous concerning his murder toward Amnon.
* "Why have I come from Geshur?" -Absalom is stating the obvious, "There is not future for me here." Absalom desired power and authority and will use any act to get it, no matter how illegal.
>What can we learn here about what is more important?
* Modern culture places outward appearance over inner heart quality. This is wrong and the reason for much pain and suffering. The mark of a downfall of a society is the one that mocks the righteous and celebrates the immoral handsome.
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