2 Samuel 14 Ė 15 part 9

 

Now last week when we finished up chapter 13 Absalom had killed his brother Amnon and had fled to safety at Geshur where he remained for 3 years. We learned that David longed to see he son Absalom and this is where we begin tonight as look at chapter 14.

 

2 Samuel 14:1 So Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was concerned about Absalom.2 And Joab sent to Tekoa (tuh-koe-uh) and brought from there a wise woman, and said to her, "Please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel; do not anoint yourself with oil, but act like a woman who has been mourning a long time for the dead.3 "Go to the king and speak to him in this manner." So Joab put the words in her mouth.

 

Now I want to remind you that David doesnít really care for Joab very much because of the revenge he took on the man that killed his brother during a war. However, we see that Joab had concern for the King. Now as you can see on this map Tekoa (tuh-koe-uh) was 9 miles south of Jerusalem. This was also the birth place of prophet Amos. Now Joab has a sneaky plan on how to get Absalom back to Jerusalem so the King would no longer have long to see him. He comes us with story for this older woman to tell King David which she does as we read in,

 

2 Samuel 14:4 And when the woman of Tekoa (tuh-koe-uh) spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and prostrated herself, and said, "Help, O king!"5 Then the king said to her, "What troubles you?" And she answered, "Indeed I am a widow, my husband is dead.6 "Now your maidservant had two sons; and the two fought with each other in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other and killed him.7 "And now the whole family has risen up against your maidservant, and they said, 'Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may execute him for the life of his brother whom he killed; and we will destroy the heir also.' So they would extinguish my ember that is left, and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the earth."

 

Here see that one of the duties of the king was to make decision on matters such as these and their judgments should be based upon Godís Word, but that is not always the case as we will se in just a min. Notice how Joab is using this woman and her similar story that relates to Absalom in similar way as the prophet Nathan did with his parable. Now David doesnít know it yet but this story is designed to show how Absalom has killed his brother and how the whole house that is Davidís Son and his court are against Absalom. Now notice Davidís response,

 

2 Samuel 14:8 Then the king said to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you."9 And the woman of Tekoa (tuh-koe-uh) said to the king, "My lord, O king, let the iniquity be on me and on my father's house, and the king and his throne be guiltless."10 So the king said, "Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you anymore."11 Then she said, "Please let the king remember the LORD your God, and do not permit the avenger of blood to destroy anymore, lest they destroy my son." And he said, "As the LORD lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground."

 

Here we see that the women understands the guilt that goes along with murder as she tells the King to put the guilt on her and her fatherís house. Again Godís law demanded that such a person should be put to death and you can read about these details on your in Numbers 35 or Deut 19. This is where we see King David making his own judgment contrary the will of God and the women wants to make 100% sure that the King will keep his word and so she ask David to remember God and not to let anyone avenge her son and David makes a promise using God name saying that not one hair on her sons head will fall to the ground. Now that David had made his judgment call the women will now use this to open his eyes in regards to his own son Absalom.

 

2 Samuel 14:12 Therefore the woman said, "Please, let your maidservant speak another word to my lord the king." And he said, "Say on."13 So the woman said: "Why then have you schemed such a thing against the people of God? For the king speaks this thing as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring his banished one home again.14 "For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.15 "Now therefore, I have come to speak of this thing to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. And your maidservant said, 'I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his maidservant.16 'For the king will hear and deliver his maidservant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the inheritance of God.'17 "Your maidservant said, 'The word of my lord the king will now be comforting; for as the angel of God, so is my lord the king in discerning good and evil. And may the LORD your God be with you.' "

 

Now this women is turning her situation and Davidís Judgment against him. Basically she is says, why is that you can see your judgment with my son but you cannot see it with your own son. Why are keeping him at distance when you could forgive him and allow him to come back him. It would be very difficult for the King to deny what the woman has said because if he did then he would be saying that he made the wrong judgment of this womenís son or that he was showing partiality. Notice Davidís response.

 

2 Samuel 14:18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, "Please do not hide from me anything that I ask you." And the woman said, "Please, let my lord the king speak."19 So the king said, "Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?" And the woman answered and said, "As you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. For your servant Joab commanded me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant.20 "To bring about this change of affairs your servant Joab has done this thing; but my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of the angel of God, to know everything that is in the earth."

 

Here we learn that David think that Joab is involved in this sneaky story. Now the most plausible reason why David suspected his involvement was that Joab had probably tried convincing David in other ways to allow his son to come back home. We see that women doesnít waste anytime telling him that yes Joab was behind the whole thing and no doubt this women felt scared standing before King knowing that the scheme had been revealed. This why I believe we see this woman complimenting David about his wisdom.

 

2 Samuel 14:21 And the king said to Joab, "All right, I have granted this thing. Go therefore, bring back the young man Absalom."22 Then Joab fell to the ground on his face and bowed himself, and thanked the king. And Joab said, "Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has fulfilled the request of his servant."23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.24 And the king said, "Let him return to his own house, but do not let him see my face." So Absalom returned to his own house, but did not see the king's face.

 

Now Joab was apparently there as this was taken place because now we see David turn his attention to Joab. As we read David allows his son to return to Jerusalem but for whatever reason he is not allowed to see Davidís face. Now this is another sin that David is involved in as I have already stated David has went against the law of God and has allowed his son to live. This sin would come back to bite him.

 

2 Samuel 14:25 Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.26 And when he cut the hair of his head -- at the end of every year he cut it because it was heavy on him -- when he cut it, he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels according to the king's standard.27 To Absalom were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar. She was a woman of beautiful appearance.

 

Here we see Absalom described. He was very handsome man and his hair was extraordinary and each year he cut it off because it weight which was somewhere around 4 pounds. Then we learn that he has 3 sons and one daughter who he probably named after his sister Tamar.

 

2 Samuel 14:28 And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, but did not see the king's face.29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. And when he sent again the second time, he would not come.30 So he said to his servants, "See, Joab's field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire." And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.31 Then Joab arose and came to Absalom's house, and said to him, "Why have your servants set my field on fire?"32 And Absalom answered Joab, "Look, I sent to you, saying, 'Come here, so that I may send you to the king, to say, "Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still." ' Now therefore, let me see the king's face; but if there is iniquity in me, let him execute me."33 So Joab went to the king and told him. And when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king. Then the king kissed Absalom.

 

Including Absalomís time Gesure He had not seen his farther for 5 years and the fact that he could not see him no doubt caused others to look down at him and so now he really wants to get this problem taken care of but Joab will never come at his request so he burns down his field and that get Joabís attention and finally Absalom is allowed to see his father for the first time in 5 years. What amazes me is that Absalom doesnít seem to think that he has any iniquity in him even though he murdered his own brother. Well, as we read he bows down before David and David kisses his son showing him that he is forgiven.

 

2 Samuel 15:1 After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.2 Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, "What city are you from?" And he would say, "Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel."3 Then Absalom would say to him, "Look, your case is good and right; but there is no deputy of the king to hear you."4 Moreover Absalom would say, "Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice."5 And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him.6 In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

 

This shows the political campaign that Absalom was launching against his father. First he set himself up with a body guard ofchariots and horses and 50 men. Then he manipulates the people like a politician would today. He tries to show himself to be equal with the common people by kissing them and he was doing his best to try and show the people that David was not taking care of business as he should and that if he were made king he could do it the job much better. Because of his smooth words and manipulative ways he stole the hearts of the people.

 

2 Samuel 15:7 Now it came to pass after forty years that Absalom said to the king, "Please, let me go to Hebron and pay the vow which I made to the LORD.8 "For your servant took a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Syria, saying, 'If the LORD indeed brings me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.' "9 And the king said to him, "Go in peace." So he arose and went to Hebron.10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, 'Absalom reigns in Hebron!' "11 And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently and did not know anything.12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city -- from Giloh -- while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.

 

Now in verse 7 we have a textual variance. Because some of the early manuscripts say 40 years while others say 4 years. I believe that 4 years is correct considering that David entire reign as a King was 40 years according 1Kings 2:11 and so it would be impossible for it to have been 40 years later. Now Absalom gives David a reason for why he should go back to Geshur but what he was really wanting to do was to build his army so he could take the kingdom from David. He sent spies though out the tribe of Israel to promote his agenda and he even used 200 men from Jerusalem who were probably influential men to further his scheme. You see these men had no idea of Absalomís scheme but when others saw these 200 men coming to him it would be natural for them to think that Absalom had their support as well. He even had Ahithphel who was Bathshebaís grandpa to come to him as well and this was working very well in Absalomís favor.

 

2 Samuel 15:13 Now a messenger came to David, saying, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom."14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, "Arise, and let us flee; or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword."15 And the king's servants said to the king, "We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands."16 Then the king went out with all his household after him. But the king left ten women, concubines, to keep the house.17 And the king went out with all the people after him, and stopped at the outskirts.18 Then all his servants passed before him; and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, passed before the king. †††

 

Now some have thought that David was fleeing from fear but I donít think this was the case. Instead I see this as a strong military move on Davidís Part because if he remained in Jerusalem Absalom and his men could surround the city and have the advantage but out in the open field David and his experienced men of war would have the advantage over them. Also we learn from this text that David had at least 10 concubines at this time.

 

2 Samuel 15:19 Then the king said to Ittai (it-uh-eye) the Gittite, "Why are you also going with us? Return and remain with the king. For you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place.20 "In fact, you came only yesterday. Should I make you wander up and down with us today, since I go I know not where? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you."21 And Ittai (it-uh-eye) answered the king and said, "As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be."22 So David said to Ittai, (it-uh-eye) "Go, and cross over." Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over.23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, (kih-drun) and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.

 

Here we see that David wasnít going to force anybody to be on his side but this group of people wanted to serve David and be on his side. This man Ittai was apparently a very skillful warrior as later on David will put him charge over a third of his army. All those who were following David crossed over the Brook Kidron as you see on the map. This brook runs into the Dead Sea.

 

2 Samuel 15:24 There was Zadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city.25 Then the king said to Zadok, "Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place.26 "But if He says thus: 'I have no delight in you,' here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him."27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, "Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz (a-him-a-az) your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.28 "See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me."29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.

 

Here we see how strong David faith is in God. He was not going to rely upon the ark instead he would rely upon God himself and he was willing to take whatever God had in store for him. So, he sends these men and the Levites who carry the ark back to Jerusalem. David knew they would not be harmed by Absalom and that they would be a trustworthy source to find out what is going on in Jerusalem.

 

2 Samuel 15:30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.31 Then someone told David, saying, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." And David said, "O LORD, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!"

 

The Mount of Olives was located east of Jerusalem separated by the Kidron Valley and this is a sad picture showing David being barefoot and with head covered weeping over his circumstance and then to add to his misery he his told that he trusted councilor Ahthophel is now on Absalomís side. So, David prays to God that Ahithophel advice will bad advice.

 

2 Samuel 15:32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God -- there was Hushai (hoo-shigh) the Archite coming to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head.33 David said to him, "If you go on with me, then you will become a burden to me.34 "But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, 'I will be your servant, O king; as I was your father's servant previously, so I will now also be your servant,' then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me.35 "And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king's house, you shall tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.36 "Indeed they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, (a-him-a-az) Zadok's son, and Jonathan, Abiathar's son; and by them you shall send me everything you hear."37 So Hushai, (hoo-shigh) David's friend, went into the city. And Absalom came into Jerusalem.

 

So as we come to the end of this chapter we see that David send Hushai to be a spy and find out Absalomís plans so Ahithophelís advice would fail and he agrees to do this for him. I can only imagine some of the thoughts that were going through Davidís head. Perhaps he was thinking about he should of done things differently with his son but now all he could do was rely upon God and his wisdom on how to handle this situation at hand and we will see what happens next week as we look at chapter 17 and 18.

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