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Saturday, May 3 2014

2 Samuel 14: The Flames Of Absalom

"Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?"

King David had been in mourning for three years over the rape of one of his daughters, Tamar, by her own half-brother, Amnon (David's firstborn son) and then the murder of Amnon by another of David's sons, Absalom, who was the full brother of Tamar (see 2 Samuel 13: The Rape Of Tamar). After the murder, Absalom fled to his mother's homeland, Geshur, a kingdom beyond the Golan Heights into Syria (the Israelites originated in that same area; see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria).

For whatever actual reason, Joab, David's army commander, concocted a scheme to permit Absalom's return - a homecoming that Joab, along with everyone else who was loyal to King David, would regret before long. Although the principle had merit, for the return of someone who was worthy, the return of Absalom caused far more hurt than it relieved.

The tactic used by Joab was similar to what the prophet Nathan had employed in the LORD's rebuke of David for what he had done with Bathsheba (see 2 Samuel 11: Bathsheba, The Wife Of Uriah).


"14:1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom. 14:2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead: 14:3 And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.

14:4 And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.

14:5 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee?

And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead. 14:6 And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him. 14:7 And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.

14:8 And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee.

14:9 And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne be guiltless.

14:10 And the king said, Whosoever saith ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.

14:11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son.

And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

14:12 Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king.

And he said, Say on.

14:13 And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished. 14:14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.

14:15 Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid. 14:16 For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.

Absalom 14:17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.

14:18 Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee.

And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.

14:19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this?

And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid: 14:20 To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth." (2 Samuel 14:1-20 KJV)

Joab was joyful that his plan had succeeded. His joy would be brief.

"14:21 And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.

14:22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant." (2 Samuel 14:21-22 KJV)

When Absalom returned, David recovered from his grief. He also recovered from his foggy thinking - he permitted Absalom's return, but refused to see him.

"14:23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.

14:24 And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face.

So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face." (2 Samuel 14:23-24 KJV)

Absalom was a vain juvenile-minded man. Just as the original "pretty boy" (i.e. Satan; see the Fact Finder question below) had done and continues to do, Absalom soon began to rebel against the king in order to keep his ego satisfied. In the meantime however, he married and had children - including a daughter that he named Tamar - the sister that he had committed murder to revenge.

"14:25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 14:26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.

14:27 And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance." (2 Samuel 14:25-27 KJV)

Absalom's return did not cure his lawless spirit. When David continued to refuse to see him, Absalom committed arson and extortion by burning Joab's dry, ripe barley field. It was the first major sign to Joab that he had made a big mistake by facilitating the vain rebel's return. As we will cover in the next studies, the troubles from Absalom were just beginning.

"14:28 So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face. 14:29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come. 14:30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.

14:31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?

14:32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.

14:33 So Joab came 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: and the king kissed Absalom." (2 Samuel 14:28-33 KJV)

Fact Finder: How did vanity turn Lucifer into Satan?
See Satan's Masquerade, Satan's Fall: From Conservative To Liberal and Why Does Satan Hate Humility?

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This Day In History, May 3

495: Pope Gelasius proclaimed that his papal authority was superior to the civil authority of Emperor Enanstasius. The Church of Rome, the papacy, and most of the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines were the invention of the Roman emperors - primarily Constantine (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy and Emperors and Popes).

1410: Alexander V (Pietro di Candia) died at age 71. He was antipope 1409-1410 during a period of 3 popes (see Antipopes) at the same time (the other 2 were Pope Gregory XII and Antipope Benedict XIII). He reigned only 10 months and his death came under suspicious circumstances; some believe that he was poisoned by his successor, Antipope John XXIII.

John McCrae 1481: The most powerful of a series of three earthquakes struck the island of Rhodes (see also The Colossus of Rhodes). The death toll was 30,000 people.

1494: Christopher Columbus first sighted the island known today as Jamaica. All of the four voyages of Columbus were to the islands of the Caribbean; none were to what calls itself "America" today (see the map at Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).

1500: Portuguese explorer Pedro Alvares Cabral landed in Brazil and claimed it for Portugal.

1512: The 5th Lateran Council (18th ecumenical council) opened in Rome under Pope Julius II.

1616: The Second Civil War in France ended after the Treaty of Loudun was signed.

1660: John II Casimir of Poland abandoned his claim to Sweden and signed the Treaty of Oliva, ending the Polish-Swedish War of Succession.

1747: During the War of The Austrian Succession, the British defeated the French at the first Battle of Cape Finisterre.

1791: King Stanislaw Augustus signed a liberal bill of rights reforming gentry-ruled Poland and setting up a constitutional monarchy. It was only the second written constitution in the world after the United States.

1802: Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city.

1808: During the Peninsular War, Madrid rebels were executed near Príncipe Pío hill.

1830: The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is opened in Kent, England. It was the first steam-powered passenger railway to issue season tickets and include a tunnel.

1841: New Zealand was proclaimed a British colony.

1859: France declared war on Austria.

1860: Charles XV of Sweden-Norway was crowned king of Sweden.

1867: The Hudson's Bay Company ceded all claims of Vancouver Island to Canada.

1915: During the First World War (1914-1918), Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian army medical officer, wrote the poem In Flanders Fields while overlooking the grave of a fellow officer at Ypres, Belgium. The poem first appeared in Punch magazine December 8 1915. McCrae himself did not survive the war.

1916: The rebel leaders of the Easter Rising were executed in Dublin.

1926: U.S. marines invaded Nicaragua to defend U.S. banana-business interests in the country after the Nicaraguan people's government began defending the rights of their agricultural laborers. The "banana republic" military occupation lasted for 7 years, until an obedient puppet government was installed.

1963: In Alabama, police used attack dogs and fire hoses against black civil rights protestors, including children. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Alabama's segregation laws were unconstitutional less than 3 weeks later, on May 20.

1978: The first unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail (later known as "spam") was sent by a Digital Equipment Corporation to every ARPANET address on the US west coast.

1979: Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of Britain.

1993: Authorities said they had identified the body of David Koresh from charred remains found after their church buildings were burned to the ground during the siege at Waco in February.

2001: The U.S. lost its seat on the United Nations Human Rights Commission for the first time since the commission was formed in 1947.


Copyright © Wayne Blank