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Sunday, May 4 2014

2 Samuel 15: The Treason Of Absalom

"Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel"

Absalom, the third-born son of King David, was a vain, impetuous, adolescent-minded man. Absalom's killing of his brother Amnon for the rape of his sister Tamar (see 2 Samuel 13: The Rape Of Tamar) is understandable, but it was not his responsibility to render justice - it was David's mandate, as the father of the family. An earlier Biblical example was that of Dinah's full-brothers Simeon and Levi avenging Dinah, in place of their father Jacob / Israel - for which they were cursed, instead of blessed, from their father's deathbed will: "In their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce" (see Genesis 34: Dinah and A Biography Of Jacob: Blessings And Prophecies).

Absalom's usurping, not only his father's authority, but also the king's political mandate, became an arrogant habit for Absalom - even after he was permitted to return from exile (see 2 Samuel 14: The Flames Of Absalom). Eventually, Absalom took it all the way by staging a treasonous coup against his father King David. The word "king" means the head of a kin (the word "patriotism" originally meant faithful to the father i.e. the king); by the time of Absalom's rebellion, he had a long history of defiance against both true meanings of the word.

Absalom The traitor began by establishing an anti-throne at Hebron - Absalom's birthplace when David was headquartered there during the civil war with Saul (2 Samuel 3:1-5; see also 2 Samuel 2: King David Of Judah and 2 Samuel 3: The War Between The Houses of David and Saul). Like many narcissists, Absalom was a very good politician and psychologist - he used symbolism of his righteous father as a means to rebel against him. Then, "Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron."

"15:1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 15:2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou?

And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.

15:3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. 15:4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

15:5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. 15:6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

15:7 And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron. 15:8 For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.

15:9 And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.

15:10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron. 15:11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing. 15:12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom." (2 Samuel 15:1-12 KJV)

David was a winning fighter, not a fool. The prime reason that David won every battle was that he chose the time and place - and then attacked at his enemy's weakest point, not his strongest (e.g. David didn't aim to bounce a rock off Goliath's armor - he aimed for Goliath's unshielded forehead). While facing overwhelming political and military forces in Absalom's revolution, David chose to leave the capital, not as a loss, but to survive for a later victory.

"15:13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.

15:14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.

15:15 And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.

15:16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house. 15:17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. 15:18 And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king." (2 Samuel 15:13-18 KJV)

It was a very useful time for David - the rebellion showed King David who his friends and allies really were in Israel. It would make his kingdom far stronger after the rebellion.

King David

"15:19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. 15:20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.

15:21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

15:22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.

15:23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness." (2 Samuel 15:19-23 KJV)

The Levites remained loyal to the king - because they knew that David had been anointed and appointed by the ultimate King (see The Levites Of Christ). Nevertheless, David ordered them, along with The Ark (see the Fact Finder question below), to remain in Jerusalem - from which they would provide David with information about the rebel regime.

"15:24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were 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 done passing out of the city.

15:25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation: 15:26 But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.

15:27 The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 15:28 See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me. 15:29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there." (2 Samuel 15:24-29 KJV)

Just as the Messiah did on the night that He was betrayed, David "went up by the ascent of mount Olivet" (see also Zechariah: He Shall Stand Upon The Mount Of Olives).

"15:30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

15:32 And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head: 15:33 Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me: 15:34 But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant: then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel. 15:35 And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 15:36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send unto me every thing that ye can hear.

15:37 So Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem." (2 Samuel 15:30-37 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why was The Ark still in a tent at the time of Absalom's treason?
See 2 Samuel 7: David's Temple Prophecy


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This Day In History, May 4

1256: The Church of Rome's Augustinian monastic order was established with Pope Alexander IV's papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae (see Papal Bull).

1415: "Protestant" reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance (ironically, like most of the "Protestant" world today, they were persecuted for rebelling against the Pope's leadership, not the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines; see Antichristians, The Church Today, The Church In The End Time and The Church In The Kingdom Of God; see also What Do Leaders Do?).

1471: During the Wars of the Roses, the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians in the Battle of Tewkesbury.

1493: Pope Alexander VI, a Spaniard (at the time, Christopher Columbus was exploring and claiming the "new world" for Ferdinand, the king of Spain who started the murderous "Spanish Inquisition" against non-Catholics in Europe), decreed that all new lands discovered west of the Azores were Spanish, in effect dividing the world between Spain and Portugal.

1626: Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrived in "New Netherland" (present day Manhattan Island).

1639: The St. Joseph and 2 other ships left Dieppe, France, for Canada; its travelers would eventually found a Jesuit College, a Hospitaliers house, and an Ursuline convent in "New France."

1675: King Charles II of England ordered the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich

1814: The Bourbon reign was restored in France.

1886: The Haymarket Square Riot in Chicago by anarchist organized labour; 7 Chicago policemen were killed.

1910: The Royal Canadian Navy was created. During the Second World War (1939-1945), the Canadian Navy became the third-largest allied navy in the world, after the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. During the "Cold War" years of the 1950s and 1960s, Canada had three aircraft carriers.

1919: The "May The Fourth" movement began in China when 3,000 students at Peking University launched a national protest.

1945: British Field Marshal Montgomery announced that all enemy forces in the Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark had surrendered unconditionally. on the same day, the U.S. 7th Army captured Hitler's country retreat of Berchtesgaden (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1947: The Etzel (a self-proclaimed "zionist" group - true Zionism is about Jesus Christ, not those who deny and reject Him - see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace) launched a deadly assault on the British prison at Acre, several weeks after 4 of their gang were hanged there for murders that they committed. By dynamiting its walls, 251 convicted criminals were able to escape, although several of the condemned felons were later recaptured and hung (2 days after the executions, 2 British soldiers were taken hostage and hanged by the Etzel in "retaliation"). By the present-day definition, the Etzel were a terrorist group who ignored (or were just plain ignorant of the fact) that it was the British that liberated the land of Judah, and much of the rest of the Middle East, from centuries of rule and occupation by the Ottoman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) and that it was the British Balfour Declaration (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration) that enabled the independence of the modern-day state of Israel. The Etzel were killing the people that were freeing them.

1961: During the U.S. civil rights movement, the "Freedom Riders" began a bus trip through the South.

1970: Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine others.

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

1982: During the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina, the destroyer HMCS Sheffield was struck by a French-made Exocet missile. 20 British seamen were killed and 24 others injured. The missile plowed through the very center of the ship, causing so much damage that it later had to be scuttled.

1994: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat signed a "peace accord" regarding Palestinian autonomy. It granted self-rule for "Palestinians" in the Gaza Strip and Jericho (see 1 Samuel 29: Where Is Palestine?).


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