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Sunday, June 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 14

Gaebelein's Annotated BibleGaebelein's Annotated

Verses 1-33

4. David and Absalom


1. Joab’s scheme (2 Samuel 14:1-3 )

2. The woman of Tekoah before the king (2 Samuel 14:4-20 )

3. Joab brings Absalom to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 14:21-24 )

4. Absalom’s beauty (2 Samuel 14:25-27 )

5. Absalom sees his father (2 Samuel 14:28-33 )

In all these records of those sad events we hear not a word that David inquired of the Lord. Joab now appears upon the scene again and that for evil, though he did not mean to do evil to the king. He concocts a scheme by which Absalom is to be brought back into the favor of the king. This he must have tried many times before, for verses 19 and 22 indicate this. It seems almost as if Joab imitated Nathan, when he came with his message to David. But God had not sent him and David’s conscience was not touched. The wisdom he used was not the wisdom from above, but the wisdom of a cunning man. The whole story was deception and “the wise woman” of Tekoah lent herself as a willing instrument. And David finds out that it is all a plot and, blinded by a mere love for Absalom, without thinking of the claims of God in this case, he becomes a willing victim to the scheme of Joab. And so Absalom was brought back. The King commands, “Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face.” It was an evil hour when it happened. Absalom’s rebellion and the king’s exile were the fruit of the unscrupulous plot of Joab.

Absalom’s physical beauty was great with magnificent hair. (The statement that his hair weighed 200 shekels is undoubtedly the error of a scribe who copied the manuscript. The Hebrew letters which stand for 20 and for 200 are similar. It should no doubt be 20 shekels.) He was thus fitted to do the work of winning the people to himself and became the leader of a rebellion. The deed he had done in avenging the crime against his sister was most likely looked upon by the mass of the people as a noble and heroic deed. That behind the beautiful exterior there was a proud, violent and evil spirit may be seen in his deed, when after Joab’s refusal to come to him, he set the barley field of Joab on fire. Then a reconciliation between David and Absalom followed: “Once more we notice here the consequences of David’s fatal weakness, as manifested in his irresolution and half measures. Morally paralysed, so to speak, in consequence of his own guilt, his position sensibly and increasingly weakened in popular estimation, that series of disasters, which had formed the burden of God’s predicted judgments, now followed in the natural sequence of events. If ever before his return from Geshur Absalom had been a kind of popular hero, his presence in Jerusalem for two years in semi-banishment must have increased the general sympathy.”

Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 14". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gab/2-samuel-14.html. 1913-1922.
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