Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary


Additional Links

Absalom, the third son of David, first features in the Bible story when his sister Tamar was raped by Amnon, their older brother by a different mother (2 Samuel 3:2-3; 2 Samuel 13:1-22). Absalom was determined to have his revenge, no matter how long he had to wait. After two full years he found a suitable opportunity, and had Amnon murdered. He then fled into exile (2 Samuel 13:23-27).

After three years without a recognized heir to David in Jerusalem, David’s army commander Joab was worried about the stability of David’s dynasty. He therefore worked out a cunning plan to re-establish Absalom in Jerusalem, without the necessity for Absalom to face trial for murder (2 Samuel 13:38; 2 Samuel 14:1-24). Although Absalom returned from exile, David refused to receive him into the palace. But after two years Absalom forced his way in (2 Samuel 14:28-33).

Over the next four years Absalom built up a following for himself among the country people, particularly those from the south (2 Samuel 15:1-7). He then launched a surprise attack, seizing the throne and forcing David to flee for his life (2 Samuel 15:8-18; 2 Samuel 16:20-23). But one of David’s chief advisers stayed behind as a spy in Absalom’s court. By appealing to Absalom’s vanity, he was able to persuade Absalom to ignore the wise words of Absalom’s chief adviser (2 Samuel 15:32-37; 2 Samuel 17:1-14). As a result Absalom decided to glorify himself in a full-scale battle with David’s army. His troops were no match for David’s hardened soldiers, and he himself was killed (2 Samuel 18:1-15).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Absalom'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

Search for…
Enter query in the box below:
Choose a letter to browse:
Prev Entry
Next Entry