14 Aug. 2 Samuel 15:1-12

14 Aug.  Absalom plans a rebellion against David

“After this, Absalom got a chariot and horses for himself and 50 men to run before him. Absalom would get up early and stand near the city gate. Anyone who had a problem for the king to settle would come here.”

“When someone came, Absalom would call out and say, ‘What city are you from?’ The person would answer, ‘I’m from one of the tribes of Israel.’ Then Absalom would say, ‘Look, your claims are right, but the king has no one to listen to you.’ Absalom would also say, ‘I wish someone would make me judge in this land! Then people with problems could come to me, and I could help them get justice.’”

“People would come near Absalom to bow to him. When they did, Absalom would reach out his hand and take hold of them and kiss them. Absalom did that to all the Israelites who came to King David for decisions. In this way, Absalom stole the hearts of all Israel.”

“After four years Absalom said to King David, ‘Please let me go to Hebron. I want to carry out my promise that I made to the LORD while I was living in Geshur in Aram. I said, “If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship him in Hebron.”’ The king said, ‘Go in peace.’”

“So Absalom went to Hebron. But he sent secret messages through all the tribes of Israel. They told the people, ‘When you hear the trumpets, say this, “Absalom is the king at Hebron!”’”

“Absalom had invited 200 men to go with him. So they went from Jerusalem with him, but they didn’t know what he was planning. While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, one of the people who advised David, to come from his home town of Giloh.”

“So Absalom’s plans were working very well. More and more people began to support him.”

          (2 Samuel 15:1-12)

 

 

Absalom’s contempt for his elderly father continued to grow. Over the next four years, he worked hard on his plan to gain popularity among the people of Israel and to wrest power from his father.

It was traditional in Israeli society in those days for people from outlying cities to bring their grievances to the king in Jerusalem for him to settle. But as David grew older, the system began to break down, and Absalom saw his chance to step into the gap.

Absalom would get up early each morning and head for the city gate where, traditionally, the elders would meet and would welcome strangers from other cities. Absalom would have made it clear to those arriving with grievances to be settled by the king that he was the king’s son, and that he was prepared to help them short-circuit the system of obtaining a decision about their grievance.

He would listen to their case, pronounce a verdict that they wished to hear, and then send them home with their problem solved. In this way, Absalom gradually built up the gratitude of many people from across the nation, and “stole the hearts of all Israel.” (2 Samuel 15:6)

After four years, Absalom made an excuse to go to Hebron (where David had become King of Judah – see 2 Samuel 2:4) in order to plot a coup and overthrow his father. He rallied support from 200 men, and sent for Ahithophel, one of David’s advisors who had also been persuaded to turn against the king and support a change of leadership.

As more and more Israelites declared their support for this charismatic young man, Absalom declared himself king at Hebron and prepared to march towards Jerusalem (see 10 on the map on 27 July).

The photo (by Eman) shows remains of the ancient city wall at Hebron. You can read more about David’s relationship with Absalom @   https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/30-israel-becomes-a-kingdom-under-saul-and-david/absaloms-flight-amp-his-rebellion-against-david/


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