Absalom: the Satan Child
(AKA: Pretty "Bad Boy" Absalom)

Amnon Rapes Tamar; Absalom's Revenge and Munity

990-979 BC: David is 50-59 years old
2 Samuel 13-22

“Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised;

from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him.

When he cut the hair of his head he weighed the hair of his head

at 200 shekels by the king’s weight.” (2 Samuel 14:25-26)


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Amnon Rapes Tamar; Absalom's Revenge and Munity

990-979 BC: David is 50-59 years old

1.       This document is part 8 in the series on Saul and David:

Part 1: Saul before David

Part 2: David in Saul's Palace: Saul, the psychotic king who drove himself insane

Part 3: Saul hunts David four years

Part 4: David's Civil war in Jerusalem

Part 5: David's new Spiritual Order.

Part 6: David fulfills Abrahamic land promise. God made three promises to Abraham:

Part 7: Absalom: The Satan Child, avenges the rape of Tamar; usurps David's throne

Part 8: David's Sinful Census and the Temple platform

2.      The setting:

a.      David commits adultery with Bathsheba in 1001 BC.

b.      Solomon is born two years later in 999 BC, at which time Absalom is 9 years old.

c.       The 22 year period is actually two periods of 11 years:

1001-990 BC: This 11 year period begins at the end of David successfully conquering all the nations and fulfilling the land promise and the sin of adultery with Bathsheba. During these 11 years, there are several other stories that likely happened: 1. David takes Jonathan's son Mephibosheth into his dining room. 2. The three year famine because Saul had killed the Gibeonites. However it is likely that David was primarily focusing on the work of designing and preparing for the Temple to be built by Solomon. 3. Near the end of the 11 year period, the Sinful census by David happens, that resulted in the choice of the threshing floor of Ornan as the location of the Temple.

990-979BC: During these 11 years, Tamar is raped at the beginning and Absalom is killed at the end.

d.      During the entire 22 years, David appears to be pre-occupied with building the temple to the neglect of the common everyday needs of the people he rules. Here we have a great spiritual king who, like some preachers, gets so focused on "spiritual things" that they neglect and lose their own families. David was building the Temple, Preachers are "building the church".

e.      "Daddy, tuck me in": To explain the essence of this 11 year period of David's life, I am reminded of the story of the time I was working on the greatest archeological discovery on earth: Noah's Ark. I was in my office chair working long hours on this important project. One evening my daughter comes in shakes the back of my chair and says, "Daddy tuck me into bed". I said, "I am busy discovering Noah's ark", thinking that would logically signal to the child, the importance of the work I was engaged in versus the commonality of her request. Annoyingly, she did not see my logic, nor did my answer silence her calls so I replied a second time, "This is very important work, some of the most important work on earth right now… and you want me to leave this and tuck you in for 30 minutes?" In a squeaky, crackly, neglected voice, she said "yes". I figured she finally understood and after a minute more of work, again the request came, but this time in a different way. This time she said, "Daddy tuck me in, I am more important than Noah's Ark". I realized this was very true and got up and spent the 30 minutes tucking her in before she fell asleep after a chat about trivial everyday things that were in hindsight, far more important that anything on earth a man could be doing. I learned something important from my annoying daughter that day. I annoy God the same way when I interrupt His "running the universe" to ask him in prayer for some relatively trivial matters, that like my daughter needing to be tucked in, are very important to me. Thanks be to our perfect loving Father. I was also making the same mistake David made at the cost of his children and the people in his kingdom, but I caught it before it was too late. David lost contact and was completely out of touch with his people because he mistakenly thought that focusing all his time and attention on building the Temple was more important, and as a result, Absalom won the hearts of the People and David was ousted as king.

3.      Timeline and chronology:

a.      David was 30 when he began to reign as king in Hebron between 1010-1003 BC.

b.      In 1005 BC Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, is made king by Abner, who has been out of a job as army commander ever since Saul died 5 years earlier. This is the beginning of the divided kingdom period for two years when David ruled Judah and Ish-bosheth ruled the other 11 tribes.

c.       In 1003 BC Abner and Ish-bosheth are killed, David then captures Jerusalem and begins his reign at age 37. He reigns in Jerusalem for 33 years.

d.      Between 1003 and 1001 BC, David defeats the nations and fulfills the land promise to Abraham, possessing all the land from the River of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish) and the Euphrates.

e.      In 1001 BC, David commits adultery with Bathsheba and kills her husband Uriah, the Hittite, who was on David's list of "30 mighty warriors".

f.        In 999 BC, Solomon is born.

g.      1001-990 BC: The stories of Mephibosheth being invited into David's palace, the famine over Saul killing the Gibeonites and possibly the sinful census by David all happened within this 11 year period.

h.      990-979 BC: This second period of 11 years begins with the rape of Tamar and ends with the death of Absalom.

I. David's first four sons all caused him great trouble:   

1.      Firstborn Amnon followed in his father's footsteps by sleeping with a woman of his sexual desire.

a.      For David it was a snap impulse of the moment to sleep with Bathsheba as he watched her bathe.

b.      For Amnon it was a long term psychotic "frustration" as he made himself physically sick with desire and finally raping Tamar, his sister in 990 BC. Today Amnon would not be convicted of raping his sister Tamar because a chemical psychiatrist would testify at his trial that he had a "conversion disorder" and was mentally ill. In fact, this example illustrates how all "mental illness" is a conscious moral behavior choice and not a medical problem at all. The key question that needs to be asked is this: What personal benefit does the "mentally ill" person derive from his psychotic behavior? Amnon faked that he was sick as a means to an end to have sex with Tamar. It worked! Rather than rebuking Amnon for sinful behaviour and lust, someone comes along and notices the acting and tells him to just do what he wants with Tamar. The mentally ill invent bizarre behaviours and desperately involve others for attention seeking purposes, power, to escape duty, revenge, control, psychiatric disability (lottery for life), or in Amnon's case, to bed his sister. It worked!

c.       Although Amnon was the natural heir to David's throne, he was killed two years later by Absalom in revenge for violating his sister.

2.      Second born Chileab (or Daniel) is non-existent in scripture; except for the mention he is second born. Presumably he died early.

3.      Third born Absalom, the oldest living son of David and natural heir to the throne. At age 25 he began a four year long plot to usurp David's throne between (983 - 979 BC) but was killed at the age of 29 by Joab when his hair got caught in a tree in the land of Ammon.

4.      Fourth born Adonijah usurped David's throne in the last year of his life (age 70).

a.      With his three older brothers dead, he was the natural successor of David.

b.      However when Adonijah publically proclaimed himself king, David countered by publically proclaiming Solomon king and Adonijah was killed.

5.      The seventh born son of David was Solomon (not counting the child conceived by Bathsheba who died) and was the Heir to the throne who God had chosen.

a.      It was David who named him Solomon, a unique name used only of David's son.

b.      "through Nathan the prophet he was called Jedidiah, “Beloved one of Yahweh” (12:25). The explanation of the name šĕlōmōh is given in 1 Chr 22:9 that Yahweh “will give šālôm (peace) and quiet to Israel in his days.”" (ABD, Solomon)

II. Dating Absalom's birth, life and death: (click on chronology chart below)

  1. David reigned as king in Hebron for 7 ½ years from 1010 - 1005 BC.
  2. Absalom was born about 1008 BC: Absalom was the third son born to David in Hebron. Probably in the 2nd to 4th year at Hebron (1008-1006 BC)
  3. In 1001 BC, David began to control the entire area of land promised to Abraham (Gen 15:18) from the River of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish) and the Euphrates.
  4. In 1001 BC Solomon was born and Absalom was not older than 9 years old.
  5. Sometime after 1001 BC (Absalom was 7 years old in 1001 BC), Tamar is raped by Amnon, Absalom's oldest brother.
    1. Absalom showed maturity, self-control and cunning wisdom in his reaction.
    2. This is not how someone under 18 would act.
    3. It also says that Absalom took Tamar, his sister into his house. (2 Samuel 13:20)
    4. This would indicate someone of the age of at least 18-25 years old.
    5. For the sake of argument, we will take the youngest possible age of 18 year old as the age of Absalom when Tamar was raped.
    6. With this assumption, Tamar was raped in [1008 BC - 18] = 990 BC.
  6. In 988 BC, two years after the rape of Tamar in 990 BC, Absalom (age 20) kills David's oldest son, Amnon (aged 22: firstborn in Hebron 1010 BC), after which he flees and lives in Geshur for three years with Talmai his grandfather, who is king of Geshur. (David married Talmai's Daughter)
    1. “After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.” (2 Samuel 13:23)
    2. “his [David's] second [wife], Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur;” (2 Samuel 3:3 and 1 Chronicles 3:2)
  1. Between 988 - 985 BC, “Absalom, having fled to Geshur, stayed there three years.” (2 Samuel 13:38)
    1. In 985 BC Absalom would be 23 years old when he moved back to Jerusalem at the end of his three years in Geshur. [1008 BC - 23] = 985 BC
  1. In 983 BC, Absalom would be 25 years old at the end of the two year period of living in Jerusalem, when he and his father David made peace: “So Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, without coming into the king’s presence.” (2 Samuel 14:28)
  2. From age 25-29 (983 - 979 BC), Absalom began to work his conspiracy to usurp his Father's throne: “At the end of four years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go to Hebron and pay the vow that I have made to the LORD.” (2 Samuel 15:7)
  3. In 979 BC, Absalom usurps his father's throne and David flees Jerusalem.
  4. At age 29 years, within a month of his insurrection, Absalom is killed by Joab when his hair gets caught in a tree. Here his hair was his pride which became his downfall, or in this case, his hang up!
  5. In 979 BC, Absalom would be no younger than 29 when he died. This is based upon his birth in the second year of David's reign in Hebron 1008 BC, and being 18 years old when Tamar, his sister was raped.
    1. Seven times in scripture Absalom is described as a "young man" up to the day he died.
    2. “Then the king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be as that young man!”” (2 Samuel 18:32)
  1. In 979 BC, David was 61 years old when Absalom usurped the throne at age 29.
  2. David died in 970 BC at age 70.
    1. Given the fact that David was feeble and unable to even keep himself warm just before he died, our assumption that Absalom was no younger than 18 when Tamar was raped is solid.
    2. If Absalom was born in the 6th year at Hebron, that would make him 33 years old when he died and this doesn't fit well with the description "young man". It would also put David's age to 65 years old, very near the time he would be too old to defend himself.
  1. Many commentators have the age of Absalom when he died very wrong:
    1. These two commentaries are wrong because the 11-12 years, start counting from the rape of Tamar, not when David slept with Bathsheba and killed Uriah in the Rabbah battle. Absalom's words to Tamar and his actions towards Amnon are too mature for a 7-10 year old. These commentators fail to see that there is a gap after the Capture of Rabbah.
    2. "at some time after the termination of David’s great wars. About twelve years elapsed between the capture of Rabbah and the rebellion of Absalom, and if during this period the respect of the people for David was first damaged by the revelation of his adultery with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband" (Pulpit commentary, 2 Sam 24:1)
    3. "David’s sin with Bathsheba precipitated a chain of crimes (cf. Ammon’s license, as “king’s son,” II Sam 13:4), that centered about Prince Absalom and occupied the space of a full eleven years (II Sam 13:23, 38; 14:28; 15:7)" (Wycliffe Bible Commentary, 1 Chronicles 20:4)
  1. Summary: the chronology of Absalom's life:
    1. Absalom was 29 years "young" when he died in 979 BC, and David was 61 years old.
    2. We know that in 1001 BC, Absalom was about 7 years old when David sent Uriah, the Hittite, to die in the battle of Rabbah. This was two years before Solomon was born in 993 BC.
    3. Amnon would only be a few years older, being David's firstborn son. This would make him about 9 years old in the capture of Rabbah.
    4. Nine year olds (Amnon) don’t feign sicknesses in lustful passion for their sister. Seven year olds (Absalom) don't act with wisdom and self-control when their sister (about the same age) gets raped… and they don’t have a house of their own to take their sister into.
    5. The 11 year block of time starts with the rape of Tamar in 990 BC (Absalom aged 18) and ends in the death of Absalom in 979 BC at age 29.
    6. This 11 year block of time cannot directly follow the conquest of Rabbah because Amnon, Tamar and Absalom are prepubescent.
    7. So the 11 year block of time cannot happen much earlier than 990 BC because Absalom would be too young. Any later, David is too old, given his feeble old age where he was unable to even keep himself warm.

III. Amnon Rapes of Tamar: 984 BC: 2 Sam 13:1-23

1.      Amnon was the eldest son of David and the royal prince and being heir apparent to the throne was a powerful young man. Tamar was the daughter of David with a different wife, so was a half-sister to Amnon, but a full sister to Absalom since they shared the same mother.

2.      Since Amnon was the first born while David was king in Hebron (starting in 1010 BC), he was likely born in 1010 BC.

3.      Amnon was 18 years old in 990 BC and this is the best choice of time for when he raped Tamar his sister. (see above for discussion)

a.       Notice that Amnon had a servant that was "a young man". This indicates that Amnon was older: “Then he called his young man who attended him and said, “Now throw this woman out of my presence, and lock the door behind her.”” (2 Samuel 13:17)

b.      Amnon was also not married indicating he was not much older than 18 years old.

4.      Tamar's wisdom to Amnon is timeless: “Amnon said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing! “As for me, where could I get rid of my reproach (not a virgin)? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.”” (2 Samuel 13:11–13)

a.       Her statement, "speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you" is puzzling if she was actually considering marrying him.

b.      More likely, this is another example of Tamar's extreme wisdom to buy herself time to escape being raped. Tamar was, by appealing to Amnon's "crown prince" power, control and selfishness and she was hoping that he is stupid enough to actually ask David for her hand in marriage, not realizing such a request would surely be refused.

c.       However, several of the patriarchs married their half-sister's, so perhaps she was genuine in her willingness to be his wife… after all he ws the crown prince and that would make her queen some day.

5.      The law of rape:

a.       Raping an engaged or married woman:

                                                              i.      “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you. “But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. “But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case. “When he found her in the field, the engaged girl cried out, but there was no one to save her.

                                                            ii.      The woman was required to cry out, if now both of them are stoned, if she cries out, he is stoned.

                                                          iii.      The case of raping a woman in a field illustrates the Mosaic legal system where there needs to be two or three witnesses. The woman may have in fact been fully consenting to the sexual union, but because there are no witnesses, she cannot be put to death.

b1.      Raping a single woman:

                                                              i.      “If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.” (Deuteronomy 22:23-29)

b2.      Premarital consensual sex with a single woman:

                                                            ii.      “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife. “If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for virgins.” (Exodus 22:16–17)

                                                          iii.      Under Mosaic law, pre-marital sex (including rape) obligated the man to marry the woman and pay a dowry. However, the father could refuse the marriage.

c.       In North America 75% of unmarried people under 20 have had sex (fornication), and 1 in 4 of these will get an STD (venereal disease). In Israel, 99% of girls were virgins.

                                                              i.      In fact, one of the ancient rituals of the wedding night was to post a man outside the tent of the couple as they copulate, in order to be immediately given the bloodied bed sheet as proof of her virginity.

                                                            ii.      If the woman was not a virgin, the marriage was invalid.

                                                          iii.      This ancient tradition continued into the first century when Joseph wanted to put away Mary when she became pregnant.

d.      Tamar never married because of her rape, but lived in Absalom's house because she was not a virgin.

e.      Would you pass the "test of virginity" on your wedding night or be stoned in the morning? Hey Brides! Imagine having the best man sitting in the hall of your hotel room on your wedding night, waiting to hear your new husband yell for joy when he discovers you are a virgin! After consummation, he takes the bloodied bedsheet and gives it to the best man, who takes it to the father of the bride. This bed sheet is kept in a secure area until after she gives birth to her first child. Creepy? Today's young women have no idea how highly past cultures and God values virginity! If she did not bleed, the groom could report this to the father of the bride and she would be stoned to death. Next time you are in the back seat of a 54 Chevy at the drive in theatre, think twice before you lift your skirt! It may cost you your life!                                                                      

                                                                  i.            "Proof of virginity. A blood-stained cloth or chemise was exhibited as a proof of the bride’s virginity (Dt. 22:13–21). This custom continues in some places in the Near East. (New Bible Dictionary, Marriage)

                                                                ii.            “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. “The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. “So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him, and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days. “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.” (Deuteronomy 22:13–21)

                                                               iii.            "When a man takes a wife, has sexual intercourse with her and takes a dislike to her, and brings a baseless charge against her, ruining her reputation, and says, ‘I have taken this woman, approached her, and did not find the proof of virginity in her’, the father or the mother of the girl shall take the girl’s proof of virginity and bring it to the elders at the gate. The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to be this man’s wife; he has taken a dislike to her and has brought a baseless charge against her saying, “I have not found the proof of virginity in your daughter.” Here is the proof of my daughter’s virginity.’ They shall spread out the garment before the elders of that city. The elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him. They shall fine him one hundred pieces of silver which they shall give to the father of the girl, because he (the husband) has tried to ruin the reputation of an Israelite virgin." (Dead Sea Scrolls: The Temple Scroll, 11QT = 11Q19)

                                                              iv.            "These two paragraphs deal with a man who, following his wedding, spreads the charge that he found his wife not to have been a virgin. He probably does so in order to get out of the marriage—should he simply divorce her without cause, he would probably forfeit the bride-price—or perhaps to get the bride-price reduced to that of a nonvirgin (on the bride-price, see Comment to 20:7). The bride’s parents produce physical evidence of her virginity, namely, a sheet or garment that was spotted with blood when the marriage was consummated. Upon this evidence the slandering husband is flogged, fined, and prohibited from ever divorcing the bride." (The JPS Torah Commentary, Accusations of Premarital Unchastity Deuteronomy 22:13-21, 1996 AD)

                                                                v.            "At the time of the second temple, a virgin bride was considered to be worth 50 shekels, and a widow or divorced woman about half that sum. During this period, a virgin bride was normally married in midweek so that, if her husband found her not to be a virgin, he could bring proof to the court the following day, which would still be in advance of the Sabbath. … Symbolic ceremonies may sometimes have been included as part of the betrothal or wedding ceremonies, such as Ruth’s request that Boaz spread his skirt over her to indicate that he was taking her to wife (Ru 3:9). Another ritual may have been the ceremonial removal of the bride’s girdle by the groom in the nuptial chamber, which was a room or tent specially prepared for the newly married couple. The marriage was normally consummated on the first night (Gn 29:23; Tb 8:1), and the stained linen would be retained as evidence of the bride’s virginity." (Tyndale Bible dictionary, Marriage customs)

                                                              vi.            “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.” (John 3:29) "To clarify for his disciples what he meant, therefore, the Baptizer used a typical Jewish type of parable, drawn from Jewish marriage customs. At that time the bridegroom normally selected one or two close friends to escort the bride to the bridegroom’s marriage chamber and to wait outside the room or tent for the bridegroom’s shout and often for receipt of tokens that the marriage had been consummated with his virgin bride. Such friends of the bridegroom were thus able to certify to the wedding guests that the consummation of the marriage had taken place and the joyous festivities could continue (cf. 3:29). John gladly accepted his role as a friend of the bridegroom. Just as he had earlier willingly turned over his disciples to Jesus in a self-giving act (1:35–37), here he expressed his genuine joy that Jesus was being accepted by the people. This brief parable, therefore, serves as a powerful illustration." (New American Commentary, John 3:29)

                                                             vii.            Paul, like John the Baptists, functioned as a "friend of the groom": "For I (Paul) am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)

                                                           viii.            Christ used his blood to make pure virgins (Christians) out of spiritual harlots (non-Christians), “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25–27)

                                                              ix.            Marriage of the church to Christ in Revelation: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Revelation 19:7–8)

f.      Like Satan, Absalom's evil plot shows wisdom, composure and cunning of someone older than only 15 years old: “Then Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” So Tamar remained and was desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. Now when King David heard of all these matters, he was very angry. But Absalom did not speak to Amnon either good or bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar. Now it came about after two full years that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.” (2 Samuel 13:20–23)

                                                           i.      First, he has the wisdom to quiet Tamar down by telling her, "forget about the rape, it is all in the family". In fact he had plotted to kill Amnon and was himself not willing to forget it. So his cunning in getting his sister to down play the rape, created a false sense of calm and normalcy for Amnon that Absalom could take advantage of in the future. If Tamar had made a huge deal of it, Amnon would have been on guard for longer.

                                                           ii.      Second, Absalom was able to keep himself under control by simply ignoring Amnon.

                                                           iii.      Third, as we will see, Absalom waited a full two years before avenging Tamar.

IV. Absalom avenges Tamar, flees to his grandfather, king of Geshur: 2 Sam 13:24-39

1.       Absalom plans a party at the end of the sheep shearing festival and invites all the kings sons to attend. Absalom kills Amnon when he attends the party.

2.       Word comes back to David that Amnon has killed all the royal sons, but this turns out to be a false report.

3.       Absalom flees to take refuge with his grandfather, Talmai king of Geshur. Talmai gave his daughter Maacah to David as a wife as a way of forging peace between the two nations of Geshur and Israel. “Now Absalom fled and went to, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.” (2 Samuel 13:37)

4.       Joab initiates reconciliation so that David recalls Absalom home to live in Jerusalem after three years of banishment.

a.       In a scenario that mirrors Nathan's "rich man takes poor man's only sheep" parable to David about Bathsheba, David falls for the punch-line a second time and condemns himself: “The woman said, “in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one.” (2 Samuel 14:13)

b.      This time it is a woman from Tekoa (south east of Jerusalem), who creates a situation where one of her two sons kills his brother. David's judgement in the matter results in Absalom being recalled from Geshur.

c.       The King guesses that Joab had orchestrated the entire matter.

d.      Why would Joab want Absalom to come home? Remember that David had tried to replace Joab twice in the past as commander and perhaps Joab thought of replacing David with Absalom. Although Joab does not join Absalom, he does join the insurrection of Adonijah when Solomon was supposed to be the heir to David's throne.

V. Absalom lives in Jerusalem for two years (age 23-25): 2 Samuel 14:21

1.       When Absalom returns to Jerusalem, he is now 23 years old and is the hot politician with the ”amazing hair" who makes the girls swoon, and wins over the electorate by giving them lots of free stuff. (Justin Trudeau?):

a.       “Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him. When he cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, for it was heavy on him so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at 200 shekels by the king’s weight.” (2 Samuel 14:25–26)

b.      There is a sense of arrogance in Absalom in that he actually weighed his hair each year when he would cut it because it got too heavy for him.

2.       We have the single biographical entry of Absalom's family tree.

a.       He had 4 children and likely married a woman while in Geshur. She is unknown, and possibly Gentile. We know he was single when he fled to Geshur, so perhaps during the three years in Geshur, he married, probably in year two at age 21. However, given he lives to age 29, he may not have married until he returned to Jerusalem.

b.      After he moves to Jerusalem, he has only 6 more years before he is killed by Joab for insurrection.

3.        During these two years, David refuses to see Absalom.

a.       Absalom realized he could not take advantage of his princely status or have any chance of taking over the throne one day if his father refused to ever see him.

b.      In desperation, Absalom burns down Joab's crop which triggers Joab requesting to the David that they make peace.

c.       All this was part of his long term plot to become king.

VI. Absalom's 4 year plan to usurp David's throne: 2 Samuel 15:1-7 (983-979 BC)

1.        David kisses Absalom who immediately begins to betray him.

a.       Judas kissed Jesus as he was in the process of betraying him.

b.      Judas and Absalom are metaphoric antitypes of Satan even in this kiss.

2.        As soon as David "made nice" with Absalom he immediately planning his insurrection: (age 25-29; 983 - 979 BC)

a.       From the time Absalom was reinstated to the time he became a mutineer was four years.

b.      “Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and fifty men as runners before him. Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king.” Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice.” And when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.” (2 Samuel 15:1-6)

3.        Absalom wins the people over by filling a vacuum created by David's neglect.

a.       This is the period of time when David was probably intensely focused on making preparations for the temple while neglecting the everyday needs of the people.

b.      Many fathers work hard at their jobs to bring home money to a family who really need his time and loving attention. These men wrongly think family centers around building family wealth rather than building family relationships. This is what David had done, not only with his own family, but with the entire kingdom.

4.        Unlike David, when we cry to the king of Heaven, God always stops and listens to us and is attentive to our prayers: “Now, O my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.” (2 Chronicles 6:40)

VII. Absalom's 7 day munity of David's throne: 979 BC (2 Samuel 15:8ff)

1.       We know Absalom's insurrection happened in late summer because of the abundance of summer fruits that Ziba gave David (2 sam 16).

2.       Absalom, like the Devil, deceived the king he was fulfilling a vow he made in Geshur. Interesting, that his may have been true. Perhaps while griping at David under his breath about his banishment and not enjoying the pleasures of being a prince, he vowed to God that he would one day usurp him!

a.       Hundreds of men who followed him to Hebron were unaware of the coup until he proclaimed himself king.

b.      Ahithophel the Gilonite was on of David's top counselors who joined Absalom. He would later commit suicide.

3.       David flees the city barefoot with his head covered with Joab, the levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant, Zadok, Abiathar, and the Philistine mercenaries

a.       He leaves 10 of his concubines to "keep house".

b.      Men from three sub tribes of the Philistines were faithful to David: the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites. Notice that these were recent immigrants to David, but pledged their loyalty to him even though David, like Naomi, tried to talk them out of following him: “Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why will you also go with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place. “You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander with us, while I go where I will? Return and take back your brothers; mercy and truth be with you.” But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.”” (2 Samuel 15:19–21)

c.       “Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished passing from the city.” (2 Samuel 15:24)

4.       In a classic example of trusting in God, David orders the high priest, Abiathar and Zadok to return to Jerusalem with the Ark of the Covenant.

VIII. Ziba and Shimei:

1.       Ziba, the opportunistic deceiver

a.       As David passed over the summit of the mount of Olives, 1 km from the city of David, he met a man named Ziba who was standing there with donkeys and food.

b.      The abundance of summer fruits shows us that Absalom's insurrection happened in late summer when these fruits are plentiful.

c.       Ziba had wisely predicted which direction David would flee the city and was waiting there for David to arrive with a gift to grease the wheels of politics.

d.      Ziba outright lied to David that Mephibosheth, Jonathan's lame son, Saul's grandson, had betrayed David and was staying in Jerusalem to restore the house of Saul to power as king. This may have been Mephibosheth himself, or Mica, his 25-30 year old son.

e.      Ziba told david that Mephibosheth had said, " Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me"

f.        In 995 Bc, 22 years earlier Mica was described as "young": “Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth.” (2 Samuel 9:12)

g.       Mica would have been about the same age as Absalom so the false accusation of Ziba who shows kindness to David with the gift of provisions coupled with the absence of Mephibosheth, all worked at deceiving David.

h.      David shows his royal prerogative and strips Mephibosheth of all his wealth and gives it to Ziba.

i.         Later, Ziba is proven to be a liar, yet Mephibosheth in the most selfless gracious manner, rejects David's new offer to give him half his wealth back and instead lets Ziba keep the money and property he stole:  “Then Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. It was when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” So he answered, “O my lord, the king, my servant deceived me; for your servant said, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ because your servant is lame. “Moreover, he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like the angel of God, therefore do what is good in your sight. “For all my father’s household was nothing but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I have yet that I should complain anymore to the king?” So the king said to him, “Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have decided, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.’ ” Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.” Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; and he went on to the Jordan with the king to escort him over the Jordan.” (2 Samuel 19:24–31)

2.       Shimei, the wicked Benjaminite who cursed righteous David and blessed wicked Saul:

a.       After David passed Ziba and continued his escape, he came to Bahurim, about 3 km NE of the city of David.

b.      Shimei lives in Bahurim and begins throwing rocks at David and cursing him: “Thus Shimei said when he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, and worthless fellow! “The Lord has returned upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. And behold, you are taken in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed!”” (2 Samuel 16:7–8)

c.       Just like Satan saved Job's wife as a weapon, to attack at the lowest point, so too Shimei's words and actions would surely have cut David deep, considering he was on the run.

d.      Joab's brother Abishai, like Peter, wanted to cut him into pieces, but David, like Jesus, said "no"!: “Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over now and cut off his head.”” (2 Samuel 16:9)

e.      David's reply is truly remarkable and shows you just how great a spiritual giant David was.

f.         “Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite? Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him. “Perhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day.”” (2 Samuel 16:11–12)

g.       The next time someone wrongly speaks evil of you or harms you, instead of revenge, say to yourself, "What if God sent that wicked person to rebuke or humble me?"

h.      Later David, when after Absalom was killed, Shimei beg David for mercy: “The king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” Thus the king swore to him.” (2 Samuel 19:23)

i.         David would later instruct Solomon to execute Shimei: ““Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim; now it was he who cursed me with a violent curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ “Now therefore, do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood.”” (1 Kings 2:8–9)

IX. The war between two advisers:  Hushai vs. Ahithophel

1.       David had two top advisers: Ahithophel and Hushai

a.       It is likely that Ahithophel, who had already betrayed David and joined Absalom, was the most respected adviser David had: “The advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one inquired of the word of God; so was all the advice of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absalom.” (2 Samuel 16:23)

b.      It is important to realize that everything bid of advice Ahithophel told Absalom was 100% correct, although evil.

2.       When David reaches the summit of the Mount of Olives, he orders Hushai the Archite to return and give false obedience and submission to Absalom.

a.       Hushai is also a top adviser and described as "David's friend".

b.      When Absalom sees Hushai has betrayed David, says to him: “Is this your loyalty to your friend?" 2 Sam 16:17

c.       Hushai convinces Absalom with lies that he is loyal to the new king.

3.       Absalom will reject the good advice from wicked Ahithophel, and accept bad advice from righteous Hushai, who really was a spy still loyal to David.

a.       There is a pattern in scripture of evil men rejecting good advice and accepting bad advice. (Jeroboam chose the bad advice of his young drinking buddies over the good advice of Solomon's elderly advisers)

4.       Absalom seeks advice twice from Ahithophel, who give correct advice each time: 2 Sam 17

a.       Sleep with David's concubines and attack David immediately.

b.      Ahithophel correctly (evil) advises Absalom to sleep with David's 10 concubines on the roof of the palace for all to see that he is now king. This fulfilled what Nathan the prophet said: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. ‘Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.’ ” (2 Samuel 12:11-12)

c.       Ahithophel correctly advises Absalom to attack David immediately, but Hushai contradicts and wrongly advises a delay to gather a larger army since David is skilled in war.

d.      When Ahithophel sees that Absalom rejects his advice, he hangs himself, knowing the king will be overthrown and will be executed as soon as David returns to power.

e.      “Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring calamity on Absalom.” (2 Samuel 17:14)

5.       David is warned and flees to Mahanaim:

a.       Hushai sends the two top spiritual leaders, Abiathar the high priest and Zadok send a young female messenger to report to their two sons (David's spies) Jonathan, son of Abiather and Ahimaaz, son of Zadok, who were staying in En-rogel, which is less than a kilometer from the Gihon spring.

b.      A young boy spots Abiather and Ahimaaz and rats them out to Absalom who sends servants to find them.

c.       Abiather and Ahimaaz flee to Bahurim, located less than 1 kilometer from En-rogel and are hid in a well.

d.      David and his entire group, immediately crosses the Jordan river and travels north to Mahanaim.

X. Absalom hunts David:

1.       Absalom appoints Amasa as his army commander in place of Joab. Amasa was part of the house of David and was David's sisters son, or David's nephew.

2.       While David was in Mahanaim, Shobi, the son of Nahash, brought David food and supplies.

a.       This is remarkable because David had killed Nahash's other son in 1001 BC (22 years earlier) in the battle of Rabbah, where David had Uriah the Hittite killed.

b.      Nahash was an ally of David and also the father of David's sisters Zeruiah (mother of Joab, Davids general) and Abigail (mother of Amasa, Absalom's general).

c.       Apparently Shobi, wanted to restore the peace between Ammon and Isreal, as it was when Nahash his father was still alive and an any of David.

3.       David divides up his army that likely numbered more than 25,000 into three groups:

a.       One group led by Joab

b.      One group led by Abishai (Joab's brother)

c.       One group of Philistine mercenaries led by Ittai, of Gath.

4.       A great battle breaks out in the "the forest of Ephraim" and a cull of 20,000 evil men are removed from the earth.

a.       Absalom's hair gets caught in the branches as he rides through the forest on his mule: “Now Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. For Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. And his head caught fast in the oak, so he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him kept going.” (2 Samuel 18:9)

b.      Absalom is killed by Joab as he hangs by the hair from a tree.

c.       In a story only God could write, the thing Absalom prided himself most in, became the object that God used to kill him: his hair.

5.       “Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself a pillar which is in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to preserve my name.” So he named the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.” (2 Samuel 18:18)

a.       Absalom in fact went on to have 4 children: “To Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a woman of beautiful appearance.” (2 Samuel 14:27) This means that Absalom built his Pillar or Monument of himself very early in life before he was married at age 18-22. This indicates he was obsessed early in life about himself and his aspirations to be king some day. Absalom's desire to make a name for himself echoes the tower of Babel and Saul's self-praise monument at Carmel.

b.      In the Kidron Valley in full view of the City of David and the Temple, stands the monument below which is viewed by some as being the very monument Absalom built. This is impossible because it dates from the first century BC.

c.       Josephus says, "Now Absalom had erected for himself a marble pillar in the king’s dale, two furlongs distant from Jerusalem, which he named Absalom’s Hand, saying, that if his children were killed, his name would remain by that pillar; for he had three sons and one daughter named Tamar, as we said before, who, when she was married to David’s grandson, Rehoboam, bore a son, Abijah by name, who succeeded his father in the kingdom; but of these we shall speak in a part of our history which will be more proper. After the death of Absalom, they returned everyone to their own home respectively." (Josephus, Antiquities 7.243)

d.      A Byzantine inscription on the monument attributes it to the father of John the Baptist:  "This is the tomb of Zachariah, the martyr, the holy priest, the father of John."

6.       While David is in Mahanaim, Joab sends messengers that Absalom is dead, contrary to the strict command of the king.

a.       David weeps and mourns Absalom in such a way the Joab warns him that he will lose his kingdom if he continues to: “Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. “Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, surely not a man will pass the night with you, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.”” (2 Samuel 19:5–7)

b.      David takes Joab's good advice, snaps out of it and addresses the people.

c.       The lesson is that the righteous weep for the wicked, but he wicked persecute the righteous.

7.       For the third time, David tries to replace Joab as commander, this time with Amasa.

a.       Proof that Amasa was indeed part of the House of David: “Say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do so to me, and more also, if you will not be commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.’” (2 Samuel 19:13)

b.      Joab, who had just killed Absalom, now murders Amasa to keep his Job and to rid David of a mutineer who was Absalom's army commander.

c.       Why David would do this, shows just how much he hated wicked Joab and how forgiving he was of his enemies in the hope they would reform themselves.

d.      David comes to Gilgal

8.       The squabble between the ten tribes and Judah at Gilgal:

a.       Israel (ten tribes) complained to Judah that they took the king Transjordan, rather due north into the protection of the 10 tribes.

b.      However, wisdom of going Transjordan and not entrusting David to the care and protection of the ten tribes, is vindicated because while at Gilgal, another insurrection arises: “Now a worthless fellow happened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite; and he blew the trumpet and said, “We have no portion in David, Nor do we have inheritance in the son of Jesse; Every man to his tents, O Israel!”” (2 Samuel 20:1)

9.       David arrives back at his palace and draws attention to the rebellion of Sheba

a.       David orders Amasa to assemble in three days, but when he fails to complete the task in three days, Joab is suspicious and kills him at Gibeon.

b.      David orders Abishai to find and kill Sheba.

c.       Sheba travels north, passing through many cities until he arrives at Abel Beth-maacah, located just west of Dan about 8 km.

d.      Joab begins building a Masada-like ramp over the wall to destroy the city who is harbouring Sheba.

e.      A wise woman asks Joab why they are attacking the city. When she learns they are after Sheba, his head is thrown over the wall to Joab and the city is saved.

f.        It is historically interesting that Abel Beth-maacah had a reputation for wisdom: “Then she spoke, saying, “Formerly they used to say, ‘They will surely ask advice at Abel,’ and thus they ended the dispute.” (2 Samuel 20:18)

XI. Absalom: The Satan child (an antitype of Satan):

1.      There is a clear, broad theme of metaphoric language in scripture of "beautiful men" who try to usurp God's throne. These real examples are metaphoric of the actual insurrection of Satan before Gen 1:1.

a.      Satan was joined by a third of the angels in a war to usurp God in heaven before the creation of the world: “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

b.      Absalom, the beautiful prince who usurped the throne of David, war really usurping the throne of God: “Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord, succeeding his father David as king; he prospered, and all Israel obeyed him.” (1 Chronicles 29:23)

c.       The king of Babylon in Isa 14: the beautiful morning star who usurped God's throne.

d.      The king of Tyre in Ezek 28: the king who usurped God's throne because of his good looks! “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your good looks [splendor].” (Ezekiel 28:17)

e.      Saul was a strikingly handsome and tall wicked king who refused to step down from the "throne of God" when told twice by Samuel God had rejected him. 

f.        The "man of sin" in 2 Thess 2 also attempts to usurp God's throne: “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4)

g.      ““The king reflected and said, ‘Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?’ “While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes.’” (Daniel 4:30–32)

h.      “He was also driven away from mankind, and his heart was made like that of beasts, and his dwelling place was with the wild donkeys. He was given grass to eat like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven until he recognized that the Most High God is ruler over the realm of mankind and that He sets over it whomever He wishes.” (Daniel 5:21)

i.        “Yet you, his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this, but you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines have been drinking wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which do not see, hear or understand. But the God in whose hand are your life-breath and all your ways, you have not glorified.” (Daniel 5:22–23)

j.        “Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. “He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.” (Daniel 11:36–37)

k.       “Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down.” (Daniel 8:9–11)

l.        This is why I always advise young people to not try to get by, "on good looks alone". I was getting by on good looks alone for years. But even someone as incredibly good looking as me, I was barely able to pull it off and it was a lot of work to keep it up. My advice to young people, is just get a regular Job because it is less work. The only one I know who has successfully "gotten by" on "good looks alone" without becoming an evil, self-centered hellion…. IS MY CAT and she must sleep 22 hours a day to pull it off. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

2.      We know from 2 Sam 7:14f that David was an antitype of God and Solomon was an antitype to Christ.

a.      “When your [David] days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you [Solomon/Christ], who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me” (2 Samuel 7:12–14)

b.      In addition to 2 Sam 7:12-14; David is clearly antitypical to the Father in the fact he is the only person in the Bible described as a "man after God's own heart" by Samuel: “But now your [Saul's] kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:14).

c.       Solomon is clearly the antitype of Christ. Solomon built a physical temple his father David prepared for and Jesus built the temple (the church) which His heavenly Father designed: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

d.      Absalom is an antitype of Satan as the "beautiful prince who usurped his father's throne".

1.      “in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince [Satan] of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 2:2).

2.      Jesus is the true prince of peace and life: “but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.” (Acts 3:15)

3.      Jesus gave up equality with God when he possessed it but Absalom and the Devil attempted to usurp it: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5–11)

3.      There are two kings in the Bible that are seen as being antitypical of Satan: The king of Babylon and the King of Tyre.

a.      Neither are named: Lucifer is a mistake in the 1611 KJV, which modern translations correctly render "morning star".

b.      Like Absalom, these kings were described as beautiful, wicked and wanting to usurp the throne of God.

4.      The king of Babylon as a metaphoric antitype of Satan: Isa 14

a.      “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ “Nevertheless you will be thrust down to Sheol, To the recesses of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:12–15)

b.      This real, unnamed king is called "morning star", an object of unique beauty, (Isa 14:12)

c.       who wanted to usurp God. This may be antitypical of the great insurrection that predated creation between Satan and God.

5.      The king of Tyre as a metaphoric antitype of Satan: Ezek 28:12-19

a.      “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. “You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created They were prepared. “You were the anointed cherub who covers, And I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. “You were blameless in your ways From the day you were created Until unrighteousness was found in you. “By the abundance of your trade You were internally filled with violence, And you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane From the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the stones of fire. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, That they may see you. “By the multitude of your iniquities, In the unrighteousness of your trade You profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, And I have turned you to ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you. “All who know you among the peoples Are appalled at you; You have become terrified And you will cease to be forever.” (Ezekiel 28:12–19)

b.      Notice again the association with beauty, praise that leads to complete insurrection against the throne of God in heaven!

c.       The statement “You had the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty." Is very similar to how Absalom is described: “Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him.” (2 Samuel 14:25-26)

d.      The metaphoric references to being created perfect and present in the garden of Eden apply directly to the Devil. Of course, the Devil was created long before Gen 1:1.

e.      When sin was found in the Devil and his angels, they were cast out of heaven: “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,” (Jude 6)

6.      Satan's insurrection long before the present heaven and earth were created:

a.      Although there is no direct statement about the Devil being beautiful and flawless in appearance, we are warned in scripture: “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

b.      The red dragon who swept away a third of the stars (Rev 12:3), might be interpreted as one third of the Angels followed Satan's insurrection that predated Gen 1:1

c.       “Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down.” (Daniel 8:9–11)

d.      The great mutiny in heaven created a kind of battle similar to the war between "the house of David" and "the house of Saul" and the war between David and Absalom: “And there was war in heaven (after the death of Christ), Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)

7.      Many of the villains of the Bible are noted for their physical beauty (Saul). Satan, through antitype, is indirectly called the Morning Star (Isa 14:12). This is the same title for Jesus Christ in the New Testament: “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” (Revelation 22:16)

a.      Notice the triple connection: the wicked king of Babylon who wanted to rise to heaven and usurp God's throne is called the "morning star" (antitypical of Satan)

b.      Absalom, a handsome looking man "without defect" like the morning star of Satan was.

c.       Jesus, the root of David is the true morning star.

8.      Absalom is part of the pattern of those who had a natural right of succession "seniority" or birthright, but were rejected as such.

a.      Esau forfeited his natural birthright for a meal and it was given to Jacob. God's choice of Jacob over Esau made Esau very angry.

b.      Reuben lost his birthright because he committed adultery with his step mother: “It came about while Israel was dwelling in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard of it. Now there were twelve sons of Jacob—” (Genesis 35:22)  “Reuben, you are my firstborn; My might and the beginning of my strength, Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.” (Genesis 49:3)

c.       David was the youngest of Jesse's sons, and not even considered a candidate by his father as king, but was God's first choice.

d.      Ish-bosheth was Saul's oldest son and the natural successor to the throne, but was rejected for David from an entirely different dynasty and bloodline.

e.      Absalom was the natural "crown prince" and successor to David, but was rejected for Solomon long before he attempted his insurrection and even before Solomon was born. Although Amnon was the oldest son of David, he had been killed by Absalom.

f.        After Amnon and Absalom were killed, Adonijah was the next in line to success David from a natural "custom of the day" point of view. However Adonijah was also rejected as the natural successor for Solomon.

g.      Although highly speculative, perhaps the Devil had been "passed over" for a promotion that he felt he "naturally" deserved (ie seniority) and this was part of the reason for his rebellion before Gen 1:1.

9.      Wicked Absalom is clearly antitypical of Satan in many ways, especially in overthrowing the most righteous human king who ever lived, even the human father who gave him life.

10.  David and Solomon are antitypes of the Father and Jesus. Absalom is antitypical of the Devil who long ago, had usurped the very throne of God in Heaven.


1.       The 11 year block of time starts with the rape of Tamar in 990 BC (Absalom aged 18) and ends in the death of Absalom in 979 BC at age 29.

a.       This 11 year block of time cannot happen much earlier than 990 BC because Absalom would be too young. Any later, David is too old, given his feeble old age where he was unable to even keep himself warm.

b.      Absalom was 29 years "young" when he died in 979 BC, and David was 61 years old.

c.       We know that in 1001 BC, Absalom was about 7 years old when David sent Uriah, the Hittite, to die in the battle of Rabbah. This was two years before Solomon was born in 999 BC. Amnon was about 9 years old in the capture of Rabbah.

2.       Absalom was a conceited, spoiled, wicked, ungrateful, unspiritual, unworthy son of David.

a.       By way of metaphoric antitype, we are certain that David represented the Father, Solomon represented Jesus

b.      Absalom, the Satan child, clearly represented the Devil in his quest to usurp David's throne, which was in fact the throne of God.

3.       It is likely that David's was overly focused on building the temple, which caused him to neglect the everyday needs of his people and become disconnected with them. Many a father has done the same in becoming overly focused on his career while neglecting the needs of his family.

a.       David's disconnect with the common people facilitated Absalom's insurrection.

b.      In the same way, today's monks, nuns, Hutterites and the Amish, may be holy to God, but completely out of touch with society in general and completely useless to discharge the great commission to evangelize a sinful world.


 By Steve Rudd: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.


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