Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 13

Absalom escapes abroad

2 Samuel 13:37-39

God had promised David that one of his sons would rule Israel (7:12). God had also declared his special love for David’s son, Solomon (12:24-25). However, in his deep shock about the death of Amnon, David seemed hardly aware of those promises.

Amnon had been David’s first son; and so everyone had expected Amnon to be Israel’s next king. However, Amnon’s behaviour showed him to be a selfish and wicked man. He was clearly unsuitable to be Israel’s king. Especially, it would not be right for him to build God’s house (called the temple) which was the special duty of Israel’s next king (7:13).

After Amnon’s death, David’s attention turned to Absalom. Absalom was a very impressive and powerful young man, who knew how to be popular (14:25-26; 15:1-6). However, he had already shown how angry he could be (13:22-29). Still, David loved his son Absalom deeply.

Absalom was no longer in Israel. After he killed Amnon, Absalom escaped into Geshur. There, he stayed with Geshur’s royal family, from which his mother had come (3:3). Geshur was on the east side of the Jordan river, near the sea of Galilee. Geshur’s people had lived there since before God gave that land to Israel. Israel’s people had been unable to remove them from there (Joshua 13:11-13). David probably established friendly relations with Geshur by his marriage to Absalom’s mother. However, he did not control Geshur, so Absalom considered it a safe place.

Next part: Joab's plan for Absalom's return (2 Samuel 14:1)


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