Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15

Absalom’s friendly behaviour

2 Samuel 15:5-6

Absalom had carefully thought about what was necessary to achieve his ambition to be king. So, by his splendid carriage and horses, he showed himself to be rich and powerful (15:1). In his conversations at the city gate, he gave the impression that he cared about right judgments and good government (15:2-4). Now, he made a special effort to be friendly to all the people. When they tried to show respect to him as the king’s son, he greeted them as friends.

These were the actions that Absalom considered necessary to gain popular support. In all these actions, Absalom was giving a false impression of his own qualities. His carriage with 50 men to run in front of it gave the impression of a great military leader (compare Song of Solomon 3:7-8). However, Absalom had lived a comfortable life in a palace. He was not a commander in the army; it is possible that he had never even fought in a battle.

Then Absalom gave the impression that he cared about right judgments. However, he expressed support for everyone who came to him. He did not check the facts; he did not listen to the other side (Proverbs 18:17). So he was not acting as a good judge must behave.

Absalom’s friendly greetings gave the impression that he cared about people. That too was false.

However, Absalom’s actions gained the support of the people. They liked him. So, they wanted him to rule their country. Neither he, nor they, were thinking about whom God wanted to be king. They were thinking only about what pleased them at the time.

Next part: Absalom asks David to allow him to go to Hebron (2 Samuel 15:7)


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