Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15

Absalom pretends that he has made an oath

2 Samuel 15:8

In Genesis 28:20-22, Jacob made an oath, in other words, a serious promise to God. At that time, Jacob had to leave the country, later called Israel, that God had promised to his family. Jacob was trusting God to look after him while he was abroad, and to bring him back home.

In return for God’s kindness, Jacob promised that he would always serve the real God.

Absalom told David that he (Absalom) too had made a similar promise. Absalom had to live abroad in Geshur after he killed Amnon. However, he very much wanted to return to Jerusalem. If God made that possible, then Israel’s God would be Absalom’s God.

David probably wanted very much to believe his son’s words. There is nothing in the Bible to show that Absalom previously had any desire to serve God. His mother’s family, with whom he lived in Geshur, served false gods. After his return to Israel, his nasty behaviour towards Joab does not give the impression that he (Absalom) was serving God (14:30).

Now, however, Absalom insisted that he must carry out his promise to God. He had already been back in Israel for several years. He spoke to David in a very humble manner; he even called himself ‘your servant’.

Absalom wanted to organise a great ceremony in Hebron, where he would make his gifts to God. He wanted the ceremony to be very impressive with many guests, because he was the king’s son. All the people would receive the impression that Absalom was loyal to Israel’s God. Then Absalom believed that they would all support his plan to be Israel’s next king.

Next part: Absalom prepares to declare himself king (2 Samuel 15:9-10)


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