Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15

Absalom pretends that he wants to be a judge

2 Samuel 15:3-4

In reality, Absalom’s ambition was to be the king of Israel. However, he pretended that he only wanted to be a judge.

If Absalom really only wanted to make judgments, he probably already had the authority to do that. He was King David’s son and the king’s sons were powerful members of David’s government (8:18). The people would respect the judgments that David’s sons issued.

Even if Absalom could not make judgments, he now had the opportunity to introduce people to King David. That would allow anyone whom Absalom supported to appeal for the king’s help in a legal matter.

For those reasons, the people who desired the king’s help were pleased to tell their problems to Absalom. Of course not everyone who appeals in a legal matter is right. Many people tell lies in order to gain the support of the judge. However, that did not matter to Absalom. He would express his support for everyone who came to him. If he had authority, he would certainly help them, he said.

Absalom was careful not to accuse David of any wrong deed. He knew that the people respected David. Instead, Absalom claimed that the legal system was not working properly. If it was, there should be a judge at the city gate to hear the people’s legal problems. Then that judge could direct David about the legal judgments that he should issue. Absalom insisted that he was ready and willing to do that work.

The effect of this was that all the people liked Absalom. They strongly desired that he would have real power and authority.

Next part: Absalom's friendly behaviour (2 Samuel 15:5-6)


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