Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15

Absalom’s royal carriage

2 Samuel 15:1

King David’s sons had important jobs in Israel’s government (8:18). Absalom wanted to be the most important of them, now that David had accepted him back. Absalom was already well-known in Israel; now he desired to be truly popular.

So, Absalom obtained for himself a royal carriage. Horses pulled it, and 50 men ran in front of it. Absalom’s arrival in any place would now be a splendid procession - and the people in Israel loved processions (compare Song of Solomon 3:6-11).

This was so much more impressive than the mules (animals like horses) that the king’s sons usually rode (13:29). Absalom could ride a mule too (18:9) - but he knew that his carriage would impress people much more. It made him look like a king - and Absalom’s ambition was to be Israel’s next king.

Absalom’s younger brother, Adonijah, was carefully watching what Absalom did. Adonijah too had an ambition to be king, although nobody seemed aware of it yet. A few years later, he would copy what Absalom had done. He too would obtain a chariot with 50 men (1 Kings 1:5).

For the present time, however, everyone’s attention was on Absalom. That, of course, was his plan. He had shown himself to be impressive by this carriage. Next, he needed to do something that would cause Israel’s people to like him.

Next part: Problems with judges (2 Samuel 15:2)


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