Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 14

Absalom sees David for the first time in five years

2 Samuel 14:33

Five years had passed since Absalom killed Amnon. For all that time, Absalom did not see his father, King David. Absalom spent the first three years abroad with his mother’s family, the royal family of Geshur. When David allowed Absalom to return to Israel, he would not permit Absalom to see him.

However, Absalom was well-known and popular in Israel. Many people wanted Absalom to become Israel’s next king. So Absalom was trying to gain support for himself. He would be much stronger if he could persuade David to express public support for him.

So Absalom needed to see David. David absolutely refused to see him as a member of his family. So instead Absalom appealed to him as Israel’s chief judge. Absalom pretended to be ready to suffer any punishment that he deserved for the death of Amnon.

In reality, Absalom had seen the weakness in David’s character. David had been too weak to punish both Joab and Amnon for their crimes. He would not want to punish Absalom - and Absalom knew how to please him.

Absalom lowered his body to the ground in front of David. That was a custom to show humble attitudes. It meant that Absalom accepted David’s authority over him completely. David kissed Absalom to express love for him. It meant that David was accepting Absalom back into his family (Luke 15:20).

However, the reality was different. David had accepted Absalom back - but Absalom had not accepted David’s authority. Even now, Absalom was proudly plotting against David.

 

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© 2022, Keith Simons.