Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 15
When Absalom became king, his first plan was to attack Jerusalem, the capital city. He already had the support of the rest of Israel (15:6); he needed only to defeat his father, King David, who ruled in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem was a strong city; and the men who remained loyal to David were brave (17:8). However, Absalom had 12000 men who were under his immediate command (17:1). That was enough men to surround the city while Absalom gathered a much larger group of men for the final attack.
So, Absalom marched with his soldiers from Hebron to Jerusalem. The distance is about 20 miles or 35 kilometres. On the way they passed Bethlehem, where David’s family lived. Perhaps it was someone from there who ran to Jerusalem to warn David of the danger.
David received the terrible news only a few minutes before Absalom reached Jerusalem (15:37). David’s own son, whom David truly loved, was plotting against him. In a moment of time, all that David had worked to achieve in Israel, had ended. Now he, his men, and his family were in great danger. God was their only hope (Psalm 3).
David had to decide what to do very quickly. He could either remain in the city and try to defend it; or, he could leave the city and try to escape. It seems that there was not even enough time to prepare a horse for him to ride (15:30).
Next part: David decides to escape from Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:14)
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