Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 13

David’s sons arrive

2 Samuel 13:34-36

David, and everyone with him, waited anxiously for news. If Absalom really had killed all the king’s sons, then he was organising a revolution. If so, he would want to kill David next. So David’s officials had to prepare themselves for a sudden attack. By now, Absalom could have a small army under his command.

The officials quickly sent a young man to a high place, to watch for anyone who came. So the king and his officials would be aware as soon as anyone approached them. They also wanted to know from which direction people approached. Then they could decide whether to remain still, or to escape.

The young man shouted out that he could see a large group of people. They were approaching quickly. Of course, he could not see who they were. He did not know whether they were friendly to David, or his enemies. Baal Hazor, where Absalom killed Amnon, is about 12 miles (20 kilometres) north of Jerusalem. So it was not even clear that this group came from there; they were going down the hill on the west side.

David’s officials discussed with the king what they should do. Jonadab insisted that there was no danger. The king’s other advisers had not expected this; but Jonadab had checked everything carefully and he knew the full facts. Perhaps Jonadab hoped to use this opportunity to become one of the king’s advisers.

While he was still speaking, King David’s sons arrived. They were safe, but deeply sad because of the murder of Amnon, their oldest brother.

Next part: Absalom escapes abroad (2 Samuel 13:37-39)


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