Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 19

David weeps because of Absalom’s death

2 Samuel 19:1-4

David’s army had achieved complete success in their battle against Absalom’s army. Absalom was dead, and so were 20,000 of his soldiers. The rest of them were returning home; they had accepted defeat.

However, if you visited Mahanaim that day, you would not realise that. Mahanaim was the city where David and his army were staying. On the streets of Mahanaim that day, there were no parties, no army processions, no great displays of joy. The men in David’s army were ashamed for anyone to realise that they had fought in the battle. They returned to their families in silence, as if they were deeply sad. They felt as if they had done something terribly wrong.

The reason for this strange behaviour was David’s attitudes. He was not grateful to God that his army had won the battle, He was not thanking his men, who had risked their lives on his behalf. Instead, he was weeping bitterly because Absalom, his son, was dead.

Joab, the chief commander of David’s army, saw the dangers of this situation. A king, or any other ruler or leader, must always remember that he is responsible for other people’s lives. So, he cannot allow the people to suffer because of his own private emotions. They depend on him to lead them, even as he depends on them to support his rule. Joab saw that he must persuade David to control his emotions. Otherwise, the whole nation would suffer.

Next part: Joab speaks very strongly to David (2 Samuel 19:5)


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