Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 18

The grave of Absalom

2 Samuel 18:17-18

Absalom was a man who had truly great ambitions. He wanted to be a great and powerful king, of course – but even that desire did not satisfy his ambitions. He also wanted people to recognise his greatness – not only in this life, but also after his death.

It seems that all three of Absalom’s sons died at a young age (14:27). Troubles like that caused Job, a good man, to think about God’s greatness (Job 1:18-21). However, for Absalom, his troubles seemed only to increase his ambitions. He built an impressive column near Jerusalem in his own honour, which he probably intended to be the place of his grave.

Absalom’s actual grave was in the forest, near to the place where Joab killed him. Joab’s soldiers dragged what remained of his body into a deep hole in the ground. Then, the soldiers made a great pile of stones on top of his body. Absalom intended his grave in Jerusalem to be for his honour – but the soldiers made this, his real grave, a place to remember his shameful behaviour. Absalom chose, because of his selfish ambition, to oppose King David, his father and the king whom God had chosen.

The soldiers made Absalom’s grave like the grave of Achan. Achan’s greedy attitudes brought great trouble on Israel. So, all Israel’s people threw stones at him to kill him as his legal punishment. Then, they made a great pile of stones on top of his body (Joshua 7:24-26). From this time on, people would remember Absalom, like Achan, with shame and disgust.

Next part: Ahimaaz wants to take the news to David (2 Samuel 18:19)


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