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Absalom’s ambition. (1-6)
V. 1: Provided himself with chariots and horses…: This is an self-exalting and ambitious act by Absalom.
V. 3: there is no deputy of the king to hear you…: This is obviously a false statement. We have the woman of Tekoa incident in which she gained access to the king himself for her case. Moreover, people would have stopped coming to king if he or someone is not attending them.
V. 4: …that I were made judge…: The king is supposed to be the judge. So, Absalom, indirectly, is claiming the kingship to himself.
His conspiracy. (7-12)
See how willing tender parents are to believe the best concerning their children. But how easy and how wicked is it, for children to take advantage of good parents, and to deceive them with the show of religion! The principal men of Jerusalem joined Absalom’s feast upon his sacrifice. Pious persons are glad to see others appear religious, and this gives occasion for deceptions. – The Mathew Henry Commentary.
When the craftiness of wicked men and the subtlety of Satan come together, it will lead many good people into deception.
V. 7: Forty years later…: This may be from the time David was anointed by Samuel for the first time. Pay the vow which I made to the LORD…Absalom two-fold deceit is… 1. He stole the hearts of Israel by professed devotion to them. And he deceived David by professing devotion to God.
V. 10: all the tribes of Israel…: Usually, Judah would be part of such things. But in this case, even Judah has participated in the rebellion. For example, Ahithophel of Giloh (V. 12, Joshua 15:51), and Amasa, David’s nephew (2 Sam 17:25) are from Judah.
V. 12: …offered sacrifices…: This is ceremonial sacrifice during coronation in which Absalom formally proclaims his kingship.
David leaves Jerusalem. (13-23)
David determined to quit Jerusalem… A good men, when they themselves suffer, are anxious that others should not be led to suffer with them. He compelled none; those whose hearts were with Absalom, to Absalom let them go, and so shall their doom be. Thus Christ enlists none but willing followers. – Mathew Henry Commentary.
V. 14: bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword: When an uprising happen, especially, when the majority of the nation supports it, a wise leader will quit to avoid any unnecessary bloodshed or trouble. David was a warrior but not a fighter.
V. 18: David and his men fled to Jordon River. He met group of loyal people who were foreigners, 2. The priests Abiathar and Zadok, and others.
Vs. 19 – 22: …Ittai, the Gittite,…: Ittai is a stranger and an exile, a proselyte and a new convert. So David was not willing to put him in hardship. But Ittai has such value for David’s that he will not leave him. He is a friend indeed, who loves at all times, and will adhere to us in adversity. Let us cleave to the Son of David, with full purpose of heart, and neither life nor death shall separate us from his love.
Psalm 3 is said to be written during this time. He starts this with saying, “how they have increased who trouble me!” And his FAITH CHORUS is in verse 3, “But you, O LORD, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.”
David sends back the ark. (24-30):
David is very careful for the safety of the ark. It is right to be more concerned for the church’s prosperity than our own; to prefer the success of the gospel above our own wealth, credit, ease, and safety. – Mathew Henry
David did not want to misuse the effect of the presence of the Ark for his own benefit. God should be kept where He belongs to. The ark is for the Israel and it is not the king’s property.