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ABSALOM KILLETH HIS BROTHER AMNON.
From 2 Sam. Chap. xiii, xiv.
AND Absalom David's son hated his brother Amnon because he had done evil to his sister Tamar.
And it came to pass, that Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now thy servant hath sheep-shearers, let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants, go with thy servant.
And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him.
Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee? but Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Ammon, then kill him, fear not; have I not commanded you? be courageous,
and be valiant.
And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded: then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.
And it came to pass while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.
Then the king arose and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent.
And Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David's brother, answered and said, let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for AmNon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom hath this been determined.
Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch, lift up his eyes, and looked, and behold, there came much people by the way of the hill-side behind
And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said so it is.
And it came to pass as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that behold, the king's sons came, and lift up their voice and wept: and the king also, and all his servants, wept very sore.
But Absalom fled and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur; and David mourned for his son every day.
So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.
Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
And he entreated the king. And the king said unto Joab, Go and bring the young man Absalom again. And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed
himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To-day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.
So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face.
But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy. on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the king's weight.
*And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a wo man of a fair countenance.
So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face.
Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him; and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go, and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire. Then Joab arose and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire.
And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither that I may send thee to the king,, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been
good for me to have been there still; now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in. me, let him kill me.
So Joab came to the king, and told him.
And when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face, to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The prophecy of Nathan now began to be fulfilled upon David before his eyes: the sword was brought into his house, and not likely to depart from it. The sacred historian most pathetically describes David's distress on this afflicting occasion, by which he was deprived of two of his sons; for one was killed by the unnatural and barbarous command of his brother, and the murderer was obliged to flee away, in order to secure himself from public justice.
It appears from Absalom's subsequent conduct, that he was actuated to the cruel deed, partly by resentment, and partly by ambition, for he aspired to the crown; and when Amnon was removed, he was the eldest son; it was supposed that Chileab was dead, as no mention is made of him.
Absalonr was the son of Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. How it came to pass that David made an alliance with a foreign princess, we are not informed; but it is supposed, that she was a proselyte to the Jewish religion. Had David observed the command of God given by Moses, that the king should not multiply wives to himself, he would, in all probability, have escaped a variety of sins, and consequently many misfortunes; but in those days it was the custom to have a great many wives; and as David had no more than was usual,
usual, we may suppose he did not think he was wrong in this particular.
Joab (either from affection, or to make his court to the king) invented an ingenious artifice in order to have Absalom recalled*; the thing was managed with great, ingenuity and address, and without doubt. David was greatly pleased with it; but much as he longed to see Absalom, he restrained his wishes, lest he should be thought to countenance his sin.
Absalom, we find, was remarkable for his beauty and insinuating discourse; he made use of these advantages to gain popularity; and perhaps persuaded the people to think that he was fully justified in killing Amnon, and that his father was too rigid in banishing him his. presence on that account.
Though Joab had taken such pains to prevail on David to suffer Absalom to come back to Jerusalem, he had too much policy to be very urgent for his return to court, because it was likely, that his own interest and influence might be lessened by it.
It was very mortifying to a vain, young man. to: be detained in obscurity; therefore, when Absalom found his messages were neglected, he determined to shew his resentment: what David felt when he saw Absalom, is easier to imagine than describe.
ABSALOM FORMETH A CONSPIRACY, AND DELUDETH THE PEOPLE.
From 2 Sam. Chap. xv.
AND it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots, and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
*See 2 Sam. Chap. xiv.