Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Second Samuel

Second Samuel was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Chapter Fourteen


It appears that it was fleshly sentiment, and not a concern for God's glory, which moved David to authorize Joab to bring back Absalom. In bringing back Absalom David acted according to the dictates of "natural affection," and not out of any regard to the honor of the Lord. Joab knew how to work upon his weakness, as is evident from the success of his scheme through the woman of Tekoah. She so wrought upon his sentiments that he rashly gave a verdict in favor of the criminal depicted in her story; and then she persuaded him to restore his treacherous son. Yet, nothing could possibly justify him in disregarding the divine law, which cried aloud for the avenging of Amnon. God had given no command for his son to be restored, and therefore His blessing did not attend it. David paid dearly for his foolish pity.

By permitting Absalom to return to his own house David exercised mercy, and by denying him entrance to the court he made a show of justice, persuading himself by this interdict he evidenced his hatred of Amnon's murder. Nevertheless the fact remained that, as chief magistrate in Israel, David had set aside the divine law. Therefore he must not be surprised if his wayward son now resorts to further lawlessness, for there is no escape from the outworking of the principle of sowing and reaping. (Introduction from The Life of David, Vol. II - A.W. Pink, pp. 86-88)








Joab and David go way back together. Joab was one of David's wilderness renegades first mentioned in (1 Sam. 26:6). Joab has been David's right hand man for many years. He has been a sterling example of "second man" loyalty, yet, it appear that Joab is becoming 'ambitious'. He sees a possibility to improve his own personal position through Absalom. Joab has been able to put two and two together. Uriah's 'untimely' death and David's marriage to Bathsheba have become a cause of great concern for Joab. David has slipped a few notches with regards to Joab's personal opinion of the king. Joab concocts a scheme with a woman of Tekoah, to play on David's emotions in order that he might evoke an invitation for the return of the wayward son, Absalom.

David's recent bad experiences with stories and parables puts the king 'on guard.' He is not so willing to offer a quick and simple solution. In fact, it appears that David would rather postpone any decision and/or advice he might give for an indefinite period of time.

The story begins to sound like the original 'brother kills brother' affair of Genesis four "...the one smote the other, and slew him" (vs. 6). The woman relates that the rest of her family is pressuring her to have the blood of the dead son avenged. The family is justified in its demands according to the Law (Num. 35), yet, this is the only remaining seed of her husband. The family tree would come to a sudden unwanted conclusion "...quench my coal" (vs. 7).

David tries to postpone the decision, yet, the woman presses "...the iniquity be on me...the king and his throne be guiltless... " (vs. 9). David's own family situation begins to eat at his conscience. Sound familiar, David? The king hesitates to pass judgment, for:

[1]. he has been judged worthy of death and was granted mercy

[2]. he has failed to deal with Amnon and Absalom, and a just decision (the living son should die) on his part would condemn his procrastination and indecision.

David is forced to reply, "the revengers of blood will destroy no more." The woman continues to press the issue; by this time David is slouched deeply on the seat of his throne; with forehead furrowed, he looks through his eyebrows at the woman. The king says in a bored monotone, "Say on."

The woman now getting a bit nervous and probably revealing to some degree the deceit of the parable, takes her life into her own hands, "the King is faulty in this matter."

"We are as water spilt" - (Jas. 4:14; Psa. 39:5; 78:39; 89:48; 102:3; 144:4; Prov. 27:1). "Life is short, David, you best set your house in order. God is no respecter of persons, are you?" (Acts 10:34; 2 Chron. 19:7; Rom. 2:11; Col. 3:25; Jas. 2:1; 1 Pet. 1:17; Eph. 6:9).

After kicking the king in the ol' 'bread basket', the woman smoothes things over a bit with "King, you are like an angel of God!"

The scent of skunk is detected in the discourse. "Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this?" David was a very wise man. He could discern the motives of others very readily. By process of elimination David is not slow to 'get the picture'.



David recognizes Joab's "John Hancock," summons his faithful general, and commissions him to fetch the erring lad, Absalom. David is obviously not convinced of the spirituality or propriety of his actions, for the return seems relatively pointless in that the king refuses to stand face to face with the boy. The further indecision and procrastination of David only leads Absalom to a deeper sense of insecurity and eventually resentment towards his father.

Joab goes to Geshur to bring the young man back. Geshur is where David acquired Maacah, (1 Sam. 27:9), where David spares at least one of the inhabitants. She becomes the mother of Absalom, (2 Sam. 3:3).

Absalom is a great Old Testament type of Anti-Christ as we will see in the events that follow.

Absalom has become a handsome young man, and he knows it. He uses his striking physical appearance and charming politicking manner to win the hearts of the naive people.



Five years pass between meetings of father and son. It certainly does not take that long for a relationship to erode away into misunderstanding and distrust. Absalom comes home to Jerusalem and for two full years does not lay eyes on the king.

Absalom attempts to secure Joab's help in gaining a personal audience with the king. The silence and lack of communication is beginning to weigh heavily on Absalom's conscience. Joab's lack of cooperation is puzzling. Why did Joab go to the trouble of hiring the woman of Tekoah and personally escorting Absalom back to Jerusalem, if the purpose was not to reunite father and son??? Absalom meets resistance twice, when he decides how to get the general's attention, he sets his barley field on fire. The smoke hasn't risen 500 feet into the atmosphere when Joab appears on Absalom's front porch "...Now why did you go and do that, Absalom?" The point is worthy of more serious consideration and Joab decides full cooperation at this point would be most expedient. The two years of silence has added ten years to the countenance of Absalom, "Joab, it's time I faced the music...if he is going to kill me let him kill me" (vs. 32).

Joab makes the final arrangements. The meeting is formal and cool. The king's heart yearns for the friendship and fellowship of his son, but he is unable to unravel and discern his feelings and emotions. "...and the king kissed Absalom." The kiss must have resembled the kiss of Judas affixed to the face of Jesus.

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