BIBLE: II Samuel Chapter 15 – Headline “Into the Valley of Death They Rode” [Wisdom]

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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II Samuel 15

Absalom’s Treason

II Samuel 15:1 After this it happened that Absalom provided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

II Samuel 15:Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a lawsuit (Lit. controversy) came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, “What city are you from?” And he would say, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel.”

II Samuel 15:Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your case (Lit. words) is good and right; but there is no deputy (Lit. listener) of the king to hear you.”

II Samuel 15:Moreover Absalom would say, “Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.”

II Samuel 15:And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him (Absalom), that he (Absalom) would put out his hand and take him and kiss him.

II Samuel 15:In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

  • Note: He did not “earn” their hearts, he “stole” their hearts.

II Samuel 15:Now it came to pass after forty (other translations say “four”) years that Absalom said to the king (King David), “Please, let me go to Hebron and pay the vow which I made to the Lord.

II Samuel 15:For your servant took a vow while I dwelt at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If the Lord indeed brings me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’ ”

II Samuel 15:And the king (David) said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron.

II Samuel 15:10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom reigns in Hebron!’ ”

II Samuel 15:11 And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently and did not know anything.

II Samuel 15:12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city—from Giloh—while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number.

David Escapes from Jerusalem

II Samuel 15:13 Now a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with (Lit. after) Absalom.”

II Samuel 15:14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”

II Samuel 15:15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands.”

II Samuel 15:16 Then the king (David) went out with all his household after him. But the king (David) left ten women, concubines, to keep the house (palace).

II Samuel 15:17 And the king (David) went out with all the people after him, and stopped at the outskirts.

II Samuel 15:18 Then all his servants passed before (Lit. by his hand) him; and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, passed before the king.

II Samuel 15:19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you also going with us? Return and remain with the king (Absalom?). For you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place.

II Samuel 15:20 In fact, you came only yesterday. Should I make you wander up and down with us today, since I go I know not where? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you.”

II Samuel 15:21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be.”

II Samuel 15:22 So David said to Ittai, “Go, and cross over.” Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over.

II Samuel 15:23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.

II Samuel 15:24 There was Zadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God (‘ĕlōhîm). And they set down the ark of God(‘ĕlōhîm), and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city.

II Samuel 15:25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God (‘ĕlōhîm) back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place.

  • The ark is the dwelling place of God.

II Samuel 15:26 But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.”

II Samuel 15:27 The king also said to Zadok (meaning: Righteous) the priest, “Are you not a seer (prophet)? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz (meaning: “My Brother is Anger/Wrath“) your son, and Jonathan (meaning: “Jehovah has given”) the son of Abiathar (meaning: “My Father is Great”).

II Samuel 15:28 See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”

II Samuel 15:29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.

II Samuel 15:30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up.

II Samuel 15:31 Then someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel (meaning: “My Brother is Foolish”) is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord (Yᵊhōvâ), I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”

~ A Proud Fool Will Lead The Troops of the Naive into the Valley of Death ~

II Samuel 15:32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God (‘ĕlōhîm)—there was Hushai (Archaic to hasten) the Archite coming to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head.

II Samuel 15:33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, then you will become a burden to me.

II Samuel 15:34 But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king (Absalom); as I was your father’s (King David’s) servant previously, so I will now also be your servant,’ then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me.

  • Hushai will be King David’s spy.

II Samuel 15:35 And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.

II Samuel 15:36 Indeed they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything you hear.”

II Samuel 15:37 So Hushai, David’s friend, went into the city. And Absalom came into Jerusalem.

  • Personal applications:

    Nothing will take one into the valley of death like trusting bad information from the pride of a fool. (That’s Carte Blanche for everyone, not just Absalom but everyone who followed him, and everyone who follows someone like him. This includes Adam and Eve listening to the serpent.)

    The proud are aware they are giving the naive bad information in order to get what they want while the fool believes himself. The prideful fool does both.
  • There was a successful engineering company which had been founded by two brothers. Over time a son of one of the brothers became president of the company. Like Absalom, he was tall, handsome, educated, and a figure of prominence. Because of his father’s and uncle’s history he was able to step into well established shoes, receiving a significant salary and able to buy a mansion along the Columbia River.

    The company continued to increase in success but after some time rumors began to emerge that the son was on drugs.

    Without surprise, It came to pass that the father and son were at a client’s factory in Texas when a public and shameful fight broke out between the two. There, in Texas, the father fired his son. But the son, like Absalom revolted against his father. He had a meeting in his mansion in which all the managers of the company were invited. He told them that if they would write letters threatening to quit unless his father rehired him. Then, when he was reinstated he could make it worth it to them in promotions, bonuses, and pay.

    When the father received the letters he also fired all the managers who had written the letters, a majority of upper level management personnel were gone.

    As it happened the company continued to thrive and grow.

    Much like pulling one’s hand out of a bucket of water, the hole that was left is how much they were missed.

    It is my belief, that like King David, the father wept for the foolishness of his son even more than the potential loss of his company.

Absalom not only betrayed his father and his King, but his own name as well, which means “father of peace”, or “my father is peace” in which Absalom betrayed his father’s name.

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