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Morrish Bible Dictionary


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The third son of David, by Maacah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. He was remarkable for his beauty and his luxuriant hair. 2 Samuel 14:25,26 . Because of his putting his half-brother Amnon to death he fled from his father and remained at Geshur three years. By the instigation of Joab, Absalom was recalled, but not admitted into the presence of his father until a later period. (This reconciliation was effected at the expense of righteousness, and without any repentance on Absalom's part — a total contrast to God's ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ; etc.) It was declared to Davidthat his successor was not yet born. 2 Samuel 7:12 This was told to David by Nathan the prophet, and probably became known to Absalom. Amnon being dead, and perhaps Chileab, his two elder brothers, he might naturally have thought that the throne should have descended to him, and this may have led to his treason. By artful acts of condescension he stole the hearts of the people, and then at Hebron he claimed to be king, and met with much encouragement. The rebellion was so strong that David fled from Jerusalem. Absalom entered the city and was joined by Amasa and Ahithophel. The latter advised Absalom to go in publicly to the concubines of David who were left at Jerusalem, that all hopes of a reconciliation might be abandoned — though this had been foretold as a punishment to David. 2 Samuel 12:11 . By the advice of Hushai the further counsel of Ahithophel of an immediate pursuit was set aside, and David had time to collect an army, and reach a place of safety. A war followed, and Absalom in riding through a wood, was caught by his head in the branches of an oak, and was there put to death by Joab. David's grief was extreme, but he was recalled to his duties by Joab. We read that Absalom had three sons and a daughter, 2 Samuel 14:27 , yet that because he had no son left he raised up a pillar in the king's dale, to keep his name in remembrance: it was called ABSALOM'S PLACE or monument. 2 Samuel 18:18 . A building in the valley of the Kedron partly rock-hewn, is called Absalom's tomb ; but it can have nothing to do with the above 'pillar' unless it has been much added to with comparatively modern architecture. Josephus says that in his day there was an object called Absalom's 'pillar' about 2 stadia from Jerusalem. Apparently Absalom is called ABISHALOM in 1 Kings 15:2 ; cf. 2 Chronicles 11:21 .

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Absalom'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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