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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Absalom (ăb'sa-lom), father of peace. The third son of David, by Maachah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, born at Hebron. 2 Samuel 3:3; 1 Chronicles 3:2. Absalom revenged the dishonor done to Tamar, his sister, by Amnon, his half-brother, by killing him at a feast, and then fled to his father-in-law, Talmai. 2 Samuel 13:1-39. After three years, by means of Joab, he was enabled to return to Jerusalem, and in two years more fully restored to David's favor. Absalom was now nourishing the ambitious scheme of supplanting his father. He was very beautiful and had extraordinary hair, which when cut every year weighed 200 shekels, the exact equivalent to which in our weights it is not easy to ascertain; or, possibly, the hair was of 200 shekels' value. He took great pains to acquire popularity, and after four years (so we may read, 2 Samuel 15:7) he raised the standard of revolt at Hebron. The history of this rebellion, its first success—there being evidently some ill-feeling in his own tribe of Judah towards David—with the iniquitous conduct of Absalom, and his final defeat, is in 2 Samuel 15:1-37; 2 Samuel 16:1-23; 2 Samuel 17:1-29; 2 Samuel 18:1-33. David wished to spare his unhappy son's life; but, in the rout, his mule carrying him under the thick boughs of an oak, his head was caught; and Joab, being made aware of this, dispatched him. Absalom had three sons and a daughter, but it would seem that his sons died before him, as he erected a pillar to keep his name in remembrance. 2 Samuel 18:18. A monument outside the walls of Jerusalem now bears his name, but it is a structure of comparatively modern date.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Absalom'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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