Daily Bible Reading “Absalom Meets His Demise” (2 Samuel 18:1-15)

  2 Samuel 18 absalom_hangingAbsalom Meets His Demise

Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from 2 Samuel 18:1-15. David counted the men who were with him and divided them into groups of hundreds and thousands. He appointed commanders over each of the groups. In this Scripture we learn what happened to Absalom during this battle.

A third of David’s troops were under the command of Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai, son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai, the Gittite. The king told the troops that he would march with them.

The men didn’t want King David to go with them. They said, “If we flee, they won’t care about us. If half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better for you to give us your support from the city.”

The king told them that he would do whatever they thought was best.  So he stood beside the gate and watched while all of his men marched out to battle.

The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai to be gentle with his son Absalom for his sake. All the troops heard as the king gave orders to each of the commanders concerning Absalom.

David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel. The battle took place in the forest of Ephraim.

David’s men were victorious over Israel’s troops. There were twenty thousand men killed that day on the battle field.

The battle spread over the countryside.The forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.

Absalom met up with David’s men. He was riding on his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak tree, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging there, but the mule he was riding kept going.

One of the men who saw what happened told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”

Joab asked the man who saw Absalom hanging, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior’s belt.”

The man told him even if a thousand shekels were put in his hands, he would not have laid a hand on the king’s son. We all heard what the king said when he commanded you, Abishai and Ittai, to protect Absalom for his sake.

If I had put my life in jeopardy–and nothing is hidden from the king–you would have kept your distance from me.”

Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” He took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive and hanging in the oak tree.

Joab took advantage of Absalom’s mishap. He completely defied the order that King David gave to him and the other leaders of his army.

If that wasn’t enough, then, ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, smote him and killed him.

I’m always looking to see what we can learn from our daily lessons. I was telling my granddaughter about this lesson and asked her what we could learn from it. She said, “Keep your hair wrapped up tight.” I had to laugh. I don’t think that’s exactly our best lesson from this Scripture, but I thought it was cute.

David trusted the leaders of his army to protect Absalom. The only command he gave them before leaving for battle was that they be gentle with his son. Even though his son was seeking to overtake his kingdom, David still didn’t want anything bad to happen to him. David loved his son, Absalom.

David must have felt like there was nobody he could trust. Have you ever felt that way?

 

Daily Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 18:1-15

1 And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.
2 And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also.
3 But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city.
4 And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
6 So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim;
7 Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.
8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9 And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
11 And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
15 And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.

 

Things to think about:

  •  Who were the leaders of David’s army?
  • What was the one command David gave them?
  • What happened to Absalom?
  • Who disobeyed the king’s command?
  • What can we learn from this lesson?

 

Prayer of the Day:

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we read this Scripture in 2 Samuel we see that David had a mighty army. He had leaders in his army that he trusted with his son’s life. Help us to be able to discern who we can trust. Lead, guide and direct in our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

 

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Deborah H. Bateman is a Christian Author, Blogger and Website Designer. She is the Founder of Christian Daily Resources a Christian online ministry dedicated to "Sharing God's Word". Deborah is the author of more than thirty books in the Daily Bible Reading Series and one book about self-publishing called: Self-Publishing Simplified: How to Publish a Book on Kindle. She shares Daily Bible Reading lessons here on her blog at http://DeborahHBateman.com/blog Her website: Christian Daily Resources is at http://ChristianDailyResources.com She shares a Daily Bible Verse on her blog Bible Verse Tweet at http://www.bibleversetweet.com/. Deborah has a family favorite recipe blog called Recipe for Life at deborah-bateman.blogspot.com. She invites you to check them out and subscribe to the ones you like.

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