Sunday, February 18, 2018
“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).
How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?
Once Absalom assassinated his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister Tamar, he fled to his mother’s relatives in Geshur (2 Samuel 13:37-39). For three years Absalom was exiled. In chapter 14, Joab, commander of King David’s army, arranged Absalom’s return to Jerusalem. Chapter 15 documents how handsome Absalom captivated the Jews. Inciting an uprising, he assumed his father David’s throne, David thus swiftly absconding Jerusalem.
Chapter 18 reports: “ 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….  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.
“ And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.  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….  Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts [spears] in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.  And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.  And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood….”
David wanted beloved Absalom apprehended alive; sadly, David’s servants executed him. King David is utterly heartbroken (2 Samuel 18:31–19:4). Absalom is the third son he must bury. Yet, one more son must perish….