Death of Absalom

Life of David  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Absalom listens to some bad advice. ()

Remember Ahithophel and Hushai? Both of these men were known for giving great counsel to the king.
Now that Absalom has secured his place as king at Jerusalem, Ahithophel asks Absalom if he could take 12,000 men to hunt down and kill David. Absalom says sure but let’s ask Hushai.
Remember that Hushai was an undercover ally of David. So when he hears the plan to send 12,000 men to crush David, he advices Absalom to wait until he has all of Israel under his control.
Absalom choses to listen to Hushai, and Ahithophel knows that this is a sign of defeat and goes home, puts his house in order, and kills himself. Meanwhile, Hushai sends Zadok and Abiathar’s sons to warn David.

David prepares his men for War ()

David divides his men into three companies: One with Abishai leading, another with Joab, and another with Ittai the Gittite.
He wants to go with them, but they warn him that Absalom cares more for David than 10,000 of his warriors. So David stays behind, and asks his men to deal kindly with Absalom.

The Battle Begins (2 Samuel 18:6-9)

Absalom’s general was named Amasa.
The battle was fought in the woods near Ephraim on the eastern shore of the Jordan river. This area had thick groves of trees, and many of Absalom’s men died because of the thickness of the trees.
Even Absalom himself got caught in trouble because of those trees. His long flowing hair got caught in the branches of a tree and the mule that he was riding kept going without him. So there he was hanging by his own pride and joy.

The Death of Absalom (

A man from David’s army finds Absalom hanging by his hair, and he runs to tell Joab. Joab tells the man that he should have killed Absalom and that he would have given him ten shekels of silver and some clothes.
This man said that he would not kill Absalom for a thousand shekels of silver because of the word of David that all knew about. This man had more respect for David than Joab did.
Joab then turns and thrusts three arrows through the heart of Absalom. Ahimaaz asks if he can bear the news to David. Joab then turns and sends Cushi to tell David.
David expected Good news when Ahimaaz overtook Cushi, but then Cushi told David that Absalom died, but the battle was won.


A great deal of leadership is based on consistency. King David is a prime example: He struggled most when he was inconsistent.

David’s son, Absalom, committed horrific acts against David and others (2 Sam 14–17). David repeatedly responded in a manner unbefitting a king, finally sending men out to destroy Absalom’s troops (2 Sam 18:1–4). As the troops headed out, he ordered his commanders—within hearing of the army—to “deal gently” with Absalom (2 Sam 18:5). With this order, David again acted beneath his role and duty as king: He asked for the leader of a rebellion to be spared—essentially using his own warriors as pawns in a game to regain his fallen son.

Selfishness is David’s ultimate downfall. He wanted Absalom to live because it seemed best in his mind—it was the ideal future he envisioned. In making a move to create that future himself, David jeopardized everyone he should have protected. He even jeopardized his own reign, which itself was a gift from God.

What are you currently being selfish about that has, until now, been deceiving you?

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