2 Samuel 14:27
Three sons were born to Absalom, and a daughter named Tamar, who was a beautiful woman.
Physical BeautyB. Dale

And in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty, etc. (see 1 Samuel 16:7, 12; 2 Samuel 11:2; 2 Samuel 13:1; ver. 27).

"Of all God's works, which do this world adorn,
There is no one more fair and excellent
Than is man's body, both for power and form,
Whilst it is kept in sober government;
But none than it more foul and indecent,

Distempered through misrule anti passions base;
It grows a monster, and incontinent
Doth lose its dignity and native grace:
Behold, who list, both one and other in this place"

(Spenser, 'The Faerie Queens,' canto IX.) It is -

I. AN ADMIRED ENDOWMENT; involuntarily conferred, without personal effort and beyond human control (Matthew 5:36; Matthew 6:27); yet one of the most personal and enviable of human possessions. "Beauty is a thing of great recommendation in the correspondence amongst men; it is the principal means of acquiring the favour and good liking of one another, and no man is so barbarous and morose that does not perceive himself in some sort struck with its attraction" (Montaigne). "Beauty is, indeed, a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked" (Augustine).

"A beautiful and fair young man is he;
In all his body is no blemish seen;
His hair is like the wire of David's harp,
That twines about his bright and ivory neck;
In Israel is not such a goodly man."

(Geo. Peele, 'The Tragedy of Absolom:' 1599.)

II. A SUPERFICIAL DISTINCTION; shadowing forth, indeed, beauty of mind and character; and heightened by the latter, when present; but often, in fact, disassociated from it; and covering, "skin deep," dreadful moral deformity (Proverbs 11:22). Absalom was beautiful externally, but not "beautiful within," Wisdom, truth, humility, modesty, purity, patience, meekness, piety, mercy; charity, - these constitute inward, substantial, spiritual beauty, "the beauty of holiness," the product of the grace and the reflection of the beauty and glory of the Lord (Psalm 90:17; Psalm 149:4); in which he delights, and which all persons may acquire (Ephesians 4:24; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 2:5). "Whatsoever things are lovely, etc. (Philippians 4:8). "The graces of the Spirit are the richest ornaments of the reasonable creature."

III. A DANGEROUS INFLUENCE; on its possessors, making them vain and presumptuous, and exposing them to many temptations; on its beholders, directing undue attention to "the outward appearance," disposing to excuses for mental and moral defects, alluring to evil (2 Samuel 15:1-6). The beauty of Absalom was a snare to the people. "His hair was his halter" (2 Samuel 18:9).

"Where is the virtue of thy beauty, Absolon?
Will any of us here now fear thy locks,
Or be in love with that thy golden hair,
Wherein was wrapt rebellion 'gainst thy sire,
And words prepared to stop thy father's breath?"

(Geo. Peele.)

IV. A TRANSIENT POSSESSION. Precarious, short lived, inevitably turning to dust (ver. 14); "a fading flower" (Isaiah 28:4; Isaiah 40:8; Psalm 39:11), whose "root is ever in its grave."

"A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
Lost, faded, broken, dead, within an hour." So have I seen a rose newly springing from the clefts of its hood, and at first it was fair as the morning, and full with the dew of heaven as a lamb's fleece; but when a ruder breath had forced open its virgin modesty, and dismantled its too youthful and unripe retirements, it began to put on darkness, and to decline to softness and the symptoms of a sickly age; it bowed the head, and broke its stalk, and at night, having lost some of its leaves and all its beauty, it fell into the portion of weeds and outworn faces. The same is the portion of every man and every woman (Jeremy Taylor, 'Holy Dying'). But goodness is immortal; it "fadeth not away" (1 Peter 1:4). "Beauty belongs to youth and dies with it, but the odours of piety survive death and perfume the tomb."

"Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust." D.

But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty.
The ancients, and in particular the Orientals, were very fond of remarking upon a man's height. Their notion was that the greater the stature the more fit the man was for the society of the gods. The Old Testament is to a large extent a book which takes notice of outward features, and praises physical excellence, and estimates at high price all material blessings. But what an irony there is in such a case as Absalom's! Given, a grand physique and a little soul, and say if any irony can be more ghastly and humiliating. Such contradictions we are to ourselves sometimes, and to one another. Our circumstances may be the best part of us: the house may be greater than the tenant; the furniture may be more worthy than its owner. What, then, is to be done? A blot like. this ought not to be tolerated. Wherein a man is conscious that he represents this irony, he should look about him, and say that to-day shall end the intolerable disharmony, and at least seek to introduce a reconciliation as between the outward and the inward, so that the soul may prosper and be in health as the body, or the body may prosper and be in health as the soul, according to the special circumstances of each individual case.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Absalom, Joab, Tamar, Zeruiah
Geshur, Jerusalem, Tekoa
Absalom, Ab'salom, Appearance, Beautiful, Born, Countenance, Daughter, Daughter's, Face, Fair, Named, Sons, Tamar
1. Joab, suborning a widow of Tekoah to incline the king's heart to fetch Absalom,
21. brings him home to Jerusalem
25. Absalom's beauty, hair, and children
28. After two years, Absalom is brought into the king's presence by Joab

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 14:27

     4040   beauty

2 Samuel 14:1-33

     6684   mediator

2 Samuel 14:24-32

     5150   face

2 Samuel 14:25-27

     8322   perfection, human

God's Banished Ones
'God doth devise means, that His banished be not expelled from Him.' 2 SAMUEL xiv. 14. David's good-for-nothing son Absalom had brought about the murder of one of his brothers, and had fled the country. His father weakly loved the brilliant blackguard, and would fain have had him back, but was restrained by a sense of kingly duty. Joab, the astute Commander-in- chief, a devoted friend of David, saw how the land lay, and formed a plan to give the king an excuse for doing what he wished to do. So
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Barley Field on Fire
Omitting the sin of the deed, we have here a picture of what is often done by our gracious God, with the wisest and best design. Often he sendeth for us, not for his profit, but for ours. He would have us come near to him and receive a blessing at his hands; but we are foolish and cold-hearted and wicked, and we will not come. He, knowing that we will not come by any other means, sendeth a serious trial: he sets our barley-field on fire; which he has a right to do, seeing our barley-fields are far
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 10: 1864

The Blessed Privilege of Seeing God Explained
They shall see God. Matthew 5:8 These words are linked to the former and they are a great incentive to heart-purity. The pure heart shall see the pure God. There is a double sight which the saints have of God. 1 In this life; that is, spiritually by the eye of faith. Faith sees God's glorious attributes in the glass of his Word. Faith beholds him showing forth himself through the lattice of his ordinances. Thus Moses saw him who was invisible (Hebrews 11:27). Believers see God's glory as it were
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The Hebrew Sages and their Proverbs
[Sidenote: Role of the sages in Israel's life] In the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel (Jer. xviii. 18; Ezek. vii. 26) three distinct classes of religious teachers were recognized by the people: the prophets, the priests, and the wise men or sages. From their lips and pens have come practically all the writings of the Old Testament. Of these three classes the wise men or sages are far less prominent or well known. They wrote no history of Israel, they preached no public sermons, nor do they appear
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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