2 Samuel 14:28
Now Absalom lived in Jerusalem two years without seeing the face of the king.
Restored, But Act ReformedB. Dale 2 Samuel 14:28-33

Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it were better for me that I were there still; and now I will see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him put me to death (ver. 31). While in Geshur Absalom showed no repentance for his crime; sought no forgiveness of it; rather justified himself in its commission. On this account, perhaps, David would not permit him, when recalled, to see his face, but ordered him to remain at his own house (ver. 24); testifying his abhorrence of the crime, and desiring "to carry further the discipline of approval, to wait till his son was more manifestly penitent." If Absalom had been in a proper frame of mind, it might have been beneficial; as it was, "this half forgiveness was an imprudent measure, really worse than no forgiveness at all, and bore very bitter fruit" (Keil). "The end showed how fatal the policy of expectation was, how terribly it added bitterness to the sense of alienation that had already been growing only too strong within him" (Plumptre)."A flash of his old kingliness blazes out for a moment in his refusal to see his son. But even that slight satisfaction to justice vanishes as soon as Joab chooses to insist that Absalom shall return to court. He seems to have no will of his own. He has become a mere tool in the hands of his fierce general; and Joab's hold upon him was his complicity in Uriah's murder. Thus at every step he was dogged by the consequences of his crime, even though it was pardoned sin" (Maclaren). Yet immediate and full forgiveness might have failed to subdue the heart of Absalom, and win filial confidence and affection. "Let favour be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness," etc. (Isaiah 26:10). In his spirit and conduct we observe:

1. Ingratitude for the favour shown toward him. He estimated it lightly (knowing little of the fatherly love from which it proceeded), save as a means to his own honour and advancement. Than ingratitude nothing is more odious.

2. Impatience, fretfulness, discontent under restraint and chastisement; which a true penitent would have endured humbly and cheerfully; increased as time passed away (two years) and no further sign of royal favour appeared.

3. Presumption on account of the privilege already granted to him, but which be repudiated as worthless, unless followed by other privileges, such as became his royal birth and involved his reinstatement in his former dignity. He looked upon himself as rightful heir to the throne. He may, however, have suspected a rival in the youthful Solomon (now six or eight years old), and feared the influence of Bathsheba on behalf of her son.

4. Resentment and revenge for the neglect, contempt, and wrong which (as he conceived) he suffered (ver. 29). "See, Joab's field is beside mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire" (ver. 30). This appears to have been an act of passion rather than of policy. Joab's slackness, in contrast with his former zeal (ver. 23), was doubtless due to his desire to make the most of his influence with the king, to constrain Absalom humbly to entreat his intercession, and so to increase his feeling of dependence and obligation; it was only when he perceived that he had to deal with "a character wild, impulsive, and passionate," that he deemed it necessary again to alter his tactics.

5. Wilfulness in seeking the attainment of his ambitious aims. "I will see the king's face." His presence at court was essential to the accomplishment of the daring design upon the crown, which he may have already formed; and he would brook no denial. Possibly his bereavement (ver. 27; 2 Samuel 18:18) intensified his determination. "The strongest yearning of an Israelite's heart was thrown back upon itself, after a short-lived joy, and his feelings towards his own father were turned to bitterness and hate."

6. Defiance of conviction of guilt. "If there be any iniquity in me," etc. "The manner in which he sought to obtain forgiveness by force manifested an evident spirit of defiance, by which, with the well known mildness of David's temper, he hoped to attain his object, and in fact did attain it" (Keil). He also doubtless relied on the support of a party of the people, dissatisfied with the king's severity toward him, and favourable to his complete restoration. Even Joab yielded for the present to his imperious and resolute demand.

7. Heartless formality. "He bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom" (ver. 33). His heart was not humbled, but lifted up in pride; yet he openly received the pledge of reconciliation; and herein David's blindness and weakness reached their culmination. "He did not kiss the ill will out of the heart of his son" (Krummacher). "When parents and rulers countenance such imperious characters, they will soon experience the most fatal effects." (Here is another "meeting of three remarkable men," 1 Samuel 19:22-24, Joab, Absalom, David.) Remarks.

1. No hard and impenitent heart is prepared to receive and profit by forgiveness.

2. Such a heart is capable of turning the greatest benefits into means of further and more daring rebellion; and "treasures up for itself wrath against the day of wrath."

3. Whilst "God is good and ready to forgive," he grants forgiveness only to those "who call upon him" in humility and sincerity, confessing and forsaking their sins (Psalm 86:5; Psalm 138:6; Psalm 32:5; Psalm 51:17). - 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, Didn't, Dwelleth, Dwelt, Face, Full, Jerusalem, Kings, King's, Presence, Seeing
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 14:28

     6718   reconciliation, believers

2 Samuel 14:1-33

     6684   mediator

2 Samuel 14:24-32

     5150   face

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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