2 Samuel 18:9
Now Absalom was riding on his mule when he met the servants of David, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom's head was caught fast in the tree. The mule under him kept going, so that he was suspended in midair.
Absalom: a Character StudyJ. O. Keen, D. D.2 Samuel 18:1-17
Bush WarfareSunday Companion2 Samuel 18:1-17
David and AbsalomR. E. Faulkner.2 Samuel 18:1-17
The Battle and its IssueH. E. Stone.2 Samuel 18:1-17
The Fatal FightC. Ness.2 Samuel 18:1-17
A Faithful SoldierB. Dale 2 Samuel 18:9-14

2 Samuel 18:9-14. - (THE WOOD OF EPHRAIM.)
Though I should receive [literally, 'weigh'] a thousand pieces of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son (ver. 12). While pursuing the enemy, a brave soldier came upon their leader, suspended from "the entangled branches of the great terebinth," in which his head was fastened so that he could not extricate himself. He forthwith reported what he had seen to Joab, who asked him why he had not despatched him, and said that he would have given him ten pieces of silver and a military girdle for doing so. A less scrupulous man might have sought even yet to secure the reward. But he replied that nothing would induce him to disobey the king. "So genuine was the reverence with which the loyalty of even a common soldier then invested the royal dignity" (Ewald). His fidelity may serve to illustrate that of "a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:3), as it appears in -

I. HIS RESPECT FOR THE KING'S COMMANDMENT; which, unlike that of an earthly ruler, is always wise, just, and good.

1. He reverences the authority by which it is given, as rightful, all-powerful, supreme.

2. He regards it as obligatory on each and all to whom it is given (ver. 12).

3. He remembers it constantly in the absence as well as the presence of the King, from whom "there is no matter hid" (ver. 13).

4. He is resolved on performing it with all his might. "Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently" (Psalm 119:4, 11, 106).

II. HIS REJECTION OF STRONG TEMPTATION. He will not disobey the order received, though urged to do so by:

1. The impulse of resentment against the common enemy.

2. The plea of expediency, or what may seem to be for the common good.

3. The approval of a fellow soldier, or the sanction of any "captain" inferior to the King.

4. The promise of reward, certain, immediate, and great. "The Law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver" (Psalm 119:72, 31, 36).

III. HIS REBUKE OF ANOTHER'S PRESUMPTION. Joab must have felt himself reproved by this faithful and honest soldier; though he turned away contemptuously, recklessly, and presumptuously to do the deprecated deed. A dutiful soldier may and ought to rebuke the undutifulness of another by:

1. Reminding him of the word which has been spoken by the King.

2. Avowing his own determination to obey it in spite of all inducements to the contrary.

3. Predicting the certainty of the King's displeasure, which outweighs all present gain (Proverbs 16:14; Proverbs 19:12). "What is a man profited," etc.? "In the King's favour is life."

4. Intimating the unreliability of one who favours disobedience and presumes on impunity. "Thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me;" leaving me alone to bear the blame and suffer the penalty. "He must be a very bad man who is not attracted to what is good by the good example of his subordinates" (S. Schmid). "Then shall I not be ashamed when I have respect to all thy commandments" (Psalm 119:6, 29, 51, 53). - D.

Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom.
Bishop Hall thus descants on this — What means this ill-placed love? This unjust mercy. Deal gently with a traitor. Of all traitors, with a son? Of all sons with an Absalom? that graceless darling of so good a father? And all this, for thy sake, whose crown, whose blood, he hunts after? For whose sake must he be pursued, if forborne for thine? Must the cause of the quarrel be the motive of the mercy? Even in the holiest parents nature may be guilty of an injurious tenderness, of a bloody indulgence. But was not this done in type of that immeasurable mercy of the true King and Redeemer of Israel, who prayed for his persecutors. "Father, forgive them. Deal gently with them for my sake." When God sends an affliction to correct his children it is with this charge, "Deal gently with them for my sake"; for He knows our frame.

Abishai, Absalom, Ahimaaz, Cushi, David, Israelites, Ittai, Joab, Zadok, Zeruiah
King's Valley, Mahanaim
Absalom, Ab'salom, Absalom's, Across, Beast, Bough, Boughs, Branches, Caught, Chanced, David, David's, Entangled, Fast, Fixed, Got, Hanging, Heaven, Heavens, Hold, Kept, Large, Lifted, Meet, Meeteth, Met, Midair, Mule, Oak, Passed, Placed, Presence, Riding, Rode, Seated, Servants, Sky, Suspended, Taketh, Terebinth, Thick, Tree
1. David viewing the armies in their march gives them charge of Absalom
6. The Israelites are sorely smitten in the wood of ephraim
9. Absalom, hanging in an oak is slain by Joab, and cast into a pit
18. Absalom's place
19. Ahimaaz and Cushi bring tidings to David
33. David mourns for Absalom

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 18:9

     5127   back

2 Samuel 18:1-17

     5087   David, reign of

2 Samuel 18:6-17

     4448   forests

2 Samuel 18:9-14

     4528   trees

The Wail of a Broken Heart
'Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale; for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance; and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's Place. 19. Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the Lord hath avenged him of his enemies. 20. And Joab said unto him. Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day; but
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Church and the Young Man.
A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, November 4, 1866, In The First Presbyterian Church, Troy, At The Request of The Young Men's Christian Association. 2 Sam. xviii, 5. "And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai saying, deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom." There are few passages of Holy writ more beautiful or suggestive than this. Notwithstanding the astounding character of Absalom's rebellion; though the mind of the sovereign and father of his people is
Rev. Marvin R. Vincent.—Amusement: A Force in Christian Training

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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