Ep. 107: Absalom’s Defeat

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Ep. 107: Absalom’s Defeat

David was prepared for war by the time Absalom had gathered a large army and chased after him. People of that area had given him supplies and Joab had organized the army.
David laid out a plan of action to fight the army of Absalom. He said to his men, “I’ll lead you into battle.”
They said, “No! Stay in the city. If one of us dies, no one will care. Half of us could die, and no one would even notice. But you’re worth 10,000 soldiers. Stay in the city.”
So the king stood beside the gate while his troops marched out. He said to Joab, loud enough so everyone could hear, “For my sake, be merciful with my son, Absalom.”
David’s army marched into battle and defeated the army of Israel. It turned into a slaughter, with over 20,000 men dead.
Absalom was riding away from the battle on a mule. Suddenly his hair got caught in the branches of a large tree. It pulled him off the mule, and he was left hanging in midair. Some of David’s men saw him hanging there, and went and told Joab.
He said, “What? You saw him hanging there, and you didn’t kill him? I would’ve paid you ten pieces of silver if you had killed him!”
They said, “We wouldn’t kill the king’s son even if you gave us 1,000 pieces of silver. We heard what he said. He wants us to spare his son. If we had killed him, the king would find out about it, … and you’d let us take the blame.”
Joab said, “I’m wasting my time talking to you!” He took three spears and went to where Absalom was hanging. He and several of his guards surrounded Absalom and killed him.
Joab then blew the ram’s horn, and his troops stopped chasing the army of Israel. Absalom was taken down from the tree and thrown into a large pit. With that, all the men of Israel went home.
A young man said to Joab, “I’ll run and tell the king how the Lord has given him victory.”
Joab said, “No, I’ll send someone else.” So he then sent another runner.
The young man begged Joab to let him run as well. Finally he was given permission to go. The young man ran, but he was faster then the other runner and got to the king first.
David was sitting just inside the gate, waiting for news of the battle. A watchman on the wall called down and told him a runner was coming.
As the young man got close, the watchman called down to David that another runner was coming. The young man bowed before the king and said, “The battle went well. You’ve won! The Lord has given you victory.”
David said, “What about Absalom? Is he alive?”
“I don’t know. I heard a lot of noise, but I didn’t know what that was about.”
“Stand over there and wait.”
The second runner came up and said, “I have good news. God has given you victory today.”
David said, “What about Absalom? Is he alive?”
The runner said, “May all of your enemies end up like him.”
The king was cut to the heart! He went up to the gate chamber and cried out in anguish. “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”
News of this got back to the army. Suddenly their joy of victory turned to sadness. It was as if they had lost the battle.
Joab went to David. “Your men risked their lives for you. They not only saved your life, but they saved the lives of your family. Now they’re ashamed of what they have done. They think you wanted them to die instead of your son.
“Get up right now. Go out and encourage your men. If you don’t, they’ll all leave you and your troubles will be worse then ever.”
So David got up and went to sit at the gate. Soon all of his men came and sat with him.

 

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