Study Guide

2 Samuel Chapter 14

Chapter 14

Wisdom, Tekoan Style

  • Joab sees how distraught the king is over Absalom. So he gets a wise woman from Tekoa to go to the king and pretend to be in mourning.
  • She says things Joab wanted her to say, telling David that she is a widow. She says she had two sons who got into a fight and killed each other.
  • But when people demanded justice—wanting to kill the remaining son—she became upset, since this was her one remaining child and the only heir to his dead father's name.
  • David says that she can go back to her house and he will give orders concerning her.
  • She says that she will bear the guilt for keeping her son alive and not David.
  • David says he will make sure that she remains safe and promises that her son will be safe, too.

Easy on the Outcasts

  • Then, the woman asks to speak privately with David. She admits that she really is asking him why he won't forgive Absalom and let him return home.
  • The wise woman says that we're all going to die, but that God isn't interested in taking away a life prematurely or for bad reasons. He'll let outcasts re-enter his presence before they die.
  • David asks her if Joab put her up to this—and she admits this was the case.
  • David tells Joab he can bring Absalom back, but that Absalom won't be permitted to come into David's presence.
  • Joab thanks David and goes to retrieve Absalom.

Long Locks 

  • Absalom, says the narrator, was the most handsome guy in all the land. He would grow his hair really long and only cut it once a year.
  • He had three sons and one daughter—a beautiful woman named Tamar, like his sister.
  • After two years of living in Jerusalem without seeing his father, Absalom decides it's time to make up. He tries to use Joab as a middleman to make things right, but Joab fails to respond to two of Absalom's requests.
  • So, Absalom has his servants set Joab's barley field on fire. When Joab comes to ask him why he did this, Absalom says it's because Joab has been ignoring him.
  • Absalom just wants to see the king, and if it gets him killed so be it.
  • So, Joab arranges the meeting. Absalom prostrates himself in front of David, and David kisses him, forgiving him.

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