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June 1, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Job 1-4
Audio: Job 1-4

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

2 Samuel 18 (ESV)

Then David mustered the men who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. And David sent out the army, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the men, “I myself will also go out with you.”But the men said, “You shall not go out. For if we flee, they will not care about us. If half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. Therefore it is better that you send us help from the city.” The king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood at the side of the gate, while all the army marched out by hundreds and by thousands. And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom.

So the army went out into the field against Israel, and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim. And the men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the loss there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. The battle spread over the face of all the country, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword.

And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. 10 And a certain man saw it and told Joab, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11 Joab said to the man who told him, “What, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have been glad to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12 But the man said to Joab, “Even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver, I would not reach out my hand against the king’s son, for in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘For my sake protect the young man Absalom.’ 13 On the other hand, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.”14 Joab said, “I will not waste time like this with you.” And he took three javelins in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak. 15 And ten young men, Joab’s armor-bearers, surrounded Absalom and struck him and killed him.

16 Then Joab blew the trumpet, and the troops came back from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained them. 17 And they took Absalom and threw him into a great pit in the forest and raised over him a very great heap of stones. And all Israel fled every one to his own home. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar that is in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s monument to this day.

19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and carry news to the king that the Lord has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.” 20 And Joab said to him, “You are not to carry news today. You may carry news another day, but today you shall carry no news, because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed before Joab, and ran. 22 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “Come what may, let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, seeing that you will have no reward for the news?” 23 “Come what may,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran the Cushite.

24 Now David was sitting between the two gates, and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he lifted up his eyes and looked, he saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he drew nearer and nearer.26 The watchman saw another man running. And the watchman called to the gate and said, “See, another man running alone!” The king said, “He also brings news.”27 The watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “He is a good man and comes with good news.”

28 Then Ahimaaz cried out to the king, “All is well.” And he bowed before the king with his face to the earth and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king.” 29 And the king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant, your servant, I saw a great commotion, but I do not know what it was.” 30 And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.

31 And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” 33  And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

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Next: 2 Samuel 19

Back: 2 Samuel 17

This Post Has One Comment
  1. O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son! 2 Samuel 18:33

    A Father's Cry

    Despite Absalom's failures, flaws, shortcomings and coveting the throne of his father enough to want to kill him, David loved his son. This is similar to David's reaction to the death of Saul in the first chapter of this book after Saul tried to take his life multiple times in the first book of Samuel.

    2 Samuel 1:11-12; 17 says, "11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them; and all the men who were with him did the same. 12 They mourned and wept, and fasted until evening for Saul and for his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. David intoned this lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan."

    The ESV Study Bible says, "David is overcome with grief. He has lost another son whom he loved. First he lost Absalom’s love and loyalty, and now he has lost Absalom’s life and all hope of reconciliation. It is possible that David is beginning to see how God’s punishment for his sin with Bathsheba (prophesied by Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:10–11) has tragically come to pass; but his grief is clouding his sight of his duties toward his loyal troops (2 Samuel 19:1–8). David’s grief, though flawed (2 Samuel 19:2, 5–7), prefigures the willingness of the Son of God to die in place of sinners (Romand 5:8)."

    Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 572). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles

    The Faithlife Study Bible says, "Before Absalom can seize full control of Israel and Judah, he must kill his father, David. David strategically moves the battle to a site that suits the strengths of his army. The result is an overwhelming victory by David’s forces and the death of his rebellious son, Absalom."

    Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (2 Sa 18:1–18). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

    The grief David experienced over Absalom did not sway his faith in God. We see this on full display in Psalm 3 which has a subheading, "A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son."

    O Lord, how many are my foes!
        Many are rising against me;
    2 many are saying of my soul,
        “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah

    3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
        my glory, and the lifter of my head.
    4 I cried aloud to the Lord,
        and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

    5 I lay down and slept;
        I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
    6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
        who have set themselves against me all around.

    7 Arise, O Lord!
        Save me, O my God!
    For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
        you break the teeth of the wicked.

    8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
        your blessing be on your people! Selah

    Oh that we would fix our eyes on you, Lord, no matter the challenges or grief we may experience.

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