Absalom Returns to Jerusalem

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Joab knew that David couldn’t stop thinking about his son Absalom (v. 1). Because of this he sent someone to bring a woman from Tekoa to him and he asked her to put on funeral clothes and not use any makeup (v. 2). He told her to go to the king and pretend that she was mourning about the death of a loved one, and he also told her what to say (v. 3). She went to David and bowed down to him and said, “Your Majesty, please help me"(v. 4)! He asked her, “What’s the matter?” and she replied that her husband is dead and she is a widow (v. 5). She also told him how she had two sons who got into a fight and one killed the other (v. 6). She says that her relatives have demanded that she hand over  her son so they can put him to death for killing his brother; but what they really want is their land and to destroy their name (v. 7).

David tells her to go home and he will take care of it (v. 8). The woman tells him she hopes this won’t cause him any problems, but if it does he can blame her (v. 9). He replies that if anyone gives her trouble, bring them to him and it won’t happen again (v. 10). She tells him to make sure no one will be allowed to kill her son and he says, “I swear by the living Lord that no one will touch even a hair on his head” (v. 11)! 

The woman then asks the king if he isn’t personally hurting because he has a son who had to leave the country because he killed his brother and now when he judges in her favor he is admitting he needs to let his son come back (vv. 12-13). We need to each get out of the way and let God take over  (14). She tells David she came to tell him about her problem because she knew he would listen and help her and now she prays God will help him (vv. 15-17). David then asks her if Joab put her up to this, and the woman answers that he did and he is very wise to know this (vv. 18-20). He tells Joab to go and bring Absalom back and Joab thanks him for the approval (vv. 21-22). Joab brings Absalom back but David refuses to see him (vv. 23-24).


I want to be the type of person who not only invites his son back but accepts him into the family.

II Samuel 14:1-24 (English Standard Version)

Now Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart went out to Absalom. And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman and said to her, "Pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning garments. Do not anoint yourself with oil, but behave like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead. Go to the king and speak thus to him." So Joab put the words in her mouth. When the woman of Tekoa came to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and paid homage and said, "Save me, O king." And the king said to her, "What is your trouble?" She answered, "Alas, I am a widow; my husband is dead. And your servant had two sons, and they quarreled with one another in the field. There was no one to separate them, and one struck the other and killed him. And now the whole clan has risen against your servant, and they say, 'Give up the man who struck his brother, that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed.' And so they would destroy the heir also. Thus they would quench my coal that is left and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth." Then the king said to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you." And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, "On me be the guilt, my lord the king, and on my father's house; let the king and his throne be guiltless." The king said, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall never touch you again." Then she said, "Please let the king invoke the LORD your God, that the avenger of blood kill no more, and my son be not destroyed." He said, "As the LORD lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground." Then the woman said, "Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king." He said, "Speak." And the woman said, "Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in giving this decision the king convicts himself, inasmuch as the king does not bring his banished one home again. We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast. Now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid, and your servant thought, 'I will speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant. For the king will hear and deliver his servant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the heritage of God.' And your servant thought, 'The word of my lord the king will set me at rest,' for my lord the king is like the angel of God to discern good and evil. The LORD your God be with you!" Then the king answered the woman, "Do not hide from me anything I ask you." And the woman said, "Let my lord the king speak." The king said, "Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?" The woman answered and said, "As surely as you live, my lord the king, one cannot turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has said. It was your servant Joab who commanded me; it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your servant. In order to change the course of things your servant Joab did this. But my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God to know all things that are on the earth." Then the king said to Joab, "Behold now, I grant this; go, bring back the young man Absalom." And Joab fell on his face to the ground and paid homage and blessed the king. And Joab said, "Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord the king, in that the king has granted the request of his servant." So Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. And the king said, "Let him dwell apart in his own house; he is not to come into my presence." So Absalom lived apart in his own house and did not come into the king's presence.

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