- 2 Samuel 15:1-6 Some time later, Avshalom prepared himself a chariot and horses, with fifty men to run ahead of him. He would get up early and stand by the road leading to the city gate; and if someone had a case that was to come before the king for judgment, Avshalom would call to him and ask, "What city are you from?" and he would answer, "Your servant is from the such-and-such tribe in Isra'el." Avshalom would say to him, "Look, your cause is good and just; but the king hasn't deputized anyone to hear your case." Then Avshalom would continue, "Now if I were made judge in the land, anyone with a suit or other cause could come to me, and I would see that he gets justice!" Moreover, whenever any man came close to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. This is how Avshalom behaved toward anyone in Isra'el who came to the king for judgment, and in this way Avshalom stole the hearts of the people of Isra'el.
- 2 Samuel 15:7-9 At the end of forty years, Avshalom said to the king, "Please let me go to Hevron and fulfill the vow I made to ADONAI. Your servant made a vow while I was staying at G'shur in Aram to the effect that if ADONAI would bring me back to Yerushalayim, then I would serve ADONAI." The king said to him, "Go in peace." So he set out and went to Hevron.
- 2 Samuel 15:10-12 But Avshalom sent spies through all the tribes of Isra'el to say, "The moment you hear the sound of the shofar, then start proclaiming, 'Avshalom is king in Hevron.'" With Avshalom went 200 men from Yerushalayim who had been invited; they went innocently, knowing nothing about the scheme. Avshalom sent for Achitofel the Giloni, David's counselor, to come from his town Giloh and be with him while offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy grew strong, because the number of people favoring Avshalom kept increasing.
Avshalom claims that David the king was not fulfilling his duty to exercise justice, and that if he himself were king, justice would be provided. Before beginning, we must wrestle with this statement - was his allegation truth, or was it a lie? We know from 2 Samuel 13:29 that he was a murderer; from 15:7-10 that he was a liar; from 15:11-12 he was a schemer; and from the entire story he desired to swindle the kingdom from the rightful ruler. On the other side of the coin, we read between the lines that David was a just ruler. So we come to the conclusion that his statement was a lie.
2 Samuel 13:30 While they were on their way, the news came to David that Avshalom had killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them was left alive.
There are many lessons to learn from these short passages. Every foul politician uses this tactic.
Verse 1 shows that he tried to make himself appear important. Chariots, horses and men running ahead are only present for people in authority - whereas at that time, he had none. So he created an environment to conjure the impression of authority.
Verse 2 reveals that he targeted a defined group. He did not concern himself with just any soul passing through the gates. He was looking for those with a grudge.
In Verse 3 Avshalom creates a feeling of discontent with the current administration. I use the term "create" in the strict sense, because the criticism leveled against king David was most assuredly a false testimony and, if the person had ignored the lie, he would have received justice. So the lie fashioned an environment that when believed, confirmed the lie.
The solution to the injustice appears in verse 4. "Now, if I were judge (read king, for it was the king's job to judge), you would receive justice." Knowing the heart of Avshalom, we realize that he had no interest in justice, but rather in becoming king.
Avshalom was not in line to become king for he was not the first-born son. It should be no surprise that Amnon, the one Avshalom killed, was the first-born, and the one predestined for the throne. Avshalom was third in line, but his mother was the daughter of a king - 3:2-5. No doubt, being the grandson of a king and the son of a king, he had kingly ambitions, probably inspired by his mother; but traditionally and legally he had no chance of getting there.
2 Samuel 3:2-3 Sons were born to David in Hevron. His firstborn was Amnon, whose mother was Achino‘am from Yizre‘el; his second, Kil’av, whose mother was Avigayil the widow of Naval from Karmel; the third, Avshalom, whose mother was Ma‘akhah the daughter of Talmai king of G’shur;
Taking a pause here in this slice of history and fast forwarding to a time closer to ours, we recognize that there is nothing new under the sun. The entire literary work from Karl Marx, the basis for all main-stream political thought in our age, is plagiarized from Avshalom. The power in this evil trick is the fact that it is the decided tasking of government to produce justice services. People have a predilection for throwing their support behind those who will enforce their brand of it. Whatever presents itself as justice, however perverted by human hands, will receive popular, and therefore political support, and in turn political power / authority.
The first official act by Avshalom was not enforcing justice, but something quite different.
2 Samuel 16:22 So they set up a tent for Avshalom on the roof of the palace; and Avshalom went in to sleep with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Isra’el. We should keep this in mind the next time a politician promises to right a wrong.
This makes a grounded clarity in justice very important. When the people have a perverted from of justice in their head, they will vote for a perverted leader to enforce it. It is the resolute will of evildoers to misrepresent true and false justice. The perverted form of justice always and without exception revolves around coveting the belongings of the neighbor. See commandment number 10 in Exodus chapter 20.
Exodus 20:14 “Do not covet your neighbor’s house; do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Verse 5 reveals again that Avshalom rewarded those who treated him as if he were king.
The writer of 2 Samuel lets the cat out of the bag in verse 6. "In this way, he stole the hearts of the people of Israel." Verse 7 reveals that this game had been going on for many years. Whether he did it for 40 years, or Avshalom was 40 years old at the end, we don't know.
In verse 8 Avshalom pretends to be getting things right with God. He puts forth the appearance of godliness.
Becoming bolder, in verses 10-12 he increase the volume of creating the appearance of being the true king. The men of Israel are to start shouting that "Avshalom is king", 200 come innocently along for the ride, and the king's head advisor is present. By now, the coup d'etat is for all practical purposes complete. He has rallied the, for the most part, unsuspecting crowds behind him.
After becoming the recognized (by the people) king, he made it his first task to kill the recognized (by God) king; he failed in this task and was killed trying. It should be quite obvious that Avshalom was not one for justice, but was vying for the top position, and was willing to lie, cheat and kill to get there. He succeeded for a time, for the gullible folk believed his lie for many years.
In contrast to his cries for justice, once established, he proceeded to consume, and indeed in the most overt lustful manner. Fairness was his political platform, but the right to consume mass quantities of whatever his eye desired was the hidden goal. Such is modern day politics.
We must assume that David was asleep at the wheel. David must have been aware of the happenings at the city gate; and being politically astute, knew exactly where this was going to lead. David allowed his family feelings get in the way of his job.
Summing it up
To reiterate, the aspiring politician first points to an injustice, claims it is the result of those who are in currently in power, and then promises to right the wrong should he receive the desired office. The injustice may be real, or imagined. The injustice my be committed by the defendant, or it may not me. The listner must pay attention to the accusations, and research the matter, to determine if the claim has merit.
Author: Scott Wallace Brians
Date: October 2005
Web Site: www.his-kingdom.net
Copyright: All Rights Reserved
Bible Text: Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern