Why David's son Absalom rebelled against his father?

Who is Absalom?

Absalom's Usurpation is Unreasonable

Why did David do this?

God is Faithful

Story of David


Who is Absalom?


Absalom Is David's third son. He was good looking, and his mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur. Both his parents were royals, and he was born prominent.


2 Sam 3:3. ... the third son, Absalom, by Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur.

2 Sam 14:25. In all the land of Israel there was no one so handsome and praised as Absalom. From the soles of the feet to the top of the head, there is no blemish.

The future was bright, but Absalom made a big mistake by killing David's eldest son Amnon because Amnon defiled his (Absalom's) own sister Tamar. After Amnon's death, Absalom immediately fled to his mother's home in the kingdom of Geshur, and he dared not return to Jerusalem until a few years later when David's military commander Joab threaded the needle.


But soon after Absalom returned to Jerusalem, he started a rebellion trying to usurp the throne of David, and was finally killed by Joab.


Absalom's Usurpation is Unreasonable


In fact, I have always had doubts about Absalom's motives in usurping his father's throne. Looking at the following facts, I would rather believe that the whole set of usurpation conspiracies was actually David's carefully arranged abdication strategy.

  1. All the Israelites at that time knew that David was God's anointed king. After Absalom killed his brother Amnon, he fled because he didn't even dare to see David's face. Where did he gather the courage to rebel against his father?

  2. Absalom recruited troops only after returning home to meet David. If Absalom had any dissatisfaction towards his father, wouldn't David have noticed it? Why didn't David stop Absalom from building himself up as a leader, knowing very well what he was doing right from the beginning?

  3. David's army was stronger than Absalom's. Why did he retreat without a fight when Absalom entered the city, even leaving ten concubines in the palace behind for him?

  4. If these ten concubines gave birth to children for Absalom, these children would become brothers and sisters with David's other children. What would then become of Absalom's position in David's family?

  5. At that time, David had already handed over all the battles to his generals. However, he insisted in going to battle against Absalom. Could it be David's attempt to save Absalom, knowing very well that other generals might kill him?

  6. Other facts like David warning his generals not to harm Absalom in the battle, and his mourning the loss of his son more than the loss of his throne were not to be mentioned.


Why did David do this?


Why did David do this? I believe at that time God had already given command to anoint Solomon as David's successor. However, since Solomon was the son of Bathsheba to whom David had committed adultery, David did not want this incident to be remembered. If his handsome and noble son Absalom takes the throne, it will not only bury the Bathsheba incident, but also the heroic image of David's line can be maintained. Could this be the reason why David suddenly missed Absalom and wanted him back?


Absalom fled to Geshur, and lived there three years. And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

But God's will cannot be violated. David's plans failed, and he killed his beloved son instead.


God is Faithful


God is faithful. He promised Abraham's descendants a land flowing with milk and honey, and He fulfilled His promise. However, because of the people's disobedience, entry into the Promised Land was delayed by forty years. Even more tragic than this, because of the corruption of the kings (beginning from David), the powerful kingdom received from God was torn apart and the people were enslaved for thousands of years.


We can see from history that for a country to stand firm, good citizens and good ruler are indispensable! Fortunately, in God's New Heaven and Earth in the future, the people will all be righteous men who have gone through trials, and the King is our Lord Jesus Christ! The Kingdom of God will surely stand forever!


Story of David


David's characters was full of strength and weaknesses. There are a lot of writings about him in the Bible, which can be used for the sake of learning and discernment in the hereafter. When I have more time in the future, I will write another book to introduce, discuss and analyze David's life in more detail.