Friday 01 February 2019

Bible Book:
2 Samuel

‘O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!' (v. 33)

2 Samuel 18:24-33 Friday 1 February 2019

Psalm: Psalm 72


In this passage David receives news about the outcome of the battle via two messengers and realises that his son has been killed. It is not clear whether Ahimaaz is uninformed or evasive in his refusal to give David news of Absalom, but David understands the truth from the message of the Cushite.

David’s grief is deeply evident in his cry. “My son" is repeated five times in the final verse. This is a deeply personal response, with which we can empathise, but David’s grief in the midst of a costly military victory troubles Joab, who complains in the following chapter “I perceive that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased.” (18:6b)

This is a complicated story. We may both empathise with David’s great loss and be critical of his part in the wider narrative that led to this point. Biblical stories such as this resist simple interpretation, but may provide us with a lens to reflect on the complexities of our own lives and those of people we know.


To Ponder:

  •  Where do your sympathies lie in relation to this account of David’s grief?
  • What do you make of David’s response to the death of his rebellious son?
Previous Page Thursday 31 January 2019
Next Page Saturday 02 February 2019