Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Absalom's Rebellion

2 Samuel 13-18

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Solomon's Dream and Prayer (1 Kings 1-3, 2 Chronicles 28-29)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Opening Prayer

Amnon and Tamar (2 Samuel 13)
    What preoccupied the thoughts of David's oldest son, Amnon?
      2 Samuel 13:1-2 = He was in love with Tamar, Absalom's sister
    What advice did Amnon take from cousin Jonadab to get Tamar into his house?
      2 Samuel 13:3, 6-7 = Pretended to be ill & asked David to send her

    How did Tamar respond to Amnon's advances after making bread for him? = Amnon was eldest
      2 Samuel 13:11-13 = She resisted; She'd be outcast, unmarryable; He'd lose throne
    How did Amnon respond to Tamar's pleas?
      2 Samuel 13:14-16 = He raped her and sent her away

    How did this change Tamar's life?
      2 Samuel 13:18-20 = She lived the rest of her life in disgrace
    How did David and Absalom feel about what had happened?
      2 Samuel 13:21-22 = David was furious, Absalom hated Amnon silently

Absalom Kills Amnon (2 Samuel 13)
    When and how did Absalom get his revenge on Amnon?
      2 Samuel 13:23, 28 = 2 yrs later, Had servants kill Amnon during visit

    How was this action interpreted by Absalom's brothers and the people?
      2 Samuel 13:29-31 = They thought Absalom was attempting a coup
    Why would Absalom have killed Amnon first? = List names in order on board
      2 Samuel 3:2-5 = Amnon was heir apparent, Kileab thought to be dead
    Who understood what had really happened and why?
      2 Samuel 13:32-33 = Wise Jonadab, David's nephew

    Where did Absalom flee?
      2 Samuel 13:37-38 = To live with Talmai, king of Geshur
    Who was Talmai?
      2 Samuel 3:3b = Absalom's grandfather - David married Maacah for political alliance

Absalom Returns (2 Samuel 14)
    Did David remain bitter against Absalom?
      2 Samuel 13:39 = He forgave out of love & longed to see his son
    Who devised a scheme to convince David it was okay to let Absalom return?
      2 Samuel 14:1-3 = Joab sent a woman with a fake story for David

    What story did the woman give David?
      2 Samuel 14:5-7, 11 = One son killed another in a fight, wants son forgiven & protected
    In what situation had a similar tactic been used with David?
      2 Samuel 12:1-5, 9 = God's judgment after David had Uriah killed to get Bathsheba
    How did the woman use David's faith to convince him to bring Absalom back?
      2 Samuel 14:13-14 = God finds ways to bring a banished person back to Him (atonement)

    Was the woman correct in saying that God does not support capital punishment?
      Genesis 9:6 = No, he instituted it; she was twisting words to make her point
    Was the woman correct about God finding ways to reconcile the banished?
      Romans 5:6-11 (Ephesians 2:13) = God reconciled us to Him thru the death of His Son
    Did David accept the argument?
      2 Samuel 14:21, 23-24 = He brought Absalom back, but wouldn't see him

    How desperately did Absalom want to see his father?
      2 Samuel 14:28-31 = Set Joab's fields on fire to get him to take him to see David
    Why did Absalom want to see David so badly?
      2 Samuel 14:32 = Wanted full acceptance, not exile in Jerusalem
    Did Absalom receive the full forgiveness he wanted?
      2 Samuel 14:33 = Yes, David accepted Absalom

King Absalom (2 Samuel 15)
    As the oldest prince of Judah, could Absalom be sure he would become king?
      1 Samuel 23:16-17 = David succeeded Saul, not Jonathan
    How did Absalom make himself appear to the people as the heir apparent?
      2 Samuel 15:1 = Rode a chariot with 50 men to run ahead (other kings did this, not David)
    Did Absalom look like a king?
      2 Samuel 14:25-26 = Very handsome, unblemished, long & thick hair
    What did Absalom do to win the people's hearts?
      2 Samuel 15:2-4 = Presented himself as a champion of the common people
      2 Samuel 15:5-6 = Refused praise & greeted people as brothers

    How long did Absalom prepare for his coup and where did he begin his reign?
      2 Samuel 15:7, 10 = 4 years. Went to Hebron, where David had started
    Were Absalom's supporters knowing accomplices to his coup? = See 11:3 & 23:34 for Ah relation
      2 Samuel 15:11-12 = They joined innocently, including Ahithophel (Bathsheba's grandpa)
    Why was it important for Absalom to enlist Ahithophel?
      2 Samuel 16:23 = God blessed Ahithophel with good advice

David Flees (2 Samuel 15, 16)
    Why did David run away when he heard of Absalom's coup?
      2 Samuel 15:13-14 = To protect the city & to get outside where he could fight
    How did the people react when they saw David and his entourage leaving?
      2 Samuel 15:23, 30 = They grieved, David cried and walked barefoot

    Was anyone happy to see David leave?
      2 Samuel 16:5-8 = Shimei, from Saul's clan, cursed David claiming revenge for Saul
    Was Shimei's cursing justified?
      2 Samuel 9:3, 7 = David kind to all of Saul's family, protected last member, Mephibosheth
    Why didn't David let Abishai kill Shimei?
      2 Samuel 16:9-12 = Because Shimei may be acting from God's direction

    Why didn't David take the ark of the covenant with him?
      2 Samuel 15:24-26 = He put himself in God's hands, rather than trying to take God with him
    What lesson had David obviously learned from the past?
      1 Samuel 4:10-11 = Philistines had captured the ark when Israel brought it to battle

Absalom's First Act as King (2 Samuel 16)
    What was Absalom's first act to secure his kingship?
      2 Samuel 16:15, 20-22 = He lay in public with the 10 concubines David left
    Who had been accused of claiming the kingdom by taking Saul's concubine?
      2 Samuel 3:6-7 = Ish-Bosheth charged Abner with this treasonous crime
    How did this fulfill David's punishment for killing Uriah to get Bathsheba?
      2 Samuel 12:11-12 = Nathan prophesied that this would happen

David's Spy Network (2 Samuel 16, 17)
    What kind of spy network did David set up in Jerusalem?
      2 Samuel 15:27-28 = Zadok & Abiathar back with ark, sons as messengers
      2 Samuel 15:32-37 = Hushai sent to misguide Absalom & inform Z & A
    Was Hushai successful in frustrating Ahithophel's advice?
      2 Samuel 17:6-7, 14 = Absalom accepted Hushai's advice better than Ahithophel's, God's plan
    How did Ahithophel react when Absalom took Hushai's poor advice?
      2 Samuel 17:23 = He hanged himself; he knew David would win, he would be punished

    Did Hushai follow his role as spy for David?
      2 Samuel 17:15-16 = Sent word to David through Jonathan & Ahimaaz
    How were Jonathan & Ahimaaz nearly caught before getting word to David?
      2 Samuel 17:17-20 = They hid from Absalom's men in a well
    Where did David go after receiving Hushai's message?
      2 Samuel 17:21-22, 24, 26 = Across the Jordan & to Mahanaim just before Absalom crossed

The Battle (2 Samuel 18)
    Why didn't David march out with the troops to battle Absalom?
      2 Samuel 18:2-4 = David was the target, he must be protected
    What command did David give to the troops before the battle?
      2 Samuel 18:5 = Be careful with Absalom, bring him alive
    How did God give victory to David? = Full of ravines, cliffs, marshes
      2 Samuel 18:6-8 = 20,000 died, Forest killed more than the sword

    What happened to Absalom?
      2 Samuel 18:9 = Head & hair caught in tree, left hanging
    Why didn't the soldier who saw this kill Absalom?
      2 Samuel 18:10-13 = He had heard David's command to protect Absalom
    Did Joab keep David's command and bring Absalom in safely?
      2 Samuel 18:14-16 = Joab killed Absalom & sounded trumpet to end war
    What monument did Joab erect for Absalom?
      2 Samuel 18:17 = Piled stones over his body (mark of an evil person)
    Was this the kind of monument Absalom would have wanted?
      2 Samuel 18:18 = No, he had already built a pillar to himself

David's Reaction (2 Samuel 18, 19)
    What was David's first concern after being told of his victory?
      2 Samuel 18:31-32 = Is Absalom safe?
    Did David celebrate his victory?
      2 Samuel 18:33 = No, he mourned and cried for Absalom

    How did this affect the people who had fought for David?
      2 Samuel 19:2-3 = Victory turned into mourning, army crept into city as losers
    Why did this upset Joab so greatly?
      2 Samuel 19:5-7 = It showed contempt for those who had fought for him
    Did David understand Joab's concern?
      2 Samuel 19:8 = Yes, he sat in the gateway to welcome the victors

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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