Day 25 – Genesis 38-40

Day 25
Genesis 38-40

Genesis 38 feels like an abrupt interruption in Joseph’s story. Joseph was taken to Egypt and bought by Potiphar. But suddenly, the story pivots from Joseph to Judah. As it happened, the story doesn’t shift as much as it seeks to compare and contrast the way two sons of Jacob responded to sexual temptation. In Genesis 38 Judah heads down to Canaan and sleeps with an alleged prostitute. In Genesis 39 Joseph is taken down to Egypt and resists being seduced by his owner’s wife. Judah was a free man who lived for himself. Joseph was a slave but lived in faith, no matter the cost.

Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. One day, while passing through an area south of Jerusalem, he saw an unnamed Adullamite woman. Just like that he took her and went in to her (38:2). She bore him three sons. Judah’s eldest son Er married Tamar, a Canaanite. Since Er was the oldest son, he was to continue the messianic line of Judah. But Er was wicked, so God took his life. Judah’s second son refused to marry his brother’s widow (marriage by proxy) and the Lord put him to death too. Then Judah, out of intentional neglect, failed to give Tamar to his third son, Shelah. Tamar was withering away as a widow in her father’s home, while the messianic line was also in danger of disappearing. Judah himself became a widower and soon after sleeps with his daughter-in-law who had disguised herself as a temple prostitute (38:13-15). He was short on change (okay, a goat!) and left her with his signet or seal and his staff. When he sent a friend back to settle his debt, the prostitute was gone and no one remembered her. Three months passed when Judah discovered his daughter-in-law was three months pregnant. His judgment was swift and severe: “Let her be burned!” (38:24). On the day Tamar was to be executed for the same sin Judah also committed, she presented her father-in-law his seal and staff. His sin was publicly exposed and he publicly repented (38:26). Tamar gave birth to twins. Their birth was somewhat reminiscent of the birth of Esau and Jacob. Perez (“breach”) was born first, followed by Zerah (“arise), who was born with a scarlet thread tied around his hand. Zerah would gain ascendancy over his brother (38:27-30). As it happened, Tamar was the first of four other Gentile women to be counted among the descendants of Christ.

Meanwhile, Jacob is in Egypt, the entrancing country of magnificent pyramids and slack morals. He becomes the personal attendant in the house of Potiphar. Joseph excelled at all he did because the Lord was with him (Yahweh is used four times in Chapter 39 to emphasize that God’s presence with Joseph). Joseph was successful, now fluent in Egyptian, and “handsome in form and appearance” (39:6; cf. 29:17 where the same description is given of his mother, Rachel). Joseph, though efficient with Potiphar’s estate, was still a slave and Potiphar’s wife was accustomed to getting what she wanted, especially from the help. Though Joseph was young, good-looking, and far from home he resisted her seductions. In her first advance, she was as brief (“lie with me”) as he was wordy but righteous (39:8-9). On her second attempt, she grabbed his garment as Joseph wisely fled. Scorned and enraged, she falsely accused Joseph, this “Hebrew slave,” of assault and presented his garment as circumstantial proof. For holding to his honor and integrity, Joseph earned banishment to the pit where he was kept for two years. But even in prison, Yahweh was with him.

Joseph is twenty-eight years old. Eleven years have passed since he was sold into slavery. While in prison, Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker soon join him. As members of Pharaoh’s court, they were suspected of some unknown culinary crime. One night these former officials of Pharaoh dreamed a dream. In a culture where dreams were omens, they were both perplexed and curious. They wished for an interpreter. Joseph was willing to hear their dreams but made it clear that only God can interpret a man’s nocturnal activity. The cupbearer shared first (40:9-11) and was relieved to hear that his head would again be lifted up in dignity and restored to his former position. The baker optimistically shared his dream with Joseph. Joseph told him that his head would be lifted up too–and hanged from a tree (40:16-19). Despite asking the cupbearer to remember him when he was released, Joseph was promptly forgotten by him but not by God.

Lord God, temptations surround me. They come in all forms and stripes. While the world around me feels that a temptation resisted is a life wasted, You know otherwise. You know that the path of honor, integrity and above all, holiness before You is the path of true life. Help me, like Joseph, to live with my eyeballs stamped with the reality of Your presence, with the realization that every sin is an offense against You, and fill me with Your Spirit so that I may honor You in all I say and do. In Jesus’ Name, I pray, Amen.

Judah and Tamar – It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and turned aside to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. There…

Day 24- Genesis 35-37

Day 24
Genesis 35-37

Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Christians are called to display the reality of who God is to those around them. Unfortunately, Jacob was seldom effective in representing the Lord God to the surrounding cultures. After the massacre at Shechem, Jacob and his family had to move on. He grumbled that his sons had made him a disgusting odor among the Canaanites. But God in His grace didn’t give up on him. Again, God’s call came to Jacob. In an Abram-like directive God said, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there” (35:1). Bethel was the place where God first met Jacob over twenty years earlier. Jacob responded to God’s summons with spiritual passion and enthusiasm. “Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress, and has been with me wherever I have gone” (35:3). Jacob was going to build a monument to God in the heart of Canaanite country. He told his family to dispose of their family gods and to purify themselves. Finally, the new man, Israel, is speaking rather than the old man, Jacob. The man who wrestled with God is stepping up and out.

Jacob and his family set out under divine protection (35:5). When Jacob reached Bethel, El Shaddai spoke directly to him (35:9-15). God repeated the same parameters of the promise that He gave to Abraham. A millennium later, a dynasty of kings would be established from the line of Jacob. Then sadly, in her final act, Rachel gave birth to Benjamin, the last of Jacob’s twelve sons and the only one born in the land of promise–in the little town of Bethlehem. Jacob loved Rachel from the day he first met her until the day she died with single-hearted devotion. He grieved her passing until hus dying day (cf. Genesis 48:7). Fearing that Bilhah would take Rachel’s place of priority over his own mother, Leah, Reuben slept with Bilhah (35:22). Jacob’s resentment towards his firstborn son remained for the rest of his life (cf. Genesis 49:3, 4). The rivalry between the sons of Jacob and their different mothers also persisted, as it happened, with tragic consequences. Jacob received word that Isaac, his father, was dying. When Isaac died at 180, Jacob and Esau buried him in the land of promise.

In some respects, Esau was a more likable fellow than Jacob. He was strong and impulsive, loving and forgiving. Unfortunately, he was also spiritually reckless and defiantly stubborn. He seemed to especially delight in disappointing his parents in his bridal choices. Esau flowed in the current of his culture. He was a sportsman. He enjoyed a good steak. He relished the company of forbidden women. His spiritual interests were slim at best. The genealogy of Esau (cf. Genesis 36) that serves as a bridge to the story of Joseph, highlights the regrettable effect his marriages had on separating him from his people. It also depicts his defection from the land of promise. The Edomites, Esau’s descendants, would become the bitter enemies of Israel for thousands of years.

As it happened, the sacred history shifts abruptly from Jacob to Joseph. We are introduced to Joseph at 17 (37:2) He was tending the flocks with his brothers when he gave a bad report about them to Jacob. Next, we’re told that Joseph became his father’s favored son because he was the son of his old age, even though he was not Jacob’s youngest. Jacob gave Joseph a coat with a kaleidoscope of colors (37:3). His brothers hated him for it and had nothing kind to say about him. Finally, Joseph dreamed dreams. In one dream, he was the chief sheaf before whom all the other sheaves bowed. In another dream, the sun, moon, and stars all bowed down before him. Joseph was not only a dreamer but he shared his provocative dreams with his brothers and family. Even his doting father was irritated by his latter dream. At this stage, opinions about Joseph by students of the Bible, are divided. Was he a spoiled, egotistical brat or just young and naïve? Any rush to psychoanalyze Joseph by modern conventions stops us dead in our tracks when we read, “but the father kept the saying in mind” (37:11). This line was like Jacob dropping the mic. There is more going on here than meets the eye. Joseph’s open-faced honesty stood in stark contrast to his father’s days spent scheming and manipulating. As it happened, Joseph’s commitment to truth-telling would one day spare his life and more. One day, while sent by his father to visit his brothers a total of sixty-five miles away, his brothers conspired against him. Reuben spared his life by convincing the others to drop him in a pit. Then Judah persuaded them to sell him to a caravan of Ishmaelites, that just happened to be passing by. They sold him for twenty silver shekels. Then they took his coat, dipped it in blood, and without hesitation, presented the bloody garment to their father. Meanwhile, Joseph reached Egypt where he was sold off the trading block to the captain of Pharaoh’s bodyguard. A man by the name of Potiphar.

Lord God, You have given us Your Name and have called us to represent You to our surrounding neighbors and culture. We are living like the Patriarchs, as strangers in this land. Equip us to be able to give a reasonable defense for what we believe and to consistently point others to You. In Jesus’ Name, we pray, Amen.

God Blesses and Renames Jacob – God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when…

I Kings 4-5

IV. Solomon’s Wisdom and Ability (1 Kings 4).

• Solomon appoints members of his administration including priests,
managers, an historian, soldiers, scribes, officers, and friends.
• Solomon organizes Israel into 12 regional managers who oversee supplies
for the administration.
• Solomon has a lot of people to feed, and they consume lots of food.
• Israel’s territory is huge (stretching from the Euphrates river across
Philistine country and all the way to Egypt), it’s politically strong, and
the people are numerous, prosperous, and secure.
• In addition to his servants, officers, family, and soldiers, Solomon also
has a massive stable of horses to take care of.
• He makes sure nobody in his household always had enough.
• God gives Solomon great wisdom, discernment, and understanding so that he
was the wisest of all.
• He wrote 3,000 proverbs and 1,005 songs, and his fame spread across
oceans and continents.
• He was a horticulturalist, herpetologist, zoologist, ornithologist, and a
marine biologist.
• People from all nations, even kings and rulers, travel to Israel to hear
his wisdom.

V. Temple Construction Begins (1 Kings 5).

• Hiram, the king of Tyre and a good friend of David’s, sends ambassadors
to Solomon.
• Solomon tells them his dream to build the temple that David never could
because he was busy fighting enemies his whole life.
• Solomon is ready to begin.
• He asks for cedar lumber from Lebanon, pay the Sidonians whatever wage is
et because they are great lumberjacks.
• Hiram agrees, so he provides cedar and fir lumber in exchange for tons of
wheat and oil. A great partnership is formed.
• Temple construction begins Solomon raised a workforce of tens of
thousands to laborer cut timber and cut stone.

VI. The Temple is Finished (1 Kings 6),

• In the fourth year of his reign, in the month of Ziv ground is broken on
the temple (480 years after the exodus from Egypt).
• All the specifications are given.
• At the construction site, no tools or hammers were used so that
everything is done with quiet reverence.
• During construction, God told Solomon it is important for him to keep His
statutes and obey His commandments, so that He will dwell with Israel.
• Everywhere one looked in the Temple there was pure gold.
• It took just seven years to build the temple.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Solomon was the son of David who pointed beyond himself to another son of
David, and a son greater than David himself. Jesus is so great that more
than building a temple for God, He is the Temple of God Himself.
• While Solomon had to obey God’s commandments in order for God to dwell in
the temple, our obedience to Jesus flows out of our rest in Him. True
obedience is the loving response, not the way to earn God’s favor.

1 Kings 2-3

#?OTin52? Our reading today is 1 Kings 2-3.

II. David’s Last Wishes and Solomon’s Attempt to Secure His Throne (1 Kings

• In David’s final days David charged Solomon to be strong, show that
you’re a man and keep the Lord’s commandments. If you do, you’ll always
prosper, and as you do there will always be a son of David on the throne of
Israel. In addition, David urges Solomon to take care of a few unsettled
• Make Joab pay for how he killed Abner and Amasa in cold blood.
• Watch over Barzillai and his family.
• Deal with Shimei, too.
• David goes the way of all the earth ending a 40-year reign.
• No sooner does the reign of Solomon begin then Adonijah visits Bathsheba
and asks her to ask Solomon to give him Abishag as his wife.
• Bathsheba agrees to ask Solomon but Solomon is incredulous. He told her
it would be like handing the whole kingdom to him on a platter.
• That very day, he sends Benaiah to kill Adonijah.
• Solomon suspects that Abiathar and Joab were involved in Adonijah’s
conspiracy so he banishes Abiathar to his home in Anathoth and strips him
of his role as a priest.
• Joab hears about Adonijah and Abiathar, so he runs to the tabernacle to
grab the horns of the altar for protection.
• But Solomon sends Benaiah to the tabernacle to kill him inside the
• Benaiah is appointed the head of the military.
• Solomon confines Shimei to his home Jerusalem for his acts against his
• He warns Shimei that if he crosses the brook Kidron, it’s over. Shimei
promises he won’t leave.
• Three years later, two of Shimei’s servants run away across the brook
Kidron to Gath, and he also crosses it to go after them. Solomon hears
about it, and Benaiah sends Shimei to his grave.
• The kingdom of Solomon is secure.

III. Solomon’s Request for Wisdom and His Wisdom is Highlighted (1 Kings 3).

• Solomon makes an alliance with the Pharaoh of Egypt by marrying his
daughter. They live in the city of David while Solomon’s palace in
Jerusalem is being built.
• While the temple was being built but the Israelites were offering
sacrifices at the high places.
• Solomon keeps God’s commandments but also worships are local shrines.
• He travels to the prominent shrine at Gibeon to make 1,000 offerings to
• That night, the Lord appears to him in a dream, and offers him a blank
• Instead of asking for personal wealth, Solomon asks for an understanding
mind to govern well and to discern between good and evil.
• God is pleased with Solomon’s request and imparts to him a wide and
mature heart unlike anyone before or after him.
• God also adds riches, honor, and long life, as long as Solomon obeys his
• Solomon is hosting a feast for his servants, when his wisdom is put on
• Two prostitutes come before Solomon seeking his judgment.
• One of them explains that they live together in the same house and both
of them have recently had babies.
• One woman accidentally smothered her baby in bed one night and switched
her dead baby for the other woman’s living baby.
• When the woman woke, she realized she was not cuddling her baby.
• The second woman insists that it’s a lie, and that the baby is really
• They argue, back and forth, in front of Solomon, just one woman’s word
against the other’s.
• So Solomon says, maybe we should cut the baby in half and give one-half
to each woman.
• One woman says that seems fair!
• The other one asks Solomon to give her the living boy.
• Solomon declares her the mother and gives her the baby.
• Everyone in Israel marvels at Solomon’s wisdom.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Jesus, the King of kings, fulfills all the kingly requirements in 2:2-4.
The best earthly king or leader is still flawed but Jesus’ kingship is
flawless and perfect.

2 Samuel 24 – 1 Kings 1

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Kings 1:

XXIV. David Conducts a Census (2 Samuel 24).

• God is angry with Israel and tests David to conduct a census which he
prepares to do.
• When David gives the order, Joab resists and asks him why he wants to do
• David insists and Joab leads the canvassing team throughout Israel,
returning after nine months and twenty days.
• The census revealed that there are eight hundred thousand men fit to be
soldiers in Israel and five hundred thousand in Judah.
• When the results come in, David realizes what he did was wrong because he
was trusting statistics rather than God. He repents and waits for a word
from God.
• Gad, a prophet and advisor to David, offers the king to choose one of
three options: Three years of famine, three months of running from his
enemies, or three days of pestilence.
• David says he would prefer to fall into the hands of the Lord than into
human hands.
• God sends three days of pestilence to Israel, killing seventy thousand
• While standing on the threshing floor of Aruanah the Jebusite, David sees
the angel of pestilence hovering over Jerusalem. He admits the he alone has
sinned David and asks for the penalty to fall on his house.
• God tells Gad to command David to build an altar on the threshing floor
to end the pestilence.
• David builds an altar on the threshing floor, offering to buy it from
Araunah, and offers oxen to sacrifice, and wood for burning.
• David insists on paying Araunah, because he will want to give to God
something that costs him nothing.
• God ends the plague.

The Book of 1 Kings

I. Solomon is Anointed as David’s Successor (1 Kings 1).

• David’s aging body can’t stay warm. His servants find the beautiful
Abishag the Shunammite, who comes to the palace, stays by David’s side, but
he does not sleep with her.
• It was also time to anoint the next king. David had promised that Solomon
would be his successor.
• Adonijah, David’s oldest male son, conspires to seize the throne from
• So Adonijah starts to gather supporters, including Abiathar the high
priest, and Joab, the commander of the military.
• Not everyone joins Adonijah, including Zadok the priest, Nathan the
prophet, Shimei, and David’s mightiest warriors, including Benaiah.
• Undeterred, Adonijah heads to the stone of Zoholeth and invites his
brothers, his father’s servants, and all the men of Judah to come watch him
crown himself king.
• Nathan visits Bathsheba and informs her about Adonijah’s scheme.
• They know that if Adonijah succeeds in becoming king, Bathsheba and
Solomon will be viewed as threats who need to be removed.
• Bathsheba and Nathan go to David’s chamber to tell him that Adonijah’s
trying to steal the crown.
• David tells Bathsheba that Solomon will be king, as he promised and
commands Nathan, Benaiah, and Zadok to make it happen.
• They put Solomon on David’s mule, have him ride to Gihon, anoint him with
oil, blow a trumpet, and make him king.
• Adonijah’s is concluding what’s supposed to be his coronation feast when
he and his guests hear Solomon celebrating.
• Adonijah’s supporters realize the tables have turned and now it’s
Adonijah that’s in danger of being eliminated.
• In desperation, Adonijah rushes to the altar in the tabernacle and grabs
on to its horns.
• He refuses to let go of the horns until Solomon promises not to kill him.
• Solomon assures him that if he stays in his lane, he will be safe.
• Adonijah bows before Solomon’s throne and returns home.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• As 2 Samuel ends, an offering is needed to turn away God’s judgment.
Jesus, as the ultimate fulfillment of this picture, turns away God’s
judgment as the propitiation for our sins (cf. Romans 3:25).


Come join us for worship this Sunday.

Paul Beck will continue in our *A Reasonable Faith* series with his sermon
on “Affirming the Exclusivity of Jesus in a Diverse Culture.”

His tests are: John 3:31-36; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1
Timothy 2:5.

Service times are 9 and 11 am.

2 Samuel 22-23

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 2 Samuel 22-23.

XXII. A Psalm of God’s Protection (2 Samuel 22).

• This chapter consists entirely of a song that David prayed after God
saved him from his enemies and from Saul.
• David declares that God is his rock and his refuge, along other metaphors
that speak of His protection.
• When he was surrounded by death and traps seemed to be set all around
him, God heard his cries for help.
• God moved against David’s enemies, making the heavens and the earth
quake. God flew on a cherub and covered Himself in darkness.
• David was drowning but God rescued Him and set Him in a wide field.
• He said that God made His life complete when He placed all the pieces of
it before Him.
• If people are humble, God will save them, but, if they’re proud, He’ll
take them down.
• David praises God for giving him his strength and his ability to fight in
battle and for giving him victory over his enemies.
• He says that by his God he can leap over a wall.
• David ends by further praising God for saving him, helping him, and
choosing Him as His beloved.

XXIII. David’s Last Words and Mighty Men (2 Samuel 23).

• This chapter begins with David’s last words, whom God has made king and a
singer of songs.
• David says that a ruler who governs fairly and justly is like sunlight in
the morning or like the sun in a cloudless sky.
• God made a covenant with David and blessed him.
• Ungodly people are like many thorns that are picked up with a spear and
then burned.
• The second half of the chapter consists of a long list of David’s mighty
• These include Josheb Basshebeth, who once killed eight hundred men in one
day. He was the head of a unit of three elite warriors, including Eleazar
son of Dodo, who fought ferociously against the Philistines, and Shamah,
who also routed the Philistines.
• One when David craved water from the well at the gate of Bethlehem, the
Three risked their lives to go and bring water back to him but David poured
it out on the ground as an offering to God.
• Abishai was an outstanding man among the Thirty —though not quite equal
to the Three.
• Another warrior, Benaiah, accomplished amazing feats, like killing a lion
and a formidable Egyptian. He later was the head of David’s bodyguard.
• A list of David’s mighty men closes out the chapter. The last name on the
list was Uriah the Hittite.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• David’s song in 2 Samuel 22 is a preview of all that Jesus, the Messiah,
is for us and to us. Jesus is our rock, fortress, refuge, shield,
salvation, and savior!

2 Samuel 20-21

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 2 Samuel 20-21:

XX. Sheba’s Rebellion (2 Samuel 20).

• After the rebellion of Absalom, Sheba, a scoundrel, begins another one by
getting Israel to desert David except Judah.
• David takes the ten concubines and has them live in seclusion in a
separate house and provides for them as long as they lived.
• David sends Amasa to deal with Sheba’s rebellion by summoning the people
of Judah. He ends up taking so long that David doubts Amasa’s loyalty.
David turns back to Abishai to pursue Sheba.
• Joab brings his men too. When they find Amasa, Joab pretends like he’s
going to greet Amasa but concealing his sword, he slices Amasa open with
one fatal strike.
• One of Joab’s soldiers hides Amasa’s body on the side of the road, while
everyone else rides on to follow Joab into battle against Sheba.
• They trap Sheba in the city of Abel Beth-Maacah. As they prepare to
besiege the city, a wise woman comes out to talk to Joab.
• She tells Joab that her city is a peaceful people and they don’t want any
• Joab protested that he’s not looking for trouble, he just wants to arrest
• So the wise woman convinces the people of Abel to remove Sheba’s head and
throw it over the city wall to Joab.
• General Joab leads the troops back to Jerusalem.

XXI. Avenging the Gibeonites and Fighting the Philistines (2 Samuel 21)

• A severe famine hits Israel for three years. David implores God for the
reason, and He tells David that it’s the result of Saul’s unjust killing of
the Gibeonites.
• So, David asks the Gibeonites what he could do for them. They say that
they’re not interested in getting money—but rather in getting Saul’s seven
sons and executing them. David agreed.
• David spares Mephibosheth, because of Jonathan but delivers the seven
sons of Saul over to the Gibeonites who hang them on the mountain.
• Rizpah, a concubine of Saul, sits in sackcloth where the deaths happened,
and prevents wild animals and birds from feeding on the bodies.
• When David hears about this, he takes the bones of Saul and Jonathan from
the people of Jabesh-Gilead and gives them a proper burial to lie with
Saul’s ancestors. He also has people gather the bones of the impaled sons
and gives them a proper burial.
• After all this, God removes the famine.
• David continues to fight the Philistines, but he’s exhausted.
• A Philistine giant named Ishbibenob threatens to kill David, but Abishai
steps up and removes the threat.
• David’s troops tell him that he shouldn’t fight anymore because he’s too
important to lose.
• David’s warriors manage to kill other giants fighting on behalf of the
Philistines: Sibbecai the Hushathite kills Saph, Elhanan kills Goliath the
Gittite, and David’s nephew, Jonathan, kills a giant with six fingers and
six toes.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• These two chapters narrate the vulnerability of David’s throne, the
weakness of his own humanity, and his need for God. David is a great sinner
and apart from God he is in trouble constantly. In the same way, we are
great sinners and apart from Jesus we are without hope and can do nothing
at all.

2 Samuel 18-19

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 2 Samuel 18-19:

XVIII. The King’s Army defeats Absalom’s Forces and Absalom is Killed (2
Samuel 18).

• David organizes army into thirds, appointing Joab, Abishai, and Ittai the
Gittite over each part.
• David is ready and willing to fight but his generals object arguing that
he’s too important.
• So David stays behind and watches as thousands march past him to battle.
• He tells his commanders though not to kill Absalom. If they find him,
they are to deal gently with him. All the army heard this order.
• The battle takes place in the forest of Ephraim.
• David’s troops slaughter Absalom’s, with casualties numbering twenty
• The reader is also informed that that the forest claimed as many lives as
the sword.
• While riding on a mule, Absalom encounters some of David’s soldiers. His
long hair gets caught in a tree branch, and he is lifted off the mule,
hanging in mid-air.
• Having heard David’s orders the lone soldier who saw him left him like
When Joab heard about Absalom he grabs three spears, and drove them through
Absalom’s heart, helped by his ten armor-bearers.
• Joab recalls the troops, and the battle ends. They bury Absalom in a pit
in the woods, covering it in stones.
• A monument to Absalom built by himself still remains standing (at the
time 2 Samuel was written) in the King’s Valley.
• Ahimaaz offers to go tell David what’s happened, but Joab sends a Cushite
instead, saying it wouldn’t be appropriate to send Ahimaaz, since the
king’s son died (for some reason). But Ahimaaz protests, so Joab lets him
run, too.
• David sees two runners coming to bring him news. Ahimaaz outruns the
Cushite and tells David that they’ve won the battle.
• He claims he doesn’t know what happened to Absalom but he saw some sort
of great tumult.
• When the Cushite appears, he tells David that Absalom is dead. David’s
grief is deep and filled with pain, “Why not me instead of my son.”

XIX. David’s Kingship is Restored (2 Samuel 19).

• Victory turns into prolonged mourning for David as he grieves alone in
his chamber.
• Joab privately rebukes David. He said that its demoralizing for David to
mourn over the death of an enemy, while his soldiers, who’ve just won a
victory for him, feel like he hates them.
• Joab tells David to go out and encourage them before they desert him.
• David pulls himself together and sits before his soldiers at the city
• In the aftermath of battle, Israel is confused. The majority of people
sided with Absalom. They are not sure how David is going to react to being
their king again and how they should respond.
• David sends out the word that they should not worry about how they sided
with Absalom and should not hesitate now in letting him rule again.
• He even replaces Joab with Amasa—Absalom’s commander—as the new head of
David’s army.
• In return, Amasa helps win the people’s hearts back to David.
• David comes back over the Jordan into Judah, and Shimei and Ziba
respectively come to meet him.
• Shimei apologizes for cursing David earlier. Against Abishai’s counsel,
he forgives Shimei.
• Mephibosheth—who hasn’t cut his beard or washed his clothes since David
left—approaches David asserting that Ziba betrayed him and also lied to
David about him. Mephibosheth expresses gratitude for David’s previous
kindness to him.
• David says that Mephibosheth and Ziba will both split Saul’s land. But
Mephibosheth says that Ziba can have it all, since David returned safely.
• David also agrees to care for a wealthy, eighty-year old man named
Barzillai who helps him over the Jordan, and also accepts the servant
Barzillai offers to him, but he will not stay and be a burden to David.
• A dispute broke out between the men of Israel over the men of Judah who
seemed to be given special privileges before the king.

Jesus in the Old Testament

• As David laments Absalom’s death, wishing he had died in his place, the
ultimate fulfillment of his cry for such substitution takes place when
Jesus bore our punishment for sin in order to restore us to God.

2 Samuel 15-17

?#?OTin52? Our reading today is 2 Samuel 15-17:

XV. Absalom’s Insurrection (2 Samuel 15).

• Absalom’s influence begins to grow as he gathers to himself fifty men
along with a chariot and horses.
• He regularly stands by the gate and engages those who wish to meet David
for help in resolving their disputes.
• Absalom reassures them about the justness of their cause but tells them
that no one is appointed to listen to their issues. But if he was a judge
in Israel he would help them.
• In this way, Absalom steals the hearts of the people.
• After four years in Jerusalem, Absalom asks David if he can go to Hebron
to fulfill a vow.
• When Absalom arrives in Hebron, he sends out messengers to announce
Absalom is king.
• David is informed of Absalom’s coup and he orders his people to flee
Jerusalem. He leaves ten of his concubines behind to keep watch over the
• During his flight, David stops to inform Ittai the Gittite to return to
his people, since it wouldn’t be fair for him to wander around with David.
• Ittai pledges his support of David.
• The priests Zadok and Abiathar are prepared to bring the Ark along too,
but David tells them to stay. If God wants him to return, he’ll see the Ark
• David also hears that Ahithophel has joined Absalom.
• He prays that God will make Ahithophel’s counsel sound foolish.
• After reaching the top of the Mount of Olives, David sends his official
Hushai back to Jerusalem and pretend to serve Absalom but to serve as spies
with Zadok and Abiathar.

XVI. Absalom’s Conspiracy Deepens (2 Samuel 16).

• Heading down the other side of the mountain, Ziba, Mephiboseth’s servant,
catches up with David, bringing transportation and food.
• David inquires of Mephiboseth’s whereabouts, and Ziba tells him that he
stayed behind in Jerusalem to side with Absalom, hoping he would help
restore Saul’s kingdom for him (It seems like almost everyone is turning
against David).
• Shimei, a member of Saul’s house curses David, throwing stones at him,
and claiming that God is punishing David for betraying Saul by giving his
kingdom to Absalom.
• Abishai (Joab’s brother) wants to kill him but David says to leave him
alone. He patiently endures his curses, suggesting that maybe he is saying
something God wants David to hear.
• Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, Hushai (David’s secret spy) praises Absalom.
• Absalom suspiciously asks him why he has betrayed David.
• Hushai replies that he’s choosing to follow the man Israel has chosen to
• Ahithophel, Absalom’s counselor, tells him to sleep with his father’s
concubines—for this will make Absalom all the more repulsive to David.
• Absalom follows Ahithophel’s counsel, fulfilling a portion of the
prophecy Nathan had made against David.

XVII. David’s Life is Spared (2 Samuel 17)

• Ahithophel asks Absalom for permission to ride out with twelve thousand
men, surpise David, and kill him.
• Absalom likes the idea but also seeks Hushai’s opinion.
• Hushai doesn’t think Ahithophel is giving good counsel (tough he may be).
• He knows that David and his men will a fight more than Ahithophel thinks.
• Hushai advises him to launch a major campaign against David.
• Absalom follows Hushai’s advice.
• The readers is informed that God helped Hushai defeat the counsel of
• Hushai informs the priests, Zadok and Abiathar, regarding Absalom’s plans
and they send a servant to tell him to keep going.
• But when Zadok’s sons, Ahimaaz and Jonathan, receive the message, they
are spotted.
• Ahimaaz and Jonathan hide in a well in a couple’s backyard. When
Absalom’s men arrive, the couple tell them that Ahimaaz and Jonathan have
already left.
• Ahimaaz and Jonathan successfully relay the message to David as he
successfully crosses the Jordan.
• Back in Jerusalem, Ahithophel is so distraught over Absalom’s rejection
of his counsel that he hangs himself.
• David flees to the city of Mahanaim, while camps in Gilead. Absalom’s
chief general is Amasa, Joab’s brother-in-law.
• David is treated kindly by the people of Mahanaim with food and supplies,
preparing a table for him in the presence of his enemies (cf. Psalm 23).

Jesus in the Old Testament

• Sin is never without its painful consequences. While fleeing David
appears disoriented. He finally recaptures his equilibrium as he slowly but
assuredly finds his strength in God. God had not abandoned David. In the
same way, Jesus never leaves or forsakes those who truly belong to Him (cf.
Matthew 28:20).