The call backs are interesting in this selection. First, you have the servant of Mephibosheth come out to help David, and he ends up with Mephibosheth’s inheritance it seems. 2 Sam 16:4. Then we are reminded that not all of Saul’s family is necessarily happy with the new king. 2 Sam 16:5-14.
The main event, is the fall of Absalom. But before he falls, he takes the follow advice to establish himself as leader in Jerusalem.
Ahithophel answered, “Sleep with your father’s concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute.” So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
Now in those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel’s advice.
So, we have the systematic, public rape of women as a mechanism of establishing dominance over a people. Such a gruesome, matter of fact telling of this.
Absalom gets his in the end. His gorgeous hair gets tangled in an oak tree and he is left hanging there as his mule moved on. While some of the men are scared to kill the prince, Joab is not. He and his armor bearers take care of that shit. Although, David is very sad for the loss of his son.
For the record, Absalom’s stories reminds me of Gilead’s son, identified as Abimelek, who kills all of Gilead’s children–his siblings–to take power.
2 replies on “2 Samuel 16-18”
The casualness of it all does remind you how lovely it is to live in a time where we value human life as a concept.
That is a good way to look it.