Absalom’s Defeat 18 1David reviewed his troops and appointed commanders of hundreds and of thousands over them. 2He then sent out the troops, a third under Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king said to the troops, “I will also march out with you.” 3“You must not go!” the people pleaded. “If we have to flee, they will not pay any attention to us. Even if half of us die, they will not pay any attention to us because you are worth[W] 10,000 of us. Therefore, it is better if you support us from the city.” 4“I will do whatever you think is best,” the king replied to them. So he stood beside the gate while all the troops marched out by hundreds and thousands. 5The king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “Treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake.” All the people heard the king’s orders to all the commanders about Absalom. 6Then David’s forces marched into the field to engage Israel in battle, which took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7The people of Israel were defeated by David’s soldiers, and the slaughter there was vast that day—20,000 casualties. 8The battle spread over the entire region, and that day the forest claimed more people than the sword.   Absalom’s Death   9Absalom was riding on his mule when he happened to meet David’s soldiers. When the mule went under the tangled branches of a large oak tree, Absalom’s head was caught fast in the tree. The mule under him kept going, so he was suspended in midair.[X] 10One of the men saw him and informed Joab. He said, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree!” 11“You just saw him!” Joab exclaimed.[Y] “Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? I would have given you 10 silver pieces[Z] and a belt!” 12The man replied to Joab, “Even if I had the weight of 1,000 pieces of silver[A] in my hand, I would not raise my hand against the king’s son. For we heard the king command you, Abishai, and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for me.’[B] 13If I had jeopardized my own[C] life—and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have abandoned me.” 14Joab said, “I’m not going to waste time with you!” He then took three spears in his hand and thrust them into Absalom’s heart while he was still alive in the oak tree, 15and 10 young men who were Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him, and killed him. 16Afterward, Joab blew the ram’s horn, and the troops broke off their pursuit of Israel because Joab restrained them. 17They took Absalom, threw him into a large pit in the forest, and piled a huge mound of stones over him. And all Israel fled, each to his tent. 18When he was alive, Absalom had set up a pillar for himself in the King’s Valley, for he had said, “I have no son to preserve the memory of my name.” So he gave the pillar his name. It is still called Absalom’s Monument today. 19Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Please let me run and tell the king the good news that the Lord has delivered him from his enemies.” 20Joab replied to him, “You are not the man to take good news today. You may do it another day, but today you aren’t taking good news, because the king’s son is dead.” 21Joab then said to the Cushite, “Go tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed to Joab and took off running. 22However, Ahimaaz son of Zadok persisted and said to Joab, “No matter what, please let me also run behind the Cushite!” Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to run since you won’t get a reward?” 23“No matter what I want to run!” “Then run!” Joab said to him. So Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite. 24David was sitting between the two gates when the watchman went up to the roof of the gate and over to the wall. The watchman looked out and saw a man running alone. 25He called out and told the king. The king said, “If he’s alone, he bears good news.” As the first runner came closer, 26the watchman saw another man running. He called out to the gatekeeper, “Look! Another man is running alone!” “This one is also bringing good news,” said the king. 27The watchman said, “The way the first man runs looks to me like the way Ahimaaz son of Zadok runs.” “This is a good man; he comes with good news,” the king commented. 28Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well,” and then bowed down to the king with his face to the ground. He continued, “May the Lord your God be praised! He delivered up the men who rebelled against my lord the king.” 29The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom all right?” Ahimaaz replied, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and your servant, I saw a big disturbance, but I don’t know what it was.” 30The king said, “Move aside and stand here.” So he stood to one side. 31Just then the Cushite came and said, “May my lord the king hear the good news: today the Lord has delivered you from all those rising up against you!” 32The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom all right?” The Cushite replied, “May what has become of the young man happen to the enemies of my lord the king and to all who rise up against you with evil intent.” 33[D]The king was deeply moved and went up to the gate chamber and wept. As he walked, he cried, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”
VII. Agreement of Book & Land If the Bible was not inspired by God but rather a man-made "self-help" book, you would expect to find error... Read More
VII. Agreement of Book & Land If the Bible was not inspired by God but rather a man-made "self-help" book, you would expect to find errors throughout. This would especially be true regarding geography, nations, and cultures. Yet, every geographical reference is accurate. 1. Accuracy in Acts "In the late 1800’s, Sir William Ramsay, a scholar who was skeptical of the authenticity of the Book of Acts, set out upon an archaeological expedition in Asia Minor with the declared intention of disproving the historicity and accuracy of Luke’s narrative. After years of research, literally digging up the evidence, Ramsay was forced to conclude that Acts was historically accurate. In Acts, Luke mentions 32 countries, 54 cities, and 9 Mediterranean islands. He also mentions 95 persons, 62 of which are not named elsewhere in the New Testament. And his references, where check-able, are always correct. This is truly remarkable in view of the fact that the political / territorial situation of his day was in a state of almost constant flux. How does one account for Luke’s precision? Inspiration!" 2. J.W. McGarvey J.W. McGarvey visited Palenstine in 1879 to write a book "Lands of the Bible." He presented a general idea "Argument from Agreement of Book and Land." He stated that the geographical references of Palestine in the Bible are well-known. In not a single instance throughout the entire Bible is there a known inaccuracy of political divisions or changes of government. Its plains, mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, cities, and deserts are in all parts of the Bible correctly named and correctly located. 3. Elevation Changes (John 2:13; Luke 10:30; Acts 9:30,32; Acts 24:1) The land of Palestine varies considerably in elevation. Jericho, near the Dead Sea, is 825 feet below sea level, while Jerusalem is about 2500 feet above sea level. The Bible often describes traveling up or down between various cities, and these descriptions are always correct. 4. Trees The Bible names a number of trees which are all indigenous to Palestine (Judges 9:7-21). Despite the writer not being familiar with the region, not a single error is made. All the trees mentioned in the passage are indigenous to Palestine. This would be a difficult task for a mere man especially in that time period of limited knowledge and no internet. The oak has been found to grow in the places mentioned in Genesis 13:18 and 2 Samuel 18:9. Additionally, the sycamore tree grows only in the Jordan River valley and along the coast and references in the Bible (1 Kings 10:27; Luke 19:4) only place it there. 5. Climate The Mediterranean Sea on the west coast and the desert to the east largely influence the climate of the land. The Bible accurately describes the rain coming from the seas (1 King 18:43-45; Luke 12:54). Another example is the easterner wind--called "Sirocco"--brings dry, dusty air from the desert (Gen 41:23; Jonah 4:8). 6. Customs The Bible accurately depicts the cultures and customs of the people of that time. (1) Animal skins used as containers (Mark 2:22), (2) threshing grain on a threshing floor which is still practiced today in the region (Psa 1:4), (3) and mounds of rocks for marking territory (Prov 23:10) have all be accurately discovered.
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