Monday, February 17, 2014

The Death of Absalom as a type of Christ

I was reading in 2 Sam 18 about the death of Absalom, David’s son, and the grief that David felt over his death and when I read verse 33 something clicked in my head.

And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept:
and as he went, thus he said,
O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!
would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

I thought to myself, That sounds an awful lot like how Heavenly Father would grieve over the death of His Son Jesus Christ! 

So I started looking more closely at the circumstances of Absalom’s death and I started to see it as a type of Christ.  Now, Absalom wasn’t the greatest person to become a type of Christ.  After all, his death happened as he was rebelling against his father King David, and previous to his rebellion he arranged for his brother Amnon’s murder for defiling his sister Tamar.  But let’s look at the circumstances of his death.

5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
6 ¶So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim;
7 Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.
8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9 ¶And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
11 And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
15 And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.
17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent. (2 Sam 18:5-17)

After that, two messengers are sent to tell David the news of what happened and the second messenger has this conversation with David:

31 And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the Lord hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee.
32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.
33 ¶And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! (2 Sam 18:30-35)

So here’s a chart with all the similarities that are discernable.

Story of Absalom’s death
Story of Christ’s death
David instructed all his servants to deal gently with Absalom. 
Heavenly Father expected all Israel and the leaders to reverence Jesus.
Absalom rode on a mule as a sign of his princely status. 
Christ rode a donkey during his triumphal entry to Jerusalem.
Absalom was stuck hanging from a tree.
Christ hung on a wooden cross.
Joab said he would have rewarded a man ten shekels of silver for killing Absalom, which would have been a betrayal. 
Judas was rewarded 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus to the leaders of the Jews.
The man who was offered the reward knew it was wrong and lists all the reasons why he didn’t.  These reasons become prophecy about Judas and what would happen to him. 
1) He knew it was against the king’s commandments.
2) It would be falsehood against his own life. 
3) The king would find out anyway.
4) The man knew Joab would turn on him if he had done it.
1) Judas broke Heavenly Father’s commandments in betraying Jesus.
2) By betraying Christ, Judas would betray everything he had lived for.
3) Heavenly Father knew everything about what Judas did.
4) The Jews turned on Judas after Judas betrayed Christ; see Matt 27:3-10
Joab pierced Absalom with darts while Absalom was still alive. 
Jesus was pierced with nails to be hung on the cross.
Ten young men who bore Joab’s armor surrounded Absalom and killed him.
Roman soldiers surrounded, mocked, and abused Jesus during his trials, and also crucified him.
Absalom’s body was thrown in a pit and a great pile of stones covered him. 
Jesus was put in a tomb and the entrance was covered with a great stone.
Clearly Joab thought he was doing King David a service by getting rid of the head of a rebellion. 
The leaders of the Jews thought they were serving God by getting rid of Jesus, considering his claim to be the Son of God to be rebellion against God.
The messenger tells David that David has been avenged of all those who rebelled against him. 
Christ’s suffering and death paid the price of justice for all who disobeyed God.
The messenger tells David he hopes that all David’s enemies will end up like Absalom’s end.
This prophetically shows how Christ’s death will be as if he were the enemy of God and also it warns that the enemies of God who don’t repent will die for their own sins.
David grieves greatly for his son’s death and wishes he could have died in his place.
We learn from this about the pain Heavenly Father felt over the death of Christ and that He would preferred to have sacrificed Himself in Christ’s place.


Anonymous said...

Hello children of the one true living God, please ask the Lord Jesus Christ to let the Holy Spirit guide you.