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2 Samuel 18 - NIV

1 David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds.

2 David sent out his troops, a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, “I myself will surely march out with you.”

3 But the men said, “You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us.[a] It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.”

4 The king answered, “I will do whatever seems best to you.”
So the king stood beside the gate while all his men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands.

5 The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders.

6 David’s army marched out of the city to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim.

7 There Israel’s troops were routed by David’s men, and the casualties that day were great—twenty thousand men.

8 The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.

9 Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.

10 When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”

11 Joab said to the man who had told him this, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels[b] of silver and a warrior’s belt.”

12 But the man replied, “Even if a thousand shekels[c] were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.[d]

13 And if I had put my life in jeopardy[e] —and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me.”

14 Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree.

15 And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.

16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them.

17 They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes.

18 During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.

David Mourns

19 Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run and take the news to the king that the Lord has vindicated him by delivering him from the hand of his enemies.”

20 “You are not the one to take the news today,” Joab told him. “You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king’s son is dead.”

21 Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off.

22 Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, “Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite.”
But Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.”

23 He said, “Come what may, I want to run.”
So Joab said, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain[f] and outran the Cushite.

24 While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone.

25 The watchman called out to the king and reported it.
The king said, “If he is alone, he must have good news.” And the runner came closer and closer.

26 Then the watchman saw another runner, and he called down to the gatekeeper, “Look, another man running alone!”
The king said, “He must be bringing good news, too.”

27 The watchman said, “It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok.”
“He’s a good man,” the king said. “He comes with good news.”

28 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well!” He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise be to the Lord your God! He has delivered up those who lifted their hands against my lord the king.”

29 The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”
Ahimaaz answered, “I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was.”

30 The king said, “Stand aside and wait here.” So he stepped aside and stood there.

31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My lord the king, hear the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today by delivering you from the hand of all who rose up against you.”

32 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”
The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.”

33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”[g]


a. 2 Samuel 18:3 Two Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts care; for now there are ten thousand like us
b. 2 Samuel 18:11 That is, about 4 ounces or about 115 grams
c. 2 Samuel 18:12 A few Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts may be translated Absalom, whoever you may be.
d. 2 Samuel 18:12 That is, about 25 pounds or about 12 kilograms
e. 2 Samuel 18:13 Or Otherwise, if I had acted treacherously toward him
f. 2 Samuel 18:23 That is, the plain of the Jordan
g. 2 Samuel 18:33 In Hebrew texts this verse (18:33) is numbered 19:1.

Sermons on 2 Samuel 18 More sermons: 2 Samuel 18

David Rigg avatar
The Message of Ahimaaz Lives On Today
Shared by: David Rigg on May, 2015
Summary: This sermon is about delivering the full message of the Bible, not just what people want to hear!
David Rigg avatar
Pride Goes Before A Fall
Shared by: David Rigg on Apr, 2015
Summary: This sermon deals with the sin of pride as well as other lessons we can learn from Absalom.
Damian Phillips avatar
Being Remembered Forever
Shared by: Damian Phillips on May, 2014
Summary: To be forgotten is one of our greatest fears. There’s only one way we can be remembered for all eternity, and it has nothing to do with gaining worldly recognition. If we know Jesus Christ, our name will be forever recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life.
based on 1 rating
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:5-18
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 2,846
Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid avatar
Trying Times - "HIGH AND MIGHTY"
Shared by: Dr. Gale A. Ragan-Reid on Jul, 2013
Summary: What competitive madness demands we do contrary to common decency?
Series: Trying Times
Curry Pikkaart avatar
Treasuring God's Love
Shared by: Curry Pikkaart on Oct, 2012
Summary: A story of grief and love
based on 1 rating
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:5-33
Denomination: Presbyterian/Reformed
Views: 1,083
Damian Phillips avatar
He Died in Your Place
Shared by: Damian Phillips on Jun, 2012
Summary: Father’s Day Message: We have access to the greatest love of all in our heavenly Father; a love so great that it would sacrifice itself for our spiritual well-being. This love is available to all who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
based on 8 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:31-33
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 3,099
Paul Getter avatar
Davids Other Giants
Shared by: Paul Getter on Jan, 2012
Summary: David had more than one giant in his life...
based on 131 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 17:11-18:1
Denomination: Apostolic
Views: 11,838
Philip Harrelson avatar
Are You Backsliding?
Shared by: Philip Harrelson on Jan, 2012
Summary: A sermon that causes self-examination by asking "are you backsliding?" The sermon focuses on Absalom and Ahithophel.
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:18
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 998
Dr.W.Samuel Legon avatar
Shared by: Dr.W.Samuel Legon on Aug, 2010
Summary: Fair well with God by doing his will
based on 1 rating
Scripture: 2 Samuel 11:1-18:9
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 743
Spencer Homan avatar
Shank the Rat - Prison Break 3
Shared by: Spencer Homan on Nov, 2009
Summary: This is the third week of our "Prison Break" sermon series focusing on the central character of King David. It includes a timely appearance by Illinois’ ex-governer Rod Blagojavich. What do we want to do with "rats?"
Series: Prison Break
based on 1 rating
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:4-15
Denomination: Presbyterian/Reformed
Views: 501
Rodney Kelley avatar
The Retreating Casualties
Shared by: Rodney Kelley on Sep, 2009
Summary: Too often Christains fall by the wayside by allowing sin to enter their lives.
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:6-8
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 864
Jim Nicodem avatar
David and his Prodigal
Shared by: Jim Nicodem on Jul, 2009
Summary: A message to encourage parents from the story of Amnon and Tamar.
based on 2 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 13:1-18:33
Views: 1,396
David Owens avatar
Riding Out The Storm
Shared by: David Owens on Jun, 2009
Summary: What should a person do you do when the consequences for their sin begins to catch up with them. Let’s learn from the example of David how to ride out the storm of heartache and trouble in the wake of his sin.
based on 12 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 12:1-18:33
Views: 4,686
Joseph Smith avatar
My Three Sons
Shared by: Joseph Smith on Dec, 2008
Summary: Dramatic monologue as if David were speaking: he starved emotionally his son Adonijah, he indulged his son Solomon, and he distanced himself from his son Absalom.
based on 8 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:1-33
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 2,303
Mike Wilkins avatar
Praying in Tragedy
Shared by: Mike Wilkins on Nov, 2008
Summary: David teaches how to pray in dysfunction and tragedy
based on 3 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 13:1-18:33
Denomination: *other
Views: 620
Victor Yap avatar
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Shared by: Victor Yap on Jun, 2008
Summary: David, Pt. 13
based on 1 rating
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:1-17
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 2,336
Rodney Fry avatar
Shared by: Rodney Fry on Jun, 2008
Summary: Miles of distance and centuries of time separate us from King David. He was a king and we are commoners. Still, despite the distance and the differences we can learn much about being fathers in this present day by looking at this father of long ago.
based on 6 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:33
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,492
Rick Gillespie- Mobley avatar
Stop Throwing Your Talents Away
Shared by: Rick Gillespie- Mobley on Jun, 2008
Summary: This is the fifth and final in the series on the fallout from King David’s decision to pursue Bathsheba. This focuses in on Absalom and his misuse of his his talents.
based on 12 ratings
Denomination: Presbyterian/Reformed
Views: 6,678
Bob Joyce avatar
The Truth, The Whole Truth, Nothing But the Truth
Shared by: Bob Joyce on Sep, 2007
Summary: The tragedy of the church today is that we have only proclaimed a partial message. The proclamation of salvation without repentance is a tragedy because it is a mockery to the cross. But the proclamation of salvation without the Holy Spirit is the greates
based on 3 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:28-33
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,056
Mel  Shepherd avatar
How to Rise a Rebellious Child
Shared by: Mel Shepherd on Jul, 2007
Summary: “Every Problem has a Root Cause”
based on 6 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 13:1-18:33
Views: 3,816
Pat Damiani avatar
Bitter or Better?
Shared by: Pat Damiani on Jul, 2006
Summary: Eighth in a series on the life of David. This messages focuses on how to deal with suffering.
based on 19 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 13:1-18:33
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 2,555
Victor Yap avatar
Prevention is Better than Cure
Shared by: Victor Yap on Jun, 2004
Summary: David, Pt 13 of 15
Series: "David"
based on 38 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:1-17
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Views: 1,176
Jerry DePoy avatar
"Rules of the Road"
Shared by: Jerry DePoy on May, 2004
Summary: Ahimaaz and Cushi would be running a "race." As Christians, we too, are running a race. There are some "rules of the road" that you need to know before you begin the race.
based on 24 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:16-33
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 1,227
Jeff Simms avatar
David's Dysfunctional Family
Shared by: Jeff Simms on Apr, 2004
Summary: Learning from David’s mistakes with his sons Amnon and Absalom
based on 72 ratings
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 3,384
Ivan Casteel avatar
Shared by: Ivan Casteel on Apr, 2004
Summary: The man who wanted to be King, but destroyed himself.
based on 34 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:18
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 4,033
Andy Almendarez avatar
A Father's Failure
Shared by: Andy Almendarez on Mar, 2004
Summary: Are you a father or a daddy?
based on 22 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:24-33
Denomination: Holiness
Views: 3,321
Wesley Bishop avatar
The Grief of the Father
Shared by: Wesley Bishop on Mar, 2004
Summary: This sermon relates the grief of David over the death of Absalom to God’s grief over our sin.
based on 54 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:24-33
Denomination: Wesleyan
Views: 4,849
Sue Richard avatar
Learning from Absalom
Shared by: Sue Richard on Feb, 2004
Summary: Absalom provides a good example of the sin of pride and the conseqence of breaking the fifth commandment, Honor your father and mother.
based on 38 ratings
Denomination: Brethren
Views: 13,866
William Wilmore, Jr. avatar
"Is The Child Safe?"
Shared by: William Wilmore, Jr. on Jul, 2003
Summary: David asked, concerning the fate of his rebel son Absalom, "Is the child safe?" It is a question parents of today and the church of today needs to ask.
based on 90 ratings
Scripture: 2 Samuel 18:32-33
Denomination: Baptist
Views: 9,194
Kenneth Squires avatar
When You Blow It as A Parent
Shared by: Kenneth Squires on Apr, 2003
Summary: As we descend deep into the world of family matters we cross the crevice of “when you blow it as a parent.” I want to help you navigate safely to the base camp of another challenging aspect of the parental climb
based on 48 ratings
Denomination: Pentecostal
Views: 1,627