2 Samuel 18:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
During the battle, Absalom happened to come upon some of David's men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air.

English Standard Version
And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on.

New American Standard Bible
Now Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. For Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. And his head caught fast in the oak, so he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him kept going.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Absalom 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.

International Standard Version
Absalom happened to run into David's soldiers. While Absalom was trying to get away on his mule, it ran under the thick branches of a giant oak tree, and Absalom's head got caught in the tree! As his mule ran out from under him, Absalom was left hanging above the ground.

NET Bible
Then Absalom happened to come across David's men. Now as Absalom was riding on his mule, it went under the branches of a large oak tree. His head got caught in the oak and he was suspended in midair, while the mule he had been riding kept going.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Absalom happened to come face to face with some of David's men. He was riding on a mule, and the mule went under the tangled branches of a large tree. Absalom's head became caught in the tree. So he was left hanging in midair when the mule that was under him ran away.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Absalom met the slaves 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.

King James 2000 Bible
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 fast in the oak, and he was left hanging between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.

American King James Version
And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode on 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.

American Standard Version
And Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David. And Absalom was riding upon his 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 heaven and earth; and the mule that was under him went on.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it happened that Absalom met he servants of David, riding on a mule: and as the mule went under a thick and large oak, his head stuck in the oak: and while he hung between the heaven and he earth, the mule on which he rode passed on.

Darby Bible Translation
And Absalom found himself in the presence of David's servants. And Absalom was riding upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of the great terebinth, and his head caught in the terebinth, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.

English Revised Version
And Absalom chanced to meet the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon his 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 on.

Webster's Bible Translation
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 suspended between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.

World English Bible
Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his 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 sky and earth; and the mule that was under him went on.

Young's Literal Translation
And Absalom meeteth before the servants of David, and Absalom is riding on the mule, and the mule cometh in under an entangled bough of the great oak, and his head taketh hold on the oak, and he is placed between the heavens and the earth, and the mule that is under him hath passed on.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:9-18 Let young people look upon Absalom, hanging on a tree, accursed, forsaken of heaven and earth; there let them read the Lord's abhorrence of rebellion against parents. Nothing can preserve men from misery and contempt, but heavenly wisdom and the grace of God.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - Absalom met the servants of David. The verb means that he came upon them by chance. Evidently in the intricacies of the forest, Absalom. had lost his way, and, finding himself suddenly in damager of being captured by some of David's men, he urged his mule through a thicket, as the open ground was blocked by his pursuers. But in the attempt his head was jammed between the boughs of a great terebinth, and the mule, struggling onward, left him hanging in mid-air. Nothing is said about his hair having caused the accident, and apparently it was his neck which became fixed. Probably, too, he was half stunned by the blow, and choked by the pressure; and then his hair would make it very difficult for him to extricate himself. And so, after one or two efforts, in which he would be in danger of dislocating his neck, he would remain suspended to await his fate. Now, this adventure makes the whole affair perfectly plain. Absalom was riding his mule, evidently unprepared for battle. The chariot and horses, with fifty men as his body guard, used by him at Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:l), are nowhere near him. Chariots, of course, would have been useless on such rough ground, but Absalom would have had a picked body of young men round him in the battle; and mules were only for use on the march, and were sent into the rear when the fighting began. But the last thing that Absalom expected was that he should be attacked on the march. He was advancing with an army infinitely more numerous than that of David, and assumed that David would wait at Mahanaim, and, if he fought at all, would fight under its walls. His defeat he regarded as certain, and then the vain glorious prince and all Israel would drag the city into the nearest ravine. In this over confidence he was riding in advance of his army, which was struggling on over most difficult ground. For "rising as the country does suddenly from the deep valley of the Jordan, it is naturally along its whole western border deeply furrowed by the many streams which drain the district; and our ride," says Canon Tristram, "was up and down concealed glens, which we only perceived when on their brink, and mounting from which on the other side, a short canter soon brought us to the edge of the next" (Tristram, p. 462). Struggling along over such ground, Absalom's men were not merely tired and weary, but had lost all order, and "become a scattering," and probably Absalom had cantered on in order to find some suitable spot for reforming them. Suddenly he sees at a little distance before him one of the three detachments of David's army, which had marched out a few miles from Mahanaim, and posted themselves on some fit spot to attack the rebels on their march. Apparently they caught no glimpse of him, but he immediately became aware of the tactics of the king's generals, and discerned the extreme danger of his position. Everything depended upon celerity. If he could warn his men, the foremost would halt until the others came up, and a sufficient force be gathered to resist Joab's onslaught. There was no cowardice on his part, but simply the discharge of his duty as a general. He turns his mule round, and dashes away in order to halt and form his men, keeping to the wood that he may not be seen. In his great haste he is not careful in picking his route, and possibly his mule was stubborn, and swerved; and so, in attempting to force his way through the thicket, he is stunned by a blow from a branch of a terebinth tree, and so entangled in its boughs that he cannot free himself; and as none of David's men had seen him, he might have hung there to be the prey of the vultures, and only his riderless mule have been left to bear witness to his having met with some disaster. Meanwhile his followers struggle on, until they come upon David's men, who put them to the sword. There is no battle, but the three divisions, advancing in order, make merciless slaughter of their opponents. For some time Absalom's forces, extended over many miles of march, do not even learn what is going on in their front, and twenty thousand men had fallen before, becoming aware of their defeat, they fly in wild confusion, to lose more men in their panic than had fallen in fighting. Their loss would even have been greater had not Joab stopped the pursuit upon Absalom's death. But where was Amasa, and what was he doing? He had led his troops miserably, had taken no precautions against surprise, and did nothing to rally them. Had Absalom got back in safety to the van, he might have saved his men from so disastrous a defeat; but Amasa, doubtless a brave soldier, proved himself quite incompetent to the duties of a commander-in-chief, and no match for the sagacious Joab.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And Absalom met the servants of David,.... When his army was routed, he was in such a fright that he knew not which way to flee, and instead of flying from David's men, he fled in the way of them; but none of them attempted to slay him, nor even to stop him, but let him pass by them, knowing David's charge concerning him:

and Absalom rode upon a mule; as was common for great personages to do in those days, 2 Samuel 13:29,

and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak; and running full speed, Absalom could not guide him, nor stop, nor divert him from going under it:

and his head caught hold of the oak; either the hair of his head was twisted and entangled in the thick boughs of the oak; or rather his head was jammed into a forked branch of the oak:

and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; hung in the air between both, as unworthy to live in either:

and the mule that was under him went away; and left him hanging in the oak.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. Absalom met the servants of David—or was overtaken. "It is necessary to be continually on one's guard against the branches of trees; and when the hair is worn in large locks floating down the back, as was the case with a young man of the party to which I belonged, any thick boughs interposing in the path might easily dislodge a rider from his seat, and catch hold of his flowing hair" [Hartley]. Some, however, think that the sacred historian points not so much to the hair, as to the head of Absalom, which, being caught while running between two branches, was enclosed so firmly that he could not disengage himself from the hold, nor make use of his hands.

the mule that was under him went away—The Orientals, not having saddles as we do, do not sit so firmly on the beasts they ride. Absalom quitting his hold of the bridle, apparently to release himself when caught in the oak, the mule escaped.

2 Samuel 18:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Absalom Killed
8For the battle there was spread over the whole countryside, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. 9Now Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. For Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak. And his head caught fast in the oak, so he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him kept going. 10When a certain man saw it, he told Joab and said, "Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak."…
Cross References
2 Samuel 13:29
So Absalom's men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king's sons got up, mounted their mules and fled.

2 Samuel 14:26
Whenever he cut the hair of his head--he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him--he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard.

2 Samuel 18:8
The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.

2 Samuel 18:10
When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, "I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree."
Treasury of Scripture

And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode on 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.

his head Riding furiously under the thick boughs of a great oak, which hung low and had never been cropped, either the twisted branches, or some low forked bough of the tree, caught him by the neck, or, as some think, by the loops into which his long hair had been pinned, which had been so much his pride, and was now justly made a halter for him. He may have hung so low from the bough, in consequence of the length of his hair, that he could not use his hands to help himself, or so entangled that his hands were bound, so that the more he struggled the more he was embarrassed. This set him up as a fair mark to the servants of David; and although David would have spared his rebellious son, if his orders had been executed, yet he could not turn the sword of Divine justice, in executing the just, righteous sentence of death on this traitorous son.

2 Samuel 18:14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with you. And he took three …

2 Samuel 14:26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that …

2 Samuel 17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled …

Matthew 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, …

taken up

Deuteronomy 21:23 His body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall in …

Deuteronomy 27:16,20 Cursed be he that sets light by his father or his mother. And all …

Job 18:8-10 For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he walks on a snare…

Job 31:3 Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the …

Psalm 63:9,10 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower …

Proverbs 20:20 Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out …

Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocks at his father, and despises to obey his mother, …

Jeremiah 48:44 He that flees from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that …

Mark 7:10 For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever curses …

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse …

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Alphabetical: a Absalom Absalom's and as between branches caught David David's earth fast For going got great hanging happened He head heaven him his in kept large left meet men midair mule Now oak of on riding servants so that the thick to tree under was went while

OT History: 2 Samuel 18:9 Absalom happened to meet the servants (2Sa iiSam 2 Sam ii sam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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