2 Samuel 14:32
And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent to you, saying, Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say, Why am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.
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(32) If there be any iniquity.—Absalom makes no acknowledgment of having done wrong, but simply says that this state of half-reconciliation is intolerable. He must either be punished or fully pardoned. Joab’s intercession accomplishes its purpose; the king receives Absalom, and kisses him in token of complete reconciliation. In this David showed great weakness, for which he afterwards suffered severely.

2 Samuel 14:32. If there be iniquity in me — He could not but know that there was iniquity in him, heinous iniquity: but he pretends if the king would not pardon it, and admit him into his presence, he had rather die. Let him kill me — For it is better for me to die than be deprived of the sight and favour of my dear father. Thus he insinuates himself into his father’s affections, by pretending such respect and love to him. See how easily even wise parents may be imposed upon by their children, when they are blindly fond of them!14:28-33 By his insolent carriage toward Joab, Absalom brought Joab to plead for him. By his insolent message to the king, he gained his wishes. When parents and rulers countenance such characters, they will soon suffer the most fatal effects. But did the compassion of a father prevail to reconcile him to an impenitent son, and shall penitent sinners question the compassion of Him who is the Father of mercies?Three sons - These probably died in infancy (see the marginal reference). From Tamar must have been born Maachah, the mother of Abijah, and the favorite wife of Rehoboam 1 Kings 15:2; 2 Chronicles 11:20-22. 28. So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face—Whatever error David committed in authorizing the recall of Absalom, he displayed great prudence and command over his feelings afterwards—for his son was not admitted into his father's presence but was confined to his own house and the society of his own family. This slight severity was designed to bring him to sincere repentance, on perceiving that his father had not fully pardoned him, as well as to convince the people of David's abhorrence of his crime. Not being allowed to appear at court, or to adopt any state, the courtiers kept aloof; even his cousin did not deem it prudent to go into his society. For two full years his liberty was more restricted, and his life more apart from his countrymen while living in Jerusalem, than in Geshur; and he might have continued in this disgrace longer, had he not, by a violent expedient, determined (2Sa 14:30) to force his case on the attention of Joab, through whose kind and powerful influence a full reconciliation was effected between him and his father. It had been good for me to have been there still, rather than here, because my estrangement from him now when I am so near to him is both moro grievous and more shameful to me. But the truth of the business was this, Absalom saw that his father had accomplished his design in bringing him thither, having satisfied both his own natural affection, and his people’s desire of Absalom’s return from banishment; but that he could not without restitution into the king’s presence and favour compass his design, i.e. confirm and improve that interest which he saw he had in the people’s hearts.

Let him kill me; for it is better for me to die, than to want the sight and favour of my dear father. Thus he insinuates himself into his father’s affections, by pretending such respect and love to him. It seems that by this time Absalom having so far recovered his father’s favour as to be recalled, he began to grow upon him, and take so much confidence as to stand upon his own justification, as if what he had done had been no iniquity, at least not such as to deserve death; for so much this speech intimates. And Absalom answered Joab,.... Neither denying the fact, nor being ashamed of it, nor asking pardon for it; but endeavouring to vindicate it, by giving a reason as he thought sufficient for it:

behold, I sent unto thee, saying, come hither, that I may send thee to the king; which was assuming great authority over a person in such an high office as Joab was; had he been king, he could not have used more, to send for him, and command his attendance, and send him on what errand he thought fit, as here:

to say, wherefore am I come from Geshur? why did the king send for me? why did not he let me alone where I was? to what purpose am I brought hither, since I am not admitted to court?

it had been good for me to have been there still; and better, where he lived in a king's court, and had honour and respect shown him, suitable to his rank; and where he had his liberty, and could go where he pleased; and where this mark of his father's displeasure, not suffering him to see his face, would not be so manifest as here, and so less disgraceful to him:

now therefore let me see the king's face; that is, speak to the king, and intercede for me, that I may see his face; which he was so importunate for, not from affection to the king; but that being at court, he might be able to ingratiate himself among the courtiers and others, and carry the point which his ambition prompted him to, supplant the king, and seize the crown:

and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me; signifying he chose to die, rather than to live such a life he did: but of being put to death he was not much afraid; presuming partly upon his innocence, thinking that the killing of his brother was no crime, because he was the aggressor, had ravished his sister, and for it ought to die; and since justice was delayed, and not done him, he had committed no iniquity in putting him to death; and partly on his father's affection to him, which he was sensible of; at least he had reason to believe he would not now put him to death; for had he designed that, he would have ordered it before now, since he had had him so long in his hands.

And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and {r} if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.

(r) If I have offended by revenging my sister's dishonour: thus the wicked justify themselves in their evil.

32. if there be any iniquity in me] Let the king treat me either as guilty or as innocent. This half-forgiveness is worse than death. Absalom means to protest that he is innocent, and had been fully justified in taking revenge on Amnon, as the king had left his offence unpunished.Verse 32. - If there be (any) iniquity in me, let him kill me. The word "any," wrongly inserted in the Authorized Version, as omitted in the Revised Version. It would have been monstrous for Absalom to profess innocence, with the murder of Amnon fresh in his memory; but the phrase, "if there be iniquity in me," means, "if my offence is still unpardoned." If year after year he was to be treated as a criminal, then he would rather be put to death at once. And Absalom's plea succeeds. Joab, who had been unwilling to visit the prisoner, now consents to act as mediator, reports to David his son's vexation at such long continued coldness, and obtains full pardon. "When he polled his head, and it took place from year to year that he polled it; for it became heavy upon him (too heavy for him), and so he polled it: they weighed the hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the king's weight." A strong growth of hair was a sign of great manly power, and so far a proof of Absalom's beauty. The statement as to the weight of the hair cut off, viz., two hundred shekels, is in any case a round number, and much too high, although we do not know what the difference between the royal and the sacred shekel really was. According to the sacred reckoning, two hundred shekels would be about six pounds; so that if we were to assume that the royal shekel was about half the other, the number would be still much too high. It is evident, therefore, that there is an error in the text, such as we frequently meet with in the case of numbers, though we have no means of rectifying it, as all the ancient versions contain the same number.
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