So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Samuel 14:33. So Joab came to the king — Absalom’s impetuosity prevailed: these passionate expressions that he was weary of life, while he continued to be debarred his father’s presence; nay, that he desired to die so he might but see him, moved Joab to intercede with the king for him, and he was admitted into the royal presence, where he did obeisance, humbling himself before the king with his face to the ground. And the king kissed Absalom — In token of reconciliation. Josephus says, the king raised him up from the ground, and promised him an oblivion of what was past; which was a great weakness in David; for the impenitent become only more wicked by the pardon of their offences; as we find Absalom did, who, being thus received into the king’s favour, soon found means to ingratiate himself with the people, and raise a rebellion against his own father who had thus graciously pardoned him. But we may here properly ask, with Henry, “Did the bowels 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 mercy? If Ephraim bemoan himself, God soon bemoans him, with all the expressions of fatherly tenderness: He is a dear son, a pleasant child,” Jeremiah 31:20. Genesis 45:15.)
and when he had called for Absalom; sent messengers to his house to order him to come to him:
he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king; made a very reverend bow to him, according to the custom of those times, throwing himself at his feet in great submission to him:So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)33. the king kissed Absalom] As a pledge of reconciliation. See Genesis 33:4; Genesis 45:15; Luke 15:20.Verse 33. - The king kissed Absalom. The father's kiss was, as in the case of the prodigal son (Luke 15:20), the sign of perfect reconciliation, and of the restoration of Absalom to his place as a son, with all its privileges. But God's pardon was immediate (2 Samuel 12:13), while David's was unwilling, and wrung from him. The kiss, we may feel quite sure, was preceded by a conversation between David and his son, the record of which is omitted simply for the sake of brevity. Evidently it satisfied the king, and ended in the kiss which gave the son all he desired. But whatever may have been his professions, Absalom's subsequent conduct is proof that he still regarded Amnon's death as a just retribution for his conduct to Tamar, and secretly cherished a sullen anger against his father for not having punished the wrong doer himself. It was the contrast between his own five years of punishment and the mere verbal reproof which was all that Amnon had to suffer for his shameless conduct, which rankled in Absalom's mind, and gave him an excuse for finally plotting his father's ruin.
2 Samuel 18:18). The daughter's name is probably given as a proof of Absalom's great affection for his sister Tamar, whom Amnon had violated.
(Note: The lxx have this additional clause, καὶ γίνεται γυνὴ Ῥοβαὰμ υἱῷ Σαλωμὼν καὶ τίκτει αὐτῷ τὸν Ἀβιά (and she became the wife of Rehoboam the son of Solomon, and bore him a son named Abia). Although this is quite at variance with 1 Kings 15:2, where it is stated that the wife of Rehoboam and mother of Abia (Abijam) was named Maacah, the clause had been adopted by Thenius, who regards it as original, though for reasons which Bttcher has shown to be worthless.)
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