Do unto others

And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon because he had forced his sister Tamar…Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have I not commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant…And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that hehold, the kings sons came, and lift up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore. But Absalom fled, and went to Talmar, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years. And the soul of David was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead. (2 Samuel 13:22, 28, 36-39)

Because Absalom killed his brother Amnon, David had to decide whether or not Absalom should be punished. David, having been forgiven for his sin with Bath-sheba, was in no position to judge Absalom. Under the law, Amnon’s relatives had the right to avenge his blood, but it was not required that anyone do so. David chose not to seek revenge, but neither did he forgive Absalom. “And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king’s face” (2 Samuel 14:24).

After two years, Absalom sought to have his relationship with his father restored and he asked Joab, the commander of David’s army, to intervene on his behalf. “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” (2 Samuel 14:33).

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