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He takes Thamar into his house and quietly but determinedly lays his plan.The sacred writer states that Absalom never spoke to Amnon, neither good words nor evil, but he hated him with a hatred unto death.
Under such circumstances it is not strange that Absalom, idolized by those around him, whilst his natural sense of gratitude and filial duty became gradually dulled, was led to cultivate that species of egotism which grows cruel in proportion as it counts upon the blind affection of its friends.After four years [the Septuagint has "forty", which is evidently a misreading, as appears from the Hebrew ( Keri ), Syriac, and Arabic versions] of energetic secret activity, Absalom asks leave of the King to repair to Hebron, that he might fulfil a self-imposed vow made while in captivity at Gessur.Preparations had already been consummated for a simultaneous uprising of the secret adherents of Absalom in different parts of the country, and emissaries were ready to proclaim the new king.Achitophel, one of David's oldest counsellors, had joined the conspirators, and by his design a strong current was being directed against David.When, amid the sound of trumpets and the shouts of the military, the proclamation of the new king reaches David, he quickly assembles his trusted followers and flies towards Mount Olivet, hoping to cross the Jordan in time to escape the ambitious fury of his son.You may visit the Project’s blog page as well, where we periodically post links to ebooks appropriate to feasts of the saints and/or to historical or contemporary events of Catholic relevance.
( Abhshalom in Hebrew; Abessalom, Apsalomos in Greek).
As shaving the head was a sign of mourning, so offering a comely growth of hair to the priest was a token of personal sacrifice akin to the annual offering of the first fruits in the sanctuary.
Probably the chronicler had also in mind that it was this gift of nature which became the occasion of Absalom's fatal death.
The sacred writer who sketches for us the career of Absalom ( 2 Samuel 13 - 18 ) lays stress upon the faultless beauty of the youth's appearance, and mentions in particular the luxurious wealth of his hair, which, when shorn, weighed over ten ounces.
The significance of this latter note becomes apparent when we remember the important part which the culture of the hair played in the devotions of the Eastern people (note even at this day the ceremonial prayers of the Dervishes).
Absalom turns the opportunity of this altercation with Joab to good account by pleading his own neglected and humiliated condition : I would rather die ignominiously, he argues, than have this rancour of the King against me all the days of my life. Restored to his former princely dignity and the apparent confidence of his father, Absalom now enters upon that course of secret plotting to which his ambition and his opportunity seemed to urge him, and which has stamped his name as a synonym of unnatural revolt.