2 SAMUEL 15
Absalom assumes royal state
1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom [ Avshalom] prepared him chariots and horses [merkavah and susim], and 50 men [ish] to run before him.
The preparation of chariots and horses was the presentation of royal dignity; the similar action of Adonijah when he contemplated usurping the throne (cp. 1Kings 1:5). The appearance of the lordly and handsome Absalom, in kingly dignity, preceded by fifty runners, travelling slowly in a chariot, became a familiar sight in Israel. His handsome appearance and condescending manner won the hearts of the people who are ever ready to respond to such public displays of pomp and fleshly glory. *
4 [Avshalom] said moreover, Oh that I were made judge [Shofet] in the land, that every man [ish] which hath any suit or cause [riv or mishpat] might come unto me, and I would do [bring] him justice!
The sword has commenced to inflict David's family, as was forecast at the time of his trespass with Bathsheba. The saddest experience arguably, was the time of his son's conspiracy. Absalom set himself to betray his father's confidence and undermine his influence. Having been restored to royal favour after his murder of his half-brother Amnon, Absalom now meditated seizing the throne.
With the murder of Amnon, he was now the eldest son, and normally heir to the throne, but perhaps he had heard that he would be superseded by the fifth son of Bathsheba (cp. 1Chr. 22:9). *
6 And on this manner did [Avshalom] to all Israel [kol Yisroel] that came to the king for judgment [HaMelech for mishpat]: so [Avshalom] stole the hearts of the men of Israel [lev anshei Yisroel].
No day in the Old Testament is so minutely described as the flight of the exiled David. It is equalled only by the events describing the day Christ died, rejected by the very nation he had come to save. We have in David a sad vicissitude of human affairs, and a fearful proof of their instability. The greatest king who ever lived, a profound politician, an able general, the hero and deliverer of his people, is rejected and repudiated by a fickle public for a vain and cowardly upstart.
* GEM - www.logos.org.au