The TL:DR Bible: 2 Samuel 16-18


Chapter 16:

Ziba: Hey, David, brought you some food.

David: Who are you?

Ziba: The guy whose family you made work the land of Saul’s grandkid and give him all the profits. Anyhoo, sorry that guy couldn’t make it, but, uh… he’s… oh, I know… he’s totally happy you’re getting usurped and hopes to take the throne himself! That’s it!

David: Well, that sounds perfectly reasonable. I guess you can take his lands then.

So David continues his strategic retreat and this guy Shimei, also a relative of Saul, is cursing him and telling him that he deserves this since he’s a man of bloodshed and, you know, kind of hard not to agree with him. David stops his men from killing him and they continue on their way.

Absalom enters Jerusalem and David’s friend and would-be spy Hushai comes and greets him.

Hushai: Dude, I’m totally loyal to you now. Pinkie promise.

Absalom: Well, I guess if you Pinkie promised. Okay, you’re in my inner circle. So, Ahithophel, what should I do?

Ahithophel: If you go rape your father’s ten sex slaves, then everyone will see that there can be no resolution between you and David and they’ll have greater confidence to support you. Put up a tent on the roof and rape them there.

So Absalom put up a tent and raped 10 women.

 

Chapter 17:

Ahithophel: Great, now give me 12,000 troops, we’ll pursue your father and catch him unawares while he’s still tired and sad, then I can kill him.

Absalom: What do you think, Hushai?

Hushai: Your dad’s been in this situation before with Saul. He’s a man of the wilderness and has probably secured himself in a cave or natural stronghold. If you attack him now, he’ll likely use the terrain to his advantage and kill a lot of your soldiers and morale will fall. Get the entire army together and then go hunt him down.

Absalom: Well, that sounds like a better plan.

Ahithophel: Okay, fine. I don’t care. I’m leaving. Probably go off somewhere and hang myself. Don’t try and stop me.

Absalom: Well, you have fun. Drama queen.

So Hushai sends a warning to David via their spy network which is almost thwarted, but the spies reach David and tell him to cross over the Jordan that night. So David does. And Absalom, after some time, pursues him with the army.

 

Chapter 18:

David organizes his army and divides it into three armies under the command of Joab, Abishai, and Ittai. He plans on going out to fight too, but the people convince him to stay in the city.

David: Look, guys, try not to kill Absalom. He’s a dick, but he’s still my boy.

So the two armies fight, and Absalom loses. He flees on his donkey, but his hair gets caught up in a branch and he’s stuck in a tree while his donkey keeps on going. So he’s like a big piñata. And Joab goes up and cracks that piñata with three spears before the rest of his men fall on it and try to break it open and get all the candy out. And by candy, I mean… organs.

After they’re done, they cut his body down and throw it into a pit and cover it with stones.

Then there’s this little bizarre scene where some kid asks Joab if he can run and tell David the good news, but Joab refuses to send him with the news that Absalom is dead… probably because Joab liked the kid and he’s seen what David’s done to the messenger that brought news of Saul’s death. So Joab sends a Cushite instead. But the kid bugs Joab so much, that Joab gives in and sends him too.

The kid outruns the Cushite, but he doesn’t have any news for the king. Then the Cushite arrives and tells David of their victory and Absalom’s death.

Then David wails and says, “Would that I had died instead of you, my son!”

Soldier: Well… geez, if you really felt that way, you could have stayed in Jerusalem and surrendered the kingdom and let Absalom kill you, ya know… I mean, I nearly died. I’ve got a wife and three kids at home.

David: Uh, sorry?

Soldier: No, no, perfectly alright. Just throwing my life and my family’s future on the line for ya, and now it all seems kind of pointless.

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