Biblical history IS prophecy. I used to believe that some of Biblical history is prophetic, but the more I read and study ‘historical’ passages, the more I recognize prophetic pictures confirmed by other passages. As examples, we have explored Joseph as a picture of Yeshua, Elijah and the significance in the End Times series, as well as David and Goliath picturing the end times.
This morning while meandering through various passages I was suddenly and sharply drawn to look at Absalom and David. Almost immediately, verses in the story-line began to pop out revealing two interesting pictures from the historical uprising of Absalom against his father’s kingdom. Now, I have not had time to fully tease this picture out, (I’m just too excited to wait.. I want to share…) so, you get to help as you think this through and add notes in the comment section!!
Absalom is a picture of Lucifer.
2 Samuel 14:25 Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him.
Of Lucifer, Ezekiel says,
“You [d]had the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 “You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The ruby, the topaz and the diamond;
The beryl, the onyx and the jasper;
The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald;
And the gold, the workmanship of your [e]settings and [f]sockets,
Was in you.
On the day that you were created
They were prepared.
14 “You were the anointed cherub who [g]covers,
And I placed you there.
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 “You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created
Until unrighteousness was found in you.
Absalom was ‘created’ by David and when not not elevated to the throne, sought, by intrigue and guile to unseat David. In one sense, Absalom is a recapitulation of the great drama played out in the heavenlies, while also being a picture of current and future eschatology. I’ll leave the details for you to mine.
2 Samuel 14:28 give a pictorial time stamp for when this showdown begins.
28 Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king’s face.
Where has ‘David’ been for the last two thousand years? The spirit of the anti-messiah has been here the whole time, but the face-to-face has not yet happened. It is about to.
Notice what Absalom, picture of the anti-messiah, does among ‘all Israel,’
4 Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice.” 5 And when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.
Absalom interjects himself as the Judge instead of the King. His purpose is less about justice and lawfulness than to gain favor and hearts. As we will see, his actions and purposes are lawless.
10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’”
This is a false trumpet sound designed to draw people away from David. After the false trumpet and the declaration of his kingship, David and his servants fly into the wilderness. It is a very hasty exit from Jerusalem. Reminds me of,
15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 [h]Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house. 18 [i]Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
It is very interesting to see who goes with David on this hasty evacuation from Jerusalem,
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why will you also go with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander with us, while I go where I will? Return and take back your brothers; mercy and [h]truth be with you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” 22 Therefore David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.”
Ittai is a ger who is a late comer to David’s party, but chooses to course very similar to Ruth. She says,
16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.
It is fascinating to see where David and the people of Jerusalem go:
2 Sam. 15:23…all the people passed over. The king also passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness.
Ezekiel 20:33ff tells about the future second exodus to the wilderness, presumably the same place that Matthew 24:16 refers to…. A place in the wilderness.
Skipping forward in the story, it is very interesting that the battle between Absalom and David’s men takes place in ‘the forest of Ephraim.’
6 Then the people went out into the field against Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. 7 The people of Israel were [f]defeated there before the servants of David, and the slaughter there that day was great, 20,000 men. 8 For the battle there was spread over the whole countryside, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
Here is an interesting and challenging picture. There is but a remnant of Israel who align themselves with David, the king. Most align themselves with Absalom, the imposter. David’s much smaller force defeats, soundly, the men of Israel who are also ‘devoured’ by the forest. Notice, too, the battle encompasses the ‘whole countryside.’ Is this an allusion to a future battle that encompasses the world.
We do know, much of the church falls into apostasy and follows the anti-messiah, though would admit having been part of the kingdom of Jesus….
An interesting side note is that one third of David’s army is led by Ittai the Gittite!
For those not yet understanding the cryptic undercurrent, The house of Israel, the ten northern tribes, and the house of Judah, the southern kingdom are at odds. The New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:33 is with these two groups and no other. Most never realize that the division between the two houses precedes the Jeroboam split by hundreds of years. But it is very visible in the early part of David’s reign when he rules over Judah for seven years before Israel is conquered and made a part of the kingdom.
There are many interesting items/pointers in this story that connect with future prophecy, but here are the final two I will share. Hopefully, you, dear readers, can add to these.
Zechariah 12, in a passage about the inhabitants of Jerusalem defending the city and defeating a much larger force, we have several verses about Judah recognizing
Zechariah 12:10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, [h]the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.
Throughout our story, David is a prophetic picture of Yeshua. According to prophecy, Judah will not fully recognize Yeshua as King, the Memra de Yeya until after this great battle for Jerusalem. Notice the parallel in the Absalom story,
2 Samuel 19:11 Then King David sent to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house? 12 You are my brothers; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 Say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God do so to me, and more also, if you will not be commander of the army before me continually in place of Joab.’” 14 Thus he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15 The king then returned and came as far as the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal in order to go to meet the king, to bring the king across the Jordan.
As I was finishing reading this, I recalled why I was drawn n the first place. I wondered if Absalom’s head was stuck in a fork in the tree that hung him. My curiosity was whether or not he was caught between two sticks… Judah and Ephraim. Well, the text doesn’t say, only that he was caught in the ‘heart’ of the elah (oak or terebinth) tree. Then, when I looked the word up an even neater connection leaped off the page.
You will recall the link at the beginning of this article that referred you to the very clear end times picture in the David/Goliath story? I recommend reading that! Goliath, picture of the anti-messiah, was killed in the Valley of Elah!!! That confirms the connection between Absalom and the anti-messiah!
I know there are more tidbits in the story. (Ten young men assist in killing Absalom…, etc…) See what you find and add to the comments section!
Hope you enjoy the remez. Blessings as we approach Yom HaKippurim.