Posted: February 22, 2016 in Chapter 67, When the Wolf Howls
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Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 67

David’s concubines were paraded before Absalom’s men as slaves and humiliated into serving them.

Absalom had called Ahithophel into his conference room with his elders. They were both intoxicated from the celebrations. But Absalom was far from satisfied. He threw his cup against the wall in frustration and said to Ahithophel, “How can I establish my authority as the new king when my coward father is not even willing to fight?” The years of bitterness demanded overt expression. I despise you, father? He looked at Ahithophel with both helplessness and hatred in his eyes, “I need your advice. Tell me what I can do next to decimate the kingdom of David?”

Ahithophel mumbled something as he observed what was happening through drunken eyes. Speaking slowly so as to make his point and with too much animation he said, “What you have done there,” He pointed to the concubines, “will have the advantage of sorting out the loyalty of your followers. If you humiliate David you will ‘make yourself strong’ in their eyes and they will have even greater resolve to establish you as David’s successor. Your reputation as one who despises anything to do with David will be quickly broadcast throughout Israel.”

In the past, the advice that Ahithophel had given had been regarded by David and Absalom to be prophetic. He was a very learned man. He knew the Word of God as given by the prophets, and studied the written documents religiously. Hushai, who stood near the door thought, How can this proud, arrogant fool apply God’s Word to his decision-making when his thinking is distorted with wine?

In his intoxicated state Ahithophel was rambling about the past. He was remembering his granddaughter, Bathsheba when he said, “When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered my son-in-law to cover it up, Nathan the prophet came to David with a prophecy. Do you remember?”

The words of Nathan’s prophecy now rang in Ahithophel’s memory. Both Ahithophel and Absalom had been in the room as Nathan had said to king David, “This is what the Lord says: ‘From one who is very close to you I will bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes, I will take your wives and give them to one who is very close to you, and he will have sexual relations with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but this thing will take place before all Israel.'”

Ahithophel now saw Absalom as the fulfilment of that prophecy. It all made sense. He said to Absalom, “If you really desire to make yourself offensive to your father then you will fulfil the prophecy of Nathan and establish yourself in the way of kings gone by. Make these concubines yours.”

“They are mine!” said Absalom.

“Then sleep with them and let it be known in broad daylight that you are humiliating the name of David!” He waited for his words to have effect upon Absalom. Absalom knew of this practice. His thoughts immediately went back to his childhood.

But each one of these women was old enough to be his mother. He had grown up with their children, Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and the others. I despise you all! he thought, All of you are threats to my kingdom. What better way to express my power over you, father?

A kind of perverted vengeance rose up within him. Sleeping with these women would extinguish the very seed of king David. It would make his own seed dominant and declare all that is of David to be his. He said in a whisper that could have come from Satan himself, “I have captured your kingdom and I will destroy your seed. Any children now born in this kingdom will now come through me!”

Absalom said under his breath, “Like Abner.” Ahithophel thought for a moment and then said, “Yes, like Abner.”

The incident had happened as Absalom was growing up as a young prince in David’s court. Abner had once been king Saul’s leading general in the North. He had been accused of sleeping with Rizpah, a concubine of Saul. This had sent shock waves all over Israel. Rumours were rife. It was well known that if someone wanted to indicate defiance to the king then this was the ultimate statement of rebellion. The words used to describe this were, to make yourself strong. In Absalom’s mind, it was the perfect way to express his utter contempt for his father and make himself strong in the eyes of all Israel.

Proceedings seemed to be winding up so Hushai took the opportunity to take his leave.

But Ahithophel was not finished.


P.S. Don’t forget to purchase a copy of Above the Storm, my new e-book on the ancient book of Job, full of short stories to help you understand some deep truths. This is a creative exploration of Job. You will not read another commentary like it. All royalties for the e-book, if any, will go to Hope Street in Sydney, Australia.

Pastor Ross


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