DAVID had many sons, but none of them were so beautiful as Absalom. It is said that in all Israel, "There was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty; from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. "One of Absalom's brothers did a very wicked thing, and Absalom was so angry about it that he had his brother killed. For this, Absalom was obliged to flee to a very far country, where he staid three years. Then Joab persuaded David to let Absalom return; but he was compelled to stay in his own house, and was not allowed to see the king's face for two years.

Afterward, Absalom tried to gain much attention in Israel. He prepared him horses and chariots, and had fifty men to run before him. He had a habit of rising early, and standing by the gate that led into the city, and when any man who had had trouble with another came to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him at the gate, and say, "Thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. Absalom said, moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel."

Finally, Absalom asked King David, his father, to let him go to Hebron to pay a vow which he had made to the Lord. ''And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron." 

And Absalom sent for Ahithophel, David's counselor. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom." And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. . . . And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far oft'."