Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel. At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD. While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: ‘If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the LORD in Hebron.’ ” The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron. Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’ 2 Sauel 15:6-10
King David may have held Absalom as his favorite son, but the feelings were not mutual. After Absalom reconciles with David over killing Amnon, he now conspires and leads a revolt to take the kingship from David. It is somewhat ironical that Absalom, or Abishalom, means “my father is peace”, yet he does the opposite by bringing anything but peace to his father. Absalom succeeds in becoming king of Israel for a short time. David and his men are on the run from Absalom. During a battle in the forest, Absalom’s long hair entangles him and he is left hanging by his hair in an oak tree. David’s men kill Absalom, yet when hearing the news, David, loving his favorite son, cries out if only he had died instead of Absalom. If you asked most fathers, if their son or daughter were in mortal danger, they would give their life to save their child. Here David feels the same way even though it is his son that has both created the danger that ultimately killed him, and sought to kill his father to solidify the throne for himself.