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From Eternity Past

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    Rebellion Grows Underground

    Fomented by the prince, discontent with the government was fast spreading. Absalom was generally regarded as heir to the kingdom, and a desire was kindled that he might occupy the throne. “So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” Yet the king suspected nothing. The princely state which Absalom had assumed was regarded by David as intended to do honor to his court.EP 530.3

    Absalom secretly sent picked men throughout the tribes to concert measures for revolt. And now the cloak of religious devotion was assumed to conceal his traitorous designs. Absalom said to the king, “I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord, in Hebron. For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur, in Syria, saying, if the Lord shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.”EP 530.4

    The fond father, comforted with this evidence of piety in his son, dismissed him with his blessing. Absalom's crowning act of hypocrisy was designed not only to blind the king but to establish the confidence of the people, and thus to lead them on to rebellion against the king whom God had chosen.EP 531.1

    Absalom set forth for Hebron, and with him “two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called, and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not anything.” These men went, little thinking that their love for the son was leading them into rebellion against the father. At Hebron, Absalom summoned Ahithophel, a man in high repute for wisdom. Ahithophel's support made the cause of Absalom appear certain of success, attracting to his standard many influential men. As the trumpet of revolt sounded, the prince's spies throughout the country spread the tidings that Absalom was king, and many of the people gathered to him.EP 531.2

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