In 2 Samuel 13 Joab sends a woman to talk to David and persuade him to be reconciled with his son Absalom. Absalom is in exile because he has killed his brother Amnon who had raped his sister Tamar.
My question is whether the advice to be reconciled to Absalom is good or bad.
My initial thought was that the advice was bad. This was based on the idea that Absalom should face justice for killing his brother, although Amnon admittedly deserved to be punished. Also, the woman’s advice is a deliberate parallel with the word of God brought by Nathan the prophet after David sinned with Bathsheba, but with significant differences. Where Nathan’s advice comes from God, the womans advice comes from Joab, and where Nathan presents David with an outrageous injustice, the woman presents him with a murky choice between justice and family bonds.
The differences between Nathan and the widow make me see the widows advice in a negative light. Unfortunately no commentators agree with me. They all see the widows advice as urging appropriate compassion for a misguided son who should be welcomed home by his father.
Well, going to have to jump one way soon. Anyone got any ideas?