For we must needs die - Whatever is done must be done quickly; all must die; God has not exempted any person from this common lot. Though Amnon be dead, yet the death of Absalom cannot bring him to life, nor repair this loss. Besides, for his crime, he justly deserved to die; and thou, in this case didst not administer justice. Horrible as this fratricide is, it is a pardonable case: the crime of Amnon was the most flagitious; and the offense to Absalom, the ruin of his beloved sister, indescribably great. Seeing, then, that the thing is so, and that Amnon can be no more recalled to life than water spilt upon the ground can be gathered up again; and that God, whose vicegerent thou art, and whose example of clemency as well as justice thou art called to imitate, devises means that those who were banished from him by sin and transgression, may not be finally expelled from his mercy and his kingdom; restore thy son to favor, and pardon his crime, as thou hast promised to restore my son, and the Lord thy God will be with thee. This is the sum and sense of the woman's argument.
The argument contained in this 14th verse is very elegant, and powerfully persuasive; but one clause of it has been variously understood, Neither doth God respect any person; the Hebrew is, נפש אלהים ישא ולא velo yissa Elohim nephesh, "And God doth not take away the soul." The Septuagint has it, Και ληψεται ὁ Θεος την ψυχην ; And God will receive the soul. This intimates that, after human life is ended, the soul has a state of separate existence with God. This was certainly the opinion of these translators, and was the opinion of the ancient Jews, at least three hundred years before the incarnation; about which time this translation was made. The Vulgate has, Nec volt Deus perire animam, "Nor does God will the destruction of the soul." God is not the author of death; neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living; imitate him; pardon and recall thy son.
Neither doth God respect any person - Some prefer the margin: “And God does not take away life, in the case of every sin that deserves death, e. g. David‘s own case 2 Samuel 12:13, but devises devices that the wanderer may not be forever expelled from him, i. e., for the return of penitent sinners.”
Satan Delayed Publishing Great Controversy—I mourn now that I did not do the very work I ought to have done when E and H were in responsible positions and had not an appreciation of The Great Controversy, volume 4, which the people should have had then as they are having now.... The delay was Satan's own devising. He was working diligently and has brought about a condition of things that the work cannot now go as it would have gone and done its work, which the Lord presented before me needed to be done. Those who hindered the work will have to answer to God for this.—Letter 55, 1894. PM 355.1
Bible Readings Different From The Great Controversy—I do not demerit Bible Readings. It is a book which will do a great amount of good, but it can never take the place that the Lord designed that volume 4 [The Great Controversy] should have in the world and among our people. I have spread before them the light given me of heaven in that book.... PM 355.2
If Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation does not receive the sale it should, if Bible Readings is carried to the neglect of other publications highly essential for the people to have, that neglect will not excuse the matter of why volume 4 should not be pushed and its circulation be tenfold what it has been the present year. It is a duty we owe to our people and to God to send every ray of light given me of God, demanded for this time to every tongue and nation.—Letter 25a, 1889. PM 355.3Read in context »
David had neglected the duty of punishing the crime of Amnon, and because of the unfaithfulness of the king and father and the impenitence of the son, the Lord permitted events to take their natural course, and did not restrain Absalom. When parents or rulers neglect the duty of punishing iniquity, God Himself will take the case in hand. His restraining power will be in a measure removed from the agencies of evil, so that a train of circumstances will arise which will punish sin with sin. PP 728.1
The evil results of David's unjust indulgence toward Amnon were not ended, for it was here that Absalom's alienation from his father began. After he fled to Geshur, David, feeling that the crime of his son demanded some punishment, refused him permission to return. And this had a tendency to increase rather than to lessen the inextricable evils in which the king had come to be involved. Absalom, energetic, ambitious, and unprincipled, shut out by his exile from participation in the affairs of the kingdom, soon gave himself up to dangerous scheming. PP 728.2
At the close of two years Joab determined to effect a reconciliation between the father and his son. And with this object in view he secured the services of a woman of Tekoah, reputed for wisdom. Instructed by Joab, the woman represented herself to David as a widow whose two sons had been her only comfort and support. In a quarrel one of these had slain the other, and now all the relatives of the family demanded that the survivor should be given up to the avenger of blood. “And so,” said the mother, “they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.” The king's feelings were touched by this appeal, and he assured the woman of the royal protection for her son. PP 728.3Read in context »