Study Guide

2 Samuel Betrayal

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If someone betrays someone else, it's a sure sign that they're eventually going to get their comeuppance… at least, most of the time. Betrayal seems to be one of the more serious sins (Dante puts it in the very last circle of hell), and the people who commit betrayals in the stories in 2 Samuel—like Absalom against David, Ahithophel against David—tend to pay with their lives.

The big exception to that big rule? David himself. He betrays Uriah but he doesn't pay with his own life—he pays with his baby son's (which might not seem, uh, fair, exactly). That's probably because David—despite committing the most serious of sins—manages to make a turn around. He repents, and doesn't have to face the full brunt of his punishment.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. Is Absalom justified in rebelling against David? Does he have reasonable motives (like David's behavior in the situation with Tamar)?
  2. How do you think God treats David for betraying Uriah? Does he get off easy? Hard? What makes his penance special—different from the way other betrayers act? Is it special?
  3. Do you think Hanun was right or wrong to be suspicious of David's envoys, based on what you know about David?
  4. What about Joab? How should he have reacted to David's order to betray Uriah?

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