AbsalomAbsalom - It wasn't long before things started falling apart because of David's sin.  It started with his son, Amnon, who was in love with his sister (half-sister actually), Tamar.  Tamar was a beautiful woman and Amnon pretended to be sick so that she would come and feed him while he was lying in bed.  When she she came to him, he tried to talk her into sleeping with him.  She refused, so he raped her (II Samuel 13:1-18).  When Tamar's brother (full-brother), Absalom, learned what had happened, he exacted retribution and had Amnon killed (II Samuel 13:24-29).  When the news reached King David, he was told that Absalom had killed all his sons, not just Amnon, which was a false report.  But it was enough to create chaos throughout the kingdom.  Absalom fled to the land of Geshur and stayed there three years (II Samuel 13:34-38).  When he returned, rebellion had been sown in his heart (perhaps by the king of Geshur, Ammihud, perhaps of his own accord), and he tried to topple his father's monarchy (II Samuel 15:10-12).  David fled (II Samuel 15:13-14).  But he rallied his forces and they met Absalom's army on the battlefield.

 

"Then the people went out onto the field against Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim.  The people of Israel were defeated before the servants of David, and the slaughter there that day was great, 20,000 men.  For the battle there was spread over the whole countryside, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.  Now Absalom happened to meet the servants of David.  For Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak.  And his head caught fast in the oak, so he was left hanging between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him kept going.  When a certain man saw it, he told Joab and said, 'Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.'  Then Joab said to the man who had told him, 'Now behold, you saw him.  Why then did you not strike him there to the ground?  And I would have given you ten pieces of silver and a belt.'  The man said you Joab, 'Even if I would receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I would not put my hand against the king's son; for in our hearing the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, "Protect for me the young man Absalom!"  Otherwise, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.'  Then Joab said, 'I will not waste time here with you.'  So he took three spears in his hand and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak." (II Samuel 18:6-14, NASB)