Only son of David by Maacah, 2 Samuel 3:3. He was remarkable for his beauty and for his fine head of hair, 2 Samuel 14:25, which being cut from time to time when it incommoded him, used to weigh 200 shekels by the king’s standard, that is, probable about thirty ounces, an extraordinary, but not incredible weight. Ammon, another of the king’s sons, having violated his sister Tamar, Absalom caused him to be slain, and then fled to Geshur, where Talmai his grandfather was king. After three years, at the intercession of Joab, David permitted him to return to Jerusalem, and at length received him again into favor, 2 Samuel 14:1-33. Absalom, however, grossly abused his father’s kindness; he soon began to play the demagogue, and by many artful devices "stole the hearts of the people," and got himself proclaimed king in Hebron. David retired from Jerusalem; Absalom followed him; and in the battle, which ensued, the troops of the latter were defeated, and he himself, being caught by his head in a tree, was found and slain by Joab. David was much affected by his death, and uttered bitter lamentations over him, 2 Samuel 18:33.
His history affords instructive lessons to the young against the sins to which they are prone, particularly vanity, ambition, lawless passions, and filial disobedience.