Absalom was the son of David. Absalom is described in the Bible as very handsome, with no blemish in his appearance (2 Samuel 14:25)—but his heart appears to have been stained with treachery.
Absalom was David’s third son, born to the daughter of the king of Geshur, located on the northeast border of Israel. Absalom first revealed his treacherous heart when his full sister Tamar was taken advantage of by Absalom’s half brother Amnon, David’s oldest son by another wife (2 Samuel 13).
Absalom bided his time for two years without saying a word to Amnon, all the while, though, plotting his revenge. Absalom arranged for his men to kill Amnon during a sheep-shearing celebration—then he fled to his mother’s home in Geshur.
Later Absalom was allowed to return to Jerusalem, and he and David were reconciled. Even then, however, Absalom was plotting more treachery—this time against his own father.
For four years, Absalom worked to gain favor with many people in Israel—then he staged an outright rebellion in Hebron, about twenty miles south of Jerusalem. David had to flee to Mahanaim on the other side of the Jordan River and even fought against Absalom’s men. Eventually Absalom was killed, and the rebellion came to an end.
Absalom may have staged his rebellion in Hebron because this was the town of his birth (2 Samuel 3:2–3). There were probably already people there who knew Absalom and would have been sympathetic to his desire to become king.