2nd Samuel 1 to 2nd Samuel 18
Saul was severely wounded in his last battle with the Philistines and he killed himself for fear of being captured by his enemies.
After his death the tribe of Judah chose David for their king, and he reigned for eight years. At the end of that time he became king over the whole Israel. He fought and having won, took back Jerusalem from the Jebusites, who had got possession of it. He made it his capital city, and lived there in a fine palace which he built for himself.
He really wanted to build a temple where the ark of God might be placed, and God might be worshiped with more splendor than He had been in the Tabernacle. God was pleased that David desired to do this, but told him that not he, but his son Solomon, who was to succeed him, would build the Temple.
David had many children, and among these his son Absalom was his favorite. He was very handsome and not only his father, but all the people of Israel loved him. Absalom was a vain, worthless young man, and caused his father much sorrow by his wicked conduct. He murdered one of his half brothers. He had been banished for a very long time and then when he was permitted to come again into the king's presence, he very soon raised a rebellion against him, in order to seize the crown for himself. Many people joined Absalom in his rebellion, that David fearing for his life was forced to escape from Jerusalem to the wilderness.
The good king sorely grieved that his favorite son would want to kill him. But he trusted that God, who had so often delivered him, would do so now. He soon drew round him forces enough to meet those of his rebellious son, and a pitched battle was fought between them.
The troops of Absalom were defeated and slaughtered and Absalom tried to from escape from the battlefield. His mule carried him under a large oak-tree and his hair caught in the branches, and the animal galloping off, left him hanging there.
One of David's army, who saw this, instead of releasing him, ran and told Joab, David's chief captain, who, though he had received a strict order from David to spare the life of his son, hastened to him, and cruelly killed him by thrusting three darts through his heart.
When word was brought to David that Absalom was slain, he wept and mourned for him, exclaiming, "Oh, my son Absalom, my son! I would have died for you!"