The beauty of David’s forgiveness of his son Absalom for murder is forgotten this chapter. Absalom, David’s most handsome charming & talented son is also a complete piece of work.
He’s an ambitious populist who fans his popularity with the people until he’s leading a full scale rebellion against David, who has to flee Jerusalem.
I think of this as “the decline”. The narratives of the old testament rarely reach closure like good fiction. The go on after the freeze frame where everyone would live happily ever after, to where things become banal and petty, and dissipation and failure set in. Like life.
This seems to be the fulfillment of the prophesy after David sinned, that the sword would never leave him. He’ll always have trouble. He’ll be an ordinary king…
It all goes to highlight how different the Messiah is. His narrative ends on a high and stays there. His victory is final, his peace everlasting.