A son of David; good-looking and ambitious; he gathered round himself a band of disaffected people who were prepared to overthrow David. He set up headquarters in Hebron and marched towards Jerusalem, which David hastily abandoned. Across the River Jordan, David arranged for secret intelligence from the capital through Hushai (2 Sam. 15: 34–5), who gave misleading advice to Absalom. This allowed time for David to regroup his forces which were still loyal, and Absalom was defeated. Explicit instructions to spare the life of David's son were ignored by Joab, and Absalom, who had become entangled in an oak tree, was stabbed in the heart. David's lament for his rebellious son is one of the most poignant passages in the OT (2 Sam. 18: 33).