In 2 Samuel 19:10 We can read that Absalom was anointed (מָשַׁח H4886) over them i.e. as a king.

10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back? (2 Sam 19:10 AKJV)

  • When was Absalom anointed king over Israel?
  • Who did anoint Absalom?
  • Was it same anointing as when Samuel anoints David (1 Samuel 16:12)
  • We are not tiold and so we do not know.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 11:16

2 Answers 2


Good day to you,

I believe we need to start in 2 Samuel 15 to get more details on this. Absalom decide to conspire to elevate himself into a ruling position. We can see Absalom slandering the king's ability to hear the people and give judgements (2 Samuel 15:1-6). and verse 6 specifically mentions he was winning the hearts of the people by basically being a politician and sweet talking the people. As you continue on in Chapter 15, Absalom is getting the people to claim him as king in Hebron. He was starting a rebellion.

Continue the story through Chapter 19, you see David using his good friend Hushai as a secret agent and gains Absalom's trust. Eventually leading to Joab killing Absalom even though David asked his men not to harm him. but thats a side point.

The "we anointed over us" in question is the people of Jerusalem responding to David's return to Jerusalem (I take this as gossip of the town). In summation Absalom only shortly had power due to his own self-appointed rebellious movement. He won the hearts of the people but was not appointed to be king from a prophet or from God for that matter, which was God's command to His people is that He would appoint the kings of Israel. So to answer your questions:

When was Absalom anointed king over Israel?-- He wasn't officially king but "anointed" by the people through conspiracy and political movement.

Who did anoint Absalom?--the people of Jerusalem

Was it same anointing as when Samuel anoints David (1 Samuel 16:12)- Different, see my answer to your first question- the king of Israel is to be appointed by God and God alone.

I welcome any other comments to sharpen our knowledge, if i have made an error please let me know! May God bless you all. Speak the truth saints.

  • But if "anointing" is NOT a loose synonym for "chose", somebody's hand had to be holding the oil. For a start, we know that Zadok and Abiathar both remained in the city, on David's request (2 Samuel ch16 v27). Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 14:06
  • @Derrick Good day to you too and welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! Thank you for your contribution a rich answer to a hard question. 2 Sam 15:13b-14a “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”14 And David said to all the servants with him in Jerusalem, “Arise and let us flee, or we will not escape from Absalom! I thought it was Israel that anointed him King rather then Judah. Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 14:15
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    – agarza
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 14:39
  • @Derrick Great contribution! You might like to edit and make "decide" decided; "thats" that 's; and "i" I.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 16:54
  • 1
    @DanielDahlberg Apologies on if some of the verbiage is incorrect, still gathering my understanding of the tribes and kingdoms. It was my understanding that David united the 12 tribes to be under one king(himself) and Solomon also followed in this as well. So when I said Jerusalem, my intention was the people of Israel, the people of the kingdom. If that makes sense.
    – Derrick
    Commented Jul 27, 2023 at 19:10

Yeah, this is really problematic. For at first, there is a definite plot of taking over the kingdom by Absalom- (II Sam 15:10), where there would be blowing of trumpets throughout the land when he was anointed king at Hebron. But this does not appear to happen in the biblical account, although David flees when he realizes the plot against him is on. Nothing new, as he'd been through his father-in-law Saul many times over many years plotting to kill him. still, in verse 15:19, David says to Ittai: "Go back and stay with King Absalom." David would never call anyone a king of Israel if he had not been anointed. Furthermore, the beginning of II Sam shows the respect David has for God and His anointing- why he struck down the Amalekite that ended Saul's life as a mercy-killing which Saul himself asked for as he would have slowly, torturously bled out otherwise. I figure Absalom must have been anointed, but for some reason we only have his sacrifices at Hebron and no clear clarion call of rebellion

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – agarza
    Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 22:35
  • 1
    @RyanCox Saul killed himself (1 Sam 31:4) the Amalekite lied (2 Sam 1:10) probably he thought David would reward him for it, but got killed instead. Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 6:41
  • As you show that you do not know who anointed Absalom, you have not actually answered the question. That's problematic on this site, which tries to avoid merely making comments in the answer box. Can you do more research and come up with an answer?
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 15:58

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