Stephen Kumalo returns home, where he greets his wife and tells her that Absalom over Absalom Kumalo's fate to the fate of the entire village of Ndotsheni. to the chief, a great stout man in riding breeches, and his counselors. . the relationship is reciprocal; not only did Stephen Kumalo inspire James. contact zone Kumalo is subalternated in relation to Jarvis, a successful3 white farmer 5My training in Narrative Therapy and inclination toward a reader centred the money set aside for Absalom's education), Stephen Kumalo sets out to. We are introduced to the Reverend Stephen Kumalo, the novel's main character. Stephen then brings out the story of Absalom; he feels all the more anxious about him . The official drives them to Pimville where the couple is staying, but they are all . Have expert advice and tips delivered directly to you.
Yet another force in South Africa in was the African population that outnumbered the whites, were still largely tribal in their political makeup, and lived in rural communities. However, a population shift was occurring that mirrored population shifts everywhere—away from the traditional rural community to the city.
In South Africa, due to the dramatic expansions of mining and industry in general, that meant a shift to Johannesburg. This large city was built upon the mining fields where gold had been discovered in The Afrikaner Nationalists ruled South Africa from until In that year, the liberal agenda of men like Jan H.
Hofmeyr took over and people began to have hope that South Africa would be a more equitable and just society. After the war there was an even greater influx of Africans into the cities and into Johannesburg. As that novel showed, there were two sides to South Africa in On one side were the Africans struggling to carve out a living in shanty towns or in rural areas whose soil was depleted.
White men like Arthur Jarvis were awakening to the problems that inequality had created and joined with other whites to do what was possible to improve the situation of the natives. On the other side, the influx of people and the increase in crime in the city created a degree of paranoia amongst the enfranchised citizens.
Thus in the election year ofafter the death of Hofmeyr, the Afrikaner Nationalists were voted back to power because they promised to restore order. Inthe Afrikaner Nationalists began a system of government called apartheid.
This system was similar in many ways to Jim Crow discrimination policies in America against African Americans. However, one very important difference was that it was a national policy legally discriminating on the basis of race. Under this system native Africans lived in designated areas and were required to carry "passes" and identity papers on them at all times. The inability to provide an enquiring official with one's papers meant jail or fines.
These passes said where the individual could go. Generally, the system of apartheid aimed to keep the nonwhite people living under South African rule a disciplined pool of workers. Thus they did not tolerate dissent or organization into labor unions or political parties.
They did so by imprisoning men like Nelson Mandela and Steven Biko for crimes against the state. Recently, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, resumed his political place as head of the African National Congressand was elected President of South Africa. Inhe signed a new constitution for the Republic of South Africa. Winning the national election, the National Party institutes a system of apartheid, officially segregating the black majority from the white minority.
Nelson Mandela, having served twenty-seven years in prison, is sworn in as the President of South Africa in In he signs the new Constitution which, among other things, guarantees equal treat ment before the law for all citizens—black or white.
Those in opposition to Apartheid policies take hope in a brighter future by singing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika. The British Empire is crumbling as former colonies declare independence. The Soviet Union has collapsed and its republics have declared independence. Critical Overview The critical reputation of Cry, the Beloved Country in the international community has been overwhelmingly positive. Alan Paton's novel, both written and submitted to publishers while on a tour, received much praise the moment it was released.
It sold out on its first day of appearance and entered its sixth print run by the end of the year. Back home in South Africa, however, the newly independent Paton was not so warmly embraced. The novel was critical of the new regime and Afrikaners because of their narrow vision and fear-ridden pride. Conversely, black South Africans could never forgive Paton for being a white and could never see the book as anything but a parable written by a white man—sympathetic though he was.
The most positive reviewer from this camp was Dennis Brutusa poet who was a prison inmate with Nelson Mandela. Brutus attributed a new sort of writing in South Africa to Paton and his novel. Paton, said Brutus, set in motion a writing that viewed apartheid critically in such a way as to move people and awaken them to our blight of inhumanity. Unfortunately, Brutus's valuation was retrospective as well as a minority opinion.
Martin Tucker, in his book Africa in Modern Literature, said that few writers were indebted to Paton. Though the first print run was small, the critics picked up the novel and sounded its triumph.
They applauded the new sense of lyricism which Paton had brought English literature by the adoption of the Zulu and Xosa syntax. They praised the breadth of the subject matter yet simple style of the book. While still positive, there were those critics who seemed to miss the point of the novel. One example was Harold C.
Gardiner's review in which he says, "the story is preeminently one of individuals. There are no sweeping and grandiose statements about 'the race problem. InSheridan Baker wrote an interpretive article which found that the geography of Paton's story was not only symbolic but that it was the same type of Christian allegory to be found in Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and Dante's Divine Comedy. This would not have been so bad, says Edward Callahan in his book, but Baker used his idea about Paton's work in an educational packet wherein children were instructed by Baker to make ludicrous associations in the novel.
Fortunately, the article by Harry A. Gailey entitled "Sheridan Baker's 'Paton's Beloved Country,'" in which Gailey says that the interpretation of Baker is textually baseless, is also included in the anthology of Baker. A more rational approach to the novel was close by.
Edmund Fuller wrote glowingly of the novel in his Man in Modern Fiction. There he wrote that Cry, the Beloved Country "is a great and dramatic novel because Alan Paton, in addition to his skill of workmanship sees with clear eyes both good and evil, differentiates them, pitches them in conflict with each other, and takes sides.
Most criticism of the book simply sides with Paton due to the political tension of the work. In fact, there is little variation amongst the reviewers when it comes to what it is in the novel which deserves praise.
Mostly, it was felt that the quasi-Biblical language of the novel was an emotional catalyst that helped to place the reader on the side of the Kumalos and only secondarily with the Jarvis family. Another review by Myron Matlaw in Arcadia simply sums up the critical view of Paton: A Novel of South Africa, the view is taken that the book is a classic because of its endurance. After forty years and two movies, Paton's novel is still widely read. He also cites the work as having a universal appeal because of its poetic language and its theme of human responsibility.
The setting for the novel, adds Callan, has changed incredibly in that span of time but he makes no prediction about how this will affect the reception of the work. Criticism Sharon Cumberland In the following essay, Cumberland, an assistant professor at Seattle University, asserts that although Cry, the Beloved Country was written by a white man, it successfully and artistically presents in human terms the plight of native African people suffering under apartheid.
Cry, the Beloved Country made a tremendous impact on the international community when it was first published in by showing, in human terms, the effects of apartheid on its victims.
Once known as Boers, these Afrikaaners instituted a system of rigid segregation between the black tribal people and the white settlers. White supremacy allowed the Afrikaaners and white people of other nationalities to become wealthy on the natural resources in South Africa, using tribal people for cheap labor. The evil consequences of the apartheid system in South Africa were widely understood as political phenomena in Yet Alan Paton evoked the dilemma of tribal people so movingly that no one who read his novel could fail to understand from an emotional point of view the terrible injustices built into the legal system—a system which held sway in South Africa until Though Cry, the Beloved Country stands alone as a compelling plot with memorable characters, it is a book which needs to be placed in historical context to achieve its full impact.
What Do I Read Next? First published inDays: She was the wife of Joe Slovo, leader of the Communist Party in South Africa, and one of the first to be imprisoned during the crackdown of the s. After her release, she continued to oppose the government until a letter bomb killed her in Her story of imprisonment is the story of a white South African who opposed apartheid.
Later made into a film by the same title, this work tells the true story of Donald Wood, a concerned white journalist, who is trying to interview Steven Biko. Unfortunately, Biko is imprisoned by the government and dies while in jail. Lately, amidst amnesty hearings in South Africa, it has been revealed that he was killed by the guards just as human rights defenders had always claimed. Although Nelson Mandela signed a new constitution into existence in South Africa, Albie Sachs's writings on the issues of such an undertaking are still worth reading.
His Protecting Human Rights In a New South Africa, printed inis interesting because he explains the legal and social complexities inherent in the writing of a constitution which will safeguard all of South Africa's people. Information on Apartheid housing policies can be gained from Homes Apart: South Africa's Segregated Cities, published in Editor Anthony Lemon details the way in which, "South African cities were established by white settlers, who regarded the cities as their cultural domain.
Durning, released by the World Watch Institute. This work details the environmental policy of the National Party since its victory in A good feel for daily life in apartheid Africa, can be gained from the play Woza Albert! This play by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema, and Barney Simon depicts the average experiences in South Africa from riding the train to working for white bosses. Afrikaner Pieter van Vlaanderen violates the Immorality Act by having an affair with a black woman, is sent to jail, and shunned by his family.
Too Late the Phalarope demonstrates to readers how the South African system of apartheid degrades all citizens.
Cry, the Beloved Country | hidden-facts.info
Alan Paton was a white man of English descent, raised in Natal, a region of South Africa which is the "beloved country" of the title. South Africa as a whole can also be understood to be the "beloved country" for which its natives, both white and black, must "cry," or weep for in sorrow and guilt.
Paton understood that racial injustice, in which the blacks, who made up seventy percent of the country's population, worked to enrich the white Afrikaaners. It was a crime which led all South Africans, and especially the black natives, to disastrous consequences. South Africa's history is the history of European colonialism in Africa.
The Dutch East India Company came to the region in and began to displace the Bantu-speaking black Africans who lived there. Dutch farmers Boers who came from the Netherlands to settle the South African interior engaged in a long series of wars with the Xhosa people. But they were displaced in turn when the British took over the region in When diamonds and gold were discovered in these regions in the s and s, making them more attractive for business than for farming, the British attempted to take over the regions.
This prompted the Boer War The British won the war and established the Union of South Africa in South Africa gained its independence from Britain in When the Boers, now called Afrikaaners, assumed power from England, they imposed the most strict apartheid laws, isolating the black natives in "homelands" which deprived them of their civil rightsas well as their ability to achieve economic and social stability.
When Paton wrote Cry, the Beloved Country, it was not clear how South Africa would solve the increasing injustices between its black and white inhabitants. Paton achieved two purposes in his novel. He depicted these injustices by showing how white commercialism dismantled the tribal customs which had given the black natives their stability, and he proposed an alternative to apartheid that was moral and religious rather than political.
Through the reconciliation of his black protagonist, Stephen Kumalo, with the white land owner, James Jarvis, Paton proposes that natural charity and justice will emerge when members of both races see each other as fully human.
Paton did not merely write novels to propose solutions. He became actively involved in implementing his vision by helping to found the Liberal Party in South Africa in With the worldwide prestige, income, and authority he gained from the success of Cry, the Beloved Country, Paton was able to join with others to fight the increasingly harsh laws that limited Bantu education, access to jobs, freedom of movement, and property rights.
At the same time, however, the African National Congress ANCoriginally formed ininitiated the mass movements against the white regime that led eventually to armed conflict and guerrilla warfare. For forty years the ANC led the fight for black rights, resulting in the National Conference in at which Nelson Mandela was elected president. Mandela became the leader of the Government of National Unity in South Africa, which seeks to exercise justice for all races.
Though Paton's hope for nonviolent change for his "beloved country" died with the failure of the Liberal Party, he is still credited with bringing powerful force to early efforts to organize reform.
Reading Cry, the Beloved Country is like reading a certain type of poetry, in that every word has significance and beauty. It is not a novel to be skimmed or read rapidly, even though it is fairly short. It is a book to be savored for its truthfulness, its carefulness, and its importance. Cry, the Beloved Country is truly unique because it does not follow in a literary tradition, nor does it launch a tradition. Later South African authors who have gained the world stage, such as Nadine GordimerAthol Fugard, and Andre Brinkhave been writing in an environment of open hostility between blacks and whites after the militarization of the African National Congress.
Since Cry, the Beloved Country predates this period, it stands alone as an appeal for peaceful reconciliation between the races—a stance which the later authors could not realistically take. It also stands alone as a work about suffering and love that is timeless in its relevance to the human condition.
Fifty years after its publication, when many of the worst offenses addressed in Cry, the Beloved Country are being solved by the Government of National Unity in South Africa, it is still a work to be read and cherished by new generations. It is significant that in the novel the symbol of a hopeful future is situated in a white child. Though Paton appropriates the voice of a black minister, Stephen Kumalo, to tell most of his story, Paton himself is white. His lifetime of living among the Zulu gave him the authority to adopt Kumalo's voice accurately in terms of its particular sound and expression.
Inbefore the multicultural movement in literary theory, such an appropriation of voice would not be questioned, especially when it is done as well as Paton does it. Today, however, the critical reader must always be aware that the black voice is subject to the agenda of the white author. For instance, one can speculate that the mind of the white man intrudes into his black characters at certain points when the black characters notice the generosity of white drivers during the bus strike, when they accept the decisions of white authority figures like Father Vincent without question, and when they seek for reconciliation with white characters such as James Jarvis.
When compared to black African authors such as Chinua Achebethe reader can see that Paton wishes to highlight those attributes upon which racial reconciliation can be built rather than simply to paint the terrible destructiveness of racial injustice. Thus, Paton's symbol for the next generation, the white child who reflects his father's respect for the Zulu, is a distinctly white perception of peace. One can speculate that a black writer on the same subject would see the hope of South Africa in a black child, one who might grow up in a country in which Africans had reclaimed their land from white intruders, and who might turn to tribal belief systems for their values rather than the transplanted Christian values which predominate in Paton's novel.
There is no sense of irony in Paton's narration, for instance, that the broken tribes are broken, in part, by the imposition of a non-native religion. The greatest theme of Cry, the Beloved Country is the Christian reconciliation of the races in the face of almost unforgivable sin.
How can the black natives ever forgive white people for stealing their country and its resources while destroying their culture? On the other hand, how can white people ever come to face the enormity of their crimes, especially when the initial crimes were not committed by those who are living now?
How can white South Africans not regard the land as their own when they and their ancestors have lived on it since ? Before a peaceful solution can be found, a race war might break out. As the character Msimangu says about the white people, "I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving they will find that we are turned to hating.
Likewise, it is the memory of his son Arthur that compels James Jarvis to overcome his prejudice and loathing in order to achieve understanding of his radical racial views and to carry on his son's work for racial justice. The breaking of the tribes is a disaster brought on by several forces, including the relentless drought that forced agricultural people into the cities, as well as the exploitation of those people by the white mine owners.
In Book I the reader can see the devastation in every character which is brought about by the breakdown of tribal customs. In Book II it is clear that the white "tribe" has thrived on the destruction of the black tribes, who have provided the white people with their maids, laborers, and mine workers.
Paton suggests that a new tribe must rise out of this cycle of destruction and exploitation: How this respect is to develop is a "secret"—one of the mysteries of life that will only be clear when it manifests itself in leaps of faith and acts of generosity. As Kumalo tries to come to terms with the execution of his son for the murder of Jarvis' son—a crime which the reader understands to be the product of the breaking of the tribe—he turns away from what appear to be irreconcilable mysteries: When he fears he will lose his faith, Father Vincent tells him not to dwell on injustice: For they are secret.
Who knows what life is, for life is a secret. Paton tries to show the progress of such sin and forgiveness in the Jarvis and Kumalo families as a model for the entire nation. Because the characters are so fully realized, their stories become models of suffering and reconciliation for all times and places. Sharon Cumberland, in an essay for Novels for Students, Gale, Edward Callan In the following excerpt, Callan examines the variety of literary styles Paton employs in Cry, the Beloved Country, and provides a plot summary.
It would be difficult to imagine a landscape or a point on the earth's surface so different in every way from South Africa as Trondheim, Norway. Yet it may have been fortunate for the artist in Alan Paton that Trondheim was the place where he undertook to compose Cry, the Beloved Country. This was not because of any direct influence other than that of loneliness and longing for home.
True, he had read John Steinbeck 's The Grapes of Wrath in Stockholm, and his sidetrip to Norway was prompted by a wish to visit the countryside depicted in Knut Hamsun 's grimly realistic novel Growth of the Soil; but he says [in Towards the Mountain ] he did not consciously adapt anything from either work except Steinbeck's "style of rendering conversations, indicating by a preliminary dash that a speech was about to begin, and omitting all inverted commas. It is essentially this overall point of view that makes Cry, the Beloved Country a unique artistic object: Synge's play Riders to the Sea.
Many readers of Cry, the Beloved Country are struck by the simplicity of its language and the rhythmic quality of its prose style. Some of its rhythms—dependent on parallel phrases and repetitions—evoke translations of the Psalms. Because of this, the style of Cry, the Beloved Country has frequently been described as "biblical. But the novel has a wide variety of styles. The element that may strike readers first as having a flavor of originality is the evocation of the rhythms of Zulu speech that appears, chiefly, in Stephen Kumalo's speech and thought, and in dialogue among African characters.
For an obvious contrast, however, one should look at the style of the elder Harrison in Book Two. Harrison is almost a caricature of the typical colonialist-minded United Party man from Johannesburg's English-speaking commercial community, hidebound by prejudice. He parrots hackneyed ideas about "the native problem. He is like the "stone age" neighbor in Robert Frost 's "Mending Wall," who cannot go behind his father's saying: One could pursue these instances of characterization through style further: Even though Cry, the Beloved Country is not written in one style and rhythm but in many styles and rhythms, there is, nonetheless, a dominant style associated with the book.
This is the pattern of speech with a marked poetic quality accorded to Kumalo and the African characters generally, and also to some extent employed in the lyric passages voiced from outside the action. This quality, depending to a degree on the sound and syntax of spoken Zulu, can be viewed as a poetic invention designed to carry over into English the effects of the sound and idiom of African speech….Cry, the Beloved Country - Video Project
Book One, the Book of Kumalo, is concerned at first with the physical quest of the Reverend Stephen Kumalo, who travels from the African village of Ndotsheni to Johannesburg in search of his sister Gertrude, his son Absalom, and his brother John, who have all "disappeared" in the metropolis. His guide to these regions of lost people is another Anglican priest, a fellow Zulu of wholly different background, the Reverend Theophilus Msimangu.
He guides Kumalo down among the lost people as Virgil guided Dante through the infernal regions, opening his eyes and his understanding to the meaning of enigmatic things. They find Stephen's sister Gertrude, his brother John, and, finally, his son Absalom, only to discover that he is the confessed murderer of Arthur Jarvis. Book Two is the Book of James Jarvis, father of the murdered man.
He sets out from the closed mental world of his own habitual assumptions and prejudices and seeks to understand the liberal spirit revealed to him in his son's reputation and writings. Again, on the analogy of Virgil led by Dante, James Jarvis, "seeking his way out of the fog into which he has been born," is guided by the voice of his dead son who had "journeyed … into strange waters" and set down his philosophy in "A Private Essay on the Evolution of a South African.
In it, the physical and psychological quests of the earlier books turn toward the spiritual path of redemption. This is the region where, after guiding him through the horrors of hell and the mount of purgatory, Virgil left Dante to proceed alone with no guide but love. In Book One, Stephen Kumalo journeys to Johannesburg and experiences manifestations of good and evil in this strange new industrial world. He is robbed, and he is treated with kindness; he visits places of despair like Claremont where he finds his sister Gertrude, and places of hope like Ezenzeleni where the blind are rehabilitated; he witnesses his brother John's self-seeking corruption and Msimangu's selfless dedication; he becomes aware, too, of conflicting good and evil impulses within himself.
He is a good man seeking lost sheep, yet he lies to his fellow-passengers on the train to protect his self-esteem; and he is cruel to the nameless girl who is to bear Absalom's child, as he is later cruel to his brother John whose cunning has saved his own son at Absalom's expense.
In Book Two the reader observes James Jarvis's deep experience as he returns again and again to the writings on social justice left by his murdered son. These papers argue the case for racial conciliation in South Africa from the Christian and liberal standpoint that Paton shared with Jan Hofmeyr.
They open James Jarvis's eyes for the first time to the real plight of both rural and urban Africans—the destruction of their tribal social organization without provision for its replacement by something better: But it is not permissible to watch its destruction, and to replace it by nothing, or by so little, that a whole people degenerates, physically and morally.
He is not equipped to do his son's work, but he does "the next best thing. And he learns to respect the sufferings of the old man whose son had murdered his son. The theme of restoration pervades Book Three on several levels. There is a beginning made on the restoration of the land through the work of a young agricultural demonstrator; there is the restoration of Kumalo's leaky village church through the generosity of James Jarvis; and this, in turn, is a halting step towards the restoration of brotherhood—one human being reaching out toward another across the barriers of fear and prejudice.
The climax of the theme of spiritual restoration is reached when Kumalo, who in Book One neared despair, makes his lone pilgrimage to the mountaintop to share his son's agony on the morning set for his execution.
Book Three, seeking to evoke a Christian sensibility, may be open to the dual danger of uncritical applause from those who share Paton's faith, and to charges of sentimentality from those who do not.
Yet Paton does not permit the reader either to applaud Jarvis's "conversion" or to smile tolerantly on it as a matter beyond the limits of practical sociological concern. At this very point in the novel he quite deliberately raises the question: One way is to hope for an ideal, Utopian solution through the intervention of some agent of authority or impersonal force, such as the state, equipped with blueprints and long-range theories.
Another way is, meanwhile, to do "the next best thing" and take those practical steps, however small, that lie within reach. The "good" characters in the novel do not accept evils passively. They act, not only for "humanitarian" reasons, but because as human beings they are involved in mankind, and are in a real sense their brothers' keepers.
It is, indeed, a simple personal action—an assumption of the responsibility of priestly brotherhood that opens up the whole Pandora's box: He decides on the unprecedented, if unrewarding, step of seeking an interview with the chief to propose some practical steps to alleviate the suffering caused in Ndotsheni by the drought.
And he does this because "the great city had opened his eyes to something that had been begun and must now be continued. Paton even employs a singsong rhythm—like those who parrot, by rote, things uncomprehended—that mocks the headmaster: He took Kumalo out into the blazing sun, and showed him the school gardens, but this was an academic lecture, for there was no water, and everything was dead.
For it was not only because of the drought that "there was no water, and everything was dead"; but, symbolically, because the schemes and theories themselves were arid. It is only when Jarvis and Kumalo meet humbly as two human beings, each aware of the weight of the other's suffering, and therefore of their common humanity, that the drought breaks and the rain comes at last to the valley of Ndotsheni.
Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country offers no blueprint for a Utopian society. Arthur's son comes to Kumalo to learn more Zulu. Kumalo sees the brightness of the father shining in the son. As the boy leaves, Kumalo hopes that he will see the valley reborn before he dies because during his lifetime he has seen so much disintegration. Jarvis is not just giving gifts or charity to the people of the valley.
Following his son's advice, he is providing the means for the people to help themselves. He provides them with the agricultural demonstrator so that the people themselves can learn how to preserve the land and turn it into a productive valley again. In these last chapters, there are strong indications of communication and understanding between Mr. As soon as he hears of Mrs. Jarvis' death, Kumalo would like to speak to Jarvis, but custom forbids; he must content himself with writing a letter of condolence.
Jarvis answers, explaining that Mrs. Jarvis had been ill for some time. He writes this explanation so that Kumalo will not think that Arthur's murder caused Mrs. Jarvis to die, thus indicating that Mr. Jarvis has developed a deeper sympathy and compassion for the feeling of the blacks. At the same time, Jarvis promises Kumalo a new church.
One of the natives responds by scouring the countryside in order to find the best white lilies for a wreath for Mrs. In Chapter 35, we begin to see that in the reconstruction of the land, the demonstrator must work against the grumbling and discontent of the natives.
Cry, the Beloved Country
He has to make them understand that reconstruction is a long, slow process and that they cannot expect too much in a short time. The demonstrator and Kumalo have a discussion about who has responsibility for the condition of the land.
Kumalo refuses to put all the blame on the white man and asserts the gratitude he feels for the way in which Mr. Jarvis has helped them. Kumalo warns the demonstrator not to hate any man and not to desire power over any man. From his trip to Johannesburg, Kumalo has learned the tragedy that can occur when hate and power control a man.
After this murder Absalom fled to Talmaiwho was the king of Geshur and Absalom's maternal grandfather  see also Joshua It was not until three years later that Absalom was fully reinstated in his father's favour and finally returned to Jerusalem  see Joab. The revolt at Hebron[ edit ] Two views of the burial chamber inside the so-called Tomb of Absalom in the Valley of JehoshaphatJerusalemwhich has no connection to biblical Absalom.
Then all who had a suit or cause might come to me, and I would give them justice. He "stole the hearts of the people of Israel". Absalom reached the capital and consulted with the renowned Ahithophel sometimes spelled Achitophel. David took refuge from Absalom's forces beyond the Jordan River. However, he took the precaution of instructing a servant, Hushaito infiltrate Absalom's court and subvert it.
Hushai convinced Absalom to ignore Ahithophel's advice to attack his father while he was on the run, and instead to prepare his forces for a major attack. This gave David critical time to prepare his own troops for the battle. The Battle of Ephraim's Wood[ edit ] A fateful battle was fought in the Wood of Ephraim the name suggests a locality west of the Jordan and Absalom's army was completely routed.
He was discovered there still alive by one of David's men, who reported this to Joabthe king's commander. Joab, accustomed to avenging himself, took this opportunity to even the score with Absalom.
Killing Absalom was against David's explicit command, "Beware that none touch the young man Absalom". Joab killed Absalom with three darts through the heart. When David heard that Absalom was killed, although not how he was killed, he greatly sorrowed. O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom!
Would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!