Absalom's Sons

Question
How many sons did Absalom have? 2 Samuel 14:27 and 2 Samuel 18:18
Answer
2 Samuel 14:27 Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. The daughters name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman.

2 Samuel 18:18 During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the Kings Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, I have no son to carry on the memory of my name. He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absaloms Monument to this day.

Though three sons are mentioned in 2 Samuel 14:27, it is significant that they are not named, but the daughter Tamar is. So, presumably they were deceased by the time the monument was erected. Bergen states:
A genealogical note in the text states that Absalom fathered three sons and a daughter (v. 27). This note, likewise, plays an important role in helping the reader evaluate Absaloms life. Although three sons would have been reckoned as a great blessing, by the time of Absaloms death all of them would be dead, so that Absalom had no male heir to continue his family line (18:18). The Torah declared that disobedience to the Lord would cause ones children to be cursed (Deut 28:18), and the narrators indication that Absalom lost all three male heirs so early in life would reinforce the notion that he was indeed under the Lords curse.

Reference

Bergen, R.D. The New American Commentary Vol. 7, 1, 2 Samuel. In Logos Library System electronic ed. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (IIIM).