Upon hearing of his son’s death, David weeps; “Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son….”

The repetition of names (Absalom, Absalom) and terms of address (my son, my son)  in the Bible are significant. They display a sense of intimacy, love, devotion, and deep feelings. When God speaks to Abraham at Mount Moriah, as he is about to plunge the knife into the breast of Isaac, He says, “Abraham, Abraham.” Or when God encourages Jacob in his old age to take the trip to Egypt, He says, “Jacob, Jacob.”  God calls Moses from the burning bush: “Moses, Moses.” God calls Samuel in the night, “Samuel, Samuel.” Consider Jesus’ cry of desolation on the cross, “My God, my God.” When Jesus confronted Martha, when He warned Peter, and when He wept over Jerusalem—in each case we find the word repeated for intimacy’s sake. There was a connection between them. The connection was more than casual. Thus, David, the father, had a personal, intimate connection with his son Absalom.

It might be worth nothing that the use of repetitive address does not establish the intimacy between the two. It’s simply an expression of what already exists. A repetitive term of address can be used without an actual intimate connection. Some pretend to have a deep relationship with Christ, but this claim is not borne out in their lives. There are many who say, “Lord, Lord,” while in fact they live in contempt for Christ’s commandments. “If you love me, you will obey what I command,” said Jesus.