In 2 Samuel 18:6–18, the battle between David’s men and Absalom’s troops soon followed in the forest of Ephraim. The forest of Ephraim was a deserted place in the vicinity of Mahanaim (2 Samuel 17:24, 27) but otherwise unknown.
As terrible as Absalom’s losses were by the swords of David’s heroes (2 Samuel 18:7), they were even greater from the elements of that inhospitable terrain (v. 8).
Absalom himself, in a frantic attempt to escape on his mule, rode beneath a large oak tree and became tangled in its branches. He was suspended in midair. A soldier of David found him in this predicament but because David had ordered his men not to hurt Absalom, the soldier refused to harm him further.