Joab1 son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart longed for Absalom.
So Joab sent someone to Tekoa2 and had a wise woman3 brought from there. He said to her, "Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don't use any cosmetic lotions.4 Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead.
Then go to the king and speak these words to him." And Joab5 put the words in her mouth.
When the woman from Tekoa wenta to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, "Help me, O king!"
The king asked her, "What is troubling you?" She said, "I am indeed a widow; my husband is dead.
I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him.
Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, 'Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death6 for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir7 as well.' They would put out the only burning coal I have left,8 leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth."
The king said to the woman, "Go home,9 and I will issue an order in your behalf."
But the woman from Tekoa said to him, "My lord the king, let the blame10 rest on me and on my father's family,11 and let the king and his throne be without guilt.12"