But the woman from Tekoa said to him, "My lord the king, let the blame1 rest on me and on my father's family,2 and let the king and his throne be without guilt.3"
The king replied, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me, and he will not bother you again."
She said, "Then let the king invoke the LORD his God to prevent the avenger4 of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed." "As surely as the LORD lives," he said, "not one hair5 of your son's head will fall to the ground.6"
Then the woman said, "Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king." "Speak," he replied.
The woman said, "Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of God? When the king says this, does he not convict himself,7 for the king has not brought back his banished son?814
Like water9 spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die.10 But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person11 may not remain estranged from him.
"And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, 'I will speak to the king; perhaps he will do what his servant asks.
Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from the inheritance12 God gave us.'
"And now your servant says, 'May the word of my lord the king bring me rest, for my lord the king is like an angel13 of God in discerning14 good and evil. May the LORD your God be with you.' "
Then the king said to the woman, "Do not keep from me the answer to what I am going to ask you." "Let my lord the king speak," the woman said.
The king asked, "Isn't the hand of Joab15 with you in all this?" The woman answered, "As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant.