Then the king answered and said unto the woman
Understanding plainly what she meant by all this, that the case she brought was a feigned one, and that the intention of it was to let him know the sense of the people with respect to Absalom, and the recall of him:
hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee;
he suspected that this was not a scheme of her own, but some considerable person had formed it, and made use of her to execute it, which was what he desired to know:
and the woman said, let my lord the king now speak;
ask what question he pleases, I am ready to answer.