And Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said to her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on mourning garments, I pray, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that hath a long time mourned for the dead;
and come to the king, and speak after this manner to him. And Joab put the words into her mouth.
And the woman of Tekoah spoke to the king, and she fell on her face to the ground and did obeisance, and said, Save, O king!
And the king said to her, What aileth thee? And she said, I am indeed a widow woman, and my husband is dead.
And thy bondmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other and slew him.
And behold, the whole family is risen against thy bondmaid, and they say, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may put him to death, for the life of his brother whom he killed; and we will destroy the heir also: so they will quench my coal which is left, and will not leave to my husband a name or remnant on the earth.
And the king said to the woman, Go to thy house, and I will give charge concerning thee.
And the woman of Tekoah said to the king, Upon me, my lord, O king, be the iniquity, and upon my father's house; and the king and his throne be guiltless.
And the king said, Whoever speaks to thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.
Then she said, I pray thee, let the king remember Jehovah thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they cut off my son. And he said, [As] Jehovah liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.
And the woman said, Let thy bondmaid, I pray thee, speak a word to my lord the king. And he said, Speak.
And the woman said, Why then hast thou thought such a thing against God's people? and the king in saying this thing, is as one guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one.
For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; and God has not taken away his life, but devises means that the banished one be not expelled from him.
And now that I am come to speak of this thing to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid; and thy bondmaid said, I will now speak to the king; perhaps the king will perform the request of his handmaid.
For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.
And thy bondmaid said, Let the word of my lord the king now be comfortable; for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad; and Jehovah thy God will be with thee.
And the king answered and said to the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.
And the king said, Is the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, [As] thy soul liveth, my lord, O king, there is no turning to the right hand or to the left from aught that my lord the king has spoken; for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words into the mouth of thy bondmaid:
in order to turn the appearance of the thing has thy servant Joab done this thing; but my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all that is in the earth.
And the king said to Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: so go, bring back the young man Absalom.
And Joab fell to the ground on his face and bowed himself, and blessed the king; and Joab said, To-day thy servant knows that I have found favour in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has fulfilled the request of his servant.
And Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. And Absalom withdrew to his own house, and saw not the king's face.
But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
And when he shaved his head (for it was at every year's end that he shaved it, because it was heavy on him, therefore he shaved it), he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
And to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a beautiful countenance.
So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king's face.
Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king; but he would not come to him; and he sent again the second time, but he would not come.
Then he said to his servants, See, Joab's allotment is near mine and he has barley there: go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the allotment on fire.
Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to [his] house, and said to him, Why have thy servants set my allotment on fire?
And Absalom said to Joab, Behold, I sent to thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Why am I come from Geshur? it would have been better for me to be there still. And now let me see the king's face; and if there be iniquity in me, let him slay me.
And Joab came to the king, and told him. And he called Absalom, and he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.
And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared for himself chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
And Absalom rose early, and stood beside the way of the gate; and it was so, that when any man who had a controversy had to come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.
And Absalom said to him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man to hear thee [appointed] by the king.
And Absalom said, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any controversy and cause might come to me, and I would do him justice!
And it was so, that when any man came near to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.
And in this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment; and Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
And it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Absalom said to the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay in Hebron my vow which I have vowed to Jehovah.
For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode in Geshur in Syria, saying, If Jehovah shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve Jehovah.
And the king said to him, Go in peace. And he rose up and went to Hebron.
And Absalom sent emissaries into all the tribes of Israel, saying, When ye hear the sound of the trumpet, ye shall say, Absalom reigns in Hebron.
And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were invited; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew nothing.
And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, from Giloh, while he offered the sacrifices. And the conspiracy gathered strength; and the people increased continually with Absalom.
And there came one to David who reported saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
And David said to all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Rise up and let us flee; for we shall not [else] escape from Absalom. Be quick to depart, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.
And the king's servants said to the king, Behold, thy servants [will do] whatever my lord the king shall choose.
And the king went forth, and all his household after him, and the king left ten women, concubines, to keep the house.
And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and stayed at the remote house.
And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men that came after him from Gath, passed over before the king.
And the king said to Ittai the Gittite, Why dost thou also go with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king; for thou art a foreigner, and besides, thou hast emigrated to the place where thou [dwellest].
Thou didst come yesterday, and should I this day make thee go up and down with us, seeing I go whither I can? Return and take back thy brethren. Mercy and truth be with thee!
And Ittai answered the king and said, [As] Jehovah liveth, and [as] my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.
And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.
And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over; the king also himself passed over the torrent Kidron, and all the people passed over, towards the way of the wilderness.
And behold, Zadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God; and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had passed completely out of the city.
And the king said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city. If I shall find favour in the eyes of Jehovah, he will bring me again, and shew me it, and its habitation.
But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, [here am] I, let him do to me as seemeth good to him.
And the king said to Zadok the priest, Thou art the seer: return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
See, I will stop in the plains of the desert, until there come word from you to inform me.
And Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem; and they abode there.
But David went up by the ascent of the Olives, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot; and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.
And one told David saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. Then said David, Jehovah, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
And it came to pass, when David had come to the summit, where he worshipped God, that behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head.
And David said to him, If thou passest on with me, thou wilt be a burden to me;
but if thou return to the city, and say to Absalom, I will be thy servant, O king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so now will I be thy servant; then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.
And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? and it shall be, [that] whatsoever thing thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.
Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz Zadok's [son], and Jonathan Abiathar's son; and by them ye shall send to me everything that ye shall hear.
And Hushai David's friend came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.