Now Joab the son of Zeruiahperceived that the king'sheart was toward Absalom.2
And Joabsent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wisewoman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner , and put on now mourningapparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a longtimemourned for the dead :
And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joabput the words in her mouth.4
And when the woman of Tekoahspake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance , and said , Help ,a O king.5
And the kingsaid unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered , I am indeed a widowwoman, and mine husband is dead .
And thy handmaid had twosons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the onesmote the other, and slew him.
And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said , Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew ; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left , and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainderuponb the earth.8
And the kingsaid unto the woman,Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee.
And the woman of Tekoahsaid unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father'shouse: and the king and his throne be guiltless.10
And the kingsaid , Whosoever saith ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more .
Then said she, I pray thee, let the kingremember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more , lest they destroy my son. And he said , As the LORDliveth, there shall not one hair of thy sonfall to the earth.12
Then the womansaid , Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said , Say on .
And the womansaid , Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished .
For we must needsdie , and are as waterspilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again ; neither doth Godrespect any person: yet doth he devisemeans, that his banished be not expelled from him.
Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid : and thy handmaidsaid , I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid.16
For the king will hear , to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my sontogether out of the inheritance of God.17
Then thine handmaidsaid , The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable:c for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discerngood and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.
Then the kinganswered and said unto the woman,Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the womansaid , Let my lord the king now speak .
And the kingsaid , Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the womananswered and said , As thy soulliveth, my lord the king,nonecan turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken : for thy servantJoab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:20To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servantJoabdone this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.21
And the kingsaid unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing:go therefore, bring the young manAbsalomagain .
And Joabfell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thankedd the king: and Joabsaid , To day thy servantknoweth that I have foundgrace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.23
So Joabarose and went to Geshur, and broughtAbsalom to Jerusalem.24
And the kingsaid , Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalomreturned to his own house, and saw not the king'sface.25
But in all Israel there was none to be so muchpraised 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 polled his head, (for it was at every year'send that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundredshekels after the king'sweight.27
And unto Absalom there were bornthreesons, and onedaughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a faircountenance.28
So Absalomdwelt two fullyears in Jerusalem, and saw not the king'sface.29
Therefore Absalomsent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come .
Therefore he said unto his servants,See , Joab'sfield is nearemine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom'sservantsset the field on fire.31
Then Joabarose , and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servantsset my field on fire?32
And AbsalomansweredJoab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying , Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say , Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king'sface; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.
So Joabcame to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the groundbefore the king: and the kingkissedAbsalom.