Now Joab the son of Zeruiahperceived that 1the king'sheart was inclined towardAbsalom.
So Joabsent to 2Tekoa and abrought a wisewoman from there and said to her, "Pleasepretend to be a mourner, and put on mourninggarmentsnow, and do not 3anoint yourself with oil, but be like a woman who has been mourning for the deadmanydays;
then go to the king and speak to him in thismanner." So Joabput4the words in her mouth.
Now when the woman of Tekoabspoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and 5prostrated herself and said, "6Help, O king."
The kingsaid to her, "What is your trouble?" And she canswered, "Truly I am a widow, for my husband is dead.
"Your maidservant had twosons, but the two of them struggledtogether in the field, and there was nodone to separate them, so onestruck the other and killed him.
"Now behold, 7the wholefamily has risenagainst your maidservant, and they say, 'Handover the one who struck his brother, that we may put him to death for the life of his brotherwhom he killed, 8and destroy the heiralso.' Thus they will extinguish my coalwhich is left, so as to eleave my husbandneithernamenorremnant on the face of the earth."
Then the kingsaid to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will giveordersconcerning you."
The woman of Tekoasaid to the king, "O my lord, the king, 9the iniquity is on me and my father'shouse, but 10the king and his throne are guiltless."
So the kingsaid, "Whoever speaks to you, bring him to me, and he will not touch you anymore ."
Then she said, "Please let the kingremember the LORD your God, 11so that the avenger of blood will not continue to destroy, otherwise they will destroy my son." And he said, "12As the LORDlives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground."
Then the womansaid, "Please let your maidservantspeak a word to my lord the king." And he said, "Speak."
The womansaid, "13Why then have you plannedsuch a thingagainst the people of God? For in speakingthisword the king is as onewho is guilty, in that the king does not bringback14his banishedone.
"For 15we will surelydie and are 16like waterspilled on the groundwhichcannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plansfways so that 17the banishedone will not be cast out from him.
15"Nowgthe reason I have come to speakthisword to my lord the king is that the people have made me afraid; so your maidservantsaid, 'Let me nowspeak to the king, perhaps the king will perform the hrequest of his maidservant.
'For the king will heariand deliver his maidservant from the jhand of the man who would destroykboth me and my son from 18the inheritance of God.'
"Then your maidservantsaid, 'Please let the word of my lord the king be lcomforting, for as 19the angel of God, so is my lord the king to discerngood and evil. And may the LORD your God be with you.' "
Then the kinganswered and said to the woman, "Please do not hideanything from me that I am about to ask you." And the womansaid, "Let my lord the kingpleasespeak."
So the kingsaid, "Is the hand of Joab with you in allthis?" And the womanreplied, "As your soullives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Indeed, it was 20your servantJoabwhocommanded me, and it was he who putallthesewords in the mouth of your maidservant;
in order to change the appearance of things your servantJoab has donethisthing. But my lord is wise, 21like the wisdom of the angel of God, to knowall that is in the earth."
Then the kingsaid to Joab, "Beholdnow, 22I will surely dothisthing; go therefore, bringback the youngmanAbsalom."
22Joabfell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself and blessed the king; then Joabsaid, "Today your servantknows that I have foundfavor in your sight, O my lord, the king, in that the king has performed the mrequest of his servant."
So Joabarose and went to 23Geshur and broughtAbsalom to Jerusalem.
However the kingsaid, "Let him turn to 24his own house, and let him not see my face." So Absalomturned to his own house and did not see the king'sface.
Now in allIsrael was noone as handsome as Absalom, so highlypraised; 25from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was nodefect in him.
When he 26cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, for it was heavy on him so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at 200shekels by the king'sweight.
2727To Absalom there were bornthreesons, and onedaughter whose name was 28Tamar; she was a woman of beautifulappearance.
Now Absalomlived two fullyears in Jerusalem, 29and did not see the king'sface.
Then Absalomsent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. So he sentagain a secondtime, but he would not come.
Therefore he said to his servants, "See, 30Joab'snfield is next to mine, and he has barleythere; go and set it on fire." So Absalom'sservantsset the ofield on fire.
Then Joabarose, came to Absalom at his house and said to him, "Why have your servantsset my pfield on fire?"
32AbsalomqansweredJoab, "Behold, I sent for you, saying, 'Comehere, that I may send you to the king, to say, "Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me still to be there."' Now therefore, let me see the king'sface, 31and ifthere is iniquity in me, let him put me to death."
So when Joabcame to the king and told him, he called for Absalom. Thus he came to the king and prostrated himself on his face to the groundbefore the king, and 32the kingkissedAbsalom.