2 Samuel 14 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king, deep down, still cared for Absalom. 1 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart longed for Absalom.
2 So he sent to Tekoa for a wise woman who lived there and instructed her, "Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in black and don't comb your hair, so you'll look like you've been grieving over a dead loved one for a long time. 2 So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, "Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don't use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead.
3 Then go to the king and tell him this . . . " Joab then told her exactly what to say. 3 Then go to the king and speak these words to him." And Joab put the words in her mouth.
4 The woman of Tekoa went to the king, bowed deeply before him in homage, and said, "O King, help!" 4 When the woman from Tekoa went to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, "Help me, O king!"
5 He said, "How can I help?" 5 The king asked her, "What is troubling you?" She said, "I am indeed a widow; my husband is dead.
6 I had two sons. The two of them got into a fight out in the field and there was no one around to step between them. The one struck the other and killed him. 6 I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him.
7 Then the whole family ganged up against me and demanded, 'Hand over this murderer so we can kill him for the life of the brother he murdered!' They want to wipe out the heir and snuff out the one spark of life left to me. And then there would be nothing left of my husband - not so much as a name - on the face of the earth. 7 Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, 'Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir as well.' They would put out the only burning coal I have left, leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth."
8 The king said, "Go home, and I'll take care of this for you." 8 The king said to the woman, "Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf."
9 "I'll take all responsibility for what happens," the woman of Tekoa said. "I don't want to compromise the king and his reputation." 9 But the woman from Tekoa said to him, "My lord the king, let the blame rest on me and on my father's family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt."
10 "Bring the man who has been harassing you," the king continued. "I'll see to it that he doesn't bother you anymore." 10 The king replied, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me, and he will not bother you again."
11 "Let the king invoke the name of God," said the woman, "so this self-styled vigilante won't ruin everything, to say nothing of killing my son." "As surely as God lives," he said, "not so much as a hair of your son's head will be lost." 11 She said, "Then let the king invoke the LORD his God to prevent the avenger 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 hair of your son's head will fall to the ground."
12 Then she asked, "May I say one more thing to my master, the king?" He said, "Go ahead." 12 Then the woman said, "Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king." "Speak," he replied.
13 "Why, then," the woman said, "have you done this very thing against God's people? In his verdict, the king convicts himself by not bringing home his exiled son. 13 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, for the king has not brought back his banished son?
14 We all die sometime. Water spilled on the ground can't be gathered up again. But God does not take away life. He works out ways to get the exile back." 14 Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.
15 "So now I've dared come to the king, my master, about all this. They're making my life miserable, and I'm afraid. I said to myself, 'I'll go to the king. Maybe he'll do something! 15 "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.
16 When the king hears what's going on, he'll step in and rescue me from the abuse of the man who would get rid of me and my son and God's inheritance - the works!' 16 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 inheritance God gave us.'
17 As your handmaid, I decided ahead of time, 'The word of my master, the king, will be the last word in this, for my master is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil.' God be with you!" 17 "And now your servant says, 'May the word of my lord the king bring me rest, for my lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil. May the LORD your God be with you.' "
18 The king then said, "I'm going to ask you something. Answer me truthfully." "Certainly," she said. "Let my master, the king, speak." 18 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.
19 The king said, "Is the hand of Joab mixed up in this?" 19 The king asked, "Isn't the hand of Joab 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.
20 It was because he wanted to turn things around that your servant Joab did this. But my master is as wise as God's angels in knowing how to handle things on this earth." 20 Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God--he knows everything that happens in the land."
21 The king spoke to Joab. "All right, I'll do it. Go and bring the young man Absalom back." 21 The king said to Joab, "Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom."
22 Joab bowed deeply in reverence and blessed the king. "I'm reassured to know that I'm still in your good graces and have your confidence, since the king is taking the counsel of his servant." 22 Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king. Joab said, "Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant's request."
23 Joab got up, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.
24 The king said, "He may return to his house, but he is not to see me face to face." So Absalom returned home, but was not permitted to see the king. 24 But the king said, "He must go to his own house; he must not see my face." So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king.
25 This Absalom! There wasn't a man in all Israel talked about so much for his handsome good looks - and not a blemish on him from head to toe! 25 In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him.
26 When he cut his hair - he always cut it short in the spring because it had grown so heavy - the weight of the hair from his head was over two pounds! 26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head--he used to cut his hair from time to time when it became too heavy for him--he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard.
27 Three sons were born to Absalom, and one daughter. Her name was Tamar - and she was a beauty. 27 Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. The daughter's name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman.
28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, and not once did he see the king face to face. 28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king's face.
29 He sent for Joab to get him in to see the king, but Joab still wouldn't budge. He tried a second time and Joab still wouldn't. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come.
30 So he told his servants, "Listen. Joab's field adjoins mine, and he has a crop of barley in it. Go set fire to it." So Absalom's servants set fire to the field. 30 Then he said to his servants, "Look, Joab's field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire." So Absalom's servants set the field on fire.
31 That got him moving - Joab came to Absalom at home and said, "Why did your servants set my field on fire?" 31 Then Joab did go to Absalom's house and he said to him, "Why have your servants set my field on fire?"
32 Absalom answered him, "Listen, I sent for you saying, 'Come, and soon. I want to send you to the king to ask, "What's the point of my coming back from Geshur? I'd be better off still there!" Let me see the king face to face. If he finds me guilty, then he can put me to death.'" 32 Absalom said to Joab, "Look, I sent word to you and said, 'Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, "Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!" ' Now then, I want to see the king's face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death."
33 Joab went to the king and told him what was going on. Absalom was then summoned - he came and bowed deeply in reverence before him. And the king kissed Absalom. 33 So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.