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2 Samuel 14 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom. 1 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king's heart longed for Absalom.
2 So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, "Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don't bathe or wear any perfume. Act like a woman who has been in deep sorrow 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 the story I am about to tell you." Then Joab told her what to say. 3 Then go to the king and speak these words to him." And Joab put the words in her mouth.
4 When the woman approached the king, she fell with her face down to the floor in front of him and cried out, "O king! Help me!" 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 "What's the trouble?" the king asked. "I am a widow," she replied. 5 The king asked her, "What is troubling you?" She said, "I am indeed a widow; my husband is dead.
6 "My two sons had a fight out in the field. And since no one was there to stop it, one of them was killed. 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 Now the rest of the family is demanding, 'Let us have your son. We will execute him for murdering his brother. He doesn't deserve to inherit his family's property.' But if I do that, I will have no one left, and my husband's name and family will disappear from 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 "Leave it to me," the king told her. "Go home, and I'll see to it that no one touches him." 8 The king said to the woman, "Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf."
9 "Oh, thank you, my lord," she replied. "And I'll take the responsibility if you are criticized for helping me like this." 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 "Don't worry about that!" the king said. "If anyone objects, bring them to me. I can assure you they will never complain again!" 10 The king replied, "If anyone says anything to you, bring him to me, and he will not bother you again."
11 Then she said, "Please swear to me by the LORD your God that you won't let anyone take vengeance against my son. I want no more bloodshed." "As surely as the LORD lives," he replied, "not a hair on your son's head will be disturbed!" 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 "Please let me ask one more thing of you!" she said. "Go ahead," he urged. "Speak!" 12 Then the woman said, "Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king." "Speak," he replied.
13 She replied, "Why don't you do as much for all the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished 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 All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. That is why God tries to bring us back when we have been separated from him. He does not sweep away the lives of those he cares about -- and neither should you! 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 "But I have come to plead with you for my son because my life and my son's life have been threatened. I said to myself, 'Perhaps the king will listen to me 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 and rescue us from those who would cut us off from God's people. 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 Yes, the king will give us peace of mind again.' I know that you are like an angel of God and can discern good from evil. May the LORD your 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 "I want to know one thing," the king replied. "Yes, my lord?" she asked. 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 "Did Joab send you here?" And the woman replied, "My lord the king, how can I deny it? Nobody can hide anything from you. Yes, Joab sent me and told me what to say. 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 He did it to place the matter before you in a different light. But you are as wise as an angel of God, and you understand everything that happens among us!" 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 So the king sent for Joab and told him, "All right, go and bring back the young man Absalom." 21 The king said to Joab, "Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom."
22 Joab fell to the ground before the king and blessed him and said, "At last I know that I have gained your approval, for you have granted me this request!" 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 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.
24 But the king gave this order: "Absalom may go to his own house, but he must never come into my presence." So Absalom did not 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 Now no one in Israel was as handsome as Absalom. From head to foot, he was the perfect specimen of a man. 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 He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was too heavy to carry around. When he weighed it out, it came to five 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 He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter's name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful. 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 without getting to see the king. 28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king's face.
29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. 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 Absalom said to his servants, "Go and set fire to Joab's barley field, the field next to mine." So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded. 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 Then Joab came to Absalom and demanded, "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 And Absalom replied, "Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn't intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him execute me." 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 So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned his estranged son, and Absalom came and bowed low before the king, and David kissed him. 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.