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2 Samuel

The second book of Samuel otherwise called, the second book of the Kings, chapter 14, New English Translation and King James Version

Chapter 14

New English Translation

   David Permits Absalom to Return to Jerusalem
   1 Now Joab son of Zeruiah realized that the king longed to see Absalom. 2 So Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman. He told her, "Pretend to be in mourning and put on garments for mourning. Don't anoint yourself with oil. Instead, act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for some time. 3 Go to the king and speak to him in the following fashion." Then Joab told her what to say.
   4 So the Tekoan woman went to the king. She bowed down with her face to the ground in deference to him and said, "Please help me, O king!" 5 The king replied to her, "What do you want?" She answered, "I am a widow; my husband is dead. 6 Your servant has two sons. When the two of them got into a fight in the field, there was no one present who could intervene. One of them struck the other and killed him. 7 Now the entire family has risen up against your servant, saying, 'Turn over the one who struck down his brother, so that we can execute him and avenge the death of his brother whom he killed. In so doing we will also destroy the heir.' They want to extinguish my remaining coal, leaving no one on the face of the earth to carry on the name of my husband."
   8 Then the king told the woman, "Go to your home. I will give instructions concerning your situation." 9 The Tekoan woman said to the king, "My LORD the king, let any blame fall on me and on the house of my father. But let the king and his throne be innocent!"
   10 The king said, "Bring to me whoever speaks to you, and he won't bother you again!" 11 She replied, "In that case, let the king invoke the name of the LORD your God so that the avenger of blood may not kill! Then they will not destroy my son!" He replied, "As surely as the LORD lives, not a single hair of your son's head will fall to the ground."
   12 Then the woman said, "Please permit your servant to speak to my LORD the king about another matter." He replied, "Tell me." 13 The woman said, "Why have you devised something like this against God's people? When the king speaks in this fashion, he makes himself guilty, for the king has not brought back the one he has banished. 14 Certainly we must die, and are like water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered up again. But God does not take away life; instead he devises ways for the banished to be restored. 15 I have now come to speak with my LORD the king about this matter, because the people have made me fearful. But your servant said, 'I will speak to the king! Perhaps the king will do what his female servant asks. 16 Yes! The king may listen and deliver his female servant from the hand of the man who seeks to remove both me and my son from the inheritance God has given us!' 17 So your servant said, 'May the word of my LORD the king be my security, for my LORD the king is like the angel of God when it comes to deciding between right and wrong! May the LORD your God be with you!'"
   18 Then the king replied to the woman, "Don't hide any information from me when I question you." The woman said, "Let my LORD the king speak!" 19 The king said, "Did Joab put you up to all of this?" The woman answered, "As surely as you live, my LORD the king, there is no deviation to the right or to the left from all that my LORD the king has said. For your servant Joab gave me instructions. He has put all these words in your servant's mouth. 20 Your servant Joab did this so as to change this situation. But my LORD has wisdom like that of the angel of God, and knows everything that is happening in the land."
   21 Then the king said to Joab, "All right! I will do this thing! Go and bring back the young man Absalom! 22 Then Joab bowed down with his face toward the ground and thanked the king. Joab said, "Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my LORD the king, because the king has granted the request of your servant!"
   23 So Joab got up and went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 24 But the king said, "Let him go over to his own house. He may not see my face." So Absalom went over to his own house; he did not see the king's face.
   25 Now in all Israel everyone acknowledged that there was no man as handsome as Absalom. From the sole of his feet to the top of his head he was perfect in appearance. 26 When he would shave his head - at the end of every year he used to shave his head, for it grew too long and he would shave it - he used to weigh the hair of his head at three pounds according to the king's weight. 27 Absalom had three sons and one daughter, whose name was Tamar. She was a very attractive woman.
   28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without seeing the king's face. 29 Then Absalom sent a message to Joab asking him to send him to the king, but Joab was not willing to come to him. So he sent a second message to him, but he still was not willing to come. 30 So he said to his servants, "Look, Joab has a portion of field adjacent to mine and he has some barley there. Go and set it on fire." So Absalom's servants set Joab's portion of the field on fire.
   31 Then Joab got up and came to Absalom's house. He said to him, "Why did your servants set my portion of field on fire?" 32 Absalom said to Joab, "Look, I sent a message to you saying, 'Come here so that I can send you to the king with this message: "Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there."' Let me now see the face of the king. If I am at fault, let him put me to death!"
   33 So Joab went to the king and informed him. The king summoned Absalom, and he came to the king. Absalom bowed down before the king with his face toward the ground and the king kissed him.

King James Version

   1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
   2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead:
   3 And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
   4 ¶ And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.
   5 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead.
   6 And thy handmaid 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.
   7 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 remainder upon the earth.
   8 And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee.
   9 And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne be guiltless.
   10 And the king said, Whosoever saith ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.
   11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember 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 LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.
   12 Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on.
   13 And the woman said, 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.
   14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.
   15 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 handmaid said, 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 son together out of the inheritance of God.
   17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.
   18 Then the king answered and said unto 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.
   19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:
   20 To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done 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 king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.
   22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.
   23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
   24 And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face.
   25 ¶ 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.
   26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
   27 And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance.
   28 ¶ So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face.
   29 Therefore Absalom sent 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.
   30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.
   31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?
   32 And Absalom answered Joab, 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's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.
   33 So Joab came 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 ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.

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