1 Igitur, recensito David populo suo, constituit super eum tribunos et centuriones.
2 Et divisit David populum in tres partes: tertiam partem sub manu Ioab et tertiam sub manu Abisai filii Sarviae fratris Ioab et tertiam in manu Ethai, qui erat de Geth. Dixitque rex ad populum: "Egrediar et ego vobiscum".
3 Et respondit populus: "Non exibis. Sive enim fugerimus, non magnopere ad eos de nobis pertinebit; et si media pars ceciderit e nobis, non satis curabunt, sed tu unus pro decem milibus computaris. Melius est igitur, ut sis nobis ex urbe praesidio".
4 Ad quos rex ait: "Quod vobis rectum videtur, hoc faciam". Stetit ergo rex iuxta portam; egrediebaturque populus per turmas suas centeni et milleni.
5 Et praecepit rex Ioab et Abisai et Ethai dicens: "Leniter mihi agite cum puero Absalom". Et omnis populus audiebat praecipientem regem cunctis principibus pro Absalom.
6 Itaque egressus est populus in campum contra Israel, et factum est proelium in saltu Ephraim.
7 Et caesus est ibi populus Israel ab exercitu David; factaque est ibi plaga magna in die illa viginti milium hominum.
8 Fuit autem ibi proelium dispersum super faciem omnis terrae; et multo plures erant, quos saltus consumpserat de populo, quam hi, quos voraverat gladius in die illa.
9 Accidit autem, ut occurreret Absalom servis David sedens mulo; cumque ingressus fuisset mulus subter condensam quercum et magnam, adhaesit caput eius quercui, et mansit suspensus inter caelum et terram; mulus, cui insederat, pertransivit.
10 Vidit autem hoc quispiam et nuntiavit Ioab dicens: "Vidi Absalom pendere de quercu".
11 Et ait Ioab viro, qui nuntiaverat ei: "Si vidisti, quare non confodisti eum in terra? Ego vero dedissem tibi decem argenti siclos et unum balteum".
12 Qui dixit ad Ioab: "Et si appenderes in manibus meis mille argenteos, nequaquam mitterem manum meam in filium regis. Audientibus enim nobis, praecepit rex tibi et Abisai et Ethai dicens: "Custodite, quisquis sit, puerum Absalom!".
13 Sed et si fecissem contra animam meam infideliter, nequaquam hoc regem latere potuisset, et tu stares ex adverso".
14 Et ait Ioab: "Non ita praestolabor coram te". Tulit ergo tres lanceas in manu sua et infixit eas in corde Absalom, cum adhuc palpitaret haerens in quercu;
15 et cucurrerunt decem iuvenes armigeri Ioab et percutientes interfecerunt eum.
16 Cecinit autem Ioab bucina, et destitit populus persequi fugientem Israel, quia Ioab retinuit populum.
17 Et tulerunt Absalom et proiecerunt eum in saltu in foveam grandem et erexerunt super eum acervum lapidum magnum nimis; omnis autem Israel fugit in tabernacula sua.
18 Porro Absalom erexerat sibi, cum adhuc viveret, lapidem, qui est in valle Regis; dixerat enim: "Non habeo filium, qui memoriam servabit nominis mei". Vocavitque titulum nomine suo, et appellatur Manus Absalom usque ad hanc diem.
19 Achimaas autem filius Sadoc ait: "Curram et nuntiabo regi, quia iudicium fecerit ei Dominus de manu inimicorum eius".
20 Ad quem Ioab dixit: "Non es vir boni nuntii in hac die, sed nuntiabis in alia; hodie enim non nuntiabis bona, eo quod filius regis est mortuus".
21 Et ait Ioab Aethiopi: "Vade et nuntia regi, quae vidisti". Adoravit Aethiops Ioab et cucurrit.
22 Rursus autem Achimaas filius Sadoc dixit ad Ioab: "Quidquid evenerit, etiam ego curram post Aethiopem!". Dixitque Ioab: "Quid vis currere, fili mi? Non erit tibi merces pro bono nuntio".
23 Qui respondit: "Quidquid evenerit, curram". Et ait ei: "Curre!". Currens ergo Achimaas per viam regionis transivit Aethiopem.
24 David autem sedebat inter duas portas; speculator vero, qui ierat in solarium portae super murum, elevans oculos vidit hominem currentem solum
25 et exclamans indicavit regi. Dixitque rex: "Si solus est, bonus est nuntius in ore eius". Properante autem illo et accedente propius,
26 vidit speculator hominem alterum currentem, et clamavit speculator ad ianitorem: "Apparet mihi homo currens solus". Dixitque rex: "Et iste bonus est nuntius".
27 Speculator autem: "Contemplor, ait, cursum prioris quasi cursum Achimaas filii Sadoc". Et ait rex: "Vir bonus est et nuntium portans bonum venit".
28 Clamans autem Achimaas dixit ad regem: "Pax!". Et adorans regem pronus in terram ait: "Benedictus Dominus Deus tuus, qui conclusit homines, qui levaverunt manus suas contra dominum meum regem!".
29 Et ait rex: "Estne pax puero Absalom?". Dixitque Achimaas: "Vidi tumultum magnum, cum mitteret Ioab servum regis et me servum tuum, sed nescio quid fuerit".
30 Ad quem rex: "Recede, ait, et sta illic". Cumque ille recessisset et staret,
31 apparuit Aethiops et veniens ait: "Bonum apporto nuntium, domine mi rex; iudicavit enim pro te Dominus hodie salvans te de manu omnium, qui surrexerunt contra te".
32 Dixit autem rex ad Aethiopem: "Estne pax puero Absalom?". Cui respondens Aethiops: "Fiant, inquit, sicut puer inimici domini mei regis et universi, qui consurrexerunt adversus eum in malum!".
King James Version
1 And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.
2 And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also.
3 But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that thou succour us out of the city.
4 And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.
6 ¶ So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim;
7 Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.
8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9 ¶ And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
11 And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.
12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.
13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.
14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
15 And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.
17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.
18 ¶ Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king's dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place.
19 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies.
20 And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead.
21 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.
22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?
23 But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.
24 And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.
25 And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near.
26 And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings.
27 And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.
28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king.
29 And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was.
30 And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.
31 And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee.
32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.
33 ¶ And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!