|2 Samuel 14 |
1 Now Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and had a wise woman brought to him. He said to her, "I pray you, pretend to be a mourner, put on mourning apparel, do not anoint yourself with oil, but appear as a woman who has mourned for the dead a long time.
3 Then go to the king and speak on this manner to him." So Joab put the words in her mouth.
4 And when the woman of Tekoah spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, "Help, O king."
5 And the king said to her, "What ails you? And she answered, "I am indeed a widow woman, and my husband is dead.
6 And your handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one struck the other, and slew him.
7 And, behold, the whole family has risen against your handmaid, and they said, 'Deliver him who killed his brother, that we may kill him, in revenge for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the only heir also;' and so they shall extinguish my only burning coal left, leaving to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth."
8 And the king said to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you."
9 And the woman of Tekoah said to the king, "My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house; and may the king and his throne be guiltless."
10 And the king said, "Whoever said something to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you any more."
11 Then said she, "I beg of you, let the king remember the LORD your God, so He will not allow the avengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son." And he said, "As the LORD lives, there shall not one hair of your son fall to the earth."
12 Then the woman said, "Let your handmaid, I beg of you, say one more thing to my lord the king." And he said, "Go ahead and speak."
13 And the woman said, "Why then have you not thought how such a situation would apply to the people of God? For the king speaks of this thing as one who himself is guilty because the king does not bring his own banished son home again.
14 For we must all die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither does God favor any person; yet he devises the ways so that his banished are not expelled from him.
15 Now why I have come to speak of this thing to my lord the king? It is because the people have made me afraid; and your handmaid said, 'I will now speak to 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 your handmaid said, 'The word of my lord the king shall now be my comfort for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil; therefore the LORD your God will be with you.'"
18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, "Do not conceal the truth from me, I pray you, concerning the thing that I shall ask you." And the woman said, "Let my lord the king now speak."
19 And the king said, "Is not the hand of Joab with you in all this?" And the woman answered and said, "As your soul lives, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from something that my lord the king has spoken for your servant Joab ordered me and put all these words in the mouth of your handmaid.
20 To create this speech your servant Joab has 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 to Joab, "Behold now, I have done this thing. Therefore go and bring the young man Absalom home again."
22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king; and Joab said, "Today your servant knows that I have found grace in your sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has 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 return to his own house, but do not let him see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, but did not see 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 cut his hair, (for it was at every year's end that he cut it. Because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
27 And to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar; she was a woman of a beautiful appearance.
28 So Absalom dwelled two full years in Jerusalem, but did not see the king's face.
29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but Joab would not come to him; and when he sent again the second time, he still would not come.
30 Therefore he said to his servants, "See, Joab's field is near mine, and he has 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 at his house, and said to him, "Why have your servants set my field on fire?"
32 And Absalom answered Joab, "Behold, I sent to you, saying, 'Come here, that I may send you to the king with a message,' to say, 'Why have I come from Geshur? It would have been better for me to still have been there; now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there is 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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