2 Samuel 14

1Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom. 2And Joab sent to Tekoa, and fetched from there a wise woman, and said to her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel, I pray thee, and do not anoint thyself with oil, but be as a woman who has a long time mourned for the dead. 3And go in to the king, and speak on this manner to him. So Joab put the words in her mouth. 4And when the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king. 5And the king said to her, What troubles thee? And she answered, Of a truth I am a widow, and my husband is dead. 6And 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 killed him. 7And, behold, the whole family is risen against thy handmaid, and they say, Deliver him who smote his brother that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he killed, and so destroy the heir also. Thus they will quench my coal which is left, and will leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the face of the earth. 8And the king said to the woman, Go to thy house, and I will give charge concerning thee. 9And the woman of Tekoa said to 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. 10And the king said, Whoever says anything to thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more. 11Then she said, I pray thee, let the king remember Jehovah thy God, that the avenger of blood not destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As Jehovah lives, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth. 12Then the woman said, Let thy handmaid, I pray thee, speak a word to my lord the king. And he said, Say on. 13And the woman said, Why then have thou devised such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as he who is guilty, in that the king does not fetch home again his banished one. 14For we must die, and are as water split on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again, neither does God take away life, but devises means that he who is banished be not an outcast from him. 15Now therefore seeing that I have come to speak this word to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid. And thy handmaid said, I will now speak to the king. It may be that the king will perform the request of his servant. 16For the king will hear to deliver his servant out of the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God. 17Then thy handmaid said, Let, I pray thee, the word of my lord the king be gracious, for as an agent of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad. And Jehovah thy God be with thee. 18Then the king answered and said to the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, anything that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak. 19And the king said, Is the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul lives, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken, for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thy handmaid. 20Thy servant Joab has done this thing to change the face of the matter. And my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an agent of God, to know all things that are on the earth. 21And the king said to Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing. Go therefore, bring the young man Absalom back. 22And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and did obeisance, and blessed the king. And Joab said, Today thy servant knows that I have found favor in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has performed the request of his servant. 23So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, but let him not see my face. So Absalom turned to his own house, and did not see the king's face. 25Now 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. 26And when he cut the hair of his head (now it was at every year's end that he cut it, because it was heavy on him, therefore he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the king's weight. 27And to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar. She was a woman of a fair countenance. 28And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and he did not see the king's face. 29Then Absalom sent for Joab to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. And he sent again a second time, but he would not come. 30Therefore 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. 31Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to his house, and said to him, Why have thy servants set my field on fire? 32And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent to thee, saying, Come here, that I may send thee to the king to say, Why have I come from Geshur? It were better for me to still be there. Now therefore let me see the king's face, and if there be iniquity in me, let him kill me. 33So 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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