2 Samuel 14

And Joab, son of Zeruiah, perceived that the heart of the king was towards Absolom. So Joab sent to Tekoa, and fetched from thence, a wise woman,—and said unto her—I pray thee, feign thyself a mourner, and put on, I pray thee, mourning apparel, and do not anoint thyself with oil, but be as a woman that hath, these many days, been mourning for the dead; so shalt thou come in unto the king, and speak unto him, after this manner. And Joab put the words in her mouth. And, when the woman of Tekoa came in unto the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did homage,—and said—Save, O king! And the king said to her—What aileth thee? And she said—Of a truth, a widow woman, am I, for my husband is dead. Now, thy maidservant, had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, with none to tear them apart,—so the one smote the other, and slew him. Lo! therefore, all the family hath risen up against thy maidservant, and have said: Give up him that hath smitten his brother, that we may put him to death, for the life of his brother, whom he hath slain, that we may destroy, the heir also. So will they quench my ember that is left, and make my husband without name or remainder, on the face of the ground. And the king said unto the woman—Go to thy house, and, I, will give command concerning thee. Then said the woman of Tekoa unto the king, Upon me, my lord, O king, be the iniquity, and upon the house of my father, —but, the king and his throne, be guiltless. 10 And the king said,—He that speaketh unto thee, bring him in unto me, and he shall, no more, annoy thee. 11 Then said she: Let the king, I pray thee, remember Yahweh thy God; so that the blood-redeemer may not make utter ruin, and that they destroy not my son. And he said—By the life of Yahweh, not one hair of thy son shall fall to the earth. 12 Then said the woman, Pray let thy maidservant speak unto my lord the king, a word. And he said—Speak. 13 And the woman said, Wherefore, then, hast thou devised the like of this, for the people of God; and yet the king, in speaking this word, is verily guilty, unless the king, bring back his fugitive? 14 For, when we, die, we become as water poured on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again,—therefore doth God not take away the life, but deviseth plans so as not to thrust out from him, a fugitive. 15 Now, therefore, [is it] that I have come to speak unto the king my lord this word, because the people kept putting me in fear,—so thy maidservant said—Do let me, I pray you, speak unto the king! peradventure the king will fulfil the request of his handmaid. 16 For the king can hearken, to rescue his handmaid out of the power of the man who would seek to destroy both me and my son together, out of the inheritance of God. 17 So thy maidservant said, Pray let the word of my lord the king be comforting,—for, as the messenger of God, so is my lord the king, in hearing the good and the bad, Yahweh thy God, then, be with thee. 18 Then responded the king, and said unto the woman, Nay, now! do not hide from me, the thing which I am about to ask thee. And the woman said, Pray let my lord the king speak. 19 Then said the king, Is, the hand of Joab, with thee, in all this? And the woman answered and said—By the life of thy soul, my lord, O king, there is no way to the right or to the left, of anything that my lord the king hath spoken, for, thy servant Joab himself, charged me, and, himself, put, in the mouth of thy maidservant, all these words: 20 for the purpose of turning round the face of the matter, hath thy servant Joab done this thing,—my lord being wise, as with the wisdom of a messenger of God, in knowing all that is [done] in the land.

21 Then said the king unto Joab, See, I pray thee, I a have done this thing,—go then—bring back the young man, Absolom. 22 So Joab fell with his face to the earth, and did homage, and blessed the king,—and Joab said—To-day, doth thy servant know, that I have found favour in thine eyes, my lord O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of thy servant. 23 And Joab arose, and went to Geshur,—and brought Absolom to Jerusalem. 24 And the king said—Let him go round to his own house, and, my face, let him not see. So Absolom went round, unto his own house, and, the face of the king, saw he not. 25 Now, like unto Absolom, was there no man handsome in all Israel, to be greatly praised,—from the sole of his foot, even unto the crown of his head, there was not, in him, a blemish. 26 And when he polled his head—and it was at every year’s end that he used to poll it, because it was heavy upon him, therefore he used to poll it—he would weigh the hair of his head, two hundred shekels, by the royal standard. 27 And there were born to Absolom three sons, and one daughter, whose name, was Tamar,—she, was a woman beautiful to look upon.

28 So Absolom dwelt in Jerusalem two years of days,—and, the face of the king, had he not seen. 29 Then sent Absolom unto Joab, to send him unto the king, but he would not come to him,—so he sent yet a second time, but he would not come. 30 Then said he unto his servants—See, the allotted portion of Joab, adjoineth me, and, he, hath barley there, go, and set it on fire. So the servants of Absolom set the portion on fire. 31 Then rose Joab, and went unto Absolom, in his house,—and said unto him, Wherefore, have thy servants set the portion that pertaineth to me, on fire? 32 And Absolom said unto Joab—Lo! I sent unto thee, saying—Come hither, that I may send thee unto the king, saying—Wherefore, am I come from Geshur? I, might as well have yet been there. Now, therefore, let me see the face of the king, and, if there is in me iniquity, then let him put me to death. 33 So Joab came unto the king, and told him, and the king called for Absolom, and he came in unto the king, and bowed himself down with his face to the ground, before the king,—and the king kissed Absolom.

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