2 Samuel 18

Then David mustered the people that were with him,—and set over them, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds. And David sent forth the people—a third part, under the hand of Joab, and, a third part, under the hand of Abishai son of Zeruiah, brother of Joab, and, a third part, under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. Then said the king, unto the people, I myself, will, surely go forth, with you. But the people said—Thou must not go forth, for, if we, flee, they will not regard us, neither, if half of us die, will they regard us, for, thou, compared with us, [art worth] ten thousand,—now, therefore, it will be better that thou come to us out of the city, with succour. And the king said unto them, Whatever is best in your eyes, I will do. And the king stood beside the gate, while, all the people, came out by hundreds and by thousands. And the king charged Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently, for my sake, with the young man, even Absolom. And, all the people, heard when the king charged all the captains, for the sake of Absolom. So the people went forth into the field against Israel,—and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. Then were the people of Israel defeated there, before he servants of David,—and the slaughter there was great, on that day—twenty thousand. And the battle there was spread out over the face of all the land,—and the forest devoured more of the people than the sword devoured on that day.

Now, when Absolom met the servants of David, Absolom, was riding upon a mule, and the mule came under the thick branches of a large oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, the mule that was under him passing on. 10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab,—and said—Lo! I saw Absolom suspended in an oak. 11 Then said Joab to the man that was telling him, Lo! since thou sawest him, why didst thou not smite him there, to the ground? then should I have been bound to give thee ten pieces of silver, and a girdle. 12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I were weighing upon my palm a thousand pieces of silver, yet would I not put forth my hand against the son of the king,—for, in our hearing, the king Charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Watch any man who [would touch] the young man Absolom. 13 Otherwise, had I dealt with my life falsely (and nothing can be hid from the king), then, thou thyself, wouldst have stood aloof. 14 And Joab said, Not thus, may I tarry before thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absolom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. 15 Then came round ten young men who bare Joab’s armour,—and smote Absolom, and slew him. 16 Then Joab blew with a horn, and the people returned from pursuing Israel,—for Joab had restrained the people. 17 And they took Absolom, and cast him, in the forest, into a large pit, and raised up over him a very great heap of stones,—and, all Israel, fled, every man to his home. 18 But, Absolom, had taken, and raised up for himself, in his lifetime, the pillar that is in the king’s vale, for he said, I have no son, to keep in remembrance my name, so he called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absolom’s monument unto this day.

19 Then, Ahimaaz, son of Zadok, said, Let me run, I pray thee, and carry tidings unto the king,—how that Yahweh hath vindicated him, at the hand of his enemies. 20 And Joab said to him—Not a man to bear tidings, art thou this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day,—but, this day, shalt thou not bear tidings, for this cause, that, the king’s son, is dead. 21 Then said Joab to a Cushite, Go tell the king, what thou hast seen. And the Cushite bowed himself down to Joab, and ran. 22 Then, yet again, said Ahimaaz son of Zadok unto Joab. But, be what may, do, I pray thee, let, me also, run, after the Cushite. And Joab said—Wherefore is it that, thou, wouldst run, my son, when, thou, hast no tidings of, any profit? 23 But, be what may, I will run. So he said to him—Run. Then ran Ahimaaz by the way of the plain, and got beyond the Cushite. 24 Now, David, was sitting between the two gates,—and the watchman went on to the top of the gate-house, upon the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and lo! a man, running alone. 25 So the watchman called out, and told the king. And the king said, If he is alone, there are tidings in his mouth. And he came on nearer and nearer. 26 Then saw the watchman another man, running, so he called out unto the porter, Lo! a man, running alone. And the king said. This one also, beareth tidings. 27 Then said the watchman, It seemeth, to me, that, the running of the foremost, is like the running of Ahimaaz son of Zadok. And the king said, A good man, is he, and, with good tidings, he cometh. 28 Then called out Ahimaaz, and said unto the king, Peace! And he bowed himself down to the king, with his face to the earth,—and said—Blessed, be Yahweh thy God, who hath surrendered the men who were lifting up their hand, against my lord the king. 29 And the king said, Is it, well, with the young man—Absolom? Then said Ahimaaz—I saw a great crowd, when Joab sent the king’s servant and [me] thy servant, but I knew not what [it meant] . 30 And the king said, Aside! stand, here. So he turned aside, and stood. 31 Then lo! the Cushite, coming in,—and the Cushite said—Tidings, getteth my lord the king, how that Yahweh hath vindicated thee to-day, at the hand of all them who had risen up against thee. 32 And the king said unto the Cushite—Is it, well, with the young man—Absolom? Then said the Cushite—Be, like the young man, the enemies of my lord the king, and all who have risen up against thee, for harm. 33 Then was the king deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept,—and, thus, he said as he went—O my son Absolom, my son—my son—Absolom! could, I, but have died in thy stead, O Absolom, my son—my son!

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