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Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.

2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead;

3 And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.

4 And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.

5 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead.

6 And 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 slew him.

7 And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also : and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.

8 And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee. ·

9 And the woman of Tekoah said unto 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.

10 And the king said, Whosoever saith ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.

11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

12 Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on.

13 And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished.

14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person : yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.

15 Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid : and thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto 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.

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17 Then thine handmaid said, turned to his own house, and saw The word of my lord the king shall not the king's face. now be comfortable: for as an angel 25 But in all Israel there was none of God, so is my lord the king to to be so much praised as Absalom discern good and bad: therefore for his beauty : from the sole of his the LORD thy God will be with foot even to the crown of his head thee.

there was no blemish in him. 18 Then the king answered and 26 And when he polled his head, said unto the woman, Hide not from (for it was at every year's end that me, I pray thee, the thing that I he polled it : because the hair was shall ask thee. And the woman heavy on him, therefore he polled said, Let my lord the king now it :) he weighed the hair of his head speak.

at two hundred shekels after the 19 And the king said, Is not the king's weight. hand of Joab with thee in all this? 27 And unto Absalom there were And the woman answered and said, born three sons, and one daughter, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, whose name was Tamar : she was a none can turn to the right hand or woman of a fair countenance. to the left from ought that my lord 28 So Absalom dwelt two full the king hath spoken : for thy ser years in Jerusalem, and saw not the vant Joab, he bade me, and he put king's face. all these words in the mouth of thine 29 Therefore Absalom sent for handmaid:

Joab, to have sent him to the king; 20 To fetch about this form of but he would not come to him : speech hath thy servant Joab done and when he sent again the second this thing: and my lord is wise, ac time, he would not come. cording to the wisdom of an angel 30 Therefore he said unto his of God, to know all things that are servants, See, Joab's field is near in the earth.

mine, and he hath barley there; go 21 And the king said unto Joab, and set it on fire. And Absalom's Behold now, I have done this thing: servants set the field on fire. go therefore, bring the young man 31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom again.

Absalom unto his house, and said 22 And Joab fell to the ground unto him, Wherefore have thy seron his face, and bowed himself, and vants set my field on fire? thanked the king: and Joab said, 32 And Absalom answered Joab, To day thy servant knoweth that Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, I have found grace in thy sight, Come hither, that I may send thee my lord, O king, in that the king to the king, to say, Wherefore am hath fulfilled the request of his ser I come from Geshur? it had been vant.

good for me to have been there still : 23 So Joab arose and went to now therefore let me see the king's Geshur, and brought Absalom to face; and if there be any iniquity Jerusalem.

in me, let him kill me. 24 And the king said, Let bim 33 So Joab came to the king, and turn to his own house, and let him told him : and when he had called not see my face. So Absalom re- ll. for Absalom, he came to the king,

and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.

CHAP. XV.

AND it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate : and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou ? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.

3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.

4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do bim obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment : so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

7 And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, wbich I have vowed unto the Lord, in Hebron.

8. For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the LORD shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.

9 And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.

10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.

11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.

12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.

13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.

14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom : make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.

15 And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.

16 And the king went forth, and all his houshold after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house. .

17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.

18 And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.

19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore guest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king : for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.

20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren : mercy and truth be with thee.

21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.

23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over : the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.

24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.

25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation :

26 But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.

27 The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.

28 See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me.

29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem : and they tarried there.

30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

32 And it came to pass, that when David was come to the top of the mount, where he worshipped God, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head :

33 Unto whom David said, If thou passest on with me, then thou shalt be a burden unto me:

34 But if thou return to the city, and say unto Absalom, I will be thy servant, О king; as I have been thy father's servant hitherto, so will I now also be thy servant : then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Abithophel.

35 And hast thou not there with thee Zadok and Abiathar the priests? therefore it shall be, that what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.

36 Behold, they have there with || mighty men were on his right hand them their two sons, Ahimaaz Za and on his left. dok's son, and Jonathan Abiathar's 7 And thus said Shimei when he son; and by them ye shall send un cursed, Come out, come out, thou to me every thing that ye can hear. bloody man, and thou man of Be

37 So Hushai David's friend came lial: into the city, and Absalom came in 8 The Lord hath returned upon to Jerusalem.

thee all the blood of the house of

Saul, in whose stead thou hast reignCHAP. XVI.

ed; and the LORD hath delivered

the kingdom into the hand of AbAND when David was a little past salom thy son : and, behold, thou the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the art taken in thy mischief, because servant of Mephibosheth inet him, thou art a bloody man. with a couple of asses saddled, and 9 Then said Abishai the son of upon them two hundred loaves of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should bread, and an hundred bunches of this dead dog curse my lord the raisins, and an hundred of summer king ? let me go over, I pray thee, fruits, and a bottle of wine.

and take off his head. 2 And the king said unto Ziba, 10 And the king said, What have What meanest thou by these ? And I to do with you, ye sons of ZeZiba said, The asses be for the king's ruiah? so let him curse, because the houshold to ride on ; and the bread LORD hath said unto him, Curse and summer fruit for the young men David. Who shall then say, Whereto eat; and the wine, that such as fore hast thou done so ? be faint in the wilderness may drink. 11 And David said to Abishai,

3 And the king said, And where and to all his servants, Behold, my is thy master's son? And Ziba said son, which came forth of my bowunto the king, Behold, he abideth els, seeketh my life: how much at Jerusalem : for he said, To day more now may this Benjamite do it? shall the house of Israel restore me let him alone, and let him curse; the kingdom of my father.

for the LORD hath bidden him. 4 Then said the king to Ziba, 12 It may be that the LORD will Behold, thine are all that pertained look on mine affliction, and that the unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, LORD will requite me good for his I humbly beseech thee that I may cursing this day. find grace in thy sight, my lord, O 13 And as David and his men

went by the way, Shimei went along 5 And when king David came to on the hill's side over against him, Bahurim, behold, thence came out and cursed as he went, and threw a man of the family of the house of stones at him, and cast dust. Saul, whose name was Shimei, the 14 And the king, and all the peoson of Gera : he came forth, and ple that were with him, came weary, cursed still as he came.

and refreshed themselves there. 6 And he cast stones at David, 15 And Absalom, and all the peoand at all the servants of king Da ple the men of Israel, came to Jevid : and all the people and all the rusalem, and Ahithophel with him.

king.

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