Amnon and Tamar

13 Now it was after this that (A)Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was (B)Tamar, and (C)Amnon the son of David was in love with her. But Amnon was so frustrated on account of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it [a]seemed too difficult to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of [b](D)Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very clever man. And he said to him, “Why are you, the king’s son, so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” So Amnon said to him, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.” Jonadab then said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill; when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please have my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat, and have her prepare the [c]food in my sight, so that I may see it and eat from her hand.’” So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please have my sister Tamar come and (E)make me a couple of pastries in my sight, so that I may eat from her hand.”

Then David sent a messenger to the house for Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare [d]food for him.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying in bed. And she took dough, kneaded it, made pastries in his sight, and baked the pastries. Then she took the tray and served them to him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, “(F)Have everyone leave me.” So everyone left him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the [e]bedroom, so that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the pastries which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11 When she brought them to him to eat, he (G)took hold of her and said to her, “Come, sleep with me, my sister.” 12 But she said to him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for (H)such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this (I)disgraceful sin! 13 As for me, where could I [f]get rid of my shame? And as for you, you will be like one of the [g]fools in Israel. Now then, please speak to the king, for (J)he will not [h]withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not listen to [i]her; since he was stronger than she, he (K)violated her and slept with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; indeed, the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!” 16 But she said to him, “No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!” Yet he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his young man who attended him and said, “Now throw this woman out of my presence, and lock the door behind her!” 18 Now she had on (L)a [j]long-sleeved garment; for this is how the virgin daughters of the king dressed themselves in robes. Then his attendant took her out and locked the door behind her. 19 (M)Tamar took ashes and put them on her head, and (N)tore her [k]long-sleeved garment which was on her; and (O)she put her hand on her head and went on her way, crying out as she went.

20 Then Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” So Tamar remained and was isolated in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 Now when King David heard about all these matters, he became very angry. 22 But Absalom did not speak with Amnon (P)either good or bad; for (Q)Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.

23 Now it came about after two full years that Absalom (R)had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons to celebrate.

Absalom Avenges Tamar

24 And Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold now, your servant has sheepshearers; may the king and his servants please go with your servant.” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we should not all go, so that we will not be a burden to you.” Though he urged him, he would not go; but he blessed him. 26 Then (S)Absalom said, “If not, please have my brother Amnon go with us.” But the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 Nevertheless Absalom urged him, so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28 Then Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, (T)when Amnon’s heart is cheerful with wine, and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death. Do not fear; have I not commanded you myself? Be courageous and be [l]valiant.” 29 And the servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons got up and each mounted (U)his mule and fled.

30 Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck and killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” 31 Then the king stood up, (V)tore his clothes, and (W)lay on the ground; and all his servants were standing by with clothes torn. 32 (X)And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, [m]responded, “Let my lord not [n]assume that they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead; because this has been set up by the [o]intent of Absalom since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33 So now, may my lord the king not (Y)take the report to [p]heart, [q]claiming, ‘all the king’s sons are dead’; but only Amnon is dead.”

34 Now (Z)Absalom had fled. And (AA)the young man who was the watchman raised his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. 35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; so it has happened according to your servant’s word.” 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept [r]very profusely.

37 Now (AB)Absalom had fled and gone to (AC)Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of (AD)Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 (AE)So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there for three years. 39 And the heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for (AF)he was comforted regarding Amnon, since he was dead.

The Woman of Tekoa

14 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that (AG)the king’s heart was drawn toward Absalom. So Joab sent a messenger to (AH)Tekoa and [s]brought a wise woman from there, and said to her, “Please follow mourning rites, and put on mourning garments now, and do not (AI)anoint yourself with oil but be like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for many days. Then go to the king and speak to him in this way.” So Joab put (AJ)the words in her mouth.

Now when the woman of Tekoa [t]spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and (AK)prostrated herself, and said, “(AL)Help, O king!” And the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she [u]answered, “Truly I am a widow, for my husband is dead. And your servant had two sons, but the two of them fought in the field, and there was no [v]one to save [w]them from each other, so one struck the other and killed him. Now behold, (AM)the entire family has risen against your servant, and they have said, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed, (AN)and eliminate the heir as well.’ So they will extinguish my coal which is left, so as to [x]leave my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.”

Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your home, and I will issue orders concerning you.” The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord, the king, (AO)the guilt is on me and my father’s house, but (AP)the king and his throne are guiltless.” 10 So the king said, “Whoever speaks to you, bring him to me, and he will not touch you anymore.” 11 Then she said, “May the king please remember the Lord your God, (AQ)so that the avenger of blood will not continue to destroy, otherwise they will destroy my son.” And he said, “(AR)As the Lord lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.”

12 Then the woman said, “Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” And he said, “Speak.” 13 The woman said, “(AS)Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is like one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back (AT)his banished one. 14 For (AU)we will surely die and are (AV)like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up. Yet God does not take away life, but makes plans so that (AW)the banished one will not be cast out from Him. 15 Now then, [y]the reason I have come to speak this word to my lord the king is that the people have made me afraid; so your servant said, ‘Let me now speak to the king, perhaps the king will perform the [z]request of his slave. 16 For the king will listen, to save his slave from the [aa]hand of the man who would eliminate [ab]both me and my son from (AX)the inheritance of God.’ 17 Then your servant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king be [ac]comforting, for as (AY)the angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil. And may the Lord your God be with you.’”

18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Please do not hide anything from me that I am about to ask you.” And the woman said, “Let my lord the king please speak.” 19 So the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” And the woman replied, “As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Indeed, it was (AZ)your servant Joab who commanded me, and it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your servant. 20 In order to change the appearance of things your servant Joab has done this thing. But my lord is wise, (BA)like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know all that is on the earth.”

Absalom Returns

21 Then the king said to Joab, “Behold now, (BB)I [ad]will certainly do this thing; go then, bring back the young man Absalom.” 22 And Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself, and blessed the king; then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord the king, in that the king has performed the [ae]request of his servant.” 23 So Joab arose and went to (BC)Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 However, the king said, “He shall return to (BD)his own house, but he shall not see my face.” So Absalom returned to his own house and did not see the king’s face.

25 Now in all Israel there was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; (BE)from the sole of his foot to the top of his head there was no impairment in him. 26 And when he (BF)cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, because it was heavy on him, so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at [af]two hundred shekels by the king’s weight. 27 And (BG)to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was (BH)Tamar; she was a woman of beautiful appearance.

28 Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, (BI)yet he did not see the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. So he sent word again a second time, but he would not come. 30 Therefore he said to his servants, “See, (BJ)Joab’s plot is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the plot on fire. 31 Then Joab got up, came to Absalom at his house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my plot on fire?” 32 Absalom [ag]answered Joab, “Behold, I sent for you, saying, ‘Come here, so that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me still to be there.”’ Now then, let me see the king’s face, (BK)and if there is guilt in me, he can have me executed.” 33 So when Joab came to the king and told him, he summoned Absalom. Then Absalom came to the king and prostrated himself [ah]with his face to the ground before the king; and (BL)the king kissed Absalom.

Absalom’s Conspiracy

15 Now it came about after this that (BM)Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men [ai]to run ahead of him. And Absalom used to rise early and (BN)stand beside the road to the gate; and when any man who had a lawsuit was to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call out to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “See, (BO)your [aj]claims are good and right, but you have no one to listen to you on the part of the king.” Moreover, Absalom would say, “(BP)Oh that someone would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has a lawsuit or claim could come to me, and I would give him justice!” And whenever a man approached to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and (BQ)kiss him. Absalom dealt this way with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; (BR)so Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel.

Now it came about at the end of [ak]four years that Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have made to the Lord, in (BS)Hebron. For your servant (BT)made a vow while I was living in Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘(BU)If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’” The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he got up and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘(BV)Absalom is king in Hebron!’” 11 Then two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem, (BW)who were invited and (BX)went [al]innocently, for they did not know anything. 12 And Absalom sent for (BY)Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city (BZ)Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for (CA)the people continually increased with Absalom.

David Flees Jerusalem

13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, “(CB)The hearts of the people of Israel are [am]with Absalom.” 14 So David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “(CC)Arise and let’s flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go quickly, or he will hurry and overtake us, and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 Then the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants will do whatever my lord the king chooses.” 16 So the king left, and all his household [an]with him; but (CD)the king left ten concubines behind to take care of the house. 17 The king left, and all the people [ao]with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 Now all of his servants passed by beside him, and (CE)all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, (CF)six hundred men who had come [ap]with him from Gath, passed by before the king.

19 Then the king said to (CG)Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you go with us too? Return and stay with [aq]your king, since you are a foreigner and an exile as well; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, so should I make you wander with us today, while (CH)I go wherever I go? Return and take your brothers back; (CI)mercy and [ar]truth be with you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, (CJ)wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there assuredly shall your servant be!” 22 Then David said to Ittai, “Go and cross over the brook Kidron.” So Ittai the Gittite crossed over with all his men and all the [as]little ones who were with him. 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people were crossing over. The king was also crossing over (CK)the brook Kidron, and all the people were crossing over toward (CL)the way of the wilderness.

24 Now behold, (CM)Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, (CN)carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and (CO)Abiathar came up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25 And the king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then (CP)He will bring me back and show me both it and (CQ)His habitation. 26 But if He says this: ‘(CR)I have no delight in you,’ then here I am, (CS)let Him do to me as seems good [at]to Him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not (CT)a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your (CU)two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I am going to wait (CV)at the river crossing places of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there.

30 And David was going up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, and (CW)his head was covered, and he was walking (CX)barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his own head, and they were going up, weeping as they went. 31 Now someone informed David, saying, “(CY)Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “Lord, please (CZ)make the advice of Ahithophel foolish.”

32 It happened as David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the (DA)Archite met him with his [au]coat torn, and [av]dust on his head. 33 And David said to him, “If you go over with me, then you will become (DB)a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and (DC)say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; even as I was your father’s servant in time past, so now I will also be your servant,’ then you can foil the advice of Ahithophel for me. 35 Are Zadok and Abiathar the priests not with you there? So it shall be that (DD)whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold (DE)their two sons are there with them, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and (DF)by them you shall send me everything that you hear.” 37 So Hushai, (DG)David’s friend, came into the city, and (DH)Absalom came into Jerusalem.

Ziba, a False Servant

16 Now when David had gone on (DI)a little beyond the summit, behold, (DJ)Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him (DK)with a team of saddled donkeys, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred cakes of raisins, a hundred summer fruits, and a jug of wine. And the king said to Ziba, “Why do you have these?” And Ziba said, “(DL)The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride, the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat, and the wine, (DM)for whoever is weary in the wilderness to drink.” Then the king said, “And where is (DN)your master’s son?” And (DO)Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.’” So the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.” And Ziba said, “I prostrate myself; may I find favor in your sight, my lord, the king!”

David Is Cursed

When King David came to (DP)Bahurim, behold, a man was coming out from there from the family of the house of Saul, and (DQ)his name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he was coming out, (DR)cursing as he came. He also threw stones at David and all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the warriors were on his right and on his left. This is what Shimei said when he cursed: “Go away, go away, (DS)you man of bloodshed and worthless man! (DT)The Lord has brought back upon you all (DU)the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have become king; and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. And behold, you are caught in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed!”

Then (DV)Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should (DW)this dead dog (DX)curse my lord the king? Now let me go over and [aw]cut off his head.” 10 But the king said, “[ax](DY)What business of mine is yours, you sons of Zeruiah? (DZ)If he curses, and if the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ (EA)then who should say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, (EB)my son who came out of my own body seeks my life; how much more now this Benjaminite? Leave him alone and let him curse, (EC)for the Lord has told him. 12 Perhaps the Lord will look on my [ay]misery and [az](ED)return good to me instead of his cursing this day.” 13 So David and his men went on the road; and Shimei kept going on the hillside close beside him, and as he went he cursed and threw stones and dirt at him. 14 And the king and all the people who were with him arrived exhausted, and he refreshed himself there.

Absalom Enters Jerusalem

15 (EE)Then Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, entered Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 Now it came about, when (EF)Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, that (EG)Hushai said to Absalom, “(EH)Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 But Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your [ba]loyalty to your friend? (EI)Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 So Hushai said to Absalom, “No! For whomever the Lord, this people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I shall be, and with him I shall remain. 19 Besides, (EJ)whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? Just as I have served in your father’s presence, so I shall be in your presence.”

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your advice. What should we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “(EK)Have relations with your father’s concubines, whom he has left behind to take care of the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself repulsive to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, (EL)and Absalom had relations with his father’s concubines (EM)in the sight of all Israel. 23 Now (EN)the advice of Ahithophel, which he [bb]gave in those days, was taken as though one inquired of the word of God; (EO)so was all the advice of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absalom.

Hushai’s Counsel

17 Furthermore, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Please let me choose twelve thousand men and let me set out and pursue David tonight. (EP)And I will [bc]attack him while he is weary and [bd]exhausted and startle him, so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then (EQ)I will strike and kill the king when he is alone, and I will bring all the people back to you. [be]The return of everyone depends on the man whom you are seeking; then all the people will be at (ER)peace.” And the [bf]plan pleased Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

Nevertheless, Absalom said, “Now call (ES)Hushai the Archite also, and let’s hear what [bg]he has to say.” When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to [bh]him, “Ahithophel has [bi]proposed this plan. Should we [bj]carry out his plan? If not, say so yourself.” So Hushai said to Absalom, “(ET)This time the advice that Ahithophel has [bk]given is not good.” Then Hushai said, “You yourself know your father and his men, that they are warriors and they are [bl]fierce, (EU)like a bear deprived of her cubs in the field. And your father is an [bm]expert in warfare, and he will not spend the night with the people. Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the ravines, or in another place; and it will be that when he falls on them at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom!’ 10 And even the one who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, (EV)will completely despair; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 But I advise that all Israel be fully gathered to you, (EW)from Dan even to Beersheba, (EX)like the sand that is by the sea in abundance; and that [bn]you personally go into battle. 12 Then we will come to him in one of the places where he can be found, and we will [bo]fall on him (EY)just as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him, not even one will be left. 13 And if he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we will (EZ)drag it into the [bp]valley until not even a pebble is found there.” 14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than the advice of Ahithophel.” For (FA)the Lord had ordained to foil the good advice of Ahithophel, in order for the Lord to bring disaster on Absalom.

Hushai’s Warning Saves David

15 Then (FB)Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “[bq]This is what Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel to do, and [br]this is what I have advised. 16 Now then, send a messenger quickly and tell David, saying, ‘(FC)Do not spend the night at the river crossing places of the wilderness, but by all means cross over, or else the king and all the people who are with him will be [bs]destroyed.’” 17 (FD)Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at (FE)En-rogel, and a female servant would go and inform them, and they would go and inform King David, for they could not allow themselves to be seen entering the city. 18 But a boy did see them, and he told Absalom; so the two of them left quickly and came to the house of a man (FF)in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down [bt]into it. 19 And (FG)the woman [bu]took a cover and spread it over the well’s mouth and scattered barley meal on it, so that nothing was known. 20 Then Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And (FH)the woman said to them, “They have crossed the brook of water.” And when they searched and did not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21 It came about after they had departed, that they came up out of the well and went and reported to King David; and they said to David, “(FI)Set out and cross over the water quickly, because this is what Ahithophel has advised against you.” 22 Then David and all the people who were with him set out and crossed the Jordan; by [bv]dawn not even one remained who had not crossed the Jordan.

23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been [bw]followed, he saddled his donkey and set out and went to his home, to (FJ)his city, and [bx](FK)set his house in order, and (FL)hanged himself; so he died and was buried in his father’s grave.

24 Then David came to (FM)Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Absalom put (FN)Amasa [by]in command of the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was [bz]Ithra the Israelite, who [ca]had relations with Abigail the daughter of (FO)Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.

27 Now when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi (FP)the son of Nahash from (FQ)Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, (FR)Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and (FS)Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought (FT)beds, basins, pottery, wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, roasted seeds, 29 honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and the people who were with him, (FU)to eat. For they said, “The people are hungry and exhausted and thirsty in the wilderness.”

Absalom Killed

18 Then David [cb]took a count of the people who were with him and (FV)appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. And David sent the people out, (FW)a third [cc]under the command of Joab, a third [cd]under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third [ce]under the command of (FX)Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, “I myself will certainly go out with you also.” But the people said, “(FY)You should not go out; for if in fact we flee, they will not care about us; and if half of us die, they will not care about us. But [cf]you are [cg]worth ten thousand of us; so now it is better that you will be ready to help us from the city.” Then the king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So (FZ)the king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and thousands. But the king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, “Deal gently with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And (GA)all the people heard when the king commanded all the commanders regarding Absalom.

Then the people went out to the field against Israel, and the battle took place in (GB)the forest of Ephraim. The people of Israel were [ch]defeated there by the servants of David, and the slaughter there that day was great, twenty thousand men. For the battle there was spread over the whole countryside, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

Now Absalom encountered the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the branches of a massive oak. Then (GC)his head caught firmly in the oak, and he was [ci]left hanging between the sky and earth, while the mule that was under him kept going. 10 When a certain man saw him, he informed Joab and said, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11 Then Joab said to the man who had informed him, “So behold, you saw him! Why then did you not strike him there to the ground? And it would have been [cj]my duty to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12 But the man said to Joab, “Even if I were to [ck]receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I would not put out my hand against the king’s son; for (GD)in our hearing the king commanded you, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, ‘[cl]Protect the young man Absalom for me!’ 13 Otherwise, if I had dealt treacherously against [cm]his life (and (GE)there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have [cn]avoided me.” 14 Then Joab said, “I will not [co]waste time here with you.” (GF)So he took three spears in his hand and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the [cp]midst of the oak. 15 And ten young men who carried Joab’s armor gathered around and struck Absalom and killed him.

16 Then (GG)Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained the people. 17 And they took Absalom and threw him into [cq]a deep pit in the forest, and (GH)erected over him a very large pile of stones. And (GI)all Israel fled, each to his own tent. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and (GJ)set up for himself a memorial stone, which is in (GK)the King’s Valley, for he said, “(GL)I have no son to [cr]continue my name.” So he named the memorial stone after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.

David Is Grief-stricken

19 Then (GM)Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Please let me run and bring the king news (GN)that the Lord has [cs]freed him from the hand of his enemies!” 20 But Joab said to him, “You are not the man to bring news this day, but you shall bring news another day; however, you shall bring no news this day, because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed to Joab and ran. 22 However, Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said once more to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why would you run, my son, since (GO)you will have no messenger’s reward for going?” 23 “But whatever happens,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and passed by the Cushite.

24 Now (GP)David was sitting between the two gates; and (GQ)the watchman went to the roof of the gate by the wall, and raised his eyes and looked; and behold, a man was running by himself. 25 So the watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is by himself there is good news in his mouth.” And he came nearer and nearer. 26 Then the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “Behold, another man is running by himself.” And the king said, “This one also is bringing good news.” 27 The watchman said, “I [ct]think the running form of the first one (GR)is like the running form of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “(GS)This is a good man, and he is coming with good news.”

28 Then Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “[cu]All is well.” And (GT)he prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. And he said, “(GU)Blessed is the Lord your God, who has turned over the men who raised their hands against my lord the king.” 29 But the king said, “(GV)Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant, and your servant, I saw a great commotion, but (GW)I did not know what it was.” 30 Then the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.

31 Then behold, the Cushite arrived, and the Cushite said, “Let my lord the king receive good news, for (GX)the Lord has [cv]freed you this day from the hand of all those who rose up against you.” 32 Then the king said to the Cushite, “(GY)Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “(GZ)May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be like that young man!”

33 [cw]Then the king trembled and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And this is what he said as he walked: “(HA)My son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! (HB)If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”

Joab Disapproves of David’s Mourning

19 [cx]Then it was reported to Joab, “Behold, (HC)the king is weeping and he mourns for Absalom.” So the [cy]victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, because the people heard it said that day, “The king is in mourning over his son.” And the people entered the city surreptitiously that day, just as people who are humiliated surreptitiously flee in battle. And the king (HD)covered his face and [cz]cried out with a loud voice, “(HE)My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!” Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have shamed [da]all your servants, who have saved your life today and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have revealed today that [db]commanders and servants are nothing to you; for I know today that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then it would be right [dc]as far as you are concerned. Now therefore arise, go out and speak [dd]kindly to your servants, for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, (HF)no man will stay the night with you, and this will be worse for you than all the misfortune that has [de]happened to you from your youth until now!”

David Restored as King

So the king got up and sat at the gate. When they told all the people, saying, “Behold, the king is (HG)sitting at the gate,” then all the people came before the king.

Now (HH)Israel had fled, each to his tent. And all the people were quarreling throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, “(HI)The king rescued us from the [df]hands of our enemies and (HJ)saved us from the [dg]hands of the Philistines, but now (HK)he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 However, Absalom, whom we anointed over us, has died in battle. Now then, why are you silent about bringing the king back?”

11 Then King David sent word to (HL)Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, since the word of all Israel has come to the king, even to his house? 12 You are my brothers; (HM)you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to (HN)Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? (HO)May God do so to me, and more so, if you will not be (HP)commander of the army [dh]for me continually, (HQ)in place of Joab.’” 14 So he turned the hearts of all the men of Judah (HR)as one man, so that they sent word to the king, saying, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15 The king then returned and came as far as the Jordan. And the men of Judah came to (HS)Gilgal in order to go to meet the king, to escort the king across the Jordan.

16 Then (HT)Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 And there were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, and (HU)Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they rushed to the Jordan before the king. 18 Then they crossed the shallow places repeatedly to bring over the king’s household, and to do what was good in his sight. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan. 19 And he said to the king, “(HV)May my lord not consider me guilty, nor call to mind what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king went out from Jerusalem, so that the king would [di]take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; so behold, I have come today, (HW)the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” 21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah responded, “(HX)Should Shimei not be put to death for this, (HY)the fact that he cursed the Lords anointed?” 22 David then said, “(HZ)What [dj]is there between you and me, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should be an adversary to me today? (IA)Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?” 23 So the king said to Shimei, “(IB)You shall not die.” The king also swore to him.

24 Then (IC)Mephibosheth the [dk]grandson of Saul came down to meet the king; but (ID)he had neither [dl]tended to his feet, nor [dm]trimmed his mustache, nor (IE)washed his clothes since the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25 And it was when he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said to him, “(IF)Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 So he said, “My lord the king, my servant betrayed me; for your servant said, ‘I will [dn]saddle the donkey for myself so that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ (IG)since your servant cannot walk. 27 Furthermore, (IH)he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is (II)like the angel of God, therefore do what is good in your sight. 28 For (IJ)all my father’s household was only people worthy of death to my lord the king; (IK)yet you placed your servant among those who ate at your own table. So what right do I still have, that I should [do]complain anymore to the king?” 29 So the king said to him, “Why do you still speak of your affairs? I have [dp]decided, ‘You and Ziba shall divide the land.’” 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him even take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.”

31 Now (IL)Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; and he went on to the Jordan with the king to [dq]escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was very old: eighty years old; and he had (IM)provided the king food while he stayed in Mahanaim, for he was a very great man. 33 So the king said to Barzillai, “You cross over with me, and I will provide you food in Jerusalem with me.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “(IN)How long [dr]do I still have to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am [ds]now (IO)eighty years old. Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I still hear (IP)the voice of men and women singing? (IQ)Why then should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant would merely cross over the Jordan with the king. So why should the king compensate me with this reward? 37 Please let your servant return, so that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. However, here is your servant (IR)Chimham; let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what is good in your sight.” 38 And the king answered, “Chimham shall cross over with me, and I will do for him what is good in your sight; and whatever you [dt]require of me, I will do for you.” 39 All the people crossed over the Jordan and the king crossed too. The king then (IS)kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his place.

40 Now the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him; and all the people of Judah and also (IT)half the people of Israel [du]accompanied the king. 41 And behold, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “(IU)Why have our brothers, (IV)the men of Judah, abducted you and brought the king and his household and all David’s men with him, over the Jordan?” 42 Then all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because (IW)the king is a close relative to [dv]us. Why then are you angry about this matter? Have we eaten at all [dw]at the king’s expense, or has anything been taken for us?” 43 But the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, “[dx](IX)We have ten parts in the king, therefore [dy]we also have more claim on David than you. Why then did you treat [dz]us with contempt? Was it not [ea]our [eb]advice first to bring back [ec]our king?” Yet the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.

Sheba’s Revolt

20 Now (IY)a worthless man happened to be there whose name was Sheba, the son of (IZ)Bichri, a Benjaminite; and he blew the trumpet and said,

(JA)We have no share in David,
Nor do we have an inheritance in (JB)the son of Jesse;
(JC)Every man to his tents, Israel!”

So all the men of Israel [ed]withdrew from following David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah [ee]remained loyal to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.

Then David came to his house in Jerusalem, and (JD)the king took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left behind to take care of the house, and put them in custody and provided them with food, but did not [ef]have relations with them. So they were locked up until the day of their death, living as widows.

Now the king said to (JE)Amasa, “Summon the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself.” So Amasa went to summon the men of Judah, but he was (JF)delayed longer than the set time which he had designated for him. And David said to (JG)Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom; (JH)take your lord’s servants and pursue him, so that he does not find for himself fortified cities and escape from our sight.” So Joab’s men went out after him, (JI)along with the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the warriors; and they left Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. When they were at the large stone which is in (JJ)Gibeon, Amasa came [eg]to meet them. Now Joab was dressed in his military attire, and over it he had a belt with a sword in its sheath strapped on at his waist; and as he went forward, it fell out. And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it going well for you, my brother?” And (JK)Joab took hold of Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him.

Amasa Murdered

10 But Amasa was not on guard against the sword which was in Joab’s hand, so (JL)he struck him in the belly with it and spilled out his intestines on the ground, and did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Now one of Joab’s young men stood by him and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, (JM)follow Joab!” 12 But Amasa was wallowing in his own blood in the middle of the road. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa from the road to the field and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still.

Revolt Put Down

13 As soon as he was removed from the road, all the men went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.

14 Now he went on through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, that is, Beth-maacah, and all the Berites; and they assembled and went after him as well. 15 And they came and besieged him in (JN)Abel Beth-maacah, and (JO)they [eh]built up an assault ramp against the city, and it stood against the outer rampart; and all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction in order to topple the wall. 16 Then (JP)a wise woman called out from the city, “Listen, listen! Please tell Joab, ‘Come here that I may speak with you.’” 17 So he approached her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” And he answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your slave.” And he said, “I am listening.” 18 Then she spoke, saying, “In the past they used to say, ‘They will undoubtedly ask advice at Abel,’ and that is how they ended a dispute. 19 I am one of those who are ready for peace and faithful in Israel. (JQ)You are trying to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up (JR)the inheritance of the Lord?” 20 Joab replied, “Far be it, far be it from me that I would consume or destroy! 21 Such is not the case. But a man from (JS)the hill country of Ephraim, (JT)Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has raised his hand against King David. Only turn him over, and I will depart from the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman (JU)wisely came to all the people. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it to Joab. So (JV)he blew the trumpet, and they were dispersed from the city, each to his tent. Joab also returned to the king at Jerusalem.

23 (JW)Now Joab was in command of the entire army of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram was over the forced labor, and (JX)Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the secretary; 25 and Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and (JY)Abiathar were priests; 26 Ira the Jairite also was a priest to David.

Gibeonite’s Revenge

21 Now there was (JZ)a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and (KA)David sought the presence of the Lord. And the Lord said, “It is because of Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites, and (KB)the sons of Israel had [ei]made a covenant with them, but Saul had sought to [ej]kill them in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah). David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? And how can I make amends, so that you will bless (KC)the inheritance of the Lord?” Then the Gibeonites said to him, “(KD)For us it is not a matter of silver or gold with Saul or his house, nor is it for us to put anyone to death in Israel.” Nevertheless David said, “I will do for you whatever you say.” So they said to the king, “(KE)The man who destroyed us and who planned [ek]to eliminate us so that we would not exist within any border of Israel— let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will [el]hang them (KF)before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, (KG)the chosen of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”

But the king spared (KH)Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, (KI)because of the oath of the Lord which was between them, between David and Saul’s son Jonathan. So the king took the two sons of (KJ)Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of [em](KK)Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the (KL)Meholathite. Then he handed them over to the Gibeonites, and they [en]hanged them on the mountain before the Lord, so that the seven of them fell together; and they were put to death in the first days of harvest at (KM)the beginning of barley harvest.

10 (KN)And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until [eo]it rained on them from the sky; and (KO)she [ep]allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on them by day nor the wild animals by night. 11 When it was reported to David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 then David went and took (KP)the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of (KQ)Beth-shan, (KR)where the Philistines had hanged them on the day (KS)the Philistines struck and killed Saul in Gilboa. 13 He brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan, and they gathered the bones of those who had been [eq]hanged. 14 Then they buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the country of Benjamin in (KT)Zela, in the grave of his father Kish; So they did everything that the king commanded, and after that (KU)God responded to prayer for the land.

15 Now when (KV)the Philistines were at war with Israel again, David went down, and his servants with him; and when they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was (KW)among the descendants of the [er]giant, the weight of whose spear was [es]three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, [et]had strapped on a new sword, and he [eu]intended to kill David. 17 But (KX)Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “(KY)You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish (KZ)the lamp of Israel.”

18 (LA)Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then (LB)Sibbecai the Hushathite struck and killed Saph, who was among the descendants of the [ev]giant. 19 And there was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite [ew]killed [ex]Goliath the Gittite, (LC)the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 And there was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also had been born (LD)to the [ey]giant. 21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck and killed him. 22 (LE)These four were born to the [ez]giant at Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

David’s Psalm of Deliverance

22 (LF)Now David spoke (LG)the words of this song to the Lord on the day that the Lord had saved him from the [fa]hand of all his enemies and from the [fb]hand of Saul. He said,

(LH)The Lord is my [fc]rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
[fd](LI)My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
My (LJ)shield and (LK)the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and (LL)my refuge;
My savior, You save me from violence.
I call upon the Lord, (LM)who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.
For (LN)the waves of death encompassed me;
(LO)The floods of [fe]destruction terrified me;
(LP)The ropes of [ff]Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
(LQ)In my distress I called upon the Lord,
Yes, I called out to my God;
And from His temple He heard my voice,
And my cry for help came into His ears.
Then (LR)the earth shook and quaked,
(LS)The foundations of heaven were trembling
And were shaken, because He was angry.
Smoke went up [fg]out of His nostrils,
(LT)And fire from His mouth was devouring;
(LU)Coals were kindled by it.
10 He also bowed the heavens down low, and came down
With (LV)thick darkness under His feet.
11 (LW)He rode on a cherub and flew;
He [fh]appeared on (LX)the wings of the wind.
12 (LY)He made darkness canopies around Him,
A mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.
13 From the brightness before Him
(LZ)Coals of fire were kindled.
14 (MA)The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.
15 (MB)And He shot arrows and scattered them,
Lightning, and [fi]routed them.
16 Then the channels of the sea appeared,
The foundations of the world were exposed
By the rebuke of the Lord,
(MC)From the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
17 (MD)He sent from on high, He took me;
(ME)He drew me out of many waters.
18 He rescued me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me, for they were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me on the day of my disaster,
(MF)But the Lord was my support.
20 (MG)He also brought me out into an open place;
He rescued me, (MH)because He delighted in me.
21 (MI)The Lord has treated me in accordance with my righteousness;
(MJ)In accordance with the cleanliness of my hands He has repaid me.
22 (MK)For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not acted wickedly against my God.
23 (ML)For all His ordinances were before me,
And as for His statutes, I did not deviate from [fj]them.
24 (MM)I was also [fk]blameless toward Him,
And I have kept myself from my wrongdoing.
25 (MN)So the Lord has repaid me in accordance with my righteousness,
In accordance with my cleanliness before His eyes.
26 (MO)With the one who is faithful You show Yourself faithful,
With the [fl]blameless one You prove Yourself [fm]blameless;
27 (MP)With the one who is pure You show Yourself pure,
(MQ)But with the perverted You [fn]show Yourself astute.
28 (MR)And You save an afflicted people;
(MS)But Your eyes are on the haughty whom You humiliate.
29 (MT)For You are my lamp, Lord;
And the Lord illuminates my darkness.
30 (MU)For by You I can run at a [fo]troop of warriors;
By my God I can leap over a wall.
31 (MV)As for God, His way is [fp]blameless;
(MW)The word of the Lord is refined;
(MX)He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
32 (MY)For who is God, except the Lord?
(MZ)And who is a rock, except our God?
33 (NA)God is my strong fortress;
And He [fq]sets the [fr]blameless on [fs]His way.
34 (NB)He makes [ft]my feet like deer’s feet,
(NC)And sets me on my high places.
35 (ND)He trains my hands for battle,
(NE)So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You have also given me (NF)the shield of Your salvation,
And Your [fu]help makes me great.
37 (NG)You enlarge my steps under me,
And my [fv]feet have not slipped.
38 I pursued my enemies and (NH)eliminated them,
And I did not turn back until they were finished off.
39 And I have devoured them and smashed them, so that they would not rise;
And (NI)they fell under my feet.
40 For You have encircled me with strength for battle;
You have forced (NJ)those who rose up against me to bow down under me.
41 You have also (NK)made my enemies turn their backs to me,
And I [fw]destroyed those who hated me.
42 (NL)They looked, but there was no one to save them;
(NM)Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
43 (NN)Then I pulverized them as the dust of the earth;
(NO)I crushed and trampled them like the mud of the streets.
44 (NP)You have also saved me from the contentions of my people;
(NQ)You have kept me as head of the nations;
(NR)A people I have not known serve me.
45 (NS)Foreigners pretend to obey me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.
46 Foreigners lose heart,
(NT)And [fx]come trembling out of their fortresses.
47 The Lord lives, and blessed be my Rock;
And exalted be [fy](NU)my God, the rock of my salvation,
48 (NV)The God who executes vengeance for me,
(NW)And brings down peoples under me,
49 Who also brings me out from my enemies;
You also raise me above (NX)those who rise up against me;
(NY)You rescue me from the violent person.
50 (NZ)Therefore I will [fz]give thanks to You, Lord, among the nations,
And I will sing praises to Your name.
51 (OA)He is a tower of [ga]salvation to His king,
And (OB)shows favor to His anointed,
(OC)To David and his [gb]descendants forever.”

David’s Last Song

23 Now these are the last words of David.

David the son of Jesse declares,
(OD)The man who was raised on high,
(OE)The anointed of the God of Jacob
And the sweet psalmist of Israel, declares,
(OF)The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me,
And His word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel said it;
(OG)The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
(OH)He who rules over mankind righteously,
(OI)Who rules in the fear of God,
(OJ)Is like the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the fresh grass springs out of the earth
From sunshine after rain.’
Is my house not indeed so with God?
For (OK)He has made an everlasting covenant with me,
Properly ordered in all things, and secured;
For will He not indeed make
All my salvation and all my delight grow?
(OL)But the worthless, every one of them, are like scattered thorns,
Because they cannot be taken in hand;
Instead, the man who touches them
Must be [gc]armed with iron and the shaft of a spear,
And (OM)they will be completely burned with fire in their [gd]place.”

David’s Mighty Men

(ON)These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth, a Tahchemonite, chief of the [ge]captains; he was called Adino the Eznite because of eight hundred who were killed by him at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of (OO)Dodo the (OP)Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and the men of Israel had [gf]withdrawn. 10 (OQ)He rose up and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary and [gg]it clung to the sword, and (OR)the Lord brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to plunder the dead.

11 Now after him was Shammah the son of Agee, a (OS)Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered [gh]into an army where there was a plot of land full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the midst of the plot, defended it, and struck the Philistines; and (OT)the Lord brought about a great victory.

13 Then three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David at harvest time to the (OU)cave of Adullam, while the army of the Philistines was camping in (OV)the Valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then (OW)in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And (OX)David had a craving and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” 16 (OY)So the three mighty men forced their way into the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem which was by the gate, and carried it and brought it to David. Yet he would not drink it, but (OZ)poured it out as an offering to the Lord; 17 and he said, “Far be it from me, Lord, that I would do this! (PA)Should I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?” So he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.

18 Now (PB)Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was (PC)chief of the [gi]thirty. And he swung his spear against three hundred [gj]and killed them, and had a name [gk]as well as the three. 19 He was the most honored among the thirty, so he became their commander; however, he did not attain to the reputation of the three.

20 Then (PD)Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of (PE)Kabzeel, who had done great deeds, [gl]killed the [gm]two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. 21 And he [gn]killed an Egyptian, [go]an impressive man. Now the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but he went down to him with a club and snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things (PF)Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did, and had a name [gp]as well as the three mighty men. 23 He was honored among the thirty, but he did not attain the reputation of the three. And David appointed him over his bodyguard.

24 (PG)Asahel the brother of Joab was among the thirty; and there was Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 (PH)Shammah the (PI)Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the (PJ)Tekoite, 27 Abiezer the (PK)Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the (PL)Netophathite, 29 (PM)Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of (PN)Gibeah of the sons of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah a (PO)Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of (PP)Gaash, 31 Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the (PQ)Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the (PR)Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 (PS)Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of (PT)the Maacathite, (PU)Eliam the son of (PV)Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 (PW)Hezro the (PX)Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan of (PY)Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the (PZ)Beerothite, armor bearers of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38 Ira the (QA)Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 and (QB)Uriah the Hittite; thirty-seven in all.

The Census Taken

24 (QC)Now (QD)the anger of the Lord burned against Israel again, and He incited David against them to say, “(QE)Go, count Israel and Judah.” So the king said to Joab the commander of the army, who was with him, “Roam about now through all the tribes of Israel, (QF)from Dan to Beersheba, and conduct a census of the people, so that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “(QG)May the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king can still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” Nevertheless, the king’s order prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army left the presence of the king to conduct a census of the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and camped in (QH)Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the Valley of Gad and toward (QI)Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to [gq]the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to (QJ)Sidon, then they came to the (QK)fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the (QL)Hivites and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to (QM)Beersheba. So when they had roamed about through the whole land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave (QN)the number of the census of the people to the king: in Israel there were (QO)eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

10 Now (QP)David’s heart [gr]troubled him after he had counted the people. So David said to the Lord, “(QQ)I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, Lord, please [gs]overlook the guilt of Your servant, for (QR)I have acted very foolishly.” 11 When David got up in the morning, the word of the Lord came to (QS)Gad the prophet, David’s (QT)seer, saying, 12 “Go and speak to David, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I am imposing upon you three choices; choose for yourself one of them, and I will do it to you.”’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall (QU)seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee for three months before your enemies while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ of plague in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the Lord, (QV)for His mercies are great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

Plague Sent

15 So (QW)the Lord [gt]sent a plague upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people (QX)from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 (QY)When the angel extended his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, (QZ)the Lord relented of the disaster and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now drop your hand!” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, (RA)it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but (RB)these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house!”

David Builds an Altar

18 So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “(RC)Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of [gu]Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 Then David went up in accordance with the word of Gad, just as the Lord had commanded. 20 And Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; so Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, (RD)so that the plague may be [gv]withdrawn from the people.” 22 Araunah then said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, here are (RE)the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God be (RF)favorable to you.” 24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will certainly buy it from you for a price; for (RG)I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God [gw]that cost me nothing.” So (RH)David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 Then David built there an altar to the Lord, and he offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And (RI)the Lord responded to prayer for the land, and the plague was [gx]withdrawn from Israel.


  1. 2 Samuel 13:2 Lit was too difficult in Amnon’s eyes
  2. 2 Samuel 13:3 In 1 Sam 16:9, Shammah; in 1 Chr 2:13, Shimea
  3. 2 Samuel 13:5 I.e., food for the sick
  4. 2 Samuel 13:7 I.e., food for the sick
  5. 2 Samuel 13:10 Or inner room
  6. 2 Samuel 13:13 Lit take away
  7. 2 Samuel 13:13 Or worthless ones
  8. 2 Samuel 13:13 I.e., refuse a marriage
  9. 2 Samuel 13:14 Lit her voice
  10. 2 Samuel 13:18 Or varicolored tunic
  11. 2 Samuel 13:19 Or varicolored tunic
  12. 2 Samuel 13:28 Lit sons of valor
  13. 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit answered and said
  14. 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit say
  15. 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit mouth
  16. 2 Samuel 13:33 Lit his heart
  17. 2 Samuel 13:33 Lit saying
  18. 2 Samuel 13:36 Lit with a very great weeping
  19. 2 Samuel 14:2 Lit took
  20. 2 Samuel 14:4 Many mss and ancient versions came
  21. 2 Samuel 14:5 Lit said
  22. 2 Samuel 14:6 Lit deliverer between
  23. 2 Samuel 14:6 Lit between them
  24. 2 Samuel 14:7 Lit establish for
  25. 2 Samuel 14:15 Lit that I
  26. 2 Samuel 14:15 Lit word
  27. 2 Samuel 14:16 Lit palm
  28. 2 Samuel 14:16 Lit together
  29. 2 Samuel 14:17 Lit for rest
  30. 2 Samuel 14:21 Lit have done
  31. 2 Samuel 14:22 Lit word
  32. 2 Samuel 14:26 About 4 lb. or 1.8 kg
  33. 2 Samuel 14:32 Lit said to
  34. 2 Samuel 14:33 Lit on his
  35. 2 Samuel 15:1 Lit as runners ahead
  36. 2 Samuel 15:3 Lit words
  37. 2 Samuel 15:7 As in some ancient versions; MT forty
  38. 2 Samuel 15:11 Lit in their integrity
  39. 2 Samuel 15:13 Lit after
  40. 2 Samuel 15:16 Lit at his feet
  41. 2 Samuel 15:17 Lit at his feet
  42. 2 Samuel 15:18 Lit at his feet
  43. 2 Samuel 15:19 Lit the king
  44. 2 Samuel 15:20 Or faithfulness
  45. 2 Samuel 15:22 I.e., children; here, families of the men
  46. 2 Samuel 15:26 Lit in His sight
  47. 2 Samuel 15:32 Or tunic
  48. 2 Samuel 15:32 Lit earth
  49. 2 Samuel 16:9 Lit take off
  50. 2 Samuel 16:10 Lit What to me and to you, an ancient idiom
  51. 2 Samuel 16:12 As in ancient versions; MT wrongdoing
  52. 2 Samuel 16:12 Lit the Lord will return
  53. 2 Samuel 16:17 Or faithfulness
  54. 2 Samuel 16:23 Lit advised
  55. 2 Samuel 17:2 Lit come upon
  56. 2 Samuel 17:2 Lit slack of hands
  57. 2 Samuel 17:3 Lit As the return of the whole is the man whom you seek
  58. 2 Samuel 17:4 Lit word was pleasing in the sight of
  59. 2 Samuel 17:5 Lit is in his mouth—even he
  60. 2 Samuel 17:6 Lit him, saying
  61. 2 Samuel 17:6 Lit spoken according to this word
  62. 2 Samuel 17:6 Lit do his word
  63. 2 Samuel 17:7 Lit advised
  64. 2 Samuel 17:8 Lit bitter of soul
  65. 2 Samuel 17:8 Lit man of war
  66. 2 Samuel 17:11 Lit your face goes
  67. 2 Samuel 17:12 Lit settle down
  68. 2 Samuel 17:13 Or wadi; i.e., a dry stream bed
  69. 2 Samuel 17:15 Lit According to this and this
  70. 2 Samuel 17:15 Lit According to this and this
  71. 2 Samuel 17:16 Lit swallowed up
  72. 2 Samuel 17:18 Lit there
  73. 2 Samuel 17:19 Lit took and spread the covering
  74. 2 Samuel 17:22 Lit the light of the morning
  75. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit done
  76. 2 Samuel 17:23 Lit ordered in regard to
  77. 2 Samuel 17:25 Lit over the army
  78. 2 Samuel 17:25 In 1 Chr 2:17, Jether the Ishmaelite
  79. 2 Samuel 17:25 Lit came in to
  80. 2 Samuel 18:1 Lit mustered
  81. 2 Samuel 18:2 Lit by the hand of
  82. 2 Samuel 18:2 Lit by the hand of
  83. 2 Samuel 18:2 Lit by the hand of
  84. 2 Samuel 18:3 As in some ancient versions; MT for now there are 10,000 like us
  85. 2 Samuel 18:3 Lit like us by 10,000
  86. 2 Samuel 18:7 Lit struck
  87. 2 Samuel 18:9 Lit placed
  88. 2 Samuel 18:11 Lit And upon me
  89. 2 Samuel 18:12 Lit weigh
  90. 2 Samuel 18:12 As in some mss and ancient versions; MT Protect, whoever you are, the
  91. 2 Samuel 18:13 Another reading is my life; i.e., at the risk of my own life
  92. 2 Samuel 18:13 Lit stood aloof
  93. 2 Samuel 18:14 Lit wait so with
  94. 2 Samuel 18:14 Lit heart
  95. 2 Samuel 18:17 Lit the great
  96. 2 Samuel 18:18 Lit bring to remembrance
  97. 2 Samuel 18:19 Lit vindicated
  98. 2 Samuel 18:27 Lit see
  99. 2 Samuel 18:28 Lit Peace; Heb Shalom
  100. 2 Samuel 18:31 Lit vindicated
  101. 2 Samuel 18:33 Ch 19:1 in Heb
  102. 2 Samuel 19:1 Ch 19:2 in Heb
  103. 2 Samuel 19:2 Lit salvation
  104. 2 Samuel 19:4 Lit the king cried
  105. 2 Samuel 19:5 Lit the faces of all
  106. 2 Samuel 19:6 Or princes
  107. 2 Samuel 19:6 Lit in your eyes
  108. 2 Samuel 19:7 Lit to the heart of your
  109. 2 Samuel 19:7 Lit come upon
  110. 2 Samuel 19:9 Lit palm
  111. 2 Samuel 19:9 Lit palm
  112. 2 Samuel 19:13 Lit before me
  113. 2 Samuel 19:19 Lit set
  114. 2 Samuel 19:22 Lit to me and to you; an ancient idiom
  115. 2 Samuel 19:24 Lit son
  116. 2 Samuel 19:24 Lit done
  117. 2 Samuel 19:24 Lit done
  118. 2 Samuel 19:26 I.e., have the donkey saddled
  119. 2 Samuel 19:28 Lit cry out
  120. 2 Samuel 19:29 Lit said
  121. 2 Samuel 19:31 Lit send
  122. 2 Samuel 19:34 Lit are the days of the years of my life
  123. 2 Samuel 19:35 Lit today
  124. 2 Samuel 19:38 Lit choose
  125. 2 Samuel 19:40 Lit crossed over with
  126. 2 Samuel 19:42 Lit me
  127. 2 Samuel 19:42 Lit from the king
  128. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  129. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  130. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  131. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  132. 2 Samuel 19:43 Lit word
  133. 2 Samuel 19:43 Singular in Heb
  134. 2 Samuel 20:2 Lit went up
  135. 2 Samuel 20:2 Lit clung to
  136. 2 Samuel 20:3 Lit come in to
  137. 2 Samuel 20:8 Lit before
  138. 2 Samuel 20:15 Lit poured out
  139. 2 Samuel 21:2 Lit sworn to
  140. 2 Samuel 21:2 Lit strike
  141. 2 Samuel 21:5 Lit against us that we are eliminated from
  142. 2 Samuel 21:6 Or expose them
  143. 2 Samuel 21:8 As in some ancient versions and two Heb mss; MT Michal
  144. 2 Samuel 21:9 Or exposed them
  145. 2 Samuel 21:10 Lit water gushed forth
  146. 2 Samuel 21:10 Lit gave
  147. 2 Samuel 21:13 Or exposed
  148. 2 Samuel 21:16 Heb Raphah
  149. 2 Samuel 21:16 About 9 lb. or 4 kg
  150. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit and he had strapped
  151. 2 Samuel 21:16 Lit said
  152. 2 Samuel 21:18 Heb Raphah
  153. 2 Samuel 21:19 Lit struck
  154. 2 Samuel 21:19 In 1 Chr 20:5, Lahmi, the brother of Goliath
  155. 2 Samuel 21:20 Heb Raphah
  156. 2 Samuel 21:22 Heb Raphah
  157. 2 Samuel 22:1 Lit palm
  158. 2 Samuel 22:1 Lit palm
  159. 2 Samuel 22:2 Lit crag
  160. 2 Samuel 22:3 As in LXX; MT God of my rock
  161. 2 Samuel 22:5 Or wickedness; Heb Belial
  162. 2 Samuel 22:6 I.e., the netherworld
  163. 2 Samuel 22:9 I.e., in his anger
  164. 2 Samuel 22:11 Many mss glided
  165. 2 Samuel 22:15 Lit confused
  166. 2 Samuel 22:23 Lit it
  167. 2 Samuel 22:24 Lit complete; or having integrity
  168. 2 Samuel 22:26 Lit complete; or having integrity
  169. 2 Samuel 22:26 Lit complete; or having integrity
  170. 2 Samuel 22:27 As in two Heb mss and Ps 18:26; MT pretend stupidity
  171. 2 Samuel 22:30 Or wall
  172. 2 Samuel 22:31 Lit complete; or having integrity
  173. 2 Samuel 22:33 Or sets free
  174. 2 Samuel 22:33 Lit complete; or having integrity
  175. 2 Samuel 22:33 Another reading is my
  176. 2 Samuel 22:34 Another reading is His
  177. 2 Samuel 22:36 Lit answering
  178. 2 Samuel 22:37 Lit ankles
  179. 2 Samuel 22:41 Or silenced
  180. 2 Samuel 22:46 Reading based on Ps 18:45; MT belt up themselves
  181. 2 Samuel 22:47 As in LXX; MT the God of the rock
  182. 2 Samuel 22:50 Or praise
  183. 2 Samuel 22:51 Lit acts of salvation
  184. 2 Samuel 22:51 Lit seed
  185. 2 Samuel 23:7 Lit filled
  186. 2 Samuel 23:7 Lit sitting
  187. 2 Samuel 23:8 Or three
  188. 2 Samuel 23:9 Lit gone up
  189. 2 Samuel 23:10 Lit his hand
  190. 2 Samuel 23:11 Or possibly, at Lehi
  191. 2 Samuel 23:18 As in two Heb mss and Syriac; MT three
  192. 2 Samuel 23:18 Lit slain ones
  193. 2 Samuel 23:18 Lit among the
  194. 2 Samuel 23:20 Lit struck
  195. 2 Samuel 23:20 Or two warriors of Moab
  196. 2 Samuel 23:21 Lit struck
  197. 2 Samuel 23:21 Lit a man of appearance
  198. 2 Samuel 23:22 Lit among the
  199. 2 Samuel 24:6 Another reading is Kadesh in the land of the Hittite
  200. 2 Samuel 24:10 Lit struck
  201. 2 Samuel 24:10 Lit allow to pass
  202. 2 Samuel 24:15 Lit gave
  203. 2 Samuel 24:18 In 2 Chr 3:1, Ornan
  204. 2 Samuel 24:21 Or brought to a halt
  205. 2 Samuel 24:24 Lit gratuitously
  206. 2 Samuel 24:25 Or brought to a halt

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