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2 Samuel 14Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Woman of Tekoa

14 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. So Joab sent word to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there and told her, “Please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning clothes, and do not anoint yourself with oil, but act like a woman who has for many days been in mourning for the dead. Then go to the king and speak to him in this way.” So Joab [a]told her what to say.

When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she bowed with her face to the ground and lay herself down, and said, “Help, O king.” The king asked her, “[b]What is the matter?” She said, “Truly I am a widow; my husband is dead. Your maidservant had two sons, but the two of them struggled and fought in the field. There was no one to separate them, so one struck the other and killed him. Now behold, the entire family has risen against your maidservant, and they say, ‘Hand over the one who killed his brother, so that we may [c]put him to death [to pay] for the life of his brother whom he killed and destroy the heir also.’ By doing this they will extinguish my coal that is left, leaving my husband without a name or a remnant (heir) on the face of the earth.”

Then David said to the woman, “Go to your home, and I will give orders concerning you.” The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord, O king, the guilt is on me and on my father’s house, but the king and his throne are guiltless.” 10 The king said, “If anyone speaks to you [about this matter], bring him to me [for judgment], and he will not touch you again.” 11 Then she said, “Please let the king remember the Lord your God, so that the avenger of blood will not continue to destroy, otherwise they will destroy my son.” And David said, “As the Lord lives, not a single hair [from the head] of your son shall fall to the ground.”

12 Then the woman said, “Please let your maidservant speak one more word to my lord the king.” He said, “Speak.” 13 The woman said, “Now why have you planned such a thing against God’s people? For in speaking this word the king is like a guilty man, in that the king does not bring back his banished one. 14 For we will certainly die and are like water that is spilled on the ground and cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not [simply] take away life, but devises plans so that the one who is banished is not driven away from Him. 15 Now I came to speak of this matter to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. So your maidservant thought, ‘I will just speak to the king; perhaps the king will do what his maidservant requests. 16 For the king will hear and save his maidservant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the inheritance of God.’ 17 Then your maidservant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king be comforting, for my lord the king is as the angel of God to discern good and evil. May the Lord your God be with you.’”

18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Do not hide from me anything that I ask you.” And the woman said, “Let my lord the king please speak.” 19 The king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all of this?” And the woman answered, “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 said. Indeed, it was your servant Joab who commanded me; he put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant. 20 In order to change the appearance of things [between Absalom and you, his father] your servant Joab did this thing. But my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know everything that is in the earth.”

Absalom Is Recalled

21 Then the king said to Joab, “Listen, I will most certainly do this thing; now go, bring back the young man Absalom.” 22 Joab bowed his face toward the ground and lay himself down and blessed the king. Then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has done the request of his servant.” 23 So Joab got up, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 However, the king said, “Let him go to his own house, and do not let him see my face.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the king’s face.

25 Now in all Israel there was no man as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised [for that]; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 26 When he cut the hair of his head (for at the end of each year he cut it, because its weight was heavy on him) he weighed the hair of his head at [d]200 shekels by the king’s weight. 27 To Absalom were born three sons and one daughter whose name was [e]Tamar; she was a beautiful woman.

28 Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, without seeing the king’s face. 29 So Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him; even when he sent again a second time, he [still] would not come. 30 Therefore Absalom said to his servants, “See, Joab’s property is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31 Then Joab [f]took action and went to Absalom at his house and said to him, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?” 32 Absalom answered Joab, “I sent for you, saying, ‘Come here, so that I may send you to the king to ask, “Why have I come [back] from Geshur? It would be better for me to still be there.”’ Now then, let me see the king’s face, and if there is guilt in me, let him put me to death.” 33 So Joab came to the king and told him. Then David called for Absalom, and he came to the king and bowed his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 14:3 Lit put the words in her mouth.
  2. 2 Samuel 14:5 Lit What’s with you.
  3. 2 Samuel 14:7 The custom of the time permitted a near relative of the victim to kill the perpetrator.
  4. 2 Samuel 14:26 I.e. about 4 lbs.
  5. 2 Samuel 14:27 Absalom named his daughter after his sister.
  6. 2 Samuel 14:31 Lit arose.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

2 Samuel 14New International Version (NIV)

Absalom Returns to Jerusalem

14 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don’t use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead. Then go to the king and speak these words to him.” And Joab put the words in her mouth.

When the woman from Tekoa went[a] to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, “Help me, Your Majesty!”

The king asked her, “What is troubling you?”

She said, “I am a widow; my husband is dead. I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him. Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir as well.’ They would put out the only burning coal I have left, leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth.”

The king said to the woman, “Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf.”

But the woman from Tekoa said to him, “Let my lord the king pardon me and my family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt.

10 The king replied, “If anyone says anything to you, bring them to me, and they will not bother you again.”

11 She said, “Then let the king invoke the Lord his God to prevent the avenger of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed.”

“As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “not one hair of your son’s head will fall to the ground.

12 Then the woman said, “Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.”

“Speak,” he replied.

13 The woman said, “Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of God? When the king says this, does he not convict himself, for the king has not brought back his banished son? 14 Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.

15 “And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king; perhaps he will grant his servant’s request. 16 Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from God’s inheritance.’

17 “And now your servant says, ‘May the word of my lord the king secure my inheritance, for my lord the king is like an angel of God in discerning good and evil. May the Lord your God be with you.’”

18 Then the king said to the woman, “Don’t keep from me the answer to what I am going to ask you.”

“Let my lord the king speak,” the woman said.

19 The king asked, “Isn’t the hand of Joab with you in all this?”

The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant. 20 Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of God—he knows everything that happens in the land.

21 The king said to Joab, “Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom.”

22 Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant’s request.”

23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 24 But the king said, “He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king.

25 In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. 26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels[b] by the royal standard.

27 Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman.

28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come. 30 Then he said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.

31 Then Joab did go to Absalom’s house, and he said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?

32 Absalom said to Joab, “Look, I sent word to you and said, ‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!”’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.”

33 So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 14:4 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts spoke
  2. 2 Samuel 14:26 That is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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