2 Samuel 14Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB)
14 ¶ Now Joab, the son of Zeruiah, perceived that the king’s heart was toward Absalom.
2 And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought an astute woman from there and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner and put on mourning apparel and do not anoint thyself with oil, but be as a woman that has mourned for a long time for someone who is 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 Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and did obeisance and said, Save me, O king.
5 And the king said unto her, What ails thee? And she answered, I am a widow woman, and my husband is dead.
6 And thy handmaid had two sons, and the two strove together in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one smote the other and slew him.
7 And, behold, the whole family is risen against thy 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. 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 thy house, and I will give a command concerning thee.
9 And the woman of Tekoa 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, Whoever speaks against thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.
11 Then she said, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou will not allow the avengers[a] of blood to increase the damage by destroying my son. And he said, As the LORD lives, not one hair of thy son shall 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, Why then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? For the king speaks this word as one who is guilty in that the king does not bring home again his banished.
14 For it is certain that we die and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither does God respect any person; yet he does devise means that his outcasts not be expelled from him.
15 Now, therefore, that I have come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. But thy handmaid said to herself, I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the word 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.
17 Then thy handmaid said, Let the word of my lord the king bring rest; for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil; and let the LORD thy God be with thee.
18 Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.
19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, By the life of thy soul, my lord the king, I can not turn to the right hand or to the left from all that my lord the king has spoken; for thy slave Joab, he commanded me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thy handmaid;
20 to bring about this form of speech thy slave Joab has done this thing; but my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know that which is done in the earth.
21 ¶ Then the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing; go, therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.
22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face and worshipped and blessed the king, and Joab said, Today thy slave knows that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has fulfilled the word of his slave.
23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
24 But the king said, Let him go to his own house and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and did not see the king’s face.
25 And in all Israel there was no one to be so greatly praised as Absalom for his beauty; from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
26 And when he shaved his head (for it was at every year’s end that he shaved it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore, he shaved it), the hair of his head weighed two hundred shekels after the king’s weight.
27 And unto Absalom there were born three sons and one daughter, whose name was Tamar, who was a beautiful woman to behold.
28 ¶ So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem and did not see the king’s face.
29 Therefore, Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him; and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
30 Therefore, he said unto his slaves, See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom’s slaves set the field on fire.
31 Then Joab arose and came to Absalom unto his house and said unto him, Why have thy slaves set my field on fire?
32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I have sent for thee, saying, Come here, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Why have I come from Geshur? It would have been better for me to have been there still. Now, therefore, let me see the king’s face; and if there is any iniquity in me, let him kill me.
33 So Joab came to the king and told him. Then he called Absalom, who came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.
2 Samuel 14New International Version (NIV)
Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
14 Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. 2 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. 3 Then go to the king and speak these words to him.” And Joab put the words in her mouth.
4 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!”
5 The king asked her, “What is troubling you?”
She said, “I am a widow; my husband is dead. 6 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. 7 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.”
8 The king said to the woman, “Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf.”
9 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.