2 Samuel 14The Voice (VOICE)
14 When Joab, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, realized that David was preoccupied with Absalom, he took matters into his own hands. 2 He brought a wise woman from Tekoa and instructed her.
Joab: Act like you are in mourning. Wear mourning garments, don’t anoint yourself with sweet-smelling oils, but act like a woman who has been mourning for someone dead for a long time. 3 Then ask to see the king.
And he told her what she should say.
4 When this woman from Tekoa came before the king, she fell on her face, prostrate before him, and showed the appropriate respect due the king.
Woman of Tekoa: Help me, great king!
David: 5 What is wrong?
Woman of Tekoa: I am a widow. My husband has been dead for some time. 6 I, your servant, had two sons who fought with each other in the field. With no one there to stop them, one struck the other dead. 7 Now the whole family has risen up against me, your humble servant. They demand that I give up the one who killed his brother so that he can be executed as punishment—even though that will take away my remaining son and only heir. So they would put out the last glowing ember of my fire and leave behind absolutely nothing of my husband or me.
David: 8 Go home, and I will give orders that will take care of this matter.
Woman of Tekoa: 9 O my lord, my king, I don’t want my situation to cause you any trouble. Just blame everything on me and my family.
David: 10 If anyone bothers you about this, send him to me, and he will never trouble you again.
Woman of Tekoa: 11 Please, O king, ask the Eternal One, your True God, so that those seeking a blood debt will give up their vengeance and my son will live.
David: As sure as the Eternal lives, not one hair of your son’s head will be damaged.
12 Then the woman asked for liberty to speak freely, and David agreed.
Woman of Tekoa: 13 How does your decision in my case compare with what you are doing to the people of the True God? It seems that your verdict convicts you, since you have not brought home your own banished son. 14 Everyone dies—we are like water spilled in the dust that can’t be reclaimed. But God will not waste a life—He won’t allow the banished one to be exiled permanently from His presence.
15 I say these things to you, my king, because of those who have frightened me. I thought, “Maybe if I speak to the king, he will hear my request. 16 And if the king hears, he will deliver me out of the hands of those who would make my son and me exiles from the inheritance of God.” 17 I thought, “Please let the king’s word bring me peace,” because you, my lord, are like a messenger of God, discerning good and evil alike. The Eternal One, your True God, be with you!
David: 18 I’m going to ask you a question, and I want you to tell me the truth.
Woman of Tekoa: Ask me your question, my king.
David: 19 Has Joab put you up to this?
Woman of Tekoa: Of course you are right, my king. No one can fool you. It was your servant Joab who sent me and told me what to say to you. 20 He did this because he hoped to change your situation with Absalom. But my lord, my king, is wise, as wise as a heavenly messenger of God who sees all that is happening on earth.
David (to Joab): 21 All right. I will do as you advise. You have my permission to bring young Absalom home.
22 Joab lay facedown on the ground before the king and honored him.
Joab (blessing David): Today I know that I am blessed and that I stand approved before you, my lord and king, since you have granted my request.
23 Joab traveled to Geshur, found Absalom, and brought him home to Jerusalem. But David would not see him.
David: 24 Take him to his own house. I won’t let him see my face.
So Absalom returned to his own house and did not come into the king’s presence. 25 Now there was no one in Israel more handsome than Absalom; from the soles of his feet to the top of his head, he was flawless. 26 When he cut his long hair (which he did once a year, as he needed it), his hair weighed five pounds, according to the king’s measuring system. 27 Absalom was the father of three sons and a beautiful daughter he named Tamar, after his sister.
28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years without seeing his father David, the king, 29 and at last Absalom sent a message to Joab that he wanted to be brought before David. But Joab did not answer his summons. Absalom sent him a second message, and again Joab did not come. 30 So Absalom gathered his servants and gave them orders.
Absalom (to servants): Joab has a barley field next to mine. Go and set it on fire.
The servants did as he ordered, and this got Joab’s attention. 31 Joab got up and confronted Absalom at his house.
Joab: Why have your servants set my field on fire?
Absalom: 32 Look, I asked you to come to take this message to the king: “Why did you ask me to come here from Geshur if you won’t see me? I’d be better off there.” Let me go see my father the king. If I am guilty of something, let him kill me.
33 So Joab brought David this message, and David sent for Absalom, who came before his father the king and lay facedown on the ground in honor of him. David kissed Absalom and welcomed him back into his good graces.
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