2 Samuel 14
New International Version
Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
14 Joab(A) son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. 2 So Joab sent someone to Tekoa(B) and had a wise woman(C) brought from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don’t use any cosmetic lotions.(D) 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(E) 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(F) for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir(G) as well.’ They would put out the only burning coal I have left,(H) leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth.”
8 The king said to the woman, “Go home,(I) and I will issue an order in your behalf.”
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(M) of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed.”
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,(P) for the king has not brought back his banished son?(Q) 14 Like water(R) spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die.(S) But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person(T) 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.’(U)
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(V) of God in discerning(W) 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(X) 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(Y) like that of an angel of God—he knows everything that happens in the land.(Z)”
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.(AA) 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(AB)—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.
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(AE) 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?(AF)”
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?(AG) 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.”(AH)
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(AI) Absalom.
New International Version
Babylon as God’s Sword of Judgment
21 [a]The word of the Lord came to me:(A) 2 “Son of man, set your face against(B) Jerusalem and preach against the sanctuary.(C) Prophesy against(D) the land of Israel 3 and say to her: ‘This is what the Lord says: I am against you.(E) I will draw my sword(F) from its sheath and cut off from you both the righteous and the wicked.(G) 4 Because I am going to cut off the righteous and the wicked, my sword(H) will be unsheathed against everyone from south to north.(I) 5 Then all people will know that I the Lord have drawn my sword(J) from its sheath; it will not return(K) again.’(L)
6 “Therefore groan, son of man! Groan before them with broken heart and bitter grief.(M) 7 And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?(N)’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt with fear(O) and every hand go limp;(P) every spirit will become faint(Q) and every leg will be wet with urine.’(R) It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord.”
8 The word of the Lord came to me: 9 “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘A sword, a sword,
sharpened and polished—
10 sharpened for the slaughter,(S)
polished to flash like lightning!
“‘Shall we rejoice in the scepter of my royal son? The sword despises every such stick.(T)
11 “‘The sword is appointed to be polished,(U)
to be grasped with the hand;
it is sharpened and polished,
made ready for the hand of the slayer.
12 Cry out and wail, son of man,
for it is against my people;
it is against all the princes of Israel.
They are thrown to the sword
along with my people.
Therefore beat your breast.(V)
13 “‘Testing will surely come. And what if even the scepter, which the sword despises, does not continue? declares the Sovereign Lord.’
14 “So then, son of man, prophesy
and strike your hands(W) together.
Let the sword strike twice,
even three times.
It is a sword for slaughter—
a sword for great slaughter,
closing in on them from every side.(X)
15 So that hearts may melt with fear(Y)
and the fallen be many,
I have stationed the sword for slaughter[b]
at all their gates.
Look! It is forged to strike like lightning,
it is grasped for slaughter.(Z)
16 Slash to the right, you sword,
then to the left,
wherever your blade is turned.
17 I too will strike my hands(AA) together,
and my wrath(AB) will subside.
I the Lord have spoken.(AC)”
18 The word of the Lord came to me: 19 “Son of man, mark out two roads for the sword(AD) of the king of Babylon to take, both starting from the same country. Make a signpost(AE) where the road branches off to the city. 20 Mark out one road for the sword to come against Rabbah of the Ammonites(AF) and another against Judah and fortified Jerusalem. 21 For the king of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads, to seek an omen: He will cast lots(AG) with arrows, he will consult his idols,(AH) he will examine the liver.(AI) 22 Into his right hand will come the lot for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering rams, to give the command to slaughter, to sound the battle cry,(AJ) to set battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp(AK) and to erect siege works.(AL) 23 It will seem like a false omen to those who have sworn allegiance to him, but he will remind(AM) them of their guilt(AN) and take them captive.
24 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you people have brought to mind your guilt by your open rebellion, revealing your sins in all that you do—because you have done this, you will be taken captive.
25 “‘You profane and wicked prince of Israel, whose day has come,(AO) whose time of punishment has reached its climax,(AP) 26 this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Take off the turban, remove the crown.(AQ) It will not be as it was: The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low.(AR) 27 A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! The crown will not be restored until he to whom it rightfully belongs shall come;(AS) to him I will give it.’(AT)
28 “And you, son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says about the Ammonites(AU) and their insults:
“‘A sword,(AV) a sword,
drawn for the slaughter,
polished to consume
and to flash like lightning!
29 Despite false visions concerning you
and lying divinations(AW) about you,
it will be laid on the necks
of the wicked who are to be slain,
whose day has come,
whose time of punishment has reached its climax.(AX)
30 “‘Let the sword return to its sheath.(AY)
In the place where you were created,
in the land of your ancestry,(AZ)
I will judge you.
31 I will pour out my wrath on you
and breathe(BA) out my fiery anger(BB) against you;
I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men,
men skilled in destruction.(BC)
32 You will be fuel for the fire,(BD)
your blood will be shed in your land,
you will be remembered(BE) no more;
for I the Lord have spoken.’”