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2 Samuel 19:2-15 Good News Translation (GNT)

And so the joy of victory was turned into sadness for all of David's troops that day, because they heard that the king was mourning for his son. They went back into the city quietly, like soldiers who are ashamed because they are running away from battle. The king covered his face and cried loudly, “O my son! My son Absalom! Absalom, my son!”

Joab went to the king's house and said to him, “Today you have humiliated your men—the men who saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and of your wives and concubines. You oppose those who love you and support those who hate you! You have made it clear that your officers and men mean nothing to you. I can see that you would be quite happy if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go and reassure your men. I swear by the Lord's name that if you don't, not one of them will be with you by tomorrow morning. That would be the worst disaster you have suffered in all your life.” Then the king got up, and went and sat near the city gate. His men heard that he was there, and they all gathered around him.

David Starts Back to Jerusalem

Meanwhile all the Israelites had fled to their own hometowns. All over the country they started quarreling among themselves. “King David saved us from our enemies,” they said to one another. “He rescued us from the Philistines, but now he has fled from Absalom and left the country. 10 We anointed Absalom as our king, but he has been killed in battle. So why doesn't somebody try to bring King David back?”

11 The news of what the Israelites were saying reached King David.[a] So he sent the priests Zadok and Abiathar to ask the leaders of Judah, “Why should you be the last to help bring the king back to his palace? 12 You are my relatives, my own flesh and blood; why should you be the last to bring me back?” 13 David also told them to say to Amasa, “You are my relative. From now on I am putting you in charge of the army in place of Joab. May God strike me dead if I don't!” 14 David's words won the complete loyalty of all the men of Judah, and they sent him word to return with all his officials.

15 On his way back the king was met at the Jordan River by the men of Judah, who had come to Gilgal to escort him across the river.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 19:11 Some ancient translations The news … David; Hebrew The news … David, to his palace, and places this sentence at the end of the verse.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

2 Samuel 19:2-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops; for the troops heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” The troops stole into the city that day as soldiers steal in who are ashamed when they flee in battle. The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Then Joab came into the house to the king, and said, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your officers who have saved your life today, and the lives of your sons and your daughters, and the lives of your wives and your concubines, for love of those who hate you and for hatred of those who love you. You have made it clear today that commanders and officers are nothing to you; for I perceive that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. So go out at once and speak kindly to your servants; for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night; and this will be worse for you than any disaster that has come upon you from your youth until now.” Then the king got up and took his seat in the gate. The troops were all told, “See, the king is sitting in the gate”; and all the troops came before the king.

David Recalled to Jerusalem

Meanwhile, all the Israelites had fled to their homes. All the people were disputing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies, and saved us from the hand of the Philistines; and now he has fled out of the land because of Absalom. 10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”

11 King David sent this message to the priests Zadok and Abiathar, “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to bring the king back to his house? The talk of all Israel has come to the king.[a] 12 You are my kin, you are my bone and my flesh; why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? So may God do to me, and more, if you are not the commander of my army from now on, in place of Joab.’” 14 Amasa[b] swayed the hearts of all the people of Judah as one, and they sent word to the king, “Return, both you and all your servants.” 15 So the king came back to the Jordan; and Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and to bring him over the Jordan.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 19:11 Gk: Heb to the king, to his house
  2. 2 Samuel 19:14 Heb He
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Samuel 19:2-15 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

(1) Yo’av was told, “The king is weeping, mourning for Avshalom.” (2) Thus the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard it said that day that the king was grieving for his son; (3) so that the people entered the city furtively that day, the way that people who are ashamed creep away when fleeing a battlefield. (4) Meanwhile, the king covered his face and cried aloud, “Oh, my son Avshalom! Oh, Avshalom, my son, my son!”

(5) Yo’av went inside to the king and said, “Today you made all your servants feel ashamed. They saved your life today, and the lives of your sons, daughters, wives and concubines. (6) But you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. Today you said that princes and servants mean nothing to you — for I can see today that it would have pleased you more if Avshalom had lived today, and we had all died! (7) Now get up, go out and speak heart-to-heart with your servants. For I swear by Adonai that if you don’t go out, not one man will stay here with you tonight — and that will be worse for you than all the misfortunes you have suffered from your youth until now.” (8) So the king got up and sat in the city gateway; and when all the people were told, “Now the king is sitting in the gate,” they came before the king.

Meanwhile, Isra’el had fled, each man to his tent; 10 (9) and throughout all the tribes of Isra’el there was dissension among all the people. They were saying, “The king delivered us from the power of our enemies, and he saved us from the power of the P’lishtim; but now he has fled the land to escape Avshalom. 11 (10) However, Avshalom, whom we anointed to rule us, is dead in battle. So now, why doesn’t anyone suggest bringing the king back?”

12 (11) King David sent this message to Tzadok and Evyatar the cohanim: “Ask the leaders of Y’hudah, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his palace? The king has already heard that all Isra’el wants to return him to his palace. 13 (12) You are my kinsmen, my flesh and bone; so why are you the last to bring back the king?’ 14 (13) Also tell ‘Amasa, ‘You are my flesh and bone. May God bring terrible curses on me and worse ones yet if from now on you are not permanent commander of my army instead of Yo’av.” 15 (14) Thus he turned the hearts of all the men of Y’hudah around as if they were one man, so that they sent a message to the king, “Come back, you and all your servants!”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

2 Samuel 19:2-18 The Message (MSG)

David’s Grief for Absalom

19 1-4 Joab was told that David was weeping and lamenting over Absalom. The day’s victory turned into a day of mourning as word passed through the army, “David is grieving over his son.” The army straggled back to the city that day demoralized, dragging their tails. And the king held his face in his hands and lamented loudly,

O my son Absalom,
Absalom my dear, dear son!

5-7 But in private Joab rebuked the king: “Now you’ve done it—knocked the wind out of your loyal servants who have just saved your life, to say nothing of the lives of your sons and daughters, wives and concubines. What is this—loving those who hate you and hating those who love you? Your actions give a clear message: officers and soldiers mean nothing to you. You know that if Absalom were alive right now, we’d all be dead—would that make you happy? Get hold of yourself; get out there and put some heart into your servants! I swear to God that if you don’t go to them they’ll desert; not a soldier will be left here by nightfall. And that will be the worst thing that has happened yet.”

So the king came out and took his place at the city gate. Soon everyone knew: “Oh, look! The king has come out to receive us.” And his whole army came and presented itself to the king. But the Israelites had fled the field of battle and gone home.

9-10 Meanwhile, the whole populace was now complaining to its leaders, “Wasn’t it the king who saved us time and again from our enemies, and rescued us from the Philistines? And now he has had to flee the country on account of Absalom. And now this Absalom whom we made king is dead in battle. So what are you waiting for? Why don’t you bring the king back?”

11-13 When David heard what was being said, he sent word to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, “Ask the elders of Judah, ‘Why are you so laggard in bringing the king back home? You’re my brothers! You’re my own flesh and blood! So why are you the last ones to bring the king back home?’ And tell Amasa, ‘You, too, are my flesh and blood. As God is my witness, I’m making you the permanent commander of the army in place of Joab.’”

14 He captured the hearts of everyone in Judah. They were unanimous in sending for the king: “Come back, you and all your servants.”

15-18 So the king returned. He arrived at the Jordan just as Judah reached Gilgal on their way to welcome the king and escort him across the Jordan. Even Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, hurried down to join the men of Judah so he could welcome the king, a thousand Benjaminites with him. And Ziba, Saul’s steward, with his fifteen sons and twenty servants, waded across the Jordan to meet the king and brought his entourage across, doing whatever they could to make the king comfortable.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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