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14 Joab son of Zeruiah observed that the king’s mind was on Absalom. 2 So Joab sent someone to Tekoa to bring a clever woman from there. He told her, “Pretend to be in mourning: dress in mourning clothes and don’t put on any oil. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time. 3 Go to the king and speak these words to him.” Then Joab told her exactly what to say.
4 When the woman from Tekoa came[a] to the king, she fell with her face to the ground in homage and said, “Help me, my king!”
5 “What’s the matter?” the king asked her.
“To tell the truth, I am a widow; my husband died,” she said. 6 “Your servant had two sons. They were fighting in the field with no one to separate them, and one struck the other and killed him. 7 Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant and said, ‘Hand over the one who killed his brother so we may put him to death for the life of the brother he murdered. We will destroy the heir!’ They would extinguish my one remaining ember by not preserving my husband’s name or posterity on earth.”
8 The king told the woman, “Go home. I will issue a command on your behalf.”
9 Then the woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord the king, may any blame be on me and my father’s house, and may the king and his throne be innocent.”
10 “Whoever speaks to you,” the king said, “bring him to me. He will not trouble you again!”
11 She replied, “Please, may the king invoke the Lord your God, so that the avenger of blood will not increase the loss, and they will not eliminate my son!”
“As the Lord lives,” he vowed, “not a hair of your son will fall to the ground.”
12 Then the woman said, “Please, may your servant speak a word to my lord the king?”
“Speak,” he replied.
13 The woman asked, “Why have you devised something similar against the people of God? When the king spoke as he did about this matter, he has pronounced his own guilt. The king has not brought back his own banished one. 14 We will certainly die and be like water poured out on the ground, which can’t be recovered. But God would not take away a life; He would devise plans so that the one banished from Him does not remain banished.
15 “Now therefore, I’ve come to present this matter to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought: I must speak to the king. Perhaps the king will grant his servant’s request. 16 The king will surely listen in order to rescue his servant from the hand of this man who would eliminate both me and my son from God’s inheritance. 17 Your servant thought: May the word of my lord the king bring relief, for my lord the king is able to discern the good and the bad like the Angel of God. May the Lord your God be with you.”
18 Then the king answered the woman, “I’m going to ask you something; don’t conceal it from me!”
“Let my lord the king speak,” the woman replied.
19 The king asked, “Did Joab put you up to[b] all this?”
The woman answered. “As you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or left from all my lord the king says. Yes, your servant Joab is the one who gave orders to me; he told your servant exactly what to say. 20 Joab your servant has done this to address the issue indirectly,[c] but my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the Angel of God, knowing everything on earth.”
21 Then the king said to Joab, “I hereby grant this request. Go, bring back the young man Absalom.”
22 Joab fell with his face to the ground in homage and praised the king. “Today,” Joab said, “your servant knows I have found favor with you, my lord the king, because the king has granted the request of your servant.”
23 So Joab got up, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 However, the king added, “He may return to his house, but he may not see my face.” So Absalom returned to his house, but he did not see the king.[d]
25 No man in all Israel was as handsome and highly praised as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the top of his head, he did not have a single flaw. 26 When he shaved his head—he shaved it every year because his hair got so heavy for him that he had to shave it off—he would weigh the hair from his head and it would be five pounds[e] according to the royal standard.
27 Three sons were born to Absalom, and a daughter named Tamar, who was a beautiful woman. 28 Absalom resided in Jerusalem two years but never saw the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab was unwilling to come. So he sent again, a second time, but he still wouldn’t come. 30 Then Absalom said to his servants, “See, Joab has a field right next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set fire to it!” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.[f]
31 Then Joab came to Absalom’s house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?”
32 “Look,” Absalom explained to Joab, “I sent for you and said, ‘Come here. I want to send you to the king to ask: Why have I come back from Geshur? I’d be better off if I were still there.’ So now, let me see the king. If I am guilty, let him kill me.”
33 Joab went to the king and told him. So David summoned Absalom, who came to the king and bowed down with his face to the ground before him. Then the king kissed Absalom.
15 After this, Absalom got himself a chariot, horses, and 50 men to run before him. 2 He would get up early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone had a grievance to bring before the king for settlement, Absalom called out to him and asked, “What city are you from?” If he replied, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel,” 3 Absalom said to him, “Look, your claims are good and right, but the king does not have anyone to listen to you.” 4 He added, “If only someone would appoint me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a grievance or dispute could come to me, and I would make sure he received justice.” 5 When a person approached to bow down to him, Absalom reached out his hand, took hold of him, and kissed him. 6 Absalom did this to all the Israelites who came to the king for a settlement. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 When four[g] years had passed, Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go to Hebron to fulfill a vow I made to the Lord. 8 For your servant made a vow when I lived in Geshur of Aram, saying: If the Lord really brings me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.”[h]
9 “Go in peace,” the king said to him. So he went to Hebron.
10 Then Absalom sent messengers throughout the tribes of Israel with this message: “When you hear the sound of the ram’s horn, you are to say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron!’”
11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem went with Absalom. They had been invited and were going innocently, for they knew nothing about the whole matter. 12 While he was offering the sacrifices, Absalom sent for David’s adviser Ahithophel the Gilonite, from his city of Giloh. So the conspiracy grew strong, and the people supporting Absalom continued to increase.
13 Then an informer came to David and reported, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”
14 David said to all the servants with him in Jerusalem, “Get up. We have to flee, or we will not escape from Absalom! Leave quickly, or he will soon overtake us, heap disaster on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”
15 The king’s servants said to him, “Whatever my lord the king decides, we are your servants.” 16 Then the king set out, and his entire household followed him. But he left behind 10 concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, and all the people followed him. They stopped at the last house 18 while all his servants marched past him. Then all the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and the Gittites—600 men who came with him from Gath—marched past the king.
19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you also going with us? Go back and stay with the new king since you’re both a foreigner and an exile from your homeland. 20 Besides, you only arrived yesterday; should I make you wander around with us today while I go wherever I can? Go back and take your brothers with you. May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness.”
21 But in response, Ittai vowed to the king, “As the Lord lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king is, whether it means life or death, your servant will be there!”
22 “March on,” David replied to Ittai. So Ittai the Gittite marched past with all his men and the children who were with him.
18 After Jesus had said these things, He went out with His disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, and He and His disciples went into it. 2 Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3 So Judas took a company of soldiers and some temple police from the chief priests and the Pharisees and came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
4 Then Jesus, knowing everything that was about to happen to Him, went out and said to them, “Who is it you’re looking for?”
5 “Jesus the Nazarene,” they answered.
“I am He,”[a] Jesus told them.
Judas, who betrayed Him, was also standing with them. 6 When He told them, “I am He,” they stepped back and fell to the ground.
7 Then He asked them again, “Who is it you’re looking for?”
“Jesus the Nazarene,” they said.
8 “I told you I am He,” Jesus replied. “So if you’re looking for Me, let these men go.” 9 This was to fulfill the words He had said: “I have not lost one of those You have given Me.”
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. (The slave’s name was Malchus.)
11 At that, Jesus said to Peter, “Sheathe your sword! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given Me?”
12 Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the Jewish temple police arrested Jesus and tied Him up. 13 First they led Him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was advantageous that one man should die for the people.
15 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was following Jesus, as was another disciple. That disciple was an acquaintance of the high priest; so he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. 16 But Peter remained standing outside by the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the girl who was the doorkeeper and brought Peter in.
17 Then the slave girl who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?”
“I am not!” he said. 18 Now the slaves and the temple police had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold. They were standing there warming themselves, and Peter was standing with them, warming himself.
19 The high priest questioned Jesus about His disciples and about His teaching.
20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus answered him. “I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple complex, where all the Jews congregate, and I haven’t spoken anything in secret. 21 Why do you question Me? Question those who heard what I told them. Look, they know what I said.”
22 When He had said these things, one of the temple police standing by slapped Jesus, saying, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
23 “If I have spoken wrongly,” Jesus answered him, “give evidence[b] about the wrong; but if rightly, why do you hit Me?”
24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
97 How I love Your instruction!
It is my meditation all day long.
98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are always with me.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers
because Your decrees are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the elders
because I obey Your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path
to follow Your word.
102 I have not turned from Your judgments,
for You Yourself have instructed me.
103 How sweet Your word is to my taste—
sweeter than honey in my mouth.
104 I gain understanding from Your precepts;
therefore I hate every false way.
105 Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light on my path.
106 I have solemnly sworn
to keep Your righteous judgments.
107 I am severely afflicted;
Lord, give me life through Your word.
108 Lord, please accept my willing offerings of praise,
and teach me Your judgments.
109 My life is constantly in danger,[a]
yet I do not forget Your instruction.
110 The wicked have set a trap for me,
but I have not wandered from Your precepts.
111 I have Your decrees as a heritage forever;
indeed, they are the joy of my heart.
112 I am resolved to obey Your statutes
to the very end.[b]
8 Better a little with righteousness
than great income with injustice.
9 A man’s heart plans his way,
but the Lord determines his steps.