2 Samuel

2 Samuel 18 ©

1 David, having mustered his troops under three principal leaders, giveth them a strict charge not to hurt Absalom. 6 The men of Israel are smitten in the wood of Ephraim. 9 Absalom hanging by the hair of his head in an oak is slain by Joab, and cast into a pit. 18 Absalom's place. 19 Ahimaaz and Cushi carry tidings to David, 33 who mourneth for Absalom.


AND David anumbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.


And David sent forth ba third part of the people under cthe hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, dI will surely go forth with you myself also.


But the people answered, eThou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not 1care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now thou art 2worth ten thousand of us: therefore now it is better that fthou 3succour us out of the city.


And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king gstood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.


And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, hDeal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.


¶So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the iwood of Ephraim;


Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a jgreat slaughter that day of twenty thousand men.


For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and kthe wood 4devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.


¶And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great loak, and his mhead caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.


And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.


And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a ngirdle.


And the man said unto Joab, Though I should 5receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the king ocharged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, 6Beware that none touch the young man Absalom.

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Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood pagainst mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thy-self wouldest have set thyself against me.


Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus 7with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and qthrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the 8midst of the oak.


And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.


And Joab rblew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.


And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and slaid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel tfled every one to his tent.


¶Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself ua pillar, vwhich is in the king's dale: for he said, wI have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he xcalled the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom's place.


¶Then said yAhimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath 9avenged him of his enemies.


And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not 10bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead.


Then said Joab to zCushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.


Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But 11howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings 12ready?


But howsoever, said he, let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of athe plain, and *overran Cushi.


And David sat bbetween the two gates: and cthe watchman went up to the droof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.


And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near.


And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings.


And the watchman said, 13Me thinketh the running of the foremost is elike the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, fHe is a good man, and cometh with good tidings.


And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, 14All is well. And he gfell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath 15delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king.


And the king said, 16Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was.


And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.


And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, 17Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath havenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee.


And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, iThe enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.


¶And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! jwould God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!