2 Samuel 18 ©
David, having mustered his troops under three principal leaders, giveth them a strict charge not to hurt Absalom. The men of Israel are smitten in the wood of Ephraim. Absalom hanging by the hair of his head in an oak is slain by Joab, and cast into a pit. Absalom's place. Ahimaaz and Cushi carry tidings to David, who mourneth for Absalom.
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 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.
And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
¶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.
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 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 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 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 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.