And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 And Amnon was so vexed that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and it seemed hard to Amnon to do any thing to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtle man. 4 And he said to him, Why, O son of the king, are you thus lean from day to day? Will you not tell me? And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister. 5 And Jonadab said to him, Lay down on your bed, and feign yourself sick: and when your father comes to see you, say to him, Let my sister Tamar come, I pray you, and give me bread to eat, and dress the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand. 6 So Amnon lay down, and feigned himself sick: and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, Let my sister Tamar come, I pray you, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.
7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him. 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was lying down. And she took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 And she took the pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Send out all men from me. And they went out every man from him. 10 And Amnon said to Tamar, Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11 And when she had brought them near to him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, Come, lie with me, my sister. 12 And she answered him, No, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not do this folly. 13 And I, where shall I carry my shame? And as for you, you will be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you. 14 However he would not listen to her voice; but being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her.
15 Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, Arise, be gone. 16 And she said to him, Not so, because this great wrong in putting me forth is worse than the other that you did to me. But he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his servant that ministered to him, and said, Now put this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her. 18 And she had a garment of diverse colors upon her; for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins clothed. Then his servant brought her out and bolted the door after her. 19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of diverse colors that was on her; and she laid her hand on her head, and went her way, crying aloud as she went.
20 And Absalom her brother said to her, Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister: he is your brother; do not take this thing to heart. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 But when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 And Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
23 And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, your servant has sheep-shearers; let the king, I pray you, and his servants go with your servant. 25 And the king said to Absalom, No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you. And he pressed him: however he would not go, but blessed him. 26 Then Absalom said, If not, I pray you, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said to him, Why should he go with you? 27 But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28 And Absalom commanded his servants, saying, Mark you now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine; and when I say to you, Strike Amnon, then kill him; fear not; have I not commanded you? Be courageous, and be valiant. 29 And the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man got up on his mule, and fled.
30 And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that the tidings came to David, saying, Absalom has killed all the king’s sons, and there is not one left. 31 Then the king arose, and rent his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. 32 And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered and said, Let not my sovereign suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore let not my sovereign the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead; for only Amnon is dead.
34 But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came many people by the way of the hill-side behind him. 35 And Jonadab said to the king, Behold, the king’s sons have come: as your servant said, so it is. 36 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice, and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept with a very great weeping.
37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 And the soul of king David longed to go forth to Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.
Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was toward Absalom. 2 And Joab sent to Tekoa, and brought from there a wise woman, and said to her, I pray you, pretend yourself to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel, I pray you, and do not anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman that has a long time mourned for the dead: 3 and go in to the king, and speak on this manner to him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
4 And when the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king. 5 And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, Of a truth I am a widow, and my husband is dead. 6 And your handmaid had two sons. and they two fought together in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed him. 7 And, behold, the whole family has risen against your handmaid, and they say, Deliver him that struck his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he killed, and so destroy the heir also: thus will they quench my coal which is left, and will leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the face of the earth.
8 And the king said to the woman, Go to your house, and I will give charge concerning you. 9 And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, My sovereign, O king, let the iniquity be on me, and on my father’s house; and let the king and his throne be guiltless. 10 And the king said, Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you any more. 11 Then she said, I pray you, let the king remember Yahweh your Elohim, that the avenger of blood does not destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As Yahweh lives, there shall not one hair of your son fall to the earth.
12 Then the woman said, Let your handmaid, I pray you, speak a word to my sovereign the king. And he said, Say on. 13 And the woman said, Why then have you devised such a thing against the people of Elohim? For in speaking this word the king is as one that is guilty, in that the king does not bring home again his banished one. 14 For we must die, and are as water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither does Elohim take away life, but has devised plans, so that he that is banished is not an outcast from him. 15 Now therefore seeing that I have come to speak this word to my sovereign the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and your handmaid said, I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant. 16 For the king will hear, to deliver his servant out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of Elohim. 17 Then your handmaid said, Let, I pray you, the word of my sovereign the king be comforting; for as an angel of Elohim, so is my sovereign the king to discern good and bad: and may Yahweh your Elohim be with you.
18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, Do not hide from me, I pray you, anything that I shall ask you. And the woman said, Let my sovereign the king now speak. 19 And the king said, Is the hand of Joab with you in all this? And the woman answered and said, As your soul lives, my sovereign the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my sovereign the king has spoken; for your servant Joab, he commanded me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your handmaid; 20 to change the face of the matter has your servant Joab done this thing: and my king is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of Elohim, to know all things that are in the earth.
21 And the king said to Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom back. 22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and did obeisance, and blessed the king; and Joab said, Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my sovereign, O king, in that the king has performed the request of his servant. 23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, but do not let him see my face. So Absalom turned to his own house, and did not see the king’s face.
25 Now in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 26 And when he cut the hair of his head, (now it was at every year’s end that he cut it; because it was heavy on him, therefore he cut it;) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the king’s weight. 27 And to Absalom, there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a beautiful appearance.
28 And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem; and he did not see the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king; but he would not come to him: and he sent again a second time, but he would not come. 30 Therefore he said to his servants, See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to his house, and said to him, Why have your servants set my field on fire? 32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent to you, saying, Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say, Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still: now therefore let me see the king’s face; and if there is iniquity in me, let him kill me. 33 So Joab came to the king, and told him; and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.
And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that, when any man had a suit which should come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him, and said, Of what city are you? And he said, Your servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. 3 And Absalom said to him, See, your matters are good and right; but there is no representative of the king to hear you. 4 Absalom said moreover, If only I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice! 5 And it was so, that, when any man came near to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took hold of him and kissed him. 6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And it came to pass at the end of forty years, that Absalom said to the king, I pray you, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to Yahweh, in Hebron. 8 For your servant vowed a vow while I remained at Geshur in Syria, saying, If Yahweh shall indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve Yahweh. 9 And the king said to him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, Absalom is king in Hebron. 11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were invited, and went in their simplicity; and they knew not anything. 12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.
13 And a messenger came to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. 14 And David said to all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; else none of us shall escape from Absalom: make speed to depart lest he overtakes us quickly, and brings down evil upon us, and strikes the city with the edge of the sword. 15 And the king’s servants said to the king, Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my sovereign the king shall choose. 16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, that were concubines, to keep the house. 17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him; and they stayed in Beth-merhak. 18 And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men that came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.
19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Why do you also go with us? Return, and remain with the king: for you are a foreigner, and also an exile; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, should I this day make you go up and down with us, seeing I go where I may? Return and take back your brethren; may mercy and truth be with you. 21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As Yahweh lives, and as my sovereign the king lives, surely in what place my sovereign the king shall be, whether for death or for life, even there also will your servant be. 22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him. 23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.
24 And, lo, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of Elohim; and they set down the ark of Elohim; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had finished passing out of the city. 25 And the king said to Zadok, Carry back the ark of Elohim into the city: if I shall find favor in the eyes of Yahweh, he will bring me again, and show me both it, and his habitation: 26 but if he says thus, I have no delight in you; behold, here I am, let him do to me as seems good to him. 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, Are you not a seer? Return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at the forks of the wilderness, until there comes word from you to certify me. 29 Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of Elohim again to Jerusalem: and they remained there.
30 And David went up by the ascent of the mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot: and all the people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. 31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O Yahweh, I pray you, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. 32 And it came to pass, that, when David had come to the top of the ascent, where Elohim was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent, and earth upon his head. 33 And David said to him, If you pass on with me, then you will be a burden to me: 34 but if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so will I now be your servant; then will you defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 And have you not there with you Zadok and Abiathar the priests? Therefore it shall be, that whatever thing you shall hear out of the kings house, you shall tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold, they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send to me every thing that you shall hear. 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city; and Absalom came into Jerusalem.
And when David was a little past the top of the ascent, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and a hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, What do you mean by these? And Ziba said, The asses are for the king’s household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as are exhausted in the wilderness may drink. 3 And the king said, And where is your master’s son? And Ziba said to the king, Behold, he remained at Jerusalem; for he said, Today will the house of Israel restore to me the kingdom of my father. 4 Then the king said to Ziba, Behold, yours is all that pertains to Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I do obeisance; let me find favor in your sight, my sovereign, O king.
5 And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, there came out from there a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came out and cursed still as he came. 6 And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Begone, begone, you man of blood, and base fellow: 8 Yahweh has returned upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and Yahweh has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son; and, behold, you are taken in your own mischief, because you are a man of blood.
9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my sovereign the king? Let me go over, I pray you, and take off his head. 10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Because he curses, and because Yahweh has said to him, Curse David; who then shall say, Why have you done so? 11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, who came forth from my bowels, seeks my life: how much more may this Benjamite now do it? Let him alone, and let him curse; for Yahweh has spoken to him. 12 It may be that Yahweh will look on the wrong done to me, and that Yahweh will return good to me for his cursing of me this day. 13 So David and his men went by the way; and Shimei went along on the hillside over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust. 14 And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary; and he refreshed himself there.
15 And Absalom, and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, had come to Absalom, that Hushai said to Absalom, Long live the king Long live the king. 17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this your kindness to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend? 18 And Hushai said to Absalom, No; but whom Yahweh, and his people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I will be, and with him will I remain. 19 And again, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so will I be in your presence.
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, Give your counsel what we shall do. 21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in to your father’s concubines, that he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you are abhorred of your father: then will the hands of all that are with you be strong. 22 So they spread for Absalom a tent on the top of the house; and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man inquired at the oracle of Elohim: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.