The Woman of Tekoa
1 Now Joab° the son° of Zeruiah° perceived° that athe king’s° heart° [was inclined] toward° Absalom°. 2 So Joab° sent° to aTekoa° and Ibrought° a wise° woman° from there° and said° to her, “Please° pretend° to be a mourner°, and put° on mourning° garments° now°, and do not banoint° yourself with oil°, but be like a woman° who has been mourning° for the dead° many° days°; 3 then go° to the king° and speak° to him in this° manner°.” So Joab° put° athe words° in her mouth°.
4 ¶ Now when the woman° of Tekoa° Ispoke° to the king°, she fell° on her face° to the ground° and aprostrated° herself and said°, “bHelp°, O king°.” 5 The king° said° to her, “What° is your trouble?” And she Ianswered°, “Truly° I am a widow°, for my husband° is dead°. 6 Your maidservant° had two° sons°, but the two° of them struggled° together° in the field°, and there° was no° Ione° to separate° them, so one° struck° the other° and killed° him. 7 Now behold°, athe whole° family° has risen° against° your maidservant°, and they say°, ‘Hand° over° the one who struck° his brother°, that we may put° him to death° for the life° of his brother° whom° he killed°, band destroy° the heir° also°.’ Thus they will extinguish° my coal° which° is left°, so as to Ileave° my husband° neither° name° nor° remnant° on the face° of the earth°.”
 IMany mss and ancient versions read came a1S 25:23 b2K 6:26-28
 ILit said
 ILit deliverer between
 ILit set aNu 35:19; Dt 19:12, 13 bMt 21:38
8 ¶ Then the king° said° to the woman°, “Go° to your house°, and I will give° orders° concerning° you.” 9 The woman° of Tekoa° said° to the king°, “O my lord°, the king°, athe iniquity° is on me and my father’s° house°, but bthe king° and his throne° are guiltless°.” 10 So the king° said°, “Whoever speaks° to you, bring° him to me, and he will not touch° you anymore°°.” 11 Then she said°, “Please° let the king° remember° the LORD° your God°, a[so that] the avenger° of blood° will not continue° to destroy°, otherwise° they will destroy° my son°.” And he said°, “bAs the LORD° lives°, not one hair° of your son° shall fall° to the ground°.”
12 ¶ Then the woman° said°, “Please° let your maidservant° speak° a word° to my lord° the king°.” And he said°, “Speak°.” 13 The woman° said°, “aWhy° then have you planned° such° a thing° against° the people° of God°? For in speaking° this° word° the king° is as one° who° is guilty°, [in that] the king° does not bring° back° bhis banished° one°. 14 For awe will surely° die° and are blike water° spilled° on the ground° which° cannot° be gathered° up again. Yet God° does not take° away life°, but plans° Iways° so that cthe banished° one° will not be cast° out from him. 15 Now° Ithe reason° I have come° to speak° this° word° to my lord° the king° is that the people° have made° me afraid°; so your maidservant° said°, ‘Let me now° speak° to the king°, perhaps° the king° will perform° the IIrequest° of his maidservant°. 16 For the king° will hear° Iand deliver° his maidservant° from the IIhand° of the man° who would destroy° IIIboth° me and my son° from athe inheritance° of God°.’ 17 Then your maidservant° said°, ‘Please° let the word° of my lord° the king° be Icomforting°, for as athe angel° of God°, so° is my lord° the king° to discern° good° and evil°. And may the LORD° your God° be with you.’”
 a2S 12:7; 1K 20:40-42 b2S 13:37, 38
 ILit devices aJb 30:23; 34:15; He 9:27 bPs 58:7 cNu 35:15, 25, 28
 ILit that IILit word
 ILit to IILit palm IIILit together aDt 32:9; 1S 26:19
 ILit for rest a1S 29:9; 2S 14:20; 19:27
18 ¶ Then the king° answered° and said° to the woman°, “Please° do not hide° anything° from me that I am about to ask° you.” And the woman° said°, “Let my lord° the king° please° speak°.” 19 So the king° said°, “Is the hand° of Joab° with you in all° this°?” And the woman° replied°, “As your soul° lives°, my lord° the king°, no° one can turn° to the right° or to the left° from anything° that my lord° the king° has spoken°. Indeed°, it was ayour servant° Joab° who° commanded° me, and it was he who put° all° these° words° in the mouth° of your maidservant°; 20 in order° to change° the appearance° of things° your servant° Joab° has done° this° thing°. But my lord° is wise°, alike the wisdom° of the angel° of God°, to know° all° that is in the earth°.”
Absalom Is Recalled
21 ¶ Then the king° said° to Joab°, “Behold° now°, aI will surely do° this° thing°; go° therefore, bring° back° the young° man° Absalom°.” 22 Joab° fell° on his face° to the ground°, prostrated° himself and blessed° the king°; then Joab° said°, “Today° your servant° knows° that I have found° favor° in your sight°, O my lord°, the king°, in that the king° has performed° the Irequest° of his servant°.” 23 So Joab° arose° and went° to aGeshur° and brought° Absalom° to Jerusalem°. 24 However the king° said°, “Let him turn° to ahis own house°, and let him not see° my face°.” So Absalom° turned° to his own house° and did not see° the king’s° face°.
25 ¶ Now in all° Israel° was no° one° as handsome° as Absalom°, so highly° praised°; afrom the sole° of his foot° to the crown° of his head° there was no° defect° in him. 26 When he acut° the hair of his head° (and it was at the end° of every year° that he cut° [it], for it was heavy° on him so he cut° it), he weighed° the hair° of his head° at 200° shekels° by the king’s° weight°. 27 aTo Absalom° there were born° three° sons°, and one° daughter° whose name° was bTamar°; she was a woman° of beautiful° appearance°.
28 ¶ Now Absalom° lived° two full° years° in Jerusalem°, aand 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. So he sent° again° a second° time°, but he would° not come°. 30 Therefore he said° to his servants°, “See°, aJoab’s° Ifield° is next° to mine, and he has barley° there°; go° and set° it on fire°.” So Absalom’s° servants° set° the Ifield° on fire°. 31 Then Joab° arose°, came° to Absalom° at his house° and said° to him, “Why° have your servants° set° my Ifield° on fire°?” 32 Absalom° Ianswered° Joab°, “Behold°, I sent° for 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 still° to be there°.”’ Now° therefore, let me see° the king’s° face°, aand if° there° is iniquity° in me, let him put° me to death°.” 33 So when Joab° came° to the king° and told° him, he called° for Absalom°. Thus he came° to the king° and prostrated° himself on his face° to the ground° before° the king°, and athe king° kissed° Absalom°.
 a2S 14:24
 ILit portion aJg 15:3-5
 ILit portion
 ILit said to a1S 20:8; Pv 28:13
 aGn 33:4; Lk 15:20
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Joab, suborning a widow of Tekoah, by a parable to incline the king's heart to fetch home Absalom, bringeth him to Jerusalem.
1 ¶ Now Joabº the sonº of Zeruiahº perceivedºª that² the king'sº heartº [was] toward² Absalom.º 2 And Joabº sentºª to Tekoah,º and fetchedºª thence²² a wiseº woman,º and saidºª unto² her, I pray thee,² feign thyself to be a mourner,ºª and put onºª now² mourningº apparel,º and anointºª not² thyself with oil,º but be² as a womanº that² had a longº timeº mournedºª for² the dead:ºª 3 And comeºª to² the king,º and speakºª on² this² mannerº unto² him. So Joabº putºª² the wordsº in her mouth.º
 2S 2:18; 13:39; 18:33; 19:2, 4; 1Ch 2:16; Pv 29:26.
 Ru 3:3; 2S 11:26; 2Ch 11:6; 20:20; Ne 3:5, 27; Ps 104:15; Ec 9:8; Jr 6:1; Am 1:1; Mt 6:17.
 Ex 4:15; Nu 23:5; Dt 18:18; 2S 14:19; Is 51:16; 59:21; Jr 1:9.
4 ¶ And when the womanº of Tekoahº spakeºª to² the king,º she fellºª on² her faceº to the ground,º and did obeisance,ºª and said,ºª Help,ºª O king.º 5 And the kingº saidºª unto her, What² aileth thee? And she answered,ºª I² [am] indeedº a widowº woman,º and mine husbandº is dead.ºª 6 And thy handmaidº had twoº sons,º and they twoº strove togetherºª in the field,º and [there was] none² to partºª² them, but the oneº smoteºª² the other,º and slewºª him. 7 And, behold,² the whole² familyº is risenºª against² thine handmaid,º and they said,ºª Deliverºª² him that smoteºª his brother,º that we may killºª him, for the lifeº of his brotherº whom² he slew;ºª and we will destroyºª² the heirºª also:² and so they shall quenchºª² my coalº which² is left,¹ª² and shall not² leaveºª to my husbandº [neither] nameº nor remainderº uponº² the earth.º 8 And the kingº saidºª unto² the woman,º Go¹ª² to thine house,º and I² will give chargeºª concerning² thee. 9 And the womanº of Tekoahº saidºª unto² the king,º My lord,º O king,º the iniquityº [be] on² me, and on² my father'sº house:º and the kingº and his throneº [be] guiltless.º 10 And the kingº said,ºª Whosoever saithºª [ought] unto² thee, bringºª him to² me, and he shall not² touchºª thee any² more.¹ª² 11 Then saidºª she, I pray thee,² let the kingº rememberºª² the LORDº thy God,º that thou wouldest not² suffer the revengersºª of bloodº to destroyºª any more,ºª lest they destroyºª² my son.º And he said,ºª [As] the LORDº liveth,º there shall not² one hairº² of thy sonº fallºª to the earth.º 12 Then the womanº said,ºª Let thine handmaid,º I pray thee,² speakºª [one] wordº unto² my lordº the king.º And he said,ºª Say on.ºª 13 And the womanº said,ºª Wherefore² then hast thou thoughtºª such² a thing against² the peopleº of God?º for the kingº doth speakºª² this² thingº as one which is faulty,º in that the kingº doth not² fetch home againºª² his banished.ºª 14 For² we must needs¹ª die,ºª and [are] as waterº spiltºª on the ground,º which² cannot² be gathered up² again;¹ª neither² doth Godº respectºª [any] person:º yet doth he deviseºª means,º that his banishedºª be not expelledºª from² him. 15 Now² therefore that² I am comeºª to speakºª of² this² thingº unto² my lordº the king,º [it is] because² the peopleº have made me afraid:ºª and thy handmaidº said,ºª I will now² speakºª unto² the king;º it may be² that the kingº will performºª² the requestº of his handmaid.º 16 For² the kingº will hear,ºª to deliverºª² his handmaidº out of the handº² of the manº [that would] destroyºª me and my sonº togetherº out of the inheritanceº² of God.º 17 Then thine handmaidº said,ºª The wordº of my lordº the kingº shall now² be² comfortable:º for² as an angelº of God,º so² [is] my lordº the kingº to discernºª goodº and bad:º therefore the LORDº thy Godº will be² with² thee. 18 Then the kingº answeredºª and saidºª unto² the woman,º Hideºª not² from² me, I pray thee,² the thingº that² I² shall askºª thee. And the womanº said,ºª Let my lordº the kingº now² speak.ºª 19 And the kingº said,ºª [Is not] the handº of Joabº with² thee in all² this?² And the womanº answeredºª and said,ºª [As] thy soulº liveth,º my lordº the king,º none¹ can¹ turn²² to the right² hand¹ª or to the leftºª from ought²² that² my lordº the kingº hath spoken:ºª for² thy servantº Joab,º he² badeºª me, and he² putºª² all² these² wordsº in the mouthº of thine handmaid:º 20 Toº fetch aboutºª² this formº of speechº hath thy servantº Joabº doneºª² this² thing:º and my lordº [is] wise,º according to the wisdomº of an angelº of God,º to knowºª² all² [things] that² [are] in the earth.º
 1S 20:41; 25:23; 2S 1:2; 2K 6:26; Jb 29:12; Lk 18:3.
 Jg 9:8; 2S 12:1.
 Gn 4:8; Ex 2:13; Dt 22:26.
 Gn 4:14; 27:45; Nu 35:19; Dt 19:12; 25:6; 2S 12:17.
 2S 12:5; 16:4; Jb 29:16; Pv 18:13; Is 11:3.
 Gn 27:13; Nu 35:33; Dt 21:1; 1S 25:24; 2S 3:28; 1K 2:33; Mt 27:25.
 Gn 14:22; 24:2; 31:50; Nu 35:19, 27; Dt 19:4; Jsh 20:3; 1S 14:45; 20:42; 28:10; 1K 1:52; Jr 4:2; Mt 10:30; Ac 27:34.
 Gn 18:27, 32; 44:18; 1S 25:24; Jr 12:1; Ac 26:1.
 Jg 20:2; 2S 7:8; 12:7; 13:37; 1K 20:40; Lk 7:42.
 Ex 21:13; Lv 26:40; Nu 35:15, 25, 28; Dt 10:17; 2S 11:25; Jb 14:7, 14; 30:23; 34:15, 19; Ps 22:14; 79:3; 90:3, 10; Ec 3:19; 9:5; Is 50:1; Mt 22:16; Ac 10:34; Ro 2:11; He 9:27; 1P 1:17.
 1S 29:9; 2S 14:20; 19:27; 1K 3:9, 28; Jb 6:30; Pv 27:21; 29:5; 1Co 2:14; He 5:14.
 1S 3:17; Jr 38:14, 25.
 Ex 4:15; Nu 20:17; Dt 5:32; 28:14; Jsh 1:7; 1S 1:26; 17:55; 20:3; 25:26; 2S 3:27, 29, 34; 11:11, 14; 14:3; 1K 2:5; 2K 2:2; Pv 4:27; Lk 21:15.
 Gn 3:5; 2S 5:23; 14:17; 19:27; Jb 32:21; 38:16; Pv 26:28; 29:5; 1Co 8:1.
21 ¶ And the kingº saidºª unto² Joab,º Behold² now,² I have doneºª² this² thing:º go¹ª² therefore, bringºª² the young manº Absalomº again.¹ª 22 And Joabº fellºª to the groundº on² his face,º and bowed¹ª himself,² and thankedºª² the king:º and Joabº said,ºª To dayº thy servantº knowethºª that² I have foundºª graceº in thy sight,º my lord,º O king,º in that² the kingº hath fulfilledºª² the requestº of his servant.º 23 So Joabº aroseºª and went¹ª² to Geshur,º and broughtºª² Absalomº to Jerusalem.º 24 And the kingº said,ºª Let him turnºª to² his own house,º and let him not² seeºª my face.º So Absalomº returnedºª to² his own house,º and sawºª not² the king'sº face.º
 1S 14:39; 2S 14:11; Mk 6:26.
 Gn 6:8; Ex 33:16; Ru 2:2; 1S 20:3; 2S 19:39; Ne 11:2; Jb 29:11; 31:20; Pv 31:28.
 2S 3:3; 13:37.
 Gn 43:3; Ex 10:28; 2S 3:13; 14:28; Rv 22:4.
Absalom's beauty, hair, and children.
25 ¶ But in all² Israelº there was² noneº² to be so muchº praisedºª as Absalomº for his beauty:º from the soleº² of his footº even to² the crown of his headº there was² no² blemishº in him. 26 And when he polledºª² his head,º (for it was² at every year'sº endºº² that² he polledºª [it]: because² [the hair] was heavyºª on² him, therefore he polledºª it:) he weighedºª² the hairº of his headº at two hundredº shekelsº after the king'sº weight.º 27 And unto Absalomº there were bornºª threeº sons,º and oneº daughter,º whose nameº [was] Tamar:º she² was² a womanº of a fairº countenance.º
 Dt 28:35; 1S 9:2; 16:7; Jb 2:7; Pv 31:30; Is 1:6; Mt 23:27; Ep 5:27.
 Gn 23:16; Lv 19:36; 2S 18:9; Is 3:24; Ezk 45:9; 1Co 11:14.
 2S 13:1; 18:18; Jb 18:16; Is 14:22; Jr 22:30.
After two years, Absalom by Joab is brought before the king's presence.
28 ¶ So Absalomº dweltºª two full¹ yearsº² in Jerusalem,º and sawºª not² the king'sº face.º 29 Therefore Absalomº sentºª for² Joab,º to have sentºª him to² the king;º but he wouldºª not² comeºª to² him: and when he sent² again¹ª² the second time,º he wouldºª not² come.ºª 30 Therefore he saidºª unto² his servants,º See,ºª Joab'sº fieldº is nearº mine,º and he hath barleyº there;² go¹ª² and setºª it on fire.º And Absalom'sº servantsº setºª² the fieldº on fire.º 31 Then Joabº arose,ºª and cameºª to² Absalomº unto [his] house,º and saidºª unto² him, Wherefore² have thy servantsº setºª² my fieldº on fire?º 32 And Absalomº answeredºª² Joab,º Behold,² I sentºª unto² thee, saying,ºª Comeºª hither,² that I may sendºª thee to² the king,º to say,ºª Wherefore² am I² comeºª from Geshur?º² [it had been] goodº for me [to have been] there² still:² now² therefore let me seeºª the king'sº face;º and if² there beº [any] iniquityº in me, let him killºª me. 33 So Joabº cameºª to² the king,º and toldºª him: and when he had calledºª for² Absalom,º he cameºª to² the king,º and bowedºª himself on² his faceº to the groundº beforeº the king:º and the kingº kissedºª Absalom.º
 2S 14:24.
 2S 14:30; Es 1:12; Mt 22:3.
 Jg 15:4; 2S 13:28; 1K 21:9; 2K 9:33; 10:6.
 Gn 3:12; Ex 14:12; 16:3; 17:3; 1S 15:13; Ps 36:2; Pv 28:13; Jr 2:22; 8:12; Mt 25:44; Ro 3:19.
 Gn 27:26; 33:4; 45:15; Lk 15:20.
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