1 Then David° Inumbered° the people° who° were with him and aset° over° them commanders° of thousands° and commanders° of hundreds°. 2 David° sent° the people° out, aone third° under the Icommand° of Joab°, one third° under the Icommand° of Abishai° the son° of Zeruiah°, Joab’s° brother°, and one third° under the Icommand° of bIttai° the Gittite°. And the king° said° to the people°, “I myself° will surely° go° out with you also°.” 3 But the people° said°, “aYou should not go° out; for if° we indeed° flee°, they will not care°° about° us; even if° half° of us die°, they will not care°° about° us. But Iyou are worth ten° thousand° of us; therefore now° it is better° that you [be ready] to help° us from the city°.” 4 Then the king° said° to them, “Whatever° seems° best° to you I will do°.” So athe king° stood° beside°° the gate°, and all° the people° went° out by hundreds° and thousands°. 5 The king° charged° Joab° and Abishai° and Ittai°, saying°, “[Deal] gently° for my sake with the young° man° Absalom°.” And aall° the people° heard° when the king° charged° all° the commanders° concerning°° Absalom°.
 ILit mustered aEx 18:25; Nu 31:14; 1S 22:7
 ILit hand aJg 7:16; 1S 11:11 b2S 15:19-22
 ISo with some ancient versions; M.T. for now there are ten thousand like us a2S 21:17
 a2S 18:24
 a2S 18:12
6 ¶ Then the people° went° out into the field° against° Israel°, and the battle° took° place° in athe forest° of Ephraim°. 7 The people° of Israel° were Idefeated° there° before° the servants° of David°, and the slaughter° there° that day° was great°, 20,000°° men. 8 For the battle° there° was spread° over°° the whole° countryside°, and the forest° devoured° more° people° that day° than°° the sword° devoured°.
9 ¶ Now Absalom° happened to meet° the servants° of David°. For Absalom° was riding° on [his] mule°, and the mule° went° under° the thick° branches° of a great° oak°. And ahis head° caught° fast° in the oak°, so he was Ileft° hanging° between° heaven° and earth°, while the mule° that was under° him kept going°. 10 When a certain° man° saw° [it], he told° Joab° and said°, “Behold°, I saw° Absalom° hanging° in an oak°.” 11 Then Joab° said° to the man° who had told° him, “Now behold°, you saw° [him]! Why° then did you not strike° him there° to the ground°? And I would have given° you ten° [pieces] of silver° and a belt°.” 12 The man° said° to Joab°, “Even if° I should receive° a thousand° [pieces of] silver° in my hand°, I would not put° out my hand° against° the king’s° son°; for ain our hearing° the king° charged° you and Abishai° and Ittai°, saying°, ‘IProtect° for me the young° man° Absalom°!’ 13 Otherwise°, if I had dealt° treacherously° against his life° (and athere is nothing°°° hidden° from the king°), then you yourself° would have stood° aloof°°.” 14 Then Joab° said°, “I will not Iwaste° time° here° with you.” aSo he took° three° spears° in his hand° and thrust° them through the heart° of Absalom° while he was yet° alive° in the IImidst° of the oak°. 15 And ten° young° men° who carried° Joab’s° armor° gathered° around° and struck° Absalom° and killed° him.
 ILit placed a2S 14:26
 ISo with some mss and the ancient versions; M.T. Take care whoever you are of a2S 18:5
 a2S 14:19, 20
 ILit tarry thus IILit heart a2S 14:30
16 ¶ Then aJoab° blew° the trumpet°, and the people° returned° from pursuing° Israel°, for Joab° restrained° the people°. 17 They took° Absalom° and cast° him into Ia deep° pit° in the forest° and aerected° over° him a very° great° heap° of stones°. And ball° Israel° fled°, each° to his tent°. 18 Now Absalom° in his lifetime° had taken° and aset° up for himself a pillar° which° is in bthe King’s° Valley°, for he said°, “cI have° no° son° Ito preserve° my name°.” So he named° the pillar° after° his own name°, and it is called° Absalom’s° Monument° to this° day°.
 a2S 2:28; 20:22
 ILit the great aDt 21:20, 21; Jsh 7:26; 8:29 b2S 19:8; 20:1, 22
 ILit for the sake of remembering a1S 15:12 bGn 14:17 c2S 14:27
David Is Grief-stricken
19 ¶ Then aAhimaaz° the son° of Zadok° said°, “Please° let me run° and bring° the king° news° bthat the LORD° has Ifreed° him from the hand° of his enemies°.” 20 But Joab° said° to him, “You are not the man° to carry° news° this° day°, but you shall carry° news° another° day°; however, you shall carry° no° news° today° because°° the king’s° son° is dead°.” 21 Then Joab° said° to the Cushite°, “Go°, tell° the king° what° you have seen°.” So the Cushite° bowed° to Joab° and ran°. 22 Now Ahimaaz° the son° of Zadok° said° once°° more°° to Joab°, “But whatever° happens°, please° let me also° run° after° the Cushite°.” And Joab° said°, “Why°° would you run°, my son°, since ayou will have° no° reward° for going°?” 23 “But whatever° happens°,” [he said], “I will run°.” So he said° to him, “Run°.” Then Ahimaaz° ran° by way° of the plain° and passed° up the Cushite°.
24 ¶ Now aDavid° was sitting° between° the two° gates°; and bthe watchman° went° up to the roof° of the gate° by the wall°, and raised° his eyes° and looked°, and behold°, a man° running° by himself°. 25 The watchman° called° and told° the king°. And the king° said°, “If° he is by himself° there is good news° in his mouth°.” And he came° nearer° and nearer°. 26 Then the watchman° saw° another° man° running°; and the watchman° called° to the gatekeeper° and said°, “Behold°, [another] man° running° by himself°.” And the king° said°, “This° one° also° is bringing° good news°.” 27 The watchman° said°, “I Ithink° the running° of the first° one° ais like the running° of Ahimaaz° the son° of Zadok°.” And the king° said°, “bThis° is a good° man° and comes° with good° news°.”
28 ¶ Ahimaaz° called° and said° to the king°, “IAll is well°.” And ahe prostrated° himself before the king° with his face° to the ground°. And he said°, “bBlessed° is the LORD° your God°, who° has delivered° up the men° who° lifted° their hands° against my lord° the king°.” 29 The king° said°, “aIs it well° with the young° man° Absalom°?” And Ahimaaz° answered°, “When Joab° sent° the king’s° servant°, and your servant°, I saw° a great° tumult°, but bI did not know° what° [it was].” 30 Then the king° said°, “Turn° aside° and stand° here°.” So he turned° aside° and stood° still°.
31 ¶ Behold°, the Cushite° arrived°, and the Cushite° said°, “Let my lord° the king° receive° good news°, for athe LORD° has Ifreed° you this day° from the hand° of all° those who rose° up against° you.” 32 Then the king° said° to the Cushite°, “aIs it well° with the young° man° Absalom°?” And the Cushite° answered°, “bLet the enemies° of my lord° the king°, and all° who° rise° up against° you for evil°, be as that young° man°!”
33 ¶ IThe king° was deeply° moved° and went° up to the chamber° over° the gate° and wept°. And thus° he said° as he walked°, “aO my son° Absalom°, my son°, my son° Absalom°! bWould°° I had died° instead° of you, O Absalom°, my son°, my son°!”
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David viewing the armies in their march giveth them charge of Absalom.
1 ¶ And Davidº numberedºª² the peopleº that² [were] with² him, and setºª captainsº of thousandsº and captainsº of hundredsº over² them. 2 And Davidº sent forthºª a third partº of² the peopleº under the handº of Joab,º and a third partº under the handº of Abishaiº the sonº of Zeruiah,º Joab'sº brother,º and a third partº under the handº of Ittaiº the Gittite.º And the kingº saidºª unto² the people,º I will surely¹ª go forthºª with² you myselfº also.² 3 But the peopleº answered,ºª Thou shalt not² go forth:ºª for² if² we flee¹ª away,ºª they will not² careººª for² us; neither² if² halfº of us die,ºª will they careººª for² us: but² now² [thou art] worthº tenº thousandº of us: therefore now² [it is] betterº that² thou succourºªªª us out of the city.º² 4 And the kingº saidºª unto² them, What² seemethº you bestºª I will do.ºª And the kingº stoodºª by² the gateº side,º and all² the peopleº came outºª by hundredsº and by thousands.º 5 And the kingº commandedºª² Joabº and Abishaiº and Ittai,º saying,ºª [Deal] gentlyº for my sake with the young man,º [even] with Absalom.º And all² the peopleº heardºª when the kingº gave² all² the captainsº chargeºª concerningº² Absalom.º
 Ex 17:9; Jsh 8:10; 1S 8:12.
 Jg 7:16, 19; 9:43; 2S 10:7; 15:19; 17:11; Ps 3:6; 27:1; 118:6.
 Ex 17:10; 2S 10:11; 17:2; 21:17; 1K 22:31; Lm 4:20; Zc 13:7.
 1S 29:2; 2S 18:1, 24; Is 28:6.
 Dt 21:18; 2S 16:11; 17:1, 14; 18:12; Ps 103:13; Lk 23:34.
The Israelites are sore smitten in the wood of Ephraim.
6 ¶ So the peopleº went outºª into the fieldº againstºª Israel:º and the battleº was² in the woodº of Ephraim;º 7 Where² the peopleº of Israelº were slainºª beforeº the servantsº of David,º and there was² there² a greatº slaughterº that² dayº of twentyº thousandº [men]. 8 For the battleº was² there² scatteredºª over² the faceº of all² the country:º and the woodº devouredºª moreºª peopleº that² dayº than the swordº devoured.ºª
 Jsh 17:15, 18; Jg 12:4.
 2S 2:17, 26, 31; 15:6; 19:41; 2Ch 13:16; 28:6; Pv 11:21; 24:21.
 Ex 15:10; Jsh 10:11; Jg 5:20; 1K 20:30; Ps 3:7; 43:1.
Absalom, hanging in an oak, is slain by Joab, and cast into a pit.
9 ¶ And Absalomº metºª the servantsº¹ of David.º And Absalomº rodeºª upon² a mule,º and the muleº wentºª under² the thick boughsº of a greatº oak,º and his headº caught holdºª of the oak,º and he was taken upºª between² the heavenº and the earth;º and the muleº that² [was] under² him went away.ºª 10 And a certainº manº sawºª [it], and toldºª Joab,º and said,ºª Behold,² I sawºª² Absalomº hangedºª in an oak.º 11 And Joabº saidºª unto the manº that toldºª him, And, behold,² thou sawestºª [him], and why² didst thou not² smiteºª him there² to the ground?º and I would have givenºª thee tenº [shekels] of silver,º and aº girdle.º 12 And the manº saidºª unto² Joab,º Thoughº I² should receiveºª a thousandº [shekels] of silverº in² mine hand,º [yet] would I not² put forthºª mine handº against² the king'sº son:º for² in our hearingº the kingº chargedºª thee and Abishaiº and Ittai,º saying,ºª Beware¹ª that none²² [touch] the young manº Absalom.º 13 Otherwiseº I should have wroughtºª falsehoodº against mine own life:º for there is no matterº²² hidºª from² the king,º and thou thyself² wouldest have set¹ª thyself² against²² [me]. 14 Then saidºª Joab,º I may not² tarryºª thus² with² thee.¹ And he tookºª threeº dartsº in his hand,º and thrustºª them through the heartº of Absalom,º while² he [was] yet aliveº in the midst² of the oak.º 15 And tenº young menº that bareºª Joab'sº armourº compassed aboutºª and smoteºª² Absalom,º and slewºª him. 16 And Joabº blewºª the trumpet,º and the peopleº returnedºª from pursuingºª² afterº Israel:º for² Joabº held backºª² the people.º 17 And they tookºª² Absalom,º and castºª him into² a greatº pitº in the wood,º and laidºª a veryº greatº heapº of stonesº upon² him: and all² Israelº fledºª every oneº to his tent.º
 Dt 21:23; 27:16, 20; 2S 14:26; 17:23; 18:14; Jb 18:8; 31:3; Ps 63:9; Pv 20:20; 30:17; Jr 48:44; Mt 27:5; Mk 7:10; Ga 3:13.
 2S 18:5.
 2S 1:15; 4:10; 14:19; He 4:13.
 Jg 4:21; 5:26, 31; 2S 18:5; Ps 45:5; Mt 12:40; 1Th 5:3.
 Nu 10:2; 2S 2:28; 20:22; 1Co 14:8.
 Jsh 7:26; 8:29; 10:27; Pv 10:7; Jr 22:18.
18 ¶ Now Absalomº in his lifetimeº had takenºª and reared upºª for himself² a pillar,º which² [is] in the king'sº dale:º for² he said,ºª I have no² sonº to² keep my name¹ in remembrance:ºª² and he calledºª the pillarº after² his own name:º and it is calledºª unto² this² day,º Absalom'sº place.º
Ahimaaz and Cushi bring tidings to David.
19 ¶ Then saidºª Ahimaazº the sonº of Zadok,º Let me now² run,ºª and bearºª² the kingº tidings,¹ª how that² the LORDº hath avengedºª him of his enemies.º¹ª 20 And Joabº saidºª unto him, Thou¹² shalt not² bear tidingsº² this² day,º but thou shalt bear tidingsºª anotherº day:º but this² dayº thou shalt bear no tidings,ºª² because²² the king'sº sonº is dead.ºª 21 Then saidºª Joabº to Cushi,º Go¹ª² tellºª the kingº what² thou hast seen.ºª And Cushiº bowed¹ª himself² unto Joab,º and ran.ºª 22 Then saidºª Ahimaazº the sonº of Zadokº yet² againºª to² Joab,º But howsoever,º² let me, I² pray² thee, also² runºª afterº Cushi.º And Joabº said,ºª Wherefore²² wilt thou² run,ºª my son,º seeing that thou hast no² tidingsº ready?ºª 23 But howsoever,²² [said he], let me run.ºª And he saidºª unto him, Run.ºª Then Ahimaazº ranºª by the wayº of the plain,º and overranºª² Cushi.º 24 And Davidº satºª between² the twoº gates:º and the watchmanºª went up¹ª² to² the roofº over the gateº unto² the wall,º and lifted upºª² his eyes,º and looked,ºª and behold² a manº runningºª alone.² 25 And the watchmanºª cried,ºª and toldºª the king.º And the kingº said,ºª If² he [be] alone,² [there is] tidingsº in his mouth.º And he came¹ª² apace,ºª and drew near.º 26 And the watchmanºª sawºª anotherº manº running:ºª and the watchmanºª calledºª unto² the porter,º and said,ºª Behold² [another] manº runningºª alone.² And the kingº said,ºª He² also² bringeth tidings.ºª 27 And the watchmanºª said,ºª Me² thinkethºª² the runningº of the foremostº is like the runningº of Ahimaazº the sonº of Zadok.º And the kingº said,ºª He² [is] a goodº man,º and comethºª with goodº tidings.º 28 And Ahimaazº called,ºª and saidºª unto² the king,º All is well.º And he fell down¹ª² to the earthº upon his faceº before the king,º and said,ºª Blessedºª [be] the LORDº thy God,º which² hath delivered upºª² the men¹² that² lifted upºª² their handº against my lordº the king.º 29 And the kingº said,ºª Is the young manº Absalomº safe?º And Ahimaazº answered,ºª When Joabº sentºª² the king'sº servant,º and [me] thy servant,º I sawºª a greatº tumult,º but I knewºª not² what² [it was]. 30 And the kingº saidºª [unto him], Turn aside,ºª [and] standºª here.º And he turned aside,ºª and stood still.ºª 31 And, behold,² Cushiº came;ºª and Cushiº said,ºª Tidings,ºª my lordº the king:º for² the LORDº hath avengedºª thee this dayº of²² all² them¹ that rose upºª against² thee. 32 And the kingº saidºª unto² Cushi,º Is the young manº Absalomº safe?º And Cushiº answered,ºª The enemiesºª of my lordº the king,º and all² that² riseºª against² thee to do [thee] hurt,º be² as [that] young manº [is].
 2S 15:36; 17:17; 18:23, 27; Ps 7:6, 8; 9:4, 16; 10:14, 18; Ro 12:19.
 2S 17:16; 18:5, 27, 29, 33.
 Ro 1:28; Ep 5:4.
 Jn 20:4.
 1S 4:13; 2S 18:4; 2K 9:17; Is 21:6, 11; Ezk 33:2.
 1K 1:42; 2K 9:20; Pv 25:13, 25; Is 52:7; Ro 10:15.
 Gn 14:20; 24:27; 1S 24:18; 26:8; 2S 1:2; 14:4; 22:27; 2Ch 20:26; Ps 31:8; 115:1; 124:6; 144:1; Rv 19:1.
 2S 18:19, 22.
 Dt 32:35; 2S 18:19, 28; 22:48; Ps 58:10; 94:1; 124:2; Lk 18:7.
 Jg 5:31; Ps 68:1; Dn 4:19.
David mourneth for Absalom.
33 ¶ And the kingº was much moved,ºª and went upºª to² the chamberº over the gate,º and wept:ºª and as he went,¹ª² thus² he said,ºª O my sonº Absalom,º my son,º my sonº Absalom!º would God²² I² had diedºª for² thee,¹ª O Absalom,º my son,º my son!º
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