NASB — 2 Samuel 18 — KJV

Absalom Slain

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.

[1] ILit mustered aEx 18:25; Nu 31:14; 1S 22:7
[2] ILit hand aJg 7:16; 1S 11:11 b2S 15:19-22
[3] ISo with some ancient versions; M.T. for now there are ten thousand like us a2S 21:17
[4] a2S 18:24
[5] 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.

[6] aJsh 17:15, 18; 2S 17:26
[7] ILit smitten

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.

[9] ILit placed a2S 14:26
[12] ISo with some mss and the ancient versions; M.T. Take care whoever you are of a2S 18:5
[13] a2S 14:19, 20
[14] 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.

[16] a2S 2:28; 20:22
[17] ILit the great aDt 21:20, 21; Jsh 7:26; 8:29 b2S 19:8; 20:1, 22
[18] 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.

[19] ILit vindicated a2S 15:36 b2S 18:31
[22] a2S 18:29

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.”

[24] a2S 19:8 b2S 13:34; 2K 9:17
[27] ILit see a2K 9:20 b1K 1:42

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.

[28] ILit Peace a1S 25:23; 2S 14:4 b1S 17:46
[29] a2S 20:9; 2K 4:26 b2S 18:22

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!”

[31] ILit vindicated aJg 5:31; 2S 18:19
[32] a2S 18:29 b1S 25:26

33IThe 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!”

[33] ICh 19:1 in Heb a2S 19:4 bEx 32:32; Ro 9:3


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David viewing the armies in their march giveth them charge of Absalom.

1 ¶ And David numbered the people that [were] with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2 And David sent forth a third part of the people under the 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, I will surely go forth with you myself also. 3 But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us die, will they care for us: but now [thou art] worth ten thousand of us: therefore now [it is] better that thou succour us out of the city. 4 And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, [Deal] 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.

[1] Ex 17:9; Jsh 8:10; 1S 8:12.
[2] Jg 7:16, 19; 9:43; 2S 10:7; 15:19; 17:11; Ps 3:6; 27:1; 118:6.
[3] Ex 17:10; 2S 10:11; 17:2; 21:17; 1K 22:31; Lm 4:20; Zc 13:7.
[4] 1S 29:2; 2S 18:1, 24; Is 28:6.
[5] 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 people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; 7 Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand [men]. 8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.

[6] Jsh 17:15, 18; Jg 12:4.
[7] 2S 2:17, 26, 31; 15:6; 19:41; 2Ch 13:16; 28:6; Pv 11:21; 24:21.
[8] 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 Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head 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. 10 And a certain man saw [it], and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. 11 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 girdle. 12 And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive 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 charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none [touch] the young man Absalom. 13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against [me]. 14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he [was] yet alive in the midst of the oak. 15 And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. 16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people. 17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and all Israel fled every one to his tent.

[9] 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.
[12] 2S 18:5.
[13] 2S 1:15; 4:10; 14:19; He 4:13.
[14] Jg 4:21; 5:26, 31; 2S 18:5; Ps 45:5; Mt 12:40; 1Th 5:3.
[16] Nu 10:2; 2S 2:28; 20:22; 1Co 14:8.
[17] Jsh 7:26; 8:29; 10:27; Pv 10:7; Jr 22:18.

Absalom's place.

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

[18] Gn 11:4, 9; 14:17; 1S 15:12; 2S 14:27; Jb 18:16; Ps 49:11; 109:13; Jr 22:30; Dn 4:30; Ac 1:18.

Ahimaaz and Cushi bring tidings to David.

19 ¶ Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies. 20 And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear 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. 21 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran. 22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? 23 But howsoever, [said he], let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi. 24 And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone. 25 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. 26 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. 27 And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He [is] a good man, and cometh with good tidings. 28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed [be] the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king. 29 And the king said, Is 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]. 30 And the king said [unto him], Turn aside, [and] stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still. 31 And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. 32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do [thee] hurt, be as [that] young man [is].

[19] 2S 15:36; 17:17; 18:23, 27; Ps 7:6, 8; 9:4, 16; 10:14, 18; Ro 12:19.
[20] 2S 17:16; 18:5, 27, 29, 33.
[22] Ro 1:28; Ep 5:4.
[23] Jn 20:4.
[24] 1S 4:13; 2S 18:4; 2K 9:17; Is 21:6, 11; Ezk 33:2.
[27] 1K 1:42; 2K 9:20; Pv 25:13, 25; Is 52:7; Ro 10:15.
[28] 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.
[29] 2S 18:19, 22.
[31] Dt 32:35; 2S 18:19, 28; 22:48; Ps 58:10; 94:1; 124:2; Lk 18:7.
[32] Jg 5:31; Ps 68:1; Dn 4:19.

David mourneth for Absalom.

33 ¶ 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! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

[33] 2S 12:10; 19:4; Ps 103:13; Pv 10:1; 17:25; Jm 5:17.


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