2 Samuel 14:1-15:22
Absalom is restored
14 Now Joab, Zeruiah’s son, could see that the king’s mind was on Absalom. 2 So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and brought a wise woman from there. He said to her, “Pretend to be in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes. Don’t anoint yourself with oil. Act like a woman who has spent a long time mourning over someone who has died. 3 Go to the king and speak to him as follows.” Then Joab told her what to say.
4 When the woman from Tekoa came to the king, she fell facedown, bowing low out of respect. “King, help me!” she said.
5 “What is wrong?” the king asked her.
“It’s terrible!” she said. “I am a widow; my husband is dead. 6 Your servant had two sons, but the two of them fought in the field. No one could separate them, and one struck the other and killed him. 7 Now the entire clan has turned against your servant. They say, ‘Hand over the one who killed his brother so we can execute him for murdering his brother, even though we would destroy the heir as well.’ So they would snuff out the one ember I have left, leaving my husband without name or descendant on the earth.”
8 The king said to the woman, “Return home, and I will issue an order in your behalf.”
9 The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My master and king, let the guilt be on me and on my father’s household. The king and his throne are innocent.”
10 “If anyone speaks against you, bring him to me, and he will never trouble you again,” the king replied.
11 She said, “Please let the king remember the Lord your God so that the one seeking revenge doesn’t add to the destruction and doesn’t kill my son.”
“As surely as the Lord lives,” David said, “not one of your son’s hairs will fall to the ground.”
12 Then the woman said, “May your female servant say something to my master the king?”
“Speak!” he said.
13 The woman said, “Why have you planned the very same thing against God’s people? In giving this order, the king has become guilty because the king hasn’t restored his own banished son. 14 We all have to die—we’re like water spilled out on the ground that can’t be gathered up again. But God doesn’t take life away; instead, he makes plans so those banished from him don’t stay that way.[a]
15 [b]“I have come to my master the king to talk about this because people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, I must speak with the king. Maybe the king will act on the request of his servant, 16 because the king will agree to deliver his servant from the power of anyone who would destroy both me and my son from the inheritance God gave. 17 Your servant thought, The word of my master the king will definitely comfort me, because my master the king is like one of God’s messengers, understanding good and evil. May the Lord your God be with you!”
18 [c] The king answered the woman, “I must ask you something—don’t hide anything from me!”
The woman said, “Please, my master and king, speak.”
19 So the king said, “Has Joab put you up to this?”
The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my master and king, no one can deviate a bit from whatever my master and king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who directed me, and it was Joab who told your female servant to say all these things. 20 Your servant Joab did this to change the way things look.[d] But my master’s wisdom is like the wisdom of one of God’s own messengers—he knows everything that takes place in the land.”
21 So the king said to Joab, “All right then. I will do it. Go and bring back my boy Absalom.”
22 Joab fell facedown, bowing low out of respect, and he blessed the king.
“Today your servant knows that you think well of me, my master and king,” Joab said, “because the king has followed up on his servant’s recommendation.”
23 So Joab got up, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.
24 The king said, “He must go straight to his own house. He must not see my face.” So Absalom went straight to his own house and did not see the king.
25 No man throughout Israel was as praised for his good looks as Absalom. From the soles of his feet to the crown of his head there was nothing wrong with him. 26 When he shaved his head—he had to shave his head at the end of each year because his hair was so heavy that he had to shave it—the weight of the hair from his head was two hundred shekels by the royal weight. 27 Absalom had three sons and one daughter. The daughter’s name was Tamar. She was a beautiful woman.
28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem two years without ever seeing the king’s face. 29 Absalom called for Joab in order to send Joab to the king, but Joab refused to come. Absalom called for Joab a second time, but he still wouldn’t come. 30 So Absalom said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s property is next to mine. He has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the property on fire. Then Joab’s servants went to Joab with their clothes torn. “Absalom’s servants set the property on fire,” they said.[e]
31 So Joab went straight to Absalom’s house and said to him, “Why have your servants set my property on fire?”
32 Absalom answered Joab, “Look, I sent you a message: Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, ‘Why have I returned from Geshur? I would be better off if I were still there!’ Please let me see the king’s face. If I’m guilty, then the king can kill me.”
33 Joab went to the king and reported this to him. Then the king called for Absalom, and Absalom came to the king. He bowed low out of respect, nose to the ground before the king. Then the king kissed Absalom.
Absalom plots rebellion
15 Some time later, Absalom got a chariot and horses for his own use, along with fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 Absalom would get up early and stand by the side of the road that went through the city gate. Whenever anyone had a lawsuit to bring before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him, “What city are you from?” When the person said, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel,” 3 then Absalom would say to him, “No doubt your claims are correct and valid, but the king won’t listen to you. 4 If only I were made a judge in the land,” Absalom would continue, “then anyone with a lawsuit could come to me, and I would give them justice.”
5 Whenever anyone came near to Absalom, bowing low out of respect, he would reach his hand out, grab them, and kiss them. 6 This is how Absalom treated every Israelite who came to the king seeking justice. This is how Absalom stole the hearts of the Israelites.
7 At the end of four[f] years, Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go to Hebron so I can fulfill a promise I made to the Lord. 8 Your servant made this promise when I lived in Geshur, in Aram. I promised that if the Lord would bring me back to Jerusalem, then I would worship the Lord in Hebron.”[g]
9 “Go in peace,” the king said. So Absalom left and went to Hebron.
10 But Absalom sent secret agents throughout the tribes of Israel with this message: “When you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron!’” 11 Two hundred invited guests went with Absalom from Jerusalem. They were innocent and knew nothing of this matter when they went. 12 While Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he summoned David’s advisor Ahithophel, who was from Giloh, to come from his hometown. So the conspiracy grew stronger, and Absalom’s following grew.
David flees from Jerusalem
13 A messenger came to David, reporting, “The hearts of the Israelites have gone over to Absalom.” 14 Then David told all the servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come on! We have to run for it, or we won’t be able to escape Absalom. Hurry, or he will catch up with us in no time, destroy us,[h] and attack the city with the sword.”
15 The king’s servants said to him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our master the king decides.” 16 So the king left, with his entire household following him, but he left ten secondary wives behind to take care of the palace.
17 So the king left, with all his people following him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 All the king’s servants marched past him, as did all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath. 19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you coming with us too? Go back! Stay with King Absalom.[i] You are a foreigner and an exile from your own country. 20 You just got here yesterday. So today should I make you wander around with us while I go wherever I have to go? No. Go back, and take your relatives with you. May the Lord show you loyal love and faithfulness.”[j]
21 But Ittai answered the king, “As surely as the Lord lives and as surely as my master the king lives, wherever my master the king may be, facing death or facing life, your servant will be there too.”
22 “Okay then,” David replied to Ittai. “Keep marching!”
So Ittai the Gittite and all of his men and all the little children with him marched past.
- 2 Samuel 14:14 Heb uncertain
- 2 Samuel 14:15 14:15-17 may have originally followed 14:7.
- 2 Samuel 14:18 14:18 may have originally followed 14:14.
- 2 Samuel 14:20 Heb uncertain
- 2 Samuel 14:30 DSS (4QSamc) LXX; MT lacks Then Joab’s servants… said.
- 2 Samuel 15:7 LXX, Syr, Vulg, Josephus; MT forty
- 2 Samuel 15:8 LXX; MT lacks in Hebron.
- 2 Samuel 15:14 Heb uncertain; LXXL bring the city down on top of us
- 2 Samuel 15:19 Heb lacks Absalom.
- 2 Samuel 15:20 LXX; MT lacks may the Lord show you.
Arrest in the garden
18 After he said these things, Jesus went out with his disciples and crossed over to the other side of the Kidron Valley. He and his disciples entered a garden there. 2 Judas, his betrayer, also knew the place because Jesus often gathered there with his disciples. 3 Judas brought a company of soldiers[a] and some guards from the chief priests and Pharisees. They came there carrying lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus knew everything that was to happen to him, so he went out and asked, “Who are you looking for?”
5 They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
He said to them, “I Am.”[b] (Judas, his betrayer, was standing with them.) 6 When he said, “I Am,” they shrank back and fell to the ground. 7 He asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
8 Jesus answered, “I told you, ‘I Am.’[c] If you are looking for me, then let these people go.” 9 This was so that the word he had spoken might be fulfilled: “I didn’t lose anyone of those whom you gave me.”
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword away! Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the company of soldiers, the commander, and the guards from the Jewish leaders took Jesus into custody. They bound him 13 and led him first to Annas. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. (14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it was better for one person to die for the people.)
Peter denies Jesus
15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Because this other disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard. 16 However, Peter stood outside near the gate. Then the other disciple (the one known to the high priest) came out and spoke to the woman stationed at the gate, and she brought Peter in. 17 The servant woman stationed at the gate asked Peter, “Aren’t you one of this man’s disciples?”
“I’m not,” he replied. 18 The servants and the guards had made a fire because it was cold. They were standing around it, warming themselves. Peter joined them there, standing by the fire and warming himself.
19 Meanwhile, the chief priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I’ve spoken openly to the world. I’ve always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews gather. I’ve said nothing in private. 21 Why ask me? Ask those who heard what I told them. They know what I said.”
22 After Jesus spoke, one of the guards standing there slapped Jesus in the face. “Is that how you would answer the high priest?” he asked.
23 Jesus replied, “If I speak wrongly, testify about what was wrong. But if I speak correctly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.
97 I love your Instruction!
I think about it constantly.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies
because it is always with me.
99 I have greater insight than all my teachers
because I contemplate your laws.
100 I have more understanding than the elders
because I guard your precepts.
101 I haven’t set my feet on any evil path
so I can make sure to keep your word.
102 I haven’t deviated from any of your rules
because you are the one who has taught me.
103 Your word is so pleasing to my taste buds—
it’s sweeter than honey in my mouth!
104 I’m studying your precepts—
that’s why I hate every false path.
105 Your word is a lamp before my feet
and a light for my journey.
106 I have sworn, and I fully mean it:
I will keep your righteous rules.
107 I have been suffering so much—
Lord, make me live again according to your promise.
108 Please, Lord, accept my spontaneous gifts of praise.
Teach me your rules!
109 Though my life is constantly in danger,
I won’t forget your Instruction.
110 Though the wicked have set a trap for me,
I won’t stray from your precepts.
111 Your laws are my possession forever
because they are my heart’s joy.
112 I have decided to keep your statutes forever, every last one.
8 Better a little with righteousness
than great profits without justice.
9 People plan their path,
but the Lord secures their steps.