2 Samuel 18:1-19:10
18 Then David gathered the troops who were with him and appointed unit commanders over thousands and hundreds. 2 David sent out the army—a third under Joab’s command, a third under the command of Abishai, Zeruiah’s son, and a third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, “I will march out with you myself.”
3 But the troops replied, “No! You must not march out! If we flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us. It is much better if you support us from the city.”
4 The king said to them, “I will do whatever you think is best.” So the king stood beside the gate as all the troops marched out by hundreds and thousands. 5 The king gave orders to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: “For my sake, protect my boy Absalom.” All the troops heard what the king ordered regarding Absalom to all the commanders.
6 So the troops marched into the field to meet the Israelites. The battle was fought in the Ephraim forest. 7 The army of Israel was defeated there by David’s soldiers. A great slaughter of twenty thousand men took place that day. 8 The battle spread out over the entire countryside, and the forest devoured more soldiers than the sword that day.
9 Absalom came upon some of David’s men. Absalom was riding on a mule, and the mule went under the tangled branches of a large oak tree. Absalom’s head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair while the mule under him kept on going. 10 One of the men saw this and reported to Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging from an oak tree.”
11 Joab said to the man who told him, “You saw this? Why didn’t you kill him on the spot? I would have given you ten pieces of silver and a belt.”
12 But the man said to Joab, “Even if I had a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I wouldn’t touch the king’s son! We heard what the king commanded you, Abishai, and Ittai—‘For my sake, take care of my boy Absalom.’[a] 13 If I had taken Absalom’s life behind the king’s back then—though nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me.”[b]
14 Joab said, “I won’t waste time like this with you!” He took three sticks in his hand and drove them into Absalom’s chest while he was still alive in the oak. 15 Then ten young armor-bearers of Joab surrounded Absalom, struck him, and killed him. 16 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped chasing the Israelites, because Joab held them back.
17 They took Absalom and threw him into a big pit in the forest. They piled over him a huge heap of stones. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes. 18 When he was alive, Absalom had raised a large pillar for himself in the King’s Valley because he said, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself. It is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.
David mourns for Absalom
19 Then Zadok’s son Ahimaaz said, “Please let me run and take the news to the king that the Lord has vindicated him against his enemies’ power.”
20 Joab said to him, “You aren’t the one to bring the news today. You can bring news on another day, but not today, because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed low before Joab, then ran off.
22 But Zadok’s son Ahimaaz again said to Joab, “I don’t care what happens, just let me run after the Cushite too.”
“Why do you want to go, son?” Joab asked. “You’ll get no reward for going.”[c]
23 “I don’t care what happens, I want to go,” Ahimaaz said.[d]
So Joab said to him, “Run off then!”
Ahimaaz ran off, going by way of the plain, and passed the Cushite.
24 Now David was sitting between the two gates. The watchman on duty went up on the roof of the gate by the wall. He looked out and saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out and reported this to the king. The king said, “If he’s alone, it’s good news.”
The man got nearer and nearer, 26 and the watchman saw another man running and called down to the gatekeeper, “There’s another man running alone.”
The king said, “That one must be bringing good news too.”
27 The watchman said, “I can see that the first one runs like Zadok’s son Ahimaaz.”
“He’s a good man,” the king said, “and is coming with good news.”
28 Ahimaaz called out to the king, “Peace!” then bowed low before the king, his nose to the ground. He said, “Bless the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hands against my master the king.”
29 The king said, “Is my boy Absalom okay?”
Ahimaaz said, “I saw a large crowd right when Joab, the king’s servant, sent your servant off, but I don’t know what it was about.”
30 “Step aside and stand right here,” the king said. So Ahimaaz stepped aside and waited.
31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My master the king: Listen to this good news! The Lord has vindicated you this day against the power of all who rose up against you.”
32 The king said to the Cushite, “Is my boy Absalom okay?”
The Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my master the king and all who rise up against you to hurt you end up like that young man.”
33 [e] The king trembled. He went up to the room over the gate and cried. As he went, he said, “Oh, my son Absalom! Oh, my son! My son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! Oh, Absalom, my son! My son!”
[f]19 Joab was told that the king was crying and mourning Absalom. 2 So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops because they heard that day that the king was grieving for his son. 3 So that day the troops crept back into the city like soldiers creep back ashamed after they’ve fled from battle. 4 The king covered his face and cried out in a loud voice, “Oh, my son Absalom! Oh, Absalom, my son! My son!”
5 Joab came to the king inside and said, “Today you have humiliated all your servants who have saved your life today, not to mention the lives of your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your secondary wives, 6 by loving those who hate you and hating those who love you! Today you have announced that the commanders and their soldiers are nothing to you, because I know that if Absalom were alive today and the rest of us dead, that would be perfectly fine with you! 7 Now get up! Go out and encourage your followers! I swear to the Lord that if you don’t go out there, not one man will stick with you tonight—and that will be more trouble for you than all the trouble that you’ve faced from your youth until now.”
8 So the king went and sat down in the city gate. All the troops were told that the king was sitting in the gate, so they came before the king.
David returns to Jerusalem
Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes. 9 Everyone was arguing throughout Israel’s tribes, saying, “The king delivered us from our enemies’ power, and he rescued us from the Philistines’ power, but now he has fled from the land and from controlling his own kingdom.[g] 10 And Absalom, the one we anointed over us, is dead in battle. So why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”
- 2 Samuel 18:12 LXX, Vulg, Syr; Heb uncertain
- 2 Samuel 18:13 Or Otherwise, I would have been dealing recklessly with my own life, because nothing is hidden from the king and you were stationed far from me; Heb uncertain.
- 2 Samuel 18:22 Heb uncertain
- 2 Samuel 18:23 LXX; MT lacks Ahimaaz said.
- 2 Samuel 18:33 19:1 in Heb
- 2 Samuel 19:1 19:2 in Heb
- 2 Samuel 19:9 LXX; MT from over Absalom
20 Early in the morning of the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 She ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.” 3 Peter and the other disciple left to go to the tomb. 4 They were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. 5 Bending down to take a look, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he didn’t go in. 6 Following him, Simon Peter entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 He also saw the face cloth that had been on Jesus’ head. It wasn’t with the other clothes but was folded up in its own place. 8 Then the other disciple, the one who arrived at the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 They didn’t yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.
Jesus appears to Mary
11 Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. 13 The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” 14 As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.
Jesus appears to the disciples
19 It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”
Jesus appears to Thomas and the disciples
24 Thomas, the one called Didymus,[a] one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”
26 After eight days his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!”
28 Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”
30 Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. 31 But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.
- John 20:24 Or the twin
153 Look at my suffering and deliver me
because I haven’t forgotten your Instruction.
154 Argue my case and redeem me.
Make me live again by your word.
155 Salvation is far from the wicked
because they haven’t pursued your statutes.
156 You have so much compassion, Lord—
make me live again, according to your rules.
157 My oppressors and enemies are many,
but I haven’t turned away from your laws.
158 I look on the faithless, and I am disgusted
because they haven’t kept your word.
159 Look at how much I love your precepts.
Make me live again, Lord, according to your faithful love!
160 The first thing to know about your word is that it is true
and that all your righteous rules last forever.
שׂ sin and שׁ shin
161 Rulers oppress me without cause,
but my heart honors what you’ve said.
162 I’m overjoyed at your word,
like someone who finds great treasure.
163 I hate, I absolutely despise, what is false,
but I’m in love with your Instruction.
164 I praise you seven times a day
for your righteous rules.
165 The people who love your Instruction enjoy peace—and lots of it.
There’s no stumbling for them!
166 Lord, I wait for your saving help.
I do what you’ve commanded.
167 I keep your laws;
I love them so much!
168 I keep your precepts and your laws
because all my ways are seen by you.
169 Let my cry reach you, Lord;
help me understand according to what you’ve said.
170 Let my request for grace come before you;
deliver me according to your promise!
171 Let my lips overflow with praise
because you’ve taught me your statutes.
172 Let my tongue declare your word,
because all your commandments are righteous.
173 Let your power help me
because I have chosen your precepts.
174 Lord, I long for your saving help!
Your Instruction is my joy!
175 Let me live again so I can praise you!
Let your rules help me!
176 I’ve wandered off like a sheep, lost.
Find your servant
because I haven’t forgotten
14 The king’s anger is a messenger of death;
the wise will calm him.
15 There’s life in the light of the king’s face.
His favor is like a cloud that brings spring rain.