2 Samuel 18:1-19:10
David Defeats Absalom
18 David called together the troops that were with him. He appointed commanders in charge of regiments and battalions. 2 David put a third of the troops under Joab’s command, another third under Joab’s brother Abishai (Zeruiah’s son), and the last third under Ittai from Gath.
“I am going into battle with you,” the king said to the troops.
3 “You’re not going with us,” the troops said. “If we flee, they won’t care about us, and if half of us die, they won’t care either. But you’re worth 10,000 of us. It’s better for you to be ready to send us help from the city.”
4 “I’ll do what you think best,” the king responded. So the king stood by the gate while all the troops marched out by battalions and regiments.
5 The king ordered Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “Treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake.” All the troops heard him give all the commanders this order regarding Absalom.
6 So the troops went out to the country to fight Israel in the forest of Ephraim. 7 There David’s men defeated Israel’s army, and the massacre was sizable that day—20,000 men. 8 The fighting spread over the whole country. That day the woods devoured more people than the battle.
9 Absalom happened to come face to face with some of David’s men. He was riding on a mule, and the mule went under the tangled branches of a large tree. Absalom’s head became caught in the tree. So he was left hanging[a] in midair when the mule that was under him ran away. 10 A man who saw this told Joab, “I saw Absalom hanging in a tree.”
11 “What! You saw that!” Joab said to the man who told him. “Why didn’t you strike him to the ground? Then I would have felt obligated to give you four ounces of silver and a belt.”
12 But the man told Joab, “Even if I felt the weight of 25 pounds of silver in my hand, I wouldn’t raise my hand against the king’s son. We heard the order the king gave you, Abishai, and Ittai: ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.’ [b] 13 If I had done something treacherous to him, would you have stood by me? Like everything else, it wouldn’t stay hidden from the king.”
14 Then Joab said, “I shouldn’t waste time with you like this.” He took three sharp sticks and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while he was still alive in the tree. 15 Then ten of Joab’s armorbearers surrounded Absalom, attacked him, and killed him.
16 Joab blew the ram’s horn to stop their fighting, and the troops returned from pursuing Israel. 17 They took Absalom, threw him into a huge pit in the forest, and piled a large heap of stones over him. Meanwhile, all Israel fled and went back to their homes.
18 (While he was still living, Absalom had taken a rock and set it up for himself in the king’s valley. He said, “I have no son to keep the memory of my name alive.” He called the rock by his name, and it is still called Absalom’s Monument today.)
19 Then Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, said, “Let me run and bring the king the good news that the Lord has freed him from his enemies.”
20 But Joab told him, “You won’t be the man carrying good news today. You can carry the news some other day. You must not deliver the news today because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to a man from Sudan, “Go, tell the king what you saw.” The messenger bowed down with his face touching the ground in front of Joab and then ran off.
22 Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, spoke to Joab again, “Whatever may happen, I also want to run after the Sudanese messenger.”
“Now, son, why should you deliver the message?” Joab asked. “You won’t be rewarded for this news.”
23 “Whatever happens, I’d like to run,” replied Ahimaaz.
“Run,” Joab told him. So Ahimaaz ran along the valley road and got ahead of the Sudanese messenger.
24 David was sitting between the two gates while the watchman walked along the roof of the gate by the wall. As he looked, he saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called and alerted the king.
“If he’s alone,” the king said, “he has good news to tell.” The runner continued to come closer.
26 When the watchman saw another man running, the watchman called, “There’s another man running alone.”
The king said, “This one is also bringing good news.”
27 The watchman said, “It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son.”
“He’s a good man,” the king said. “He must be coming with good news.”
28 Then Ahimaaz came up to the king, greeted him, and bowed down in front of him. Ahimaaz said, “May the Lord your God be praised. He has handed over the men who rebelled against Your Majesty.”
29 “Is the young man Absalom alright?” the king asked.
Ahimaaz answered, “I saw a lot of confusion when Joab sent me away, but I didn’t know what it meant.”
30 “Step aside, and stand here,” the king said. He stepped aside and stood there.
31 Then the Sudanese messenger came. “Good news for Your Majesty!” he said. “Today the Lord has freed you from all who turned against you.”
32 “Is the young man Absalom alright?” the king asked.
The Sudanese messenger answered, “May your enemies and all who turned against you be like that young man!”[c]
33 The king was shaken by the news. He went to the room above the gate and cried. “My son Absalom!” he said as he went. “My son, my son Absalom! I wish I had died in your place! Absalom, my son, my son!”
David Restored to the Throne
19 [d]Joab was told, “The king is crying and mourning for Absalom.” 2 The victory of that day was turned into mourning because all the troops heard that the king was grieving for his son. 3 That day the troops sneaked into the city as if they had fled from battle and were ashamed of it. 4 The king covered his face and cried loudly, “My son Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”
5 Then Joab came into the house. “Today you have made all your men feel ashamed,” he said. “They saved your life and the lives of your sons, daughters, wives, and concubines[e] today. 6 You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. Today, you have made it clear that your commanders and servants mean nothing to you. I think you would be pleased if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead. 7 Now, get up, go out, and encourage your men. I swear to you by the Lord that if you don’t go out, no one will stay with you tonight, and that will be worse than all the trouble you’ve had in your entire life.”
8 The king sat in the gateway. When all the troops were told, “The king is sitting in the gateway,” they came to the king.
Meanwhile, Israel had fled and went back to their own homes. 9 All the people in all the tribes of Israel were arguing with one another, saying, “The king rescued us from our enemies and saved us from the Philistines, but now he has fled from Absalom and left the country. 10 However, Absalom, whom we anointed to rule us, has died in battle. Why is no one talking about bringing back the king?”
- 2 Samuel 18:9 Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek, Latin, Syriac; Masoretic Text “he was put.”
- 2 Samuel 18:13 Two Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Syriac, Targum, Latin; meaning of other Hebrew manuscripts uncertain.
- 2 Samuel 18:32 2 Samuel 18:33 in English Bibles is 2 Samuel 19:1 in the Hebrew Bible.
- 2 Samuel 19:1 2 Samuel 19:1–43 in English Bibles is 2 Samuel 19:2–44 in the Hebrew Bible.
- 2 Samuel 19:5 A concubine is considered a wife except she has fewer rights under the law.
Jesus Comes Back to Life(A)
20 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary from Magdala went to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb’s entrance. 2 So she ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved. She told them, “They have removed the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him.”
3 So Peter and the other disciple headed for the tomb. 4 The two were running side by side, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked inside the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there but didn’t go inside.
6 Simon Peter arrived after him and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there. 7 He also saw the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head. It wasn’t lying with the strips of linen but was rolled up separately. 8 Then the other disciple, who arrived at the tomb first, went inside. He saw and believed. 9 They didn’t know yet what Scripture meant when it said that Jesus had to come back to life. 10 So the disciples went back home.
Jesus Appears to Mary from Magdala
11 Mary, however, stood there and cried as she looked at the tomb. As she cried, she bent over and looked inside. 12 She saw two angels in white clothes. They were sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying. One angel was where Jesus’ head had been, and the other was where his feet had been. 13 The angels asked her why she was crying.
Mary told them, “They have removed my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.”
14 After she said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. However, she didn’t know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Mary thought it was the gardener speaking to her. So she said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I’ll remove him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
Mary turned around and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (This word means “teacher.”)
17 Jesus told her, “Don’t hold on to me. I have not yet gone to the Father. But go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary from Magdala went to the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord.” She also told them what he had said to her.
Jesus Appears to the Disciples(B)
19 That Sunday evening, the disciples were together behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Jesus stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you!” 20 When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were glad to see the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” 22 After he had said this, he breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 Whenever you forgive sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you don’t forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas
24 Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, who was called Didymus, wasn’t with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord.”
Thomas told them, “I refuse to believe this unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my fingers into them, and put my hand into his side.”
26 A week later Jesus’ disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Take your hand, and put it into my side. Stop doubting, and believe.”
28 Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you’ve seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me but believe.”
30 Jesus performed many other miracles that his disciples saw. Those miracles are not written in this book. 31 But these miracles have been written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and so that you will have life by believing in him.
153 Look at my misery, and rescue me,
because I have never forgotten your teachings.
154 Plead my case for me, and save me.
Give me a new life as you promised.
155 Wicked people are far from being saved,
because they have not searched for your laws.
156 Your acts of compassion are many in number, O Lord.
Give me a new life guided by your regulations.
157 I have many persecutors and opponents,
yet I have not turned away from your written instructions.
158 I have seen traitors,
and I am filled with disgust.
They have not accepted your promise.
159 See how I have loved your guiding principles!
O Lord, in keeping with your mercy, give me a new life.
160 There is nothing but truth in your word,
and all of your righteous regulations endure forever.
161 Influential people have persecuted me for no reason,
but it is only your words that fill my heart with terror.
162 I find joy in your promise
like someone who finds a priceless treasure.
163 I hate lying; I am disgusted with it.
I love your teachings.
164 Seven times a day I praise you
for your righteous regulations.
165 There is lasting peace for those who love your teachings.
Nothing can make those people stumble.
166 I have waited with hope for you to save me, O Lord.
I have carried out your commandments.
167 I have obeyed your written instructions.
I have loved them very much.
168 I have followed your guiding principles and your written instructions,
because my whole life is in front of you.
169 Let my cry for help come into your presence, O Lord.
Help me understand as you promised.
170 Let my plea for mercy come into your presence.
Rescue me as you promised.
171 Let my lips pour out praise
because you teach me your laws.
172 Let my tongue sing about your promise
because all your commandments are fair.
173 Let your hand help me
because I have chosen to follow your guiding principles.
174 I have longed for you to save me, O Lord,
and your teachings make me happy.
175 Let my soul have new life so that it can praise you.
Let your regulations help me.
176 I have wandered away like a lost lamb.
Search for me,
because I have never forgotten your commandments.
A song for going up to worship.
14 A king’s anger announces death,
but a wise man makes peace with him.
15 When the king is cheerful, there is life,
and his favor is like a cloud bringing spring rain.