- Ioab ye sonne of Zaruia perceaued that the kynges heart was toward Absalom:
- And he sent to Thekoa, and fet thence a wyse woman, & sayde vnto her: I pray thee faine thy selfe to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparell, and annoynt not thy self with oyle, but be as a woman that had long tyme mourned for the dead:
- And come to the king, and speake on this maner vnto hym (And so Ioab taught her what she should say.)
- And when the woman of Thekoa spake with the king, she fell on her face to the grounde, and did obeysaunce, and sayde: Helpe, O king.
- The king said vnto her: What ayleth thee?
She aunswered: I am in deede a wydow, and myne husband is dead.
- And thy hande mayde had two sonnes, and they two fought together in the fielde, where was no man to go betweene them, but the one smote the other, and slue him.
- And beholde, the whole kindred is risen against thy handmayd, & they said: Delyuer hym that smote his brother, that we may kill him for the soule of his brother whom he slue, we will destroy the heyre also: And so they shall quenche my sparkle which is left, and shall not leaue to my husband neither name nor issue vpon the earth.
- And the king sayde vnto the woman: Go home to thyne house, I wyll geue a charge for thee.
- And the woman of Thekoa saide vnto the king: My lorde O king, this trespasse be on me and on my fathers house: and the king and his throne be giltlesse.
- And the king saide: If any man say ought vnto thee, bring him to me, and he shall hurt thee no more.
- Then saide she: I pray thee let the king remember the Lord thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer many reuengers of blood to destroy, lest they slay my sonne.
And he aunswered: As the Lorde lyueth, there shal not one heere of thy sonne fall to the earth.
- The woman sayde: Let thyne handmayde speake one worde vnto my lorde the king.
And he sayde: Say on.
- The woman sayd: Wherfore then hast thou thought suche a thing against the people of God?
For the king doth speake this thing as one which is faultie, that he shoulde not fet home againe his banished.
- For we must nedes dye, and are as wather spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered vp againe: Neither doth God spare any person, yet doth he appoynt meanes that his banished be not vtterly expelled from him.
- Nowe therfore I am come to speake of this thing vnto the my lord the king, [because] they that be of ye people haue made me afrayd: And thy handmayde sayd, Now will I speake vnto the king, it may be that the king will perfourme the request of his handmayde.
- And the king shall heare his handmayde, to deliuer her out of the hand of the man that woulde haue destroyed me, and also my sonne out of the inheritaunce of God.
- And thyne handmayde sayde: The worde of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: For my lord the king is as an angel of God, in hearing of good & bad: Therfore the Lorde thy God be with thee.
- Then the king aunswered, and sayde vnto the woman: Hyde not from me I pray thee ye thing that I shall aske thee.
And the woman sayde: Let my lord the king nowe speake.
- And the king sayd: Is not the hand of Ioab with thee in all this matter?
The woman aunswered, and sayde: As thy soule liueth my lorde the king, I wil not turne to the right hande nor to the left from ought that my lorde the king hath spoke: for euen thy seruaunt Ioab bad me, and he put all these wordes in the mouth of thyne handmayde:
- For to the intent that I shoulde chaunge the fourme of speach, hath thy seruaunt Ioab done this thing: And my lorde is wyse, according to the wisdome of an angel of God, to vnderstande all thinges that are in the earth.
- And the king sayd vnto Ioab: Behold, I haue done this thing: Go & bring the young man Absalom againe.
- And Ioab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed him selfe, and thanked the king: And Ioab sayd, Now thy seruaunt knoweth, that I haue founde grace in thy sight my lorde O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his seruaunt.
- And so Ioab arose, and went to Gesur, and brought Absalom to Hierusalem.
- And the king sayde: Let him turne to his owne house, & not see my face.
And so Absalo returned to his owne house, and sawe not the kinges face.
- But in al Israel there was none to be so muche praysed as Absalom for beautie: from ye sole of his foote to the toppe of his head, there was no blemishe in him.
- And when he polled his head (for at euery yeres ende he polled it, because the heere was heauy on him therfore he polled it) he weighed the heere of his head at two hundreth sicles, after the kinges wayght.
- And Absalom had three sonnes borne him, and one daughter named Thamar, whiche was a fayre woman to loke vpon.
- So Absalom dwelt two yeres in Hierusalem, and sawe not the kinges face.
- Therfore Absalom sent for Ioab to haue sent him to the king, but he would not come to him: And when he sent againe, he would not come.
- Therfore he sayde vnto his seruauntes: Behold, Ioab hath a field by my place, & he hath barlye therin: Go, & set it on fyre.
And Absaloms seruauntes set it on fire.
- Then Ioab arose, and came to Absalom vnto his house, and sayd vnto him: Wherfore haue thy seruauntes burnt my fielde with fire?
- And Absalo aunswered Ioab: Behold, I sent for thee, desiring thee to come, because I woulde haue sent thee to the king, for to say, Wherfore am I come from Gesur?
It had ben better for me to haue ben there still: Nowe therfore would I see the kinges face: And if ther be any trespasse in me, let hym kil me.
- And so Ioab came to the king, and tolde him: Which when he had sent for Absalom, he came to the king, and fel to the ground on his face before him, and the king kissed Absalom.