Then Dauid nombred the people that were with him, & set ouer them captaines of thousands and captaines of hundreths.
And Dauid sent foorth the third part of the people vnder the hand of Ioab, and the thirde part vnder the hand of Abishai Ioabs brother the sonne of Zeruiah: and the other third part vnder the hand of Ittai the Gittite;
the King said vnto the people, I will go with you my selfe also.
But the people answered, Thou shalt not goe foorth: for if we flee away, they will not regarde vs, neither will they passe for vs, though halfe of vs were slaine: but thou art now worth ten thousande of vs: therefore nowe it is better that thou succour vs out of the citie.
Then the King said vnto them, What seemeth you best, that I will doe.
So the King stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreths and by thousands.
And the King commanded Ioab and Abishai, and Ittai, saying, Entreate the yong man Absalom gently for my sake;
all the people heard whe the King gaue al the captaines charge concerning Absalom.
So the people went out into the fielde to meete Israel, and the battell was in the wood of Ephraim:
Where the people of Israel were slaine before the seruants of Dauid: so there was a great slaughter that day, euen of twentie thousande.
For the battel was skattered ouer all the countrey: and the wood deuoured much more people that day, then did the sworde.
Nowe Absalom met the seruants of Dauid, and Absalom rode vpon a mule, and the mule came vnder a great thicke oke: and his head caught holde of the oke, and he was taken vp betweene the heauen and the earth: and the mule that was vnder him went away.
And one that sawe it, tolde Ioab, saying, Beholde, I sawe Absalom hanged in an oke.
Then Ioab saide vnto the man that tolde him, And hast thou in deede seene?
why then diddest thou not there smite him to the grounde, and I woulde haue giuen thee ten shekels of siluer, and a girdle?
Then the man saide vnto Ioab, Though I should receiue a thousande shekels of siluer in mine hande, yet woulde I not lay mine hande vpon the Kings sonne: for in our hearing the King charged thee, and Abishai, and Ittai, saying, Beware, least any touche the yong man Absalom.
If I had done it, it had bene the danger of my life: for nothing can be hid from the King: yea, thou thy selfe wouldest haue bin against me.
Then saide Ioab, I will not thus tary with thee;
he tooke three dartes in his hande, and thrust them through Absalom, while he was yet aliue in the middes of the oke.
And tenne seruants that bare Ioabs armour, compassed about and smote Absalom, and slewe him.
Then Ioab blewe the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Ioab helde backe the people.
And they tooke Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and layed a mightie great heape of stones vpon him: and all Israel fled euery one to his tent.
Nowe Absalom in his life time had taken and reared him vp a pillar, which is in the kings dale: for he saide, I haue no sonne to keepe my name in remembrance;
he called the pillar after his owne name, & it is called vnto this day, Absaloms place.
Then said Ahimaaz the sonne of Zadok, I pray thee, let me runne, and beare the King tidings that the Lorde hath deliuered him out of the hande of his enemies.
And Ioab said vnto him, Thou shalt not be the messenger to day, but thou shalt beare tidings another time, but to day thou shalt beare none: for the Kings sonne is dead.
Then said Ioab to Cushi, Goe, tel the king, what thou hast seene;
Cushi bowed himselfe vnto Ioab, and ran.
Then saide Ahimaaz the sonne of Zadok againe to Ioab, What, I pray thee, if I also runne after Cushi?
And Ioab said, Wherefore now wilt thou runne, my sonne, seeing that thou hast no tidings to bring?
Yet what if I runne?
Then he saide vnto him, Runne.
So Ahimaaz ranne by the way of the plaine, and ouerwent Cushi.
Now Dauid sate betweene the two gates;
the watchman went to the top of the gate vpon the wall, and lift vp his eyes, and sawe, and beholde, a man came running alone.
And the watchman cryed, & tolde ye king;
the King said, If he be alone, he bringeth tidings;
he came apace, and drew neere.
And the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called vnto the porter, and said, Behold, another man runneth alone;
the King said, He also bringeth tidings.
And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the formost is like the running of Ahimaaz the sonne of Zadok.
Then the King said, He is a good man, & commeth with good tidings.
And Ahimaaz called, and sayde vnto the King, Peace be with thee: and he fell downe to the earth vpon his face before the King, and saide, Blessed be the Lorde thy God, who hath shut vp the men that lift vp their handes against my lorde the King.
And the King saide, Is the yong man Absalom safe?
And Ahimaaz answered, When Ioab sent the Kings seruant, and me thy seruant, I sawe a great tumult, but I knewe not what.
And the King said vnto him, Turne aside, and stand here.
so he turned aside & stoode still.
And beholde, Cushi came, and Cushi saide, Tidings, my lorde the King: for the Lord hath deliuered thee this day out of the hande of all that rose against thee.
Then the King saide vnto Cushi, Is the yong man Absalom safe?
And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lorde the King, and all that rise against thee to doe thee hurt, be as that yong man is.
And the King was mooued, and went vp to the chamber ouer the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my sonne Absalom, my sonne, my sonne Absalom: woulde God I had dyed for thee, O Absalom, my sonne, my sonne.