¶ NOW Joab the son of, Zoriah perceived that the kings heart was reconciled toward Absalom.
And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched from thence a wise woman and said to her, Pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning apparel, and do not anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead;
And come to the king and speak in this manner to him.
So Joab prepared the words and put them in her mouth.
And when the woman of Tekoah came to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance and said, Deliver me, O my lord the king.
And the king said to her, What ails you?
And she answered, I am indeed a widow, my husband is dead.
And your handmaid had two sons, and they two quarrelled together in the field, and there was none to part them, and one was stronger than the other and slew him.
And behold, the whole family is risen against your handmaid, and they say, Deliver to us the man who slew his brother that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he slew;
so they want to destroy the heir also;
moreover they want to quench the spark of life which is left for me, that they may not leave to his father either name or family upon the earth.
And the king said to her, Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.
But the woman of Tekoah said to the king, My lord, O king, let this iniquity be on me and on my father’s house;
and the king and his throne be guiltless.
And the king said to her, Whosoever says anything to you, bring him to me and he shall not touch you any more.
Then she said, Let my lord the king remember that the LORD your God would not suffer the avengers of blood to destroy any more, wherefore let them not destroy my son.
And the king said to her, As the LORD God lives, there shall not one hair of your son fall to the earth.
Then the woman said, Let your handmaid speak a word to the king, and he said to her, Speak.
And the woman said to him, Why then have you thought such a thing against the people of God?
And why do you speak, O king, as one who is guilty, in that, O king, you do not bring back your lost one?
For we will all surely die, and we are as water that is poured upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up again;
neither does God destroy a soul, but devises means that no man should go astray from him.
Now therefore if I have spoken this thing to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid;
and your handmaid said, I will now speak to the king;
it may be that the king will deliver his handmaid from the hand of men,
That they may not destroy me and my son together from the heritage of God.
Then your handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be confirmed and shall be like an offering;
for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil;
therefore the LORD your God will be with you.
Then the king answered and said to the woman, Do not hide from me anything that I ask you.
And the woman said to him, Let my lord the king now speak.
And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with you in all this?
And the woman answered and said to him, As your soul lives, my lord the king, I have not turned to the right hand or to the left from all that my lord the king has spoken;
for it was your servant Joab who bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your handmaid,
Because he wanted to do it through me, that is why your servant Joab has done this thing;
and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are on the earth.
¶ And the king said to Joab, Behold now, I have done as you have said;
go therefore, bring me the young man Absalom again.
And Joab fell on his face to the ground and did obeisance and blessed the king: and Joab said, Today your servant knows that I have found grace in your sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has fulfilled the request of his servant.
So Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
And the king said, Let him go to his own house, but let him not be seen in my presence.
So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the king’s face.
Now in all Israel there was no man so much praised for his beauty as Absalom;
from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
And when he had his hair shorn (he used to cut it once a year because it was heavy on him, therefore he cut it), the hair of his head weighed two hundred shekels by the king’s weight.
And there were born to Absalom three sons and one daughter, whose name was Tamar;
she was a beautiful woman.
¶ So Absalom dwelt two years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king’s face.
Therefore Absalom summoned Joab to send him to the king;
but he would not come to him;
and he sent a second time, but he would not come.
Then Absalom said to his servants, See, there is a field belonging to Joab near mine;
whether it be of wheat or barley, go and set it on fire.
And Absalom’s servants set Joab’s field on fire.
Then Joab arose and came to Absalom’s house and said to Absalom, Why have your servants set my field on fire?
And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent to you, saying, Come here, that I may send you to the king, to ask why I have come from Geshur.
It was better for me while I was there;
now I want to appear before the king and if there is any iniquity in me, let him kill me.
So Joab came to the king and told him the words of Absalom;
and he called for Absalom, and Absalom came in before the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king;
and the king kissed Absalom.