1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was toward Absalom.
2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and brought from there a wise woman, and said to her, I pray thee, pretend to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead:
3 And come to the king, and speak in this manner to him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
4 And when the woman of Tekoah spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.
5 And the king said to her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and my husband is dead.
6 And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him.
7 And, behold, the whole family hath risen against thy handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.
8 And the king said to the woman, Go to thy house, and I will issue an order concerning thee.
9 And the woman of Tekoah said to the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father’s house: and the king and his throne be guiltless.
10 And the king said, Whoever saith any thing to thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.
11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not permit the avenger of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.
12 Then the woman said, Let thy handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word to my lord the king. And he said, Say on.
13 And the woman said, Why then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one who is faulty, in that the king doth not bring home again his banished.
14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not driven out from him.
15 Now therefore that I have come to speak of this thing to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid.
16 For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid from the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.
17 Then thy handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comforting: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.
18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.
19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from any thing that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he ordered me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thy handmaid:
20 To bring about this change of affairs hath thy servant Joab 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.
21 And the king said to Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.
22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.
23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
24 And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king’s face.
25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
26 And when he cut the hair of his head, (for it was at every year’s end that he cut it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he cut it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king’s weight.
27 And to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance.
28 So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king’s face.
29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, that he might send him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
30 Therefore he said to his servants, See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to his house, and said to him, Why have thy servants set my field on fire?
32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent to thee, saying, Come here, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Why am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me had I been there still: now therefore let me see the king’s face; and if there is any iniquity in me, let him kill me.
33 So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.