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2 Samuel 18

1 And David mustered the people who were with him, and appointed commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds over them.

2 And David sent out one third of the people under the hand of Joab, one third under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, I shall proceed to go out with you myself also.

3 But the people answered, You shall not go out! For if we flee away, they will not care about us; nor if half of us die, will they care about us; for you are like ten thousand of us now. You are now more help to us in the city.

4 And the king said to them, I will do what is good in your eyes. So the king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands.

5 And the king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom. And all the people heard when the king charged the commanders concerning Absalom.

6 So the people went out into the field to meet Israel. And the battle was in the forest of Ephraim.

7 The people of Israel were smitten there before the servants of David, and there was a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand.

8 And the battle was scattered over the face of all the land, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword had devoured.

9 And Absalom was encountered before the servants of David. Absalom was riding on a mule, the mule went under the thick boughs of a great terebinth tree, and his head caught in the terebinth; so he was left hanging between the heavens and earth; and the mule which was under him went on.

10 And a certain man saw it and reported to Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in a terebinth tree!

11 And Joab said to the man who reported to him, Behold, you have seen; and why did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have given you ten shekels of silver and a belt.

12 And the man said to Joab, Though I were to receive a thousand shekels of silver in my hand, I would not put forth my hand against the king’s son. For in our ears the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Take heed that no one touches the young man Absalom!

13 Otherwise I would have dealt falsely against my own soul. For there is nothing hidden from the king, and you yourself would have set yourself against me.

14 And Joab said, I cannot wait before you. And he took three spears in his hand and thrust them through Absalom’s heart, while he was still alive in the midst of the terebinth tree.

15 And ten young men who bore Joab’s armor surrounded Absalom, and struck and killed him.

16 And Joab blew the shofar, and the people returned from pursuing Israel. For Joab had held back the people.

17 And they took Absalom and cast him into a large pit in the forest, and laid a very large heap of stones over him. And all Israel fled, everyone to his tent.

18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up a pillar for himself, which is in the King’s Valley; for he thought, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance. He called the pillar after his own name. And to this day it is called Absalom’s Monument.

19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, Let me run now and bear good news to the king, how Jehovah has avenged him of his enemies.

20 And Joab said to him, You are not the man for tidings this day, but you shall bear good news another day. But today you shall not bear good news, because the king’s son is dead.

21 Then Joab said to Cushi, Go, tell the king what you have seen. So Cushi bowed himself to Joab and ran.

22 And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, But whatever happens, please let me also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Why will you run, my son, since you have no news ready?

23 But whatever the case, he said, Let me run. So he said to him, Run. And Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain, and outran Cushi.

24 Now David was sitting between the two gates. And the watchman went up to the roof over the gate, to the wall, lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was running alone.

25 And the watchman cried out and reported to the king. And the king said, If he is alone, there is news in his mouth. And he proceeded to come and drew near.

26 Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, There is another man running alone! And the king said, He also brings news.

27 And the watchman said, It looks like the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and comes with good news.

28 And Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, Peace! And he bowed down with his face to the earth to the king, and said, Blessed is Jehovah your God, who has delivered up the men who had lifted up their hand against my lord the king!

29 And king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.

30 And the king said, Turn aside and stand here. So he turned aside and remained standing.

31 And then Cushi came, and Cushi said, Good news, my lord the king! For Jehovah has avenged you this day of all those who were rising up against you.

32 And the king said to Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who have risen up against you to do harm, be like that young man!

33 And the king was disquieted, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: O my son Absalom; my son, my son Absalom; O that I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!

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