And David numbered the people with
him and set over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds.
And David sent away the people, the third part
under the hand of Joab, and the third
part under the hand of Abessa the son of
Saruia, the brother of Joab, and the third
part under the hand of Ethi the Gittite.
And David said to the people I also will
surely go out with you. 3
And they said,
Thou shalt not go out: for if we should
indeed flee, they will not care for us; and
if half of us should die, they will not mind
us; for thou art 2
as ten thousand of us:
and now it is
well that thou shalt be to us
an aid to help us in the city. 4
king said to them, Whatsoever shall seem
good in your eyes I will do. And the king
stood by the 3
side of the gate, and all the
people went out by hundreds and by thousands.
And the king commanded Joab and
Abessa and Ethi, saying, Spare for my sake
the young man Abessalom. And all the
people heard the king charging all the commanders concerning Abessalom.
6And all the people went out into the
wood against Israel; and the battle was in
the wood of Ephraim. 7And the people of
Israel fell down there before the servants of
David, and there was a great slaughter in
that day, even twenty thousand men. 8And
the battle there was scattered over the face
of all the land: and the wood consumed
more of the people than the sword consumed among the people in that day.
Abessalom went to meet the servants of
David: and Abessalom was mounted on his
mule, and the mule came under the thick
boughs of a great oak; and his head was
entangled in the oak, and he was suspended
between heaven and earth; and the mule
passed on from under him.
10And a man saw it, and reported to Joab,
and said, Behold, I saw Abessalom hanging
in an oak. 11And Joab said to the man who
reported it to him, And, behold, thou didst
see him: why didst thou not smite him
there to the ground? and I would have
given thee ten pieces of silver, and a girdle.
12And the man said to Joab, Were I even
to ζreceive a thousand shekels of silver, I
would not lift my hand against the king's
son; for in our ears the king charged thee
and Abessa and Ethi, saying; Take care of
the young man Abessalom for me 13so as to
do no harm to his life: and nothing of the
matter will be concealed from the king, and
thou wilt set thyself against me. 14And
Joab said, I will begin this; I will not thus
remain with thee. And Joab took three
darts in his hand, and thrust them into the
heart of Abessalom, while he was yet alive
β Gr. in, by.
γGr. as we, ten thousand.
ζGr. weigh upon my hands
in the heart of the oak.
And ten young
men that bore Joab's armour compassed
Abessalom, and smote him: and slew him.
And Joab blew the trumpet and the
people returned from pursuing Israel, for
Joab spared the people.
And he took Abessalom and cast him into a great cavern
in the wood, into a deep pit, and set up over
him a very great heap of stones: and all
Israel fled every man to his tent.
Now Abessalom while yet alive had taken and
set up for himself the pillar near which he
was taken and set it up so as to have the
pillar in the king's dale; for he said he had
no son to keep his name in remembrance:
and he called the pillar, Abessalom's hand,
until this day.
And Achimaas the son of Sadoc said;
Let me run now and carry glad tidings to
the king, for the Lord has delivered him
from the hand of his enemies.
And Joab said to him, Thou shalt
of glad tidings this day; thou shalt bear
them another day; but on this day thou
shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son
And Joab said to Chusi, Go,
report to the king all that thou hast seen.
And Chusi did obeisance to Joab, and went
And Achimaas the son of Sadoc
said again to Joab, Nay, let me also run
after Chusi. And Joab said, Why wouldest
thou thus run, my son? attend, thou hast
no tidings for profit if thou go.
And hesaid, Why should I not run? and Joab
said to him, Run. And Achimaas ran along
the way of Kechar, and outran Chusi.
And David was sitting between the two
gates: and the watchman went up on the
top of the gate of the wall, and lifted up his
eyes, and looked, and behold a man running
alone before him.
And the watchman cried out, and reported to the king. And
the king said, If he be alone, there are
tidings in his mouth. And the man came
and drew near.
And the watchman saw
another man running: and the watchman
cried at the gate, and said, And look, another
man running alone. And the king said, He
also brings glad tidings.
And the watchman said, I see the running of the first as
the running of Achimaas the son of Sadoc.
And the king said, He is a good man, and
will come to report
And Achimaas cried out and said to
the king, Peace. And he did obeisance to
the king with his face to the ground, and
said, Blessed be
the Lord thy God, who has
delivered up the men that lifted up their
hands against my lord the king.
And the king said, Is
the young man Abessalom
safe? and Achimaas said, I saw a great multitude at the time
of Joab's sending the king's servant and thy servant, and I knew
not what was there.
And the king, said
Turn aside, stand still here. And he turned
aside, and stood.
31And,behold, Chusi came up, and said to
the king, Let my lord the king hear glad
tidings, for the Lord has avenged thee this
day upon all them that rose up against thee
And the king said to Chusi, Is it well with
the young man Abessalom? and Chusi said,
Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all
whosoever have risen up against him for
evil, be as that young man. 33
And the king
was troubled, and went to the chamber over
the gate and wept: and thus he said as he
went, My son Abessalom, my son, my son
would God I had died for
thee, even I had died
for thee, Abessalom,
my son, my son!