2 Samuel 14:1-33 NIV
Absalom Returns to Jerusalem
1Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom. 2So Joab sent someone to Tekoa and had a wise woman brought from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don’t use any cosmetic lotions. Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead. 3Then go to the king and speak these words to him.” And Joab put the words in her mouth.
4When the woman from Tekoa went to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, “Help me, Your Majesty!”
5The king asked her, “What is troubling you?”
She said, “I am a widow; my husband is dead. 6I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him. 7Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heir as well.’ They would put out the only burning coal I have left, leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth.”
8The king said to the woman, “Go home, and I will issue an order in your behalf.”
9But the woman from Tekoa said to him, “Let my lord the king pardon me and my family, and let the king and his throne be without guilt.”
10The king replied, “If anyone says anything to you, bring them to me, and they will not bother you again.”
11She said, “Then let the king invoke The Lord his GOD to prevent the avenger of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed.”
“As surely as The LORD Lives,” he said, “not one hair of your son’s head will fall to the ground.”
12Then the woman said, “Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.”
“Speak,” he replied.
13The woman said, “Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of GOD? When the king says this, does he not convict himself, for the king has not brought back his banished son? 14Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not What GOD Desires; rather, HE Devises Ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.
15“And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king; perhaps he will grant his servant’s request. 16Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from GOD’s Inheritance.’
17“And now your servant says, ‘May the word of my lord the king secure my inheritance, for my lord the king is like an angel of GOD in discerning good and evil. May The LORD your GOD Be with you.’ ”
18Then the king said to the woman, “Don’t keep from me the answer to what I am going to ask you.”
“Let my lord the king speak,” the woman said.
19The king asked, “Isn’t the hand of Joab with you in all this?”
The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant. 20Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom like that of an angel of GOD—he knows everything that happens in the land.”
21The king said to Joab, “Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom.”
22Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant’s request.”
23Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem. 24But the king said, “He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king.
25In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. 26Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekelsb by the royal standard.
27Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman.
28Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face. 29Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come. 30Then he said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
31Then Joab did go to Absalom’s house, and he said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?”
32Absalom said to Joab, “Look, I sent word to you and said, ‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!” ’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.”
33So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king.
And the king kissed Absalom.
And the king kissed Absalom.
David kissed Absalom
2 Samuel 15:1-37 NIV
1In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. 2He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.” 4And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”
5Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.
7At the end of foura years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the Lord. 8While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.b ’ ”
9The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron.
10Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’ ” 11Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. 12While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.
13A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.”
14Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.”
15The king’s officials answered him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.”
16The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at the edge of the city. 18All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.
19The king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. 20You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you.
May The LORD Show you Kindness and Faithfulness.”c
21But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as The LORD Lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”
22David said to Ittai, “Go ahead, march on.” So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.
23The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the wilderness.
24Zadok was there, too, and all the Levites who were with him were carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city.
25Then the king said to Zadok, “Take The Ark of GOD back into the city. If I find favor in The LORD'S Eyes, HE Will Bring me Back and Let me See it and HIS Dwelling place again. 26But if HE Says, ‘I AM Not Pleased with you,’ then I am ready; Let HIM Do to me whatever seems good to HIM.”
27The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you understand? Go back to the city with my blessing. Take your son Ahimaaz with you, and also Abiathar’s son Jonathan. You and Abiathar return with your two sons. 28I will wait at the fords in the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29So Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of God back to Jerusalem and stayed there.
30But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up. 31Now David had been told, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.”
So David prayed, “LORD, Turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”
32When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head. 33David said to him, “If you go with me, you will be a burden to me. 34But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘Your Majesty, I will be your servant; I was your father’s servant in the past, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can help me by frustrating Ahithophel’s advice.35Won’t the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you? Tell them anything you hear in the king’s palace.36Their two sons, Ahimaaz son of Zadok and Jonathan son of Abiathar, are there with them. Send them to me with anything you hear.”
37So Hushai, David’s confidant, arrived at Jerusalem as Absalom was entering the city.