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The Blue Letter Bible

2 Samuel 14 :: Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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Absalom Restored to David
Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:1 -

Joab son of Zeruiah realized that the king’s mind was on Absalom.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:2 -

So Joab sent someone to Tekoa to bring a wise woman from there. He told her, “Pretend to be in mourning: dress in mourning clothes and don’t put on any oil. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:3 -

“Go to the king and speak these words to him.” Then Joab told her exactly what to say.[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:4 -

When the woman from Tekoa came[fn] to the king, she fell facedown to the ground, paid homage, and said, “Help me, Your Majesty! ”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:5 -

“What’s the matter? ” the king asked her.

“Sadly, I am a widow; my husband died,” she said.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:6 -

“Your servant had two sons. They were fighting in the field with no one to separate them, and one struck the other and killed him.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:7 -

“Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant and said, ‘Hand over the one who killed his brother so we may put him to death for the life of the brother he murdered. We will eliminate the heir! ’ They would extinguish my one remaining ember by not preserving my husband’s name or posterity on earth.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:8 -

The king told the woman, “Go home. I will issue a command on your behalf.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:9 -

Then the woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord the king, may any blame be on me and my father’s family, and may the king and his throne be innocent.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:10 -

“Whoever speaks to you,” the king said, “bring him to me. He will not trouble you again! ”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:11 -

She replied, “Please, may the king invoke the LORD your God, so that the avenger of blood will not increase the loss, and they will not eliminate my son! ”

“As the LORD lives,” he vowed, “not a hair of your son will fall to the ground.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:12 -

Then the woman said, “Please, may your servant speak a word to my lord the king? ”

“Speak,” he replied.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:13 -

The woman asked, “Why have you devised something similar against the people of God? When the king spoke as he did about this matter, he has pronounced his own guilt. The king has not brought back his own banished one.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:14 -

“We will certainly die and be like water poured out on the ground, which can’t be recovered. But God would not take away a life; he would devise plans so that the one banished from him does not remain banished.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:15 -

“Now therefore, I’ve come to present this matter to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought: I must speak to the king. Perhaps the king will grant his servant’s request.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:16 -

“The king will surely listen in order to keep his servant from the grasp of this man who would eliminate both me and my son from God’s inheritance.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:17 -

“Your servant thought: May the word of my lord the king bring relief, for my lord the king is able to discern the good and the bad like the angel of God. May the LORD your God be with you.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:18 -

Then the king answered the woman, “I’m going to ask you something; don’t conceal it from me! ”

“Let my lord the king speak,” the woman replied.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:19 -

The king asked, “Did Joab put you up to[fn] all this? ”

The woman answered. “As you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or left from all my lord the king says. Yes, your servant Joab is the one who gave orders to me; he told your servant exactly what to say.[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:20 -

“Joab your servant has done this to address the issue indirectly,[fn] but my lord has wisdom like the wisdom of the angel of God, knowing everything on earth.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:21 -

Then the king said to Joab, “I hereby grant this request. Go, bring back the young man Absalom.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:22 -

Joab fell with his face to the ground in homage and blessed the king. “Today,” Joab said, “your servant knows I have found favor with you, my lord the king, because the king has granted the request of your servant.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:23 -

So Joab got up, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:24 -

However, the king added, “He may return to his house, but he may not see my face.” So Absalom returned to his house, but he did not see the king.[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:25 -

No man in all Israel was as handsome and highly praised as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the top of his head, he did not have a single flaw.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:26 -

When he shaved his head ​— ​he shaved it at the end of every year because his hair got so heavy for him that he had to shave it off ​— ​he would weigh the hair from his head and it would be five pounds[fn] according to the royal standard.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:27 -

Three sons were born to Absalom, and a daughter named Tamar, who was a beautiful woman.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:28 -

Absalom resided in Jerusalem two years but never saw the king.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:29 -

Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab was unwilling to come to him. So he sent again, a second time, but he still would not come.

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:30 -

Then Absalom said to his servants, “See, Joab has a field right next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set fire to it! ” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.[fn]

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:31 -

Then Joab came to Absalom’s house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire? ”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:32 -

“Look,” Absalom explained to Joab, “I sent for you and said, ‘Come here. I want to send you to the king to ask: Why have I come back from Geshur? I’d be better off if I were still there.’ So now, let me see the king. If I am guilty, let him kill me.”

Unchecked Copy Box2Sa 14:33 -

Joab went to the king and told him. So David summoned Absalom, who came to the king and paid homage with his face to the ground before him. Then the king kissed Absalom.

CSB Footnotes
Lit Joab put the words into her mouth
Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg; other Hb mss read spoke
Lit “Is the hand of Joab in
Lit he put all these words into the mouth of your servant
Lit to go around the face of the matter
Lit king’s face
Lit 200 shekels
DSS, LXX add So Joab’s servants came to him with their clothes torn and said, “Absalom’s servants have set the field on fire! ”

Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers.

Additional information is provided here.

For more information on this translation, see the CSB Preface.

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