17[1-5] Besides this, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 soldiers, now, and I’ll go and chase after David tonight; and I’ll come on him while he is tired and exhausted, and will scare him; and all the people who are with him will run; and I’ll fight only the ruler; and I’ll bring back all the people to you. If all come back except the man you look for; all the people will be at peace. This pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai, the Archite, also now, and let’s hear what he says, too.
[6-13] When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom said to him what Ahithophel has said; and asked, “Should we do what he says? If not, speak up.Hushai said to Absalom, “What Ahithophel has said isn’t good at this time. You know your father and his men, that they’re soldiers with brutal minds, as a bear robbed of her cubs in the field; and your father is a man of war, and won’t stay with the people.See, he has hid now in some pit, or in some other place; and when some of them are fallen at the first, whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’Even those who are brave, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will completely melt, because all Israel knows that your father is a heroic warrior, and those who are with him are strong soldiers.But I say that all Israel should be gathered together to you, from Dan all the way to Beersheba, as many as the sand that is by the sea; and that you go to fight in person. So we’ll find him in some place where he is, and we’ll fall on him as the dew falls on the ground; and we won’t leave so much as one of him or all those who are with him. Besides this, if he has gone into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we’ll pull it into the river, until there not be one small stone found there.”
[14-16] Absalom and all the people of Israel said, “What Hushai, the Archite, said is better than what Ahithophel said.” For Yahweh had planned to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, in order to bring evil on Absalom.Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar, the preachers, “Ahithophel said such and such to Absalom and the elders of Israel; and such and such is what I have told them.So now send quickly, and tell David, “Don’t stay tonight at the fords of the countryside, but by all means cross over the river; in case the ruler and all the people with you be overtaken.”
[17-22] Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En Rogel; and a female worker used to go and tell them news; and then they went and told it to Ruler David, so they wouldn’t be seen coming into the city.But a boy saw them, and told Absalom; and they both went away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard; and they went down in it.The woman took and spread the covering over the well’s mouth, and strewed cracked grain on it; and nothing was known.Absalom’s workers came to the woman at the house; and they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman said to them, “They’ve gone over the river of water.” When they had searched and couldn’t find them, they went back to Jerusalem.After they had left, they came up out of the well, and went and told Ruler David; and they said to David, “Go, and cross quickly over the water because Ahithophel has counseled this against you.”Then David and all the people who were with him got up and crossed over the Jordan; by the morning light they had all gone over the Jordan.
[23-29] When Ahithophel saw that his plan wasn’t followed, he saddled his donkey and went home to his city, and set his house in order, and hanged himself; and he was buried in the tomb of his father.Then David came to Mahanaim and Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the people of Israel with him. Absalom set Amasa over the troops instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of Ithra, the Israelite, who went in to Abigail, the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.When David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi, son of Nahash, of Rabbah, of the people of Ammon, and Machir, son of Ammiel, of Lodebar, and Barzillai, the Gileadite, son of Rogelim, brought beds, bowls, and earthen pots, and wheat, barley, meal, parched grain, beans, lentils, parched pulse, and honey, butter, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David, and for the people who were with him, to eat because they said, The people are tired, and hungry and thirsty, in the countryside.
18[1-8] David counted the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. David sent out the people, a third under Joab, and a third under Abishai of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third under Ittai, the Gittite. The ruler said to the people, “I’ll truly go out with you myself, too.” But the people said, “You won’t go out because if we run away, they won’t care for us; neither if half of us die will they care for us; but you’re worth 10,000 of us; so now it’s better that you’re ready to help us in the city.” The ruler said to them, “Whatever seems best to you, I’ll do.” The ruler stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands.The ruler told Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “Be kind, for my sake, to the young man, Absalom.” All the people heard when the ruler gave all the captains orders about Absalom.So the people went out into the battlefield against Israel; and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim.The people of Israel were beaten there before the soldiers of David, and there was a great slaughter there that day of 20,000 soldiers.The battle was spread there all over the countryside; and the forest killed more people that day than the war killed.
[9-17] ThenAbsalom happened to meet the soldiers of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his hair got caught in the limbs, and he hung in the air; and the mule that was under him went on. A certain man saw it, and told Joab, “I saw Absalom hanging in an oak. Joab said to the one who told him, “You saw it, and didn’t kill him there till he fell to the ground? I’d have given you ten silver coins, and a belt.” They said to Joab, “Though I would have gotten a thousand silver coins in my hand, I still wouldn’t put my hand against the ruler’s son because I heard when the ruler told you, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, “Beware that no one touch the young man Absalom.Otherwise if I had taken his life against those words (and there’s no matter hid from the ruler), then you yourself would have been against me.”Then Joab said, “I can’t wait with you like this.” He took three spears in his hand, and threw them through the heart of Absalom, while he was still alive hanging in the oak.Ten soldiers who had Joab’s armor surrounded him and stabbed Absalom, and killed him.Joab blew the horn, and the people went back from chasing after Israel because Joab held back the people. They took Absalom, and threw him into a great pit in the forest, and raised over him a huge pile of stones; and all Israel ran back to their tents.
[18-23] Now Absalom, in his lifetime, had taken and reared up for himself a monument, which is in the ruler’s valley because he said, I don’t have a son to keep my name in memory; and he called the monument after his own name; and it’s still called Absalom’s monument, today. Then Ahimaaz of Zadok said, “Let me now run, and tell the ruler this news, how Yahweh has avenged him of his enemies.”Joab said to him, “You won’t tell this news today, but you’ll tell the news another day; but today you’ll bring no news, because the ruler’s son is dead.” Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the ruler what you’ve seen.” The Cushite bowed himself to Joab, and ran.Then Ahimaaz of Zadok said still again to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me run after the Cushite, too.” Joab said, “Why do you want to run, my son, seeing that you’ll get nothing good for the news?”He said, “But whatever happens, I’ll run.” He said to him, “Run then.” So Ahimaaz ran by the road of the valley, and outran the Cushite.
[24-27] Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate to the wall, and looked and saw someone running alone. The watchman cried out, and told the ruler. The ruler said, “If he’s alone, there’s news. He ran quickly, and came to them.Then the watchman saw another runner; and the watchman called to the gatekeeper, saying, “Another one is running alone.” The ruler said, “He also brings news.” The watchman said, “I think the the first runner is running like Ahimaaz of Zadok.” The ruler said, “He’s a good man, and brings good news.
[28-33]Ahimaaz called out, saying to the ruler, “All is well.” Then he bowed himself before the ruler with his face to the earth, saying, “Blessed be Yahweh, your God, who has handed over the men who lifted up their hand against the ruler.”The ruler said, “Is the young man Absalom okay?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the ruler’s worker, even me, your follower, I saw a great uproar, but I don’t know what it was about.” The ruler said, “Turn around, and stand here.” So he turned around, and stood still.Then the Cushite came and said, I have news for you sir, the ruler, because Yahweh has avenged you today of all those who went up against you.” Then the ruler said to the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom okay?” The Cushite answered, “May the enemies of the ruler, and all who went up against you to hurt you, be as that young man is.”The ruler was overcome, and went up to the room over the gate, and cried; and as he went, he said, “My son, Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! I would have died for you, Absalom, my son, my son!
19[1-7] It was told Joab, “The ruler cries and mourns for Absalom.” The victory that day was turned into mourning to all the people because the people heard that day, “The ruler grieves for his son.” The people snuck back into the city that day, as people who are ashamed sneak away when they run from a battle. The ruler covered his face, and cried loudly, “My son, Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!” Joab came into the house to see the ruler, saying, “Today, you’ve shamed the faces of all your followers, who have saved your life today, and the lives of your wives and children, and the lives of your mistresses; in that you love those who hate you, and hate those who love you. For you’ve acted today as if leaders and workers aren’t anything to you and I think that if Absalom had lived, and all of us had died today, then you would be very happy.So now, get up, go out, and speak kindly to your followers because I promise by Yahweh, if you don’t go out, no one will stay with you tonight; and that will be worse to you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth until now.”
[8-10] Then the ruler got up, and sat in the gate. They told to all the people, saying, “See, the ruler is sitting in the gate; and all the people came before the ruler, because all Israel had run to their tents.All the people were troubled throughout all the family groups of Israel, saying, “The ruler saved us out of the power of our enemies, and he saved us out of the power of the Philistines; and now he has been run out of the land from Absalom.But now,Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. So now, why don’t you say anything about bringing the ruler back?”
[11-15] Ruler David sent to Zadok and Abiathar, the preachers, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the ruler back to his house, seeing that all Israel’s words have come to the ruler, to bring him back to his house? You’re my brothers, my own flesh and bone; so why are you the last to bring back the ruler?’Say to Amasa, ‘Aren’t you my flesh and bone? God do so to me, and more also, if you aren’t captain of the troops before me continually in the place of Joab.’” He bowed the heart of all the people of Judah, even as the heart of one person; so that they sent to the ruler, saying, “Go back, with all Your followers.” So the ruler went back, and came to the Jordan. Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the ruler, to bring the ruler over the Jordan.
[16-23] Shimei, son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the people of Judah to meet Ruler David.There were a thousand people of Benjamin with him, and Ziba, the worker of the house of Saul, and his 15 sons and his 20 workers with him; and they went through the Jordan in the presence of the ruler. A ferry boat went to bring over the ruler’s household, and to do whatever he thought good. Shimei, of Gera, fell down before the ruler when he had come over the Jordan.He said to the ruler, “Don’t blame me with sin, nor remember what Your follower did wrong the day you went out of Jerusalem, that the ruler should take it to heart.Your follower knows that I’ve sinned; so, see, I’ve come today, the first of all the house of Joseph, to go down to meet you sir, the ruler.” But Abishai, of Zeruiah, answered, “Won’t Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed Yahweh’s anointed?” David said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah, that you should today be enemies to me? Will anyone be put to death today in Israel? Don’t I know that I’m today ruler over all Israel?” Then the ruler said to Shimei, “You won’t die.” The ruler promised him.
[24-30] Mephibosheth, son of Saul, came down to meet the ruler; and he had neither put shoes on his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the ruler left until the day he came home in peace.When he had come to Jerusalem to meet the ruler, the ruler said to him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?” He answered, “Sir, O ruler, my worker lied to me because Your follower said, I’ll saddle me a donkey, that I may ride on it, and go with the ruler; because Your follower is lame.He has lied about Your follower to you sir, the ruler; but sir the you are as an angel of God; so do what’s good in your eyes.For all my father’s house were but dead men before the ruler; still you set your follower among those who ate at your own table. So what right do I have that I should cry anymore to the ruler?”The ruler said to him, “Why do you speak anymore of your matters? I say, You and Ziba divide the land.”Mephibosheth said to the ruler, “Yes, let him take it all, because my ruler has come back in peace to your own house.”
[31-37] Barzillai, the Gileadite, came down from Rogelim; and he went over the Jordan with the ruler, to conduct him over the Jordan.Now Barzillai was a very old man, being 80 years old; and he had given the ruler supplies while he was at Mahanaim because he was a very wealthy man.The ruler said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I’ll provide for you while you’re with me in Jerusalem.” Barzillai said to the ruler, “How much longer can I live, that I should go up with the ruler to Jerusalem? I’m now 80 years old; can I know what’s good and bad? can Your follower taste what I eat or drink? can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? So why should Your follower still trouble you sir, O ruler? Your follower would just go over the Jordan with the ruler; and why should the ruler repay me with such a reward?Please let your follower turn back again, that I may die in my own city, by the grave of my father and mother. But see, your follower Chimham; let him go over with you sir, the ruler; and do to him what will seems good to you.”
[38-43] The ruler answered, Chimham will go over with me, and I’ll do to him what will seem good to you; and whatever you ask of me, that I’ll do for you.All the people went over the Jordan, and the ruler went over; and the ruler kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he went back to his own place.So the ruler went over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him; and all the people of Judah brought the ruler over, and also half the people of Israel. See, all the people of Israel came to the ruler, saying to the ruler, “Why have our brothers, the people of Judah, stolen you away, and brought the ruler and his household over the Jordan, and all David’s men with him?”All the people of Judah answered the people of Israel, “Because the ruler is a close relative to us; so why are you angry for this matter? have we eaten at all at the ruler’s cost? or has he given us any gift?” Then the people of Israel answered the people of Judah, saying, “We have ten parts in the ruler, and have more right in David than you do; so why do you hate us, that our advice wasn’t first taken in bringing back our ruler?” The words of the people of Judah were stronger than those of the people of Israel.
20[1-3] There happened to be there a evil man whose name was Sheba, son of Bichri, a Benjamite; and he blew the horn, saying, “We have no part in David, nor do we have any inheritance in a son of Jesse; everyone go home, Israel.” So all the people of Israel stopped following David, and followed Sheba, of Bichri; but the people of Judah stayed with their ruler, from the Jordan to Jerusalem.David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the ruler took his ten mistresses, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in confinement, and provided for their needs, but didn’t have sex with them. So they were shut up to the day of their death, being as death survivors.
[4-10] Then the ruler said to Amasa, “Call the people of Judah together within three days, and be here present.” So Amasa went to call the people of Judah together; but he stayed longer than the set time, which he had told him.David said to Abishai, Now Sheba of Bichri will hurt us more than Absalom did; take your leader’s workers, and chase after him, in case he goes into a protected city, and escapes out of our sight.Then Joab’s men went out after him, and the Cherethites, the Pelethites, and all the soldiers went out of Jerusalem, to chase after Sheba, of Bichri.When they were at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was tied with his armor that he had put on, and on it was a belt with a sword fastened on his waist in its sheath; and as he came it fell out.Joab said to Amasa, “Are you well, my brother?” Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. But Amasa didn’t see that the sword was in Joab’s hand; so he stabbed him in the stomach with it, and spilled his guts on the ground, and didn’t stab him again; and he died.
[11-15] So Joab and Abishai, his brother, chased on after Sheba, of Bichri. One of Joab’s soldiers stood by him, saying, “Those who favor Joab, and those who are for David, let them follow Joab. Amasa lay writhing in his blood in the middle of the highway. When they saw that all the people stood there, he carried Amasa out of the highway into the field, and threw some clothes over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still.When he was moved out of the highway, all the people went on after Joab, to chase after Sheba.He went through all the family groups of Israel to Abel, Beth Maacah, and all the Berites; and they gathered together, and also chased after Sheba.They surrounded him in Abel of Beth Maacah, and built up a mound of rubble against the city wall; and all those with Joab battered the wall to break it down.
[16-22] Then a wise woman called out of the city, “Listen! Listen! Please say to Joab, ‘Come near here, that I may speak with you.’”He came near to her; and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Can you hear me.” He answered, “I hear you.”Then she said, “They used to say in the old days, ‘They’ll truly ask counsel at Abel; and so they ended their disagreements.’ I’m one of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel; do you want to destroy a city and a mother in Israel; why will you destroy the inheritance of Yahweh?”Joab answered, “Far be it, far be it from me, that I should destroy you. It isn’t so; but a man of the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba, of Bichri, by name, has lifted up his hand against David, the ruler; give him to us, and I’ll leave from the city.” The woman said to Joab, “See, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.Then the woman told all the people what she knew. They beheaded Sheba of Bichri, and threw his head out to Joab. He blew the horn, and they left from the city, everyone going home. Joab went back to Jerusalem to the ruler.
[23-26] Now Joab was over all the troops of Israel; and Benaiah of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites;and Adoram was over the pay of their workers; and Jehoshaphat of Ahilud was the recorder; and Sheva was secretary; and Zadok and Abiathar were preachers; and also Ira, the Jairite, was head minister to David.