The Second Book of Samuel

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The Second Book of Samuel

  • Authors: Gad and Nathan
  • Place Written: Israel
  • When Written: c. 930-900 B.C.E.


David Hears of Saul’s Death

After the death of Saul, when David had returned from striking down the Amalekites,[1] David continued two days in Ziklag. And it came to about on the third day, that, look, a man came out of the camp from Saul, with his clothes torn, and dirt upon his head. And so it was, when he came to David, that he fell to the ground, and prostrated himself. David said to him, “From where do you come?” And he said to him, “I have escaped from the camp of Israel.” And David said to him, “How did things go? Please tell me.” And he said, “The people fled from the battle, and also many of the people have fallen and are dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead also.” Then David said to the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?” And the young man who told him said, “By chance I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, behold, Saul was leaning on his spear; and, look, the chariots and the horsemen were close upon him. And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. And I answered, ‘Here I am.’ And he said to me, ‘Who are you?’ I answered him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ And he said to me, ‘Stand, please, beside me, and put me to death; for anguish has taken hold of me,[2] because my soul[3] is still in me.’ 10 So I stood beside him and killed him, because I was sure that he could not live after he had fallen. And I took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.”

11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all of the men who were with him. 12 And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of Jehovah[4] and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13 And David said to the young man who told him, “Where do you come from?” And he answered, “I am the son of a sojourner, an Amalekite.” 14 David said to him, “How is it you were not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the anointed of Jehovah?” 15 And David called one of the young men and said, “Go, strike him.” And he struck him down so that he died. 16 And David said to him, “Your blood be on your head, for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the anointed of Jehovah.’”

David’s Lament over Saul and Jonathan

17 And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and Jonathan his son, 18 and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song of the bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jashar:

19 “Your glory, O Israel, is slain on your high places!
    How have the mighty men fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath,
    do not announce it in the streets of Ashkelon,
or the daughters of the Philistines rejoice,
    or the daughters of the uncircumcised exult.

21 “You mountains of Gilboa,
    let there be no dew or rain upon you,
    nor fields of offerings;[5]
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
    the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil.

22 “From the blood of the slain,
    from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan turned not back,
    and the sword of Saul returned not empty.

23 “Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant!
    In life and in death they were not separated;
they were swifter than eagles;
    they were stronger than lions.

24 “You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
    who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet,
    who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.

25 “How the mighty have fallen
    in the midst of the battle!

“Jonathan lies slain on your high places.
26 I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan;
very pleasant have you been to me;
    more wonderful was your love to me,
    than the love from women.

27 “How the mighty have fallen,
    and the weapons of war perished!”


David Anointed King of Judah

After this David inquired of Jehovah, “Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” And Jehovah said to him, “Go up.” David said, “Where shall I go up?” And he said, “To Hebron.” So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite. And David brought up his men who were with him, every man with his household, and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron. And the men of Judah came and there anointed David king over the house of Judah.

And they told David, saying, “It was the men of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul.” David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them, “May you be blessed by Jehovah, because you showed this loyal love to Saul your lord and buried him. Now may Jehovah show loyal love and faithfulness to you; and I also will show this goodness to you, because you have done this thing. Now therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant, for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

Ish-bosheth Made King of Israel

But Abner the son of Ner, commander of Saul’s army, had taken Ish-bosheth[6] the son of Saul and brought him across[7] to Mahanaim. He made him king over Gilead, over the Ashurites,[8] over Jezreel, over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11 And the number of days[9] that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.

The Battle of Gibeon Between the House of Saul and David

12 Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 And Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David went out[10] and met them by the pool of Gibeon; and they sat down, one on the one side of the pool and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 And Abner said to Joab, “Let the young men arise and engage in combat before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.” 15 Then they arose and crossed over by number, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 And each one of them seized his opponent by the head[11] and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. 17 And the battle was very fierce that day. And Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.

18 And the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as light of foot[12] as a gazelle in the open field. 19 And Asahel pursued after Abner; and he did not turn to go to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him and said, “Is it you, Asahel?” And he answered, “It is I.” 21 And Abner said to him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left and seize one of the young men and take his spoil.” But Asahel would not turn aside from following him. 22 And Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I lift up my face to your brother Joab?” 23 But he refused to turn aside; therefore, Abner struck him in the abdomen with the butt end[13] of the spear, so that the spear came out at his back. And he fell there and died on the spot. And it came about that all who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.

24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner; and as the sun was going down, they came to the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the sons of Benjamin gathered together behind Abner and became one fighting group, and they made a stand on the top of a certain hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab and said, “Shall the sword devour forever? Do you not know that it will be bitterness in the end? How long, then, will it be before you tell the people to turn back from pursuing their brothers?” 27 And Joab said, “As God lives, if you had not spoken, then only by the morning would the men have stopped pursuing their brother.” 28 So Joab blew the trumpet, and all the men stopped and pursued after Israel no more, nor did they fight anymore.

29 And Abner and his men went all that night through the Arabah. They crossed the Jordan, and marched the entire morning, and came to Mahanaim. 30 And Joab returned from following Abner; and when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing from the servants of David nineteen men and Asahel. 31 But the servants of David had struck down those of Benjamin and the men of Abner, so that three hundred and sixty men died. 32 And they took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. And Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.


Abner Joins David

Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; and David grew stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

The Sons of David

And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; and his second, Chileab, by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.

Abner Defects to David

It came about while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David that Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul. Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah; and Ish-bosheth[14] said to Abner, “Why have you gone in to my father’s concubine?” Then Abner was very angry over the words of Ish-bosheth and said, “Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Judah?[15] Until this day I have shown loyal love to the house of Saul your father, to his brothers and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me this day with a fault concerning this woman. May God do so to Abner, and more also, if as Jehovah has sworn to David, I do not even so to him, 10 to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba.” 11 And he could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.

12 And Abner sent messengers to David[16] in his place, saying, “Whose is the land? Make your covenant with me, and look, my hand shall be with you to bring all Israel over to you.” 13 And he said, “Good; I will make a covenant with you; but one thing I require of you; that is, you shall not see my face, unless you first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face.” 14 Then David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying, “Give me my wife Michal, to whom I was betrothed for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” 15 And Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband,[17] from Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 But her husband went with her, weeping as he went, and followed her as far as Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, “Go, return.” And he returned.

17 And Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, “In times past you were seeking for David to be king over you. 18 Now then do it; for Jehovah has spoken of David, saying, ‘By the hand of my servant David I will save[18] my people Israel out of the hand of the Philistines, and out of the hand of all their enemies.’” 19 And Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin. And Abner went also to speak in the ears of David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to the whole house of Benjamin.

20 When Abner came to David at Hebron, and with him twenty men, David made a feast for Abner and for the men that were with him. 21 And Abner said to David, “I will arise and go and will gather all Israel to my lord the king, that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your soul desires.” So David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.

Joab Kills Abner

22 And look, the servants of David and Joab came from a raid and brought much spoil with them; but Abner was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the army that was with him came, they told Joab, saying, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he has gone in peace.” 24 Then Joab came to the king and said, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you; why is it that you have sent him away and he is already gone? 25 You know Abner the son of Ner,[19] that he came to deceive you and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you are doing.”

26 When Joab came out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah; but David did not know it. 27 And when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the midst of the gate to speak with him privately, and there he struck him in the abdomen, so that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother. 28 Afterward, when David heard it, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever guiltless before Jehovah for the blood of Abner the son of Ner. 29 May it fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father’s house, and may the house of Joab never be without a man who has a discharge or a leper or a man who takes hold of the spindle[20] or who falls by the sword or who lacks bread.” 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had put their brother Asahel to death in the battle at Gibeon.

David Mourns Abner

31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes and gird on sackcloth and mourn before Abner.” And King David himself walked behind the bier. 32 And they buried Abner in Hebron; and the king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33 And the king lamented for Abner, and said,

“Should Abner die as a fool dies?
34 Your hands were not bound;
    nor your feet put into fetters;
as a man falls before sons of wickedness
    you have fallen.”

And all the people wept again over him. 35 Then all the people came to persuade David to eat bread while it was yet day. But David swore, saying, “God do so to me and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!” 36 And all the people took notice of it, and it pleased them, as everything that the king did pleased all the people. 37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it was not from the king to put to death Abner the son of Ner. 38 And the king said to his servants, “Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39 And I am this day weak, though anointed king; and these men the sons of Zeruiah are too severe for me. May Jehovah repay the evildoer according to his wickedness.”


Ish-bosheth Murdered

When the son of Saul[21] heard that Abner had died at Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was disturbed. Now Saul’s son had two men who were commanders of bands: the name of the one was Baanah and the name of the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the sons of Benjamin (for Beeroth is also counted as part of Benjamin; and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and have been sojourners there to this day).

Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son crippled in his feet. He was five years old when the report of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse took him up and fled, but as she was fleeing in haste, he fell and was crippled. And his name was Mephibosheth.

Now the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, during the hot part of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. And they came into the midst of the house as if to get wheat, and they struck him in the abdomen; then Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.[22] Now when they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedroom, they struck him and put him to death and beheaded him. Then they took his head and went by the way of the Arabah all night. Then they brought the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king, “Look, the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your soul; thus Jehovah has avenged my lord the king this day on Saul and on his descendants.” But David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As Jehovah lives, who has redeemed my soul out of all distress, 10 when one told me, ‘Look, Saul is dead,’ and thought he was bringing good news, I seized him and killed him in Ziklag, which was the reward I gave him for his news. 11 How much more, when wicked men have killed a righteous man in his own house on his bed, shall I not now require his blood from your hand and destroy you from the earth?” 12 Then David commanded the young men, and they killed them and cut off their hands and feet and hung them up beside the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron.


David Anointed King of Israel

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And Jehovah said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be leader over Israel.’” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before Jehovah, and they anointed David king over Israel.[23] David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, and they said to David, “You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame will turn you away”; thinking, “David cannot come in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is the city of David. And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ who are hated by the soul of David.”[24] Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.” And David dwelt in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built all around from the Millo and inward. 10 And David became greater and greater, for Jehovah, the God[25] of armies, was with him.

11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built a house for David. 12 And David knew that Jehovah had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David. 14 And these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 and Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet.

David Defeats the Philistines

17 When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek out David; and when David heard of it, he went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim.[26] 19 And David inquired of Jehovah, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And Jehovah said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” 20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “Jehovah has broken through my enemies before me like a breach made by waters.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. 21 And they left their idols[27] there, and David and his men carried them away.

22 And the Philistines came up yet again and spread themselves out in the Valley of Rephaim.[28] 23 And when David inquired of Jehovah, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to the rear of them, and come against them in front of the balsam trees.[29] 24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then act decisively, for then Jehovah has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as Jehovah commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba[30] to Gezer.


The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah,[31] to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name,[32] the very name of Jehovah of armies who is enthroned above the cherubim. And they placed the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark.

Uzzah and the Ark

And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before Jehovah with all sorts of fir-wood[33] stringed instruments, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals. And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him down there for his error;[34] and there he died by the ark of God. And David was angry, because Jehovah had broken forth against Uzzah; and he called that place Perez-uzzah[35] to this day. And David was afraid of Jehovah that day, and he said, “How can the ark of Jehovah come to me?” 10 So David would not move the ark of Jehovah into the city of David with him; but David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11 And the ark of Jehovah remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and Jehovah blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

12 And it was told King David, “Jehovah has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. 13 And it came about that when they carried the ark of Jehovah six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 And David danced before Jehovah with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of Jehovah with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

Michal Hates David

16 But when the Ark of Jehovah came into the City of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before Jehovah; and she despised him in her heart. 17 And they brought in the ark of Jehovah and set it in its place inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Jehovah. 18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Jehovah of armies. 19 And he distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a ring-shaped loaf, a date cake, and a raisin cake to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.

20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel this day, who uncovered himself this day before the eyes of the slave girls of his servants, as one of the empty-headed men[36] shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 And David said to Michal, “It was before Jehovah, who[37] chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of Jehovah, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before Jehovah. 22 And I will make myself even more lightly esteemed than this, and I will become low in my[38] eyes; and with the slave girls whom you spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.


Jehovah’s Covenant with David

And it came about that, when the king dwelt in his house, and Jehovah had given him rest from all his enemies round about, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for Jehovah is with you.”

And it came about the same night that the word of Jehovah came to Nathan, saying, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says Jehovah, Should you build me a house for me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house from the day of my bringing the sons of Israel up out of Egypt to this day but have walked about in a tent and in a tabernacle. In all places where I have walked about with all the sons of Israel, was there a word that I spoke with one of the tribes[39] of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of my people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’”’ Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says Jehovah of armies, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and not be disturbed anymore; neither shall the sons of wickedness afflict them any more, as formerly, 11 from the day that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Also, Jehovah has told you that Jehovah will make a house for you. 12 When your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your forefathers, I will set up your offspring[40] after you, that shall proceed out of your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he does wrong, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men,[41] 15 but my loyal love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.

David’s Prayer of Thankfulness

18 Then King David went in and sat before Jehovah and said, “Who am I, O Lord Jehovah, and what is my household, that you have brought me thus far? 19 And yet this was a small thing in your eyes, O Lord Jehovah. You have spoken also of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind,[42] O Lord Jehovah! 20 And what more can David say to you? For you know your servant, O Lord Jehovah! 21 For the sake of your word, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness to let your servant know. it. 22 Therefore you are great, O Lord Jehovah. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23 And what one[43] nation in the earth is like your people Israel? God went to redeem to himself as a people, and to make him a name, and doing for them[44] great and awesome things, driving out[45] nations and their gods before your people, whom you redeemed for yourself out of Egypt. 24 And you established for yourself your people Israel to be your people forever. And you, O Jehovah, became their God. 25 Now therefore, O Jehovah God, the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and his house, confirm it forever, and do as you have spoken, 26 And your name will be magnified forever, saying, ‘Jehovah of armies is God over Israel,’ and the house of your servant David shall be established before you. 27 For you, Jehovah of armies the God of Israel, have uncovered the ear of your servant,[46] saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore your servant has found his heart to pray this prayer to you. 28 And now, O Lord Jehovah, you are God, and your words are truth, and you have promised this good thing to your servant. 29 Now therefore may it please you to bless the house of your servant, so that it may continue forever before you. For you, O Lord Jehovah, have spoken, and with your blessing shall the house of your servant be blessed forever.”


David’s Victories

After this it came about that David defeated the Philistines and subdued them; and David took Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

And he defeated Moab, and measured them with the line, making them lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute.

Then David struck down Hadadezer,[47] the son of Rehob king of Zobah, as he went to restore his authority at the Euphrates[48] River. David captured from him one thousand and seven hundred horsemen[49] and twenty thousand foot soldiers. David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but of them he let remain a hundred chariot horses. 

And when the Syrians[50] of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand men of the Syrians. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians came to be David’s servants to carry tribute. And Jehovah continued to save David wherever he went. And David took the shields of gold that were carried by the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem.[51] And from Betah[52] and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took very much copper.

When Toi king of Hamath heard that David had defeated all the army of Hadadezer, 10 Toi sent Joram his son to King David to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and defeated him; for Hadadezer had been at war with Toi. And Joram brought with him articles of silver, of gold and of copper. 11 King David dedicated these to Jehovah also, along with the silver and the gold that he had dedicated from all the nations that he had subdued, 12 from Syria[53] and Moab and the sons of Ammon and the Philistines and Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah. 13 And David made a name for himself when he returned from striking down the Syrians[54] in the Valley of Salt, even eighteen thousand men. 14 Then he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And Jehovah gave victory to David wherever he went.

David’s Officials

15 And David reigned over all Israel; and David administered justice and righteousness to all his people. 16 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder, 17 and Zadok the son of Ahitub and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar[55] were priests, and Seraiah was secretary, 18 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over[56] the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief ministers.[57]


David’s Kindness to Mephibosheth

And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” Now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David; and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” And he said, “I am your servant.” And the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, that I may show the loyal love of God to him?” Ziba said to the king, “There is still one son of Jonathan; he is crippled in his feet.” The king said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Look, he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lo-debar.” Then King David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo-debar. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and prostrated himself. And David said, “Mephibosheth!” And he answered, “Look, I am your servant.” And David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will show you loyal love for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the field[58] of Saul your father,[59] and you shall eat at my table always.” And he prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?”

Then the king called Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “All that belonged to Saul and to all his house I have given to the grandson of your master. 10 You will cultivate the land for him, you and your sons and your servants, and you will gather its produce to provide bread for those who belong to the grandson[60] of your master to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s grandson shall always eat at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king commands his servant so your servant will do.” So Mephibosheth ate at my table[61] as one of the king’s sons. 12 And Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate at the king’s table continually. Now he was lame in both feet.


David Defeats Ammon and Syria

10 And it came about after this, that the king of the sons of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. And David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent his servants to offer him comfort over the loss of his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the sons of Ammon. But the princes of the sons of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, “Do you think that David does honor your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Has not David sent his servants to you to search the city,[62] and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?” So Hanun took David’s servants and shaved off half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle as far as their hips and sent them away. When they told it to David, he sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, “remain at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.”

And when the sons of Ammon saw that they had become odious to David, the sons of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Beth-rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men, and the men of Tob, twelve thousand men. And when David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the host of the mighty men. And the sons of Ammon came out and drew up in battle formation at the entrance of the gate:[63] and the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.

Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him in front and in the rear, he chose from all the choice men of Israel, and put them in battle formation against the Syrians. 10 The rest of his men he put in the charge of Abishai his brother, and he put them in battle formation against the sons of Ammon. 11 And he said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me, but if the sons of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God: and may Jehovah do what is good in his eyes.” 

13 So Joab and the men who were with him drew near to battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 14 And when the sons of Ammon saw that the Arameans fled, they also fled before Abishai and entered the city. Then Joab returned from fighting against the sons of Ammon and came to Jerusalem.

15 When the Syrians saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16 And Hadadezer sent and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the River.[64] They came to Helam,[65] with Shobach the commander of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 

17 And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together and crossed the Jordan and came to Helam. The Syrians drew up in formation against David and fought with him. 18 And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David killed of the Syrians the men of seven hundred chariots, and forty thousand horsemen,[66] and wounded Shobach the commander of their army, so that he died there. 19 And when all the kings, servants of Hadadezer, saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the sons of Ammon anymore.


David and Bathsheba Commit Adultery

11 And it came about in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

And it came about one evening that David arose from his bed and walked about on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam,[67] the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her.[68] Now she had been purifying herself[69] from her uncleanness. Then she returned to her house. 

And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am pregnant.” So David sent to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was doing, how the troops were doing, and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a gift from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 

12 Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will send you away.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

David Has Uriah killed

14 Now it came about in the morning that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front lines where the fighting is fiercest and then withdraw from him, so that he will be struck down and die.”

16 And it came about that when Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 And the men of the city went out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the war. 19 And he charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the news about the war to the king, 20 then, it shall be that, if the king’s wrath rises, and he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth?[70] Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’”

22 So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24 And the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it’; and so encourage him.”

David Marries Bathsheba

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done was bad in the eyes of Jehovah.


Nathan Rebukes David

12 And Jehovah sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one female lamb, a small one, that he had bought. And he nourished it, and it grew up with him and with his sons, all together. From his morsel it would eat, and from his cup it would drink, and in his arms it would lie, and it came to be as a daughter to him. And there came a traveler to the rich man, but he would not take any of his own sheep and cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. So he took the female lamb of the poor man and got it ready for the man that had come in to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As Jehovah lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold,[71] because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You yourself are the man! Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your arms, and gave you the house[72] of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you much more. Why have you despised the word of Jehovah, to do what is evil in his eyes? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says Jehovah, ‘Look, I will raise up evil against you out of your own household. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the eyes of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’” 13 And David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against Jehovah.” And Nathan said to David, “Jehovah also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have treated Jehovah with utter scorn,[73] the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”[74] 15 Then Nathan went to his house.

David’s Child Dies

And Jehovah struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God for the boy; and David fasted and went and lay all night[75] on the ground. 17 And the elders of his household stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 And it came about on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Look, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do something terrible!” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20 So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of Jehovah and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept[76] for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether Jehovah will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Solomon’s Birth

24 Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon.[77] And Jehovah loved him 25 and he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called[78] his name Jedidiah, for Jehovah’s sake.

Rabbah Is Captured

26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon and took the royal city. 27 And Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have fought against Rabbah, and I have taken the city of waters. 28 Now then gather the rest of the troops together and camp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and it be called after my name.” 29 So David gathered all the troops together and went to Rabbah and fought against it and took it. 30 And he took the crown of Malcam[79] from his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David’s head. And he took a great amount of spoil from the city. 31 And he also brought out the people who were in it, and set them under saws, sharp iron instruments, and iron axes, and made them pass through the brick kiln. And thus, he did to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Then David and all the troops returned to Jerusalem.


Amnon Rapes Tamar

13 And it came about after this that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her. And Amnon was so distressed that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab,[80] the son of Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very crafty man. And he said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, in order that I may see it and I shall have to eat from her hand.’” So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”

Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare food for him.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying down. And she took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. And she took the pan and poured it out before him, but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, “Let all the men go out from me.” So all the men went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11 When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not humiliate[81] me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing. 13 As for me, where shall I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the foolish men in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he humiliated her and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!” 16 And she said to him, “Not so, for[82] this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me.” But he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his young man who waited upon him and said, “Put now this woman away from me, and bolt the door after her.” 18 Now she had on a long-sleeved garment; for that was the way the daughters of the king, the virgins, used to dress in robes. Then his servant brought her out and bolted the door after her. 19 And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she wore. And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went.

20 And her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar remained isolated in the house of her brother Absalom. 21 Now when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry.[83] 22 But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had humiliated[84] his sister Tamar.

Absalom Murders Amnon

23 Now it came about after two full years that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 And Absalom came to the king and said, “Look, your servant has sheepshearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant.” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you.” He pressed him, but he would not go, but blessed. 26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon, and all the king’s sons go with him.[85] 28 Then Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “Mark when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine; and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not fear; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.” 29 So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each mounted his mule and fled.

30 And it came about, while they were on the way, that a report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them left.” 31 Then the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the ground; and all his servants stood by with their garments torn. 32 But Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, said, “Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead. For by the order of Absalom this has been determined from the day he humiliated his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead; for Amnon alone is dead.”

Absalom Flees to Geshur

34 But Absalom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain.[86] 35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Look, the king’s sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about.” 36 And it came about as soon as he had finished speaking, look, the king’s sons came and lifted up their voice and wept; and the king also and all his servants wept very bitterly.

37 But Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom fled and went to Geshur and was there three years. 39 And king David[87] longed to go out to Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.


Joab and the Tekoite Woman

14 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the heart of the king was on Absalom.[88] And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman and said to her, “Pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning garments, and do not anoint yourself with oil, but be like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead. Then go to the king and speak to him in this manner.” So Joab put the words in her mouth.

When the woman of Tekoa went in to[89] the king, she fell on her face to the ground and prostrated herself and said, “Help, O king.” And the king said to her, “What is your trouble?” And she answered, “Truly I am a widow, and my husband is dead. And your servant had two sons, and the two of them fought with each other in the field, and there was no one to separate them, and one struck the other and killed him. And look, the whole family has risen against your servant, and they say, ‘Give over the man who struck his brother, that we may put him to death for the soul of his brother whom he killed.’ And so they would destroy the heir also. Thus they would quench my coal that is left and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.”

Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.” And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, “Upon me, O my lord the king, be the error, and on my father’s house; let the king and his throne be innocent.” 10 The king said, “Whoever speaks to you, bring him to me, and he will not touch you anymore.” 11 Then she said, “Please let the king remember Jehovah your God, so that the avenger of blood will not destroy any more, otherwise they will destroy my son.” And he said, “As Jehovah lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.” 12 Then the woman said, “Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” And he said, “Speak.” 

13 And the woman said, “Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one. 14 We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away a soul, and he devises reasons why the banished one should not always be banished from him. 15 Now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid, and your servant thought, ‘I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant. 16 For the king will hear and deliver his servant from the hand of the man who would destroy me[90] and my son together from the inheritance of God.’[91] 17 Then your servant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king be comforting, for as the angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil. And may Jehovah your God be with you.’”

David Discovers Joab’s Scheme

18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Do not, please, hide from me a thing about which I am asking you.” And the woman said, “Let my lord the king speak, please.” 19 The king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” And the woman answered, “As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Indeed, it was your servant Joab who commanded me, and it was he who put in the mouth of your servant all these words. 20 In order to change the appearance of things[92] your servant Joab has done this thing. But my lord is wise, like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know all that is in the earth.”

Absalom Returns to Jerusalem

21 Then the king said to Joab, “Look now, I shall certainly do this thing; go, bring the young man Absalom back.” 22 Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself and blessed the king; then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your eyes, O my lord, the king, in that the king has acted on the word of his servant.” 23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 And the king said, “Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face.” So Absalom turned to his own house and did not see the face of the king.

25 Now in all Israel there was no man was as highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. 26 And when he cut the hair of his head (for at the end of every year he used to cut it; when it was heavy on him, he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the stone weight of the king.[93] 27 And there were born to Absalom three sons and one daughter whose name was Tamar. She was a woman most beautiful in appearance.

28 And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem; and he did not see the face of the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. And he sent again a second time, but he would not come. 30 Therefore he said to his servants, “See, the field of Joab is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So the servants Absalom set the field on fire.[94] 31 Then Joab arose, came to Absalom at his house and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32 Absalom answered Joab, “Look, I sent for you, saying, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still.” Now therefore, let me see the face of the king, and if there is error in me, let him put me to death.’” 33 So Joab went in to the king and told him, he called for Absalom. Thus, he came to the king and prostrated himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom.


Absalom’s Conspiracy and Rebellion

15 And it came about after this, that Absalom prepared for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom would rise up early and stand beside the way of the gate. Whenever any man had a legal case that was to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call him and say, “From what city are you?” and he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man from the king to hear you.” Then Absalom would say, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then every man who has a legal case or judgment could come to me, and I would see that he receives justice.” And when a man came near to bow down to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom did to all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

And it came about at the end of forty years[95] that Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to Jehovah, in Hebron. For your servant vowed a vow while I was dwelling at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If Jehovah shall indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve Jehovah.’”[96] The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’” 11 With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem, who were invited, and went in their innocence; and they did not know anything. 12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, the counselor of David, from his city Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually with Absalom.

David Flees Jerusalem

13 And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 And David said to all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee; for else none of us shall escape from Absalom. Hurry, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring down disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “Look, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king shall choose.” 16 So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left ten concubines to keep the house. 17 And the king went out, and all the people after him; and they hurried to Beth-merhak.[97]

18 And all his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him[98] from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander with us, to go when I must go and where I must go? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may Jehovah show you loyal love and faithfulness!”[99] 21 But Ittai answered the king, “As Jehovah lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 22 And David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.” So Ittai the Gittite passed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. 23 And all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people passed over. The king also passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness.

24 And look, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished passing from the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of Jehovah, he will bring me back again and let me see both it and his dwelling place. 26 But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ look, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.” 27 The king said also to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer?[100] Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.

30 And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered, and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went. 31 Now someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Jehovah, I pray, make the counsel[101] of Ahithophel into foolishness.”

Hushai Sent to Thwart Ahithophel

32 And it came about as David was coming up to the summit where he used to bow down to God, look, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you pass over with me, then you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So it shall be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Look, their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything that you hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.


David and Ziba

16 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, look, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred clusters of raisins, a hundred summer fruits, and a jug of wine. And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the household of the king to ride, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” And the king said, “And where is the son[102] of your master?” At this Ziba said to the king, “Look, he is staying in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will restore the kingdom of my father to me.’” Then the king said to Ziba, “Look, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is yours.” And Ziba said, “I bow down before you; let me ever find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.”

Shimei Curses David

When King David came to Bahurim, look, there came out from there a man of the family of the house of Saul whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came out cursing continually as he came. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And Shimei said when he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, and worthless man! Jehovah has returned upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and Jehovah has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. And look, you are taken in your own evil, for you are a man of blood!”

Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” 10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because Jehovah has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 And David said to Abishai and all his servants: “Look my own son, who came out from my own body seeks my soul; and how much more now a Benjaminite! Let him alone that he may curse, for Jehovah has said so to him! 12 It may be that Jehovah will look on my affliction,[103] and that Jehovah will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” 13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14 And the king, and all the people who were with him arrived[104] weary and he refreshed himself there.

Absalom Enters Jerusalem and Receives Hushai

15 Now Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 And it came about that, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” 17 And Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 18 And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, for whom Jehovah and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. 19 And again, whom should I serve? Should I not serve in the presence of his son? As I have served in your father’s presence, so I will be in your presence.”

Ahithophel’s Advice

20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your counsel. What shall we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go to[105] the concubines of your father, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will become strong.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof. And Absalom went in to the concubines of his father in the eyes of all Israel. 23 The counsel,[106] which Ahithophel gave in those days was regarded as when a man[107] inquired of the word of God, so all the counsel of Ahithophel was esteemed both by David and by Absalom.


Hushai Saves David and Hinders Ahithophel’s Advice

17 Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David this night. I will come upon him while he is weary and weak-handed and will make him tremble; and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will strike down the king only, and I will bring back all the people to you. As the return of the whole is the man whom you seek; then all the people shall be in peace.”[108] The word was right in the eyes of Absalom and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel.

Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what is in his mouth.” And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “According to this word is the way Ahithophel spoke. Shall we act upon his word? If not, you yourself speak.” Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel[109] that Ahithophel has given is not good.” Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is expert in war and will not lodge with the people. Look, he has now hidden himself in one of the caves or in another place; and it will be when he falls on them at the first attack, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 And even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men. 11 But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude, and that you go[110] to battle[111] in person. 12 So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men that are with him we will not leave so much as one. 13 Moreover, if he withdraws into a city, then all Israel shall bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it down into the valley, until there be not one small stone found there.” 14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel[112] of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For Jehovah had ordained to thwart the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that Jehovah might bring calamity upon Absalom.

David Is Warned; He Escapes Absalom

15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Thus and so did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so have I counseled. 16 Now therefore send quickly and tell David, saying, ‘Do not stay tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over, lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people who are with him.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, and a slave girl used to go and tell them, and they went and told king David, for they dared not to be seen entering into the city. 18 But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So both of them went away quickly and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down into it. 19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the mouth of the well and scattered grain on it, so that nothing was known. 20 When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.” And when the men had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21 And it came about after the men had departed that they came up out of the well and went and told King David; and they said to David, “Arise and cross over the water quickly for thus Ahithophel has counseled against you.” 22 Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed the Jordan. By daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.

23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel[113] was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and hanged himself;[114] thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.

24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite,[115] who went in to Abigail the daughter of Nahash,[116] sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

27 And it came about when David had come to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought[117] beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans and lentils,[118] 29 honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and for the people who were with him, to eat; for they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”


Absalom Is Defeated and Killed

18 Then David numbered the men who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. David sent the men out, one third under the command of Joab,[119] one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, “I myself will surely go out with you also.” But the people said, “You should not go out; for if we flee, they will not care about us; even if half of us die, they will not care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us; therefore, now it is better that you be ready to help us from the city.” The king said to them, “Whatever seems best to you I will do.” So the king stood beside the gate, and all the men went out by hundreds and thousands. And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the men heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders concerning Absalom.

So the men went out into the field against Israel, and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim.[120] And the men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the slaughter there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. The battle spread over the face of all the country, and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword.

And Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended[121] between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on. 10 And a certain man saw it and told Joab, “Look, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11  Joab said to the man who told him, “And here you saw it, and why did you not strike him down to the ground there? Then I would have given you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12 The man said to Joab, “Even if I should receive a thousand pieces of silver in my hand, I would not put out my hand against the king’s son; for in our hearing the king charged you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.’[122] 13 Otherwise, if I had dealt treacherously against his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood aloof.” 14 Then Joab said, “I will not waste time here with you.” So he took three spears[123] in his hand and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. 15 And ten young men who bore Joab’s armor came and struck Absalom and killed him.

16 Then Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained the men. 17 And they took Absalom and threw him into a great pit in the forest and raised over him a very great heap of stones. And all Israel fled every one to his own tent. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar that is in the Valley of the king, for he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s monument to this day.

David Hears of Absalom’s Death

19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and bring the news to the king that Jehovah has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.” 20 And Joab said to him, “You are not the man to bring the news this day, and you must bring the news on another day; but this day you must not bring the news, because the king’s son is dead” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed to Joab and ran. 22 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “But come what may, let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, since you will have no reward for the news?” 23 “But come what may,”[124] he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain and outran the Cushite.

24 Now David was sitting between the two gates, and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he lifted up his eyes and looked , and behold, a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he drew nearer and nearer. 26 The watchman saw another man running. And the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “See, another man running alone!” The king said, “He also brings news.” 27 The watchman said, “I think 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 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well.” And he bowed before the king with his face to the earth and said, “Blessed be Jehovah your God, who has delivered up the men who lifted up their hand against my lord the king.” 29 And the king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant, even your servant, I saw a great commotion, but I do not know what it was.” 30 And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.

David’s Grief

31 And look, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For Jehovah has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 Then the king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be as that young man.”[125]

33  And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”


David Mourns for Absalom, Joab Rebukes David

19 It was told Joab, “Look, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.” So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, for the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” So the people went by stealth into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. The king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Then Joab came into the house to the king and said, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your soul and the souls of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that the commanders and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. Now therefore arise, go out and speak to the heart of[126] your servants, for I swear by Jehovah, if you do not go, not a man will remain with you this night, and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.” So the king arose and sat in the gate. When they told all the people, saying, “Look, the king is sitting in the gate,” then all the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his own tent.

David Returns to Jerusalem

9 And all the people were arguing throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies and saved us from the hand of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now, therefore, why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?”

11 Then King David sent to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying, “Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel itself has come to the king at his house? 12 You are my kinsmen; you are my bone and my flesh. Why then should you be the last to bring back the king?’ 13 And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? God do so to me and more also, if you are not commander of my army from now on in place of Joab.’” 14 And he bent the heart[127] of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king, “Return, both you and all your servants.” 15 So the king returned and came to the Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king over the Jordan.

David Pardons His Enemies

16 Then Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, with Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they rushed to the Jordan before the king. 18 Then they crossed the ford to bring over the king’s household, and to do what was good in his sight. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan. 19 So he said to the king, “Let not my lord consider me guilty, nor remember what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king went out from Jerusalem, so that the king would take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore look, I have come today, the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.” 21 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah said, “Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the anointed of Jehovah?” 22 David then said, “What is there to me and to you men, sons of Zeruiah, that you should this day be an adversary to me? Shall any man be put to death in Israel today? For do I not know that I am king over Israel today?” 23 And the king said to Shimei, “You shall not die.” And the king swore to him.

Mephibosheth Found Innocent

24 Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; and he had neither cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came home in peace. 25 And when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey[128] for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king,’ because your servant is lame. 27 And he has slandered your servant to my lord the king; but my lord the king is like an angel of God: do therefore what is good in your eyes. 28 For all the household of my father was nothing but dead men before my lord the king; yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I have yet that I should cry out anymore to the king?” 29 And the king said to him, “Why should you speak any more about the matter? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land.” 30 And Mephibosheth said to the king: “Let him even take it all, now that my lord the king has come in peace to his house.”

Barzillai Honored

31 Now Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim; and he went on to the Jordan with the king to escort him over the Jordan. 32 Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old. He had provided the king with food while he stayed at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. 33 And the king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I will sustain you with me in Jerusalem.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king, “What are the days of the years of my life, that I should go with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am eighty years old this day. Can I discern between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I still hear the voice of singing men and women? Why should your servant be a burden any longer to my lord the king? 36 Your servant shall go over the Jordan with the king a little way, but why should the king recompense me with such a reward? 37 Please let your servant return, that I may die in my own city near the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him go over with my lord the king and do for him whatever seems good in your eyes.” 38 And the king answered, “Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good in your eyes, and all that you desire of me I will do for you.” 39 Then all the people went over the Jordan, and the king went over. And the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and he returned to his own place. 40 The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him; and all the people of Judah and also half the people of Israel brought the king across.

Dispute Among the Tribes

41 And look, all the men of Israel came to the king and said to the king, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away and brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all David’s men with him?” 42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is closely related to us.[129] Why then are you angry over this matter? Have we eaten at all at the king’s expense? Or has he given us any gift?” 43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We[130] have ten parts in the king, and in David also we have more than you.[131] Why then did you despise us?[132] Were we not the first to speak of bringing back our king?” But the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.


The Rebellion of Sheba; Joab Kills Amasa

20 Now there happened to be there a worthless man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. And he blew the trumpet and said,

“We have no portion in David,
and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
every man to his tents,[133] O Israel!”

So all the men of Israel withdrew from following David and followed Sheba the son of Bichri; but the men of Judah remained steadfast to their king, from the Jordan even to Jerusalem.

And David came to his house at Jerusalem. And the king took the ten concubines whom he had left to care for the house and put them in a house under guard and provided for them, but did not go in to them. So they were shut up until the day of their death, living as if in widowhood.[134]

Then the king said to Amasa, “Call the men of Judah together to me within three days, and you also should be here.” So Amasa went to call the men of Judah together; but he lingered longer than the set time which he had appointed him. And David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom; take your lord’s servants and pursue him, lest he get himself to fortified cities and escape from us.” And there went out after him Joab’s men and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty men; and they went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri. When they were at the great stone which is in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Now Joab was wearing a battle garment, and over it was a belt with a sword in its sheath fastened on his hip, and as he went forward it fell out. And Joab said to Amasa, “Is it well with you, my brother?” And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa was not on guard against the sword which was in Joab’s hand, so he struck him in the abdomen with it and poured out his inward parts on the ground, and did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 Now there stood by him one of Joab’s young men, and said, “Whoever favors Joab and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.” 12 But Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway. And when the man saw that all the people stood still, he removed Amasa from the road into the field and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still. 13 When he was removed from the road, all the men went on after Joab to pursue Sheba the son of Bichri.

Sheba Pursued and Beheaded

14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth-maacah, and all the Berites,[135] and they were gathered together and also went after him. 15 And they[136] came and besieged him in Abel of Beth-maacah, and they raised up a rampart against the city, and it stood within the rampart; and all the people that were with Joab battered[137] the wall, to throw it down. 16 Then a wise woman called from the city, “Listen! Listen! Tell Joab, ‘come near here, that I may speak to you.’” 17 And he came near her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your slave girl.” And he answered, “I am listening.” 18 Then she spoke, saying, “in former times they used to say, ‘let them inquire in Abel,’ and that was the end of the matter. 19 I am of those who are peaceable and faithful in Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city, even a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of Jehovah?” 20 Joab answered, “Far be it from me, far be it, that I should swallow up or destroy! 21 The matter is not so. But a man of the hill-country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against David. Deliver him alone, and I will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab, “Look, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. And they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and threw it out to Joab. So he blew the trumpet, and they dispersed from the city, every man to his home. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

David’s Government

23 Now Joab was over the whole army of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; 24 and Adoram[138] was over the forced labor, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder; 25 and Sheva was scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 and Ira the Jairite was also a priest to David.


David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of Jehovah. And Jehovah said, “It is for Saul and his bloody house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them. Now the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel but of the remnant of the Amorites. Although the sons of Israel had sworn to spare them, Saul had sought to strike them down in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah. And David said to the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? And how shall I make atonement, that you may bless the inheritance of Jehovah?” The Gibeonites said to him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us[139] and Saul or his house; neither is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” And he said, “Whatever you say, I will do for you.” They said to the king, “The man that consumed us, and that plotted against us, that we should be annihilate from remaining within any of the borders of Israel, let seven men from his sons be given to us, and we will hang them[140] before Jehovah in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen one[141] of Jehovah.”[142] And the king said, “I will give them.”

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of Jehovah’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal[143] the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the mountain before Jehovah, and they fell all seven together. And they were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, at the beginning of barley harvest.

10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell upon them from heaven; and she allowed neither the birds of the heavens to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 11 When it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done, 12 then David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them on the day the Philistines struck down Saul in Gilboa. 13 And he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan; and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14 And they buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son[144] in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was entreated for the land.

War with the Philistines

15 And the Philistines had war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. And David became exhausted. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the Rephaim,[145] the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of copper in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”

18 And it came about after this, that there was again war with the Philistines at Gob: then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was of the sons of the Rephaim.[146] 19 And there was again war with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath[147] the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20 And there was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number, and he also was descended from the Rephaim.[148] 21 And when he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei,[149] David’s brother, struck him down. 22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.


David Praises God for His Acts of Deliverance

22 And David spoke the words of this song to Jehovah in the day that Jehovah delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said,

“Jehovah is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
    my stronghold and my refuge,
    my savior; you save me from violence.
I call upon Jehovah, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.

“For the waves of death encompassed me,
    the torrents of destruction terrified me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

“In my distress I called upon Jehovah;
    to my God I called.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry came to his ears.

“Then the earth shook and quaked;
    the foundations of the heavens[150] trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up out of his nostrils,
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    coals were kindled by it.
10 He bowed the heavens and came down;
    thick darkness was under his feet.
11 He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he was seen[151] on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness canopy around him,
    a gathering of water and thick clouds.
13 From the brightness before him
    coals of fire were kindled.
14 Jehovah thundered from heaven,
    and the Most High uttered his voice.
15 And he sent out arrows and scattered them;
    lightning, and routed them.
16 Then the channels of the sea appeared;
    the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at the rebuke of Jehovah,
    at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

17 “He sent from on high, he took me;
    he drew me out of many waters.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
    from those who hated me,
    for they were too mighty for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
    but Jehovah was my support.
20 He brought me out into a broad place;
    he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

21 “Jehovah rewarded me according to my righteousness;
    according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
22 For I have kept the ways of Jehovah
    and have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all his ordinances were before me,
    and as for his statutes I did not depart from them.
24 I was blameless toward him,
    and I kept myself from guilt.
25 And Jehovah has  recompensed me according to my righteousness,
    according to my cleanness[152] in his eyes.

26 “With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
    with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
27 with the pure you will show yourself pure,
    and with the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
28 And the afflicted people you will deliver,
    but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.
29 For you are my lamp, O Jehovah,
    and Jehovah lightens my darkness.
30 For by you I can run upon a troop,
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
31 As for God, his way is perfect;
    the word of Jehovah proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

32 “For who is God, but Jehovah?
    And who is a rock, except our God?
33 This God is my strong fortress[153]
    and has made my way blameless.
34 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
    and set me secure on the heights.[154]
35 He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of copper.
36 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
    and your gentleness has made me great.
37 You enlarge my steps under me,
    and my feet have not slipped;
38 I pursued my enemies and destroyed them,
    and did not turn back until they were consumed.
39 I consumed them; I thrust them through, so that they did not rise;
    they fell under my feet.
40 For You girded me with strength for battle;
    you subdued under me those who rose up against me.
41 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,
    that I might cut off those who hate me.
42 They looked,[155] but there was none to save;
    they cried to Jehovah, but he did not answer them.
43 I beat them fine as the dust of the earth;
    I crushed them and stamped them down like the mire of the streets.

44 “You delivered me from strife with my people;[156]
    you kept me as the head of the nations;
    people whom I had not known served me.
45 Foreigners came cringing to me;
    as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me.[157]
46 Foreigners[158] lose heart
    and came trembling[159] out of their fortresses.

47 “Jehovah lives, and blessed be my rock,
    and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation,
48 the God who gives me vengeance
    and brings down peoples under me,
49 who brings me out from my enemies;
    you exalt me above those who rise against me;
    you delivered me from men of violence.

50 “For this I will praise you, O Jehovah, among the nations,
    and sing praises to your name.
51 Great salvation he brings to his king,
    and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
    to David and his offspring[160] forever.”


The Last Words of David

23 Now these are the last words of David:

The declaration  of David, the son of Jesse,
    the declaration of the man who was raised on high,
the anointed of the God of Jacob,
    the sweet psalmist of Israel:

“The Spirit of Jehovah speaks by me;
    his word is on my tongue.
The God of Israel said;
    the Rock of Israel spoke to me:
When one rules justly over men,
    ruling in the fear of God,
he shall be as the light of the morning,
    like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning,
    like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.

“For does not my house stand so with God?
    For he has made with me an everlasting covenant,
    ordered in all things and secure.
For it is all my salvation, and all my desire
    will he not indeed make it grow?
But worthless men are all like thorns that are thrown away,
    for they cannot be taken with the hand;
but the man who touches them
    arms himself with iron and the shaft of a spear,
    and they shall be utterly burned with fire.”

David’s Mighty Men

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, the head of the three.[161] He wielded his spear[162] against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.

And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there to battle and the men of Israel withdrew. 10 He rose up and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary and clung to the sword, and Jehovah brought about a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to strip the slain.

11 And after him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered into a troop where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and Jehovah worked a great victory.

13 And three of the thirty chief men went down and came to David in the harvest time to the cave of Adullam, while the troop of the Philistines was camping in the Valley of Rephaim.[163] 14 David was then in the stronghold, while the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 And David said longingly, “Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate!” 16 So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water from the well of Bethlehem, which was by the gate, and took it and brought it to David. But he would not drink it but poured it out to Jehovah. 17 And he said, “Be it far from me, O Jehovah, that I should do this. Shall I drink[164] the blood of the men who went in jeopardy of their lives?” Therefore, he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.

18 Now Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was the head of the thirty.[165] And he wielded his spear against three hundred men and killed them and won a name among the three. 19 He was most honored of the thirty,[166] therefore he became their commander; however, he did not attain to the three.

20 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, struck down the two sons[167] of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. 21 And he struck down an Egyptian, a man of great stature.[168] The Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but Benaiah went down to him with a staff and snatched the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and won a name beside the three mighty men. 23 He was honored among the thirty, but he did not attain to the three. And David set him over his guard.

24 Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai[169] the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heleb[170] the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the sons of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai[171] of the brooks of Gaash, 31 Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maacathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor bearers of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 Uriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.


David’s Census Sin

24 Now again the anger of Jehovah burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” So the king said to Joab, the commander[172] of the army,[173] who was with him, “Go through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “May Jehovah your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” But the word of the king prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right[174] side of the city[175] that is in the middle of the valley of Gad and toward Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi,[176] and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king; and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

Jehovah’s Judgment of David’s Sin

10 But David’s heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to Jehovah, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Jehovah, please take away the error of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.” 11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of Jehovah came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus Jehovah says, “I offer you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven[177] years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of Jehovah, for his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.”[178]

Pestilence kills Seventy Thousand

15 So Jehovah sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, so that out of the people from Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men died. 16 And when the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Jehovah relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of Jehovah was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to Jehovah when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Look, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong;[179] but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against the house of my father.”

David Builds an Altar

18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, “Go up, raise an altar to Jehovah on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 So David went up according to the word of Gad, just as Jehovah had commanded. 20 And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and bowed down to the king with his face to the ground. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to Jehovah, that the plague may be halted from the people.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his eyes. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May Jehovah your God accept you.” 24 Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to Jehovah my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 And David built there an altar unto Jehovah and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So Jehovah responded to the entreaty for the land, and the plague was halted from Israel.

[1] SYR five Heb. MSS “the Amalekites” MT LXX VG “Amalek.”

[2] LXX “for dreadful darkness has come upon me”
SYR “for anguish has seized me” MT the meaning is uncertain.

[3] Soul: (Heb. נֶפֶשׁ nephesh; Gr. ψυχή psuchē) The Hebrew word nephesh and the Greek word psyche basically refer to (1) people, (2) animals, or (3) the life that a person or animal has. (Gen. 1:20; 2:7; Num. 31:28; 1 Pet. 3:20) The Bible author’s use of both nephesh and psyche, in connection with earthly creatures, humans or animals, refer to that which is material, tangible, visible, and mortal. A soul breathes. (Gen. 2:7) A soul is a living creature that sins (Lev. 5:1) works (Lev. 22:30) can be kidnapped (Deut. 24:7), can be annoyed (Judges 16:16), tormented from the troubles of this imperfect life (Job 19:2), weeps because of grief (Ps 119:28), become troubled because of distress (John 12:27), become fearful (Ac 2:43), as well souls being in subjection to the government.  (Rom. 13:1) The Bible speaks of the life that the creature has (Ex. 4:16; Josh. 9:24; 2 Ki 7:7; Prov. 12:10; Matt. 20:28; Phil. 2:30) The Human soul = body [dust of the ground] + active life force (“spirit”) [Hebrew, ruachwithin the trillions of human cells which make up the human body + breath of life [Hebrew, neshamah] that sustains the life force from God. In other words, the “soul” is we, everything that we are, so the soul or the human can die. – Ecclesiastes 3:19-20.

[4] MY SYR VG “Jehovah” LXX “Judah”

[5] LXX “your high places are mountains of death”

[6] LXX “Ish-Baal”

[7] LXX “bring him out of the camp”

[8] SYR VG “Geshurites”

[9] That is, the time that David was king in Hebron

[10] LXX “went out from Hebron”

[11] LXX adds “with his hand” after “by the head”

[12] That is, swift of foot

[13] LXX “following me lest I strike”

[14] LXX SYR VG “Ish-bosheth,” MT “he”

[15] LXX lacks “that belongs to Judah”

[16] LXX has “at Hebron” after “David”

[17] LXX SYR VG “her husband” MT “a man”

[18] Most Heb. MSS “he will save” LXX SYR AT some Heb. MSS “I will save”

[19] LXX “you sent him off, and he has gone away in peace? 25Do you not know the wickedness of Abner son of Ner”

[20] LXX has “is strengthened by a crutch” instead of “takes hold of the spindle”

[21] That is, Saul’s son Ish-bosheth

[22] LXX “And behold, the doorkeeper of the house, who had been winnowing wheat, slumbered and slept. So Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped.”

[23] MT SYR VG “over Israel” LXX “over Israel as a whole”

[24] DSS “whom the soul of David hates”

[25] LXX one DSS MS lacks “the God”

[26] SYR VG “the giants”

[27] MT SYR VG “idols” LXX 1 Ch 14:12 “gods”

[28] SYR VG “the giants”

[29] MT “balsam trees” LXX “place of weeping”

[30] LXX  1 Ch 14:16 “Gibeon”

[31] DSS 1 Ch 13:6 “Kiriath-jearim”

[32]  LXX VG lacks “the name”

[33] LXX DSS “with songs”

[34] LXX lacks “for his error”

[35] Meaning breaking forth against Uzzah

[36] MT “empty-headed men” LXX “dancers”

[37] MT “It was before Jehovah, who,” LXX “Before Jehovah I shall dance. Blessed be Jehovah, who”

[38] MT SYR VG “my” LXX “your”

[39] MT SYR VG “tribes” 1 Ch 17:6 “judges”

[40] Lit seed: In most occurrences in which the Hebrew word (זֶרַע zera) arises in the Old Testament, it means offspring or descendant. Zera is used for animal offspring in Genesis 7:3. The Greek word (σπέρμα sperma) is also used in reference to offspring or descendant. (Compare Matt. 13:24; 1 Cor. 15:38; Heb. 11:11; John 7:42.) Jesus Christ used the related word (σπόρος sporos) seed (sown) to signify the word of God. – Luke 8:11.

[41]  LXX SYR VG “of men” MT “of Adam”

[42] MT “mankind” LXX “the man” VG Adam

[43] MT SYR “one” LXX “other”

[44] Four Heb. MSS VG “for them” SYR “for him” MT “for you people”

[45] LXX 1 Ch 17:21 “to drive out” MT “for your land” VG “upon the land (earth)”

[46] Or have made a revelation to your servant

[47] B 19A AC many other Heb. MSS 1 Ch 18:10 “Hadadezer,” LXX SYR VGc and about 55 Heb. MSS “Hadarezer.”

[48] MT vowel points only for “Euphrates” but it is in the MTmargin LXX SYR VG 45 Heb. MSS It is qere but not kethib (to be read but not written).

[49] LXX DSS 1 Ch 18:4 “one thousand chariots and seven thousand horsemen” MT “one thousand and seven hundred horsemen”

[50] LXX VG “Syria” MT “Aram” SYR “Edom”

[51] LXX includes “And Susakim king of Egypt took them, when he went up to Jerusalem in the days of Roboam son of Solomon” at the end of this verse.

[52] MT VG “Betah” SYR Gen. 22:24 “Tebah” 1 Ch 18:8 “Tibhath”

[53] LXX SYR 6 Heb. MSS “Edom” MT “Syria”

[54] LXX SYR 6 Heb. MSS 1 Ch 18:12 “Edomites” MT VG “Syrians” (Aram)

[55] MT LXX VG “And Ahimelech the son of Abiathar” SYR “and Abiathar the son of Ahimelech”

[56] AT SYR VG 1 Ch 18:17 “was over” MT LXX “and” or “was with”

[57] MT VG “priests” LXX “chiefs of the court” SYR “chiefs” 1 Ch 18:17 “chief officials in the service of the king”

[58] Or land

[59] That is, grandfather

[60] LXXGS “for the household”

[61] MT Vgc “my table” LXX “David’s table” SYR “table of the king”

[62] MT LXX SYR VG “city” 1 Ch 19:3 “land”

[63] MT LXX SYR VG “gate” 1 Ch 19:9 “city”

[64] That is, the Euphrates

[65] MT LXX SYR “they came to Helam” VG “he led their army there”

[66] LXX 1 Ch 19:18 “foot soldiers”

[67] 1 Ch 3:5 “Ammiel”

[68] Here “he lay” with her is a biblical euphemism for having sexual intercourse.

[69] Here “purifying herself from her uncleanness” is a reference to a ritual of cleansing after her menstrual cycle.

[70] MT VG “Jerubbesheth” LXX “Jerobaal” Jg 6:32; Jg 7:1; Jg 9:1, 16, 24, 28 “Jerubbaal”

[71] Most LXX MSS “sevenfold” MT Ex. 22:1 “fourfold” SYR and some AT MSS “fortyfold”

[72] MT LXX VG “house” SYR “daughters”

[73] MT “treated Jehovah with utter scorn” The Sopherim scribes changed to read “treated the enemies of Jehovah with utter scorn.” GinsInt There are “a few passages into which changes have been introduced by the authorised redactors of the text, but which are not expressly mentioned in the official Lists. Foremost amongst these are instances in which the original reading described blasphemy or cursing God. Such profane phrases were deemed offensive to the ears of the devote[d] worshippers when the Scriptures were read publicly before the congregation.” LXX “you have provoked the enemies of the Lord” SYR “you have made the enemies of the LORD” VG “have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord”

[74] This was not a sentence on the child, it was a prophecy of what was to come because the child grew sick. As is true with most biblical history that covers 4,000 years, we do not have all the facts, such as the health of the infant immediately after Bathsheba gave birth. The child clearly died from something other than God’s hand. Even David later recognized: “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of Jehovah proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” – 2 Samuel 22:31; compare Job 34:12; Isaiah 55:11. This same mindset is found in David at the time Jehovah had decided that he was not going to step in and save the child. During the child’s sickness, David mourned and fasted. However, once the child died as had been prophesied, David understood that the matter was closed. (2 Samuel 12:22-23) Thus, David put his trust in the judgment of God. He then began to comfort Bathsheba (now married to David), assuring her that their marriage would go on. They had regained God’s favor to the point that David’s successor would be a son between him and Bathsheba, Solomon. Thus, this historical account does not conflict with Deuteronomy 24:16 or Ezekiel 18:20. Also, in 12:15 it states that Jehovah “struck the child … and he became sick,” which should not be taken as though God made the child sick. It is something God allowed when he had the power to heal the child, God chose not to do so. This is a common way of expressing things in Hebrew.

[75] LXX DSS include “in sackcloth” after “lay all night”

[76] LXX includes “and kept watch” after “wept”

[77] MT “and he called his name Solomon” Mmargin AT SYR few Heb. MSS, “and she called his name Solomon”

[78] SYR AT a few Heb. MSS “she called”

[79] Malcam (מַלְכָּם) means their king. He is the chief idol god of the Ammonites. (2 Sam. 12:30; 1Ch 20:1, 2; Jer. 49:1, 3) Likely the same as Milcom (מִלְכֹּם Milkom), Molech (מֹלֶךְ Molek), and Moloch (Μολόχ Moloch). (1Ki 11:5, 7; Ac 7:43) The name Malcam is different than Milcom in the MT, only in the vowel points. (1Ki 11:5) The Jews ignored the counsel at Joshua 23:7 and started making sworn oaths by Malcam (Zep 1:5) It is the context that will help the translator to render מַלְכָּם as the name of the god or as “their king.” (Am 1:15) LXX “Melchol their king” MT VG “their king”

[80] MT “Jonadab” Other places in MT “Jehonadab.”

[81] Sexually violating a female, by force or coercion, with emphasis on the humiliating and dishonoring of the female and her families and kinsmen.

[82] LXXGS IT “No, my brother; for”

[83] The LXX and a DSS MSS added “but he did not grieve the spirit of his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his first-born” at the end of the verse.

[84] Sexually violating a female, by force or coercion, with emphasis on the humiliating and dishonoring of the female and her families and kinsmen.

[85] The LXX added “And Absalom made a banquet like the banquet of the king” at the end of the verse.

[86] The LXX added “And the watchman came and told the king, and said, ‘I have seen men by the way of Horonaim, by the side of the mountain’” at the end of the verse.

[87] The LXX and a DSS MSS “And the spirit of the king”

[88] Lit the heart of the king on Absalom

[89] AT LXX SYR VG many Heb. MSS “went in” MT “speak to”

[90] LXX “seeks to destroy me”

[91] MT LXX SYR VG “God” LXXGS AT “Jehovah”

[92] Lit to change the face of things

[93] It is possible that this was a standard weight that was kept at the palace of the king or a “royal” standard shekel that was not the same as the common shekel that was about 2.3 kg (5 lb).

[94] The LXX and a DSS MSS add “And the servants of Joab came to him with their robes torn and said. ‘The servants of Absalom have set your inheritance on fire.’” at the end of the verse.

[95] MT LXX VGc “Forty years” LXXGS SYR VG, “four years” “Forty years” is clearly the difficult reading, and so we can understand why some versions might alter it to “four” years. It is possibly referring to forty 40 years from when David was anointed.

[96] Some LXX MSS have “in Hebron” at the end of the verse.

[97] Meaning the last house

[98] Lit had come at his feet This is a reference to the feet of Ittai mentioned in vs 19.

[99] LXX “and Jehovah will show you mercy and truth” MT lacks.

[100] The LXX has “Look” in place of “are you not a seer”

[101] Counsel: (Heb. ʿetsah) This is God’s advice or counsel that gives one direction in order to make a decision or follow a course of action. (2 Sam. 15:34; Hos. 10:6; Ps 13:3; 106:43) It also refers to a plan, scheme, or purpose where one considers a course of action, which often includes consulting a counselor or advisor.–Ps 14:6. (See 2 Sam. 15:31; 16:23; 17:7, 14, 23; Job 12:13; Isa. 11:2; 19:11)

[102] Or grandson

[103] “In my eye.” This is one of the Eighteen Emendations: Here the Sopherim rendered the text (בְּעֵונִי) “on my error.” LXX SYR VG “on my affliction.” In the Masoretic text margin, some notes read: “This is one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim” or similar words. The scribe who made these revisions had good intentions as he saw the original reading as though it showed a lack of respect for God or his people.

[104] One LXX MS has “at the Jordan” after “arrived”

[105] That is, have sexual relations with

[106] Counsel: (Heb. ʿetsah) This is God’s advice or counsel that gives one direction in order to make a decision or follow a course of action. (2 Sam. 15:34; Hos. 10:6; Ps 13:3; 106:43) It also refers to a plan, scheme, or purpose where one considers a course of action, which often includes consulting a counselor or advisor.–Ps 14:6. (See 2 Sam. 15:31; 16:23; 17:7, 14, 23; Job 12:13; Isa. 11:2; 19:11)

[107] 30 Heb. MSS “a man” MT vowel point only. This is qere but not kethib (read but not written).

[108] LXX “And I will bring back all the people to you, as a bride returns to her husband: only you seek the soul of one man, and all the people shall have peace.”

[109] Counsel: (Heb. ʿetsah) This is God’s advice or counsel that gives one direction in order to make a decision or follow a course of action. (2 Sam. 15:34; Hos. 10:6; Ps 13:3; 106:43) It also refers to a plan, scheme, or purpose where one considers a course of action, which often includes consulting a counselor or advisor.–Ps 14:6. (See 2 Sam. 15:31; 16:23; 17:7, 14, 23; 20:22; Job 12:13; Isa. 11:2; 19:11)

[110] Lit your face goes

[111] LXX SYR VG “in among them”

[112] Counsel: (Heb. ʿetsah) This is God’s advice or counsel that gives one direction in order to make a decision or follow a course of action. (2 Sam. 15:34; Hos. 10:6; Ps 13:3; 106:43) It also refers to a plan, scheme, or purpose where one considers a course of action, which often includes consulting a counselor or advisor.–Ps 14:6. (See 2 Sam. 15:31; 16:23; 17:7, 14, 23; Job 12:13; Isa. 11:2; 19:11)

[113] Counsel: (Heb. ʿetsah) This is God’s advice or counsel that gives one direction in order to make a decision or follow a course of action. (2 Sam. 15:34; Hos. 10:6; Ps 13:3; 106:43) It also refers to a plan, scheme, or purpose where one considers a course of action, which often includes consulting a counselor or advisor.–Ps 14:6. (See 2 Sam. 15:31; 16:23; 17:7, 14, 23; Job 12:13; Isa. 11:2; 19:11)

[114] MT SYR LXX “hanged himself” (See Matt 27:5)

[115] MT SYR LXX VG “Israelite” LXXA 1 Ch 2:17 “Ishmaelite” VGc “a man”

[116] MT LXX SYR VG “Nahash” LXXGS 1 Ch 2:12-13 “Jesse”

[117] LXX “brought”

[118] MT has “roasted grain” at the end of the verse.

[119] Some LXX MSS have “David divided the troops into three, a third under the command of Joab” instead of “David sent the men out, one third under the command of Joab.”

[120] MT LXX VG “Ephraim” LXXGS “Mahanaim”

[121] MT has “he was put” LXX SYR AT “he was suspended”

[122] MT LXX SYR AT VG “Protect the young man Absalom for my sake” Few Heb. MS  “Whoever you may be, protect the young man Absalom.”

[123] Lit rods

[124] LXX SYR VG “And he said”

[125] MT LXX chapter 18 ends here.

[126] That is, speak kindly to

[127] That is, won over the heart

[128] LXX SYR VG “your servant said to him, ‘Saddle the donkey for me’”

[129] Lit me (a collective sense)

[130] Lit I (a collective sense)

[131] LXX “I have ten hands in the king and I am firstborn rather than you. And indeed, in David, I am over you”

[132] Lit me

[133] Or to his gods This is one of the Eighteen Emendations of the Sopherim. The original Heb. text is claimed to have read lelohav (from elohim, “gods” here). MT “to his tents” Heb., leohalav. See 1 Ki 12:16 f.n.; 2Ch 10:16 f.n. Some notes read in the Masoretic text margin: “This is one of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim” or similar words. The scribe who made these revisions had good intentions as he saw the original reading as though it showed a lack of respect for God or his people.

[134] MT Lit in a widowhood of livingness LXX “living widows” VG “living in widowhood” SYR “were like widows”

[135] LXX VG “Bichrites”

[136] That is, Joab and his men

[137] LXX AT “planning”

[138] SYR some Heb. MSS LXX 1 Kgs 4:6; 5:14 “Adoniram”

[139] MT Lit “me” (a collective sense) MTmargin “us”

[140] MT “Expose” (with arms and legs broken); LXX “hang in the sun” SYR “sacrifice them” VG “crucify”

[141] MT “the chosen one” LXX “the ones chosen” VG “the one once chosen” SYR lacking

[142] LXX “at Gibeon on the mountain of Jehovah” instead of “before Jehovah in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen one  of Jehovah”

[143] LXXGS and some LXX MSS SYR two Heb. MSS 1 Sam. 18:19 “Merab” AT “The five sons of Merab (which Michal, Saul’s daughter, brought up) which she bare.” MT and most Heb. MSS 2 Sam. 6:23 “Michal”

[144] LXX adds “and of those hanged in the sun”

[145] Lit the Raphah (הָרָפָה ha·rapha) The name of the father here is used in reference to the whole race of giants.

[146] Lit the Raphah (הָרָפָה ha·rapha)

[147] MT “the son of Jaare-oregim, the Bethlehemite, struck down Goliath” 1 Chron. 20:5 “the son of Jair struck down Lahmi the brother of Goliath”

[148] Lit the Raphah (הָרָפָה ha·rapha)

[149] 1 Chron. 20:7 “Shimea” 1 Sam. 16:9 “Shammah”

[150] SYR VG some Heb. MSS have “mountains” instead of “heavens”

[151] SYR VG some Heb. MSS have “he flew” instead of “he was seen”

[152] LXX SYR VG have “the cleanness of my hands” instead of “my cleanness”

[153] DSS SYR VG some LXX MSS have “God girds me with strength” instead of “God is my strong fortress”

[154] LXX SYR AT VG some Heb. MSS “his high places”

[155] LXX “they cried”

[156] LXX “strife with the peoples”

[157] Lit at the hearing of the ear, they will obey me

[158] Lit Sons of a foreign country

[159] LXX AT VG Heb. with the reversal of two letters “they girded themselves”

[160] Lit seed: In most occurrences in which the Hebrew word (זֶרַע zera) arises in the Old Testament, it means offspring or descendant. Zera is used for animal offspring in Genesis 7:3. The Greek word (σπέρμα sperma) is also used in reference to offspring or descendant. (Compare Matt. 13:24; 1 Cor. 15:38; Heb. 11:11; John 7:42.) Jesus Christ used the related word (σπόρος sporos) seed (sown) to signify the word of God. – Luke 8:11.

[161] LXX MT (רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁלִשִׁי rosh ha·shalish) “the head of three”

[162] “He wielded his spear,” by a correction to the MT, which would then agree with 1 Chron 11:11; LXX MT before the correction “He was Adino the Eznite.”

[163] SYR VG “the giants”

[164] LXX “shall I drink” MT is lacking, serving as an aposiopesis, that is, a device of suddenly breaking off in silence.

[165] SYR two Heb. MSS “Thirty” MT LXX VG “three”

[166] “Thirty” same as vs 18; MT LXX VG “three”

[167] LXX “sons of” MT lacks 

[168] 1 Chron. 11:23 says that “he killed an Egyptian, a man of great stature five cubits tall,” that is about 7.5 ft. or 2.3 m. MT LXX “of appearance”

[169] LXX 1 Chron. 11:29 “Sibbecai”

[170] 1 Chron. 11:30 VG several Heb. MSS “Heled”

[171] 1 Chron. 11:32 LXX “Hiddai”

[172] LXX “ruler” VG “prince”

[173] LXX 1 Chron. 21:2 “Joab and the commanders of the army”

[174] Or the south

[175] MT “and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the city” LXXGS “began at Aroer and from the city” VG “came to Aroer at the right of the city”

[176] MT “Land of Tahtim-hodshi” LXXGS “land of the Hittites toward Kadesh”

[177] MT SYR VG “Seven”  LXX 1 Chron. 21:12 “three” The seven years of 2 Sam. 24:13 could have been an addition to the three years of famine because of the sin of Saul and his house against the Gibeonites. (2 Sam. 21:1-2) We then look at the current year, that is, the 10 months of the registration (2 Sam. 24:8] we get the fourth year, and the three years that were to follow, and now we have seven years.

[178] LXX adds “And David chose for himself death. 15 And there were days of wheat harvest.”

[179] LXX adds “the shepherd” before “have done wrong”

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