1And Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
2And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said to her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on mourning garments, I pray, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that hath a long time mourned for the dead;
3and come to the king, and speak after this manner to him. And Joab put the words into her mouth.
4And the woman of Tekoah spoke to the king, and she fell on her face to the ground and did obeisance, and said, Save, O king!
5And the king said to her, What aileth thee? And she said, I am indeed a widow woman, and my husband is dead.
6And thy bondmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other and slew him.
7And behold, the whole family is risen against thy bondmaid, and they say, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may put him to death, for the life of his brother whom he killed; and we will destroy the heir also: so they will quench my coal which is left, and will not leave to my husband a name or remnant on the earth.
8And the king said to the woman, Go to thy house, and I will give charge concerning thee.
9And the woman of Tekoah said to the king, Upon me, my lord, O king, be the iniquity, and upon my father's house; and the king and his throne be guiltless.
10And the king said, Whoever speaks to thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.
11Then she said, I pray thee, let the king remember Jehovah thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they cut off my son. And he said, As Jehovah liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.
12And the woman said, Let thy bondmaid, I pray thee, speak a word to my lord the king. And he said, Speak.
13And the woman said, Why then hast thou thought such a thing against God's people? and the king in saying this thing, is as one guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one.
14For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; and God has not taken away his life, but devises means that the banished one be not expelled from him.
15And now that I am come to speak of this thing to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid; and thy bondmaid said, I will now speak to the king; perhaps the king will perform the request of his handmaid.
16For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.
17And thy bondmaid said, Let the word of my lord the king now be comfortable; for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad; and Jehovah thy God will be with thee.
18And the king answered and said to the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.
19And the king said, Is the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord, O king, there is no turning to the right hand or to the left from aught that my lord the king has spoken; for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words into the mouth of thy bondmaid:
20in order to turn the appearance of the thing has thy servant Joab done this thing; but my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all that is in the earth.
21And the king said to Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: so go, bring back the young man Absalom.
22And Joab fell to the ground on his face and bowed himself, and blessed the king; and Joab said, To-day thy servant knows that I have found favour in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has fulfilled the request of his servant.
23And Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
24And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. And Absalom withdrew to his own house, and saw not the king's face.
25But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
26And when he shaved his head (for it was at every year's end that he shaved it, because it was heavy on him, therefore he shaved it), he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.
27And to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a beautiful countenance.
28So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king's face.
29Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king; but he would not come to him; and he sent again the second time, but he would not come.
30Then he said to his servants, See, Joab's allotment is near mine and he has barley there: go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the allotment on fire.
31Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to his house, and said to him, Why have thy servants set my allotment on fire?
32And Absalom said to Joab, Behold, I sent to thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Why am I come from Geshur? it would have been better for me to be there still. And now let me see the king's face; and if there be iniquity in me, let him slay me.
33And Joab came to the king, and told him. And he called Absalom, and he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.