14Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom.H3097H1121H6870H3045H4428H3820H53 2So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, "Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don't put on lotions. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time.H3097H7971H8620H3947H2450H802H559H56H3847H60H899H5480H8081H802H7227H3117H56H4191 3Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you." Then Joab told her what to say.H935H4428H1696H1697H3097H7760H1697H6310 4When the woman from Tekoa approached the king, she bowed with her face to the ground in deep respect and cried out, "O king! Help me!"H802H8621H559H4428H5307H639H776H7812H559H3467H4428 5"What's the trouble?" the king asked."Alas, I am a widow!" she replied. "My husband is dead.H4428H559H559H61H490H802H376H4191 6My two sons had a fight out in the field. And since no one was there to stop it, one of them was killed.H8198H8147H1121H8147H5327H7704H5337H259H5221H259H4191 7Now the rest of the family is demanding, 'Let us have your son. We will execute him for murdering his brother. He doesn't deserve to inherit his family's property.' They want to extinguish the only coal I have left, and my husband's name and family will disappear from the face of the earth."H4940H6965H8198H559H5414H5221H251H4191H5315H251H2026H8045H3423H3518H1513H7760H7604H376H8034H7611H6440H127 8"Leave it to me," the king told her. "Go home, and I'll see to it that no one touches him."H4428H559H802H3212H1004H6680 9"Oh, thank you, my lord the king," the woman from Tekoa replied. "If you are criticized for helping me, let the blame fall on me and on my father's house, and let the king and his throne be innocent."H802H8621H559H4428H113H4428H5771H1H1004H4428H3678H5355 10"If anyone objects," the king said, "bring him to me. I can assure you he will never complain again!"H4428H559H1696H935H5060H3254 11Then she said, "Please swear to me by the LORD your God that you won't let anyone take vengeance against my son. I want no more bloodshed." "As surely as the LORD lives," he replied, "not a hair on your son's head will be disturbed!"H559H4428H2142H3068H430H1350H1818H7843H7235H8045H1121H559H3068H2416H8185H1121H5307H776 12"Please allow me to ask one more thing of my lord the king," she said."Go ahead and speak," he responded.H802H559H8198H1696H1697H113H4428H559H1696 13She replied, "Why don't you do as much for the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished son.H802H559H2803H5971H430H4428H1696H1697H818H4428H7725H5080 14All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.H4191H4191H4325H5064H776H622H430H5375H5315H2803H4284H5080H5080 15"I have come to plead with my lord the king because people have threatened me. I said to myself, 'Perhaps the king will listen to meH935H1696H1697H113H4428H5971H3372H8198H559H1696H4428H4428H6213H1697H519 16and rescue us from those who would cut us off from the inheritance God has given us.H4428H8085H5337H519H3709H376H8045H1121H3162H5159H430 17Yes, my lord the king will give us peace of mind again.' I know that you are like an angel of God in discerning good from evil. May the LORD your God be with you."H8198H559H1697H113H4428H4496H4397H430H113H4428H8085H2896H7451H3068H430 18"I must know one thing," the king replied, "and tell me the truth." "Yes, my lord the king," she responded.H4428H6030H559H802H3582H1697H7592H802H559H113H4428H1696 19"Did Joab put you up to this?" And the woman replied, "My lord the king, how can I deny it? Nobody can hide anything from you. Yes, Joab sent me and told me what to say.H4428H559H3027H3097H802H6030H559H5315H2416H113H4428H376H786H3231H8041H113H4428H1696H5650H3097H6680H7760H1697H6310H8198 20He did it to place the matter before you in a different light. But you are as wise as an angel of God, and you understand everything that happens among us!"H5668H5437H6440H1697H5650H3097H6213H1697H113H2450H2451H4397H430H3045H776 21So the king sent for Joab and told him, "All right, go and bring back the young man Absalom."H4428H559H3097H6213H1697H3212H7725H5288H53H7725 22Joab bowed with his face to the ground in deep respect and said, "At last I know that I have gained your approval, my lord the king, for you have granted me this request!"H3097H5307H776H6440H7812H1288H4428H3097H559H3117H5650H3045H4672H2580H5869H113H4428H4428H6213H1697H5650 23Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.H3097H6965H3212H1650H935H53H3389 24But the king gave this order: "Absalom may go to his own house, but he must never come into my presence." So Absalom did not see the king.H4428H559H5437H1004H7200H6440H53H5437H1004H7200H4428H6440 25Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot.H3478H376H3966H1984H53H3303H3709H7272H6936H3971 26He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds!H1548H7218H3117H3117H7093H1548H3513H1548H8254H8181H7218H3967H8255H4428H68 27He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter's name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful.H53H3205H7969H1121H259H1323H8034H8559H802H3303H4758 28Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king.H53H3427H3117H8141H3389H7200H4428H6440 29Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come.H53H7971H3097H7971H4428H14H935H7971H8145H14H935 30So Absalom said to his servants, "Go and set fire to Joab's barley field, the field next to mine." So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded.H559H5650H7200H3097H2513H413H3027H8184H3212H3341H784H53H5650H3341H2513H784 31Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, "Why did your servants set my field on fire?"H3097H6965H935H53H1004H559H5650H3341H2513H784 32And Absalom replied, "Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn't intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me."H53H559H3097H7971H559H935H7971H4428H559H935H1650H2896H7200H4428H6440H3426H5771H4191 33So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him.H3097H935H4428H5046H7121H53H935H4428H7812H639H776H6440H4428H4428H5401H53
New Living Translation (NLT). Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. More details.