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2 Samuel

1  And it came about after Saul’s death, and when David himself had returned from striking down the Amalekites, that David continued to dwell at Ziklag two days. 2 And it came about on the third day that, look! a man was coming from the camp, from Saul, with his garments ripped apart and dirt upon his head; and it came about that when he came to David, he at once fell down to the earth and prostrated himself.

3 And David proceeded to say to him: “Where do you come from?” at which he said to him: “From the camp of Israel I have escaped.” 4 And David went on to say to him: “How did the matter turn out? Tell me, please.” To this he said: “The people have fled from the battle and also many of the people have fallen so that they died, and even Saul and Jonathan his son have died.” 5 Then David said to the young man that was telling him: “How do you really know that Saul has died and also Jonathan his son?” 6 At this the young man that was telling him said: “I unexpectedly chanced to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul supporting himself upon his spear; and, look! the charioteers and the mounted men had caught up with him. 7 When he turned back and saw me, then he called me, and I said, ‘Here I am!’ 8 And he went on to say to me, ‘Who are you?’ at which I said to him, ‘I am an Amalekite.’ 9 Then he said, ‘Stand, please, over me and definitely put me to death, for the cramp has seized me, because all my soul is yet in me.’ 10 So I stood over him and definitely put him to death, for I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. Then I took the diadem that was upon his head and the bracelet that was upon his arm, that I might bring them to my lord here.”

11 At this David took hold of his garments and ripped them apart, and so did all the men also that were with him. 12 And they began to wail and weep and fast until the evening over Saul and over Jonathan his son and over the people of Jehovah and over the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 David now said to the young man that was telling him: “Where are you from?” to which he said: “I am the son of an alien resident, an Amalekite.” 14 Then David said to him: “How was it that you did not fear to thrust your hand out to bring the anointed of Jehovah to ruin?” 15 With that David called one of the young men and said: “Go near. Smite him.” Accordingly he struck him down so that he died. 16 David then said to him: “The bloodguilt for you be upon your own head, because your own mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I myself definitely put the anointed of Jehovah to death.’”

17 And David proceeded to chant this dirge over Saul and Jonathan his son 18 and to say that the sons of Judah should be taught “The Bow.” Look! It is written in the book of Jashar:

19 “The beauty, O Israel, is slain upon your high places.

     How have the mighty men fallen!

20 Do not, YOU people, tell it in Gath;

          Do not announce it in the streets of Ashkelon,

     For fear that the daughters of the Philistines may rejoice,

     For fear that the daughters of the uncircumcised men may exult.

21 YOU mountains of Gilboa, let no dew, let no rain be upon YOU, nor let there be fields of holy contributions;

     Because there the shield of mighty ones was befouled,

     The shield of Saul, so that there was none anointed with oil.

22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of mighty ones,

     The bow of Jonathan did not turn back,

     And the sword of Saul would not return without success.

23 Saul and Jonathan, the lovable ones and the pleasant ones during their life,

           And in their death they were not separated.

     Swifter than the eagles they were,

     Mightier than the lions they were.

24 YOU daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,

     Who clothed YOU in scarlet with finery,

     Who put ornaments of gold upon YOUR clothing.

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

     Jonathan slain upon your high places!

26 I am distressed over you, my brother Jonathan,

     Very pleasant you were to me.

     More wonderful was your love to me than the love from women.

27 How have the mighty ones fallen

     And the weapons of war perished

2  And it came about afterward that David proceeded to inquire of Jehovah, saying: “Shall I go up into one of the cities of Judah?” At this Jehovah said to him: “Go up.” And David went on to say: “Where shall I go up?” Then he said: “To Hebron.” 2 Accordingly David went up there and also his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 And the men that were with him David brought up, each with his household; and they took up dwelling in the cities of Hebron [territory]. 4 Then the men of Judah came and anointed David there as king over the house of Judah.

And they came telling David, saying: “The men of Jabesh-gilead were the ones that buried Saul.” 5 Hence David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh-gilead and said to them: “Blessed may YOU be of Jehovah, because YOU exercised this loving-kindness toward YOUR lord, toward Saul, in that YOU buried him. 6 And now may Jehovah exercise toward YOU loving-kindness and trustworthiness, and I too shall exercise to YOU this goodness because YOU have done this thing. 7 And now let YOUR hands strengthen themselves and prove yourselves valiant men, because YOUR lord Saul is dead, and it is even I whom the house of Judah have anointed as king over them.”

8 As for Abner the son of Ner the chief of the army that had belonged to Saul, he took Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, and proceeded to bring him across to Mahanaim, 9 and to make him king over Gilead and the Ashurites and Jezreel and over Ephraim and Benjamin and over Israel, all of it. 10 Forty years old Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, was when he became king over Israel, and for two years he ruled as king. Only the house of Judah proved themselves followers of David. 11 And the number of the days that David proved to be king in Hebron over the house of Judah came to be seven years and six months.

12 In time Abner the son of Ner and the servants of Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 As for Joab the son of Zeruiah and the servants of David, they went out and later met together by the pool of Gibeon; and they kept sitting, these on this side of the pool and those on that side of the pool. 14 Finally Abner said to Joab: “Let the young men rise up, please, and let them put on a combat before us.” To this Joab said: “Let them rise up.” 15 So they rose up and went across by number, twelve belonging to Benjamin and Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, and twelve from the servants of David. 16 And they began grabbing hold of one another by the head, with the sword of each one in the side of the other, so that they fell down together. And that place came to be called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.

17 And the fighting came to be extremely hard on that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were finally defeated before the servants of David. 18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah happened to be there, Joab and Abishai and Asahel; and Asahel was swift on his feet, like one of the gazelles that are in the open field. 19 And Asahel went chasing after Abner, and he did not incline to go to the right or to the left from following Abner. 20 At length Abner looked behind him and said: “Is this you, Asahel?” to which he said: “It is I.” 21 Then Abner said to him: “Veer to your right or to your left and seize one of the young men as yours and take what you strip off him as yours.” And Asahel did not want to turn aside from following him. 22 So Abner said to Asahel yet again: “Turn your course aside from following me. Why should I strike you down to the earth? How, then, could I raise my face to Joab your brother?” 23 But he kept refusing to turn aside; and Abner got to strike him in the abdomen with the butt end of the spear, so that the spear came out from his back; and he fell there and died where he was. And it came about that all those who came to the place where Asahel fell and then died would stand still.

24 And Joab and Abishai went chasing after Abner. As the sun was setting they themselves came to the hill of Ammah, which is in front of Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 And the sons of Benjamin went collecting together behind Abner, and they came to be one company and kept standing upon the top of one hill. 26 And Abner began to call to Joab and say: “Is the sword going to eat endlessly? Do you not really know that bitterness is what will develop at last? How long, then, will it be before you say to the people to turn back from following their brothers?” 27 At that Joab said: “As the [true] God is living, if you had not spoken, then only by the morning would the people have been withdrawn, each one from following his brother.” 28 Joab now blew the horn, and all the people came to a halt and did not continue chasing after Israel anymore, and they did not renew the fighting anymore.

29 As for Abner and his men, they marched through the Arabah all that night and went crossing the Jordan and marching through the entire gully and finally came to Mahanaim. 30 As for Joab, he turned back from following Abner and began to collect all the people together. And there were missing from the servants of David nineteen men and Asahel. 31 And the servants of David, for their part, had struck down those of Benjamin and of the men of Abner—there were three hundred and sixty men that died. 32 And they proceeded to carry Asahel and bury him in the burial place of his father, which is at Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men went marching on all night long, and it became daylight for them at Hebron.

3  And the war between the house of Saul and the house of David came to be long drawn out; and David kept getting stronger, and the house of Saul kept declining more and more.

2 Meantime, sons were born to David in Hebron, and his firstborn came to be Amnon by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess. 3 And his second was Chileab by Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite, and the third was Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai the king of Geshur. 4 And the fourth was Adonijah the son of Haggith, and the fifth was Shephatiah the son of Abital. 5 And the sixth was Ithream by Eglah, David’s wife. These were the ones born to David in Hebron.

6 And it came about that while the war between the house of Saul and the house of David kept up, Abner himself was continually strengthening his position in the house of Saul. 7 Now Saul had had a concubine whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah. Later Ish-bosheth said to Abner: “Why was it that you had relations with the concubine of my father?” 8 And Abner got very angry at the words of Ish-bosheth and went on to say: “Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Judah? Today I keep exercising loving-kindness toward the house of Saul your father, to his brothers and his personal friends, and I have not let you find yourself in the hand of David; and yet you call me to account for an error concerning a woman today. 9 So may God do to Abner and so may he add to it, if, just as Jehovah swore to David, that is not the way that I shall do to him, 10 so as to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul and to establish the throne of David over Israel and over Judah from Dan to Beer-sheba.” 11 And he was not able to say one word more in reply to Abner because of being afraid of him.

12 Accordingly Abner sent messengers to David on the spot, saying: “To whom does the land belong?” adding: “Do conclude your covenant with me, and, look! my hand will be with you to turn to your side the whole of Israel.” 13 To this he said: “Good! I myself shall conclude a covenant with you. Only one thing there is that I am asking of you, saying, ‘You may not see my face except first you bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see my face.’” 14 Further, David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul’s son, saying: “Do give over my wife Michal, whom I engaged to myself for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” 15 So Ish-bosheth sent and took her from her husband, Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 But her husband kept walking with her, weeping as he walked after her as far as Bahurim. Then Abner said to him: “Go, return!” At that he returned. 

17 Meanwhile there had come to be communication by Abner with the older men of Israel, saying: “Both yesterday and previously YOU proved yourselves seeking David as king over YOU. 18 And now act, for Jehovah himself said to David, ‘By the hand of David my servant I shall save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines and from the hand of all their enemies.’” 19 Then Abner also spoke in the ears of Benjamin, after which Abner also went to speak in the ears of David at Hebron all that was good in the eyes of Israel and in the eyes of the whole house of Benjamin.

20 When Abner came to David at Hebron, and with him twenty men, David proceeded to make a feast for Abner and for the men that were with him. 21 Then Abner said to David: “Let me rise up and go and collect all Israel together to my lord the king, that they may conclude a covenant with you, and you will certainly become king over all that your soul craves.” So David sent Abner off, and he got on his way in peace.

22 And here David’s servants and Joab were coming from a raid, and the spoil that they brought with them was abundant. As for Abner, he was not with David in Hebron, for he had sent him off, and he was on his way in peace. 23 And Joab and all the army that was with him came in, and they now reported to Joab, saying: “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he proceeded to send him off, and he is on his way in peace.” 24 So Joab went in to the king and said: “What have you done? Look! Abner has come to you. Why was it that you sent him off so that he successfully went away? 25 You well know Abner the son of Ner, that it was to fool you that he came and to get to know your going out and your coming in and to get to know everything that you are doing.”

26 With that Joab went out from David and sent messengers after Abner, and they then had him return from the cistern of Sirah; and David himself did not know of it. 27 When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab now led him aside inside the gate to speak with him quietly. However, there he struck him in the abdomen, so that he died because of the blood of Asahel his brother. 28 When David heard of it afterward, he at once said: “I and my kingdom, from the standpoint of Jehovah, are innocent for time indefinite of bloodguilt for Abner the son of Ner. 29 May it whirl back upon the head of Joab and upon the entire house of his father, and let there not be cut off from Joab’s house a man with a running discharge or a leper or a man taking hold of the twirling spindle or one falling by the sword or one in need of bread!” 30 As for Joab and Abishai his brother, they killed Abner over the fact that he had put Asahel their brother to death at Gibeon in the battle.

31 Then David said to Joab and all the people that were with him: “Rip YOUR garments apart and tie on sackcloth and wail before Abner.” Even King David was walking behind the couch. 32 And they had the burial of Abner in Hebron; and the king began to raise his voice and weep at Abner’s burial place, and all the people gave way to weeping. 33 And the king went on to chant over Abner and say:

“As with the death of a senseless person should Abner die?

34 Your hands had not been bound ones,

And your feet had not been put into fetters of copper.

As one falling before the sons of unrighteousness you have fallen.”

At that all the people wept over him again.

35 Later all the people came to give David bread for consolation while it was yet that day, but David swore, saying: “So may God do to me and so may he add to it, if before the sun sets I shall taste bread or anything at all!” 36 And all the people themselves took notice, and it was good in their eyes. Like everything that the king did, it was in the eyes of all the people good. 37 And all the people and all Israel got to know on that day that it had not originated with the king to have Abner the son of Ner put to death. 38 And the king went on to say to his servants: “Do YOU not know that it is a prince and a great man that has fallen this day in Israel? 39 And I today am weak although anointed as king, and these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too severe for me. May Jehovah repay the doer of what is bad according to his own badness.”

4  When the son of Saul heard that Abner had died in Hebron, then his hands became feeble and all the Israelites themselves were disturbed. 2 And there were two men, chiefs of the marauding bands, that happened to belong to the son of Saul, the name of the one being Baanah and the name of the other being Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the sons of Benjamin; for Beeroth, too, used to be counted as part of Benjamin. 3 And the Beerothites went running away to Gittaim, and they came to be alien residents there down to this day.

4 Now Jonathan, the son of Saul, had a son lame in the feet. Five years old he happened to be when the report about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel; and his nurse began to carry him and flee, but it came about that as she was running in panic to flee, he then had a fall and was lamed. And his name was Mephibosheth.

5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, proceeded to go and come to the house of Ish-bosheth about when the day had heated up, as he was taking his noonday siesta. 6 And here they came into the middle of the house as men fetching wheat, and then struck him in the abdomen; and Rechab and Baanah his brother themselves escaped detection. 7 When they went into the house, he was lying upon his couch in his inner bedroom, and then they struck him so that they put him to death, after which they removed his head and took his head and walked on the road to the Arabah all night long. 8 Eventually they came bringing the head of Ish-bosheth to David at Hebron and said to the king: “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth the son of Saul your enemy who looked for your soul; but Jehovah gives to my lord the king revenge this day upon Saul and his offspring.”

9 However, David answered Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them: “As Jehovah who redeemed my soul out of all distress is living, 10 when there was one reporting to me, saying, ‘Here Saul is dead,’ and he himself in his own eyes became like a bringer of good news, I, however, took hold of him and killed him in Ziklag when it was due [for me] to give him the messenger’s fee; 11 how much more so when wicked men themselves have killed a righteous man in his own house upon his bed? And now should I not require his blood from YOUR hands, and must I not clear YOU out of the earth?” 12 With that David commanded the young men and they killed them and cut off their hands and their feet and hanged them by the pool in Hebron; and the head of Ish-bosheth they took and then buried in the burial place of Abner in Hebron.

5  In time all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said: “Look! We ourselves are your bone and your flesh. 2 Both yesterday and previously while Saul happened to be king over us, you yourself became the one leading Israel out and bringing it in. And Jehovah proceeded to say to you, ‘You yourself will shepherd my people Israel, and you yourself will become leader over Israel.’” 3 So all the older men of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David concluded a covenant with them in Hebron before Jehovah; after which they anointed David as king over Israel.

4 Thirty years old was David when he became king. For forty years he ruled as king. 5 In Hebron he ruled as king over Judah for seven years and six months; and in Jerusalem he ruled as king for thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. 6 Consequently the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites inhabiting the land, and they began to say to David: “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame ones will certainly turn you away,” they thinking: “David will not come in here.” 7 Just the same, David proceeded to capture the stronghold of Zion, that is, the City of David. 8 So David said on that day: “Anyone striking the Jebusites, let him, by means of the water tunnel, make contact with both the lame and the blind, hateful to the soul of David!” That is why they say: “The blind one and the lame one will not come into the house.” 9 And David took up dwelling in the stronghold, and it came to be called the City of David; and David began to build all around from the Mound and inward. 10 Thus David went on getting greater and greater, and Jehovah the God of armies was with him.

11 And Hiram the king of Tyre proceeded to send messengers to David, and also cedar trees and workers in wood and workers in stone for walls, and they began to build a house for David. 12 And David came to know that Jehovah had firmly established him as king over Israel and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.

13 Meantime, David went on taking more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem after he came from Hebron; and more sons and daughters continued to be born to David. 14 And these are the names of those born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua and Shobab and Nathan and Solomon, 15 and Ibhar and Elishua and Nepheg and Japhia, 16 and Elishama and Eliada and Eliphelet.

17 And the Philistines got to hear that they had anointed David as king over Israel. At that all the Philistines came up to look for David. When David heard of it, then he went down to the place hard to approach. 18 And the Philistines, for their part, came in and kept tramping about in the low plain of Rephaim. 19 And David began to inquire of Jehovah, saying: “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” At this Jehovah said to David: “Go up, for I shall without fail give the Philistines into your hands.” 20 So David came to Baal-perazim, and David got to strike them down there. At that he said: “Jehovah has broken through my enemies ahead of me, like a gap made by waters.” That is why he called the name of that place Baal-perazim. 21 Consequently they left their idols there, and so David and his men took them away.

22 Later the Philistines came up once again and tramped about in the low plain of Rephaim. 23 At that David inquired of Jehovah, but he said: “You must not go up. Go around to the rear of them, and you must come against them in front of the baca bushes. 24 And let it occur that, when you hear the sound of a marching in the tops of the baca bushes, at that time you act with decision, because at that time Jehovah will have gone out ahead of you to strike down the camp of the Philistines.” 25 Accordingly David did that way, just as Jehovah had commanded him, and he went striking down the Philistines from Geba to as far as Gezer.

6  And David proceeded again to gather all the choice men in Israel, thirty thousand. 2 Then David and all the people that were with him rose up and went to Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of the [true] God, where a name is called on, the name of Jehovah of armies, sitting on the cherubs. 3 However, they had the ark of the [true] God ride upon a new wagon, that they might carry it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new wagon.

4 So they carried it from Abinadab’s house, which was on the hill—with the ark of the [true] God; and Ahio was walking ahead of the Ark. 5 And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before Jehovah with all sorts of instruments of juniper wood and with harps and with stringed instruments and with tambourines and with sistrums and with cymbals. 6 And they came gradually as far as the threshing floor of Nacon, and Uzzah now thrust [his hand] out to the ark of the [true] God and grabbed hold of it, for the cattle nearly caused an upset. 7 At that Jehovah’s anger blazed against Uzzah and the [true] God struck him down there for the irreverent act, so that he died there close by the ark of the [true] God. 8 And David became angry over the fact that Jehovah had broken through in a rupture against Uzzah, and that place came to be called Perez-uzzah down to this day. 9 And David became afraid of Jehovah on that day and began to say: “How will the ark of Jehovah come to me?” 10 And David was not willing to remove the ark of Jehovah to him at the City of David. So David had it carried aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.

11 And the ark of Jehovah kept dwelling at the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months; and Jehovah kept blessing Obed-edom and all his household. 12 Finally the report was made to King David, saying: “Jehovah has blessed the house of Obed-edom and all that is his on account of the ark of the [true] God.” At that David proceeded to go and bring the ark of the [true] God out of the house of Obed-edom up to the City of David with rejoicing. 13 And it came about that when the carriers of the ark of Jehovah had marched six steps, he immediately sacrificed a bull and a fatling.

14 And David was dancing around before Jehovah with all his power, all the while David being girded with an ephod of linen. 15 And David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of Jehovah with joyful shouting and sound of horn. 16 And it occurred that when the ark of Jehovah came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, herself looked down through the window and got to see King David leaping and dancing around before Jehovah; and she began to despise him in her heart. 17 So they brought the ark of Jehovah in and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it; after which David offered up burnt sacrifices and communion sacrifices before Jehovah. 18 When David was finished with offering up the burnt sacrifices and the communion sacrifices, he then blessed the people in the name of Jehovah of armies. 19 Further, he apportioned to all the people, to the whole crowd of Israel, man as well as woman, to each one a ring-shaped cake of bread and a date cake and a raisin cake, after which all the people went each to his own house.

20 David now returned to bless his own household, and Michal, Saul’s daughter, came on out to meet David and then said: “How glorious the king of Israel made himself today when he uncovered himself today to the eyes of the slave girls of his servants, just as one of the empty-headed men uncovers himself outright!” 21 At this David said to Michal: “It was before Jehovah, who chose me rather than your father and all his household to put me in command as leader over Jehovah’s people Israel, and I will celebrate before Jehovah. 22 And I will make myself even more lightly esteemed than this, and I will become low in my eyes; and with the slave girls whom you mentioned, with them I am determined to glorify myself.” 23 So, as regards Michal, Saul’s daughter, she came to have no child down to the day of her death. 

7  And it came about that, when the king dwelt in his own house and Jehovah himself had given him rest from all his enemies round about, 2 then the king said to Nathan the prophet: “See, now, I am dwelling in a house of cedars while the ark of the [true] God is dwelling in the middle of tent cloths.” 3 Upon that Nathan said to the king: “Everything that is in your heart—go, do, because Jehovah is with you.”

4 And it came about on that night that the word of Jehovah came to Nathan, saying: 5 “Go, and you must say to my servant David, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Should you yourself build me a house for me to dwell in? 6 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 I was continually walking about in a tent and in a tabernacle. 7 During all the time that I have walked about among all the sons of Israel, was there a word that I spoke with one of the tribes of Israel that I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, ‘Why did YOU people not build me a house of cedars?’”’ 8 And now this is what you will say to my servant David, ‘This is what Jehovah of armies has said: “I myself took you from the pasture ground from following the flock to become a leader over my people Israel. 9 And I shall prove to be with you wherever you do go, and I will cut off all your enemies from before you; and I shall certainly make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones that are in the earth. 10 And I shall certainly appoint a place for my people Israel and plant them, and they will indeed reside where they are, and no more will they be disturbed; and the sons of unrighteousness will not afflict them again as they did at the first, 11 even from the day that I put judges in command over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies.

“‘“And Jehovah has told you that a house is what Jehovah will make for you. 12 When your days come to the full, and you must lie down with your forefathers, then I shall certainly raise up your seed after you, which will come out of your inward parts; and I shall indeed firmly establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one that will build a house for my name, and I shall certainly establish the throne of his kingdom firmly to time indefinite. 14 I myself shall become his father, and he himself will become my son. When he does wrong, I will also reprove him with the rod of men and with the strokes of the sons of Adam. 15 As for my loving-kindness, it will not depart from him the way I removed it from Saul, whom I removed on account of you. 16 And your house and your kingdom will certainly be steadfast to time indefinite before you; your very throne will become one firmly established to time indefinite.”’”

17 According to all these words and according to all this vision was the way that Nathan spoke to David.

18 At that King David came in and sat down before Jehovah and said: “Who am I, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah? And what is my house that you have brought me thus far? 19 As though this should even be something little in your eyes, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, yet you also speak respecting the house of your servant down to a distant future time; and this is the law given for mankind, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah. 20 And what more can David add and speak to you, when you yourself know your servant well, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah? 21 For the sake of your word and in agreement with your own heart you have done all these great things to cause your servant to know them. 22 That is why you are indeed great, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah; for there is no other like you, and there is no God except you among all of whom we have heard with our ears. 23 And what one nation in the earth is like your people Israel, whom God went to redeem to himself as a people and to assign himself a name and to do for them great and fear-inspiring things—to drive out because of your people, whom you have redeemed to yourself from Egypt, the nations and their gods? 24 And you proceeded to establish your people Israel firmly for yourself as your people to time indefinite; and you yourself, O Jehovah, have become their God.

25 “And now, Jehovah God, the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house carry out to time indefinite and do just as you have spoken. 26 And let your own name become great to time indefinite, saying, ‘Jehovah of armies is God over Israel,’ and let the very house of your servant David become firmly established before you. 27 For you, Jehovah of armies the God of Israel, have made a revelation to your servant’s ear, saying, ‘A house I shall build for you.’ That is why your servant has taken heart to pray to you with this prayer. 28 And now, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, you are the [true] God; and as for your words, let them prove to be truth, since you promise to your servant this goodness. 29 And now take it upon yourself and bless the house of your servant [for it] to continue to time indefinite before you; for you yourself, O Sovereign Lord Jehovah, have promised, and due to your blessing let the house of your servant be blessed to time indefinite.”

8  And it came about afterward that David proceeded to strike the Philistines down and subdue them, and David got to take Metheg-ammah out of the hand of the Philistines.

2 And he went on to strike down the Moabites and measure them with a line, making them lie down on the earth, that he might measure two lines to put them to death, and a full line to preserve them alive; and the Moabites came to be David’s servants to carry tribute.

3 And David went on to strike down Hadadezer the son of Rehob the king of Zobah as he was going his way to put his control back again at the river Euphrates. 4 And David got to capture from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen and twenty thousand men on foot; and David proceeded to hamstring all the chariot horses, but he let a hundred chariot horses of them remain.

5 When Syria of Damascus came to help Hadadezer the king of Zobah, David then struck down among the Syrians twenty-two thousand men. 6 Further, 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. 7 Moreover, David took the circular shields of gold that happened to be on the servants of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 And from Betah and Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took copper in very great quantity.

9 Now Toi the king of Hamath got to hear that David had struck down all the military force of Hadadezer. 10 So Toi sent Joram his son to King David to ask him about his welfare and congratulate him over the fact that he had fought against Hadadezer so that he struck him down (for Hadadezer had become trained in warfare against Toi); and in his hand there proved to be articles of silver and articles of gold and articles of copper. 11 These also King David sanctified to Jehovah, together with the silver and the gold that he had sanctified from all the nations that he had subdued, 12 from Syria and from Moab and from the sons of Ammon and from the Philistines and from Amalek and from the spoil of Hadadezer the son of Rehob the king of Zobah. 13 And David proceeded to make a name when he came back from striking down the Edomites in the Valley of Salt—eighteen thousand. 14 And he kept garrisons placed in Edom. In all Edom he placed garrisons, and all the Edomites came to be servants of David; and Jehovah kept saving David wherever he went.

15 And David kept reigning over all Israel; and David was continually rendering judicial decision and righteousness for all his people. 16 And 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 were priests, and Seraiah was secretary. 18 And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada [was over] the Cherethites and the Pelethites. As for the sons of David, they became priests.

9  And David proceeded to say: “Is there yet anyone that is left over of the house of Saul, that I may exercise loving-kindness toward him for the sake of Jonathan?” 2 Now the house of Saul had a servant whose name was Ziba. So they called him to David, and the king then said to him: “Are you Ziba?” to which he said: “I am your servant.” 3 And the king went on to say: “Is there nobody of the house of Saul anymore, that I may exercise toward him the loving-kindness of God?” At this Ziba said to the king: “There is yet a son of Jonathan, lame in the feet.” 4 Then the king said to him: “Where is he?” So Ziba said to the king: “Look! He is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel at Lo-debar.”

5 Immediately King David sent and took him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel at Lo-debar. 6 When Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan the son of Saul came in to David, he at once fell upon his face and prostrated himself. Then David said: “Mephibosheth!” to which he said: “Here is your servant.” 7 And David went on to say to him: “Do not be afraid, for without fail I shall exercise loving-kindness toward you for the sake of Jonathan your father; and I must return to you all the field of Saul your grandfather, and you yourself will eat bread at my table constantly.”

8 At that he prostrated himself and said: “What is your servant, that you have turned your face to the dead dog such as I am?” 9 The king now called Ziba, Saul’s attendant, and said to him: “Everything that had come to belong to Saul and to all his house I do give to the grandson of your master. 10 And you must cultivate the ground for him, you and your sons and your servants, and you must do the gathering in, and it must serve as food for [those belonging to] the grandson of your master, and they must eat; but Mephibosheth himself, the grandson of your master, will eat bread at my table constantly.”

Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 So Ziba said to the king: “In accord with all that my lord the king commands for his servant is the way that your servant will do; but Mephibosheth is eating at my table like one of the sons of the king.” 12 Now Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica, and all those dwelling in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth himself was dwelling in Jerusalem, for it was constantly at the table of the king that he was eating; and he was lame in both of his feet

10  And it came about afterward that the king of the sons of Ammon came to die, and Hanun his son began to reign instead of him. 2 At this David said: “I shall exercise loving-kindness toward Hanun the son of Nahash, just as his father exercised loving-kindness toward me.” Accordingly David sent by means of his servants to comfort him over his father, and the servants of David proceeded to come into the land of the sons of Ammon. 3 However, the princes of the sons of Ammon said to Hanun their lord: “Is David honoring your father in your eyes in that he has sent to you comforters? Is it not for the sake of searching through the city and to spy it out and to overthrow it that David has sent his servants to you?” 4 So Hanun took the servants of David and shaved off half their beards and cut their garments in half to their buttocks and sent them away. 5 Later people reported it to David, and he at once sent to meet them, because the men had come to feeling very humiliated; and the king went on to say: “Dwell in Jericho until YOUR beards grow abundantly. Then YOU must return.”

6 In time the sons of Ammon saw that they had become foul-smelling to David, and the sons of Ammon proceeded to send and hire Syrians of Beth-rehob and Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand men on foot, and the king of Maacah, a thousand men, and Ishtob, twelve thousand men. 7 When David heard of it, then he sent Joab and all the army [and] the mighty men. 8 And the sons of Ammon began to go out and draw up in battle formation at the entrance of the gate, also the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob, and Ishtob and Maacah by themselves in the open field.

9 When Joab saw that the battle charges had come to be against him from the front and from the rear, he at once chose some of all the choice men in Israel and drew them up in formation to meet the Syrians. 10 And the rest of the people he gave into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might draw them up in formation to meet the sons of Ammon. 11 And he went on to say: “If the Syrians become too strong for me, then you must serve as a salvation for me; but if the sons of Ammon themselves become too strong for you, I must also come to save you. 12 Be strong, that we may show ourselves courageous in behalf of our people and in behalf of the cities of our God; and as for Jehovah, he will do what is good in his own eyes.”

13 Then Joab and the people that were with him advanced to the battle against the Syrians, and they went fleeing from before him. 14 As for the sons of Ammon, they saw that the Syrians had fled, and they took to flight from before Abishai and hence came into the city. After that Joab returned from the sons of Ammon and came to Jerusalem.

15 When the Syrians saw that they had been defeated before Israel, they proceeded to gather themselves together. 16 So Hadadezer sent and brought out the Syrians that were in the region of the River; and then they came to Helam, with Shobach the chief of the army of Hadadezer before them.

17 When the report was made to David, he immediately gathered all Israel and crossed the Jordan and came to Helam. The Syrians now drew up in formation to meet David and began to fight against him. 18 And the Syrians took to flight from before Israel; and David got to kill of the Syrians seven hundred charioteers and forty thousand horsemen, and Shobach the chief of their army he struck down so that he died there. 19 When all the kings, the servants of Hadadezer, saw that they had been defeated before Israel, they promptly made peace with Israel and began to serve them; and the Syrians were afraid to try saving the sons of Ammon anymore.

11  And it came about at the return of the year, at the time that kings sally forth, that David proceeded to send Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, that they might bring the sons of Ammon to ruin and lay siege to Rabbah, while David was dwelling in Jerusalem.

2 And it came about at the time of evening that David proceeded to rise from his bed and walk about on the rooftop of the king’s house; and from the rooftop he caught sight of a woman bathing herself, and the woman was very good in appearance. 3 Then David sent and inquired about the woman and someone said: “Is this not Bath-sheba the daughter of Eliam the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 After that David sent messengers that he might take her. So she came in to him and he lay down with her, while she was sanctifying herself from her uncleanness. Later she returned to her house.

5 And the woman became pregnant. Consequently she sent and told David and said: “I am pregnant.” 6 At this David sent to Joab, saying: “Send to me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David began to ask how Joab was getting along and how the people were getting along and how the war was getting along. 8 Finally David said to Uriah: “Go down to your house and bathe your feet.” Accordingly Uriah went out from the king’s house, and the king’s courtesy gift went out following him. 9 However, Uriah lay down at the entrance of the king’s house with all the other servants of his lord, and he did not go down to his own house. 10 So they told David, saying: “Uriah did not go down to his own house.” Upon that David said to Uriah: “It is from a journey that you have come in, is it not? Why have you not gone down to your own house?” 11 At this Uriah said to David: “The Ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping on the face of the field, and I—shall I go into my own house to eat and drink and to lie down with my wife? As you are living and as your soul is living, I shall not do this thing!”

12 Then David said to Uriah: “Dwell here also today, and tomorrow I shall send you away.” Therefore Uriah kept dwelling in Jerusalem on that day and the day following. 13 Further, David called him that he might eat before him and drink. So he got him drunk. Nevertheless, he went out in the evening to lie down on his bed with the servants of his lord, and to his own house he did not go down. 14 And it came about in the morning that David proceeded to write a letter to Joab and send it by the hand of Uriah. 15 So he wrote in the letter, saying: “PUT Uriah in front of the heaviest battle charges, and YOU men must retreat from behind him, and he must be struck down and die.”

16 And it came about that while Joab was keeping guard over the city he kept Uriah put in the place where he knew that there were valiant men. 17 When the men of the city came on out and went fighting against Joab, then some of the people, the servants of David, fell and Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Joab now sent that he might report to David all the matters of the war. 19 And he went on to command the messenger, saying: “As soon as you finish speaking to the king about all the matters of the war, 20 then it must occur that if the rage of the king comes up and he does say to you, ‘Why did YOU have to go so near to the city to fight? Did YOU men not know that they would shoot from on top of the wall? 21 Who was it that struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman that pitched an upper millstone upon him from on top of the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did YOU men have to go so close to the wall?’ you must also say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite died too.’”

22 So the messenger went and came and told David all about which Joab had sent him. 23 And the messenger went on to say to David: “The men proved superior to us, so that they came out against us into the field; but we kept pressing them right up to the entrance of the gate. 24 And the shooters kept shooting at your servants from on top of the wall, so that some of the servants of the king died; and your servant Uriah the Hittite also died.” 25 At that David said to the messenger: “This is what you will say to Joab, ‘Do not let this matter appear bad in your eyes, for the sword eats up one as well as another. Intensify your battle against the city and throw it down.’ And encourage him.”

26 And the wife of Uriah got to hear that Uriah her husband had died, and she began to wail over her owner. 27 When the mourning period was past, David immediately sent and took her home to his house, and she came to be his wife. In time she bore to him a son, but the thing that David had done appeared bad in the eyes of Jehovah.

12  And Jehovah proceeded to send Nathan to David. So he came in to him and said to him: “There were two men that happened to be in one city, the one rich and the other of little means. 2 The rich man happened to have very many sheep and cattle; 3 but the man of little means had nothing but one female lamb, a small one, that he had bought. And he was preserving it alive, and it was growing 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 bosom it would lie, and it came to be as a daughter to him. 4 After a while a visitor came to the rich man, but he spared taking some from his own sheep and his own cattle to get such ready for the traveler that had come in to him. So he took the female lamb of the man of little means and got it ready for the man that had come in to him.”

5 At this David’s anger grew very hot against the man, so that he said to Nathan: “As Jehovah is living, the man doing this deserves to die! 6 And for the female lamb he should make compensation with four, as a consequence of the fact that he has done this thing and because he did not have compassion.”

7 Then Nathan said to David: “You yourself are the man! This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘I myself anointed you as king over Israel, and I myself delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8 And I was willing to give you the house of your lord and the wives of your lord into your bosom, and to give you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if it were not enough, I was willing to add to you things like these as well as other things. 9 Why did you despise the word of Jehovah by doing what is bad in his eyes? Uriah the Hittite you struck down with the sword, and his wife you took as your wife, and him you killed by the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 And now a sword will not depart from your own house to time indefinite, as a consequence of the fact that you despised me so that you took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to become your wife.’ 11 This is what Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am raising up against you calamity out of your own house; and I will take your wives under your own eyes and give them to your fellowman, and he will certainly lie down with your wives under the eyes of this sun. 12 Whereas you yourself acted in secret, I, for my part, shall do this thing in front of all Israel and in front of the sun.’”

13 David now said to Nathan: “I have sinned against Jehovah.” At this Nathan said to David: “Jehovah, in turn, does let your sin pass by. You will not die. 14 Notwithstanding this, because you have unquestionably treated Jehovah with disrespect by this thing, also the son himself, just born to you, will positively die.”

15 Then Nathan went to his own house.

And Jehovah proceeded to deal a blow to the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David so that it took sick. 16 And David began to seek the [true] God in behalf of the boy, and David went on a strict fast and came in and spent the night and lay down on the earth. 17 So the older men of his house stood up over him to raise him up from the earth, but he did not consent and did not take bread in company with them. 18 And it came about on the seventh day that the child gradually died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child had died; for they said: “Look! While the child continued alive we did speak to him, and he did not listen to our voice; so how can we say to him, ‘The child has died’? Then he will certainly do something bad.”

19 When David got to see that his servants were whispering together, David began to discern that the child had died. So David said to his servants: “Has the child died?” To this they said: “He has died.” 20 Then David got up from the earth and washed and rubbed himself with oil and changed his mantles and came to the house of Jehovah and prostrated himself; after which he came into his own house and asked, and they promptly set bread before him and he began to eat. 21 Consequently his servants said to him: “What does this thing mean that you have done? For the sake of the child while alive you fasted and kept weeping; and just as soon as the child had died you got up and began to eat bread.” 22 To this he said: “While the child was yet alive I did fast and I kept weeping, because I said to myself, ‘Who is there knowing whether Jehovah may show me favor, and the child will certainly live?’ 23 Now that he has died, why is it I am fasting? Am I able to bring him back again? I am going to him, but, as for him, he will not return to me.”

24 And David began to comfort Bath-sheba his wife. Further, he came in to her and lay down with her. In time she bore a son, and his name came to be called Solomon. And Jehovah himself did love him. 25 So he sent by means of Nathan the prophet and called his name Jedidiah, for the sake of Jehovah.

26 And Joab continued to fight against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon and got to capture the city of the kingdom. 27 So Joab sent messengers to David and said: “I have fought against Rabbah. I have also captured the city of waters. 28 And now gather the rest of the people and encamp against the city, and capture it; that I myself may not be the one to capture the city, and my name should not have to be called upon it.”

29 Accordingly David gathered all the people and went to Rabbah and fought against it and captured it. 30 And he got to take the crown of Malcam off its head, the weight of which was a talent of gold, along with precious stones; and it came to be upon David’s head. And the spoil of the city that he brought out was very much. 31 And the people that were in it, he brought out that he might put them at sawing stones and at sharp instruments of iron and at axes of iron, and he made them serve at brickmaking. And that was the way he proceeded to do to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Finally David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

13  And it came about after such things that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David fell in love with her. 2 And it was so distressing to Amnon that he felt sick on account of Tamar his sister, because she was a virgin, and it was difficult in the eyes of Amnon to do anything at all to her. 3 Now Amnon had a companion whose name was Jehonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jehonadab was a very wise man. 4 So he said to him: “Why are you, the son of the king, so downcast as this, morning by morning? Will you not tell me?” At this Amnon said to him: “With Tamar the sister of Absalom my brother I am in love.” 5 Upon that Jehonadab said to him: “Lie down on your bed and play sick. And your father will certainly come to see you, and you must say to him, ‘Please, let Tamar my sister come in and give me bread as a patient, and she will have to make the bread of consolation under my eyes in order that I may see it, and I shall have to eat from her hand.’”

6 Accordingly Amnon lay down and played sick, and so the king came in to see him. Then Amnon said to the king: “Please, let Tamar my sister come in and bake two heart-shaped cakes under my eyes, that I may take bread as a patient from her hand.” 7 At that David sent to Tamar at the house, saying: “Go, please, to the house of Amnon your brother and make the bread of consolation for him.” 8 So Tamar went to the house of Amnon her brother while he was lying down. Then she took the flour dough and kneaded it and made the cakes under his eyes and cooked the heart-shaped cakes. 9 Finally she took the deep pan and poured it out before him, but Amnon refused to eat and said: “HAVE everybody go out from me!” Then everybody went out from him.

10 Amnon now said to Tamar: “Bring the bread of consolation to the interior room, that I may take it as a patient from your hand.” So Tamar took the heart-shaped cakes that she had made and brought them in to Amnon her brother in the interior room. 11 When she came near to him for him to eat, he at once grabbed hold of her and said to her: “Come, lie down with me, my sister.” 12 However, she said to him: “No, my brother! Do not humiliate me; for it is not usual to do that way in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful folly. 13 And I—where shall I cause my reproach to go? And you—you will become like one of the senseless men in Israel. And now speak, please, to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 And he did not consent to listen to her voice, but used strength superior to hers and humiliated her and lay down with her. 15 And Amnon began hating her with a very great hatred, because the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her, so that Amnon said to her: “Get up, go away!” 16 At this she said to him: “No, my brother; for this badness in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done with me!” And he did not consent to listen to her.

17 With that he called his attendant who waited upon him and said: “Send this person away from me, please, to the outside, and lock the door behind her.” 18 (Now upon her there was a striped robe; for that was the way the daughters of the king, the virgins, used to dress with sleeveless coats.) So his waiter proceeded to lead her clear outside, and he locked the door behind her. 19 Then Tamar placed ashes upon her head, and the striped robe that was upon her she ripped apart; and she kept her hands put upon her head and went walking away, crying out as she walked.

20 At this Absalom her brother said to her: “Was it Amnon your brother that happened to be with you? And now, my sister, keep silent. He is your brother. Do not set your heart on this matter.” And Tamar began to dwell, while being kept from association [with others], at the house of Absalom her brother. 21 And King David himself heard about all these things, and he became very angry. 22 And Absalom did not speak with Amnon either bad or good; for Absalom hated Amnon over the fact that he had humiliated Tamar his sister.
       23
 And it turned out after two full years that Absalom came to have sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is close by Ephraim; and Absalom proceeded to invite all the sons of the king. 24 So Absalom came in to the king and said: “Here, now, your servant has sheepshearers! Let the king go, please, and also his servants, with your servant.” 25 But the king said to Absalom: “No, my son! Do not let all of us go, please, that we may not be a burden upon you.” Although he kept urging him, he did not consent to go but blessed him. 26 Finally Absalom said: “If not [you], let Amnon my brother go with us, please.” At this the king said to him: “Why should he go with you?” 27 And Absalom began to urge him, so that he sent Amnon and all the sons of the king with him.

28 Then Absalom commanded his attendants, saying: “See, please, that just as soon as Amnon’s heart is in a merry mood with wine, and I shall certainly say to YOU, ‘Strike down Amnon!’ YOU must then put him to death. Do not be afraid. Have not I myself commanded YOU? Be strong and prove yourselves to be valiant men.” 29 And Absalom’s attendants proceeded to do to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded; and all the other sons of the king began to rise up and mount each one his mule and take to flight. 30 And it came about that, while they were on the way, the report itself came to David, saying: “Absalom has struck down all the sons of the king, and not one of them has been left over.” 31 At this the king got up and ripped his clothes apart and lay upon the earth, and all his servants were standing by with their garments ripped apart.

32 However, Jehonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered and said: “Do not let my lord think that it is all the young men the sons of the king that they have put to death, for it is Amnon alone that has died, because at the order of Absalom it has occurred as something appointed from the day that he humiliated Tamar his sister. 33 And now do not let my lord the king take to his heart the word, saying, ‘All the king’s sons themselves have died’; but it is Amnon alone that has died.”

34 Meantime, Absalom went running away. Later the young man, the watchman, raised his eyes and saw, and, look! there were many people coming from the road behind him by the mountainside. 35 At this Jehonadab said to the king: “Look! The king’s sons themselves have come in. In accord with the word of your servant so it has taken place.” 36 And it came about that, as soon as he finished speaking, here the king’s sons themselves came in, and they began to raise their voice and weep; and even the king and all his servants wept with a very great weeping. 37 As for Absalom, he ran off that he might go to Talmai the son of Ammihud the king of Geshur. And [David] continued to mourn over his son all the days. 38 As for Absalom, he ran off and made his way to Geshur; and he came to be there three years.

39 Finally [the soul of] David the king longed to go out to Absalom; for he had comforted himself concerning Amnon, because he was dead.

14  Now Joab the son of Zeruiah came to know that the king’s heart was toward Absalom. 2 Accordingly Joab sent to Tekoa and took from there a wise woman and said to her: “Go in mourning, please, and dress yourself, please, with garments of mourning, and do not rub yourself with oil; and you must become like a woman here who has been mourning many days over someone dead. 3 And you must come in to the king and speak to him a word like this.” With that Joab put the words in her mouth.

4 And the Tekoite woman proceeded to come in to the king and fall upon her face to the earth and prostrate herself and say: “Do save, O king!” 5 At this the king said to her: “What is the matter with you?” To this she said: “For a fact I am a widowed woman, now that my husband is dead. 6 And your maidservant had two sons, and the two of them began to struggle with each other in the field while there was no deliverer to part them. Finally the one struck the other down and put him to death. 7 And here all the family have risen up against your maidservant and keep saying, ‘Give over the striker of his brother, that we may put him to death for the soul of his brother whom he killed, and let us even annihilate the heir!’ And they will certainly extinguish the glow of my charcoals that has remained, so as to assign to my husband neither a name nor a remnant on the surface of the ground.”

8 Then the king said to the woman: “Go to your house, and I myself shall give command regarding you.” 9 At this the Tekoite woman said to the king: “Upon me, O my lord the king, be the error, and also upon the house of my father, while the king and his throne are innocent.” 10 And the king went on to say: “If there is anyone speaking to you, you must also bring him to me, and he will never hurt you again.” 11 But she said: “Let the king, please, remember Jehovah your God, that the avenger of blood may not be continually causing ruin and that they may not annihilate my son.” To this he said: “As Jehovah is living, not a single hair of your son will fall to the earth.” 12 The woman now said: “Let your maidservant, please, speak a word to my lord the king.” So he said: “Speak!”

13 And the woman went on to say: “Why, then, have you reasoned like this against the people of God? As the king is speaking this word he is like one that is guilty, in that the king does not bring back his own banished one. 14 For we shall die without fail and be like waters that are being poured down to the earth, which cannot be gathered. But God will not take away a soul, and he has thought out reasons why the one banished should not be banished from him. 15 And now that I have come in to speak this word to the king my lord, it is because the people made me afraid. So your maidservant said, ‘Let me speak, please, to the king. Perhaps the king will act on the word of his slave girl. 16 Because the king proceeded to listen so as to deliver his slave girl out of the palm of the man [seeking] to annihilate me and my lone son from the inheritance given by God,’ 17 then your maidservant said, ‘Let the word of my lord the king serve, please, to give rest.’ For just like an angel of the [true] God is the way my lord the king is, to distinguish what is good and what is bad, and may Jehovah your God himself prove to be with you.”

18 The king now answered and said to the woman: “Do not, please, hide from me a thing about which I am asking you.” To this the woman said: “Let my lord the king speak, please.” 19 And the king went on to say: “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” Then the woman answered and said: “As your soul is living, O my lord the king, no man can go to the right or go to the left from all that my lord the king has spoken; for it was your servant Joab that commanded me, and he it was that put in the mouth of your maidservant all these words. 20 For the sake of altering the face of the matter your servant Joab has done this thing, but my lord is wise as with the wisdom of the angel of the [true] God so as to know all that is in the earth.”

21 Subsequently the king said to Joab: “Here, now, I shall certainly do this thing. So go, bring the young man Absalom back.” 22 At this Joab fell upon his face to the earth and prostrated himself and blessed the king; and Joab went on to say: “Today your servant does know that I have found favor in your eyes, O my lord the king, because the king has acted on the word of his servant.” 23 With that Joab rose up and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 However, the king said: “Let him turn toward his own house, but my face he may not see.” So Absalom turned toward his own house, and the face of the king he did not see.

25 Now compared with Absalom there proved to be no man so beautiful in all Israel as to be praised so much. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there proved to be no defect in him. 26 And when he shaved his head—and it occurred at the end of every year that he would shave it; because it was so heavy upon him, he shaved it—he weighed the hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the royal stone weight. 27 And there came to be born to Absalom three sons and one daughter whose name was Tamar. She proved to be a woman most beautiful in appearance.

28 And Absalom continued dwelling in Jerusalem for two full years, and the face of the king he did not see. 29 So Absalom sent for Joab to send him to the king, and he did not consent to come to him. Then he sent again, a second time, and he did not consent to come. 30 Finally he said to his servants: “See Joab’s tract of land beside mine, and there he has barley. Go and set it ablaze with fire.” Accordingly the servants of Absalom set the tract of land ablaze with fire. 31 At this Joab rose up and came to Absalom at the house and said to him: “Why did your servants set the tract of land that is mine ablaze with fire?” 32 So Absalom said to Joab: “Look! I sent to you, saying, ‘Come here and let me send you to the king, saying: “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me that I should still be there. And now let me see the face of the king and, if there is any error in me, he must then put me to death.”’”

33 Subsequently Joab came in to the king and told him. Then he called Absalom, who now came in to the king and prostrated himself to him, [falling] upon his face to the earth before the king; after which the king kissed Absalom.

15  And it came about following such things that Absalom proceeded to have a chariot made for himself, with horses and with fifty men running before him. 2 And Absalom rose up early and stood at the side of the road to the gate. And it came about, when any man happened to have a legal case to come to the king for judgment, then Absalom would call him and say: “From what city are you?” and he would say: “From one of the tribes of Israel your servant is.” 3 And Absalom would say to him: “See, your matters are good and straight; but there is no one from the king giving you a hearing.” 4 And Absalom would go on to say: “O that I were appointed judge in the land, that to me every man might come that happens to have a legal case or judgment! Then I should certainly do justice to him.”

5 It also occurred that, when a man drew near to bow down to him, he thrust his hand out and grabbed hold of him and kissed him. 6 And Absalom kept doing a thing like this to all Israelites that would come in for judgment to the king; and Absalom kept stealing the hearts of the men of Israel.

7 And it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom proceeded to say to the king: “Let me go, please, and pay in Hebron my vow that I solemnly made to Jehovah. 8 For your servant made a solemn vow when I was dwelling in Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If Jehovah will without fail bring me back to Jerusalem, I must also render service to Jehovah.’” 9 So the king said to him: “Go in peace.” With that he rose up and went to Hebron.

10 Absalom now sent spies through all the tribes of Israel, saying: “As soon as YOU hear the sound of the horn, YOU must also say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron!’” 11 Now there had gone with Absalom two hundred men from Jerusalem, being called and going unsuspectingly, and they did not know a single thing. 12 Further, when he offered the sacrifices, Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy kept getting stronger, and the people were continually growing in number with Absalom.

13 In time an informer came to David, saying: “The heart of the men of Israel has come to be behind Absalom.” 14 At once David said to all his servants that were with him in Jerusalem: “Get up, and let us run away; for there will prove to be no escaping for us because of Absalom! Go hurriedly, for fear he may hurry up and actually catch up with us and bring down upon us what is bad and strike the city with the edge of the sword!” 15 At this the king’s servants said to the king: “According to all that my lord the king may choose, here are your servants.” 16 So the king went out with all his household at his feet, and the king left ten women, concubines, to take care of the house. 17 And the king continued on his way out with all the people at his feet; and they came to a stop at Beth-merhak.

18 And all his servants were crossing at his side; and all the Cherethites and all the Pelethites and all the Gittites, six hundred men that had followed him from Gath, were crossing before the king’s face. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite: “Why should you yourself also go with us? Go back and dwell with the king; for you are a foreigner and, besides, you are an exile from your place. 20 Yesterday was when you came and today shall I make you wander with us, to go when I am going wherever I am going? Go back and take your brothers back with you, [and may Jehovah exercise toward you] loving-kindness and trustworthiness!” 21 But Ittai answered the king and said: “As Jehovah is living and as my lord the king is living, in the place where my lord the king may come to be, whether for death or for life, there is where your servant will come to be!” 22 At that David said to Ittai: “Go and cross over.” So Ittai the Gittite crossed over, and also all his men and all the little ones that were with him.
        23
 And all the people of the land were weeping with a loud voice, and all the people were crossing over, and the king was standing by the torrent valley of Kidron, and all the people were crossing over upon the open road to the wilderness. 24 And here also there were Zadok and with him all the Levites carrying the ark of the covenant of the [true] God; and they proceeded to set the ark of the [true] God down by Abiathar until all the people completed crossing over from the city. 25 But the king said to Zadok: “Take the ark of the [true] God back to the city. If I shall find favor in the eyes of Jehovah, he will also certainly bring me back and let me see it and its abiding place. 26 But if this is what he should say, ‘I have found no delight in you,’ here I am, let him do to me just as it is good in his eyes.” 27 And the king went on to say to Zadok the priest: “You are a seer, are you? Do return to the city in peace, and also Ahimaaz your son and Jonathan the son of Abiathar, the two sons of YOU men, with YOU. 28 See, I am lingering by the fords of the wilderness until word comes from YOU men to inform me.” 29 Accordingly Zadok and Abiathar took the ark of the [true] God back to Jerusalem, and they continued to dwell there.

30 And David was going up by the ascent of the Olives, weeping as he went up, with his head covered; and he was walking barefoot, and all the people that were with him covered each one his head, and they went up weeping as they went up. 31 And to David the report was made, saying: “Ahithophel himself is among those conspiring with Absalom.” At this David said: “Turn, please, the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness, O Jehovah!”

32 And it came about that when David himself came to the summit where people used to bow down to God, here to meet him was Hushai the Archite, with his robe ripped apart and dirt upon his head. 33 However, David said to him: “If you actually went across with me, you would then certainly become a load upon me. 34 But if you return to the city and you actually say to Absalom, ‘I am your servant, O King. I used to prove myself the servant of your father, even I at that time, but now even I am your servant,’ you must then frustrate the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests there with you? And it must occur that everything that you may hear from the house of the king you should tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Look! There with them are their two sons, Ahimaaz belonging to Zadok and Jonathan belonging to Abiathar; and by means of them YOU men must send to me everything that YOU may hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s companion, came into the city. As for Absalom, he proceeded to come into Jerusalem.

16  When David himself had crossed over a little beyond the summit, there was Ziba the attendant of Mephibosheth to meet him with a couple of asses saddled and upon them two hundred loaves of bread and a hundred cakes of raisins and a hundred loads of summer fruit and a large jar of wine. 2 Then the king said to Ziba: “What do these things mean on your part?” To this Ziba said: “The asses are for the household of the king to ride, and the bread and the load of summer fruit are for the young men to eat, and the wine is for the one tired out in the wilderness to drink.” 3 The king now said: “And where is the son of your master?” At this Ziba said to the king: “There he is dwelling in Jerusalem; for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give back to me the royal rule of my father.’” 4 The king then said to Ziba: “Look! Yours is everything that belongs to Mephibosheth.” Upon that Ziba said: “I do bow down. Let me find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.”

5 And King David came as far as Bahurim, and, look! coming out from there was a man of the family of Saul’s house, and his name was Shimei, the son of Gera, coming out and calling down evil as he came out. 6 And he began throwing stones at David and at all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the mighty men were at his right and at his left. 7 And this is what Shimei said as he called down evil: “Get out, get out, you bloodguilty man and good-for-nothing man! 8 Jehovah has brought back upon you all the bloodguilt for the house of Saul in place of whom you have ruled as king; and Jehovah gives the kingship into the hand of Absalom your son. And here you are in your calamity, because you are a bloodguilty man!”

9 Finally Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king: “Why should this dead dog call down evil upon my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and take off his head.” 10 But the king said: “What do I have to do with YOU men, YOU sons of Zeruiah? Thus let him call down evil, because Jehovah himself has said to him, ‘Call down evil upon David!’ So who should say, ‘Why did you do that way?’” 11 And David went on to say to Abishai and all his servants: “Here my own son, who has come forth out of my own inward parts, is looking for my soul; and how much more now a Benjaminite! Let him alone that he may call down evil, for Jehovah has said so to him! 12 Perhaps Jehovah will see with his eye, and Jehovah will actually restore to me goodness instead of his malediction this day.” 13 With that David and his men kept going on in the road, while Shimei was walking on the side of the mountain, walking abreast of him that he might call down evil; and he kept throwing stones while abreast of him, and he threw a lot of dust.

14 At length the king and all the people that were with him arrived tired. So they refreshed themselves there.

15 As for Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, they entered Jerusalem; and Ahithophel was with him. 16 And it came about that, as soon as Hushai the Archite, David’s companion, came in to Absalom, Hushai proceeded to say to Absalom: “Let the king live! Let the king live!” 17 At this Absalom said to Hushai: “This is the loving-kindness of yours toward your companion, is it? Why did you not go with your companion?” 18 So Hushai said to Absalom: “No; but the one whom Jehovah has chosen and also this people and all the men of Israel, his I shall become, and with him I shall dwell. 19 And for the second time [I must say], Whom shall I myself serve? Is it not before his son? Just as I served before your father, so I shall prove to be before you.”

20 Later Absalom said to Ahithophel: “YOU men, give counsel on YOUR part. What shall we do?” 21 Then Ahithophel said to Absalom: “Have relations with the concubines of your father, whom he left behind to take care of the house. And all Israel will certainly hear that you have made yourself foul-smelling to your father, and the hands of all those who are with you will certainly become strong.” 22 Accordingly they pitched a tent for Absalom upon the roof, and Absalom began to have relations with the concubines of his father under the eyes of all Israel.

23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, with which he counseled in those days, was just as when a man would inquire of the word of the [true] God. That was the way all the counsel of Ahithophel was both to David and to Absalom.

17  And Ahithophel proceeded to say to Absalom: “Let me choose, please, twelve thousand men and rise up and chase after David tonight. 2 And I shall come upon him when he is weary and feeble in both hands, and I shall certainly drive him into trembling; and all the people that are with him will have to flee, and I shall certainly strike down the king by himself. 3 And let me bring all the people back to you. Equivalent to the returning of all is the man whom you are seeking; [and] all the people will themselves come to be at peace.” 4 And the word was just right in the eyes of Absalom and in the eyes of all the older men of Israel.

5 However, Absalom said: “Call, please, Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what is in his mouth, even his.” 6 So Hushai came in to Absalom. Then Absalom said to him: “According to this word is the way Ahithophel spoke. Shall we act upon his word? If not, you yourself speak.” 7 At this Hushai said to Absalom: “The counsel with which Ahithophel has counseled is not good in this instance!”

8 And Hushai went on to say: “You yourself well know your father and the men of his, that they are mighty, and they are bitter of soul, like a female bear that has lost her cubs in the field; and your father is a warrior, and he will not spend the night with the people. 9 Look! Now he is in hiding in one of the hollows or in one of the other places; and it will certainly occur that, just as soon as he falls upon them at the start, the one hearing of it will then be bound to hear and say, ‘A defeat has taken place among the people that are following Absalom!’ 10 And even the valiant man whose heart is as the heart of the lion will himself surely soften in weakness; for all Israel is aware that your father is a mighty man and so, too, are the valiant men that are with him. 11 I myself do say in counsel: Let all Israel without fail be gathered to you, from Dan to Beer-sheba, as the sand particles that are by the sea for multitude, with your own person going into the fight. 12 And we must come against him in one of the places where he is certain to be found, and we ourselves will be upon him just as the dew falls upon the ground; and there will certainly not be left even a single one among him and all the men that are with him. 13 And if it is into some city that he will withdraw, all Israel must also carry ropes to that city, and we shall certainly drag it down to the torrent valley, until there shall not be found there even a pebble.”

14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said: “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel!” And Jehovah himself had given command to frustrate the counsel of Ahithophel although good, in order that Jehovah might bring calamity upon Absalom.

15 Later Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests: “This and that was the way that Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the older men of Israel; and this and that was the way that I myself counseled. 16 And now send speedily and tell David, saying, ‘Do not lodge in the desert plains of the wilderness tonight, but you also ought to cross over without fail, for fear that the king and all the people that are with him may be swallowed up.’”

17 As Jonathan and Ahimaaz were standing at En-rogel, a maidservant went off and told them. So they themselves went off, as they had to tell King David; for they were not able to appear entering the city. 18 However, a young man got to see them and told Absalom. So the two of them went off speedily and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard; and they went down into it. 19 After that the woman took and spread out a screen over the face of the well and heaped up cracked grain upon it; and not a thing became known of it. 20 The servants of Absalom now came to the woman at her house and said: “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” At this the woman said to them: “They passed on from here to the waters.” Then they kept on searching, and they did not find them and so returned to Jerusalem.

21 And it came about after their going away that then they came up out of the well and went on and told King David and said to David: “YOU people, rise up and speedily pass over the waters; for this is the way that Ahithophel counseled against YOU.” 22 Immediately David rose up and also all the people that were with him, and they kept crossing the Jordan until the morning became light, until not a one was lacking that had not passed over the Jordan.

23 As for Ahithophel, he saw that his counsel had not been acted upon, and he proceeded to saddle an ass and rise up and go off to his house at his own city. Then he gave commands to his household and strangled himself and thus died. So he was buried in the burial place of his forefathers.

24 As for David, he came to Mahanaim, and Absalom himself crossed the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Amasa was the one whom Absalom put in the place of Joab over the army; and Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who had relations with Abigail the daughter of Nahash, the sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom took up camping in the land of Gilead.

27 And it came about that, as soon as David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim 28 [brought] beds and basins and potter’s vessels, and wheat and barley and flour and roasted grain and broad beans and lentils and parched grain; 29 and honey and butter and sheep and curds of cattle they brought forward for David and the people that were with him to eat, for they said: “The people are hungry and tired and thirsty in the wilderness.”

18  And David proceeded to number the people that were with him and to place over them chiefs of thousands and chiefs of hundreds. 2 Further, David sent one third of the people under the hand of Joab and one third under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. Then the king said to the people: “I myself also shall without fail go out with YOU.” 3 But the people said: “You must not go out, for if we should at all flee, they would not set heart upon us; and if half of us would die, they would not set heart upon us, because you are worth ten thousand of us; and now it would be better if you would be of service to us to give help from the city.” 4 So the king said to them: “Whatever seems good in YOUR eyes I shall do.” And the king kept standing at the side of the gate, and all the people themselves went out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 And the king went on to command Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying: “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people themselves heard when the king commanded all the chiefs over the matter of Absalom.

6 And the people continued on their way out to the field to meet Israel; and the battle came to be in the forest of Ephraim. 7 Finally the people of Israel were defeated there before the servants of David, and the slaughter there turned out to be great on that day, of twenty thousand men. 8 And the battle there got to be spread out over all the land that was in sight. Furthermore, the forest did more in eating up the people than the sword did in eating them up on that day.

9 Eventually Absalom found himself before the servants of David. And Absalom was riding upon a mule, and the mule got to come under the network of boughs of a massive big tree, so that his head got caught fast in the big tree, and he was taken up between the heavens and the earth, as the mule itself that was under him passed along. 10 Then a certain man saw it and told Joab and said: “Look! I have seen Absalom hung in a big tree.” 11 At this Joab said to the man who was telling him: “And here you saw it, and why did you not strike him down to the earth there? Then it would have been my obligation to give you ten pieces of silver and a belt.” 12 But the man said to Joab: “And although I were weighing upon my palms a thousand pieces of silver, I should not thrust my hand out against the king’s son; for in our hearing it was that the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, ‘WATCH, whoever [you are], over the young man, over Absalom.’ 13 Otherwise I should have dealt treacherously against his soul and the whole matter itself would not be hidden from the king, and you yourself would take a position off on the side.” 14 To this Joab said: “Let me not hold myself up this way before you!” With that he took three shafts in his palm and proceeded to drive them through the heart of Absalom while he was yet alive in the heart of the big tree. 15 Then ten attendants carrying Joab’s weapons came around and struck Absalom, that they might put him to death. 16 Joab now blew the horn, that the people might return from chasing after Israel; for Joab had held back the people. 17 Finally they took Absalom and pitched him in the forest into a big hollow and raised up over him a very big pile of stones. As for all Israel, they fled each man to his home.

18 Now Absalom himself, while he was alive, had taken and proceeded to raise up for himself a pillar, which is in the Low Plain of the King, for he said: “I have no son in order to keep my name in remembrance.” So he called the pillar by his own name, and it continues to be called Absalom’s Monument down to this day.

19 Now as regards Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, he said: “Let me run, please, and break the news to the king, because Jehovah has judged him [to free him] from the hand of his enemies.” 20 But Joab said to him: “You are not a man of news this day, and you must break the news on another day; but this day you must not break the news, for the very reason that the king’s own son has died.” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite: “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” At that the Cushite bowed to Joab and began to run. 22 Ahimaaz the son of Zadok now said once again to Joab: “Let, now, happen whatever will, let me also myself, please, run behind the Cushite.” However, Joab said: “Why is it that you yourself have to run, my son, when there is no news being found for you?” 23 [Still he said:] “Let, now, happen whatever will, let me run.” So he said to him: “Run!” And Ahimaaz began to run by the way of the District, and he eventually passed by the Cushite.

24 Now David was sitting between the two gates. Meantime, the watchman went to the roof of the gate by the wall. At length he raised his eyes and saw and, look! there was a man running by himself. 25 So the watchman called and told the king, at which the king said: “If he is by himself, there is news in his mouth.” And he kept coming, steadily getting nearer. 26 The watchman now saw another man running. The watchman therefore called to the gatekeeper and said: “Look! Another man running by himself!” at which the king said: “This one also is a news bearer.” 27 And the watchman went on to say: “I am seeing that the running style of the first is like the running style of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok,” at which the king said: “This is a good man, and with good news he should come.” 28 Eventually Ahimaaz called and said to the king: “It is well!” With that he bowed to the king with his face to the earth. And he went on to say: “Blessed be Jehovah your God, who has surrendered the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king!”

29 However, the king said: “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” To this Ahimaaz said: “I saw the great commotion at the time Joab sent the king’s servant and your servant, and I did not know what it was.” 30 So the king said: “Step aside, take your position here.” At that he stepped aside and kept standing still.

31 And here was the Cushite coming in, and the Cushite began to say: “Let my lord the king accept news, for Jehovah has judged you today [to free you] from the hand of all those rising up against you.” 32 But the king said to the Cushite: “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” To this the Cushite said: “May the enemies of my lord the king and all those who rose up against you for evil become as the young man.”

33 Then the king became disturbed and went up to the roof chamber over the gateway and gave way to weeping; and this is what he said as he walked: “My son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! O that I might have died, I myself, instead of you, Absalom my son, my son!”

19  Later it was reported to Joab: “Look! The king is weeping, and he carries on mourning over Absalom.” 2 So the salvation on that day came to be an occasion of mourning on the part of all the people, because the people heard say on that day: “The king has felt hurt over his son.” 3 And the people began to steal away on that day to come into the city, just as the people would steal away when they felt disgraced because they fled in the battle. 4 And the king himself covered up his face, and the king continued crying out with a loud voice: “My son Absalom! Absalom my son, my son!”

5 Finally Joab came in to the king at the house and said: “You have today put to shame the face of all your servants, the ones providing escape for your soul today and for the soul of your sons and your daughters and the soul of your wives and the soul of your concubines, 6 by loving those hating you and by hating those loving you; for you have reported today that chiefs and servants are nothing to you, because I well know today that if only Absalom were alive and all of us others were today dead, why, in that case it would be right in your eyes. 7 And now rise up, go out and speak straight to the heart of your servants, because, by Jehovah, I do swear that, in case you are not going out, not a man will lodge with you tonight; and this will certainly be worse for you than all the injury that has come upon you from your youth until now.” 8 Accordingly the king rose up and seated himself in the gate, and to all the people they made the report, saying: “There is the king sitting in the gate.” And all the people began to come before the king.

As for Israel, they had fled each one to his home. 9 And all the people came to be involved in dispute in all the tribes of Israel, saying: “It was the king that delivered us out of the palm of our enemies, and he it was that provided escape for us out of the palm of the Philistines; and now he has run away out of the land from Absalom. 10 As for Absalom, whom we anointed over us, he has died in the battle. So now why are YOU doing nothing to bring the king back?”

11 As for King David, he sent to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, saying: “SPEAK to the older men of Judah, saying, ‘Why should YOU become the last ones to bring the king back to his house, when the word of all Israel itself has come to the king at his house? 12 My brothers YOU are; my bone and my flesh YOU are. So why should YOU become the last ones to bring the king back?’ 13 And to Amasa YOU should say, ‘Are you not my bone and my flesh? So may God do to me and so may he add to it if you will not become the army chief before me always instead of Joab.’”

14 And he proceeded to bend the heart of all the men of Judah as one man, so that they sent word to the king: “Come back, you and all your servants.”

15 And the king began to go back and got to come as far as the Jordan. As for Judah, they came to Gilgal to go and meet the king, to conduct the king across the Jordan. 16 Then Shimei the son of Gera the Benjaminite, who was from Bahurim, hurried and went down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 And there were with him a thousand men from Benjamin. (And also Ziba the attendant of the house of Saul and his fifteen sons and twenty servants of his were with him, and they made it successfully to the Jordan before the king. 18 And he crossed the ford to conduct the household of the king across and to do what was good in his eyes.) As for Shimei the son of Gera, he fell down before the king when he was about to cross the Jordan. 19 He now said to the king: “Do not let my lord attribute error to me, and do not remember the wrong that your servant did on the day that my lord the king went out of Jerusalem, so that the king should lay it to his heart. 20 For your servant well knows that I am the one that sinned; and so here I have today come the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.”

21 At once Abishai the son of Zeruiah answered and said: “In return for this should not Shimei be put to death, in that he called evil down upon the anointed of Jehovah?” 22 But David said: “What do I have to do with YOU men, you sons of Zeruiah, that YOU should become today a resister of me? Will anyone today be put to death in Israel? For do I not well know that today I am king over Israel?” 23 Then the king said to Shimei: “You will not die.” And the king went on to swear to him.

24 As for Mephibosheth the grandson of Saul, he came down to meet the king; and he had not attended to his feet nor had he attended to his mustache nor had he washed his garments from the day that the king went away until the day that he came in peace. 25 And it came about that, when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, then the king said to him: “Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 To this he said: “My lord the king, it was my servant that tricked me. For your servant had said, ‘Let me saddle the female ass for me that I may ride upon it and go with the king,’ for your servant is lame. 27 So he slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is as an angel of the [true] God, and so do what is good in your eyes. 28 For all the household of my father would have become nothing but doomed to death to my lord the king, and yet you placed your servant among those eating at your table. So what do I still have as a just claim even for crying out further to the king?”

29 However, the king said to him: “Why do you yet keep speaking your words? I do say, You and Ziba should share in the field.” 30 At this Mephibosheth said to the king: “Let him even take the whole, now that my lord the king has come in peace to his house.”

31 And Barzillai the Gileadite himself came down from Rogelim that he might pass on to the Jordan with the king so as to escort him to the Jordan. 32 And Barzillai was very old, being eighty years of age; and he himself supplied the king with food while he was dwelling in Mahanaim, for he was a very great man. 33 So the king said to Barzillai: “You yourself cross over with me, and I shall certainly supply you with food with me in Jerusalem.” 34 But Barzillai said to the king: “What are the days of the years of my life like, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am eighty years old today. Could I discern between good and bad, or could your servant taste what I ate and what I drank, or could I listen anymore to the voice of male and female singers? So why should your servant become a burden anymore to my lord the king? 36 For it is just a little way that your servant could bring the king along to the Jordan, and why should the king repay me with this reward? 37 Let your servant return, please, and let me die in my city close by the burial place of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king; and you do to him what is good in your eyes.”

38 Accordingly the king said: “With me Chimham will go across, and I myself shall do to him what is good in your eyes; and all that you may choose [to lay] upon me I shall do for you.” 39 All the people now began to cross the Jordan, and the king himself crossed; but the king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, after which he returned to his place. 40 When the king went across to Gilgal, Chimham himself crossed with him, and also all the people of Judah, and also half the people of Israel, that they might bring the king across.

41 And, look! all the men of Israel were coming to the king, and they proceeded to say to the king: “Why did our brothers the men of Judah steal you that they might bring the king and his household and all the men of David with him over the Jordan?” 42 At this all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel: “Because the king is closely related to us; and why is it that you have become angry over this thing? Have we eaten at all at the king’s expense, or has a gift been carried to us?”

43 However, the men of Israel answered the men of Judah and said: “We have ten parts in the king, so that even in David we are more than you. Why, then, have you treated us with contempt, and why did not our matter become first for us to bring our king back?” But the word of the men of Judah was more severe than the word of the men of Israel. 

20  Now there happened to be there a good-for-nothing man, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri a Benjaminite; and he proceeded to blow the horn and say: “We have no share in David, and we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every one to his gods, O Israel!” 2 At that all the men of Israel began to go up from following David to follow Sheba the son of Bichri; but as for the men of Judah, they stuck to their king from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

3 Eventually David came to his house at Jerusalem. Then the king took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left behind to take care of the house, and he put them in a house of confinement, but he kept on supplying food to them. And with them he did not have any relations, but they continued shut up closely until the day of their dying, in a widowhood with a living [husband].

4 The king now said to Amasa: “Call the men of Judah together to me within three days, and you yourself stand here.” 5 So Amasa went to call Judah together; but he came later than the fixed time that he had appointed for him. 6 Then David said to Abishai: “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will be worse for us than Absalom. You yourself take the servants of your lord and chase after him, that he may not actually find for himself fortified cities and escape before our eyes.” 7 Accordingly the men of Joab and the Cherethites and the Pelethites and all the mighty men went out after him; and they went on out of Jerusalem to chase after Sheba the son of Bichri. 8 They were close by the great stone that is in Gibeon, and Amasa himself came to meet them. Now Joab was girded, clothed with a garment; and upon him there was girded a sword attached to his hip, in its sheath. And he himself came forth, and so it fell out.

9 And Joab proceeded to say to Amasa: “Is it all right with you, my brother?” Then Joab’s right hand took hold of Amasa’s beard so as to kiss him. 10 As for Amasa, he was not on guard against the sword that was in Joab’s hand; so that he struck him with it in the abdomen, and his intestines spilled out to the earth, and he did not have to do it to him again. So he died. And Joab and Abishai his brother, for their part, chased after Sheba the son of Bichri.

11 And a certain one of Joab’s young men stood over him and kept saying: “Whoever has found delight in Joab and whoever belongs to David, let him follow Joab!” 12 All the while Amasa was wallowing in the blood in the middle of the highway. When the man saw that all the people stood still, then he moved Amasa from the highway to the field. Finally he cast a garment over him, as he saw that everyone coming up to him stood still. 13 As soon as he had removed him from the highway, each man passed by following Joab to chase after Sheba the son of Bichri.

14 And [Sheba] went passing through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth-maacah. As for all the Bichrites, they then congregated together and also went in after him.

15 And they proceeded to come and lay siege against him in Abel of Beth-maacah and cast up a siege rampart against the city, as it was standing within a rampart. And all the people that were with Joab were undermining the wall, to throw it down. 16 And a wise woman began to call from the city: “Listen, men, listen! Say, please, to Joab, ‘Come near as far as here, and let me speak to you.’” 17 So he went near to her, and the woman then said: “Are you Joab?” to which he said: “I am.” At this she said to him: “Listen to the words of your slave girl.” In turn he said: “I am listening.” 18 And she went on to say: “Without exception they used to speak in former times, saying, ‘Let them but inquire in Abel, and thus they will certainly end the matter.’ 19 I represent the peaceable and faithful ones of Israel. You are seeking to put to death a city and a mother in Israel. Why should you swallow up the inheritance of Jehovah?” 20 To this Joab answered and said: “It is altogether unthinkable on my part that I should swallow up and that I should bring to ruin. 21 The matter is not that way, but a man from the mountainous region of Ephraim, whose name is Sheba the son of Bichri, has lifted up his hand against King David. YOU people, give him over by himself, and I will withdraw from the city.” Then the woman said to Joab: “Look! His head [will be] pitched to you over the wall!”

22 At once the woman went in her wisdom to all the people, and they proceeded to cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri and pitch it to Joab. Upon that he blew the horn, and so they were scattered from the city, each one to his home; and Joab himself returned to Jerusalem to the king.

23 And Joab was over all the army of Israel; and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites. 24 And Adoram was over those conscripted for forced labor; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder. 25 And Sheva was secretary, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests. 26 And Ira the Jairite also became a priest of David. 

21  Now there came to be a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David proceeded to consult the face of Jehovah. Then Jehovah said: “Upon Saul and upon his house there is bloodguilt, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” 2 So the king called the Gibeonites and talked to them. (Incidentally, the Gibeonites were not of the sons of Israel, but of the remainder of the Amorites; and the sons of Israel themselves had sworn to them, but Saul sought to strike them down in his feeling jealous for the sons of Israel and Judah.) 3 And David went on to say to the Gibeonites: “What shall I do to YOU, and with what shall I make atonement, that YOU may certainly bless the inheritance of Jehovah?” 4 So the Gibeonites said to him: “It is not a matter of silver or gold for us in connection with Saul and his household, neither is it ours to put a man to death in Israel.” At that he said: “Whatever YOU are saying I shall do for YOU.” 5 At this they said to the king: “The man that exterminated us and that schemed to annihilate us from subsisting in any of the territory of Israel, 6 let there be given to us seven men of his sons; and we must expose them to Jehovah in Gibeah of Saul, the chosen one of Jehovah.” Accordingly the king said: “I myself shall give them.”

7 However, the king felt compassion upon Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan the son of Saul on account of the oath of Jehovah that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 Consequently 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 the daughter of Saul whom she bore to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9 Then he gave them into the hand of the Gibeonites and they proceeded to expose them on the mountain before Jehovah, so that the seven of them fell together; and they themselves were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the start of the barley harvest. 10 However, Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it for herself upon the rock from the start of harvest until water poured down upon them from the heavens; and she did not allow the fowls of the heavens to rest upon them by day nor the wild beasts of the field by night.

11 At length it was reported to David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Saul’s concubine, had done. 12 So David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the landowners of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them on the day that the Philistines struck down Saul on Gilboa. 13 And he proceeded to bring up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; furthermore, they gathered the bones of the men being exposed. 14 Then they buried the bones of Saul and of Jonathan his son in the land of Benjamin in Zela in the burial place of Kish his father, that they might do everything that the king had commanded. So God let himself be entreated for the land after this.

15 And the Philistines came to have war again with Israel. Accordingly David and his servants with him went down and fought the Philistines; and David grew tired. 16 And Ishbi-benob, who was among those born of the Rephaim, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of copper and who was girded with a new sword, got to think of striking David down. 17 At once Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his help and struck the Philistine down and put him to death. At that time the men of David swore to him, saying: “You must not go out with us to the battle anymore, that you may not extinguish the lamp of Israel!”

18 And it came about after this that war arose once more with the Philistines at Gob. Then it was that Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was among those born of the Rephaim.

19 And war arose once again with the Philistines at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite got to strike down Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like the beam of loom workers.

20 And war arose yet again at Gath, when there happened to be a man of extraordinary size, with six fingers on each of his hands and six toes on each of his feet, twenty-four in number; and he too had been born to the Rephaim. 21 And he kept taunting Israel. Finally Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down.

22 These four had been born to the Rephaim in Gath; and they came to fall by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants. 

22  And David proceeded to speak to Jehovah the words of this song in the day that Jehovah had delivered him out of the palm of all his enemies and out of Saul’s palm; 2 and he went on to say:

“Jehovah is my crag and my stronghold and the Provider of escape for me.

     3 My God is my rock. I shall take refuge in him,

         My shield and my horn of salvation, my secure height,

         And my place for flight, my Savior; from violence you save me.

     4 On the One to be praised, Jehovah, I shall call,

         And from my enemies I shall be saved.

     5 For deadly breaking waves encircled me;

         There were flash floods of good-for-nothing [men] that kept terrifying me.

     6 The ropes of Sheol themselves surrounded me;

         The snares of death confronted me.

     7 In my distress I kept calling upon Jehovah,

               And to my God I kept calling.

         Then out of his temple he heard my voice,

         With my cry for help in his ears.

     8 And back and forth the earth began to shake and to rock;

         The foundations of the heavens themselves became agitated,

         And they kept shaking back and forth because he had been angered.

     9 Smoke went up at his nostrils, and fire itself from his mouth kept devouring;

          Coals themselves blazed up from him.

    10 And he proceeded to bend the heavens down and to descend;

           And thick gloom was beneath his feet.

     11 And he came riding upon a cherub and came flying;

           And he was visible upon the wings of a spirit.

     12 Then he put a darkness around him as booths,

           Dark waters, thick clouds.

     13 From the brightness in front of him burning coals of fire blazed up.

     14 From heaven Jehovah began to thunder,

           And the Most High himself began to give forth his voice.

     15 And he kept sending out arrows, that he might scatter them;

            Lightning, that he might throw them into confusion.

     16 And the streambeds of the sea became visible,

            The foundations of the productive land became uncovered,

            At the rebuke of Jehovah, from the blast of the breath of his nostrils.

     17 He was sending from on high, he was taking me,

            He was drawing me out of great waters.

     18 He was delivering me from my strong enemy,

            From those hating me; because they were stronger than I was.

     19 They kept confronting me in the day of my disaster,

            But Jehovah became my support.

     20 And he proceeded to bring me out into a roomy place;

            He was rescuing me, because he had found delight in me.

     21 Jehovah rewards me according to my righteousness;

            According to the cleanness of my hands he repays me.

     22 For I have kept the ways of Jehovah,

            And I have not wickedly departed from my God.

     23 For all his judicial decisions are in front of me;

            And as for his statutes, I shall not turn aside from them.

     24 And I shall prove myself faultless toward him,

            And I will keep myself from error on my part.

     25 And let Jehovah repay me according to my righteousness,

            According to my cleanness in front of his eyes.

     26 With someone loyal you will act in loyalty;
      With the faultless, mighty one you will deal faultlessly;

     27 With the one keeping clean you will show yourself clean,

            And with the crooked one you will act as silly.

     28 And the humble people you will save;

            But your eyes are against the haughty ones, [that] you may bring [them] low.

     29 For you are my lamp, O Jehovah,

            And it is Jehovah that makes my darkness shine.

     30 For by you I can run against a marauder band;

            By my God I can climb a wall.

     31 As for the [true] God, perfect is his way;

            The saying of Jehovah is a refined one.

             A shield he is to all those taking refuge in him.

     32 For who is a God besides Jehovah,

             And who is a rock besides our God? 

  33 The [true] God is my strong fortress,

          And he will cause my way to be perfect,

   34 Making my feet like those of the hinds;

          And upon places high for me he keeps me standing.

   35 He is teaching my hands for warfare;

          And my arms have pressed down a bow of copper.

   36 And you will give me your shield of salvation,

          And it is your humility that makes me great.

   37 You will make room large enough for my steps under me;

          And my ankles will certainly not wobble.

   38 I will pursue my enemies, that I may annihilate them

          And I shall not return until they are exterminated.

   39 And I shall exterminate them and break them in pieces, that they may not rise up;

          And they will fall under my feet.

   40 And you will gird me with vital energy for the battle;

          You will make those rising against me collapse under me.

   41 And as for my enemies, you will certainly give me the back of their neck;

          Those hating me intensely—I shall also silence them.

   42 They cry for help, but there is no savior;

          To Jehovah, but he actually does not answer them.

   43 And I shall pound them fine like the dust of the earth;

          Like the mire of the streets I shall pulverize them;

          I shall beat them flat.

   44 And you will provide me escape from the faultfinding of my people.

          You will safeguard me to be the head of nations;

          A people that I have not known—they will serve me.

   45 Foreigners themselves will come cringing to me;

          Ears will be obedient to hear me.

   46 Foreigners themselves will fade away,

          And they will come quaking out from their bulwarks.

   47 Jehovah is living; and blessed be my Rock;

          And let the God of the rock of my salvation be exalted.

   48 The [true] God is the Giver of acts of vengeance to me

          And the One bringing the peoples down under me,

   49 And the One bringing me out from my enemies.

          And above those who rise up against me you will lift me up;

          From the man of violent deeds you will deliver me.

   50 That is why I shall thank you, O Jehovah, among the nations;

          And to your name I shall make melody:

   51 The One doing great acts of salvation for his king

          And exercising loving-kindness to his anointed one,

          To David and to his seed for time indefinite.” 

23  And these are the last words of David:

“The utterance of David the son of Jesse,

     And the utterance of the able-bodied man that was raised up on high,

     The anointed of the God of Jacob,

     And the pleasant one of the melodies of Israel.

2 The spirit of Jehovah it was that spoke by me,

     And his word was upon my tongue.

3 The God of Israel said,

     To me the Rock of Israel spoke,

     ‘When one ruling over mankind is righteous,

     Ruling in the fear of God,

4 Then it is as the light of morning, when the sun shines forth,

      A morning without clouds.

      From brightness, from rain, there is grass out of the earth.’

 5 For is not my household like that with God?

      Because it is an indefinitely lasting covenant that he has assigned to me,

      Nicely put in order in everything and secured.

      Because it is all my salvation and all my delight,

      Is that not why he will make it grow?

 6 But good-for-nothing persons are chased away, like thornbushes, all of them;

      For it is not by the hand that they should be taken.

 7 When a man touches them

      He should be fully armed with iron and the shaft of a spear,

      And with fire they will thoroughly be burned up.”

8 These are the names of the mighty men that belonged to David: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite, the head of the three. He was brandishing his spear over eight hundred slain at one time. 9 Next to him Eleazar the son of Dodo the son of Ahohi was among the three mighty men with David when they taunted the Philistines. They had gathered themselves there for the battle, and so the men of Israel retreated. 10 He it was that rose up and kept striking down the Philistines until his hand wearied and his hand kept cleaving to the sword, so that Jehovah performed a great salvation on that day; and as for the people, they returned behind him only to strip [those struck down].

11 And next to him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines proceeded to gather themselves to Lehi, where there then happened to be a tract of the field full of lentils; and the people themselves fled because of the Philistines. 12 But he took his stand in the middle of the tract and delivered it and kept striking down the Philistines, so that Jehovah performed a great salvation.

13 And three of the thirty head ones proceeded to go down and come at [the] harvest, to David at the cave of Adullam; and a tent village of the Philistines was encamped in the low plain of the Rephaim. 14 And David was then in the place hard to approach; and an outpost of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 After a while David expressed his craving and said: “O that I might have a drink of the water from the cistern of Bethlehem that is at the gate!” 16 At that the three mighty men forced their way into the camp of the Philistines and drew water from the cistern of Bethlehem that is at the gate and came carrying and bringing it to David; and he did not consent to drink it, but poured it out to Jehovah. 17 And he went on to say: “It is unthinkable on my part, O Jehovah, that I should do this! [Shall I drink] the blood of the men going at the risk of their souls?” And he did not consent to drink it.

These are the things the three mighty men did.

18 As for Abishai the brother of Joab the son of Zeruiah, he was the head of the thirty, and he was brandishing his spear over three hundred slain ones, and he had a reputation like the three. 19 Although he was distinguished even more than the rest of the thirty, and he came to be their chief, to the rank of the [first] three he did not come.

20 As for Benaiah the son of Jehoiada the son of a valiant man, who did many deeds in Kabzeel, he himself struck down the two sons of Ariel of Moab; and he himself descended and struck down a lion inside a waterpit on a day of snowfall. 21 And he it was that struck down the Egyptian man that was of extraordinary size. Though there was a spear in the hand of the Egyptian, yet he went on down to him with a rod and snatched the spear away from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did; and he had a reputation like the three mighty men. 23 Although he was distinguished even more than the thirty, to the rank of the three he did not come; but David appointed him to his own bodyguard.

24 Asahel the brother of Joab was among 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 Abi-ezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the sons of Benjamin, 30 Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai of the torrent valleys of Gaash, 31 Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Bar-humite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, 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. 

24  And again the anger of Jehovah came to be hot against Israel, when one incited David against them, saying: “Go, take a count of Israel and Judah.” 2 So the king said to Joab the chief of the military forces who was with him: “Move about, please, through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beer-sheba, and YOU men register the people, and I shall certainly know the number of the people.” 3 But Joab said to the king: “May Jehovah your God even add to the people a hundred times as many as they are while the very eyes of my lord the king are seeing it. But as for my lord the king, why has he found delight in this thing?”

4 Finally the king’s word prevailed upon Joab and the chiefs of the military forces. So Joab and the chiefs of the military forces went out from before the king to register the people Israel. 5 Then they crossed the Jordan and took up camping at Aroer to the right of the city that is in the middle of the torrent valley, toward the Gadites, and to Jazer. 6 After that they came on to Gilead and the land of Tahtim-hodshi and continued on to Dan-jaan and went around to Sidon. 7 Then they came to the fortress of Tyre and all the cities of the Hivites and of the Canaanites and came to the terminating point in the Negeb of Judah at Beer-sheba. 8 Thus they went moving about through all the land and came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 Joab now gave the number of the registration of the people to the king; and Israel amounted to eight hundred thousand valiant men drawing sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

10 And David’s heart began to beat him after he had so numbered the people. Consequently David said to Jehovah: “I have sinned very much in what I have done. And now, Jehovah, let your servant’s error pass by, please; for I have acted very foolishly.” 11 When David proceeded to rise up in the morning, Jehovah’s word itself came to Gad the prophet, David’s visionary, saying: 12 “Go, and you must say to David, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Three things I am laying upon you. Choose for yourself one of them that I may do it to you.”’” 13 Accordingly Gad came in to David and told him and said to him: “Should there come to you seven years of famine in your land, or three months of your fleeing before your adversaries, with them pursuing you, or the occurring of three days of pestilence in your land? Now know and see what I shall reply to the One sending me.” 14 So David said to Gad: “It is very distressing to me. Let us fall, please, into the hand of Jehovah, for many are his mercies; but into the hand of man do not let me fall.”

15 Then Jehovah gave a pestilence in Israel from the morning until the time appointed, so that out of the people from Dan to Beer-sheba seventy thousand persons died. 16 And the angel kept his hand thrust out toward Jerusalem to bring it to ruin; and Jehovah began to feel regret over the calamity, and so he said to the angel that was bringing ruin among the people: “It is enough! Now let your hand drop.” And Jehovah’s angel himself happened to be close by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

17 And David proceeded to say to Jehovah, when he saw the angel that was striking the people down, yes, he proceeded to say: “Here it is I that have sinned and it is I that have done wrong; but these sheep—what have they done? Let your hand, please, come upon me and upon the house of my father.”

18 Later Gad came in to David on that day and said to him: “Go up, set up for Jehovah an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 And David began to go up in accord with the word of Gad, according to what Jehovah had commanded. 20 When Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants passing along toward him, Araunah at once went out and bowed down to the king with his face to the earth. 21 Then Araunah said: “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” At that David said: “To buy from you the threshing floor for building an altar to Jehovah, that the scourge may be halted from upon the people.” 22 But Araunah said to David: “Let my lord the king take it and offer up what is good in his eyes. See the cattle for the burnt offering and the threshing sledge and the implements of the cattle for the wood. 23 Everything Araunah, O king, does give to the king.” And Araunah went on to say to the king: “May Jehovah your God show pleasure in you.”

24 However, the king said to Araunah: “No, but without fail I shall buy it from you for a price; and I shall not offer up to Jehovah my God burnt sacrifices without cost.” Accordingly David bought the threshing floor and the cattle for fifty silver shekels. 25 And David proceeded to build there an altar to Jehovah and offer up burnt sacrifices and communion sacrifices, and Jehovah began letting himself be entreated for the land, so that the scourge was halted from upon Israel.