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2 Samuel 14:1–22

Joab Plots to Reconcile David with Absalom

14 Joab the son of Zeruiah realized that the mind of the king was on Absalom. So Joab sent to Tekoa and took from there a wise woman, and he said to her, “Please pretend to mourn and put on garments of mourning. You should not anoint yourself with oil, and you must act like this woman who has been mourning over the dead for a long time.a Then you must go to the king and speak to him according to this word.” Thus Joab put the words in her mouth.

So the Tekoite woman spoke to the king, and she fell on her face to the ground and did obeisance. She said, “Help me, O king!” Then the king asked her, “What do you want?”b And she said, “Truly I am a widow, and my husband is dead. Your servant had two sons, and they both fought in the open field, and there was no one to part them.c One struck the other and killed him. And look, all of the family has risen up against your servant, and they said, ‘Give up the one who struck his brother, that we may kill him in exchange for the life of his brother whom he murdered. We will also wipe out the heir,’ and so they would put out my embers which remain, by not preserving for my husband a name and a remnant on the face of the earth.”

Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your house, and I myself will give the command concerning you.” The Tekoite woman said to the king, “On me, my lord the king, is the guilt, and on the house of my father, but the king ond his throne is innocent.” 10 The king said, “Whoever has spoken to you, bring him to me, and he will not touch you again.” 11 Then she said, “Please may the king remember Yahweh your God, to prevent the increase of blood avengers who kill,e so that they not wipe out my son.” He said, “As Yahweh lives,f surely not one hair shall fall from your son to the ground.” 12 The woman said, “Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” And he said, “Speak.” 13 The woman said, “But why have you plotted like this against the people of God? By speaking this word, he is guilty not to bring back his banished one. 14 For we must certainly die,g and we are as the waters spilled to the ground which cannot be gathered. God will not take a life but devises plans for a banished person not to be cast out from him. 15 Now I have come to speak this word to my lord the king, because the people made me afraid, and your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king, perhaps the king will granth the request of his servant. 16 For the king will listen, to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who seeks to destroy me and my son together from the inheritance of God.’ 17 Your servant also thought, ‘May the word of my lord the king bring rest,i for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king, to sense what is good and what is bad.’j May Yahweh your God be with you.” 18 The king answered and said to the woman, “Please do not withhold from me a thing which I am about to ask you.” The woman said, “Please let my lord the king speak.” 19 The king asked, “Was the hand of Joab with you in all of this?” The woman answered and said, “As your soul lives,k my lord the king, surely one cannot go to the right or to the left from all that my lord the king has spoken. Yes, your servant Joab himself commanded me, and he put all of these words in the mouth of your servant. 20 In order to change the situation,l your servant Joab did this thing. But my lord has wisdom, as the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all that is on the earth.” 21 Then the king said to Joab, “Look, please, I will grant this thing. Go and bring back the young man Absalom.” 22 Joab fell with his face to the ground and did obeisance. And he blessed the king, and hem said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, in that the king has granted the request of his servant.”

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