David Learns of Absalom’s Death
18:19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and give the king the good news that the Lord has vindicated him before his enemies.”26 18:20 But Joab said to him, “You will not be a bearer of good news today. You will bear good news some other day, but not today,27 for the king’s son is dead.”
18:21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go and tell the king what you have seen.” After bowing to Joab, the Cushite ran off. 18:22 Ahimaaz the son of Zadok again spoke to Joab, “Whatever happens, let me go after the Cushite.” But Joab said, “Why is it that you want to go, my son? You have no good news that will bring you a reward.” 18:23 But he said,28 “Whatever happens, I want to go!” So Joab29 said to him, “Then go!” So Ahimaaz ran by the way of the Jordan plain, and he passed the Cushite.
18:24 Now David was sitting between the inner and outer gates,30 and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate at the wall. When he looked, he saw a man running by himself. 18:25 So the watchman called out and informed the king. The king said, “If he is by himself, he brings good news.”31 The runner32 came ever closer.
18:26 Then the watchman saw another man running. The watchman called out to the gatekeeper, “There is another man running by himself.” The king said, “This one also is bringing good news.” 18:27 The watchman said, “It appears to me that the first runner is Ahimaaz33 son of Zadok.” The king said, “He is a good man, and he comes with good news.”
18:28 Then Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “Greetings!”34 He bowed down before the king with his face toward the ground and said, “May the Lord your God be praised because he has defeated35 the men who opposed36 my lord the king!”
18:29 The king replied, “How is the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz replied, “I saw a great deal of confusion when Joab was sending the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was all about.” 18:30 The king said, “Turn aside and take your place here.” So he turned aside and waited.
18:31 Then the Cushite arrived and said,37 “May my lord the king now receive the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today and delivered you from the hand of all who have rebelled against you!”38 18:32 The king asked the Cushite, “How is the young man Absalom?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who have plotted against you39 be like that young man!”
18:33 (19:1)40 The king then became very upset. He went up to the upper room over the gate and wept. As he went he said, “My son, Absalom! My son, my son,41 Absalom! If only I could have died in your place! Absalom, my son, my son!”42
19:1 (19:2) Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning over Absalom.” 19:2 So the victory of that day was turned to mourning as far as all the people were concerned. For the people heard on that day, “The king is grieved over his son.” 19:3 That day the people stole away to go to the city the way people who are embarrassed steal away in fleeing from battle. 19:4 The king covered his face and cried out loudly,1 “My son, Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”
19:5 So Joab visited2 the king at his home. He said, “Today you have embarrassed all your servants who have saved your life this day, as well as the lives of your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your concubines. 19:6 You seem to love your enemies and hate your friends! For you have as much as declared today that leaders and servants don’t matter to you. I realize now3 that if4 Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today,5 it would be all right with you. 19:7 So get up now and go out and give some encouragement to6 your servants. For I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out there, not a single man will stay here with you tonight! This disaster will be worse for you than any disaster that has overtaken you from your youth right to the present time!”
19:8 So the king got up and sat at the city gate. When all the people were informed that the king was sitting at the city gate, they7 all came before him.
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