2 Samuel 18
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1And David inspects the people who [are] with him, and sets over them heads of thousands and heads of hundreds, 2and David sends the third of the people by the hand of Joab, and the third by the hand of Abishai, son of Zeruiah, brother of Joab, and the third by the hand of Ittai the Gittite, and the king says to the people, “I certainly go out—I also—with you.” 3And the people say, “You do not go out, for if we utterly flee, they do not set [their] heart on us; and if half of us die, they do not set [their] heart to us—for [you are] now like ten thousand of us; and now, [it is] better that you are for a helper to us from the city.” 4And the king says to them, “That which is good in your eyes I do”; and the king stands at the side of the gate, and all the people have gone out by hundreds and by thousands, 5and the king charges Joab, and Abishai, and Ittai, saying, “[Deal] gently—for me, for the youth, for Absalom”; and all the people heard in the king’s charging all the heads concerning Absalom.

6And the people go out into the field to meet Israel, and the battle is in a forest of Ephraim; 7and the people of Israel are struck there before the servants of David, and the striking there is great on that day—twenty thousand; 8and the battle there is scattered over the face of all the land, and the forest multiplies to devour among the people more than those whom the sword has devoured in that day.

9And Absalom meets before the servants of David, and Absalom is riding on the mule, and the mule comes in under an entangled bough of the great oak, and his head takes hold on the oak, and he is placed between the heavens and the earth, and the mule that [is] under him has passed on. 10And one man sees, and declares [it] to Joab, and says, “Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.” 11And Joab says to the man who is declaring [it] to him, “And behold, you have seen—and why did you not strike him there to the earth—and [it would be] on me to give to you ten pieces of silver and one girdle?” 12And the man says to Joab, “Indeed, though I am weighing on my hand one thousand pieces of silver, I do not put forth my hand to the son of the king; for in our ears the king has charged you, and Abishai, and Ittai, saying, Observe who [is] against the youth—against Absalom; 13or I had done a vain thing against my soul, and no matter is hid from the king, and you would station yourself opposite from [me].” 14And Joab says, “[It is] not right [that] I linger before you”; and he takes three darts in his hand, and strikes them into the heart of Absalom, while he [is] alive, in the midst of the oak. 15And they go around—ten youths carrying weapons of Joab—and strike Absalom, and put him to death.

16And Joab blows with a horn, and the people turn back from pursuing after Israel, for Joab has kept back the people; 17and they take Absalom and cast him into the great pit in the forest, and set up a very great heap of stones over him, and all Israel has fled—each to his tent. 18And Absalom has taken, and sets up for himself in his life, the standing-pillar that [is] in the king’s valley, for he said, “I have no son to cause my name to be remembered”; and he calls the standing-pillar by his own name, and it is called “The Monument of Absalom” to this day.

19And Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Please let me run, and I bear the king tidings, for YHWH has delivered him out of the hand of his enemies”; 20and Joab says to him, “You are not a man of tidings this day, but you have borne tidings on another day, and this day you do not bear tidings, because the king’s son [is] dead.” 21And Joab says to Cushi, “Go, declare to the king that which you have seen”; and Cushi bows himself to Joab, and runs. 22And Ahimaaz son of Zadok adds again and says to Joab, “And whatever it is, please let me run, I also, after the Cushite.” And Joab says, “Why [is] this—you are running, my son, and [there are] no tidings found from you?” 23“And whatever happens,” he said, “let me run.” And he says to him, “Run”; and Ahimaaz runs the way of the circuit, and passes by the Cushite.

24And David is sitting between the two gates, and the watchman goes to the roof of the gate, to the wall, and lifts up his eyes, and looks, and behold, a man running by himself. 25And the watchman calls, and declares [it] to the king, and the king says, “If [he is] by himself, tidings [are] in his mouth”; and he comes, coming on and drawing near. 26And the watchman sees another man running, and the watchman calls to the gatekeeper, and says, “Behold, a man running by himself”; and the king says, “This one is also bearing tidings.” 27And the watchman says, “I see the running of the first as the running of Ahimaaz son of Zadok.” And the king says, “This [is] a good man, and he comes with good tidings.”

28And Ahimaaz calls and says to the king, “Peace”; and he bows himself to the king, on his face, to the earth, and says, “Blessed [is] your God YHWH who has shut up the men who lifted up their hand against my lord the king.” 29And the king says, “Peace to the youth—for Absalom?” And Ahimaaz says, “I saw the great multitude, at the sending away of the servant of the king, even your servant [by] Joab, and I have not known what [it is].” 30And the king says, “Turn around, station yourself here”; and he turns around and stands still.

31And behold, the Cushite has come, and the Cushite says, “Let tidings be proclaimed, my lord, O king; for today YHWH has delivered you out of the hand of all those rising up against you.” 32And the king says to the Cushite, “Peace to the youth—for Absalom?” And the Cushite says, “Let them be—as the youth—the enemies of my lord the king, and all who have risen up against you for evil.”

33And the king trembles, and goes up on the upper chamber of the gate, and weeps, and thus he has said in his going, “My son Absalom! My son! My son Absalom! Oh that I had died for you, Absalom, my son, my son!”

Literal Standard Version
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2 Samuel 17
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