Translation:2 Samuel

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2 Samuel , translated by Wikisource
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Chapter 1[edit]

1 After the death of Saul, David returned from defeating the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag for two days.

2 On the third day, a man arrived from Saul's camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. He came to David and fell to the ground to pay him honor. 3 David said to him, "Where are you coming from?"

And he said to him, "I have escaped from the camp of Israel."

4 David said to him, "How did it go? Please tell me."

He said that the people fled from the battle, and many of the people are fallen and dead, and Saul and Jonathan his son are dead as well."

5 David said to the young man who told him, "How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?"

6 And the young man who told him said, "By chance I happened to me on Mount Gilboa, and I saw Saul leaning on his spear, and there were chariots and horsemen bearing down on him. 7 And when he turned and looked behind him, he saw me and called to me. And I said, 'Here I am!' 8 He said to me, 'Who are you?' I replied, 'I am an Amalekite.' 9 He said to me, 'Please, stand over me and kill me, because the death throes[1] have seized me, but I am still alive.' 10 So I stood over him and killed him, because I was sure that he would not survive after he had fallen. I took the crown which was on his head, and the band which was on his arm, and I brought them here to [you], my lord."

11 David seized his own clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. 12 They mourned, and wept, and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of Yahweh, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 And David said to the young man who told him, "Where are you from?"

And he said, "I am the son of a resident alien, an Amalekite."

14 David said to him, "How were you not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy Yahweh's anointed?"[2] 15 David called to one of his young men, and said, "Go kill him." So he attacked and killed him. 16 David said to him, "Your blood is on your own head,[3] because your own mouth has testified against you, when you said, 'I killed Yahweh's anointed.'"

17 David sang this mourning song about Saul, and about Jonathan his son, 18 and he ordered that the Judahites be taught the bow,[4] just as it is written in the Book of Jasher.


19Beauty[5] lies slain on your heights,
How the warriors have fallen!
20Do not report it in Gath,
Do not send news to Ashkelon;
Or the daughters of Philistines will celebrate,
Or the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult.
20For there the warriors' shield is cast away,
the shield of Saul, not anointed in oil.
22 From the blood of the slain,
from the fat of warriors,
Jonathans bow did not shrink back,
Saul's sword did not return empty. 23
Saul and Jonathan,
beloved and admirable in life,
inseperable even in death,
were swifter than eagles,
stronger than lions. 24
Daughters of Israel, weep for Saul,
who dressed you in scarlet and finery,
who set golden jewelry on your apparel. 25
How the mighty have fallen amidst the battle,
Jonathan, slain upon the heights! 26
I mourn you, my brother Jonathan.
You were very pleasant to me;
your love for me was marvelous,
more than the love of women. 27
How the mighty have fallen,
and weapons perished!

Chapter 2[edit]

1Therefore after this David consulted the Lord, and said: "Should I go up to one of the cities of Judah?"

And God said to him, "Go up."

David said, "Where should I go up?"

And he responded, "In Hebron."

2Therefore David and his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelite and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite went up: 3and David brought up the men that were with him, them and their households, and they remained against Hebron. 4Then the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David to reign over Judah. And it was told to David, that the men of Jabesh Gilead buried Saul. 5Therefore David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, who said to them, "The Lord bless you, who did this mercy to your lord Saul, and buried him.

6"And now let the Lord reward you your mercy and truth: and I will be generous because of what you have accomplished. 7Let your hands be comforted, and be sons of strength: although your lord Saul is dead, Judah has anointed me for their king." 8And Abner son of Ner, commander of Saul's army, took Ishbosheth son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim, 9and appointed him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10Ishbosheth son of Saul was forty years old when he became king over Israel, and he reigned two years: only the house of Judah followed David.

11And the number of days, and the amount of time that David dwelt, ruling in Hebron over the house of Judah, was seven years, and six months. 12And Abner son of Ner went, and the servants of Ishbosheth son of Saul, from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13Joab son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David went out, and they met near the pool in Gibeon. And when they were together in one meeting, and they sat down opposite: these on the one side of the pool, and they on the other. 14Abner said to Joab: "Let the young men rise and play before us."

And Joab responded: "Let them rise." 15Therefore they rose, and they passed twelve in number of Benjamin, belonging to Ishbosheth son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.

16And each caught the head of his fellow, and drove his sword into the side of his adversary, and they fell together: and the name of that place is called this: The field of strong men,[6] which is in Gibeon. 17And here arose a hard battle enough for that day: and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel from the children of David. 18And there were three sons of Zeruiah: Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel there: further Asahel was a very fast runner, as one of the deer that live in woods. 19And Asahel pursued Abner, and didn't swerve to the right or to the left from following Abner. 20Therefore Abner looked behind him, and said: "Are you Asahel?"

And he responded: "I am."

21Abner said to him: "Go to the right, or to the left and take one of the youths, and take spoils from him." But Asael refused to leave off following him. 22Once again Abner spoke to Asahel: "Withdraw, don't follow me, so that I won't be compelled to strike you to the earth, and I will no more lift my face to Joab your brother." 23He despised to hear, and wouldn't withdraw: therefore Abner struck him in his back with his spear and stabbed it through, and he was dead there: and all went by that place, in which Asahel fell, and was dead, and lay still. 24Therefore Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, who was fleeing, the sun was going down: and they came up to the hill of aqueducts, that comes from across the valley, going to the desert in Gibeon. 25And the sons of Benjamen gathered to Abner: and became one band, they stood on the hilltop.

26And Abner called to Joab, and said: "Must your sword always cruelly murder? Don't you know desperation is dangerous to you? How long will you not tell the people to stop pursuing their brothers?" 27And Joab said: "As the Lord lives, if you had spoken sooner, the people pursuing your brother would have gone away." 28Therefore Joab sounded the horn, and all the army stood, and they didn't pursue or battle Israel anymore. 29Then Abner and his men went away through the plains,[7] the whole night: and crossed the Jordan, and passed all Bithron,[8] and came to Mahanaim. 30Further Joab went back, leaving Abner, he gathered together all the people: and defeated of the servants of David nineteen men, not counting Asahel.

31Then David's servants struck of Benjamin, and they that were with Abner, three hundred sixty, and they died. 32They took Asahel, and buried him in his father's sepulcher in Bethlehem: and Joab and the men that were with him went all night, and by daybreak, they came into Hebron.

Chapter 3[edit]

1Then there was a long strife between the house of Saul, and the house of David: David profiting, and always growing stronger, and the house of Saul weakening every day. 2And these are the sons of David born in Hebron: his first born was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess. 3And after him Chileab, of Abigail, the wife of Nabal of Carmel: then the third was Absalom, son of Maacah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. 4And the fourth was Adonijah, son of Haggith: and the fifth, Shephatiah, son of Abital. 5And the sixth Ithream, of Eglah the wife of David: These were born to David in Hebron.

6When there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner the son of Ner governed the house of Saul. 7Now Saul had a concubine named Rizpah, daughter of Aiah.[9] And Ishboseth said to Abner, 8"Why did you sleep with my father's concubine?"

He was irate at these words of Isboseth, and said, "Am I the head of a dog against Judah today, I who did mercy upon the house of Saul your father, and the brothers and next of kin, not leading you into the hands of David, and you sought to accuse me over a woman today? 9God do this to Abner, and more if I don't do as the Lord swore to David, 10to make the kingdom be transferred from the house of Saul, and the throne of David raised over Israel, and over Judah, from Dan to Beersheba."

11And he could not answer anything, because he was afraid. 12Therefore Abner sent his messengers to David for to say, "Who does the land belong to?" and to speak, "Make an alliance with me, and I'll lead all Israel to you."

13He said: "Good. I will ally with you, but one thing I ask from you, saying: 'You won't see my face until you bring Michol the daughter of Saul: and so you will come and see me'" 14Then David sent messengers to Ishboseth the son of Saul, saying: "Give me my wife Michal, who I married for a hundred Philistine foreskins." 15Then Ishboseth sent, and took her from her man, Paltiel, son of Laish.

16Then her man followed her, weeping to Bahurim: and Abner said to him: "Go, and return." He went back. 17Then Abner discussed with the elders of Israel, saying: "For some time you sought David, that he would reign over you. 18And now do [it]; for the Lord spoke to David, saying: 'In the hands of my servant David, I will save my people Israel from the hands of the Philistines, and all their enemies.'" 19Abner spoke also to Benjamin. And he went to tell David, in Hebron all the things that pleased Israel and all Benjamin 20He came to David in Hebron with twenty men: and David made a feast for Abner, and for his men that came with him.

21And Abner said to David: "I will rise, to gather together, to my lord king, all Israel, and go with the covenant, and you command all, as your soul desires." Then, therefore David brought Abner, and he went in peace, 22then the children of David and Joab came from a bandit raid with great spoils: but Abner was not with David in Hebron, for now he sent him, and he was gone in peace. 23And Joab, and all the army, that was with him, came after: as it was told of Joab by reports: Abner son of Ner came to the king, and left him, and went away in peace.

24And Joab went to the king, and said, "What have you done? Abner came to you: why did you let him go, and he went away? 25Don't you know that Abner came to you to deceive you, and find out your comings and goings, and know all that you do?"

26And so Job went away from David, and sent messengers after Abner, and brought him back from the cistern of Sirah, without David knowing. 27And when Abner came back to Hebron, Joab took him to the middle of the entrance, and spoke to him in treachery: and he struck him there in the rib in revenge for the blood of his brother Asahel, and he was dead. 28And when David heard what had been done, he said: "I am clean, and my kingdom with the Lord forever from the blood of Abner son of Ner, 29and it will come upon the head of Joab, and on all his father's house: never will the house of Joab fail to suffer from unclean discharges, and leprosy, unmanliness, being killed by the sword, and needing bread. 30Joab and Abishai his brother had slaughtered Abner because he had killed Asahel their brother in Gibeon in battle.

31Then, David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him: "Tear your clothes, and gird yourselves with sacks, and mourn at the funeral of Abner:" and king David followed the bier. 32When they had buried Abner in Hebron, king David lifted up his voice, and wept over the grave of Abner: and all the people wept. 33And the king mourned Abner, and he said this lament: "You didn't die like a coward, Abner. 34Your hands were not bound, and your feet were not shackled, but as one falls before the sons of wickedness, so did you fall." All the people showered tears on him. 35And when all the multitude came to eat with David, the day was still clear, David swore, and said, "God do these things to me, and more, if I taste bread or anything else before sunset."

36All the people heard, and it pleased them, as everything the king did in the sight of all the people. 37And all the commoners and all Israel knew on that day, that it was not done by the king, the murder of Abner son of Ner. 38And the king said to his servants: "Don't you know that a prince and the greatest has fallen today in Israel? 39But I am still the luxurious, and anointed king: further these men, sons of Zeruiah are harsh to me: God reward the evildoer with the evil."

Chapter 4[edit]

1 And Saul's son heard that Abner died in Hebron, and his power was weakened, and all Israel was troubled. 2 And Saul's son had two men who were captains of his troops. The name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the Benjamites, as Beeroth was counted among Benjamin. 3 And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and there they reside as foreigners to the present.

4 And Jonathan son of Saul had a son who had crippled legs. He was five years old when the news came about Saul and Jonathan from Jezreel, and his nurse picked him up to flee. And then, as she rushed away away, he fell and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth.

5 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went and came during the heat of the day to Ishbosheth, who was lying in bed at noon. 6 And there they arrived, inside the house, taking wheat, and they mortally wounded his abdomen. And Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7 And they came into the house as he was lying on his bed in his bedroom, and they struck and killed him, and removed his head, and went off by way of the Arabah all night. 8 And they brought the head of Ishbosheth to David at Hebron, and they said to the king, "Here is the head of Ishbosheth son of Saul, your enemy, who sought to kill you, and Yahweh has given revenge to my lord the king this day against Saul and his seed.

9 And David replied to Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, and said to them, "By the life of Yahweh, who has delivered my life from all adversity, 10 when someone told me that Saul was dead, thinking he brought good news, I seized him and killed him at Ziklag, when he thought I would reward him for the news. 11 How much more so, when wicked men have killed a decent man in his house, on his own bed! I will surely require his blood from your hands, and wipe you off the land. 12 And David commanded his servants, and they killed them, and cut off their hands and feet, and hung them over the pool in Hebron. And they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.

Chapter 5[edit]

1 And all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, "Look, we are your bone and flesh. 2 Yes, and in time past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who lead Israel out and brought them in, and Yahweh said to you, You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will be prince over Israel. 3 And all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before Yahweh, and they anointed David as king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he became king, and reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.

6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem, to the Jebusites, who lived in the land. And they said to David, You will not come here, unless you take away the blind and lame. They thought, David cannot come here. 7 And David seized the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David.

8 And David said on that day, Whoever strikes the Jebusites, and goes in by the water-course, and strikes the lame and the blind, who are hated by David . . .

That is why they say, The blind and the lame will not come into the house.

9 And David settled in the stronghold, and called it the City of David. And David made fortifications from the Millo and inward. 10 And David continued to grow great, and Yahweh, the god of armies, was with him.

11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and wood-workers, and masons, and they built a house for David. 12 And David knew that Yahweh had established him as king over Israel, and that he had elevated his kingship for the sake of his people Israel.

13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David. 14 And these are the names of those who were 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 Philistines heard that David was anointed as king over Israel, and all the Philistines came up to find David. And David heard, and went down to the stronghold. 18 And Philistines came and spread themselves across the valley of Rephaim. 19 And David inquired of Yahweh, "Should I go up to the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hand?"

And Yahweh said to David, "Go up, because I will certainly deliver the Philistines into your hand."

20 And David came to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there, and said, Yahweh has broken out against my enemies before me like a flood." Therefore he called the name of the place Baal Perazim.[10] 21 And they left their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.

22 And Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves across the valley of Rephaim. 23 And David inquired of Yahweh, and he said, "You must not go up. Surround them from behind, and come upon them opposite the balsam trees."[11] 24 And then, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, make your move, because then Yahweh will go out before you to trike the Philistine encampment. 25 And David did so, as Yahweh commanded him, and struck the Philistines from Geba until you come to Gezer.

Chapter 6[edit]

1 And yet again David gathered all the choice men in Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David rose and went, and all the people who were with him, from Baale Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called the name Yahweh of Armies, who sits surrounded by cherubim. 3 And they seated the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it from the house of Abinadab which was in Gibeah, as Uzza and Ahio, Abinadab's sons, lead the new cart. 4 And they carried it from the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, with the ark of God, as Ahio walked before the ark. 5 And David and all the house of Israel played before Yahweh with all cypress trees, and with harps and with lyres and drums and rattles and cymbals. 6 And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God to steady it, because the oxen lost control of it. 7 And Yahweh's anger burned hot against Uzzah, and God struck him down right there for his error, and there he died by the ark of God. 8 And David was angry because Yahweh's outburst broke out against Uzzah, and the place is named Perez Uzzah[12] to this day. 9 And David was afraid of Yahweh that day, and said, How can the ark of Yahweh come near me. 10 And David refused to remove the ark of Yahweh to himself to the city of David, and David turned it aside to the house of Obed Edom the Gittite. 11 And the ark of Yahweh stayed in the house of Obed Edom the Gittite three months, and Yahweh blessed Obed Edom and all his house. 12 And it was reported to David that Yahweh had blessed the house of Obed Edom, and all who were his, on account of the ark of God. And David went and brought up the ark of god from the house of Obed Edom to the city of David with joy. 13 And as soon as those who carried the ark of Yahweh had stepped six paces, he sacrificed oxen and fatted calves. 14 And David danced before Yahweh with all his might, and David was girded with an linen ephod. 15 And David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of Yahweh with shouting and trumpet blasts. 16 And when the ark of Yahweh entered the city of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, looked down through a window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before Yahweh, and she thought of him with contempt. 17 And they brought in the ark of Yahweh, and set it in its place, inside the tent which David pitched for it, and David offered burnt offerings and peace-offerings before Yahweh. 18 And David finished offering burnt offerings and peace-offerings, and he blessed the people in the name of Yahweh of Armies. 19 And he apportioned to all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, and an eshpar,[13] and a raisin-cake. And all the people went each to his house.

20 And David returned to bless his house. And Michal daughter of Saul went out to meet David, and said, How glorious today was the king of Israel, exposing himself to the eyes of his servant's maidservants, like a worthless man exposes himself!

21 And David said to Michal, It was before Yahweh, who chose chose me instead of your father, and instead of all his house, to command that I be price over Yahweh's people, over Israel. So I will dance before Yahweh. 22 And I will become even more undignified than this, until I am ashamed of myself. But these maidservants you speak of hold me in high esteem.

23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children until the day she died.

Chapter 7[edit]

1 And when the king was settled in his house, and Yahweh gave him rest round about from all his enemies, 2 the king said to Nathan the prophet, See now, I live in a house of cedar, while God lives in a cloth tent.

3 And Nathan said to the king, Go do all that you intend, because Yahweh is with you.

4 And then, that night, a message of Yahweh came to Nathan, saying, 5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus says Yahweh, Will you build me a house to live in? 6 Yet I have not lived in a house, from the day the Israelites went up from Egypt up to the present day, but I have traveled about in a tent dwelling. 7 In all the places I traveled about with all the Israel, did I say a word to any one of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, to ask, Why have you not built me a house of cedar? 8 Therefore, say this to my servant David: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: I took you from the pasture, from following sheep, to be prince over my people, over Israel. 9 And I was with you everywhere you went, and I have cut off all your enemies from your presence, and given you a great name, like the one of one of the earth's great men. 10 And I will set aside a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them, and they will dwell in their own place, and be disturbed no more. And no longer will the sons of wickedness oppress them as they did from the beginning, 11 and since the time that I gave command for judges to rule my people Israel. And I have given you rest from all your enemies. And Yahweh tells you that he will make you a dynasty,[14] 12 because when your days come to an end, and you rest with your fathers, then I will establish your seed after you, who will come from your own loins, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will become his father, and he will become my son, such that if he behaves wickedly, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the bruises of human beings. 15 And my faithfulness will not turn away from him, and I turned it away from Saul, whom I turned away before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom will be secure forever before you. Your throne will stand forever.

17 With these words and with this prophecy Nathan spoke to David.

18 And King David went in and sat before Yahweh, and said, Who am I, Lord Yahweh? And what is my house, that you have brought me here? 19 Even this was a small thing in your eyes, Lord Yahweh, and you have spoken also of your servants house into the distant future. And this is the law for human beings, Lord Yahweh. 20 And what more can David say to you? You, Lord Yahweh, know your servant. 21 For the sake of your word, and according to your will, you have done these great things, to make them known to your servant. 22 Therefore you are great, Lord Yahweh, because there is none like you, and there is no god besides you, in all that our ears have heard. 23 And what single nation is like your people, like Israel, whom a god went to rescue as his own people, and to make a name for himself, and to do for you things great and terrifying, for your land, because of your people, whom you rescued for yourself from Egypt, nations, and its gods. 24 And you have established for yourself your people Israel as your own people forever, and you, Yahweh, have become their god.

25 And now, Yahweh God, the thing you said about your servant, and about his house, establish it forever, and do as you have said. 26 And your name will be exalted forever, saying, Yahweh of Armies is the god who rules Israel. And may the house of your servant David be established before you. 27 Because you, Yahweh of Armies, god of Israel, have disclosed to your servants ear, I will build a house for you. Therefore your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to you.

28 And now, Lord Yahweh, you are God, and your words are true, and you have promised this goodness to your servant. 29 So let it please you to bless the house of your servants, to continue forever before you, because you, Lord Yahweh, have said it, and with your blessing let the house of your servant be blessed forever.

Chapter 8[edit]

1 Now, after this, David struck the Philistines and subdued them, and David took Metheg Ammah away from the Philistines.

2 And he struck Moab, and measured them with a rope, making them lie on the ground. And he would measure two cord-length to be put to death, and one full cord-length he spared. And the Moabites became David's servants, bringing tribute.

3 And David struck Hadadezer[15] son of Rehob, king of Zobah, when he went to lay his hand on the river Euphrates.[16] 4 And David seized from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen and twenty thousand foot soldiers, and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, except for one hundred of them.

5 And when Aram Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck of Aram twenty-two thousand men. 6 And David placed garrisons in Aram Damascus, and the Arameans became David's slaves, bringing tribute. And Yahweh gave David victory wherever he went. 7 And David took the shields of gold that belonged to the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 And from Betah, and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, David took a very great deal of bronze.

9 And Toi king of Hamath heard that David had struck all the army of Hadadezer. 10 And Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to greet him and bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer, because Hadadezer had been a military opponent of Toi. And with him were objects of silver, and objects of gold, and objects of brass. 11 Then David consecrated them for Yahweh, with the silver and the gold that he had consecrated from all the nations which he subdued: 12 from Aram, and from Moab, and from the Ammonites, and from Philistines, and from Amalek, and from the spoil of Hadadezer son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

13 And David made a name for himself when he returned from striking Aram at the Valley of Salt, eighteen thousand. 14 And he placed garrisons in Edom. Throughout all Edom he placed garrisons, and all Edom became servants of David. And Yahweh gave David victory wherever he went.

15 And David reigned over all Israel, and David acted justly and rightly with all his people. 16 And Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder. 17 And Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were the priests, and Seraiah was the scribe. 18 And Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and David's sons were priests.

Chapter 9[edit]

1 And David said, Is there anyone left remaining of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?

2 And of the house of Saul there was a servant, and his name was Ziba. And they called him to David, and the king said to him, Are you Ziba?

And he said, Your servant.

3 And the king said, Is there no one left of the house of Saul, that I may show him the kindness of God?

And Ziba said to the king, There is still a son of Jonathan, with crippled legs.

4 And the king said to him, Where is he?

And Ziba said to the king, He is now at the house of Machir son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.

5 And King David sent and took him from the house of Machir son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar.

6 And Mephibosheth son of Jonathan son of Saul came to David, and fell on his face and did homage. And David said, Mephibosheth?

And he said, Behold your servant.

7 And David said to him, Do not be afraid, because I will certainly show you kindness for the sake of Jonathan your father, and I will return to you all the land of Saul, and you will eat at my table daily.

8 And he did homage, and said, What is your servant, that you should look out for such a dead dog as myself?

9 And the king called for Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, Everything that was Saul's, and everything belonging to his house, I am giving to your master's son. 10 And you will till the ground for him, you, and your sons, and your servants, and you will harvest, and your master's son will have food to eat. And Mephibosheth, the son of your master, will eat daily at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

11 And Ziba said to the king, Just as my lord the king has commanded his servant, so his servant will do. And Mephibosheth will eat at my table, like one of the king's sons. 12 And Mephibosheth had a little son, and his name was Micha. And all who lived in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he at at the king's table daily, and he was lame in both his feet.

Chapter 10[edit]

1 Now, after this, the king of the Ammonites died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. 2 And David said, I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me. And David sent condolences by the hand of his servants for his father. And David's servants came to the land of the Ammonites. 3 And the nobles of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, Do you think that David honors your father by sending comforters to you? Is David not sending his servants to examine the city, to spy it out and overthrow it?

4 And Hanun took the servants of David, and shaved off half their beard, and cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away. 5 And it was reported to David, and he sent to meet them, because the men were deeply humiliated. And the king said, Stay at Jericho until your beards grow, then return.

6 And the Ammonites saw that they were odious to David, and the Ammonites sent and hired Aram of Beth Rehob, and Aram of Zoba, twenty thousand foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah, a thousand men, and Ish Tob, twenty thousand men. 7 And David heard, and he sent Joab, and all the army of warriors. 8 And the Ammonites came out and set themselves in battle formation at the entrance of the gate, and Aram of Zobah and Rehob, and Ish Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.

9 And Joab saw that the front lines were both in front of and behind him, and he chose some from all the choice men in Israel, and placed them in formation to meet Aram. 10 And the rest of the people he placed under the command of Abishai his brother, and he set them in formation to meet the Ammonites. 11 And he said, If Aram is too strong for me, then you will rescue me, and if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will go and help you. 12 Be strong. We must strengthen ourselves for our people, and for the cities of our god, and Yahweh will do what seems good to him. 13 And Joab approached, and the people who were with him, to battle with Aram, and they fled from him. 14 And the Ammonites saw that Aram fled, and they fled from Abishai, and went into the city. And Joab returned from the Ammonites and came to Jerusalem.

15 And Aram saw that they were beaten before Israel, they gathered as one. 16 And Hadadezer sent and brought out the Arameans from across the River,[17] and they came to Helam, with Shobach the leader of Hadadezer's army in front of them. 17 And it was reported to David, and he gathered all Israel and crossed the Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Arameans set themselves in formation to meet David, and fought with him. 18 And Aram fled from Israel, and David killed of Aram seven hundred charioteers and forty thousand horsemen, and struck Shobach the leader of his army, who died there. 19 And when all the kings who served Hadadezer saw that they were beaten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. And the Arameans were afraid to assist the Ammonites any more.

Chapter 11[edit]

1 And in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel, and they destroyed the Ammonites, and besieges Rabbah. And David stayed at Jerusalem. 2 And one evening, David rose from his bed and walked about the roof of the king's house, and saw a woman bathing from the rooftop, a woman of beautiful appearance. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman, and was told, Is this not Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4 And David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. Now she had been purifying herself from her menstrual uncleanness. And she returned to her house.

5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am pregnant.

6 And David sent word to Joab, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 And Uriah came to him, and David asked him how Joab was, and how the people were, and how the war was going. 8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to your house, and wash your feet. And Uriah went out from the king's house, and a gift of food from the king was sent after him. 9 And Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 And they told David, Uriah did not go down to his house.

And David said to Uriah, Did you not come from your journey? Why did you not go down to your house?

11 And Uriah said to David, The ark, and Israel and Judah, are living in tents, and my lord Joab and my lord's servants are camping in open fields. How can I go to my house to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? By your life, and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.

12 And David said to Uriah, Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will send you off. And Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David called for him, and he ate before him, and drank, and he made him drunk, and at evening he went out to lie on his mat with the servants of his lord, and he did not go down to his house.

14 And then in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it off in Uriah's hand. 15 And he wrote in the letter, Station Uriah along the front edge of the battle lines, and then pull away from him, so he will be struck and killed. 16 And as Joab kept watch on the city, he placed Uriah at the place where he knew capable warriors were. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the people among David's servants fell, and Uriah the Hittite also died.

18 And Joab sent and told David all about the battle, 19 and commanded the messenger, When you finish saying everything about the battle to the king, 20 then perhaps the king will become angry, and says to you, Why did you come near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who struck Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman throw a millstone from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go near the wall? Then say to him, Your servant Uriah is dead as well.

22 And the messenger went, and came, and showed David everything Joab sent him for. 23 And the messenger said to David, The men prevailed against us, and came out to us in the field, as we were near them at the entrance of the city gate? 24 And the archers shot down from the wall, and some of the king's servants died, and also your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.

25 And David said to the messenger, Tell Joab, Do not be dismayed about this thing, because the sword devours one as much as the other. Do battle more strongly against the city, and overthrow it. Encourage him.

26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and had her brought to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. And what David had done was wrong in the view of Yahweh.

Chapter 12[edit]

1Then the Lord sent Nathan to David: who when he came to him, he said:[18] "Two men were in one city, one rich, and the other poor. 2The rich man had many herds of sheep, and cattle. 3But the poor man had utterly nothing, except for one small sheep, that he brought, and nurtured, and grew together with him and his sons, and eating from his bread, and drinking from his cup, and sleeping in his bosom: it was like a daughter to him. 4When a pilgrim came to the rich man, and he didn't want to slaughter an animal from his sheep and cattle, to make a feast for the pilgrim who had come to him, so he took the sheep of the poor man, and prepared the meat for the man that came to him." 5Therefore David was angry and displeased with the rich man, and said to Nathan: "As God lives, the man who did this should be killed.[19]

6He should pay the sheep in quadruple, because he did this thing, and had no pity." 7And Nathan said to David: "You are that man. The Lord God of Israel says this: 'I anointed you to be king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul, 8and I have given you the house of your lord, and the wives of your lord, moreover I gave you the house of Israel and Judah: and if these are little, I would add to you much more. 9Why then have you despised the word of the Lord, to do evil things in my sight? You have struck Uriah Hethae with the sword, and you have taken his wife for yours, and you killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10Forever, therefore, the sword will not go away from your house because you despised me, and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite, to be your wife.'

11Thus God says: 'Behold, I am raising up evil against you of your house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and I will give to your neighbors, and he will lie with your wives before the eyes of this sun. 12You did it in secret: I will do this word in the sight of all Israel, and in the sight of the sun.'"

13And David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord."

Nathan said to David, "God has put away your sin: you will not die. 14However, because you have caused enemies to blaspheme the Lord, because of this, your son, that was born to you, will die the death." 15And Nathan went back to his house. And the Lord struck the child, who was born of the wife of Uriah and David, and he despaired.

16David prayed to the Lord for the child, and David fasted with fasting, and entered alone, and lay on the earth. 17The elders of his house came, to raise him off the earth. He was not willing, and he would not eat bread with them. 18It happened on the seventh day, the infant died: and the servants of David were afraid to report, "The child is dead," saying, "Look, when the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he didn't hear our voice: how much more will he torment himself if we say: 'the boy died?'" 19But then David saw that the servants were muttering, understood that the child was dead, and said to his servants, "Is the boy dead?"

They responded: "He is dead." 20Then David rose from the earth, and washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes, and entered into the house of the Lord, and worshiped, and went in his house, and he called for bread, and ate.

21Then his servants said to him, "What is this thing that you have done? for when the infant was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the boy was dead, you got up, and ate bread."

22He answered, "For the infant, when he was alive, I fasted and wept, and said, 'Who knows if by chance the Lord gives him to me, and the infant lives?' 23But now he's dead. Why fast? Can I call him back again? I can go back to him, but he can not come back to me." 24And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, he went to her and slept with her; and had a son, and called his name Solomon, and the Lord loved him. 25He sent him in the hands of Nathan the prophet, and he called his name, Lovable to the Lord,[20] so that the Lord would love him.

26Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, and captured the royal city. 27Joab sent messengers to David, saying: "I fought against Rabbah, and captured the City of Water. 28So now gather the rest of the people, and besiege the city, and capture it: lest I capture it, and the victory is ascribed to me." 29And David gathered together all the people, and set out against Rabbath: and when he had fought, he captured it. 30And he took the crown from the king's head, a talent's weight of gold, having precious stones, and put it on the head of David. And he brought a whole lot of spoils from the city.

31And he sawed[21] the people of the city, and set around and on them iron saws, and divided with knives, and made them pass through the brick kiln: so he did to all the cities of the sons of Ammon: and David and all the army went back to Jerusalem.

Chapter 13[edit]

1 Now, after this, David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister, and her name was Tamar, and David's son Amnon loved her. 2 And Amnon was so bothered that he became sick on account his sister Tamar, because she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for Amnon to do anything to her. 3 And Amnon had a friend, and his name was Jonathan, the son of David's brother Shimeah. And Jonabad was a very intelligent man. 4 And he said to him, Why are you wasting away, a son of the king, morning by morning? Will you not tell me?

And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.

5 And Jonadab said to him, Lay down on your bed, and pretend to be sick, and when your father comes to see you, say to him, Please, let my sister Tamar come and feed me, and make the food in front of me, so that I can see and eat from her hand. 6 And Amnon lay down, and pretended to be sick, and the king came to see him, and Amnon said to the king, Please, let Tamar my sister come and make a couple of cakes in front of me, and I will eat from her hand.

7 And David sent word home to Tamar, saying, Please, go to your brother Amnon's house, and make food for him. 8 And Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, and he was lying down. And she took dough, and kneaded, and made cakes in front of him, and cooked the cakes. 9 And she took the pan, and poured them out, and he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Everyone go out from me. And all the people went out from him.

10 And Amnon said to Tamar, Bring the food into the room, and I will eat from your hand. And Tamar took the cakes that she made, and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11 And when she brought them to him to eat, he grabbed her and said to her, Come lay with me, my sister.

12 And she said to him, No, my brother, do not force me, because something like this should not be done in Israel. Do not do this reckless thing. 13 And as for me, what will I do about my shame? And you will become like a fool in Israel. So speak to the king, because he will not deny me to you. 14 But he would not listen to her voice, and he overpowered her, and forced her, and lay with her.

15 And Amnon hated her with very great hatred, so that the hatred with which he hated her was stronger than the love with which he loved her. And Amnon said to her, Get up and go.

16 And she said to him, No, my brother, because[22] this great evil [is worse] than before, which you do to me by sending me away. But he would not listen to her.

17 And he called to his servant who waited on him, and said, Take this woman away from me, and lock the door! 18 And she wore a long tunic, such as the virgin daughters of the king wore. And his attendant brought her out, and locked the door behind her.

19 And Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her long tunic she wore, and put her hand on her head, and went about wailing. 20 And Absalom her brother said to her, Has Aminon your brother been with you? Now, my sister, keep silent. He is your brother. Do not take this thing to heart. And Tamar stayed, desolate, at the house of her brother Absalom.

21 And King David heard all these things, and he was very angry. 22 And Absalom said nothing at all to Amnon, because Absalom hated Amnon on account of his humiliating Tamar his sister.

23 Now, two full years later, Absalom's sheep-shearers were at Baal Hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons. 24 And Absalom came to the king, and said, See now, your servant is having his sheep sheared. Please, let the king and his servants go with your servant.

25 And the king said to Absalom, No, my son, let us not all go, or else we would be a burden to you. And he insisted, but he would not go, but blessed him.

26 And Absalom said, If not, then please let Amnon go with us.

And the king said to him, Why should he go with you? 27 And Absalom insisted on it, and he sent Amnon with him, and all the king's sons.

28 And Absalom commanded his servants, Pay attention when Amnon heart is gladdened by wine, and I will say to you, Strike Amnon! And then kill him. Do not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. 29 And Absalom's young men did to Amnon as Absalom commanded. And all the king's sons got up and fled away on their mules.

30 Now, as they were on their way, news came to David, saying, Absalom has killed all the king's sons, and not one has survived. 31 And the king rose, and tore his clothes, and lay on the ground. And all his servants stood by with torn clothes.

32 And Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimeah, said, Let not my lord think that all the young men, the king's sons, have been killed. Rather, only Amnon is dead, because this has been Absalom's intention from the day he humiliated his sister Tamar. 33 And now let not my lord the king take this to heart, to think all the king's sons are dead. Rather, only Amnon is dead.

34 And Absalom fled. And the young man keeping watch lifted his eyes and saw, and there was a large group of people coming along the road from the west along the side of the hill. 35 And Jonadab said to the king, Look: the king's sons are coming. It is just as your servant said. 36 And then, as he finished speaking, there came the king's sons, and lifted their voice and wept, and also the king and all his servants wept very loudly.

37 And Absalom fled, and went to Talmai son of Ammihud,[23] king of Geshur. And he mourned for his son every day. 38 And Absalom had fled and come to Geshur, and he stayed there three years. 39 And David the king longed to go out to Absalom, because he was comforted concerning Amnon's death.

Chapter 14[edit]

1 And Joab son of Zeruiah knew that the king was missing Absalom. 2 And Joab sent to Tekoa, and took a clever woman from there, and said to her, Please, pretend you are in mourning, and wear mourning clothing, and do not anoint your head with oil, and be like a woman who has been mourning many days over a death. 3 And come to the king, and say these words to him. And Joab gave her words to say.

4 And the Tekoite woman spoke to the king, and fell on her face to the ground, and did homage, and said, Help me, O king!

5 And the king said to her, What is it?

And she said, I am a lonely widow, and my husband is dead. 6 And your maidservant had two sons, and the two of them were fighting in the field, and there was no one to intervene between them, and the one struck the other, and killed him. 7 And now the whole clan has risen up against your handmaid, and they say, Give us the one who killed his brother, and we will kill him for the life of his brother that he killed, and we will destroy the heir as well. They will snuff out my last remaining ember, and leave for my husband no name or remnant on the face of the ground.

8 And the king said to the woman, Go to your house, and I will give a command concerning you.

9 And the Tekoite woman said to the king, May the guilt[24] be upon me and my family, and may the king be guiltless.

10 And the king said, Whoever bothers you, bring him to me, and he will not trouble you any more.

11 And she said, Please remember, O king, Yahweh your god, and do not let blood-avengers[25] destroy any more, or they will destroy my son.

And he said, By the life of Yahweh, not one hair of your son will fall to the ground.[26]

12 And the woman said, Please, let your maidservant say something to the king.

And the king said, Speak.

13 And the woman said, Then why have you thought to do such a thing against the people of God? What the king says points out his own error, in not returning his own exile home. 14 For we all must die, and are like water poured out on the ground, which cannot be gathered back up. And God does not show preference to any one life, but intends for the exiled one not to be banished from him. 15 And so it is that I have come to speak this message to my lord the king, because the people made me afraid, and your handmaid said, I will speak to the king. Perhaps the king will carry out the request of his maidservant, 16 that the king would hear, to rescue his handmaid from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the inheritance of God. 17 And your maidservant said, May the word of my lord the king be comforting, because my lord the king is like a messenger of God, discerning good and evil. And Yahweh your god will be with you.

18 And the king replied, and said to the woman, Please, do not conceal from me what I ask of you.

And the woman said, Let my lord the king speak.

19 And the king said, Is the hand of Joab behind all of this?

And the woman replied, By my very life, my lord the king, no man can at all contradict anything my lord the king says, because your servant Joab was the one who commanded me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant. 20 In order to turn this situation around your servant Joab did this thing, and my lord is wise, with wisdom like a messenger of God, knowing everything on earth.

21 And the king said to Joab, See now, I have done this thing. Bring back the young man, Absalom.

22 And Joab fell facedown, and did homage, and blessed the king, and Joab said, Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, in that the king fulfilled his servant's request.[27]

23 And Joab rose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 And the king said, Let him return to his house, but he is not to see my face. And Absalom returned to his own house, and did not see the face of the king.

25 And there was no man as greatly praised for beauty as Absalom in all Israel. From the sole of his foot to the top of his head he was flawless. 26 And when he shaved his head, as he shaved at the end of each year, because it was heavy on him, and he shaved it, the hair of his head weighed two hundred shekels by the king's measure.[28] 27 Absalom had three sons and one daughter, whose name was Tamar. She was a beautiful woman.

28 And Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two full years, and did not see the king's face. 29 And Absalom summoned Joab, to send him to the king, but he refused to come to him. And he summoned him again, a second time, and he refused to come. 30 And he said to his servants, See, Joab's land is near mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire. And Solomons servants set the field on fire.

31 And Joab rose, and came to Absalom at his house, and said to him, Why have your servants set my field on fire?

32 And Absalom said to Joab, Now, I sent for you, saying, Come here, and I will send you to the king, to say, Why have I returned from Geshur. I might as well still be there. So let me see the king's face, and if I have done anything wrong, let him kill me.

33 And Joab went to the king, and told him, and he called for Absalom, and came to the king, and bowed himself face to the ground, and the king kissed Absalom.

Chapter 15[edit]

1 Now, after this, Absalom prepared for himself chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom would rise early, and stand next to the city gate. And then, when any man who had a case came to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him, and say, What city are you from?

And he would say, Your servant is from . . . one of the tribes of Israel.

3 And Absalom would say to him, Look, what you have to say is good and correct, but there is no one listen to you for the king. 4 And Absalom would say, If only I were appointed judge of the land, then every man who had a case for judgment would came to me, and I would give him justice. 5 And whenever anyone would approach to bow before him, he would extend his hand, and take him and kiss him. 6 This is the sort of thing that Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment, and Absalom stole the heart of all the men of Israel.

7 Now, after four[29] years, Absalom said to the king, Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to Yahweh, in Hebron.[30] 8 For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, If Yahweh will return me to Jerusalem, I will serve Yahweh.

9 And the king said to him, Go in peace. And he rose and went to Hebron. 10 And Absalom sent spies through all the tribes of Israel, saying, When you hear the sound of the rams-horn, then say, Absalom is king in Hebron! 11 And with Absalom there were two hundred men called from Jerusalem, and they went with him innocently, and did not know anything. 12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, from his city, from Giloh, while he offered sacrifice. And the conspiracy was strong, and the people with Solomon kept increasing.

13 And someone reported to David that the hearts of the men of Israel were following Absalom.

14 And David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, Arise and let us flee, or else we will not escape from Absalom. Hurry and go, or else he might overtake us suddenly, and harm us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.

15 And the king's servants said to the king, Whatever my lord the king decides, we are here to serve. 16 And the king went out, and all his house with him. And the king left behind ten women, concubines, to keep house. 17 And the king went out, and all the people with him, and stayed at a house far off.

18 And all his servants went over alongside him, and all the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who followed him from Gath, going over in front of the king. 19 And the king said to Ittai the Gittite, Why are you going alongside us? Go back to your own place, and stay with the king there, because you are a foreigner in exile. 20 It was just yesterday you came to us, so today should I make you go wandering about with us? I am going where I must go. Go back, and take your brothers, and may loyalty and truth be with you.

21 And Ittai replied to the king, and said, By the life of Yahweh, and the life of my lord the king, [I swear] that wherever my lord the king is, whether he lives or dies, that your servant will be there.

22 And David said to Ittai, Go and cross over. And Ittai the Gittite crossed over, with all his men, and with all the little ones with him. 23 And all the land wept with a loud voice, as all the people crossed over, and the king was crossing over the brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over along the way to the wilderness.

24 And there was Zadok, and all the Levites with him, carrying the ark of the covenant of God, and they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25 And the king said to Zadok, Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the eyes of Yahweh, he will bring me back, and show me both it and his dwelling. 26 If he says, I do not delight in you, then here I am. He can do what he will with me. 27 And the king said to Zadok the priest, Do you understand?[31] Return to the city in peace, with Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan son of Abiathar, your two sons. 28 See, I will stay in the plains of the wilderness, until word comes to you with news about me. 29 And Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem, and stayed there.

30 And David went up along the ascent to the Olives, weeping as he went up, with his head covered, and he went barefoot, and all the people with him each covered his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. 31 And it was reported to David,[32] saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.

And David said, Please turn the advice of Ahithophel to foolishness, O Yahweh.

32 Now, when David came to the peak, where he worshipped God, there to meet him was Hushai the Arkite coming to meet him with his tunic torn, and earth on his head. 33 And David said to him, If you cross over with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, I will be your servant, O king. I have been your father's servant before, and now I will be your servant. And you can overturn for me the advice of Ahithophel. 35 Will you not have there with you Zadok and Abiathar the priests? Then, whatever you hear from the king's house, you can tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 There with them are their two sons, Ahimaaz of Zadok, and Jonathan of Abiathar, and by them you will pass on to me everything you hear.

37 And Hushai, David's friend, came to the city, and Absalom came to Jerusalem.

Chapter 16[edit]

1 And when David passed a little beyond the peak, there Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, met him, with a pair of loaded donkeys, and on them were two hundred loaves of bread, and a hundred raisin-cakes, and a hundred summer fruits,[33] and a skin of wine. 2 And the king said to Ziba, What are these of yours?

And Ziba said, The donkeys are for the king's house to ride, and the bread and the summer fruits for the young men to eat, and the wine for those tired in the wilderness to drink.

3 And the king said, And where is your master's son?

And Ziba said to the king, He is staying in Jerusalem, because he says, Today the house of Israel will return to me the kingdom of my father.

4 And the king said to Ziba, Now everything that belonged to Mephibosheth is yours.

And Ziba said, I bow down. May I find favor in your eyes, my lord the king.

5 And King David came to Bahurim, and there a man came out, from the clan of Saul's house, and his name was Shimei son of Gera. He came out cursing as he came. 6 And he threw stones at David and all of King David's servants, and all the people and all the warriors to his right and left. 7 And this is what Shimei said as he cursed: Come out, come out, bloody man, worthless man! 8 Yahweh has returned upon you all the blood the house of Saul, whom you succeeded as king, and Yahweh has given the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. And look at you now in your calamity, you bloody man!

9 And Abishaison of Zeruiah said to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head.

10 And the king said, What am I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Just let him curse, because Yahweh has told him, Curse David. So who can say, Why have you done this?

11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Even my son, who came from my body, seeks my life. And how much more, then, this Benjamite? Let him be, and let him curse, because Yahweh told him to. 12 Perhaps Yahweh will see my misery, and Yahweh will compensate me with good for his cursing today. 13 And as David and his men went on the way, Shimei went along the side of the hill across from him, cursing as he went, and he threw stones at him, as well as dust. 14 And the king and all the people who were with him became weary, and refreshed themselves there.

15 And Absalom, and all the people of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 And then, when Hushai the Arkite, David's friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, Long live the king! Long live the king!

17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?

18 And Hushai said to Absalom, No, but whomever is chosen by Yahweh, and this people, and all the men of Israel, I will be his, and I will stay with him.[34] 19 And again, who should I serve? Who better than his son? Just as I served before his father, so I will serve before you.

20 And Absalom said to Ahithophel, Give advice about what we should do.

21 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go to bed with your father's concubines which he left to keep house, and all Israel will hear that you are odious to your father, and your allies will be encouraged. 22 And they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom went to bed with his fathers' concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 And the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was like if a man inquired for a word from God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel, both for David and for Absalom.

Chapter 17[edit]

1 And Ahithophel said to Absalom, Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David at night. 2 And I will come upon him while he is tired and weak, and terrify him, and all the people with him will flee, and I will kill the king only. 3 And I will return all the people to you, like a bride returning to her husband. You are seeking only one man, and all the people will be at peace.[35] 4 And what he said seemed good to Absalom, and all the elders of Israel.

5 And Absalom said, Call for Hushai the Archite as well, and let us hear what he has to say as well. 6 And Hushai came to Absalom, and Absalom said to him, Here is what Ahithophel said. Should we do as he says? If not, say so.

7 And Hushai said to Absalom, The advice which Ahithophel gave is not good at this time. 8 And Hushai said, You know your father and his men, that they are warriors, and their minds are bitter, like a bear robbed of her cubs, and your father is a man of war, and will not spend the night near the army. 9 Now he must be hidden in some pit, or some other place. And when some of them fall at first, whoever hears it will say, There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom. 10 And the brave, with hearts like lions' hearts, will melt away, because all Israel knows that your father is a warrior, and those with him are brave. 11 Instead, I advise that all of Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as many as the sand of the sea, with your majesty marching among them. 12 And we will come upon him in whatever place he might be found, and we will fall on him as dew falls on the ground, and among him and all his men not one will remain. 13 And if he has gotten himself into a city, all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag it into the valley until not a pebble is found there.

14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than the advice of Ahithophel. Now Yahweh had decreed that the good advice of Ahithophel should be overturned, in order that Yahweh might bring harm to Absalom.

15 And Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar, the priests, So and so did Ahithophel advise Absalom and the elders of Israel, and so and so did I advise. 16 So send news quickly to David, saying, Do not spend tonight in the plains of the wilderness, but cross over, or else the king and all the people with him may be consumed. 17 And Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying in En Rogel, and a female slave went and told them, and they went and told king David, because they would not have been able to enter the city [of Jerusalem themselves]. 18 And a young man saw them, and told Absalom, and both of them got away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard, and they went down into it. 19 And the wife took and spread a covering on top of the well, and spread bruised grain,[36] and it was not discovered.

20 And Absalom's servants came to the woman at the house, and said, Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?

And the woman said to them, They crossed over the brook. And they went, and did not find them, and returned to Jerusalem. 21 Then, after they had left, they came up out of the well, and went and told King David, Rise and cross over the water quickly, because this is the advice Ahithophel has given against you. 22 And David rose, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed over the Jordan. By morning light not one of them had failed to cross over the Jordan. 23 And Ahithophel saw that his advice was not carried out, he saddled his donkey, and got up and went to his house, to his own city, and set his affairs in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried at his father's burial site.

24 And David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed over the Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 And Absalom put Amasa instead of Joab over the army. And Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who went to bed with Abigal daughter of Nahash, the sister of Joab's mother Zeruiah. 26 And Israel and Absalom set up camp in the land of Gilead.

27 Now, when David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 [brought] sleeping-mats, and basins, and pottery, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched gain, and beans, and lentils, and parched gain, 29 and honey, and curds, and sheep, and cow's cheese[37] for David, and for all the people with him to eat, because they said, The people are hungry, and tired, and thirsty in the wilderness.

Chapter 18[edit]

1 And David took a count of the people with him, and placed over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds. 2 And David sent out the people: a third under the command of Joab, a third under the command of Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, I will certainly go out with you.

3 And the people said, You must not go out. If we are put to flight, they will not be concerned about us, and if half of us die, they will not be cocerned about us. On the other hand, you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better for you to help us from the city.

4 And the king said to them, Whatever seems best to you, I will do. And the king stood beside the city gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and thousands. 5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Be gentle for me with the young man, Absalom. And all the people heard the king commanding all his captains concerning Absalom.

6 And all the people went out to the field to meet Israel, and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim. 7 And the people of Israel were struck down there before the servants of David, and there was a great slaughter in that place, of twenty thousand. 8 And the fighting was spread across the surface of the whole land, and the forest consumed more of the people than the sword consumed that day.

9 And Absalom happened upon the servants of David, as Absalom was riding his mule. And the mule went under the tangled branches[38] of a great oak, and his head was caught in the oak, and he was stuck between sky and land, and the mule that was under him kept on going. 10 And a certain man saw, and told Joab, and said, I just saw Absalom hung up on an oak.

11 And Joab said to the man who told him, So if you saw him, then when did you not strike him to the ground? I would have given you ten [shekels] of silver, and a girdle.

12 And the man said to Joab, Even if I felt the weight of a thousand shekels of silver in my palm, I would not extend my hand against the king's son, because in front of us the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Take care of the young man for me.[39] 13 Otherwise I would betray my own life, as nothing is concealed from the king. And you would not have stood by me.

14 And Joab said, I am not going to waste time with you like this. And he took three javelins in his hand, and thrust them through Absalom's chest, as he was still alive in the middle of the oak. 15 And ten young men who carried Joab's things surrounded and struck Absalom, and he died.

16 And Joab sounded the rams-horn, and the people returned from pursuing Israel, because Joab restrained the people. 17 And they took Absalom, and threw him into a large pit in the forest, and set a very great heap of stones on top of him, and all Israel fled, every man to his tent.

18 And Absalom, when he was alive, had taken and set up a pillar, which is in the Valley of the King, because he said, I have no son to cause my name to be remembered. And he named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom's Monument to this day.

19 And Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, Let me run and bring the king the good news of how Yahweh has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.

20 And Joab said, You will not be the bearer of good news today. You can bring good news on other days, but you will not bring good news today, because the king's son is dead.

21 And Joab said to the Kushite, Go tell the king what you have seen. And Kushi[40] bowed to Joab, and ran.

22 And Ahimaaz son of Zadok said yet again to Joab, However it may be, let me run as well after the Kushite.

And Joab said, Why should you run, my son, when you have no good news at all?

23 However, it may be, let me run.

And he said to him, Run. And Ahimaaz ran along the way of the Kikkar,[41] and overtook the Kushite.

24 Now David was sitting between the two city gates, and the watchmen went to the roof of the gate, atop the wall, and lifted up his eyes and saw that there was a man there, running alone. 25 And the watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, If he is alone, he brings good news. And he kept on going until he came near.

26 And the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called out to the gatekeeper, and said, Look: a man running alone!

And the king said, He also brings good news.

27 And the watchman said, I see that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok runs.

And the king said, He is a good man, and comes with good news.

28 And Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, All is well! And he bowed to the king with his face to the ground. And he said, Blessed be Yahweh your god, who has defeated the men who raised their hands against my lord the king!

29 And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe?

And Ahimaaz said, I saw a great commotion when Joab sent the king's servant, and your servant, but I did not know what it was.

30 And the king said, Turn aside and stand here. And he turned aside and stood.

31 And then came the Kushite, and the Kushite said, Good news, my lord the king, because Yahweh has vindicated you today from the hand of all who rose up against you!

32 And the king said to the Kushite, Is the young man Absalom safe?

And the Kushite said, May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you with ill intent, be like the young man.

33 And the king trembled, and went up to the upper room over the gate, and wept, and as he went he said, My son Absalom! My son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!

Chapter 19[edit]

1 And it was reported to Joab, See, the king is weeping and mourning over Absalom. 2 So the victory on that day became mourning for all the people, because the people heard on that day that the king was grieving over his son. 3 And the people snuck into the city that day, as people would sneak away, ashamed, when they flee from battle. 4 And the king covered his face, and the king cried out with a loud voice, My son Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!

5 And Joab came to the king at the house, and said, Today you have brought shame on the face of all your servants, who saved your life today, and the life of your sons and your daughters, and the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, 6 by loving your enemies and hating your friends, because you have announced today that nobles and officers are nothing to you, because I know today that if Absalom had lived, and all of us died today, then that would have seemed all right to you. 7 And so, get up, go out, and comfort your servants, because, I swear by Yahweh, if you do not go out, not a man will stay with you tonight, and this will be worse for you than every calamity that has come upon you from your youth until now. 8 And the king arose and sat in the city gate. And it was reported that the king was there, sitting in the city gate. And all the people came before the king.

Now Israel had fled, every man to his tent. 9 And all the people were arguing, among all the tribes of Israel, saying, The king saved us from the hand of our enemies, and rescued us from the hand of Philistines, and now he has fled from the land because of Absalom. 10 And Absalom, whom we anointed[42] over us, is dead in battle. So why not speak of bringing the king back?

11 And King David sent to Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, saying, Speak to the elders of Judah, saying, Why are you the last ones to bring back the king to his house? What all Israel is saying has come to the king, to his house. 12 You are my brothers, my bone and my flesh. So why are you last to bring back to the king? 13 And say to Amasa, Are you not my bone and my flesh? May God punish me ever so severely if you are not captain of the army before me forever in place of Joab.

14 And he turned the heart of all the men of Judah, like the heart of a single man, and they sent a message to the king: Return, you and all your servants.

15 And the king returned, and came to the Jordan. And Judah came to the Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king across the Jordan. 16 And Shimei son of Gera the Benjamite, who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet king David. 17 A thousand men were with him from Benjamin, and Ziba, the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and twenty slaves, and they forded the Jordan before the king. 18 And a ferry went across to carry over the king's house, and to do as he wished. And Shimei son of Gera fell down before the king, as he crossed the Jordan. 19 And he said to the king, Let the king not think of my wrongdoing, and do not remember the day that your servant behaved wickedly on the day my lord the king went out from Jerusalem, that the king should take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned, and that is why I have come first today of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.

21 And Abishai son of Zeruiah replied, Should not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed Yahweh's anointed?

22 And David said, What do you sons of Zeruiah have in common with me? You have become an adversary to me. Should any Israelite be killed today, on this day when I am king over Israel?

23 And the king said to Shimei, You will not die. And the king swore to him.

24 And Mephibosheth, the son of Saul, came down to meet the king, and had not prepared his feet, nor prepared his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king went off until the day he returned in peace. 25 And then, when he had come to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, Why did you not go with me, Mephibosheth?

26 And he said, My lord the king, my servant deceived me. For I your servant said, Saddle the donkey for me, so that I can ride on it and go to the kind, because your servant is lame. 27 But he slandered your servant to my lord the king. And my lord the king is like an angel of God, so do what seems good to you. 28 For all my father's house could expect only death from my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat before the king. And what right do I have to ask for any more help from the king?

29 And the king said to him, Why speak any more of these things? I have decided. You and Ziba will divide the land.

30 And Mephibosheth said to the king, He can even take it all. At least my lord the king has returned in peace to his house.

31 And Barzillai the Gileadite went down from Rogelim, and crossed over the Jordan with the king, to see him across the Jordan. 32 And Barzillai was a very old man, eighty years old, and he had provided provisions for the king when he was staying at Mahanaim, because he was a very wealthy man. 33 And the king said to Barzillai, Come across with me, and I will provide for you with me in Jerusalem.

34 And Barzillai said to the king, How much longer do I have left to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem. 35 I am eighty years old now. Can I tell good from bad? Can your servant taste what I drink or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of men and women signing? And furthermore, why should I be a burden to my lord the king? 36 Your servant is only going a little way across the Jordan with the king. So why should the king reward me with such a reward? 37 Please, let your servant return, to die in my own city, near the grave of my father and my mother. But here is your servant Chimham. Let him cross over with my lord the king, and you can do for him whatever seems good to you.

38 And the king said, Chimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him whatever seems good to you. And whatever you want from me, I will do for you. 39 And all the people crossed over the Jordan. And when the king had crossed over, the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him. And he returned to his own place.

40 And the king went over to the Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him, and all the people of Judah brought the king across, and also half the people of Israel. 41 And so all the men of Israel went to the king, and said to the king, Why our brothers the men of Judah stolen you, and brought the king and his house across the Jordan, and all David's men with men.

42 And all the men of Judah replied to the men of Israel, Because the king is related to us. So why are you angry over this? Have we eaten anything at the king's expense? Or has he given us any gift?

43 And the men of Israel replied to the men of Judah, and said, We have ten shares of the king, and we have more [right] to David than you. So why did you disrespect us, and not hear from us first about bringing back our king?[43]

And the words of the men of Judah were harsher than the words of the men of Israel.

Chapter 20[edit]

1 At that place there happened to be a worthless man, and his name was Sheba, son of Bichri, a Benjamite, and he blew a shofar, and said, We have no part in David; we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Each man to his tent, Israel! 2 And every man of Israel left off following David, to follow Sheba son of Bichri, while the men of Judah stayed attached to their king, from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

3 And David came to his house at Jerusalem, and the king took the ten women, concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them under guard. And he provided for them, but he did not have relations with them. And they were shut in until the day of their death, living as widows.

4 And the king said to Amasa, Summon the men of Judah for me in three days, and be present there yourself. 5 And Amasa went to summon Judah, but he spent longer than the time he had set for him.

6 And David said to Abishai, Now Sheba son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom. Take your lord's servants, and pursue him, or else he may find himself walled cities and escape from us. 7 And Joab's men, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, and all the warriors went out after him, and they went out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bichri. 8 When they were near the great stone which is at Gibeon, Amasa went before them. Joab was girded with his garment, his clothing, and upon him was a sheathed sword bound on his loins in its sheath, and he went out, and it fell.

9 And Joab said to Amasa, Are you well, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 And Amasa paid no attention to the sword that was in Joab's hand, and he struck him with it in the abdomen, and spilled his intestines on the ground with one stroke, and he died.

And Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba son of Bichri. 11 And one of Joab's young men stood by him, and said, Whoever supports Joab, and whoever is for David: follow Joab! 12 Now Amasa was rolled over in the blood in the middle of the highway. And the man saw that all the people stood still, and he removed Amasa from the highway into the field, and threw a cloth over him, when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still. 13 When he was removed from the highway, all the men followed Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bichri.

14 And he went through all the tribes of Israel, to Abel, and Beeth Maachah, and all the Berites, and all the assembled people followed him. 15 And they came and besieged him at Abel of Beth Maachah, and they set up a siege-mound beside the city, which stood in the space surrounding the wall. And all the people who were with Joab battered the wall to tear it down.

16 And a wise woman called from the city, Hear, hear, I say to you, Joab. Please come near, and I will speak to you. 17 And when he approached her, the woman said, Are you Joab?

And he said, I am.

And she said to him, Hear the words of your maidservant.

And he answered, I am listening.

18 And she said, In the old days they used to say, Let them inquire at Abel, and so they finished.[44] 19 I am [one of] the peaceful and faithful of Israel. You are seeking to kill off a city and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up the inheritance of Yahweh?

20 And Joab replied, and said, Far be it, far be it from me to swallow up or destroy! 21 It is not so, but a man from the hills of Ephraim -- son of Bichri is his name -- has lifted up his hand against King David. Hand over him alone, and I will leave the city.

And the woman said to Joab, You will see his head thrown down to you from the wall. 22 And the woman went to all the people in her wisdom, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri, and threw it to Joab. And he blew the shofar, and they dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

23 And Joab was over all the army of Israel, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites[45] and over the Pelethites. 24 And Adoram was over the forced labor, and Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was the recorder. 25 And Sheva[46] was the scribe, and Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 26 And also Ira the Jairite was a priest of David.

Chapter 21[edit]

1And there was a famine for three years continuously in the days of David: and David consulted the prophet of the Lord. The Lord said, "For Saul, and his house, and the blood, for he killed Gibeonites." 2Therefore, the king called the Gibeonites, and said to them (further, Gabaonites are not of the sons of Israel, but a relic of the Amorites: since the sons of Israel swore to them [that they would not slay them],[47] and Saul struck them in his zeal, for the sons of Israel and Judah), 3therefore David said to the Gibeonites: "What should I do for you? And what should I do to make amends, to bless the inheritance of the Lord?"

4The Gibeonites said to him: "It is not a question of silver and gold, but against Saul, and against his house: neither do we want you to kill a man of Israel."

And the king said: "Then, what do you want me to do for you?"

5They said to the king: "The man that crushed and oppressed us unjustly, we must blot him out, so that not one man of his stock will be left on the coasts of Israel.

6"Let us be given seven men of the sons of Saul, who the Lord choses, to hang them before the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, Yahweh's chosen."

And the king said, "I will give it."

7The king spared Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, son of Saul, for the oath of the Lord, between David and Jonathan son of Saul. 8Therefore the king took two sons of Rizpah daughter of Aiah, that she bore Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth: and five sons of Michal daughter of Saul, which she had borne Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite, 9and he gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites: who hanged them on the mountain before Yahweh. And those seven were put to death together on the first day of harvest, when barley was beginning to be reaped. 10Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock at the beginning of harvest, til rain, water upon them from the sky: and neither let the birds rest on them by day, nor beasts by night.

11And it was told to David, what Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul did. 12And David went and took the bones of Saul, and the bones of Jonathan of his sons, from the men of Jabesh Gilead, who had taken them from the street of Bethshan in which Philistines had hung them when they killed Saul in Gilboa: 13and carried off the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan, his son: and gathered together the bones of those who were hanged. 14They buried them with the bones of Saul and Jonathan, his son, in the land of Benjamin, on the side, in the sepulchre of Kish, his father. They all did as the king said, and God did mercy on the land after this. 15Then there was a fight again, the Philistines against Israel, and David came down, his servants with him and they fought against the Philistines. David was exhausted,

16and Ishbibenob, who was of the children of the giant, and the weight of his spear was three hundred [shekels] of copper, and he was girded [with] a new [sword], and he said to slay David. 17And Abishai son of Zeruiah protected him and struck and killed the Philistine. Then the men swore to David saying: "You won't go out with us in battle anymore, so that the lantern of Israel is not extinguished." 18The second battle was in Gob against the Philistines: then he struck Sibbechai and Hushathi, of the lineage of Arapha of the race of giants. 19The third battle was in Gob against the Philistines, in it, Elhanan the Bethlehemite, son of Jair, a weaver of ornate tapestries,[48] struck [the brother of][49] Goliath the Gittite, whose spear was like a weaver's beam. 20The fourth battle was in Gath: in it there was a tall man, with six digits on his hands and feet, that is, twenty four, and he was descended from the giant.

21And he blasphemed in Israel, and Jonathan son of Shimea the brother of David struck him. 22These four were born of the giant in Gath, and fell in the hand of David and of his servants.

Chapter 22[edit]

1 And David spoke to Yahweh the words of this song on the day that Yahweh delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 And he said, Yahweh is my rock and my stronghold, and my rescuer. 3 The god of my rock, in him I take refuge, my shield, and my horn of victory, my mountain fastness, my hiding place, my rescuer. You save me from oppression. 4 I will call upon Yahweh, worthy of praise, and I will be saved from my enemies. 5 When crashing waves of death would encompass me, torrents of vileness terrify me, 6 death-pangs surround me, death-snares precede me, 7 in my distress I would call to Yahweh, and call to my god, and he heard my voice from his temple, my cry in his hears. 8 And the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of the sky quaked and shook at his wrath. 9 Smoke arose in his nostrils, and fire from his mouth consumed; coals kindled from it. 10 He bent the sky and descended, with darkness under his feet. 11 And he rode on a cherub, and flew, and appeared on the wings of a storm. 12 He set pavilions of darkness about him, watery darkness, black clouds. 13 By his splendor live coals of fire were kindled. 14 Yahweh thundered from heaven, and Elyon gave his sound. 15 And he shot arrows and scattered them, lightning, and terrorized them. 16 Watercourses of the sea appeared; the foundations of the cosmos were revealed at the rebuke of Yahweh, at the storm-breath of his nostrils. 17 He sent from above; he took me; he drew me from many waters. 18 He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hate me, although they were too strong for me. 19 They went before me on my day of calamity, and Yahweh was my upholder. 20 He brought me out to a roomy place; he rescued me because he delights in me. 21 Yahweh repaid me my righteousness, he rewarded my clean hands, 22 because I kept the ways of Yahweh, and never did wrong by my god, 23 because all his decreed were in front of me; from his orders I turned not away. 24 My integrity was with him, and I kept from my wickedness. 25 Yahweh has returned to me my righteousness, as my hands were clean in his eyes. 26 To the faithful you are faithful, to the decent man you are decent. 27 To the just you are just, but you will bend apart the crooked. 28 The oppressed you will save, but you look to cast down the proud. 29 But you are my lamp, Yahweh, and Yahweh will brighten my darkness. 30 For with you I charged a troop, with my god I vaulted a wall. 31 The ways of El are perfect, the words of Yahweh refined. He is a shield to those who rely on him. 32 For who is El but Yahweh? Who is a rock except for our god? 33 El is my strength and might, who makes my path right and true. 34 He makes my feet like those of deer, and sets me on the heights. 35 He trains my hands for war, my arms to bend a brazen bow. 36 You gave me the shield of your victory, and your assistance has empowered me. 37 You broadened the footholds beneath me, that my feet might not slip. 38 I pursue and destroy my foes, not turning back until I finish them. 39 I consume them and shatter them; they will not get back up; they are fallen beneath my feet. 40 You clothed me with strength for battle, subduing my attackers beneath me. 41 You gave me my foes by the neck, to destroy my enemies. 42 They looked, and none would rescue, to Yahweh, and he would not reply. 43 And I beat them as fine as dust, and like in the street I trampled them and scattered them. 44 You made me escape from the strife of my people; you preserved me as the head of nations. A people I did not know will serve me. 45 The sons of a foreigner will do obeisance to me; they will hear and obey me. 46 The foreigner's sons will wither away, creeping from their hiding-places. 47 Yahweh is alive, and blessed is my rock. May the god of my saving rock be exalted. 48 El gives me revenge, and brings down nations beneath me. 49 He brings me out from my enemies, and lifted me above those who rose up against me. You delivered me from the violent. 50 So I will thank you, Yahweh, among the nations. I will sing your name. 51 He is a tower of salvation to his king, and is faithful to his anointed, to David, and to his seed forever.

Chapter 23[edit]

1 And these are the last words of David, the utterance of David son of Jesse, and the utterance of the exalted warrior, the anointed of the god of Jacob, the fair psalmist of Israel. 2 The spirit of Yahweh spoke with me, and his word was on my tongue. 3 The god of Israel said, the rock of Israel spoke to me, A ruler among men is just, ruling in fear of God, 4 and like the daybreak, the sunrise, a cloudless morning, earth's verdure in sunshine after rain. 5 For is my house not so with God? For he has made an eternal covenant with me, ordered in all ways and secure. For does he not cause all my salvation and desire to grow? 6 And the vile are like thorns cast away, which cannot be taken in hand. 7 And a man who touches them must use iron and a spear-shaft, and they will be burned up on the spot.

8 These are the names of the David's mighty men. Josheb-bashshebeth[50] the Tahkemonite was the chief of the captains. He was Adino the Eznite,[51] against eight hundred, slain at one time.

9 And after him was Eleazar son of Dodo[52] son of an Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David when they insulted the Philistines.[53] They gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel went up.[54] 10 He arose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was tired, to the point that his hand was stuck to his sword. And Yahweh gave a great victory that day, and the people returned after him only to plunder.

11 And after him was Shamma son of Age the Hararite. And Philistines were gathered at Lehi,[55] where there was a field of lentils, and the people fled from before the Philistines. 12 And he stood in the middle of the plot, and defended, and struck down the Philistines, and Yahweh gave a great victory.

13 And three[56] of the elite[57] thirty went down, and came at harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam, and a band of Philistines was camped in the Valley of Rephaim. 14 At that time David was in the stronghold, and at that time the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem. 15 And David had a longing, and said, Oh, that someone would give me a drink of water from the well at Bethlehem, which is by the gate!

16 And the three mighty men broke through the Philistine encampment and drew water from the well at Bethlehem, which was by the city gate, and took it and brought it to David. But he refused to drink it, and poured it out to Yahweh. 17 And he said, Far be it from me, Yahweh, to do this. It this not the blood of the men who went risking their lives? And he refused to drink it. The three mighty men did these things.

18 And Abishai, the brother of Joab, son of Zeruiah, was the leader of the three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred that he killed, and had his name among the three. 19 Was he not honored more than the three? He became their captain, but he did not go so far as to become one of the three.

20 And Benaiah son of Jehoiada, son of a valiant man,[58] great in deeds, from Kabzeel. He killed two lions of Moab, and he went down and killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day. 21 And he killed an Egyptian, an impressive man. And in the Egyptian's hand was a spear, and he went down to him with his staff, and snatched the spear from the Egyptian's hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22 These things Benaiah son of Jehoiada did, and had his name among the three mighty men. 23 He was more honored than the thirty, but he did not come as far as to become one of the three. And David set him over his bodyguard.

24 Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty, Elhanan son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27 Abiezer the Anethothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heleb son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai son of Ribai from Gibeah of the Benjamites, 30 Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai from the brooks of Gaaash, 31 Abi Albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam son of Sharar the Hararite, 34 Eliphelet son of Ahasbai son of the Maachathite, Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 Hezrai[59] the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, porter to Joab son of Zeruiah, 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 Uriah the Hittite: thirty-seven in all.

Chapter 24[edit]

1 And again the anger of Yahweh burned hot against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, Go number Israel and Judah.

2 And the king said to Joab, the captain of the army, who was with him, Go about through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beersheba, and take a census of the people, and let me know the number of the people.

3 And Joab said to the king, May Yahweh your god add to the people one hundred times as many as they are, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king desire such a thing? 4 But the king insisted over the objections of Joab and the captains of the army. And Joab and the captains of the army went out before the king to take a census of the people of Israel.

5 And they crossed over the Jordan, and encamped at the Aroer, on the east side of the city within the wadi of Gad, and by Jazer. 6 And they came to the Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi, and they came to Dan Jaan, and went around toward Sidon. 7 And they came to the stronghold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the Negev of Judah to Beer Sheba. 8 And when they had gone about through all the land, they came at the end of nine months and twenty days to Jerusalem. 9 And Joab gave the number of people's census to the king, and there were of Israel eight hundred thousand military men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

10 And David's heart rebuked[60] him after he had numbered the people. And David said to Yahweh, I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, please, Yahweh, take away the guilt of your servant, because I have acted very recklessly.

11 When David rose in the morning, a message from Yahweh came to Gad the prophet, David's seer, saying, 12 Go and say to David, Thus says Yahweh, Three things I offer you. Choose yourself one of them, and I will do it to you.

13 And Gad came to David, and told him, and said to him, Will seven years of famine come upon you in your land? Or will you flee from before your enemies for three months as they pursue you? Or will there be three days plague in your land? Decide for yourself what answer I should give to the one who sent me.

14 And David said to Gad, I am in a terrible position. Let us fall into the hand of Yahweh, because his mercies are great, and let me not fall into human hands.

15 And Yahweh sent a plague against Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and among the people from Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem, Yahweh relented of the disaster, and said to the angel who was destroying the people, Enough. Now let down your hand. And the angel of Yahweh was by the threshing-floor of the Araunah,[61] the Jebusite.

17 And David spoke to Yahweh when he saw the angel that struck down some of the people, and he said, See now, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? Please, let your hand be against me, and against my father's house.

18 And Gad came to David that day, and said to him, Go up, set up an altar to Yahweh at the threshing-floor of Araunah[62] the Jebusite. 19 And David went up as Gad said, just as Yahweh commanded.

20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants coming along toward him, and Araunah went out, and bowed before the king to the ground. 21 And Araunah said, Why has my lord the king come to his servant?

And David said, To buy from you the threshing-floor, to build an altar to Yahweh, that the plague may be stayed from the people.

22 And Araunah said to David, Let my lord the king take and offer what seems good to him. See, here are oxen for burnt offering, and threshing-sledges and yokes for the wood. 23 All this Araunah the king gave to the king.

And Araunah said to the king, May Yahweh your god accept you.

24 And the king said to Araunah, No, but I will pay you the full price. I will not offer to Yahweh my god offerings that cost me nothing. And David bought the threshing-floor and the oxen for fifty shekels[63] of silver. 25 And David built than an altar to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings and peace-offerings. And Yahweh heard the entreaty for the land, and the plan was held back from Israel.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. The word translated here as "death throes" is in Hebrew shabats, a word which only appears here and is of uncertain meaning. "Death throes" is a guess. Another suggestion is "vertigo," the reading preferred by Gesenius' Lexicon. The vulgate has this sentence as, "please stand over me and kill me, for anguish holds me, but all my life(or "all my soul") is still in me"
  2. Kings, like priests, in the Bible were anointed with oil as a ceremonial induction to their position. "Yahweh's anointed" in this case, then, is a way of referring to Saul's status as Yahweh's chosen king of Israel.
  3. Meaning, your death is justified, and is your own fault.
  4. It is not certain what "the bow" is doing in this verse. Perhaps it is the title of the following song. Perhaps it refers to teaching skills for use in warfare. Perhaps it was accidentally added to the verse and does not belong here at all.
  5. Or, a gazelle
  6. The field of strong men. In Hebrew, Helkath Hazzurim. According to Gesenius it means "field of swords."
  7. The Wycliffe translation from the Vulgate adds "of Moab"
  8. (2:29) Bithron: following the Masoretic Text. The Vulgate reads Bethoron.
  9. strangely the Middle English translation from the vulgate adds "; and Abner slept with her." here
  10. Baal Perazim. Literally, Lord of Outbreakings. The Hebrew term translated here as "flood" is literally, outbreaking of water.
  11. (5:23) The word translated here as "balsam trees" is sometimes translated as "mulberry trees" or "poplars."
  12. (6:8) Perez Uzzah. Hebrew for outburst of Uzzah.
  13. (6:19) The Hebrew word eshpar is used only in this story, and its meaning is uncertain.
  14. (7:11) dynasty. Literally, house.
  15. (8:3) In the parallel account, Chronicles has Hadarezer (1 Chronicles 19). The Septuagint here reads Hadraazar, as if agreeing with the spelling used in Chronicles. Some Hebrew manuscripts read Hadarezer. See Smith's commentary on Samuel in the International Critical Commentary series.
  16. (8:3) Euphrates following the Qere, Chronicles, and Septuagint (Smith, ICC). The Kethib reads simply the river, using a term that typically implies that the Euphrates is meant.
  17. (10:16) the River. Capitalized because it is the Hebrew expression nahar, which is both a general term for river and a specific title for the Euphrates.
  18. strangely, the Wycliffe bible adds at the beginning of what Nathan says, "Answer me a judgement"
  19. "should be killed"; literally "is a son of death"
  20. (12:25) Lovable to the Lord. Hebrew, Jedidiah.
  21. "sawed": "cut with saws", not "saw"
  22. (13:16) No, my brother, because: following the Septuagint. The Masoretic Text has a unique expression that occurs only here, and would seem to mean, "No!" or "No, because."
  23. (13:37) Ammihud. Following the Qere. The Kethib reads, Ammihur.
  24. (14:9) the guilt. In biblical thought, a wrongful killing created a "guilt" which polluted the land, and which could only be gotten rid of by killing the murderer. The Tekoite woman is expressing her wish that the guilt for not avenging the murder should fall strictly on her and her relatives, and not harm the king.
  25. blood-avengers. The Bible contains references to a practice by which a "blood-avenger," a close relative of a person killed, would engage in retaliatory killings. The institutions of "cities of refuge" was intended to regulate just this practice.
  26. (14:11) By the life of Yahweh, not one hair will fall. Literally, By the life of Yahweh, if one hair falls . . . The "then" statement, left unstated, is a curse to fall upon the person swearing if he fails to uphold his oath. Roughly, "May God punish me if I allow one hair to fall."
  27. (14:22) his servant's. Following the Kethib. The Qere reads, your servant's.
  28. (14:26) The shekel was approximately 11 grams, but somewhat different shekels existed. Thus "by the king's measure" (literally, by the king's stone) would refer to the royal standard shekel in use at the time. Two hundred shekels would thus be a little more than two kilograms, and a little less than five pounds, of hair.
  29. (15:7) four. Following the Septuagint, Josephus, and Theodotion. The Masoretic Text reads forty.
  30. (15:7) vow. The Hebrew neder used here is a technical term which refers to a pledge to give something at a future point to Yahweh. Fulfilling vows was an obligation under biblical law.
  31. (15:27) Do you understand? The Hebrew expression, haroeh atah, is difficult. It has also been interpreted as, Are you not a seer? Another suggestion is that a copying error has occurred, involving the copying in of the word "see" (Hebrew reu) from the previous verse.
  32. (15:30) it was reported to David: assuming the Hebrew was intended to read le-david higid (literally, "[one] reported to David. As it stands, the Masoretic Text reads, david higid, "David reported."
  33. (16:1) a hundred summer fruits. Hebrew, "a hundred qayits," of which qayits has variously been translated as "summer fruits," "cakes of figs," "baskets of figs," "pieces of fruit," etc.
  34. (16:18) I will be his, and I will stay with him. Following the Qere. The Kethib reads, I will not be, and I will stay with him.
  35. (17:3) This verse is translated following the Septuagint. The Masoretic Text here is, as Henry Preserved Smith put it, "unintelligible."
  36. (17:20) bruised grain. The Hebrew term here is of uncertain meaning.
  37. (17:29) cheese. the Hebrew term appears only here.
  38. (18:9) the tangled branches. This Hebrew term, sobek, in this spelling (with a sin) occurs only here, and its meaning is guessed at from the context and its similarity to a Hebrew verb meaning "to weave" or "interlace."
  39. (18:12) for me. Following the Septuagint and Vulgate. The Masoretic Text reads who (Hebrew mi) instead of for me (Hebrew li).
  40. (18:21) Kushi. In Hebrew, "the Kushite" in these verses is ha-kushi. Kushi was an ethnic designation for a darker-skinned ethnic group living south of Egypt. Where the term kushi appears without ha- ("the"), it is rendered as "Kushi," as the Hebrew text seems to be using it as a proper name.
  41. (18:23) the Kikkar. The circle of the Jordan Valley.
  42. (19:10) anointed. That is, made king, as anointing with oil was part of the ceremony of coronation.
  43. (19:4) Throughout this verse, the Judahites refer to themselves and Israel in the singular: I have ten shares . . . I have more right . . ., etc. This matches, grammatically, the Hebrew idiom by which "men of Israel" and "men of Judah" are literally, "man of Israel" and "man of Israel."
  44. (20:18) The meaning of this proverb, if the text free from scribal error, is not entirely clear. The Septuagint has another reading.
  45. (20:23) Cherethites. Following the Qere. The Kethib reads (depending on what vowels one reads) something like Cherites.
  46. (20:24) Sheva. Follow the Qere. The Kethib reads (depending on what vowels one reads) something like Sheya.
  47. "that they would not slay them" isn't in the Clementine Vulgate, but this whole passage doesn't make sens without it. It's translated from the Middle English translation of the Vulgate.
  48. "Jair, a weaver of ornate tapestries" is an emendation of "Jaare Origem". "Jaare Origem" means "forests of weavers". "Jair" is a common Hebrew name and the name in the account in chronicles. The vulgate says, "saltus polymitarius", which means "of the forest, a weaver of ornate tapestries". Using these, "Jaare"("forests of") was emended to Jair(a common Hebrew name), and "origem"("weavers") was emended to "weaver of ornate tapestries"("polymitarius" in Latin).
  49. "the brother of" is supplied from the account in chronicles. Without it either Goliath was killed twice or there were two Goliaths. Note that the brother's name is the same as "lehemite" in "Bethlehemite"(and his slayer isn't a Bethlehemite and his father isn't a weaver)
  50. (23:8) Josheb-bashshebeth. Possibly a corruption of Ishbosheth, in turn a euphemism for the name Ishbaal. In the equivalent text in Chronicles, where Samuel reads Josheb-bashshebeth the Tahkemonite, the Chronicler has Jashobeam son of a Hahmonite. Henry Preserved Smith, in the International Critical Commentary on Samuel, suggests that both variants follow the well-known biblical practice of mutilating names that contain the divine title or name "Baal."
  51. (28:8) Eznite is in Hebrew, Ezni, where the suffix -i is analogous to the English -ite. This reading follows the Qere. The Kethib, depending on what vowels one supplies, reads something like, the Eznu. Where the Masoretic Text reads Adino the Eznite, some Septuagint Manuscripts, and the Chronicler, read He lifted up his spear.
  52. (23:9) Dodo. Following the Qere. The Kethib reads, depending on what vowels you supply, something like Dodai.
  53. (23:9) when they insulted the Philistines. The parallel text at 1 Chronicles 11:13 reads, at Pas Dammim. The Philistines were gathered there for battle ...
  54. (23:9) and the men of Israel went up. The parallel text in Chronicles reads, and the people fled from before the Philistines.
  55. (23:11) at Lehi. Following an emendation to the vowels, but not altering the consonantal text.
  56. (23:13) three. Following the Qere. The Kethib reads, thirty.
  57. (23:13) elite. Literally, head.
  58. (23:20) valiant man. Following the Qere. The Kethib reads, living man.
  59. (23:35) Hezrai. Following the Kethib. The Qere, depending on what vowels you supply, reads something like Hezru.
  60. (24:10) rebuked. Literally, struck.
  61. (24:16) Araunah. Following the Qere. The Kethib, depending on what vowels you supply, seems to read something like the Ornah.
  62. (24:18) Araunah. Following the Qere. The Kethib, depending on what vowels you supply, reads something like Arniyah.
  63. (24:23) fifty shekels. A shekel was an ancient unit of weight and currency equal to about eleven grams, placing fifty shekels at about half a kilogram.