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    2 Samuel

    Septuagint text: Our version of this book reads differently to other Bibles. Why? We use the much older Greek Septuagint manuscripts – and most will closely resemble the versions used by many 1st-century Christians, including the Apostles. These older manuscripts escaped the censorship applied to the Hebrew manuscripts. Our translation is created by volunteers, and we are always correcting and refining the text. Learn what [brackets] and other insertions mean.

    About this book 2 Samuel is a history book.It’s part 2 of what was originally a 4-part book (now called 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, and 2 Kings). It’s usually pronounced ‘Second Samuel’ rather than ‘Two Samuel.’Despite it’s modern name, it was probably written or complied by the prophets Gad or Nathan, since Samuel was dead by the time of these events. The book was probably later edited by Ezra.It covers the events from the death of Saul to David’s sin with the national census.

    1

    1After Saul died and after David had returned from his battle with the AmaLechites, David spent a couple of days in ZikLag. 2Then on the 3rd day, a man came to him from the camp of the army of Saul.His clothes were all torn and his face was covered with dirt. And when he reached David, he fell to the ground and bowed low before him.3Then David asked him:‘Where have you come from?’And he said:‘I’ve struggled to make it here from the camp of IsraEl.’4Then David asked:‘What message are you bringing? Tell me!’And he said:‘Our army has fled the field of battle… Many have been injured and many more have been killed!‘Why, Saul and his son JoNathan have both been killed!’5Then David asked:‘How do you know that both Saul and JoNathan are dead?’6And the young man said:‘I happened to be on Mount GilBoa when I saw Saul leaning on his spear.‘The chariots and cavalry started coming towards him, so I went over to his side. 7And when he looked back and saw me, he called to me and I said:‘Look, I’m here.’8‘And he asked:‘Who are you?’‘And I said:‘I’m an AmaLechite.’9‘And he said to me:‘Stand over me and kill me, because an awful darkness is coming over me!’10‘So I stood over him and put him to death, because I knew that he couldn’t survive his wound. Then I took the [turban] from his head and the armlet from his biceps, and I’ve brought them here to you, my lord.’11Well, David started grabbing his clothes and ripping them, and all of his men started ripping their clothes, 12beating on their chests, and crying.Then they fasted for the rest of that day over Saul, his son JoNathan, the people of Judah, and the people of IsraEl who had been cut down with broadswords.13After that, David asked the man who’d brought him the message:‘Where are you from?’And he replied:‘I’m the son of an AmaLechite man who’s living in your land.’14Then David asked him:‘So, why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand and kill the anointed of Jehovah?’15And thereafter, David called one of his servants and said:‘Come here and kill him!’So he struck the man and he died.16For David told him:‘Your blood is on your own head, because your own mouth spoke against you when you said:‘I have killed the anointed of Jehovah.’17Well after that, David went into mourning over Saul and his son JoNathan.18And to teach the sons of Judah, he sang this song, for look, it’s written in the scroll of the righteous:19‘Erect a stele, O IsraEl,For those who’ve died in your hills,For how the mighty have fallen!20‘Don’t allow them to announce it in Gath,Or announce it as good news in AshKelon’s streets,So the daughters of Philistia won’t rejoice…So the daughters of the uncircumcised will never know joy.21‘May dew not fall on GilBoa,And may no more rain fall upon it,There in the fields of the first fruits;For the shields of the mighty have been treated with contempt.‘Saul’s shield was not anointed with oil,22Nor with the blood of the slain,Or with the fat of the mighty.But, JoNathan’s bow didn’t come back void,Nor did the broadsword of Saul return bare.23‘Saul and JoNathan, beloved ones…These delightful men were not parted in life,Nor were they parted in death.They were swifter than eagles,And they conquered more than great lions.24‘IsraEl’s daughters,You should weep over Saul,For he dressed you in scarlet and jewels…He dressed you in clothes, and in gold, and in gems.25How these mighty have fallen in battle!‘O JoNathan,‘You were killed in the mountains.26I grieve over you, JonNathan,O my brother, you were always there for me.Your affection for me amazed me,More so than the love of women.27‘O how the mighty fell,And the weapons of war were destroyed.’

    2

    1Then after that, David asked this of Jehovah:‘Should I now return to one of the cities of Judah?’And the Lord replied:‘Go!’Then when David asked where he should go, the Lord told him:‘To HebRon.’2So David thereafter moved to HebRon with his women (AhiNoam the JezreElite and AbiGail the woman of NaBal the CarMelite) and his men. 3There, each man [obtained] his own house and they all started living in and around HebRon.4And after that, the men of Judah came and anointed David to be the ruler over the house of Judah.Well later, when David received the report that the men of JabIsh GileAd had put Saul’s [body] in a tomb, 5he sent a message to the leaders of JabIsh of GileAd that said:‘May you be blest by Jehovah for showing such mercy to your lord Saul the anointed of God by building a tomb for him and his son JoNathan, 6and may Jehovah grant you mercy and truth.‘From now on, I’ll treat you in the same [kind] way that you’ve treated [Saul and JoNathan].7‘So, prepare yourselves for this and make yourselves strong; because, now that your lord Saul has died, I’ve been anointed to rule over the house of Judah and to become your king!’8However, AbNer (son of Ner), Saul’s commander-in-chief, took Saul’s son IshBosheth from his camp to ManaEm 9and set him up as the ruler over:• GileAd,• ThasiRi,• JezreEl,• Ephraim,• BenJamin, and • All the rest of IsraEl.10Well, when IshBosheth was appointed the king over IsraEl, he was 40-years old, and he ruled from there for the next 2 years.However, the house of Judah followed David as their ruler, 11and he ruled from HebRon for the next 7 years and 6 months.12Then AbNer (son of Ner) and the servants of IshBosheth came from ManaEm to GibeOn, 13and JoAb (son of ZeruJah) and David’s servants came from HebRon to meet with them at the spring of GibeOn. So they all sat down together at the spring, with each group sitting on opposite sides of the spring.14And AbNer said to JoAb:‘Have your servants get up and play [in combat] in front of us.’So JoAb said to them:‘[Okay men], get up!’15Then 12 of IshBosheth’s servants (BenJaminites) stood up as 12 of David’s men stood up, 16and they all grabbed each other by the head and jabbed each other in the side with their swords… And they all fell together.So from then on, that place was known in GibeOn as ‘The Place of the Plotters.’17As a result, a battle started that day, which was hard fought; and AbNer and the men of IsraEl lost to the servants of David.18Now, ZeruJah had three sons that were there; JoAb, AbiShai, and AshaEl… And AshaEl was very light on his feet… Like a deer in the field. 19Well, he chased AbNer without slowing or swerving. 20And when AbNer looked back and saw him, he shouted:‘Is that really AshaEl?’And he replied:‘It’s me!’21Then AbNer shouted:‘You should really turn aside and put on one of your servant’s armor.’However, AshaEl didn’t want to slow down, because he was hot on the heels of AbNer.22Then AbNer said to AshaEl:‘Turn back or I’ll have to kill you! And if I do that, how could I ever show my face to JoAb again?23‘What are you doing? Go back to your brother JoAb!’However, AshaEl wasn’t willing to stop! So AbNer threw his spear and hit him in the stomach, running him completely through, and he fell and died there under [AbNer].Well, everyone went to the place where he fell and just stood there looking [at the body].24Then JoAb and AbiShai chased AbNer until the sun set, getting as far as the hill of AmManin in front of Gai on the road between GibeOn and the desert.25Meanwhile, the sons of BenJamin had assembled and were coming to help AbNer (they’d reached to the top of one of the hills).26So AbNer called to JoAb and said:‘Do you really think that you can beat me with your broadsword… Don’t you know that this will lead to your own bitter end?‘Tell your people to stop chasing their brother!’27Then JoAb said:‘As Jehovah lives, it’s good that you said this; for our people would’ve been chasing each other all night long!’28So JoAb blew his trumpet, and all his people withdrew and stopped chasing after IsraEl, and the battle ended.29Well, AbNer and his men left at sunset and traveled throughout the night, crossing the JorDan and returning all the way to their camp, 30since JoAb had stopped chasing AbNer.Thereafter, [JoAb] gathered all his men to find out how many of David’s servants had been lost, and he found that they’d only lost 19, plus AshaEl.31However, David’s men had killed 360 of the sons of BenJamin under AbNer. 32Then he picked up AshaEl’s [body] and put it in the tomb in BethLehem where his father was buried.And JoAb and his men also traveled all night long, reaching HebRon at dawn.

    3

    1Well, the war between the house of David and the house of Saul lasted a long time and the house of David kept getting stronger while the house of Saul kept getting weaker.2In the meantime, David had sons born to him in HebRon.• His firstborn was AmNon through AhiNoam the JezreElite.3The second was DaluJah through AbiGail the CarMelite.• The third was AbSalom through MaAcha the daughter of TholMi, the king of Gesir.4The fourth was Ornia through PhegGith.• The fifth was SabaTia through AbiTal.5The sixth was JetheraAm through AiGla.These were all David’s women and all of his sons that were born in HebRon.6Well, during the war between the house of Saul and the house of David, AbNer became [more powerful] in IsraEl.7Now, Saul used to have a concubine named ResPha (the daughter of Jal). Then Saul’s son IshBosheth went to AbNer and asked him this:‘Why are you [sleeping] with my father’s concubine?’8Well, this made AbNer furious with IshBosheth, and AbNer said:‘How dare you to speak to me like a dog after the mercy I’ve shown to the house of your father Saul and to his family and friends!‘Since I never went over to the side of the house of David, why are you coming to me and complaining that I’ve been unjust over some woman today?9‘Now, as Jehovah swore in an oath to David; may God curse AbNer and add to it if I don’t do this:10‘I will now remove the kingship from the house of Saul and raise the throne of David to be over all of IsraEl and Judah from Dan to BeerSheba!’11Well, IshBosheth didn’t say anything more, because he was so frightened!12Then AbNer sent messengers to David right away (who was in ThaiLam at the time), with the message:‘Make a treaty with me, because I’m on your side now, and I’m going to give the whole house of IsraEl to you.’13And David replied:‘Yes, I’ll make a treaty with you!‘However, there’s one thing that I want to ask of you… I don’t want to see your face unless you bring Saul’s daughter Michal with you when you come to me.’14Meanwhile, David also sent messengers to Saul’s son IshBosheth, telling him:‘Give back my woman Michal, for whom I paid with the foreskins of 100 Philistines!’15As a result, IshBosheth sent and had her taken from her man PhaltiEl (son of SelLe), 16who then followed her all the way to BarAkim. But after AbNer warned him to go back, he turned around and went home.17Thereafter, AbNer spoke to the elders of IsraEl and said this:‘Since you’ve been looking for David to rule over you a long time, 18you should do something now. For Jehovah has said concerning him:‘I will deliver IsraEl from the hands of the Philistines and all their other enemies at the hands of David!’19Then AbNer also went and spoke to the people of the tribe of BenJamin (before he went to speak to David at HebRon), and everyone in the house of BenJamin and the rest of IsraEl was pleased with this idea. 20It was then that AbNer went with 20 of his men to see David in HebRon… And David prepared a banquet for them.21So AbNer said this to David:‘I’ll go and gather all IsraEl to my lord the king, and I’ll conclude a treaty with you for you to rule over whomever you may wish.’Then David sent AbNer away in peace.22However, shortly thereafter, JoAb returned to David with his army after a battle, carrying many spoils of war. Well, AbNer was no longer there with David in HebRon, since he’d been sent away in peace.23But when JoAb and his men heard that AbNer (son of Ner) had come to David and that he’d been sent away in peace, 24JoAb came to the king and asked:‘What have you done?‘Look! AbNer actually came here and you sent him away in peace?25‘Don’t you know that AbNer just came here to deceive you? He just came to find out your plans!’26So, after JoAb left David, he sent messengers to AbNer (who was at the well of SeiRam), asking him to return… But David didn’t know anything about this.27And when AbNer returned to HebRon, JoAb called to him as he arrived at the city gate, saying that he wanted to speak to him. Well, it was a trap; for he stabbed him in the stomach and killed him! He did this to [avenge] the blood of his brother AshaEl.28Then when David heard about [what AbNer had done], he said:‘My kingdom and I are innocent before Jehovah throughout the ages over the blood of AbNer, son of Ner!29‘But may the guilt of this rest upon JoAb and the house of his father! May the house of JoAb always suffer from gonorrhea and leprosy; may they walk on crutches; may they starve and be cut down in battle... 30For it was JoAb and his brother AbiShai [that did this to] AbNer, because he’d killed their brother AshaEl at the battle of GibeOn.’31Then David told JoAb and all of his men to rip their clothes, wrap themselves in sackcloth, and to mourn for AbNer! And after that, David walked behind AbNer’s casket in his funeral procession.32For they buried him in a tomb in HebRon, where David screamed and cried, as did all the people.33The king mourned over AbNer, saying these words:‘Should AbNer have died like NaBal?34‘For his hands and feet were not tied,Nor like NaBal, was he led away…He was cut down by an unrighteous man.’So, all the people gathered to weep for him, 35and David invited them all to eat loaves of bread in a funeral meal that day.Then David swore an oath, saying:‘May God curse me and add more to it if I eat anything before the sun sets today.’36As a result, all the people were pleased by these things that the king had done before them. 37And all IsraEl got to know that the king had nothing to do with killing AbNer (son of Ner).38Then the king said to his servants:‘Don’t you know that a great leader has fallen in IsraEl today?39‘I feel like one of his closest relatives and like someone who’s stood in the presence of a king!‘However these men, these sons of ZeruJah, are hard for me to bear... May Jehovah repay the one who did this wicked thing with the evil that he deserves.’

    4

    1Well, when Saul’s son IshBosheth heard that AbNer (son of Ner) had been killed in HebRon, he and all the men in IsraEl just fell weak.2And at the time, there were two men who were leaders of the confederation of IshBosheth; one was BaAna and the other was RechAb. They were both sons of RimMon the BeerOthite of the tribe of BenJamin (for BeerOth was considered part of the tribe of BenJamin).3These BeerOthites had fled to GetThaim, where [their families] live to this day.4(Also, Saul’s son JoNathan had a 5-year-old son who was lame. For when the message came from JezreEl about [the death] of Saul and JoNathan, his nurse picked him up and ran away… But then she dropped him, which damaged his legs. His name was MephiBosheth.)5Well, as the sons of RimMon the BeerOthite (RechAb and BaAna) were leaving, they went to the house of [Saul’s son] IshBosheth in the heat of the day during his noontime nap. 6And because the doorman was out sifting wheat, they were able to slip in without being noticed… 7And there was IshBosheth in his bedroom asleep in his bed.So they struck him, killed him, and cut off his head, then they traveled west all that day and night so as to 8bring IshBosheth’s head to David in HebRon!Then they said to the king:‘Look, here’s the head of Saul’s son IshBosheth… Your enemy who would’ve killed you!Jehovah has given him to our lord the king as punishment to the enemies of his offspring. For Saul and his offspring have been your enemies down to this day.’9But David told RechAb and his brother BaAna:‘As Jehovah (the One who’s protected my life) lives, 10the man who reported to me that Saul had died thought he was bringing me good news... However, I had him taken away and killed in ZikLag, despite what he thought!11‘And now, you wicked people have killed a righteous man while he was in his house asleep in bed! So, I’ll require his blood from you… I’ll wipe you out of this land!’12Well at that, David gave orders to his servants, and they killed them both… They cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies near the spring in HebRon, then they took the head of IshBosheth and placed it in the tomb of AbNer (son of Ner) in HebRon.

    5

    1Well thereafter, all the tribes of IsraEl came to David in HebRon, and they said to him:‘Look, we are your own flesh and bones.2‘And although Saul used to be our king, you were the one who led the people of IsraEl in our [battles], so you must be the leader over IsraEl.’3Then all the elders of IsraEl came [and met with] the king in HebRon, and King David made a treaty with them there in HebRon, in the presence of Jehovah.And thereafter, they anointed David to be the king over all IsraEl.4Well, David was 30 years old when he started his rule, and he reigned for 40 years. 5He reigned over [the tribe of] Judah in HebRon for 7-1/2 years, and he reigned over all IsraEl and Judah from JeruSalem for 33 years.6Thereafter, David and all his men [marched on] JeruSalem, where the Jebusites were living at the time.And the [Jebusites] said to him:‘You’re not going to enter here, for the blind and the lame will oppose you! Even they are saying, ‘David will never enter [this city]!’7However, David took the citadel on Zion, and he made it his own city.8Then he told his men:‘Everyone who cuts down a Jebusite should also use his dagger on the lame, the blind, and on anyone else who hates the person of David.‘And thereafter, the people must say, ‘The blind and the lame will never enter the Temple of Jehovah!’9Well, David took up living there in the citadel, and the place became known as the City of David. Then he built a city around his tower and palace.10And from that point on, David kept getting greater, because Jehovah the Almighty was with him.11Then King HiRam [I] of Tyre sent envoys to David, who brought along much wood from his cedar trees, as well as some stoneworkers that built a palace for David.12Now, David knew that it was Jehovah who had made him king over IsraEl, and that He was the One who was blessing [David’s] kingdom, because of His people IsraEl.13Well, after David moved from HebRon to JeruSalem, he took more wives and concubines, so he had even more sons and daughters.
    14These are the names of the children that were born to him in JeruSalem:• SamMous,• SoBab,• Nathan,• Solomon,15EbeAr,• EliSoWe,• NapPek,• JePhies,16EliSama,• EliDae,• EliPhalath,• SamaE,• JessiBath,• YalaMaAn,• YeBaAr,• TheaEsous,• EliPhalar,• NaGed,• NaPhek,• JaNathan,• LeAsamus,• BaAlImath, and • EliPhaAth.17However, when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed to be the king over IsraEl, they went looking for him. And when David heard about this, he made it back to his citadel 18just as the Philistines were forming for an attack in the Valley of the Titans.19So David went to Jehovah and asked:‘Should I fight the Philistines, and if so, will You give them into my hands?’And the Lord replied:‘Go, for I’ll save you and give the Philistines into your hands!’20So David attacked them from the mountain passes, and he breached their lines, defeating the Philistines.Then David said:‘Since Jehovah cut through my enemies the Philistines like He cuts through water, we’ll name this place the High Breaches.’21Well at the time, the [Philistines] had left behind all [the images of] their gods. So David and his men picked them up and carried them along.22But then the Philistines attacked again, coming to meet them in battle in the Valley of the Titans.23So David asked Jehovah once more, and the Lord replied:‘Don’t confront them; go around them to the other side of the Forest of Tears, and I’ll give them into your hands... 24Then, when you hear the sound of them marching from the Forest of Tears, you must attack! For I’ll lead you in your battle with the Philistines.’25So David did just as the Lord told him, and he cut down the Philistines all the way from GibeOn to the land of GeZer.

    6

    1Well, after [some 20 years], David gathered the young men of IsraEl (about 70,000 of them) 2and he and all his men, along with rulers from Judah, went to bring back the Chest of God which was used to call on the Name of Jehovah of Armies, which had the [covering of] cherubs.3So they went to the house of AmiNadab (which was on a hill) and picked up the Chest of Jehovah, and mounted it on a new wagon. Then the sons of AmiNadab walked ahead of the wagon that carried the Chest.4Well, as AmiNadab’s sons were leading the wagon along, 5David and his men were dancing in front of Jehovah and playing musical instruments (they were playing appropriate lively tunes on lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and pipes).6And when they arrived at the threshing-floor of NaChon, the oxen [that were hauling the chest] bolted; so, Oza stuck out his hand to grab the Chest of God in order to steady it.7But this enraged Jehovah, so God struck Oza and he fell dead next to the Chest of Jehovah… There, in the presence of God!8Of course, David was very depressed over the fact that Jehovah had cut down Oza. So he started calling that place ‘the Cutting Down of Oza,’ which is what it’s still called to this day.9And on that day, David became afraid of Jehovah; for he asked:‘How would it be possible for me to transport the Chest of God?’10So he decided not to move the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah into his city. Rather, he turned around and carried it to the house of Obed-Edom the GitTite, 11and that’s where the Chest of Jehovah was kept for the next three months.But as a result, Jehovah blest the household of Obed-Edom and everything that he owned.12Then when King David was told that that the house of Obed-Edom and all his things were being blest because of the Chest of God, David went and took the Chest of Jehovah from there and brought it into the city of David in a joyful [parade].13However, this time when the Chest of Jehovah was being transported, it was led by 7 companies of dancers, followed by the calf and the lambs that were to be sacrificed, and then by David, as [musicians] played music that was appropriate for the presence of Jehovah.14Well, David was wearing a fine robe 15as he and the whole house of IsraEl danced in front of the Chest of Jehovah, shouting and blowing trumpets. 16But when the Chest reached the city of David, Michal (Saul’s daughter) happened to be watching from her window... And when she saw King David dancing and playing music before Jehovah, in her heart she was disgusted.17Then they brought the Chest of Jehovah in and set it in its place in the middle of the Tent that David had made for it, and David sacrificed whole burnt offerings and peace offerings there before Jehovah.18He also blest the people in the name of Jehovah of Armies, 19and he distributed bread loaves, grilled meat, and pancakes among all the people of IsraEl, both the men and the women, some of whom had come from as far way as Dan and BeerSheba.So after that, everyone went back home, 20and David returned to bless his own house... But when he got there, Michal (the daughter of Saul) came out to meet David and she started shouting at him.She asked:‘So, how was the king of IsraEl glorified today as he danced naked in front of the daughters of his servants?‘For you exposed yourself while you were dancing!’21And David replied:‘When I’m in the presence of Jehovah, I’m going to dance!‘May Jehovah, who chose me over your father and his house, be praised for allowing me to take the lead over His people IsraEl.‘I’ll [always] strum and dance in His presence, 22and I’ll be uncovered again in front of the girls – before whom you said I dishonored myself – so that I can become even more useless in your eyes!’23Well, because she said this, Michal (the daughter of Saul) remained childless until the day that she died.

    7

    1It was after Jehovah had conquered all [of David’s] enemies roundabout him, that one day, as the king was sitting in his palace, 2he said to the prophet Nathan:‘Look, here I am, living in a palace of cedars, while the Chest of God is just sitting there in a tent!’3And Nathan said to the king:‘Then, do whatever your heart moves you to do, because Jehovah is with you!’4But that night, the word of the Lord came to Nathan, which said:5‘Go and speak to My servant David, and tell him that this is what Jehovah says:‘You must not build a house for Me to dwell in, 6because I haven’t stayed in a house from the time that I led the sons of IsraEl out of Egypt until now.‘Rather, I’ve been moving about in a tent 7in all the places where IsraEl has traveled.’‘Now, as you speak to him, ask him this:‘Have I spoken to any of those whom I’ve assigned over My people, the tribes of IsraEl, and asked them to build a house of Cedars for Me?’8‘Then tell my servant David that Jehovah the Almighty says this:‘I took you away from your sheep pens to be the leader over My people IsraEl, 9and wherever you went I’ve been with you... I’ve destroyed all your enemies and I’ve made your name famous among all the great men of the earth.10‘And now I’ll establish a place for my people IsraEl… I’ll plant it in a place where they’ll camp by themselves, and where they won’t have to worry anymore.‘It’s a place where the sons of the unrighteousness won’t humble them as they did in ancient times, 11back when I put judges over My people IsraEl. And it’s only then, after I provide you with rest from all your enemies, that I’ll show you how to build a Temple for Jehovah.12‘And after your days are finished and you’ve gone to sleep with your ancestors, I’ll raise up your offspring after you – someone who’s come from within you – and I’ll prepare his kingdom.13‘He’s the one who’ll build a Temple to My Name, and I’ll establish his throne throughout the ages 14I’ll be a father to him, and he will be a son to Me.‘So, whenever he misbehaves, I’ll discipline him with the type of switch that men use, and spank him in the same way that the sons of men do [to their sons].15‘But I’ll never remove My mercy from him in the same way that I’ve removed My mercy from others. 16Rather, his house and his kingdom will stand before Me throughout the age, and his throne will last throughout the ages.’17Well after that, Nathan went and spoke to David about all the words that he’d heard in the vision.18Then King David went in and sat down before Jehovah and asked:‘Just who am I, O my Lord Jehovah, and what is my house that You’ve shown such love for me?19‘Even though I was once very small before You, O my Lord Jehovah, You spoke about my house long ahead of time... So now, what laws are you giving to me, O my Lord, 20and what should David say before You?‘You know Your servant, O my Lord Jehovah, 21and You’ve treated Your servant as Your heart has directed… 22You’ve brought about all these great things to let your servant know that he should glorify You, O my Lord Jehovah; for there’s no one else like You, and we’ve heard of no God other than You.23‘And what are Your people IsraEl? For, no other nation on the earth is being guided by their God!‘However, now You’ve purchased a people to establish Your Name and to show Your greatness and grandeur! You drove nations away in front of these people whom You purchased out of Egypt, and then You had them live in tents.24‘So, You’ve set aside IsraEl to be Your people throughout the ages… And You, O Jehovah, have become their God!25‘And now, O my Lord Jehovah, may the things that You said about Your servant and his house prove to be true throughout the ages, just as You said.26‘And may Your Name, 27Jehovah the Almighty God over IsraEl, be glorified throughout the ages!‘For You’ve uncovered the ears of your servant and told me that I’ll build a Temple for You. This is why Your servant’s heart has been moved to speak this prayer to You.28‘And now, O my Lord; you are The God!‘So, the words that You said about the good things that You’ll do for Your servant will prove to be true! 29Therefore, start blessing this house of Your servant, which will stand before You throughout the ages.‘For You, O my Lord Jehovah, have spoken, and You’ve promised to bless the house of your servant throughout the ages.’

    8

    1So after that, David attacked the Philistines and routed them, and he took back everything that [IsraEl] had lost to them. 2David also attacked [and captured] MoAb, and he divided their army into two lines as they lay on the ground. Half were to be killed and the rest were to survive.Then the MoAbites became David’s servants and they were required to pay him a tribute.3Next, David attacked HadraAzar (son of RaAb) the king of Soba as he was marching towards the EuPhrates River... 4There David captured 1,000 chariots, 7,000 of his cavalry, and 20,000 of his foot soldiers!Then David had all the chariots destroyed, except for 100 that he kept for himself.5And when the Syrians came from Damascus to help HadraAzar (the king of Soba), David cut down 22,000 of their men! 6Then David sent a detachment to Syria, where they garrisoned near Damascus, and the Syrians had to pay a tribute to David also.So, Jehovah was with David wherever he went.7Well, David took the gold armlets that the sons of HadraAzar wore and brought them to JeruSalem. However, these were eventually taken by SusAkim [possibly Amenemope] the king of Egypt, when he attacked JeruSalem during the reign of RehoBoam, son of Solomon.8Then David attacked HadraAzar’s principal cities and he brought back huge amounts of brass, which was thereafter used by Solomon to create the Temple’s sacred Brass Sea, its columns, its bathing tubs, and all its utensils.9Well when the king of HaMath heard that David had conquered the armies of HadraAzar, 10he sent his son JedDouran to King David to sue for peace. He also congratulated David for beating HadraAzar (since HadraAzar was his enemy), and he brought along many items of silver, gold, and brass, 11which King David dedicated to Jehovah, as he’d done with all the silver and gold that he’d taken from the cities that he’d conquered, 12[which were] those of:• Edom,• MoAb,• The sons of AmMon,• The Philistines,• The AmaLechites,• From the spoils of HadraAzar son of RaAb, the king of Soba.13Well, after he did that, David became quite famous… And then on his return, he attacked the Idumeans in the Salt Valley, killing 18,000. 14Then he put detachments throughout all of Idumea, and the Idumeans became the king’s servants.Well, no matter where he went, Jehovah was with David, 15and he remained the ruler over all IsraEl; for he was fair and just with his people.16[At the time:]• JoAb (son of ZeruJah) was in charge of his army.• JoShaphat (son of AchiAd) was in charge of the records.17ZaDok (son of AhiTub) and AhiMelech (son of AbiAthar) were the Priests.• Sasa was the Scribe.18BenaiJah (son of JoDai) was David’s personal advisor.• The Cherethites, Phelethites, and David’s sons were the chiefs of his palace.

    9

    1Then David asked if there was anyone left from the house of Saul to whom he should be showing [kindness] to because of JoNathan. 2And at the time, he found that there was a servant from the house of Saul named Ziba, whom they brought to David.So the king asked him:‘Are you Ziba?’And he replied:‘I’m your servant.’3And the king asked:‘Is there anyone left from the house of Saul upon whom I should be showing the mercy of God?’And Ziba replied:‘There’s still one of JoNathan’s sons… The one whose feet had been damaged.’4So the king asked:‘Where is he?’And Ziba replied:‘Look! He’s in the house of MachIr, son of AmiEl of LodaBar.’5So King David sent for him and brought him from the house of MachIr. 6And when MephiBosheth (son of JoNathan and the grandson of Saul) came to King David, he fell to his face, bowing to the ground before him.Then David said:‘MephiBosheth!’And he replied:‘Look… Your servant!’7Then David said:‘Don’t be afraid, because [the reason why I called you] is to show you mercy because of JoNathan your father... I’m going to give you back all the fields of your grandfather Saul, and you’ll always eat at my table.’8And MephiBosheth bowed low again and said:‘Who am I, your servant, to find your favor? For I’m no better that a dying dog.’9Then the king called for Ziba (Saul’s servant) and told him:‘I’m giving everything that belonged to Saul and his house to the son of your master... 10So you, your sons, and your servants must work his land for him, and you are to bring the son of your lord loaves of bread to eat.‘Also, MephiBosheth, the son of your lord, will always eat at my table.’Now, Ziba had 15 sons and 20 servants.11And he said to the king:‘Whatever my lord the king asks, his servant will do.’And from that day on, MephiBosheth ate at the table of David as though he was one of the king’s sons.12Now, MephiBosheth had a small son named Micha, whom the whole of house of Ziba also served, 13and they all lived in JeruSalem and always ate at the table of the king.However, MephiBosheth had been lame in both feet since his birth.

    10

    1Then the king of the sons of AmMon died, and his son became the new king.2So David said:‘I’ll do something nice for HanNon, son of NaHash, because his father was so kind to me.’Therefore, David sent his servants to the land of the sons of AmMon to comfort him over his father.3However, the governors of the sons of AmMon went to their lord and asked:‘Is David really sending you comforters to glorify your father, or hasn’t he in fact sent them as spies to look at [our fortifications]?’4As a result, HanNon grabbed David’s servants, shaved their beards, cut off their uniforms to their hips, and then he sent them away.5Well, when this was reported to David, he sent men to meet those servants, because they’d been so extremely dishonored! And the king told them to stay in JeriCho until their beards grew back.6Meanwhile, when the sons of AmMon saw how David had been disgraced, they hired 20,000 Syrians from BaithRaAm, Soba, and RoOb, as well as 1,000 infantrymen from the king of AmaLech, and 12,000 men from IshTob.7And when David heard about this, he sent JoAb and all his best soldiers [to confront them]; 8for the sons of AmMon had gathered for war at their city gates… They’d sent the Syrians from Soba, RoOb, and [men of] IshTob and MaAcha into the field to fight with them.9And when JoAb saw what he was facing, with armies on both sides, he took the younger men of IsraEl and deployed them opposite the Syrians, 10then he put the rest of his army into the hands of his brother AbiShai, who [set up battle lines] facing the sons of AmMon.11And he [told his brother]:‘If Syria starts to beat me, you come to help me; and if the sons of AmMon start to beat you, I’ll come to help you.12‘However, we must act like men! For if we’re strong for our people and the cities of our God, [we can trust that] Jehovah will do whatever He sees is best!’13Well, when JoAb and his men attacked the Syrians, they fled from before him. 14And when the sons of AmMon saw the Syrians running, they turned and ran from AbiShai, back into their cities.So thereafter, JoAb left the land of AmMon and he returned to JeruSalem.15However, after the Syrians had lost before IsraEl, they returned and gathered at the same place again. 16But this time, HadraAzar sent for more Syrians from the other side of the river, stationing them in AiLam, and he put Sobak the general of his army to be over them.17And when this was reported to David, he gathered the whole army of IsraEl and they crossed the JorDan to march against AiLam. There the Syrians set up battle lines against David, and the battle began… 18And again, the Syrians fled from the IsraElites!This time, David destroyed 700 of their chariots and 40,000 of their cavalry! He also killed the general over their army, Sobak.19Then, when the servants of HadraAzar saw that they’d lost to IsraEl, they surrendered and became their servants… And the Syrians were afraid to come to the aid of the sons of AmMon after that.

    11

    1Well, it was the time of year when the kings [traditionally] went out to battle, and David sent JoAb, his servants, and the entire army of IsraEl, and they destroyed the sons of AmMon. Then they laid siege against RabBah. However, David had stayed at home in JeruSalem.2Then one evening, David got up from his bed and he walked up to the roof of the king’s palace... From there he saw a very pretty woman who was bathing on her roof.3So David asked about the woman, saying:‘Isn’t that BathSheba, the daughter of EliAb and the woman of UriAh the Hittite?’4And thereafter David sent messengers that brought her to him… He went to bed and [had sex] with her, then she went back home.However, she’d just been cleansed from her monthly period; 5so when she sent a message to David telling him that she was pregnant, David said:‘It’s my baby.’6As a result, David sent [a message] to JoAb, saying:‘Send UriAh the Hittite to me.’And JoAb sent UriAh to him.7Well when UriAh arrived, David first asked how JoAb was doing, how the army was doing, and then about how the war was going.8And David said to UriAh:‘Now, just go back home and wash your feet!’So UriAh left the king’s palace, and the king had a gift sent to him. 9However, UriAh bedded down next to the door to the king’s palace, along with his lord’s servants, and he didn’t go home.10Then when David was told that UriAh hadn’t gone home, he went and asked UriAh:‘Didn’t you just return from some distance? Why don’t you go home?’11And UriAh replied:‘Well, the [sacred] Chest and the armies of Judah and IsraEl are all staying in tents, and my lord JoAb and his men are also camped out in fields; so, how could I go to my house to eat, drink, and go to bed with my woman?‘As you are living, how could I do such a thing?’12Then David told him:‘Well, stay here for the rest of the [evening], and tomorrow I’ll send for you.’So UriAh stayed in JeruSalem throughout that night.And the next day, 13David called for him. Then he fed him and gave him so much to drink that he got him drunk! Yet that evening, he again went to bed with the servants of his lord, and he didn’t return to his home.14So the next morning, David wrote a letter to JoAb, which he asked UriAh to deliver.15It said:‘Send UriAh into the toughest part of the fighting, right up to the city gate; and then leave him there so he will be cut down and killed.’16So when JoAb attacked the city, he put UriAh in a place where he knew that the hardest fighting would be done... 17Then when the men of the city came out to fight with JoAb, many of David’s men died along with UriAh the Hittite.18And thereafter, JoAb sent a report to David with all the details of the battle. He also sent a private message to the king. 19He said this to the messenger whom he sent:‘When you’re describing the battle to the king, 20if the king should get angry and tell you to ask me:‘Why did you approach the city walls to fight them? Didn’t you know that they’d shoot down at you from the walls?21‘For, who struck AbiMelek, son of JeroBaal and grandson of Ner? Didn’t a woman drop a piece of a millstone on him from the wall, killing him there in ThamAsi?‘Why did you attack the wall?’‘You must answer:‘Well, your servant UriAh the Hittite also died.’22So JoAb’s messenger went to the king in JeruSalem and he told David everything that JoAb told him to say about the war. And predictably, David was furious with JoAb, and he said to the messenger:‘Why did he lead [the men] right up to the city to fight?‘Didn’t he know that they’d attack from the walls?‘For, who struck AbiMelek, son of JeroBaal? Didn’t a woman toss a piece of millstone from the wall and kill him in ThamAsi?‘Why did he attack the wall?’23And the messenger said to David:‘Well, the men attacked us… They came out into the field to meet us, so we fought them there at their city gate.24‘Meanwhile, they were also shooting at us from the walls, and many of the king’s servants were killed… Including your subject, UriAh the Hittite.’25So David said to the messenger:‘Then tell JoAb not to feel bad about it, because the sword cuts both ways. He should intensify the battle against the city, then tear it down and establish a garrison there.’26Well, when the wife of UriAh heard that her husband had been killed, she was deeply saddened... 27Then, after her period of mourning, David sent for her and had her brought to his palace.So he married her and she gave birth to his son.However, this whole thing appeared to be wicked in the eyes of Jehovah!

    12

    1As a result, Jehovah sent the prophet Nathan to David, who went in and told him this story:‘There were two men who lived in the same city; one was rich, and the other was poor.2‘Now, the rich man had huge flocks and herds, 3but the only thing that the poor man owned was a small female lamb that he’d purchased... He protected it and fed it, and it grew up with his children. It ate the same bread, drank from his cup, and slept inside of his robe; for it was just like a daughter to him!4‘Well, it so happened that a traveler came along who stopped in to see the rich man. Then, because he didn’t want to take anything from his own flocks or herds to prepare [a meal] for a stranger, he took the lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the person who had come to visit.’5Well, when he heard this, David was outraged and he said:‘As Jehovah lives, that man deserves to die!6‘He should also have to pay for the lamb with 7 of his own, because of this evil thing that he did!’7And Nathan said to David:‘But, you are the man who did this!‘So, Jehovah the God of IsraEl told me to say this to you:‘I’m the One who anointed you to be the king over IsraEl, and I’m the One who saved you from the hands of Saul.8‘I’m also the One who gave you the house of your lord and I brought his women to your chest; and thereafter I gave you the houses of IsraEl and Judah... And if you had remained faithful, I would have given you even more!9‘So, why have you treated the Word of Jehovah as worthless by doing this wicked thing before His eyes?For you cut down UriAh the Hittite with the broadsword and took his woman as yours… When the sons of AmMon killed him, it was really you who killed him!10‘And because you did this, the broadsword won’t leave your house throughout the ages! For you treated Me with contempt by taking the wife of UriAh the Hittite as your woman.’11‘And Jehovah also said this:‘Look, I will cause evil things to awaken in your own house… I will take your women from before you and give them to your neighbor, then he will go to bed with them in the daylight.12‘Although you did it in secret, I will do this in the daylight and before all IsraEl!’13Well at that, David said to Nathan:‘I have truly sinned against Jehovah!’And Nathan said to David:‘Well, Jehovah has forgiven your sin, so you’re not going to die... 14However, by doing such an unrighteous thing, you’ve even made Jehovah’s enemies angry.‘Therefore, the son who’ll be born to you will die.’15And at that, Nathan left David’s palace.So as a result, Jehovah caused the child that was born to the woman of UriAh by David to be sickly and weak. 16However, David [prayed to] God about the boy, and he fasted and slept on the ground.17And when the elders of his house came to lift him off the ground, he wouldn’t get up, nor would he eat with them.18Then after 7 days, the boy died… And David’s servants were afraid to tell him, for they said:‘{Look!} When we spoke to him about the boy while [the child] was still alive, he didn’t listen to us... So how can we now tell [David] that he’s dead, for he’ll surely do bad things to us!’19Well, David noticed that his servants had been whispering, and he suspected that the boy had died.So he asked his servants:‘Has the boy died?’And they replied:‘He has.’20Then David got up from the ground, took a bath, rubbed himself with oil, and changed his clothes. And thereafter, he went to the [Tent] of God and bowed before Him.And when he got back home, he asked for some food to eat, which they brought to him, and which he ate.21So his servants asked:‘Why have you acted this way concerning the boy?‘For while he was still alive you fasted, cried, and wouldn’t sleep, but after he died, you got up and ate and drank something.’22And David replied:‘I fasted and cried while the boy was still living, because I hoped that Jehovah would show mercy on me and allow the boy to live. 23But now that he’s died, why should I fast?‘I won’t be able to go and see him again, nor can I carry him to me, because I can’t bring him back.’24Then David went to comfort his woman, BathSheba.Well, he went to bed with her again, and she got pregnant and gave birth to a son whom she named Solomon… And Jehovah loved him. 25So He sent for Nathan the prophet, who renamed him JediDiAh (Beloved of Jehovah), following the Lord’s instructions.26Then JoAb went to war with RabBah of the sons of AmMon again, and he conquered that kingdom’s capital city.27So JoAb sent messengers to David to say:‘I’ve fought against RabBah and subdued the City of Waters!28‘Therefore, gather your men and come to our camp so you can be the first to take it! I don’t want to be the first to take the city, for I don’t wish to have it called by my name.’29As a result, David gathered his men and he went to RabBah and captured it.30Then he took their king’s crown from his head (which was made of gold and precious gems) and had it placed on his own head... They also looted the city and brought back a tremendous amount of goods.31Then he took the [city’s] people away and put them to work as carpenters, farm laborers, iron smelters, blacksmiths, and brick makers… In fact, that’s what he did in all the cities of the sons of AmMon.And thereafter, David and his men returned to JeruSalem.

    13

    1Well, AbSalom (one of David’s sons) had a very pretty sister named Thamar, and AmNon (another son of David) was in love with her. 2In fact, he was so smitten with her that he was sick. Thamar (who was also his sister) was a virgin, and AmNon would’ve done anything to have her.3AmNon also had a friend named JoNadab (he was the son of David’s brother SamaA), and JoNadab was a very wise man.4Then one day, JoNadab asked AmNon:‘Why are you so puny every morning, O son of the king… Tell me what’s wrong.’And AmNon, replied:‘It’s because of Thamar, my brother AbSalom’s sister… I love her.’5And JoNadab said to him:‘Then do this: Go to bed and act like you’re sick... And when your father comes to see you, tell him:‘Send my sister Thamar to prepare my food before me and feed me, so I can see her and eat from her hands.’6So AmNon went to bed and pretended to be sick.And when the king came to see him, AmNon said:‘Send my sister Thamar to me and have her bake a couple of biscuits, then I’ll eat them from her hands’7Well, David sent for Thamar at her home, saying:‘Go to the house of your brother AmNon and prepare some food for him.’8Therefore, Thamar went to the house of her brother AmNon. And when she found him lying on a cot, she took some dough and mixed it in front of him to make some biscuits, then she fried them 9and took the frying pan and laid them before him.However, he wouldn’t eat them.So at that, AmNon [told his servants] to send everyone else away.10And AmNon said to Thamar:‘Now, carry the food into my bedroom and I’ll eat it from your hands there.’As a result, Thamar took the biscuits she’d made and carried them into her brother AmNon’s bedroom.11And when she brought them to him, he grabbed her and said:‘Now, come to bed with me, my sister!’12But she said to him:‘No, my brother, don’t rape me; for such things aren’t done in IsraEl!‘Don’t be so foolish, 13for I could never handle the scandal, and you’d be considered one of the fools in IsraEl!‘Just speak to the king and ask him to let you [marry me]!’14However, AmNon wouldn’t listen to her... He just overpowered her, shoved her onto his bed, and raped her!15Well, [after he was finished], AmNon’s love turned to hate... In fact, his hatred was greater than the love that he once had for her. So he told her to get up and leave.16But she said:‘No, O my brother!‘For sending me away like this is even worse than the terrible thing that you just did to me!’But AmNon wouldn’t listen to that.17So he called his head servant in and said to him:‘Take her away from me, then throw her outside and lock the door!’18Well at the time, all she had on was a long-sleeved slip (for that’s what the virgin daughters of the king wore under their clothes). Nevertheless, the servant led her outside and he locked the door behind her.19So, Thamar took ashes and put them on her head and she ripped the slip she was wearing, then she put her hands on her head and ran away screaming.20And later, her brother AbSalom asked her:‘Has your brother AmNon been with you?‘If so, my sister, don’t say anything, because he’s your brother… Don’t put it into your heart to say anything about this!’So from that time on, Thamar lived as a widow in the house of her brother AbSalom.21Well when King David heard what had happened, he was furious! But he wasn’t angry with his son AmNon, since he was his firstborn, 22nor did he say anything bad or good to AbSalom about AmNon.However, AbSalom detested AmNon because he’d raped his sister Thamar.23It was exactly two years later that [all the brothers] went out to shear sheep for AbSalom at BelAsor (near the land of Ephraim), because AbSalom had called for all the sons of the king to help him.24He’d gone before the king and said:‘Look, your servant has to do some shearing. So, may the king and his servants come along with me.’25However, the king said to AbSalom:‘No my son, we shouldn’t all go, for we’d just be a burden on you.’So David refused (because he really didn’t want to go), but he blest him.And AbSalom said:‘Then, send my brother AmNon along with me.’And the king asked:‘Why should he go with you?’27But because AbSalom kept insisting, he sent along AmNon and all of his other sons to help him.Well, when they got there, AbSalom prepared a banquet that was fit for a king.28Then he told his servants:‘When AmNon starts feeling the wine, I want you to strike him down and kill him! Don’t be afraid, because I’m the one who’s telling you to do this.‘Just be strong and act like men!’29So AbSalom’s servants did just as they were told… And after they did that, all the sons of the king mounted their mules and fled.30Meanwhile, as they were headed back, a [false] report came to David that AbSalom had killed all of the king’s sons… That none of them had been spared! 31So the king ripped his clothes and fell to the ground, and all his servants that were standing around him also ripped their clothes.32But then JoNadab (son of ShimeAh, David’s brother) said:‘They shouldn’t have told our lord that all of his sons were killed, for it was just AmNon!‘He died alone at the instructions of AbSalom, because this is the same day thatAmNon had raped his sister Thamar... 33May my lord the king not think in his heart that all of his sons have died, for it was only AmNon!’34Meanwhile, AbSalom had run away.Well just then, [David’s] watchman happened to look out and he noticed many people coming along the road down the side of the mountain.So he went and reported this to the king, saying:‘I see men coming down the mountain along the road to OrOnen.’35And JoNadab said to the king:‘Look, it’s your sons! They’re coming back, just as your servant said they would.’36Then, shortly after he’d finished speaking, {Look!} the king’s sons came in, shouting and crying! And the king and all his servants wailed and cried along with them.37Well at the time, AbSalom had run away and gone to stay with King TholMi (son of EmiUd) of GedSur in the land of HamAchad. And because King David mourned over his son for a long time, 38AbSalom spent three years in GedSur... 39But by then, the [wrath] of the king had abated and he was no longer chasing AbSalom, for he was no longer grieving over the death of AmNon.

    14

    1Now, JoAb (son of ZeruJah) knew that the king [still loved] AbSalom. 2So he sent for a woman in Thecoe who was very wise, and he said to her:‘I want you to dress in mourning clothes [and pretend] to be in mourning... Don’t rub yourself with oil, for I want you to appear to be a woman who’s been mourning over her dead for many days.’3So she went to the king and said the words that JoAb told her to say… 4This ThecoEthite woman went in to the king, fell with her face to the ground bowing before him, and said:‘Save me, oh king! Save me!’5And the king asked her:‘What’s wrong?’Then she said:‘I’m now a widow, because my husband has just died!6‘However, your servant had two sons who started arguing with each other while they were out in the fields where there was no one to break it up.‘Then the one hit the other and killed him!7‘So now, {Look} the whole family is against your servant, because they’re telling me to hand over my son so they can kill him for murdering his brother.‘But if they do that, they’ll be taking away my only heir and they’ll extinguish the little spark [of hope] that remains for leaving my husband a name and property on the face of this land!’8So the king said to the woman:‘Don’t worry; just go back home and I’ll handle this matter for you.’9Then the ThecoEthite woman said to the king:‘O my lord the king; may this lawlessness be on me and on the house of my father, not on the king and on his throne.’10And the king said:‘Who was the one who spoke to you?‘Bring [your son] to me, and don’t let anyone touch him!’11Then the woman said:‘May Jehovah your God remind the king not to allow them to take away my son so that our family line [may continue].’And he said:‘As Jehovah lives; not a hair of your son’s head will fall on the ground.’12Then the woman asked:‘May your servant say one more thing to her lord the king?’And he said:‘Speak.’13Then the woman said:‘Why have you made such a decision for the people of God?‘For when you say such things, you’re finding yourself guilty, since the king hasn’t allowed the one whom he banished to return to him!14‘Each of us is dying the death, and like water that’s being poured on the ground, we’re not returned to each other after that... Only God [has the right to] take a life, and only He has the means to drive someone away, if He wishes.15‘Now, as to the thing I came to speak to my lord the king about, the people told your servant to speak to you, to see what you’d do for your servant.16‘They said that you’d rescue your servant from the hands of the man who’s trying to take away my son and my inheritance from God... 17And they also told me that the words of my lord the king would be as good as a sacrifice.‘For my lord the king is like a messenger from God in that you listen to both the good and the bad. So, may Jehovah your God be with you.’18Well at that, the king said to the woman:‘I want to ask you something… And I want you to tell me the truth!’And the woman said:‘Please speak, my lord the king.’19And the king asked:‘Did JoAb put you up to this?’And the woman replied:‘As you are living, O my lord the king, doesn’t the king ever change his mind after he’s made a decision?‘Yes, JoAb is the one who put me up to this, and he put the words into my mouth.20‘But your servant JoAb did this just to bring the matter to a head. For my lord the king has the wisdom of a messenger from God in that he understands everything on earth.’21And the king said to JoAb:‘Look, I’m going to do what you’re asking.‘So, go and bring back the young man AbSalom!’22Well at that, JoAb fell and bowed with his face to the ground.Then he praised the king, saying:‘Today your servant knows that he’s found favor in your eyes, O my lord the king; for you have handled this matter for your servant.’23So then JoAb got up and went to GedSur, and he brought AbSalom back to JeruSalem.24However, the king had said:‘Let him go back to his home… But I don’t want to see his face!’As a result, AbSalom returned home, but he wasn’t allowed to see the face of the king.25Now, there wasn’t a man in all IsraEl that was more admired than AbSalom. For from the sole of his feet to the top of his head, there wasn’t a blemish! 26And when it came to cutting his hair, it took so long that it became bothersome, because whenever he cut it and set it aside, it weighed as much as two royal coins!27AbSalom had three sons and a daughter whose name was Themar. She was a pretty woman, and she [later] married Solomon’s son RehoBoam, to whom she gave birth to AbiJah.28Well, during the next 2 years that AbSalom stayed in JeruSalem, he never saw the face of the king. 29But then he sent for JoAb, because he wanted to send him to the king. However, JoAb wouldn’t come to him.So he sent for him a second time, but he just didn’t want to come. 30As a result, AbSalom said to his servants:‘You know that field of JoAb’s next to mine where he’s growing barley?‘Go and burn it!’So AbSalom’s servants went and burned JoAb’s field!Well at that, JoAb’s servants went to him ripping their clothes, and said:‘The servants of AbSalom have burned your portion of the field!’31So JoAb got up and went to the house of AbSalom, and asked him:‘Why did your servants burn my field?’32And AbSalom replied:‘Look, I called for you and asked you to come here, because I wanted to send you to the king and ask:‘Why did you bring me from GedSur, since things were good for me there? However, {Look!} since then I haven’t seen the face of the king!‘If [you consider me so] unrighteous, why don’t you just kill me?’33So JoAb went to the king and spoke to him... Then [the king] called for AbSalom, and he went in to the king and bowed before him, falling with his face to the ground before him, and the king kissed AbSalom.

    15

    1But after that, AbSalom obtained some chariots and horsemen, and he recruited 50 men to run in front of him. 2Then he would get up early each morning and station himself along the street by the city gate. And whenever he saw someone who was coming to try a case before the king, he would call out to him and ask:‘What city are you coming from?’And if he replied...‘Your servant is from one of the tribes of IsraEl.’3...he would say:‘Look, you have a good case; however, no one from the king will listen to it. 4Why doesn’t he appoint me to be the judge of the land and let me handle the disputes and cases? For I’d give you justice!’5And whenever some man would come and bow before him, he would reach out and grab him, then kiss him. 6Well, AbSalom was doing this to everyone from IsraEl who came to the king for a judgment, and as a result, he was winning the hearts of the men of IsraEl.7Then at the end of four years, AbSalom went to his father and said:‘I’m going to HebRon to pay a vow that I made to Jehovah...8‘For, while I was in GedSur, Syria, I vowed to Jehovah that if He would return me to JeruSalem, I’d be His servant.’9And the king said to him:‘Go in peace.’So he got up and went to HebRon.10Now, AbSalom had sent spies among all the tribes of IsraEl, who were told:‘When you hear the sound of trumpets blowing, you must shout:‘AbSalom is now reigning as king in HebRon!’11So after that, AbSalom left JeruSalem along with 200 men (who really didn’t suspect anything). 12Then, while he was offering his sacrifices, AbSalom sent for AhiThophel the Gelamonite (David’s advisor) from his city of Gola. And there he formed a strong confederation of quite a few people who started following AbSalom.13Well, when the report came to David that the hearts of the men of IsraEl had turned towards AbSalom, 14David said to all his servants in JeruSalem:‘We must get up and run from here, for nothing can save us from AbSalom!‘Let’s hurry and go, so he doesn’t overtake us and do bad things to us, then destroy the city with swords!’15And the king’s servants replied:‘We’ll do whatever our lord the king says…‘Look! We’re your servants!’16So the king and his whole house just walked away… However, he left 10 of his concubines behind to guard the house. 17Then the king and all his servants traveled on foot to a house that was very far away.18Well, while the king and his servants were on the way into the desert, they [met up with some] Cherethites and Phelethites that were waiting [for him] on the Mount of Olives.So, along with all the people who came with [David], there were now 600 great men and warriors from the Cherethites, Phelethites, and Gethites, because 600 men had walked from Gath to join the king.19But the king asked ItTai (the Gethite):‘Why are you traveling with us? You should return and stay with the [new] king!‘Since you’re foreigners who’ve just left your homes to join me, 20why are you [planning to] travel with us… Are you moving away from your homes?’And he replied:‘I’ll go wherever you are going.’[But David said]:‘Go back, and take your brothers with you; for Jehovah will bring you kindness and truth!’21But ItTai replied to the king:‘As Jehovah lives, and as my lord the king lives... No matter what happens to my lord, whether he lives or dies, I’ll be his servant.’22And the king said:‘Then come with me!’And ItTai the Gethite and all his servants (a huge number of them) traveled with the king.23Well, throughout the land, people were crying and wailing... Then the king and all his people crossed the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi and traveled towards the edge of the desert.24{Look!} There they met up with ZaDok and all the Levites who were carrying the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah from the [Sacred Tent]. Then they set the Chest of God down, and AbiAthar and all the people from the city [of JeruSalem] said that they were going to come with him.25But the king said to ZaDok:‘Just take the Chest of God back to the city... For if I should find favor in the eyes of Jehovah and He returns me, He will show it to me in all its glory once again.26‘But if He should say that He doesn’t want me; then look… Here I am, may He do to me whatever is good in His eyes.’27And the king told ZaDok the Priest:‘Look! You, your son AhiMaAz, your other two sons, and JoNathan (son of AbiAthar) should return to the city in peace. 28For, although I’m now going to live like a soldier in the desert, I’ll wait there for you to send word to me.’29So ZaDok and AbiAthar returned the Chest of God to JeruSalem, and it stayed there.30Then David climbed the Mount of Olives barefoot and with his head covered, crying. And all the people came with him with their heads covered and crying.31Well when David was told that AhiThophel had joined the confederation with AbSalom, he said:‘O Jehovah, my God,‘Confuse the counsel of AhiThophel!’32Then when David got to Ros, he bowed there before God.And {Look} coming to meet him was HuShai, David’s best friend, ripping his clothes and piling dirt on his head.33But David said to him:‘If you come with me, you’ll just be a burden to me. 34So, return to the city, and say this to AbSalom:‘Since your brothers left me to follow your father, I’m your servant now, O king; so, please allow me to live!‘Although I was once your father’s servant, I’m yours now.’‘And if you’ll do this for me, you’ll confuse the counsel of AhiThophel!35‘Look, there are the Priests, ZaDok and AbiAthar. Go back with them and report everything to them that you hear from the [palace] of the king! 36And here are their two sons, AhiMaAz (son of ZaDok) and JoNathan (son of AbiAthar)... Use them to send back every word that you hear.’37So HuShai (David’s best friend) returned to the city as AbSalom entered JeruSalem.

    16

    1Well, after David had traveled a short distance from Ros, {Look!} Ziba (MephiBosheth’s servant) came to meet him with a pair of saddled burros, 200 loaves of bread, a bushel of raisins, 100 clusters of dried fruit, and a skin flask of wine.2So the king asked Ziba:‘What’s this for?’And Ziba replied:‘The animals are for the house of the king to ride, the bread and the dried fruit are for your servants to eat, and the wine is for those who get weak [as they travel] through the desert.’3Then the king asked:‘So, where’s your lord’s son?’And Ziba replied:‘{Look!} He’s sitting in JeruSalem; for he said:‘Today the kingdom of IsraEl will return to the house of my father.’4Then the king said:‘{Look!} I’m giving everything that MephiBosheth has, to you.’And as he bowed [before David], Ziba said:‘May I find favor in your eyes, O my lord the king.’5Well, when King David got to BaUrim, {Look!} a man who was related to the house of Saul (ShiMei, son of Gera) came there cursing 6and throwing stones at David and all his servants.Meanwhile, all the people (including the mighty ones) were walking on either side of the king. 7And ShiMei shouted (as he was cursing):‘Get out of here you murderer… You criminal!8‘For Jehovah has finally brought all the blood of the house of Saul down on you for taking his place as the ruler, and He’s handed your kingdom over to your son AbSalom!‘So, now you’re getting some of your own badness for being a murderer!’9Well at that, AbiShai (son of ZeruJah) said to the king:‘Why does my lord the king put up with the cursing of this dead dog?‘Allow me to go over there and remove his head.’10But the king said to AbiShai:‘What does it matter to me and to you sons of ZeruJah?‘Leave him alone and let him curse.‘It was Jehovah who told him to curse David, so there’s no reason to ask him why he’s doing this.’11And then David said to AbiShai and his servants:‘The son who came from my own belly now wants to kill me; so, let the son of the BenJaminite curse, because Jehovah told him to do it!12‘May Jehovah see my humiliation and provide good things for me in place of [this man’s] curses today.’13So, David and all his men just kept traveling along, as ShiMei ran alongside them next to the mountain cursing and throwing stones and dirt. 14And then finally, the king and all his people got tired and they stopped to rest.15Well, when AbSalom, AhiThophel, and all of his men of IsraEl arrived in JeruSalem, 16HuShai (David’s best friend) went to see to AbSalom and said:‘Long live the king!’17But AbSalom asked HuShai:‘Is this the way you’re treating your friend?‘Why didn’t you go along with your buddy?’18Then HuShai said:‘I’ll follow whomever Jehovah and His people (the men of IsraEl) have chosen… I’ll stick with him and stay with him!19‘For, who will I be serving? I’ll be serving [David’s] son! So, as I served your father is how I’ll serve you now.’20Well at that, AbSalom turned to to AhiThophel and asked what he thought they should do next.21And AhiThophel told AbSalom:‘Your father left some concubines behind to guard his palace... Why don’t you go to bed with them, so that all IsraEl will hear how you’ve disgraced your father… For, that will strengthen your hand with the people!’22As a result, they set up a tent on the [palace] roof. Then AbSalom took his father’s concubines to bed with him in front of all IsraEl!23And from that point on, AbSalom sought AhiThophel’s council on how he should go about asking things of God. So as AhiThophel had once given council to David, he now gave council to AbSalom.

    17

    1Then AhiThophel said to AbSalom:‘I’ll choose 12,000 men and we’ll go after David tonight; 2for when I get there, he’ll be tired and weak. We’ll catch him unaware and startle him, then his people will flee, and I can kill the king when there’s no one around!3‘And after I do that, I’ll carry all his people back to you the way a bride is brought before her husband... So, after [we’ve taken] the life of the man you’re searching for, all the people will be at peace!’4Well, this sounded like a good idea to AbSalom and all the elders of IsraEl.5But AbSalom then said:‘Call HuShai the Arachite… I want to hear what he has to say about this.’6So HuShai came to AbSalom, and AbSalom told him about [AhiThophel’s] plan. Then he asked:‘Do you think we should do what [AhiThophel] is suggesting?‘If not, speak up!’7And HuShai said to AbSalom:‘This counsel that AhiThophel has given to you isn’t a good idea this time.8‘For you know your father and his men… They’re very brave and strong, and they’re as angry as a bear that’s lost its cub in a field, or a wild boar that’s been cornered!‘Also, your father is a warrior, so he would never sleep with his family. 9Look, he’ll be hiding in the hills or somewhere else. So when the attack begins, he’ll hear it and say:‘AbSalom’s people are attacking!’10‘However, this mighty man who has the heart of a lion will just melt away once he realizes that he’s finished! For all IsraEl knows how mighty your father and his men are...11‘So, this is what I advise:‘Gather all [the men of] IsraEl from Dan to BeerSheba, [and create an army] as large as the sands of the sea… And you should lead them. 12Then, when you catch up with [David] – no matter where he may be – you must camp all around him and [attack him] just as the dew is settling on the ground… Don’t leave him or any of his men alive!13‘Or, if you should find him in a city, you must bring all IsraEl against that city, tear it down, and throw each of its stones into a riverbed.’14Well, AbSalom and all the men of IsraEl said:‘HuShai the Arachite’s counsel is better than AhiThophel’s counsel.’However, it was Jehovah who had caused the good counsel of AhiThophel to lose out, so that He could bring bad things upon AbSalom!15Then after that, HuShai (the Arachite) sent word to ZaDok and AbiAthar (the Priests), telling them of the advice that AhiThophel had given to AbSalom and the elders of IsraEl.16And he said:‘Send a message to David quickly, so that the king and his people aren’t caught off guard!’17It was while JoNathan and AhiMaAz had stopped at RogEl Springs that a young female servant arrived bringing the message [from HuShai], so they traveled on to carry the report to King David... However, although they didn’t want to be seen entering the city, 18a young man had noticed them and he sent a report to AbSalom.So, the two men ran to the house of someone [they knew] in BaUrim and hid in a cistern in his courtyard. 19And although a woman came and took the cover off the cistern to allow the desert [winds] to cool the water, she didn’t notice them.20So when AbSalom’s men came to the house and asked her:‘Where are AhiMaAz and JoNathan?’She just said:‘They went to get some water.’Well, they looked around but they couldn’t find them, so the men returned to JeruSalem. 21Then after they left, [AhiMaAz and JoNathan] climbed out of the cistern and went to carry the report to King David.They said to him:‘You must get up and quickly cross the river, for AhiThophel has [planned a trap] for you!’22Therefore, David and his people got up and crossed the JorDan before daylight, so that no one would know.23In the meantime, when AhiThophel realized that his counsel had been rejected, he saddled his burro and went back to his home… Then he discharged his staff and hung himself!And thereafter, they buried him in the tomb of his father.24Well, David had traveled all the way to ManaIm, as AbSalom and all his men crossed the JorDan [in pursuit].25Now, AbSalom had put AmaSa in charge of his army (in place of JoAb). AmaSa was the son of JeTher, an IsraElite from JezreEl.26Then he went to see AbiGail (the daughter of JesSe and the sister of ZeruJah) who was JoAb’s mother, while AbSalom and the army of IsraEl had camped in the land of GileAd.27Meanwhile, after David had entered ManaIm, WesBi (son of NaAs from RabBath, an AmMonite), MachIr (son of AmiEl from LodaBar), and BarZilLai (the GileAdite from RogelLim) 28brought:• 10 cots,• Blankets,• 10 pots,• Dishes,• Wheat,• Barley,• Flour,• Toasted grain,• Beans,• Lentils,29Honey,• Butter,• Mutton, and • Cheese.And they gave it to David and his people to eat.For they said:‘They’re starving, thirsty, and weak from traveling through the desert.’

    18

    1It was then that David counted his men to see how many were with him, and he assigned generals and officers to be over them, 2as he readied them for battle.He put:• 1/3 under the direction of JoAb.• 1/3 under the direction of AbiShai, son of ZeruJah (JoAb’s brother).• 1/3 under the direction of ItTai the Gethite.Then David said to his men:‘From now on, I’ll be leading you.’3But they said:‘You can’t come with us; for if [AbSalom’s people] kill half of us, we might lose you, and that would be like losing 10,000 men!‘It’s really best for you to stay in the city and direct us from there.’4So the king said:‘I’ll do whatever you wish.’Thereafter, the king stood at the city gate as his army passed by in companies and divisions.5Now, the king had given orders to JoAb, AbiShai, and ItTai, saying:‘I want you to spare the young man AbSalom for me!’And everyone heard what the king had said to them about AbSalom.6Well from there, [David’s army] marched into a forest that was directly across from [the army of] IsraEl, and the battle started there in the Woods of Ephraim.7But the army of IsraEl didn’t fare well against the followers of David, for they lost 20,000 of their men, 8as the war raged on throughout the land… And the thick forest killed as many men as were killed with swords that day.9But soon, David’s men caught up with AbSalom. He’d been riding his mule, and the mule had taken off into a dense thicket. There, AbSolom’s head got caught in the branches of an oak tree, which left him hanging between the sky and the ground… The mule just took off and left him hanging there!10Well, when one of the men saw what had happened, he went and told JoAb:‘I’ve found AbSalom! He’s hanging in an oak tree!’11And JoAb said:‘You saw this and you didn’t cut him to the ground?‘I would’ve given you 10 large silver coins if you’d done that!’12But the man told JoAb:‘If you gave me 1,000 large silver coins, I wouldn’t do that! For, I’d never raise a hand against a son of the king!‘And we all heard the king tell you, and both AbiShai and ItTai, to guard the young man AbSalom for him... 13So, it would’ve been wrong for me to kill him!‘For the king would surely hear about it, and then you and I’d find ourselves on opposite sides.’14But JoAb said:‘Well, that’s what’s going to happen… I’m not going to put up with this!’So JoAb took three arrows and shot them into the chest of AbSalom as he was still alive, hanging there in the middle of the oak tree! 15Then 10 of his young men took JoAb’s weapons and stabbed AbSalom [to make sure] that he was dead.16Thereafter, JoAb blew his battle horn to call his people back from their pursuit of IsraEl, because he wanted to spare the rest of the people... 17Then JoAb took AbSalom’s body and threw it into a deep gulley in the forest, and he formed a huge pile of rocks over it as a monument, while the whole army of IsraEl was retreating to their tents.18Now, while AbSalom was still alive, he’d built a monument to himself in the Valley of the Kings; for he said:‘I have no sons to remind people of my name.’So he named the monument after himself, calling it ‘The Hand of AbSalom,’ which is still there today.19Well, after this had all happened, AhiMaAz (son of ZaDok) decided to run and bring the good news to the king that Jehovah had passed judgment on his enemies.20But JoAb told him:‘You shouldn’t bring this as good news today…‘Save that for another day, for it isn’t good news that a son of the king has died.’21Then JoAb told HuShai:‘You should go and tell the king what you’ve seen!’And at that, HuShai bowed before JoAb and left.22However, AhiMaAz (son of ZaDok) said to JoAb:‘Let me run after HuShai!’But JoAb asked:‘Why do you want to do this, my son?‘Come along, for there’s no good news that will be of any benefit to you if you go there.’23And AhiMaAz said:‘But what if I run?’Then JoAb said:‘Okay, then run!’So AhiMaAz ran along the road to KeChar, and he passed HuShai.24Well, David was sitting between the two city gates, as the watchman was on the roof of the gate next to the wall... And when the watchman looked out and saw a man running towards them, 25he yelled and reported it to the king.And the king asked:‘Is he is alone… Is he bringing good news?’Then, as this one was approaching, 26the watchman saw another man running.And he yelled out:‘Look, there’s another man running by himself!’And the king said:‘Surely he’s bringing good news!’27Then the watchman said:‘I see that the man running ahead is AhiMaAz, son of ZaDok… So he must be bringing good news!’28And at that, AhiMaAz yelled to the king:‘Peace!’ ...while he bowed to the ground before the king.Then he said:‘Praise your God Jehovah!‘For he’s shut the mouths of those who’ve raised their hands against my lord, the king.’29So the king asked him:‘Do we now have peace with the young man AbSalom?’And AhiMaAz said:‘Well I saw a large happy crowd standing around the king’s servant JoAb, so I came here.‘However, I’m not sure of all that happened there.’30Then the king said:‘Step aside and stand over there!’So he stepped aside and stood nearby, 31as HuShai came and reported this to the king:‘I have good news to announce to my lord the king!‘For today Jehovah has passed judgment upon all those who’ve opposed you!’32And the king asked HuShai:‘So, how is the young man AbSalom?’And he replied:‘The young man has fared the same as all the enemies who’ve done evil things against my lord, the king!’33Well at this, the king became very upset, so he went up into the room above the gate and wept.He cried:‘O my son AbSalom! O my son! O my son AbSalom!‘Why couldn’t I have died instead of you, AbSalom?‘O my son! O my son!’

    19

    1So thereafter, a message was sent to JoAb that the king was crying and mourning over AbSalom, 2rather than celebrating a victory.And as a result, his people went into mourning too, because they heard that the king was [so disturbed over the death of] his son… 3They just melted away into the city like men who were running from a battle.4Meanwhile, the king refused to show his face, for he kept crying and sobbing:‘O my son AbSalom! AbSalom! O my son!’5Well finally, JoAb went into the king’s house, and said to him:‘You’re disgracing all your servants that fought to save you today, as well as your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your concubines; 6for you’re showing that you love the one who hated you, and that you hate those who love you!‘You’re giving the impression that your leaders and your servants are nothing, and you’d prefer it if AbSalom were alive today while all the rest of us were dead!7‘Now, get up and go outside, then talk to your servants and tell them how you really feel!‘For I swear by Jehovah that unless you go out there today, there won’t be a man standing with you tonight.‘Realize that the evil you’re doing here is worse that all the other evil things that have happened to you since you were young!’8Well at that, the king went out and sat down at the [city] gate.And then all the people started shouting:‘Look, the king is sitting at the gate.’So then, all his people gathered to him there.Now, [AbSalom’s men], the army of IsraEl, had all retreated to their tents, 9and these tribes of IsraEl had started discussing matters, saying:‘King David was the one who rescued us from our enemies, and he saved us from the hands of the Philistines... But then he had to flee the land and his kingdom, because he was running from AbSalom.10‘However, now that AbSalom (whom we anointed to be [our king]) has died in the battle, we should just quietly return to the king.’So thereafter, all IsraEl then returned to the king.11Then King David sent for ZaDok and AbiAthar (the Priests), and he said:‘Speak to the elders of Judah and ask them why they’re the last ones to welcome their king back.’Well, as a result, these words of the king were spread throughout all IsraEl.12For he’d said:‘My brothers,‘You are my own flesh and bones, so why are you the last ones to welcome the king back to his palace?13‘Are you now going to turn to AmaSa and say, ‘You are our flesh and bones’? No!‘May God curse me and add more to it, if the one in charge of my armies is anyone except JoAb.’14Well, this turned the hearts of all the men of Judah, and they sent a message to the king saying:‘You and all your servants should return to us!’15So at that, the king traveled towards the JorDan, and all the men of Judah came to GilGal to welcome him and to accompany him across [the river].16ShiMei (son of Gera, son of the BenJaminite from BaUrim) hurried with his men of Judah to meet King David, 17and he brought along 1,000 men from BenJamin, as well as Ziba (the servant of the house of Saul) and his 15 sons and 20 servants.They all went straight to the king at the JorDan 18to officially welcome him as he crossed the ford (in order to satisfy his family, and to do the right thing in his eyes).Then ShiMei (son of Gera) fell to his face before the king at the JorDan and said:19‘Please, my lord,‘Forgive the lawless way that your servant acted when the king left JeruSalem… Please put it out of your heart, 20for your servant knows that he’s sinned!‘Now look; I’ve come here before all IsraEl and the house of JoSeph today, to welcome back my lord the king.’21But AbiShai (son of ZeruJah) asked:‘Shouldn’t ShiMei be put to death for cursing the anointed of Jehovah?’22And David said:‘Why are you sons of ZeruJah always coming to me with plots?‘No man of IsraEl will be put to death today, for I still don’t know whether I’m even their ruler!’23Then the king said to ShiMei, ‘You won’t die,’ and he swore this in an oath to him.24Well thereafter, MephiBosheth (JoNathan’s son and Saul’s grandson) came to welcome the king... However, he hadn’t washed his feet, cut his nails, or trimmed his mustache, and his clothes hadn’t been washed since the day he left to ask the king for peace.25So when he came from JeruSalem to greet him, the king asked:‘Why didn’t you come along with me, MephiBosheth?’26And MephiBosheth answered:‘O my lord, O king,‘It was because my servant had misled me.‘When I told him to saddle my burro and help me mount it, because your servant is lame, to go with the king, 27he wouldn’t do it!‘However, my lord the king is as a messenger of God; so, do whatever’s good in your eyes!28‘But, back when there was no one else left of the my father’s house, other than those who deserved death from my lord the king, you allowed your servant to eat at your table!‘So, what reason would I have to speak out against the king?’29And the king said to him:‘Why are you still talking?‘From now on, you must give your field to Ziba!’30And MephiBosheth said:‘Yes, may he take everything, now that my lord the king is returning in peace to his palace.’31Then BarZilLai (the GileAdite) came to the king at the JorDan from RogelLim, to accompany him on his way back home. 32BarZilLai was very old (80 years old), but he’d fed the king while he was living in ManaIm, because he was very wealthy.33So the king said to BarZilLai:‘Now, come to JeruSalem with me, and I’ll care for you in your old age.’34But BarZilLai said to the king:‘How many years do you think I have left, so that I should travel with the king to JeruSalem?35‘Since I’m 80 years old today, how could I really appreciate what you’re doing? Can I still enjoy the taste of the food and drink that you’ll offer me?‘Or can I still enjoy the voices of men and women singing?‘Why should I burden my lord the king?36‘So, your servant will just travel with the king for a short way to the JorDan… What greater reward or payment can you give me? 37Let your servant stay here to die in my own city and to be buried with my father and mother!‘But look; your servant’s son CamaAm will cross [the JorDan] with my lord the king… Please do for him whatever you find good in your eyes.’38And the king said:‘Then let CamaAm cross over with me, and I’ll do what’s good in my eyes for him… I’ll do whatever you ask of me.’39Well, as all the people were crossing the JorDan, the king also prepared to cross... Then he kissed BarZilLai and blest him, and he returned to his people.40And as the king was crossing over towards GilGal, CamaAm crossed [the river] with him, along with all the people of Judah and half of the people of IsraEl.41But then men from IsraEl approached the king and asked him:‘Why did you allow our brothers of Judah to steal you and help the king, his household, and his army to cross the JorDan?’42And the men from Judah shouted:‘Because the king is our close relative!‘Why are you so irritated about this?‘Has the king given us any more food, or gifts, or brought us a tribute?’43Then at that, the men of IsraEl replied:‘Since we have 10 [tribes] that serve the king, and since we’re the firstborn, how do you have [a greater claim] to David?‘We even came here [to welcome him back] before you did!‘So, why are you insulting us by not allowing us to be the first to escort the king?’However, the men of Judah just shouted the men of IsraEl down.

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    1Well, there was a man who was referred to as the ‘Son of a Criminal,’ and his name was SabeE son of BoChori, a BenJaminite.He then blew his horn and shouted:‘David [doesn’t have any respect] for us, nor does this son of JesSe have an inheritance for us!‘Therefore, men of IsraEl, let’s all return to our tents!’2And at that, all the men of IsraEl who were following David turned and started following The Son of BoChori! However, the men of Judah stuck by their king [and followed him] from the JorDan to JeruSalem.3Well, when David arrived at his palace in JeruSalem, he then took the 10 concubines whom he’d left to guard the house, and he had them put under guard. He took care of them, but he never went to bed with them after that.So they lived in custody as widows until the day that they died.4Thereafter, the king then said to AmaSa (the man who had served as the commander-in-chief of AbSalom’s army):‘Call the army of Judah to assemble here in three days… And I want you to return here.’5So AmaSa went and called [the army of] Judah, but he stayed away longer than David told him that he should, 6because David had told AmaSa that he was going to do something worse to The Son of BoChori than had been done to AbSalom.He told him to gather his servants and chase the man down before he could find a fortified city [where they couldn’t reach him]. 7So, JoAb’s men (the Cherethites, the Phelethites, and all the mightiest of his warriors) went to get AmaSa, and they’d also left JeruSalem to chase down The Son of BoChori.8Well, when they reached Great Stone in GibeOn, they found AmaSa standing there before them... Now, JoAb was dressed in full uniform, carrying a sword in its sheath, but [he let] the sword slide out and fall [to the ground].9Then JoAb asked AmaSa:‘Are you in good health, O brother?’Then he grabbed AmaSa’s beard with his right hand as if to kiss him 10(for AmaSa didn’t notice the [other] sword in JoAb’s other hand), and JoAb stuck the sword into his belly, pouring his guts out on the ground!Then he stabbed him a second time, killing him.Well after that, JoAb and his brother AbiShai got ready to chase after The Son of BoChori. 11And then one of JoAb’s servants stood up next to him and shouted to those who had been in AmaSa’s army:‘Which of you are on JoAb’s side and which of you are for David? Let them follow JoAb!’12Well, AmaSa was lying there dead in the middle of the road covered in blood, so one of his men carried his body from the road into a field and covered it with a cape, to keep people from coming there and stopping to look at it.13And after he took the body out of the road, all the men of IsraEl went with JoAb to hunt down The Son of BoChori.14Meanwhile, [The Son of BoChori] had traveled throughout all the tribes of IsraEl on his way to Abel BethMacha... 15And after he got there, JoAb formed to attack him in that city, building a ramp around its wall, because he planned to tear the walls down.16But a wise woman yelled from the wall:‘Listen! Listen! Tell JoAb to come here, because I want to speak to him!’17So he got up close to her, and the woman asked:‘Are you JoAb?’And he said:‘I am.’Then she said:‘Listen to what your servant has to say!’And JoAb said:‘I’m listening.’18So she said:‘There’s an old saying that goes:If you just choose to ask Abel,All of your problems will be solved.19‘Now, I’m one of the peaceful ones who supports of IsraEl; however, you’re still planning to destroy our city… And a mother-city of IsraEl, at that!‘So, why would you want to sink the inheritance of Jehovah?’20And JoAb replied:‘Unless you people are kind and friendly with me, I’ll not only sink it, I’ll totally destroy it!21‘For, isn’t this the place where a man from the hills of Ephraim who’s called The Son of BoChori is staying? This one who lifted his hand against King David?‘Hand him over to me personally, and I’ll leave your city!’And the woman said to JoAb:‘Look! I’ll toss his head over the wall to you.’22So the woman went to her people and told everyone in the city about her wise plan... Then they cut off the head of The Son of BoChori and tossed it to JoAb!And at that, JoAb blew his horn and all his men went back to their tents, while he returned to the king at JeruSalem.23After that, [David once again put] JoAb in charge of all the armies of IsraEl.Then he put:• BenaiJah son of JehoiAda over the Cherethites and the Phelethites,24AdoniRam in charge of the tributes, and• JoSaphat son of AchiLuth in charge of the records.25[Also:]• Susa was his scribe,• ZaDok and AbiAthar were the Priests, 26and• Iras son of JaRin was David’s personal Priest.

    21

    1Well, there came three consecutive years of famine during the days of David, so he asked Jehovah, and the Lord said:‘This is happening because the house of Saul was guilty of shedding [innocent] blood when he killed the GibeOnites.’2So the king called the GibeOnites, and he said:‘You GibeOnites [really] aren’t IsraElites, you’re just what remains of the Amorites! However, although the sons of IsraEl swore an oath to your people, Saul attacked you in his zeal for the sons of IsraEl and Judah.’3Then David asked them:‘So, what must I do for you… What must I do to [pay for our sins], and to get you to bless the inheritance of Jehovah?’4And the GibeOnites replied:‘The problem can’t be paid for with silver or gold by Saul and his house, and none of [his family] remain anywhere in IsraEl whom we can put to death.’5So [David] again asked:‘Then, what can I do for you?’And they told the king:‘[Saul] would have finished us off!‘For he chased us down, tried to trick us, and he attempted to wipe us out!‘Therefore, we’d like to remove [any trace] of him, so that his ways won’t endure anywhere within the borders of IsraEl... 6Please give us seven of his descendants, and we’ll hang them in the sun before Jehovah, there in Saul’s town of GibeOn!’Then the king promised:‘I’ll give them to you.’7However, the king [had promised to] spare MephiBosheth (JoNathan’s son, and Saul’s grandson), because of the oath that they’d sworn before Jehovah… The one between David and JoNathan (Saul’s son).8So the king took [Saul’s sons] ErMoni and MephiBosheth ([who’s mother was] ResPha, who was the daughter of Saul’s concubine AiAh’s), plus the five sons of Saul’s daughter Michol (whom she’d born to EsdriEl son of BarZilLai the Moulathite), 9and handed them over to the GibeOnites, who hung them on the mountain in the sun before Jehovah.And there they died, all seven of them together!Well, this happened at the beginning of the barley harvest.10So ResPha (AiAh’s daughter) took sackcloth and made a bed for herself on the rock [beneath the dead bodies of the hanging men], [and she stayed there] from the beginning of the barley harvest until water from God dripped from the sky… She didn’t let the birds to rest on them during the day, nor the wild animals to come during the night.11Then, everything that ResPha (Saul’s concubine AiAh’s daughter) was doing was reported to David. 12So David had the bones of Saul and his son JoNathan taken from the sons of JabIsh GileAd (which they’d stolen from BethSan’s city square where the Philistines had put them after killing Saul at GilBoa), 13and they also gathered the bones of the men who’d been hung in the sun [by the GibeOnites], 14and carried all their bones (those of Saul, JoNathan, and the men who were hung in the sun) to the land of BenJamin, where they were buried on the side of a hill, in the tomb of Kish, Saul’s father.They did exactly as the king told them... And after that, God started paying attention to the land once again.15Meanwhile, there was still a state of war between the Philistines and IsraEl, so David took his men and went to fight the Philistines (however, by then David’s health had started to decline).16Meanwhile, JesBi (who was a descendant of Rapha) had a brass spear that weighed as much as 300 large silver coins, and he was wearing heavy armor when he decided to attack David... 17But AbiShai son of ZeruJah came to David’s aid and he struck down the Philistine, killing him.And that’s when David’s men swore an oath to him saying:‘You may never again come with us to a battle, so that the lamp of IsraEl won’t be extinguished!’18Well at the time, the war with the Philistines was still being fought at Gath, where SeboCha (the AstaTothite) eventually conquered the descendants of the ‘giants.’ 19They were also fighting the Philistines at Gob, which is where Ari’s son EleAnan killed LachMi, GoliAth the GitTite’s brother (whose spear was as large as a weaving loom).20Then, as the battle raged on in Gath, a man from Madon who had 6 fingers on each hand and 6 toes on each foot (for a total of 24), the son of Rapha, 21came and shouted insults at IsraEl... However, JoNathan (son of David’s brother ShimeAh) cut him down!22All of these men were descendants of the ‘giants’ in Gath from the house of Rapha, but David and his servants had cut them all down.

    22

    1Then, after the Lord had rescued David from the hands of Saul and all his enemies, he sang this song to Jehovah:2‘Jehovah’s my rock and my fortress…He’s the One who comes to my rescue.3My God is a guard that’s before me;So, upon Him, I’ll lean.4‘He’s the One who defends me;He’s the trumpet of my salvation…My shield and refuge from the unrighteous.‘You deserve all the praise, for You saved me;Since I called to the Lord and was saved.5For, deadly battles had me surrounded,And by lawless dry streams, I was upset.6Fear of death, had me enwrapped,And I awaited the harshness of death.7‘But, in my pain, I called to Jehovah;Yes, I yelled to my God,And from His House, He listened to me…My voice and my cries reached His ears.8‘Then the ground started to tremble,And the skies were disturbed by His anger.9Smoke ascended, because of His rage;And the fire from His mouth became so consumingThat even the coals burned away.10‘He leaned on the sky and it fell,As darkness was under His feet.11He mounted a cherub upon its spread wings,And was seen on the wings of the winds.12‘He concealed Himself in the gloom of His Tent,And in the darkness of waters.Then, He thickened the clouds in the sky,13As the brightness before Him lit fires.14‘He thundered from out of the sky…He shouted down from His place in the heights.15Then He grabbed His arrows and shot them…With flashes of lightning, He scared them away.16‘Then the things in the sea were exposed,As were the foundations of the earth.[God] sent His accusations among them…The breath of the spirit of His rage.17‘From up above, He then grabbed me and took me…He lifted me from those deep waters.18He rescued me from my enemies’ strength…From those by whom I was hated.19‘He saw all the problems I faced,And Jehovah became my foundation.20He provided a space and He saved me…He chose to do good on my behalf.21‘Jehovah has rewarded all my righteous ways…It’s the reward of undefiled hands.22For I’ve paid attention to His ways…Before my God, I’ve showed deep respect.23‘I’ve kept His decisions before me,And I’ve never turned from His Laws.24So I’ll stand before Him unblemished,And away from the lawless, I’ll stay.25‘And Jehovah will reward meAccording to my righteous ways,Yes, before His eyes,According to my undefiled hands.26‘With the holy, You’ll always be holy;And with the perfect, You’ll always be perfect;27The elected, You’ll treat as Your chosen,And to the crooked, You’ll send crooked ways.28‘By You, the poor will be saved,And You’ll humble the eyes of the proud.29By You, O Jehovah, my lamp will be lit…My Lord sends me light in the darkness.30‘So in You, I’ll run lightly armed,And by my God, I’ll pass over walls.31For, flawless are the ways of the Almighty,And the sayings of Jah are very refined.‘He’s the defender of all who obey Him;32And who’s as strong as Jehovah?For, who other than our God can create;33Since, He alone is the Almighty.‘He strengthens me with His power,And removes the flaws of my ways.34He sets my feet firm like a stag,And into the heights, He then lifts me.35‘He teaches my hands to fight battles,And to break brass bows with my arms.36He gives me a shield to protect me…Because I obeyed Him, He made me strong.37He enlarges my footsteps beneath me,And my trembling knees, He [makes firm].38‘So, I’ll pursue and remove,And I’ll not return ‘til they’re gone.39I’ll crush them and then they won’t rise again…They’ll fall [to the ground] under my feet.40‘You’ll strengthen me for great battles,And bend those who rise from beneath me.41All my enemies, You’ve handed to me,And You’ve broken the backs of all those who hate me.42‘They yelled, but [God] didn’t come to their aid;For to them, He never would listen.43So I ground them to dust on the ground,And made them fine like the mud in the streets.44‘You saved me when men came to fight me,And appointed me head over nations.So, people I didn’t know came to serve me…45Then they listened and did as I asked.46‘The sons of liars will reel,And into confinement, they’ll stumble.47As Jehovah lives; may my Great Guard be praised…May my God who guards me, be exalted.48‘For, Jehovah is strong and sends vengeance…He corrects the people who serve me.49From those who hate me, He lifts me away…He lifts me high over those who oppose me.‘From unrighteous men, You’ll save me,50And for this, to the nations, I’ll praise You.‘O Jehovah!‘I’ll strum tunes to Your Name,51For You saved Your king in great awesome ways…You’ve shown mercy to Your anointedTo David and his offspring throughout the ages.’

    23

    1And those were the last words of David.David son of JesSe was a trustworthy man whom the Lord had elevated to the position of the anointed of the God of Jacob.He also wrote many of the beautiful psalms of IsraEl… Such as:2‘Through me, spoke the Breath of Jehovah,And His words were there on my tongue.3It was IsraEl’s God who guards us,And who gave this parable to me.‘I once asked this of a man:How can I teach you to fear [God’s] anointed?4For it’s God who brings light in the morning…The sun as it rises into the day,And after its brightness, it then fades away.‘He’s the One who sends us the rainThat causes tender shoots to sprout from the ground.5And He’s the One who made my house strong…Who made it stand throughout the agesThrough the promise that He gave to me.‘He’s the One who guarded and saved me,So I’ll serve Jehovah and not break His Laws.6For, thorn-bushes couldn’t stand and oppose me;And by the hands of men, they were taken away.7‘Although there were some who worked hardTurning iron and wood into spears;These things were then burned in the flames…In their shame, they all were consumed.’8These are the names of the three mighty ones of David:JeBosthe the CanaAnite, who was the greatest of the three.He [was also known as] AdiNon the Asonite; for he was the one who unsheathed his broadsword and killed 800 men in one battle.9EliYanan (AdiNin’s nephew).He was with David in SeiRa when he berated the Philistines while they gathered for war against him. It was then that this man of IsraEl went right up to them 10and kept killing Philistines until his hand got tired... So he tied his sword to his hand [and kept fighting].Jehovah gave him a great victory that day, and the only reason why the rest of the people had to return to [the field] was just to strip the dead.11SamaiJa son of Asa the Arachite.When the Philistines went to Theria and people there were picking lentils in a field, they all ran from the Philistines... 12But he stood there like a stone monument in the middle of the field and protected it, cutting down the Philistines in a great victory!13It was these three (from among the 30 of the leaders) who went to David when he was at Kason in the cave of OdolLam, as the Philistines camped [against him] in the Valley of Rephaim.14Also, when David was in the citadel and the Philistines were in BethLehem, 15and David [got thirsty] and asked:‘Who’ll go to the well that’s at the city gate in BethLehem to get me some water to drink?’[Yes,] although all the Philistines were assembled in BethLehem!16It was these same three mighty ones who tore up the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well that was in BethLehem, and brought it to David.However, he wouldn’t drink it and offered it to Jehovah instead.17For he said:‘Please be kind to me, O Jehovah, for offering this.‘How could I drink it after these men risked their blood and their lives to bring it to me?’So he didn’t drink it. And it was these three mighty ones did these things.18Now, AbiShai son of ZeruJah (JoAb’s brother) was above the three. And because he’d killed 300 men, he was also considered to be with the three. 19He was never part of the group, but he was the most highly regarded, so he was put in charge over them.20Then there was BenaiJah son of JehoiAda.He also did many marvelous things. For at KabeseEl, he struck down the two sons of AriEl the Moabite. And he’s the one who went and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day!21He also cut down a remarkable Egyptian man who carried a wooden spear that was as large as a ladder... He went right up to him with a rod, grabbed the wooden spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his [own] spear!22Yes, these are things that BenaiJah son of JehoiAda did, and that’s why he was also considered among the mighty ones. 23So, he was viewed one of the three, but he was never part of their group... Although he was given more honor, for David had appointed him [to be the head of his guards].24And these are names of the [other] mighty ones of King David:• AshaEl, JoAb’s brother (who was also one of the 30),• ElAnan (son of his uncle Dudi of BethLehem),25SamAi the Arudite,26Seles the KelOthite,• Iras (son of EkKas the Thekoite),27AbiEzer the AnathOthite (from the sons of the Asothites),28ElLon the Awiite,• MoOr the NetoPhathite,29Ethi (son of Riba of GabeOth, son of BenJamin the Ephrathite),30Adroi of the Brooks,31GadabiEl (son of the ArabOthite),• AzMoth the BarSamite,32The sons of EliAsou the Salabonite:• Jaban, and• JoNathan.33SamNan the Arodite,• Acian (son of Arai the SaraUrite),34AlipPhaleth (the son the Asbitite and grandson of MaAchathi),• EliAb (son of AhiThophel the Gelonite),35AsarAi the CarMelite of Uraeoerchi,36GaAl (son of Nathan, a powerful son of Galaaddi),37ElYe the Ammanite,• GelorAi the BerOthite (who was the arms bearer for JoAb son of ZeruJah),38Iras the Jethirite,• Gareb the Ethenite, and39UriAh the Hittite.In all, they numbered 37 [mighty men].

    24

    1Well thereafter, the anger of Jehovah started to burn in IsraEl, because David was moved to say, ‘Go and take a census of IsraEl and Judah!’2Yes, the king had said to JoAb (who was in charge of the army):‘Go throughout all the tribes of IsraEl and Judah from Dan to BeerSheba, and count all the men, so I’ll know how many there are.’3But JoAb said to the king:‘May Jehovah your God add to your people, and may you find that they’ve grown to be 100 times greater. However, my Lord the king; why would you want to do such a thing?’4But the king refused to listen to JoAb and to those who were in charge of his army, so JoAb and his men left the presence of the king and went to take a census of the people of IsraEl.5They crossed the JorDan and camped to the right of AroEr in the ravine of Gad and EliEzer... 6Then they went to GileAd and into the land of ThaBason (AdasSai)... And from there, they traveled to DaniDan and UDan, and they camped around Sidon... 7Then they traveled to MapSar of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites and CanaAnites; and finally, they went to the south of Judah, into BeerSheba.8So they traveled throughout the entire land, returning to JeruSalem at the end of 9 months and 20 days, 9and JoAb gave the numbers of the people to the king.Altogether, he found that there were 800,000 men in the armies of IsraEl who carried the broadsword, plus 500,000 warriors from Judah.10Well, after the census was completed, David [became ashamed] of what he’d done, and he said to Jehovah:‘I’ve really sinned by doing this thing... However, O Lord, please overlook this lawlessness on the part of your servant, for I was very foolish!’11But when David got up the next morning, [he found that] the Word of Jehovah had come to the prophet Gad (the Seer), who was told:12‘Go and speak to David.‘Tell him that this is what Jehovah said:‘I’m giving you your choice of three [penalties]. You must choose the one you prefer, and I’ll then bring it against you!’13So Gad went to David and told him:‘Choose for yourself which of these is going to come upon you:1. Three years of famine in our land,2. Three months when your enemies will chase you and you’ll run from them, or3. Three days of death in your land.‘Now, give me a reply for the One who sent me.’14And David said to Gad:‘Those are all tough choices, but of the three, I choose to put myself into the hands of Jehovah, because He’s very compassionate... He will never allow me to fall into the hands of [my enemies].’15So David chose the death.Now, it was the season of the wheat harvest when Jehovah sent death throughout IsraEl from the morning until dinnertime. Devastation started among the people, killing 70,000 men from Dan to BeerSheba.16Then the messenger of God turned his hand towards JeruSalem… To destroy it! However, [Jehovah then forgave] the evil that was done, and He said to the messenger that was destroying the people,‘That’s enough!’Well at the time, the messenger of Jehovah was at the threshing-floor of Orna the Jebusite. 17And David said to Jehovah (when he saw the messenger striking the people):‘Look… I was the one who did the wrong!‘Yes, I’m the shepherd who sinned, and these are just the sheep… What have they done? May Your hand come against me and the house of my father instead!’18Then Gad came to David that day and said to him:‘Now, go and erect an Altar to Jehovah at the threshing-floor of Orna the Jebusite.’19So, following the instructions of the prophet Gad, he did what the Lord told him to do. 20And when Orna saw the king and his servants coming towards him, he bowed before the king with his face to the ground.21Then Orna asked:‘Why is my lord the king coming to his servant?’And David replied:‘I’m here to buy your threshing-floor from you in order to build an Altar to Jehovah, so that He will stop destroying the people.’22And Orna said to David:‘Then, take it and offer it to Jehovah, my lord the king… Do whatever is good in your eyes!‘Look, here are some oxen to sacrifice as whole burnt-offerings… And use the wooden [ox-cart] and its wheels to burn [the sacrifices]!’23So Orna offered it all to the king.And he said:‘May Jehovah your God bless you.’24But the king said to Orna:‘No, I want to purchase it from you for a price, because I won’t offer a whole burnt-offering to Jehovah my God free-of-charge.’So, David bought the threshing floor and the oxen, paying for it with 50 large silver coins... 25And there he built an Altar to Jehovah, where he sacrificed whole burnt offerings and peace offerings.Then [later on], Solomon added to the size of the Altar, because it was small at first. But [Jehovah’s favor] returned to the land, and He ended the devastation that He was bringing upon IsraEl.


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