18:1 And David numbered the people that [were] with him, and set
over them captains of thousands and captains of hundreds.
18:2 And David sent forth a third part of the people under the
hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the
son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand
of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, I will
surely go forth with you myself also.
18:3 But the people answered, Thou shalt not go forth: for if we
flee away, they will not care for us; neither if half of us
die, will they care for us: but now [thou art] worth ten
thousand of us: therefore now [it is] better that thou shouldst
succor us out of the city.
18:4 And the king said to them, What seemeth to you best I will
do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people
came out by hundreds and by thousands.
18:5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying,
[Deal] gently for my sake with the young man, [even] with
Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the
captains charge concerning Absalom.
18:6 So the people went out into the field against Israel: and
the battle was in the wood of Ephraim;
18:7 Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants
of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of
twenty thousand [men].
18:8 For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the
country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the
18:9 And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode
upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a
great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was
suspended between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that
[was] under him went away.
18:10 And a certain man saw [it], and told Joab, and said,
Behold, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak.
18:11 And Joab said to the man that told him, And behold, thou
sawest [him], and why didst thou not smite him there to the
ground? and I would have given thee ten [shekels] of silver,
and a girdle.
18:12 And the man said to Joab, Though I should receive a
thousand [shekels] of silver in my hand, [yet] would I not put
forth my hand against the king's son: for in our hearing the
king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that
none [touch] the young man Absalom.
18:13 Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against my own
life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou
thyself wouldst have set thyself against [me].
18:14 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he
took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart
of Absalom, while he [was] yet alive in the midst of the oak.
18:15 And ten young men that bore Joab's armor compassed about
and smote Absalom, and slew him.
18:16 And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from
pursuing Israel: for Joab restrained the people.
18:17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in
the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him: and
all Israel fled every one to his tent.
18:18 Now Absalom in his life-time had taken and raised for
himself a pillar, which [is] in the king's dale: for he said, I
have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the
pillar after his own name: and it is called to this day,
18:19 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and
inform the king, how the LORD hath avenged himself of his
18:20 And Joab said to him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this
day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou
shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead.
18:21 Then said Joab to Cushi, Go, tell the king what thou hast
seen. And Cushi bowed himself to Joab, and ran.
18:22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But
however, let me also, I pray thee, run after Cushi. And Joab
said, Why wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no
18:23 But however, [said he], let me run. And he said to him,
Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran
18:24 And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went
up to the roof over the gate to the wall, and lifted up his
eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.
18:25 And the watchman called, and told the king. And the king
said, If he [is] alone [there is] tidings in his mouth. And he
came apace, and drew near.
18:26 And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman
called to the porter, and said, Behold [another] man running
alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings.
18:27 And the watchman said, I think the running of the foremost
is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king
said, He [is] a good man, and cometh with good news.
18:28 And Ahimaaz called, and said to the king, All is well. And
he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and
said, Blessed [be] the LORD thy God, who hath delivered up the
men that raised their hand against my lord the king.
18:29 And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And
Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and [me]
thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what [it
18:30 And the king said [to him], Turn aside, [and] stand here.
And he turned aside, and stood still.
18:31 And behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord
the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them
that rose up against thee.
18:32 And the king said to Cushi, [Is] the young man Absalom
safe? And Cushi answered, May the enemies of my lord the king,
and all that rise against thee to do [thee] hurt, be as [that]
young man [is].
18:33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber
over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son
Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! O that I had died for thee, O
Absalom, my son, my son!