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(2sa 18:1) And David numbered the people that {were} with him, and set captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds over them.
(2sa 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 unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also.
(2sa 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 succour us out of the city.
(2sa 18:4) And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
(2sa 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.
(2sa 18:6) So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim;
(2sa 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}.
(2sa 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 sword devoured.
(2sa 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 taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that {was} under him went away.
(2sa 18:10) And a certain man saw {it}, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.
(2sa 18:11) And Joab said unto 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.
(2sa 18:12) And the man said unto Joab, Though I should receive a thousand {shekels} of silver in mine hand, {yet} would I not put forth mine 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.
(2sa 18:13) Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against {me}.
(2sa 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.
(2sa 18:15) And ten young men that bare Joab's armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him.
(2sa 18:16) And Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing after Israel: for Joab held back the people.
(2sa 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.
(2sa 18:18) Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up 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 unto this day, Absalom's place.
(2sa 18:19) Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok, Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the Lord hath avenged him of his enemies.
(2sa 18:20) And Joab said unto 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.
(2sa 18:21) Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran.
(2sa 18:22) Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?
(2sa 18:23) But howsoever, {said he}, Let me run. And he said unto him, Run. Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran Cushi.
(2sa 18:24) And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.
(2sa 18:25) And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he {be} alone, {there is} tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near.
(2sa 18:26) And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold {another} man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings.
(2sa 18:27) And the watchman said, Me thinketh 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 tidings.
(2sa 18:28) And Ahimaaz called, and said unto 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, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king.
(2sa 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 was}.
(2sa 18:30) And the king said {unto him}, Turn aside, {and} stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still.
(2sa 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.
(2sa 18:32) And the king said unto Cushi, {Is} the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do {thee} hurt, be as {that} young man {is}.
(2sa 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! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
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