Joab cleverly arranged for Absalom to return
1 Joab realized that the king yearned [IDI] to see Absalom. 2 So Joab sent someone to Tekoa town and he brought back a women who was very clever. Joab said to her, “Pretend that you are grieving about someone who has died. Put on clothes that show that you are mourning. Do not put any lotion/ointment on your body. Act like you are a woman who has been mourning for a long time. 3 And go to the king, and tell him what I tell you to say.” Then Joab told her what to say [MTY] to the king.
4 So the woman from Tekoa went to the king. She prostrated herself in from of him and then bowed down to him, and said, “Your Majesty, help me!”
5 The king replied, “What is your problem?” She replied, “Please, sir, I am a widow. My husband died some time ago. 6 I had two sons. But one day they quarreled with each other out in the fields. There was no one to separate them, and one of them struck the other one and killed him. 7 Now, all my family oppose me. They are insisting that I put my other son into their hands in order that they may get revenge for him killing his brother. But if they do that, I will not have any son to inherit my possessions. That would be like [MET] extinguishing the last coals of a fire, and my husband would not have a son to preserve the family name [DOU].”
8 Then the king said to the woman, “Go back home; I will take care of the matter for you.”
9 The woman from Tekoa replied to the king, “Your Majesty, whatever you do, my family and I will accept the blame. You and the royal family will ◄be innocent/not have done what is wrong►.
10 The king said to her, If anyone says anything to threaten you, bring that person to me, and I will make sure that he will never bother you again.”
11 Then she said, ‘Your Majesty, please pray that Yahweh your God will not allow my relative, who wants to get revenge on my son for killing his brother, to be able to do that.”
David replied, “Just as surely as Yahweh lives, your son will not be harmed at all [IDI].” 12 Then the woman said, “Your Majesty, please allow me to say one more thing to you.” He replied, “Speak!”
13 The woman said, “So why have you done such a bad thing to God's people? You have not allowed your son Absalom to return home. By saying what you have just said, you have declared that what you yourself have done is wrong. 14 We all die; we are like [SIM] water that cannot be picked up after it is spilled on the ground. After we die, we cannot become alive again. Even God does not cause people who have died to become alive again. So Amnon cannot become alive again. But God will create ways for those who have been exiled to return to their own homes.
15 Now, Your Majesty, I have come to you because others have threatened me. So I said to myself, ‘I will talk to the king, and perhaps he will do what I ask him to do.' 16 I was sure that you would listen to me, and save me from the man who is trying to kill my son, which would result in us disappearing from the land that God gave to us.
17 And I thought, ‘What the king says will comfort/encourage me, because the king is like an angel of God. He knows what is good and what is evil.’ So I pray/desire that Yahweh our God will ◄be with/direct► you.”
18 Then the king said to the woman, “I will now ask you question. Answer it, and tell me the truth[LIT].” The woman replied, “Your majesty, ask your question.”
19 The king said, “Was Joab the one who told you to do this?” She replied, “Yes, Your Majesty, just as surely as you live, I cannot say anything to avoid saying what is true. Yes, indeed it was Joab who told me to come here, and who told me what to say. 20 He did it in order to solve the problem in a different way. Your Majesty, you are as wise as God's angels, and you know everything that happens on the earth.”
21 Then the king summoned Joab and said to him, “Listen! I have decided to do what you want. So go and get that young man Absalom and bring him back to Jerusalem.”
22 Joab prostrated himself on the ground, and then bowed down before the king, and asked God to bless him. Then Joab said, “Your Majesty, today I know that you are pleased me, because you have agreed to do what I requested.”
23 Then Joab got up and went to Geshur, and got Absalom and brought him back to Jerusalem. 24 But the king commanded that Absalom would not be permitted to live in the palace. He said, “I do not want him to come to see me.” So Absalom lived in his own house, and did not go to talk to the king.
25 In all of Israel there was no one whom people admired for his handsome appearance more that Absalom. There were no imperfections on his body, from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. 26 His hair was very thick, and he cut it only once each year, when it became very heavy on him. He would weigh the hair that he cut off using the standard weights, and it always weighed about five pounds. 27 Absalom had three sons and one daughter named Tamar. She was a very beautiful woman.
28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem, and during that time he never went to see the king. 29 So he sent a messenger to go to Joab to ask him to come to him to talk about him, but Joab refused to come. So Absalom sent a message to him a second time, but he still would not come.
30 Then Absalom said to his servants, “You know that Joab's field is next to mine, and that he has barley growing there. Go and light a fire there.” So Absalom's servants went there and lit a fire.
31 Joab knew who had done it, so he went to Absalom's house and said to him, “Why have your servants lit a fire in my field?” 32 Absalom replied, “Because you did not come to me when I sent messages to you. I wanted to request that you go to the king to say to him, ‘Absalom wants to know what good it did for him [RHQ] to leave Geshur and come here. He thinks it would have been better for him to stay there. He wants you to allow him to talk to you. And if you think that he has done something that is wrong, you can command that he be executed.'’” 33 So Joab went to the king, and told him what Absalom had said. Then the kingsummoned Absalom, and he came to the king and knelt down in front of him with his face touching the ground. Then the king kissed Absalom.