1Now Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart was toward Absalom.
2So Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman and said to her, “Please act like a mourner and put on mourning clothing and do not anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman who has been mourning a long time for the dead.
3Then go to the king and speak like this to him.” So Joab put the words in her mouth.
5And the king said to her, “What is your trouble?” She answered, “Truly, I am a widow and my husband is dead.
6Your servant had two sons and they scuffled together in the field and there was no one to part them, and the one struck down the other and killed him.
7Now, behold, the whole clan has risen against your servant, and they are saying, ‘Give up the man who struck down his brother, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed, and so we will eliminate the heir also!’ Thus they would quench my coal that is left and would leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.”
11Then she said, “Please let the king invoke Yahweh your God that the avenger of blood will not increase the loss, lest they destroy my son.” He said, “As Yahweh lives, not one hair of your son will fall to the ground.”
13Then the woman said, “Why then have you thought such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one.
14For we will all die, yes, die, and are like water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered up again. But God does not take away life, but thinks of ways so that the one who is banished not be banished from him.
15“Now I have come to speak this word to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. So your servant said to herself, ‘I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will act on the word of his servant.’
16For the king will hear and deliver his servant out of the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together, away from the inheritance of God.
17Then your female servant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king bring rest; for like an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad. May Yahweh your God be with you.’”
19Then the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” The woman answered, “As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken, for your servant Joab, he commanded me—he himself put all these words in the mouth of your servant.
20Your servant Joab did this thing in order to change the face of the situation. My lord is wise, like the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are on the earth.”
22Joab fell to the ground on his face, and paid homage and blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your eyes, my lord king, in that the king has done what his servant requested.”
23So Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
24The king said, “Let him return to his own house, but he is not to see my face!” So Absalom returned to his own house but did not see the king’s face.
25Now in all Israel there was none to be so highly praised for his beauty as Absalom; from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
26When he shaved his head—for it was at the end of the year every year that he shaved it because it was heavy on him, so he shaved it—he weighed the hair of his head at 200 shekel weight, according to the king’s weighing stone.
27To Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a woman of beautiful appearance.
28Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, but he did not see the king’s face.
29Then Absalom sent for Joab to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. So he sent again, a second time, but he would not come.
30Then he said to his servants, “Behold, Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
32And Absalom answered Joab, “Behold, I sent to you, saying, Come here, so that I can send you to the king to say, ‘Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there.’ So now, let me see the king’s face; and if there is iniquity in me, let him put me to death.”