1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.
2 And Joab sent to Tekoa, and fetched from there a wise woman, and said to her, I pray you, feign yourself to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel, I pray you, and don't anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman that has a long time mourned for the dead:
3 and go in to the king, and speak on this manner to him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.
4 And when the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.
5 And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, Of a truth I am a widow, and my husband is dead.
6 And your female slave had two sons, and both of them strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed him.
7 And, look, the whole family has risen against your female slave, and they say, Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he slew, and so destroy the heir also. Thus they will quench my charcoal which is left, and will leave to my husband neither name nor remainder on the face of the earth.
8 And the king said to the woman, Go to your house, and I will give charge concerning you.
9 And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house; and the king and his throne be innocent.
10 And the king said, Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he will not touch you anymore.
11 Then she said, I pray you, let the king remember Yahweh your God, that the avenger of blood does not destroy anymore, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As Yahweh lives, not one hair of your son will fall to the earth.
12 Then the woman said, Let your slave, I pray you, speak a word to my lord the king. And he said, Say on.
13 And the woman said, Why then have you devised 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 fetch home again his banished one.
14 For we must surely die, and are as water split on the ground, which can't be gathered up again; neither does God take away life, but he devises means, that he who is banished not be an outcast from him.
15 Now therefore seeing that I have come to speak this word to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and your slave said, I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his slave.
16 For the king will hear, to deliver his slave out of the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.
17 Then your slave said, Let, I pray you, the word of my lord the king be comfortable; for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: and Yahweh your God be with you.
18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, Don't hide from me, I pray you, anything that I will ask you. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.
19 And the king said, Is the hand of Joab with you in all this? And the woman answered and said, As your soul lives, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken; for your slave Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your slave;
20 to change the face of the matter has your slave Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.
21 And the king said to Joab, Look now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom back.
22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and did obeisance, and blessed the king: and Joab said, Today your slave knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has performed the request of his slave.
23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
24 And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, but don't let him see my face. So Absalom turned to his own house, and didn't see the king's face.
25 Now in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as good-looking as Absalom: from the sole of his foot even to the top of his head there was no blemish in him.
26 And when he cut the hair of his head (now it was at every year's end that he cut it; because it was heavy on him, therefore he cut it); he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the king's weight.
27 And to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a beautiful woman.
28 And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem; and he didn't see the king's face.
29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king; but he would not come to him: and he sent again a second time, but he would not come.
30 Therefore he said to his slaves, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's slaves set the field on fire.
31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to his house, and said to him, Why have your slaves set my field on fire?
32 And Absalom answered Joab, Look, I sent to you, saying, Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say, Why have I come from Geshur? It were better for me to be there still. Now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there is iniquity in me, let him kill me.
33 So Joab came to the king, and told him; and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.