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SECOND SAMUEL XIV-ABSALOM PARDONED

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me,

now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.

18 Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.

19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from aught that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:

20 To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant 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 unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.

22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To-day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, Ò king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.

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, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face.

25 | But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.

27 And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance.

28 So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face.

29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time he would not come.

30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.

31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire ?

32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saving,

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SECOND SAMUEL XV-ABSALOM'S CONSPIRACY

Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any 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.

Chapter 15

1 Absalom, by fair speeches and courtesies, stealeth the hearts of Israel. 7 Under pretence of a vou he obtaineth leave to go to Hebron. 10 He maketh there a great conspiracy. 13 David upon the news fleeth from Jerusalem. 19 Illai would not leave him. 24 Zadok and Abiathar are sent back with the ark. 30 David and his company go up mount Olivet weeping. 31 He curseth Anithophel's counsel. 32 Hushai is sent back with instructions.

ND it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou ? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.

3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.

4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

5. And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

7. And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the LORD, in Hebron.

8 For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, şaying, If the Lord shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.

9 And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel

, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.

11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.

12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counseller, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices.

There is an obvious difficulty in time here, some versions read "four years."

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Jonathan's Daring Deed

BY OTTMAR ELLIGER THE YOUNGER, AN ARTIST OF

HOLLAND, DIED 1732.

S

And Jonathan dimbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him.”—I. Sam., 14, 13.

AUL made an able, vigorous king. Having repelled

the Ammonites, he turned against the far more

dangerous Philistines, capturing one after another the strongholds they had established among the mountains of Israel. As the years passed the Philistines realized that they were losing all the authority over Israel which they had assumed. Therefore they gathered all their armies and came up through the valley of Michmash, intending to annihilate Saul.

Here we first learn of Saul's celebrated son Jonathan. Only six hundred followers had clung to the king. With these he sought shelter among the higher hills; but Jonathan, calling an armorbearer, went boldly down into the valley in full view of a Philistine outpost, perched upon a steep opposing hill. At sight of the young men, the Philistines mocked them, defying them to scale the cliff. Jonathan promptly accepted the challenge. Moreover, when he reached the top, he and his attendant attacked their insulters so desperately that twenty were slain. The rest fled; and the entire Philistine army thinking themselves surprised, fell into confusion, Perhaps there was a slight earthquake to intensify their terror. They fought among themselves; and Saul and his six hundred, joining the assault, put them to utter rout.

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