2 Samuel - The Book of Samuel Commentary, Online Bible Study

2 Samuel - The Book of Samuel Commentary, Online Bible Study

"And the Lord said: Arise, and anoint him, for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward."
Second Book Of Samuel (Protestant bible)
Second Book Of Kings (Catholic bible)


Chapter 1

David mourneth for the death of Saul and Jonathan: he ordereth the man to be slain who pretended he had killed Saul.

1 Now it came to pass, after Saul was dead, that David returned from the slaughter of the Amalecites, and abode two days in Siceleg. 2 And on the third day, there appeared a man who came out of Saul's camp, with his garments rent, and dust strewed on his head: and when he came to David, he fell upon his face, and adored. 3 And David said to him: From whence comest thou? And he said to him: I am fled out of the camp of Israel. 4 And David said unto him: What is the matter that is come to pass? tell me. He said: The people are fled from the battle, and many of the people are fallen and dead: moreover Saul and Jonathan his son are slain. 5 And David said to the young man that told him: How knowest thou that Saul and Jonathan his son, are dead?

6 And the young man that told him, said: I came by chance upon mount Gelboe, and Saul leaned upon his spear: and the chariots and horsemen drew nigh unto him, 7 And looking behind him, and seeing me, he called me. And I answered, Here am I. 8 And he said to me: Who art thou? And I said to him: I am an Amalecite. 9 And he said to me: Stand over me, and kill me: for anguish is come upon me, and as yet my whole life is in me. 10 So standing over him, I killed him: for I knew that he could not live after the fall: and I took the diadem that was on his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm and have brought them hither to thee, my lord.

10 "I killed him"... This story of the young Amalecite was not true, as may easily be proved by comparing it with the last chapter of the foregoing book.

11 Then David took hold of his garments and rent them, and likewise all the men that were with him. 12 And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until evening for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the Lord, and for the house of Israel, because they were fallen by the sword. 13 And David said to the young man that told him: Whence art thou? He answered: I am the son of a stranger of Amalee. 14 David said to him: Why didst thou not fear to put out thy hand to kill the Lord's anointed? 15 And David calling one of his servants, said: Go near and fall upon him. And he struck him so that he died.

16 And David said to him: Thy blood be upon thy own head: for thy own mouth hath spoken against thee, saying: I have slain the Lord's anointed. 17 And David made this kind of lamentation over Saul, and over Jonathan his son. 18 (Also he commanded that they should teach the children of Juda the use of the bow, as it is written in the book of the just.) And he said: Consider, O Israel, for them that are dead, wounded on thy high places. 19 The illustrious of Israel are slain upon thy mountains: how are the valiant fallen? 20 Tell it not in Geth, publish it not in the streets of Ascalon: lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph,

21 Ye mountains of Gelboe, let neither dew, nor rain come upon you, neither be they fields of firstfruits: for there was cast away the shield of the valiant, the shield of Saul as though he had not been anointed with oil. 22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the valiant, the arrow of Jonathan never turned back, and the sword of Saul did not return empty. 23 Saul and Jonathan, lovely, and comely in their life, even in death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 24 Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you with scarlet in delights, who gave ornaments of gold for your attire. 25 How are the valiant fallen in battle? Jonathan slain in the high places?

26 I grieve for thee, my brother Jonathan: exceeding beautiful, and amiable to me above the love of women. As the mother loveth her only son, so did I love thee. 27 How are the valiant fallen, and the weapons of war perished?


Chapter 2

David is received and anointed king of Juda. Isboseth the son of Saul reigneth over the rest of Israel. A battle between Abner and Joab.

1 And after these things David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I go up into one of the cities of Juda? And the Lord said to him: Go up. And David said: Whither shall I go up? And he answered him: Into Hebron. 2 So David went up, and his two wives, Achinoam the Jezrahelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal of Carmel: 3 And the men also that were with him, David brought up every man with his household: and they abode in the towns of Hebron. 4 And the men of Juda came, and anointed David there, to be king over the house of Juda. And it was told David, that the men of Jabes Galaad had buried Saul. 5 David therefore sent messengers to the men of Jabes Galaad, and said to them: Blessed be you to the Lord, who have shewn this mercy to your master Saul, and have buried him.

6 And now the Lord surely will render you mercy and truth, and I also will, requite you for this good turn, because you have done this thing. 7 Let your hands be strengthened, and be ye men of valour: for although your master Saul be dead, yet the house of Juda hath anointed me to be their king. 8 But Abner the son of Ner, general of Saul's army, took Isboseth the son of Saul, and led him about through the camp? 9 And made him king over Galaad, and, over Gessuri, and over Jezrahel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10 Isboseth the son of Saul was forty years old when he began to reign over, Israel, and he reigned two years: and only the house of Juda followed David.

10 "He reigned two years"... Viz., before he began visibly to decline: but in all he reigned seven years and six months; for so long David reigned in Hebron.

11 And the number of the days that David abode, reigning in Hebron over the house of Juda, was seven years and six months. 12 And Abner the son of Ner, and the servants of Isboseth the son of Saul, went out from the camp to Gabaon. 13 And Joab the son of Sarvia, and the servants of David went out, and met them by the pool of Gabaon. And when they were come together, they sat down over against one another: the one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side. 14 And Abner said to Joab: Let the young men rise, and play before us. And Joab answered: Let them rise. 15 Then there arose and went over twelve in number of Benjamin, of the part of Isboseth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David.

16 And every one catching his fellow, by the head, thrust his sword into the side of his adversary, and they fell down together: and the name of the place was called: The field of the valiant, in Gabaon. 17 And there was a very fierce battle that day: and Abner was put to flight, with the men of Israel, by the servants of David. 18 And there were the three sons of Sarvia there, Joab, and Abisai, and Asael: now Asael was a most swift runner, like one of the roes that abide in the woods. 19 And Asael pursued after Abner, and turned not to the right hand nor to the left from following Abner. 20 And Abner looked behind him, and said: Art thou Asael? And he answered: I am.

21 And Abner said to him: Go to the right hand or to the left, and lay hold on one of the young men and take thee his spoils. But Asael would not leave off following him close. 22 And again Abner said to Asael: Go off, and do not follow me, lest I be obliged to stab thee to the ground, and I shall not be able to hold up my face to Joab thy brother. 23 But he refused to hearken to him, and would not turn aside: wherefore Abner struck him with his spear with a back stroke in the groin, and thrust him through, and he died upon the spot: and all that came to the place where Asael fell down and died stood still. 24 Now while Joab and Abisai pursued after Abner, the sun went down: and they came as far as the hill of the aqueduct, that lieth over against the valley by the way of the wilderness in Gabaon. 25 And the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together to Abner: and being joined in one body, they stood on the top of a hill.

26 And Abner cried out to Joab, and said: Shall thy sword rage unto utter destruction? knowest thou not that it is dangerous to drive people to despair? how long dost thou defer to bid the people cease from pursuing after their brethren? 27 And Joab said: As the Lord liveth, if thou hadst spoke sooner, even in the morning the people should have retired from pursuing after their brethren. 28 Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and all the army stood still, and did not pursue after Israel any farther, nor fight any more. 29 And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plains: and they passed the Jordan, and having gone through all Beth-horon, came to the camp. 30 And Joab returning, after he had left Abner, assembled all the people: and there were wanting of David's servants nineteen men, beside Asael.

31 But the servants of David had killed of Benjamin, and of the men that were with Abner, three hundred and sixty, who all died. 32 And they took Asael, and buried him in the sepulchre of his father in Bethlehem, and Joab, and the men that were with him, marched all the night, and they came to Hebron at break of day.


Chapter 3

David groweth daily stronger. Abner cometh over to him: he is treacherously slain by Joab.

1 Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: David prospering and growing always stronger and stronger, but the house of Saul decaying daily. 2 And sons were born to David in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon of Achinoam the Jezrahelitess: 3 And his second Cheleab of Abigail the wife of Nabal of Carmel: and the third Absalom the son of Maacha the daughter of Tholmai king of Gessur: 4 And the fourth Adonias, the son of Haggith: and the fifth Saphathia the son of Abital: 5 And the sixth Jethraam of Egla the wife of David: these were born to David in Hebron.

1 "There was a long war between the house of Saul"... Rather a strife or emulation than a war with arms; it lasted five years and a half.

6 Now while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner the son of Ner ruled the house of Saul. 7 And Saul had a concubine named Respha, the daughter of Aia. And Isboseth said to Abner: 8 Why didst thou go in to my father's concubine? And he was exceedingly angry for the words of Isboseth, and said: Am I a dog's head against Juda this day, who have shewn mercy to the house of Saul thy father, and to his brethren and friends, and have not delivered thee into the hands of David, and hast thou sought this day against me to charge me with a matter concerning a woman? 9 So do God to Abner, and more also, unless as the Lord hath sworn to David, so I do to him, 10 That the kingdom be translated from the house of Saul, and the throne of David be set up over Israel, and over Juda from Dan to Bersabee.

11 And he could not answer him a word, because he feared him. 12 Abner therefore sent messengers to David for himself, saying: Whose is the land? and that they should say: Make a league with me, and my hand shall be with thee: and I will bring all Israel to thee. 13 And he said: Very well: I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, saying: Thou shalt not see my face before thou bring Michol the daughter of Saul: and so thou shalt come, and see me. 14 And David sent messengers to Isboseth the son of Saul, saying: Restore my wife Michol, whom I espoused to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 15 And Isboseth sent, and took her from her husband Phaltiel, the son of Lais.

16 And her husband followed her, weeping as far as Bahurim: and Abner said to him: Go and return. And he returned. 17 Abner also spoke to the ancients of Israel, saying: Both yesterday and the day before you sought for David that he might reign over you. 18 Now then do it: because the Lord hath spoken to David, saying: By the hand of my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hands of the Philistines, and of all their enemies. 19 And Abner spoke also to Benjamin. And he went to speak to David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to all Benjamin. 20 And he came to David in Hebron with twenty men: and David made a feast for Abner, and his men that came with him.

21 And Abner said to David: I will rise, that I may gather all Israel unto thee my lord the king, and may enter into a league with thee, and that thou mayst reign over all as thy soul desireth. Now when David bad brought Abner on his way, and he was gone in peace, 22 Immediately David's servants and Joab came, after having slain the robbers, with an exceeding great booty: and Abner, was not with David in Hebron, for he had now sent him away, and he was gone in peace. 23 And Joab and all the army that was with him, came afterwards: and it was told Joab, that Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he hath sent him away, and he is gone in peace. 24 And Joab went in to the king, and said: What hast thou done? Behold Abner came to thee: Why didst thou send him away, and he is gone and departed? 25 Knowest thou not Abner the son of Ner, that to this end he came to thee, that he might deceive thee, and to know thy going out, and thy coming in, and to know all thou dost?

26 Then Joab going out from David, sent messengers after Abner, and brought him back from the cistern of Sira, David knowing nothing of it. 27 And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside to the middle of the gate, to speak to him treacherously: and he stabbed him there in the groin, and he died, in revenge of the blood of Asael his brother. 28 And when David heard of it, after the thing was now done, he said: I, and my kingdom are innocent before the Lord for ever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner: 29 And may it come upon the head of Joab, and upon all his father's house: and let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue of seed, or that is a leper, or that holdeth the distaff, or that falleth by the sword, or that wanteth bread. 30 So Joab and Abisai his brother slew Abner, because he had killed their brother Asael at Gabaon in the battle.

31 And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him: Rend your garments, and gird yourselves with sackcloths, and mourn before the funeral of Abner. And king David himself followed the bier. 32 And when they had buried Abner in Hebron, king David lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner: and all the people also wept. 33 And the king mourning and lamenting over Abner, said: Not as cowards are wont to die, hath Abner died. 34 Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet laden with fetters: but as men fall before the children of iniquity, so didst thou fall. And all the people repeating it wept over him. 35 And when all the people came to take meat with David, while it was yet broad day, David swore, saying: So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread or any thing else before sunset.

36 And all the people heard, and they were pleased, and all that the king did seemed good in the sight of all the people. 37 And all the people, and all Israel understood that day that it was not the king's doing, that Abner the son of Ner was slain. 38 The king also said to his servants: Do you not know that a prince and great man is slain this day in Israel? 39 But I as yet am tender, though anointed king. And these men the sons of Sarvia are too hard for me: the Lord reward him that doth evil according to his wickedness.


Chapter 4

Isboseth is murdered by two of his servants. David punisheth the murderers.

1 And Isboseth the son of Saul heard that Abner was slain in Hebron: and his hands were weakened, and all Israel was troubled. 2 Now the son of Saul had two men captains of his bands, the name of the one was Baana, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Remmon a Berothite of the children of Benjamin: for Beroth also was reckoned in Benjamin. 3 And the Berothites fled into Gethaim, and were sojourners there until that time. 4 And Jonathan the son of Saul bad a son that was lame of his feet: for he was five years old when the tidings came of Saul and Jonathan from Jezrahel. And his nurse took him up and fled: and as she made haste to flee, he fell and became lame: and his name was Miphiboseth. 5 And the sons of Remmon the Berothite, Rechab and Baana coming, went into the house of Isboseth in the heat of the day: and he was sleeping upon his bed at noon. And the doorkeeper of the house, who was cleansing wheat, was fallen asleep.

6 And they entered into the house secretly taking ears of corn, and Rechab and Baana his brother stabbed him in the groin, and fled away. 7 For when they came into the house, be was sleeping upon his bed in a parlour, and they struck him and killed him: and taking away his head they went off by the way of the wilderness, walking all night. 8 And they brought the head of Isboseth to David to Hebron: and they said to the king: Behold the head of Isboseth the son of Saul thy enemy who sought thy life: and the Lord hath revenged my lord the king this day of Saul, and of his seed. 9 But David answered Rechab, and Baana his brother, the sons of Remmon the Berothite, and said to them: As the Lord liveth, who hath delivered my soul out of all distress, 10 The man that told me, and said: Saul is dead, who thought he brought good tidings, I apprehended, and slew him in Siceleg, who should have been rewarded for his news.

11 How much more now when wicked men have slain an innocent man in his own house, upon his bed, shall I not require his blood at your hand, and take you away from the earth? 12 And David commanded his servants and they slew them: and cutting off their hands and feet, hanged them up over the pool in Hebron: but the head of Isboseth they took and buried in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.


Chapter 5

David is anointed king of all Israel. He taketh Jerusalem, and dwelleth there. He defeateth the Philistines.

1 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron, saying: Behold we are thy bone and thy flesh. 2 Moreover yesterday also and the day before, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that did lead out and bring in Israel: and the Lord said to thee: Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be prince over Israel. 3 The ancients also of Israel came to the king to Hebron, and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed David to be king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Juda seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned three and thirty years over all Israel and Juda.

6 And the king and all the men that were with him went to Jerusalem to the Jebusites the inhabitants of the land: and they said to David: Thou shalt not come in hither unless thou take away the blind and the lame that say: David shall not come in hither. 7 But David took the castle of Sion, the same is the city of David. 8 For David had offered that day a reward to whosoever should strike the Jebusites and get up to the gutters of the tops of the houses, and take away the blind and the lame that hated the soul of David: therefore it is said in the proverb: The blind and the lame shall not come into the temple. 9 And David dwelt in the castle, and called it, The city of David: and built round about from Mello and inwards. 10 And he went on prospering and growing up, and the Lord God of hosts was with him.

11 And Hiram the king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons for walls: and they built a house for David. 12 And David knew that the Lord bad confirmed him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom over his people Israel. 13 And David took more concubines and wives of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were born to David other sons also and daughters: 14 And these are the names of them, that were born to him in Jerusalem, Samua, and Sobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, 15 And Jebahar, and Elisua, and Nepheg,

13 "David took more concubines and wives of Jerusalem"... Not harlots, but wives of an inferior condition; for such, in scripture, are styled concubines.

16 And Japhia, and Elisama, and Elioda, and Eliphaleth. 17 And the Philistines heard that they had anointed David to be king over Israel: and they all came to seek David: and when David heard of it, he went down to a strong hold. 18 And the Philistines coming spread themselves in the valley of Raphaim. 19 And David consulted the Lord, saying: Shall I go up to the Philistines? and wilt thou deliver them into my hand? And the Lord said to David: Go up, for I will surely deliver the Philistines into thy hand. 20 And David came to Baal Pharisim: and defeated them there, and he said: The Lord hath divided my enemies before me, as waters are divided. Therefore the name of the place was called Baal Pharisim.

21 And they left there their idols: which David and his men took away. 22 And the Philistines came up again and spread themselves in the valley of Raphaim. 23 And David consulted the Lord: Shall I go up against the Philistines, and wilt thou deliver them into my hands? He answered: Go not up against them, but fetch a compass behind them, and thou shalt come upon them over against the pear trees. 24 And when thou shalt hear the sound of one going in the tops of the pear trees, then shalt thou join battle: for then will the Lord go out before thy face to strike the army of the Philistines. 25 And David did as the Lord had commanded him, and he smote the Philistines from Gabaa until thou come to Gezer.


Chapter 6

David fetcheth the ark from Cariathiarim. Oza is struck dead for touching it. It is deposited in the house of Obededom: and from thence carried to David's house.

1 And David again gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went, with all the people that were with him of the men of Juda to fetch the ark of God, upon which the name of the Lord of hosts is invoked, who sitteth over it upon the cherubims. 3 And they laid the ark of God upon a new cart: and took it out of the house of Abinadab, who was in Gabaa: and Oza, and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. 4 And when they had taken it out of the house of Abinadab, who was in Gabaa, Ahio having care of the ark of God went before the ark. 5 But David and all Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of wood, on harps and lutes and timbrels and cornets and cymbals.

3 "Gabaa"... The hill of Cariathiarim, where the ark had been in the house of Abinadab, from the time of its being restored back by the Philistines.

6 And when they came to the floor of Nachon, Oza put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it: because the oxen kicked and made it lean aside. 7 And the indignation of the Lord was enkindled against Oza, and he struck him for his rashness: and he died there before the ark of God. 8 And David was grieved because the Lord had struck Oza, and the name of that place was called: The striking of Oza, to this day. 9 And David was afraid of the Lord that day, saying: How shall the ark of the Lord come to me? 10 And he would not have the ark of the Lord brought in to himself into the city of David: but he caused it to be carried into the house of Obededom the Gethite.

11 And the ark of the Lord abode in the house of Obededom the Gethite three months: and the Lord blessed Obededom, and all his household. 12 And it was told king David, that the Lord had blessed Obededom, and all that he had, because of the ark of God. So David went, and brought away the ark of God out of the house of Obededom into the city of David with joy. And there were with David seven choirs, and calves for victims. 13 And when they that carried the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a ram: 14 And David danced with all his might before the Lord: and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 And David and all the house of Israel brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord with joyful shouting, and with sound of trumpet.

12 "Choirs"... Or companies of musicians.

16 And when the ark of the Lord was come into the city of David, Michol the daughter of Saul, looking out through a window, saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord: and she despised him in her heart. 17 And they brought the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle, which David had pitched for it: and David offered holocausts, and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 And when he had made an end of offering holocausts and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts. 19 And he distributed to all the multitude of Israel both men and women, to every one, a cake of bread, and a piece of roasted beef, and fine flour fried with oil: and all the people departed every one to his house. 20 And David returned to bless his own house: and Michol the daughter of Saul coming out to meet David, said: How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself before the handmaids of his servants, and was naked, as if one of the buffoons should be naked.

21 And David said to Michol: Before the Lord, who chose me rather than thy father, and than all his house, and commanded me to be ruler over the people of the Lord in Israel, 22 I will both play and make myself meaner than I have done: and I will be little in my own eyes: and with the handmaid of whom thou speakest, I shall appear more glorious. 23 Therefore Michol the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.


Chapter 7

David's purpose to build a temple is rewarded with the promise of great blessings in his seed: his prayer and thanksgiving.

1 And it came to pass when the king sat in his house, and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, 2 He said to Nathan the prophet: Dost thou see that I dwell in a house of cedar, and the ark of God is lodged within skins? 3 And Nathan said to the king: Go, do all that is in thy heart: because the Lord is with thee. 4 But it came to pass that night, that the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying: 5 Go, and say to my servant David: Thus saith the Lord: Shalt thou build me a house to dwell in?

6 Whereas I have not dwelt in a house from the day that I brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt even to this day: but have walked in a tabernacle, and in a tent. 7 In all the places that I have gone through with all the children of Israel, did ever I speak a word to any one of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying: Why have you not built me a house of cedar? 8 And now thus shalt thou speak to my servant David: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: a I took thee out of the pastures from following the sheep to be ruler over my people Israel: 9 And I have been with thee wheresoever thou hast walked, and have slain all thy enemies from before thy face: and I have made thee a great man, like unto the name of the great ones that are on the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and I will plant them, and they shall dwell therein, and shall be disturbed no more: neither shall the children of iniquity afflict them any more as they did before,

11 From the day that I appointed judges over my people Israel: and I will give thee rest from all thy enemies. And the Lord foretelleth to thee, that the Lord will make thee a house. 12 And when thy days shall be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house to my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son: and if he commit any iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men. 15 But my mercy I will not take away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before my face.

12 "I will establish his kingdom"... This prophecy partly relateth to Solomon: but much more to Christ, who is called the son of David in scripture, and who is the builder of the true temple, which is the church, his everlasting kingdom, which shall never fail.

16 And thy house shall be faithful, and thy kingdom for ever before thy face, and thy throne shall be firm for ever. 17 According to all these words and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak to David. 18 And David went in, and sat before the Lord, and said: Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me thus far? 19 But yet this hath seemed little in thy sight, O Lord God, unless thou didst also speak of the house of thy servant for a long time to come: for this is the law of Adam, O Lord God. 20 And what can David say more unto thee? for thou knowest thy servant, O Lord God:

21 For thy word's sake, and according to thy own heart thou hast done all these great things, so that thou wouldst make it known to thy servant. 22 Therefore thou art magnified, O Lord God, because there is none like to thee, neither is there any God besides thee, in all the things that we have heard with our ears. 23 And what nation is there upon earth, as thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for them great and terrible things, upon the earth, before the face of thy people, whom thou redeemedst to thyself out of Egypt, from the nations and their gods. 24 For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be an everlasting people: and thou, O Lord God, art become their God. 25 And now, O Lord God, raise up for ever the word that thou hast spoken, concerning thy servant and concerning his house: and do as thou hast spoken,

26 That thy name may be magnified for ever, and it may be said: The Lord of hosts is God over Israel. And the house of thy servant David shall be established before the Lord. 27 Because thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to the ear of thy servant, saying: I will build thee a house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer to thee. 28 And now, O Lord God, thou art God, and thy words shall be true: for thou hast spoken to thy servant these good things. 29 And now begin, and bless the house of thy servant, that it may endure for ever before thee: because thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it, and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.


Chapter 8

David's victories, and his chief officers.

1 And it came to pass after this that David defeated the Philistines, and brought them down, and David took the bridle of tribute out of the hand of the Philistines. 2 And he defeated Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the earth: and he measured with two lines, one to put to death, and one to save alive: and Moab was made to serve David under tribute. 3 David defeated also Adarezer the son of Rohob king of Soba, when he went to extend his dominion over the river Euphrates. 4 And David took from him a thousand and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen, and houghed all the chariot horses: and only reserved of them for one hundred chariots. 5 And the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Adarezer the king of Soba: and David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men.

6 And David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and Syria served David under tribute: and the Lord preserved David in all his enterprises, whithersoever he went. 7 And David took the arms of gold, which the servants of Adarezer wore, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 And out of Bete, and out of Beroth, cities of Adarezer, king David took an exceeding great quantity of brass. 9 And Thou the king of Emath heard that David had defeated all the forces of Adarezer. 10 And Thou sent Joram his son to king David, to salute him, and to congratulate with him, and to return him thanks: because he had fought against Adarezer, and had defeated him. For Thou was an enemy to Adarezer, and in his hand were vessels of gold, and vessels of silver, and vessels of brass:

11 And king David dedicated them to the Lord, together with the silver and gold that he had dedicated of all the nations, which he had subdued: 12 Of Syria, and of Moab, and of the children of Ammon, and of the Philistines, and of Amalec, and of the spoils of Adarezer the son of Rohob king of Soba. 13 David also made himself a name, when he returned after taking Syria in the valley of the saltpits, killing eighteen thousand: 14 And he put guards in Edom, and placed there a garrison: and all Edom was made to serve David: and the Lord preserved David in all enterprises he went about. 15 And David reigned over all Israel: and David did judgment and justice to all his people.

16 And Joab the son of Sarvia was over the army: and Josaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder: 17 And Sadoc the son of Achitob, and Achimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests: and Saraias was the scribe: 18 And Banaias the son of Joiada was over the Cerethi and Phelethi: and the sons of David were the princes.

16 "Recorder"... Or chancellor.

17 "Scribe"... Or secretary.

18 "The Cerethi and Phelethi"... The king's guards.-- Ibid.

18 "Princes"... Literally priests. (Cohen) So called, by a title of honour, and not from exercising the priestly functions.


Chapter 9

David's kindness to Miphiboseth for the sake of his father Jonathan.

1 And David said: Is there any one, think you, left of the house of Saul, that I may shew kindness to him for Jonathan's sake? 2 Now there was of the house of Saul, a servant named Siba: and when the king had called him to him, he said to him: Art thou Siba? And he answered: I am Siba thy servant. 3 And the king said: Is there any one left of the house of Saul, that I may shew the mercy of God unto him? And Siba said to the king: There is a son of Jonathan left, who is lame of his feet. 4 Where is he? said he. And Siba said to the king: Behold he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel in Lodabar. 5 Then king David sent, and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodabar.

6 And when Miphiboseth the son of Jonathan the son of Saul was come to David, he fell on his face and worshipped. And David said: Miphiboseth? And he answered: Behold thy servant. 7 And David said to him: Fear not, for I will surely shew thee mercy for Jonathan thy father's sake, and I will restore the lands of Saul thy father, and thou shalt eat bread at my table always. 8 He bowed down to him, and said: Who am I thy servant, that thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am? 9 Then the king called Siba the servant of Saul, and said to him: All that belonged to Saul, and all his house, I have given to thy master's son. 10 Thou therefore and thy sons and thy servants shall till the land for him: and thou shalt bring in food for thy master's son, that he may be maintained: and Miphiboseth the son of thy master shall always eat bread at my table. And Siba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

11 And Siba said to the king: As thou my lord the king hast commanded thy servant, so will thy servant do: and Miphiboseth shall eat at my table, as one of the sons of the king. 12 And Miphiboseth had a young son whose name was Micha: and all the kindred of the house of Siba served Miphiboseth. 13 But Miphiboseth dwelt in Jerusalem: because he ate always of the king's table: and he was lame of both feet.


Chapter 10

The Ammonites shamefully abuse the ambassadors of David: they hire the Syrians to the their assistance: but are overthrown with their allies.

1 And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanon his son reigned in his stead. 2 And David said: I Will shew kindness to Hanon the son of Daas, as his father shewed kindness to me. So David sent his servants to comfort him for the death of his father. But when the servants of David were come into the land of the children of Ammon, 3 The princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanon their lord: Thinkest thou that for the honour of thy father, David hath sent comforters to thee, and hath not David rather sent his servants to thee to search, and spy into the city, and overthrow it? 4 Wherefore Hanon took the servants of David, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut away half of their garments even to the buttocks, and sent them away. 5 When this was told David, he sent to meet them: for the men were sadly put to confusion, and David commanded them, saying: Stay at Jericho, till your beards be grown, and then return.

6 And the children of Ammon seeing that they had done an injury to David, Bent and hired the Syrians of Rohob, and the Syrians of Soba, twenty thousand footmen, and of the king of Maacha a thousand men, and of Istob twelve thousand men. 7 And when David heard this, he sent Joab and the whole army of warriors. 8 And the children of Ammon came out, and set their men in array at the entering in of the gate: but the Syrians of Soba, and of Rohob, and of Istob, and of Maacha were by themselves in the field. 9 Then Joab seeing that the battle was prepared against him, both before and behind, chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians: 10 And the rest of the people he delivered to Abisai his brother, who set them in array against the children of Ammon.

11 And Joab said: If the Syrians are too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon are too strong for thee, then I will help thee. 12 Be of good courage, and let us fight for our people, and for the city of our God: and the Lord will do what is good in his sight. 13 And Joab and the people that were with him, began to fight against the Syrians: and they immediately fled before him. 14 And the children of Ammon seeing that the Syrians were fled, they fled also before Abisai, and entered into the city: and Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem. 15 Then the Syrians seeing that they had fallen before Israel, gathered themselves together.

16 And Adarezer sent and fetched the Syrians, that were beyond the river, and brought over their army: and Sobach, the captain of the host of Adarezer, was their general. 17 And when this was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over the Jordan, and came to Helam: and the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought against him. 18 And the Syrians fled before Israel, and David slew of the Syrians the men of seven hundred chariots, and forty thousand horsemen: and smote Sobach the captain of the army, who presently died. 19 And all the kings that were auxiliaries of Adarezer, seeing themselves overcome by Israel, were afraid and fled away, eight and fifty thousand men before Israel. And they made peace with Israel: and served them, and all the Syrians were afraid to help the children of Ammon any more.


Chapter 11

David falleth into the crime of adultery with Bethsabee: and not finding other means to conceal it, causeth her husband Urias to be slain. Then marrieth her, who beareth him a son.

1 And it came to pass at the return of the year, at the time when kings go forth to war, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel, and they spoiled the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabba: but David remained in Jerusalem. 2 In the mean time it happened that David arose from his bed after noon, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and he saw from the roof of his house a woman washing herself, over against him: and the woman was very beautiful. 3 And the king sent, and inquired who the woman was. And it was told him, that she was Bethsabee the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Urias the Hethite. 4 And David sent messengers, and took her, and she came in to him, and he slept with her: and presently she was purified from her uncleanness: 5 And she returned to her house having conceived. And she sent and told David, and said: I have conceived.

6 And David sent to Joab, saying: Send me Urias the Hethite. And Joab sent Urias to David. 7 And Urias came to David. And David asked how Joab did, and the people, and how the war was carried on. 8 And David said to Urias: Go into thy house, and wash thy feet. And Urias went out from the king's house, and there went out after him a mess of meat from the king. 9 But Urias slept before the gate of the king's house, with the other servants of his lord, and went not down to his own house. 10 And it was told David by some that said: Urias went not to his house. And David said to Urias: Didst thou not come from thy journey? why didst thou not go down to thy house?

11 And Urias said to David: The ark of God and Israel and Juda dwell in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord abide upon the face of the earth: and shall I go into my house, to eat and to drink, and to sleep with my wife? By thy welfare and by the welfare of thy soul I will not do this thing. 12 Then David said to Urias: Tarry here today, and tomorrow I will send thee away. Urias tarried in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David called him to eat and to drink before him, and he made him drunk: and he went out in the evening, and slept on his couch with the servants of his lord, and went not down into his house. 14 And when the morning was come, David wrote a letter to Joab: and sent it by the hand of Urias, 15 Writing in the letter: Set ye Urias in the front of the battle, where the fight is strongest: and leave ye him, that he may be wounded and die.

16 Wherefore as Joab was besieging the city, he put Urias in the place where he knew the bravest men were. 17 And the men coming out of the city, fought against Joab, and there fell some of the people of the servants of David, and Urias the Hethite was killed also. 18 Then Joab sent, and told David all things concerning the battle. 19 And he charged the messenger, saying: When thou hast told all the words of the battle to the king, 20 If thou see him to be angry, and he shall say: Why did you approach so near to the wall to fight? knew you not that many darts are thrown from above off the wall?

21 Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerobaal? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, and slew him in Thebes? Why did you go near the wall? Thou shalt say: Thy servant Urias the Hethite is also slain. 22 So the messenger departed, and came and told David all that Joab had commanded him. 23 And the messenger said to David: The men prevailed against us, and they came out to us into the field: and we vigorously charged and pursued them even to the gate of the city. 24 And the archers shot their arrows at thy servants from off the wall above: and some of the king's servants are slain, and thy servant Urias the Hethite is also dead. 25 And David said to the messenger: Thus shalt thou say to Joab: Let not this thing discourage thee: for various is the event of war: and sometimes one, sometimes another is consumed by the sword: encourage thy warriors against The city, and exhort them that thou mayest overthrow it.

26 And the wife of Urias heard that Urias her husband was dead, and she mourned for him. 27 And the mourning being over, David sent and brought her into his house, and she became his wife, and she bore him a son: and this thing which David had done, was displeasing to the Lord.


Chapter 12

Nathan's parable. David confesseth his sin, and is forgiven: yet so as to be sentenced to most severe temporal punishments. The death of the child. The birth of Solomon. The taking of Rabbath.

1 And the Lord sent Nathan to David: and when he was come to him, he said to him: There were two men in one city, the one rich, and the other poor. 2 The rich man had exceeding many sheep and oxen. 3 But the poor man had nothing at all but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up, and which had grown up in his house together with his children, eating of his bread, and drinking of his cup, and sleeping in his bosom: and it was unto him as a daughter. 4 And when a certain stranger was come to the rich man, he spared to take of his own sheep and oxen, to make a feast for that stranger, who was come to him, but took the poor man's ewe, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. 5 And David's anger being exceedingly kindled against that man, he said to Nathan: As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this is a child of death.

6 He shall restore the ewe fourfold, because he did this thing, and had no pity. 7 And Nathan said to David: Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee from the hand of Saul, 8 And gave thee thy master's house and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and Juda: and if these things be little, I shall add far greater things unto thee. 9 Why therefore hast thou despised the word of the Lord, to do evil in my sight? Thou hast killed Urias the Hethite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10 Therefore the sword shall never depart from thy house, because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Urias the Hethite to be thy wife.

11 Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thy own house, and I will take thy wives before thy eyes I and give them to thy neighhour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing in the sight of all Israel, and in the sight of the sun. 13 And David said to Nathan: I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David: The Lord also hath taken away thy sin: thou shalt not die. 14 Nevertheless, because thou hast given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, for this thing, the child that is born to thee, shall surely die. 15 And Nathan returned to his house. The Lord also struck the child which the wife of Urias had borne to David, and his life was despaired of.

11 "I will raise"... All these evils, inasmuch as they were punishments, came upon David by a just judgment of God, for his sin, and therefore God says, I will raise, etc.; but inasmuch as they were sins, on the part of Absalom and his associates, God was not the author of them, but only permitted them.

16 And David besought the Lord for the child: and David kept a fast, and going in by himself lay upon the ground. 17 And the ancients of his house came, to make him rise from the ground: but he would not, neither did he eat meat with them. 18 And it came to pass on the seventh day that the child died: and the servants of David feared to tell him, that the child was dead. For they said: Behold when the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he would not hearken to our voice: how much more will he afflict himself if we tell him that the child is dead? 19 But when David saw his servants whispering, he understood that the child was dead: and he said to his servants: Is the child dead? They answered him: He is dead. 20 Then David arose from the ground, and washed and anointed himself: and when he had changed his apparel, he went into the house of the Lord: and worshipped, and then he came into his own house, and he called for bread, and ate.

21 And his servants said to him: What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive, but when the child was dead, thou didst rise up, and eat bread. 22 And he said: While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept for him: for I said: Who knoweth whether the Lord may not give him to me, and the child may live? 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Shall I be able to bring him back any more? I shall go to him rather: but he shall not return to me. 24 And David comforted Bethsabee his wife, and went in unto her, and slept with her: and she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon, and the Lord loved him. 25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and called his name, Amiable to the Lord, because the Lord loved him.

25 "Amiable to the Lord"... Or, beloved of the Lord. In Hebrew, Jedidiah.

26 And Joab fought against Rabbath of the children of Ammon, and laid close siege to the royal city. 27 And Joab sent messengers to David, saying: I have fought against Rabbath, and the city of waters is about to be taken. 28 Now therefore gather thou the rest of the people together, and besiege the city and take it: lest when the city shall be wasted by me, the victory be ascribed to my name. 29 Then David gathered all the people together, and went out against Rabbath: and after fighting, he took it. 30 And he took the crown of their king from his head, the weight of which was a talent of gold, set with most precious stones, and it was put upon David's head, and the spoils of the city which were very great he carried away.

27 "The city of waters"... Rabbath the royal city of the Ammonites, was called the city of waters, from being encompassed with waters.

31 And bringing forth the people thereof he sawed them, and drove over them chariots armed with iron: and divided them with knives, and made them pass through brickkilns: so did he to all the cities of the children of Ammon: and David returned, with all the army to Jerusalem.


Chapter 13

Ammon ravisheth Thamar. For which Absalom killeth him, and flieth to Gessur.

1 And it came to pass after this, that Amnon the son of David loved the sister of Absalom the son of David, who was very beautiful, and her name was Thamar. 2 And he was exceedingly fond of her, so that he fell sick for the love of her: for as she was a virgin, he thought it hard to do any thing dishonestly with her. 3 Now Amnon had a friend, named Jonadab the son of Semmaa the brother of David, a very wise man: 4 And he said to him: Why dost thou grow so lean from day to day, O son of the king? why dost thou not tell me the reason of it? And Amnon said to him: I am in love with Thamar the sister of my brother Absalom. 5 And Jonadab said to him: Lie down upon thy bed, and feign thyself sick: and when thy father shall come to visit thee, say to him: Let my sister Thamar, I pray thee, come to me, to give me to eat, and to make me a mess, that I may eat it at her hand.

3 "A very wise man"... That is, a crafty and subtle man: for the counsel he gave on this occasion shews that his wisdom was but carnal and worldly.

6 So Amnon lay down, and made as if he were sick: and when the king came to visit him, Amnon said to the king: I pray thee let my sister Thamar come, and make in my sight two little messes, that I may eat at her hand. 7 Then David sent home to Thamar, saying: Come to the house of thy brother Amnon, and make him a mess. 8 And Thamar came to the house of Amnon her brother: but he was laid down: and she took meal and tempered it: and dissolving it in his sight she made little messes. 9 And taking what she had boiled, she poured it out, and set it before him, but he would not eat: and Amnon said: Put out all persons from me. And when they had put all persons out, 10 Amnon said to Thamar: Bring the mess into the chamber, that I may eat at thy hand. And Thamar took the little messes which she had made, and brought them in to her brother Amnon in the chamber.

11 And when she had presented him the meat, he took hold of her, and said: Come lie with me, my sister. 12 She answered him: Do not so, my brother, do not force me: for no such thing must be done in Israel. Do not thou this folly. 13 For I shall not be able to bear my shame, and thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel: but rather speak to the king, and he will not deny me to thee. 14 But he would not hearken to her prayers, but being stronger overpowered her and lay with her. 15 Then Amnon hated her with an exceeding great hatred: so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her before, And Amnon said to her: Arise, and get thee gone.

16 She answered him: This evil which now thou dost against me, in driving me away, is greater than that which thou didst before. And he would not hearken to her: 17 But calling the servants that ministered to him, he said: Thrust this woman out from me: and shut the door after her. 18 And she was clothed with along robe: for the king's daughters that were virgins, used such kind of garments. Then his servant thrust her out: and shut the door after her. 19 And she put ashes on her head, and rent her long robe and laid her hands upon her head, and went on crying. 20 And Absalom her brother said to her: Hath thy brother Amnon lain with thee? but now, sister, hold thy peace, he is thy brother: and afflict not thy heart for this thing. So Thamar remained pining away in the house of Absalom her brother.

21 And when king David heard of these things he was exceedingly grieved: and he would not afflict the spirit of his son Amnon, for he loved him, because he was his firstborn. 22 But Absalom spoke not to Amnon neither good nor evil: for Absalom hated Amnon because he had ravished his sister Thamar. 23 And it came to pass after two years, that the sheep of Absalom were shorn in Baalhasor, which is near Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons: 24 And he came to the king, and said to him: Behold thy servant's sheep are shorn. Let the king, I pray, with his servants come to his servant. 25 And the king said to Absalom: Nay, my son, do not ask that we should all come, and be chargeable to thee. And when he pressed him, and he would not go, he blessed him.

26 And Absalom said: If thou wilt not come, at least let my brother Amnon, I beseech thee, come with us. And the king said to him: It is not necessary that he should go with thee. 27 But Absalom pressed him, so that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him. And Absalom made a feast as it were the feast of a king. 28 And Absalom had commanded his servants, saying: Take notice when Amnon shall be drunk with wine, and when I shall say to you: Strike him, and kill him, fear not: for it is I that command you: take courage, and be valiant men. 29 And the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded them. And all the king's sons arose and got up every man upon his mule, and fled. 30 And while they were yet in the way, a rumour came to David, saying: Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.

31 Then the king rose up, and rent his garments: and fell upon the ground, and all his servants, that stood about him, rent their garments. 32 But Jonadab the son of Semmaa David's brother answering, said: Let not my lord the king think that all the king's sons are slain: Amnon only is dead, for he was appointed by the mouth of Absalom from the day that he ravished his sister Thamar. 33 Now therefore let not my lord the king take this thing into his heart, saying: All the king's sons are slain: for Amnon only is dead. 34 But Absalom fled away: and the young man that kept the watch, lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold there came much people by a by-way on the side of the mountain. 35 And Jonadab said to the king: Behold the king's sons are come: as thy servant said, so it is.

36 And when he made an end of speaking, the king's sons also appeared: and coming in they lifted up their voice, and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very much. 37 But Absalom fled, and went to Tholomai the son of Ammiud the king of Gessur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 And Absalom after he was fled, and come into Gessur, was there three years. And king David ceased to pursue after Absalom, because he was comforted concerning the death of Amnon.


Chapter 14

Joab procureth Absalom's return, and his admittance to the king's presence.

1 And Joab the son of Sarvia, understanding that the king's heart was turned to Absalom, 2 Sent to Thecua, and fetched from thence a wise woman: and said to her: Feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel, and be not anointed with oil, that thou mayest be as a woman that had a long time been mourning for one dead. 3 And thou shalt go in to the king, and shalt speak to him in this manner. And Joab put the words in her mouth. 4 And when the woman of Thecua was come in to the king, she fell before him upon the ground, and worshipped, and said: Save me, O king. 5 And the king said to her: What is the matter with thee? She answered: Alas, I am a widow woman: for my husband is dead.

6 And thy handmaid had two sons: and they quarrelled with each other in the field, and there was none to part them: and the one struck the other, and slew him. 7 And behold the whole kindred rising against thy handmaid, saith: Deliver him that hath slain his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother, whom he slew, and that we may destroy the heir: and they seek to quench my spark which is left, and will leave my husband no name, nor remainder upon the earth. 8 And the king said to the woman: Go to thy house, and I will give charge concerning thee. 9 And the woman of Thecua said to the king: Upon me, my lord, be the iniquity, and upon the house of my father: but may the king and his throne be guiltless. 10 And the king said: If any one shall say ought against thee, bring him to me, and be shall not touch thee any more.

11 And she said: Let the king remember the Lord his God, that the next of kin be not multiplied to take revenge, and that they may not kill my son. And he said: As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth. 12 Then the woman said: Let thy handmaid speak one word to my lord the king. And he said: Speak. 13 And the woman said: Why hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God, and why hath the king spoken this word, to sin, and not bring home again his own exile? 14 We all die, and like waters that return no more, we fall down into the earth: neither will God have a soul to perish, but recalleth, meaning that he that is cast off should not altogether perish. 15 Now therefore I am come, to speak this word to my lord the king before the people. And thy handmaid said: I will speak to the king, it maybe the king will perform the request of his handmaid.

16 And the king hath hearkened to me to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of all that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God. 17 Then let thy handmaid say, that the word of the Lord the king be made as a sacrifice. For even as an angel of God, so is my lord the king, that he is neither moved with blessing nor cursing: wherefore the Lord thy God is also with thee. 18 And the king answering, said to the woman: Hide not from me the thing that I ask thee. And the woman said to him: Speak, my lord the king. 19 And the king said: Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? The woman answered, and said: By the health of thy soul, my lord, O king, it is neither on the left hand, nor on the right, in all these things which my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he commanded me, and he put all these words into the mouth of thy handmaid. 20 That I should come about with this form of speech, thy servant Joab, commanded this: but thou, my lord, O king, art wise, according to the wisdom of ail angel of God, to understand all things upon earth.

21 And the king said to Joab: Behold I am appeased and have granted thy request: Go therefore and fetch back the boy Absalom. 22 And Joab falling down to the ground upon his face, adored, and blessed the king: and Joab said: This day thy servant hath understood, that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king: for thou hast fulfilled the request of thy servant. 23 Then Joab arose and went to Gessur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 But the king said: Let him return into his house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned into his house, and saw not the king's face. 25 But in all Israel there was not a man so comely, and so exceedingly beautiful as Absalom: from the sole of the foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

22 "Blessed"... That is, and gave thanks to the king.

26 And when he polled his hair (now he was polled once a year, because his hair was burdensome to him) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred sicles, according to the common weight. 27 And there were born to Absalom three sons: and one daughter, whose, name was Thamar, and she was very beautiful. 28 And Absalom dwelt two years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face. 29 He sent therefore to Joab, to send him to the king: but he would not come to him. And when he had sent the second time, and he would not come to him, 30 He said to his servants: You know the field of Joab near my field, that hath a crop of barley: go now and set it on fire. So the servants of Absalom set the corn on fire. And Joab's servants coming with their garments rent, said: The servants of Absalom have set part of the field on fire.

31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to his house, and said: Why have thy servants set my corn on fire? 32 And Absalom answered Joab: I sent to thee beseeching thee to come to me, that I might send thee to the king, to say to him: Wherefore am I come from Gessur? it had been better for me to be there: I beseech thee therefore that I may see the face of the king: and if he be mindful of my iniquity, let him kill me. 33 So Joab going in to the king, told him all: and Absalom was called for, and he went in to the king: and prostrated himself on the ground before him: and the king kissed Absalom.


Chapter 15

Absalom's policy and conspiracy. David is obliged to flee.

1 Now after these things Absalom made himself chariots, and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom rising up early stood by the entrance of the gate, and when any man had business to come to the king's judgment, Absalom called him to him, and said: Of what city art thou? He answered, and said: Thy servant is of such a tribe of Israel. 3 And Absalom answered him: Thy words seem to me good and just. But there is no man appointed by the king to hear thee. And Absalom said: 4 O that they would make me judge over the land, that all that have business might come to me, that I might do them justice. 5 Moreover when any man came to him to salute him, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

6 And this he did to all Israel that came for judgment, to be heard by the king, and he enticed the hearts of the men of Israel. 7 And after forty years, Absalom said to king David: Let me go, and pay my vows which I have vowed to the Lord in Hebron. 8 For thy servant made avow, when he was in Gessur of Syria, saying: If the Lord shall bring me again into Jerusalem I will offer sacrifice to the Lord. 9 And king David said to him: Go in peace. And he arose, and went to Hebron. 10 And Absalom sent spies into all the tribes of Israel, saying: As soon as you shall hear the sound of the trumpet, say ye: Absalom reigneth in Hebron.

11 Now there went with Absalom two hundred men out of Jerusalem that were called, going with simplicity of heart, and knowing nothing of the design. 12 Absalom also sent for Achitophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city Gilo. And while he was offering sacrifices, there was a strong conspiracy, and the people running together increased with Absalom. 13 And there came a messenger to David, saying: All Israel with their whole heart followeth Absalom. 14 And David said to his servants, that were with him in Jerusalem: Arise and let us flee: for we shall not escape else from the face of Absalom: make haste to go out, lest he come and overtake us, and bring ruin upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. 15 And the king's servants said to him: Whatsoever our lord the king shall command, we thy servants will willingly execute.

16 And the king went forth, and all his household on foot: and the king left ten women his concubines to keep the house: 17 And the king going forth and all Israel on foot, stood afar off from the house: 18 And all his servants walked by him, and the bands of the Cerethi, and the Phelethi, and all the Gethites, valiant warriors, six hundred men who had followed him from Geth on foot, went before the king. 19 And the king said to Ethai the Gethite: Why comest thou with us? return and dwell with the king, for thou art a stranger, and art come out of thy own place. 20 Yesterday thou camest, and today shalt thou be forced to go forth with us? but I shall go whither I am going: return thou, and take back thy brethren with thee, and the Lord will shew thee mercy, and truth, because thou hast shewn grace and fidelity.

16 "Concubines"... That is, wives of an inferior degree.

21 And Ethai answered the king, saying: As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth: in what place soever thou shalt be, my lord, O king, either in death, or in life, there will thy servant be. 22 And David said to Ethai: Come, and pass over. And Ethai the Gethite passed, and all the men that were with him, and the rest of the people. 23 And they all wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the king also himself went over the brook Cedron, and all the people marched towards the way that looketh to the desert. 24 And Sadoc the priest also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God, and they set down the ark of God: and Abiathar went up, till all the people that was come out of the city had done passing. 25 And the king said to Sadoc: Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find grace in the sight of the Lord, he will bring me again, and he will shew me it, and his tabernacle.

26 But if he shall say to me: Thou pleasest me not: I am ready, let him do that which is good before him. 27 And the king said to Sadoc the priest: O seer, return into the city in peace: and let Achimaas thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar, your two sons, be with you. 28 Behold I will lie hid in the plains of the wilderness, till there come word from you to certify me. 29 So Sadoc and Abiathar carried back the ark of God into Jerusalem: and they tarried there. 30 But David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, going up and weeping, walking barefoot, and with his head covered, and all the people that were with them, went up with their heads covered weeping.

30 "Weeping"... David on this occasion wept for his sins, which he knew were the cause of all his sufferings.

31 And it was told David that Achitophel also was in the conspiracy with Absalom, and David said: Infatuate, O Lord, I beseech thee, the counsel of Achitophel. 32 And when David was come to the top of the mountain, where he was about to adore the Lord, behold Chusai the Arachite, came to meet him with his garment rent and his head covered with earth. 33 And David said to him: If thou come with me, thou wilt be a burden to me: 34 But if thou return into the city, and wilt say to Absalom: I am thy servant, O king: as I have been thy father's servant, so I will be thy servant: thou shalt defeat the counsel of Achitophel. 35 And thou hast with thee Sadoc, and Abiathar the priests: and what thing soever thou shalt hear out of the king's house, thou shalt tell it to Sadoc and Abiathar the priests.

36 And there are with them their two sons Achimaas the son of Sadoc, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar: and you shall send by them to me every thing that you shall hear. 37 Then Chusai the friend of David went into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.


Chapter 16

Siba bringeth provisions to David. Semei curseth him. Absalom defileth his father's wives.

1 And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold Siba the servant of Miphiboseth came to meet him with two asses, laden with two hundred loaves of bread, and a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred cakes of figs, and a vessel of wine. 2 And the king said to Siba: What mean these things? And Siba answered: The asses are for the king's household to sit on: and the loaves and the figs for thy servants to eat, and the wine to drink if any man be faint in the desert. 3 And the king said: Where is thy master's son? And Siba answered the king: He remained in Jerusalem, saying: Today will the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father. 4 And the king said to Siba: I give thee all that belonged to Miphiboseth. And Siba said: I beseech thee let me find grace before thee, my lord, O king. 5 And king David came as far as Bahurim: and behold there came out from thence a man of the kindred of the house of Saul named Semei, the son of Gera, and coming out he cursed as he went on,

6 And he threw stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people, and all the warriors walked on the right, and on the left side of the king. 7 And thus said Semei when he cursed the king: Come out, come out, thou man of blood, and thou man of Belial. 8 The Lord hath repaid thee for all the blood of the house of Saul: because thou hast usurped the kingdom in his stead, and the Lord hath given the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and behold thy evils press upon thee, because thou art a man of blood. 9 And Abisai the son of Sarvia said to the king: Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? I will go, and cut off his head. 10 And the king said: What have I to do with you, ye sons of Sarvia? Let him alone and let him curse: for the Lord hath bid him curse David: and who is he that shall dare say, why hath he done so?

10 "Hath bid him curse"... Not that the Lord was the author of Semei's sin, which proceeded purely from his own malice, and the abuse of his free will. But that knowing, and suffering his malicious disposition to break out on this occasion, he made use of him as his instrument to punish David for his sins.

11 And the king said to Abisai, and to all his servants: Behold my son, who came forth from my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now a son of Jemini? let him alone that he may curse as the Lord hath bidden him. 12 Perhaps the Lord may look upon my affliction, and the Lord may render me good for the cursing of this day. 13 And David and his men with him went by the way. And Semei by the hill's side went over against him, cursing, and casting stones at him, and scattering earth. 14 And the king and all the people with him came weary, and refreshed themselves there. 15 But Absalom and all his people came into Jerusalem, and Achitophel was with him.

16 And when Chusai the Arachite, David's friend, was come to Absalom, he said to him: God save thee, O king, God save thee, O king. 17 And Absalom said to him: Is this thy kindness to thy friend? Why wentest thou not with thy friend? 18 And Chusai answered Absalom: Nay: for I will be his, whom the Lord hath chosen, and all this people, and all Israel, and with him will I abide. 19 Besides this, whom shall I serve? is it not the king's son? as I have served thy father, so will I serve thee also. 20 And Absalom said to Achitophel: Consult what we are to do.

21 And Achitophel said to Absalom: Go in to the concubines of thy father, whom he hath left to keep the house: that when all Israel shall hear that thou hast disgraced thy father, their hands may be strengthened with thee. 22 So they spread a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and he went in to his father's concubines before all Israel. 23 Now the counsel of Achitophel, which he gave in those days, was as if a man should consult God: so was all the counsel of Achitophel, both when he was with David, and when he was with Absalom.

21 "Their hands may be strengthened"... The people might apprehend lest Absalom should be reconciled to his father, and therefore they followed him with some fear of being left in the lurch, till they saw such a crime committed as seemed to make a reconciliation impossible.


Chapter 17

Achitophel's counsel is defeated by Chusai: who sendeth intelligence to David. Achitophel hangeth himself.

1 And Achitophel said to Absalom: I will choose me twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night. 2 And coming upon him (for he is now weary, and weak handed) I will defeat him: and when all the people is put to flight that is with him, I will kill the king who will be left alone. 3 And I will bring back all the people, as if they were but one man: for thou seekest but one man: and all the people shall be in peace. 4 And his saying pleased Absalom, and all the ancients of Israel. 5 But Absalom said: Call Chusai the Arachite, and let us hear what he also saith.

6 And when Chusai was come to Absalom, Absalom said to him: Achitophel hath spoken after this manner: shall we do it or not? what counsel dost thou give? 7 And Chusai said to Absalom: The counsel that Achitophel hath given this time is not good. 8 And again Chusai said: Thou knowest thy father, and the men that are with him, that they are very valiant, and bitter in their mind, as a bear raging in the wood when her whelps are taken away: and thy father is a warrior, and will not lodge with the people. 9 Perhaps he now lieth hid in pits, or in some other place where he list: and when any one shall fall at the first, every one that heareth it shall say: There is a slaughter among the people that followed Absalom. 10 And the most valiant man whose heart is as the heart of a lion, shall melt for fear: for all the people of Israel know thy father to be a valiant man, and that all who are with him are valiant.

11 But this seemeth to me to be good counsel: Let all Israel be gathered to thee, from Dan to Bersabee, as the sand of the sea which cannot be numbered: and thou shalt be in the midst of them. 12 And we shall come upon him in what place soever he shall be found: and we shall cover him, as the dew falleth upon the ground, and we shall not leave of the men that are with him, not so much as one. 13 And if he shall enter into any city, all Israel shall cast ropes round about that city, and we will draw it into the river, so that there shall not be found so much as one small stone thereof. 14 And Absalom, and all the men of Israel said: The counsel of Chusai the Arachite is better than the counsel of Achitophel: and by the will of the Lord the profitable counsel of Achitophel was defeated, that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom. 15 And Chusai said to Sadoc and Abiathar the priests: Thus and thus did Achitophel counsel Absalom, and the ancients of Israel: and thus and thus did I counsel them.

16 Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying: Tarry not this night in the plains of the wilderness, but without delay pass over: lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people that is with him. 17 And Jonathan and Achimaas stayed by the fountain Rogel: and there went a maid and told them: and they went forward, to carry the message to king David, for they might not be seen, nor enter into the city. 18 But a certain boy saw them, and told Absalom: but they making haste went into the house of a certain man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court, and they went down into it. 19 And a woman took, and spread a covering over the mouth of the well, as it were to dry sodden barley: and so the thing was not known. 20 And when Absalom's servants were come into the house, they said to the woman: Where is Achimaas and Jonathan? and the woman answered them: They passed on in haste, after they had tasted a little water. But they that sought them, when they found them not, returned into Jerusalem.

21 And when they were gone, they came up out of the well, and going on told king David, and said: Arise, and pass quickly over the river: for this manner of counsel has Achitophel given against you. 22 So David arose, and all the people that were with him, and they passed over the Jordan, until it grew light, and not one of them was left that was not gone over the river. 23 But Achitophel seeing that his counsel was not followed, saddled his ass, and arose and went home to his house and to his city, and putting his house in order, hanged himself, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father. 24 But David came to the camp, and Absalom passed over the Jordan, be and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Now Absalom appointed Amasa in Joab's stead over the army: and Amasa was the son of a man who was called Jethra of Jezrael, who went in to Abigail the daughter of Naas, the sister of Sarvia who was the mother of Joab.

24 "To the camp"... The city of Mahanaim, the name of which, in Hebrew, signifies The camp. It was a city of note at that time, as appears from its having been chosen by Isboseth for the place of his residence.

26 And Israel camped with Absalom in the land of Galaad. 27 And when David was come to the camp, Sobi the son of Naas of Rabbath of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammihel of Lodabar, and Berzellai the Galaadite of Rogelim, 28 Brought him beds, and tapestry, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and meal, and parched corn, and beans, and lentils, and fried pulse, 29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and fat calves, and they gave to David and the people that were with him, to eat: for they suspected that the people were faint with hunger and thirst in the wilderness.


Chapter 18

Absalom is defeated, and slain by Joab. David mourneth for him.

1 And David having reviewed his people, appointed over them captains of thousands and of hundreds, 2 And sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abisai the son of Sarvia Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ethai, who was of Geth: and the king said to the people: I also will go forth with you. 3 And the people answered: Thou shalt not go forth: for if we flee away, they will not much mind us: or if half of us should fall, they will not greatly care: for thou alone art accounted for ten thousand: it is better therefore that thou shouldst be in the city to succour us. 4 And the king said to them: What seemeth good to you, that will I do. And the king stood by the gate: and all the people went forth by their troops, by hundreds and by thousands. 5 And the king commanded Joab, and Abisai, and Ethai, saying: Save me the boy Absalom. And all the people heard the king giving charge to all the princes concerning Absalom.

6 So the people went out into the field against Israel and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim. 7 And the people of Israel were defeated there by David's army, and a great slaughter was made that day of twenty thousand men. 8 And the battle there was scattered over the face of all the country, and there were many more of the people whom the forest consumed, than whom the sword devoured that day. 9 And it happened that Absalom met the servants of David, riding on a mule: and as the mule went under a thick and large oak, his head stuck in the oak: and while he hung between the heaven and the earth, the mule on which he rode passed on. 10 And one saw this and told Joab, saying: I saw Absalom hanging upon an oak.

8 "Consumed"... Viz., by pits and precipices.

11 And Joab said to the man that told him: If thou sawest him, why didst thou not stab him to the ground, and I would have given thee ten sicles of silver, and belt? 12 And he said to Joab: If thou wouldst have paid down in my hands a thousand pieces of silver, I would not lay my hands upon the king's son: for in our hearing he king charged thee, and Abisai, and Ethai, saying: Save me the boy Absalom. 13 Yea and if I should have acted boldly against my own life, this could not have been hid from the king, and wouldst thou have stood by me? 14 And Joab said: Not as thou wilt, but will set upon him in thy sight. So he took three lances in his hand, and thrust them into the heart of Absalom: and whilst he yet panted for life, sticking on the oak, 15 Ten young men, armourbearers of Joab, ran up, and striking him slew him.

16 And Joab sounded the trumpet, and kept back the people from pursuing after Israel in their flight, being willing to spare he multitude. 17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the forest, and they laid an exceeding great heap of stories upon him: but all Israel fled to their own dwellings. 18 Now Absalom had reared up for himself, in his lifetime, a pillar, which is in the king's valley: for he said: I have no son, and this shall be the monument of my name. And he called the pillar by is own name, and it is called the hand of Absalom, to this day. 19 And Achimaas the son of Sadoc said: I will run and tell the king, that the Lord hath done judgment for him from the hand of his enemies. 20 And Joab said to him: Thou shalt not be the messenger this day, but shalt bear tidings another day: this day I will not have thee bear tidings, because the king's son is dead.

18 "No son"... The sons mentioned above, chap. 14. 27, were dead when this pillar was erected: unless we suppose he raised this pillar before they were born.

21 And Joab said to Chusai: Go, and tell the king what thou hast seen. Chusai bowed down to Joab, and ran. 22 Then Achimaas the son of Sadoc said to Joab again: Why might not I also run after Chusai? And Joab said to him: Why wilt thou run, my son? thou wilt not be the bearer of good tidings. 23 He answered: But what if I run? And he said to him: Run. Then Achimaas running by a nearer way passed Chusai. 24 And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman that was on the top of the gate upon the wall, lifting up his eyes, saw a man running alone. 25 And crying out he told the king: and the king said: If he be alone, there are good tidings in his mouth. And as he was coming apace, and drawing nearer,

26 The watchman saw another man running, and crying aloud from above, he said: I see another man running alone. And the king said: He also is a good messenger. 27 And the watchman said: The running of the foremost seemeth to me like the running of Achimaas the son of Sadoc. And the king said: He is a good man: and cometh with good news. 28 And Achimaas crying out, said to the king: God save thee, O king. And falling down before the king with his face to the ground, he said: Blessed be the Lord thy God, who hath shut up the men that have lifted up their hands against the lord my king. 29 And the king said: Is the young man Absalom safe? And Achimaas said: I saw a great tumult, O king, when thy servant Joab sent me thy servant: I know nothing else. 30 And the king said to him: Pass, and stand here.

31 And when he bad passed, and stood still, Chusai appeared: and coming up he said: I bring good tidings, my lord, the king, for the Lord hath judged for thee this day from the hand of all that have risen up against thee. 32 And the king said to Chusai: Is the young man Absalom safe? And Chusai answering him, said: Let the enemies of my lord, the king, and all that rise against him unto evil, be as the young man is. 33 The king therefore being much moved, went up to the high chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went he spoke in this manner: My son Absalom, Absalom my son: would to God that I might die for thee, Absalom my son, my son Absalom.

33 "Would to God"... David lamented the death of Absalom, because of the wretched state in which he died: and therefore would have been glad to have saved his life, even by dying for him. In which he was a figure of Christ weeping, praying and dying for his rebellious children, and even for them that crucified him.


Chapter 19

David, at the remonstrances of Joab, ceaseth his mourning. He is invited back and met by Semei and Miphiboseth: a strife between the men of Juda and the men of Israel.

1 And it was told Joab, that the king wept and mourned for his son: 2 And the victory that day was turned into mourning unto all the people: for the people heard say that day: The king grieveth for his son. 3 And the people shunned the going into the city that day as a people would do that hath turned their backs, and fled away from the battle. 4 And the king covered his head, and cried with a loud voice: O my son Absalom, O Absalom my son, O my son. 5 Then Joab going into the house to the king, said: Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, that have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons, and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines.

6 Thou lovest them that hate thee, and thou hatest them that love thee: and thou hast shewn this day that thou carest not for thy nobles, nor for thy servants: and I now plainly perceive that if Absalom had lived, and all we had been slain, then it would have pleased thee. 7 Now therefore arise, and go out, and speak to the satisfaction of thy servants: for I swear to thee by the Lord, that if thou wilt not go forth, there will not tarry with thee so much as one this night: and that will be worse to thee, than all the evils that have befallen thee from thy youth until now. 8 Then the king arose and sat in the gate: and it was told to all the people that the king sat in the gate: and all the people came before the king, but Israel fled to their own dwellings. 9 And all the people were at strife in all the tribes of Israel, saying: The king delivered us out of the hand of our enemies, and he saved us out of the hand of the Philistines: and now he is fled out of the land for Absalom. 10 But Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in the battle: how long are you silent, and bring not back the king?

11 And king David sent to Sadoc, and Abiathar the priests, saying: Speak to the ancients of Juda, saying: Why are you the last to bring the king back to his house? (For the talk of all Israel was come to the king in his house.) 12 You are my brethren, you are my bone, and my flesh, why are you the last to bring back the king? 13 And say ye to Amasa: Art not thou my bone, and my flesh? So do God to me and add more, if thou be not the chief captain of the army before me always in the place of Joab. 14 And be inclined the heart of all the men of Juda, as it were of one man: and they sent to the king, saying: Return thou, and all thy servants. 15 And the king returned and came as far as the Jordan, and all Juda came as far as Galgal to meet the king, and to bring him over the Jordan.

16 And Semei the son of Gera the son of Jemini of Bahurim, made haste and went down with the men of Juda to meet king David, 17 With a thousand men of Benjamin, and Siba the servant of the house of Saul: and his fifteen sons, and twenty servants were with him: and going over the Jordan, 18 They passed the fords before the king, that they might help over the king's household, and do according to his commandment. And Semei the son of Gera falling down before the king, when he was come over the Jordan, 19 Said to him: Impute not to me, my lord, the iniquity, nor remember the injuries of thy servant on the day that thou, my lord, the king, wentest out of Jerusalem, nor lay it up in thy heart, O king. 20 For I thy servant acknowledge my sin: and therefore I am come this day the first of all the house of Joseph, and am come down to meet my lord the king.

21 But Abisai the son of Sarvia answering, said: Shall Semei for these words not be put to death, because he cursed the Lord's anointed? 22 And David said: What have I to do with you, ye sons of Sarvia? why are you a satan this day to me? shall there any man be killed this day in Israel? do not I know that this day I am made king over Israel? 23 And the king said to Semei: Thou shalt not die. And he swore unto him. 24 And Miphiboseth the son of Saul came down to meet the king, and he had neither washed his feet, nor trimmed his beard: nor washed his garments from the day that the king went out, until the day of his return in peace. 25 And when he met the king at Jerusalem, the king said to him: Why camest thou not with me, Miphiboseth?

26 And he answering, said: My lord, O king, my servant despised me: for I thy servant spoke to him to saddle me an ass, that I might get on and go with the king: for I thy servant am lame. 27 Moreover he hath also accused me thy servant to thee, my lord the king: but thou my lord the king art as an angel of God, do what pleaseth thee. 28 For all of my father's house were no better than worthy of death before my lord the king; and thou hast set me thy servant among the guests of thy table: what just complaint therefore have I? or what right to cry any more to the king? 29 Then the king said to him: Why speakest thou any more? what I have said is determined: thou and Siba divide the possessions. 30 And Miphiboseth answered the king: Yea, let him take all, for as much as my lord the king is returned peaceably into his house.

31 Berzellai also the Galaadite coming down from Rogelim, brought the king over the Jordan, being ready also to wait on him beyond the river. 32 Now Berzellai the Galaadite was of a great age, that is to say, fourscore years old, and he provided the king with sustenance when he abode in the camp: for he was a man exceeding rich. 33 And the king said to Berzellai: Come with me that thou mayest rest secure with me in Jerusalem. 34 And Berzellai said to the king: How many are the days of the years of my life, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I am this day fourscore years old, are my senses quick to discern sweet and bitter? or can meat or drink delight thy servant? or can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? why should thy servant be a burden to my lord, the king?

36 I thy servant will go on a little way from the Jordan with thee: I need not this recompense. 37 But I beseech thee let thy servant return, and die in my own city, and be buried by the sepulchre of my father, and of my mother. But there is thy servant Chamaam, let him go with thee, my lord, the king, and do to him whatsoever seemeth good to thee. 38 Then the king said to him: Let Chamaam go over with me, and I will do for him whatsoever shall please thee, and all that thou shalt ask of me, thou shalt obtain. 39 And when all the people and the king had passed over the Jordan, the king kissed Berzellai, and blessed him: and he returned to his own place. 40 So the king went on to Galgal, and Chamaam with him. Now all the people of Juda had brought the king over, and only half of the people of Israel were there.

41 Therefore all the men of Israel running together to the king, said to him: Why have our brethren the men of Juda stolen thee away, and have brought the king and his household over the Jordan, and all the men of David with him? 42 And all the men of Juda answered the men of Israel: Because the king is nearer to me: why art thou angry for this matter? have we eaten any thing of the king's, or have any gifts been given us? 43 And the men of Israel answered the men of Juda, and said: I have ten parts in the king more than thou, and David belongeth to me more than to thee: why hast thou done me a wrong, and why was it not told me first, that I might bring back my king? And the men of Juda answered more harshly than the men of Israel.


Chapter 20

Seba's rebellion. Amasa is slain by Joab. Abela is besieged, but upon the citizens casting over the wall the head of Seba, Joab departeth with all his army.

1 And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Seba, the son of Bochri, a man of Jemini: and he sounded the trumpet, and said: We have no part in David, nor inheritance in the son of Isai: return to thy dwellings, O Israel. 2 And all Israel departed from David, and followed Seba the son of Bochri: but the men of Juda stuck to their king from the Jordan unto Jerusalem. 3 And when the king was come into his house at Jerusalem, he took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, allowing them provisions: and he went not in unto them, but they were shut up unto the day of their death living in widowhood. 4 And the king said to Amasa: Assemble to me all the men of Juda against the third day, and be thou here present. 5 So Amasa went to assemble the men of Juda, but he tarried beyond the set time which the king had appointed him.

6 And David said to Abisai: Now will Seba the son of Bochri do us more harm than did Absalom: take thou therefore the servants of thy lord, and pursue after him, lest he find fenced cities, and escape us. 7 So Joab's men went out with him, and the Cerethi and the Phelethi: and all the valiant men went out of Jerusalem to pursue after Seba the son of Bochri. 8 And when they were at the great stone which is in Gabaon, Amasa coming met them. And Joab had on a close coat of equal length with his habit, and over it was girded with a sword hanging down to his flank, in a scabbard, made in such manner as to come out with the least motion and strike. 9 And Joab said to Amasa: God save thee, my brother. And he took Amasa by the chin with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa did not take notice of the sword, which Joab had, and he struck him in the side, and shed out his bowels to the ground, and gave him not a second wound, and he died. And Joab, and Abisai his brother pursued after Seba the son of Bochri.

11 In the mean time some men of Joab's company stopping at the dead body of Amasa, said: Behold he that would have been in Joab's stead the companion of David. 12 And Amasa imbrued with blood, lay in the midst of the way. A certain man saw this that all the people stood still to look upon him, so he removed Amasa out of the highway into the field, and covered him with a garment, that they who passed might not stop on his account. 13 And when he was removed out of the way, all the people went on following Joab to pursue after Seba the son of Bochri. 14 Now he had passed through all the tribes of Israel unto Abela and Bethmaacha: and all the chosen men were gathered together unto him. 15 And they came, and besieged him in Abela, and in Bethmaacha, and they cast up works round the city, and the city was besieged: and all the people that were with Joab, laboured to throw down the walls.

14 "Abela and Bethmaacha"... Cities of the tribe of Nephtali.

16 And a wise woman cried out from the city: Hear, hear, and say to Joab: Come near hither, and I will speak with thee. 17 And when he was come near to her, she said to him: Art thou Joab? And he answered: I am. And she spoke thus to him: Hear the words of thy handmaid. He answered: I do hear. 18 And she again said: A saying was used in the old proverb: They that inquire, let them inquire in Abela: and so they made an end. 19 Am not I she that answer truth in Israel, and thou seekest to destroy the city, and to overthrow a mother in Israel? Why wilt thou throw down the inheritance of the Lord? 20 And Joab answering said: God forbid, God forbid that I should, I do not throw down, nor destroy.

21 The matter is not so, but a man of mount Ephraim, Seba the son of Bochri by name, hath lifted up his hand against king David: deliver him only, and we will depart from the city. And the woman said to Joab: Behold his head shall be thrown to thee from the wall. 22 So she went to all the people, and spoke to them wisely: and they cut off the head of Seba the son of Bochri, and cast it out to Joab. And he sounded the trumpet, and they departed from the city, every one to their home: and Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king. 23 So Joab was over all the army of Israel: and Banaias the son of Joiada was over the Cerethites and Phelethites, 24 But Aduram over the tributes: and Josaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder. 25 And Siva was scribe: and Sadoc and Abiathar, priests.

26 And Ira the Jairite was the priest of David.


Chapter 21

A famine of three years, for the sin of Saul against the Gabaonites, at whose desire seven of Saul's race are crucified. War again with the Philistines.

1 And there was a famine in the days of David for three years successively: and David consulted the oracle of the Lord. And the Lord said: It is for Saul, and his bloody house, because he slew the Gabaonites. 2 Then the king, calling for the Gabaonites, said to them: (Now the Gabaonites were not of the children of Israel, but the remains of the Amorrhites: I and the children of Israel had sworn to them, and Saul sought to slay them out of zeal, as it were for the children of Israel and Juda:) 3 David therefore said to the Gabaonites: What shall I do for you? and what shall be the atonement for you, that you may bless the inheritance of the Lord? 4 And the Gabaonites said to him: We have no contest about silver and gold, but against Saul and against his house: neither do we desire that any man be slain of Israel. And the king said to them: What will you then that I should do for you? 5 And they said to the king: The man that crushed us and oppressed us unjustly, we must destroy in such manner that there be not so much as one left of his stock in all the coasts of Israel.

6 Let seven men of his children be delivered unto us, that we may crucify them to the Lord in Gabaa of Saul, once the chosen of the Lord. And the king said: I will give them. 7 And the king spared Miphiboseth the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of the oath of the Lord, that had been between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 So the king took the two sons of Respha the daughter of Aia, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni, and Miphiboseth: and the five sons of Michol the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Hadriel the son of Berzellai, that was of Molathi: 9 And gave them into the hands of the Gabaonites: and they crucified them on a hill before the Lord: and these seven died together in the first days of the harvest, when the barley began to be reaped. 10 And Respha the daughter of Aia took haircloth, and spread it under her upon the rock from the beginning of the harvest, till water dropped upon them out of heaven: and suffered neither the birds to tear them by day, nor the beasts by night.

8 "Of Michol"... They were the sons of Merob, who was married to Hadriel: but they are here called the sons of Michol, because she adopted them, and brought them up as her own.

11 And it was told David, what Respha the daughter of Aia, the concubine of Saul, had done. 12 And David went, and took the bones of Saul, and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabes Galaad, who had stolen them from the street of Bethsan, where the Philistines had hanged them when they had slain Saul in Gelboe. 13 And he brought from thence the bones of Saul, and the bones of Jonathan his son, and they gathered up the bones of them that were crucified, 14 And they buried them with the bones of Saul, and of Jonathan his son in the land of Benjamin, in the side, in the sepulchre of Cis his father: and they did all that the king had commanded, and God shewed mercy again to the land after these things. 15 And the Philistines made war again against Israel, and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines. And David growing faint,

16 Jesbibenob, who was of the race of Arapha, the iron of whose spear weighed three hundred ounces, being girded with a new sword, attempted to kill David. 17 And Abisai the son of Sarvia rescued him, and striking the Philistine killed him. Then David's men swore unto him, saying: Thou shalt go no more out with us to battle, lest thou put out the lamp of Israel. 18 There was also a second battle in Gob against the Philistines: then Sobochai of Husathi slew Saph of the race of Arapha of the family of the giants. 19 And there was a third battle in Gob against the Philistines, in which Adeodatus the son of the Forrest an embroiderer of Bethlehem slew Goliath the Gethite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. 20 A fourth battle was in Geth. where there was a man of great stature, that had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, four and twenty in all, and he was of the race of Arapha.

19 "Adeodatus the son of the Forrest"... So it is rendered in the Latin Vulgate, by giving the interpretation of the Hebrew names, which are Elhanan the son of Jaare.

21 And he reproached Israel: and Jonathan the son of Samae the brother of David slew him. 22 These four were born of Arapha in Geth, and they fell by the hand of David, and of his servants.


Chapter 22

King David's psalm of thanksgiving for his deliverance from all his enemies.

1 And David spoke to the Lord the words of this canticle, in the day that the Lord delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul, 2 And he said: The Lord is my rock, and my strength, and my saviour. 3 God is my strong one, in him will I trust: my shield, and the horn of my salvation: he lifteth me up, and is my refuge: my saviour, thou wilt deliver me from iniquity. 4 I will call on the Lord who is worthy to be praised: and I shall be saved from my enemies. 5 For the pangs of death have surrounded me: the floods of Belial have made me afraid.

6 The cords of hell compassed me: the snares of death prevented me. 7 In my distress I will call upon the Lord, and I will cry to my God: and he will hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry shall come to his ears. 8 The earth shook and trembled, the foundations of the mountains were moved, and shaken, because he was angry with them. 9 A smoke went up from his nostrils, and a devouring fire out of his mouth: coals were kindled by it. 10 He bowed the heavens, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

11 And he rode upon the cherubims, and flew: and slid upon the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness a covering round about him: dropping waters out of the clouds of the heavens. 13 By the brightness before him, the coals of fire were kindled. 14 The Lord shall thunder from heaven: and the most high shall give forth his voice. 15 He shot arrows and scattered them: lightning, and consumed them.

16 And the overflowings of the sea appeared, and the foundations of the world were laid open at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the spirit of his wrath. 17 He sent from on high, and took me, and drew me out of many waters. 18 He delivered me from my most mighty enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. 19 He prevented me in the day of my affliction, and the Lord became my stay. 20 And he brought me forth into a large place, he delivered me, because I pleased him.

21 The Lord will reward me according to my justice: and according to the cleanness of my hands he will render to me. 22 Because I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 23 For all his judgments are in my sight: and his precepts I have not removed from me. 24 And I shall be perfect with him: and shall keep myself from my iniquity. 25 And the Lord will recompense me according to my justice: and according to the cleanness of my hands in the sight of his eyes.

26 With the holy one thou wilt be holy: and with the valiant perfect. 27 With the elect thou wilt be elect: and with the perverse thou wilt be perverted. 28 And the poor people thou wilt save: and with thy eyes thou wilt humble the haughty. 29 For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and thou, O Lord, wilt enlighten my darkness. 30 For in thee I will run girded: in my God I will leap over the wall.

31 God, his way is immaculate, the word of the Lord is tried by fire: he is the shield of all that trust in him. 32 Who is God but the Lord: and who is strong but our God? 33 God who hath girded me with strength, and made my way perfect. 34 Making my feet like the feet of harts, and setting me upon my high places. 35 He teacheth my bands to war: and maketh my arms like a bow of brass.

36 Thou hast given me the shield of my salvation: and thy mildness hath multiplied me. 37 Thou shalt enlarge my steps under me: and my ankles shall not fail. 38 I will pursue after my enemies, and crush them: and will not return again till I consume them. 39 I will consume them and break them in pieces, so that they shall not rise: they shall fall under my feet. 40 Thou hast girded me with strength to battle: thou hast made them that resisted me to bow under me.

41 My enemies thou hast made to turn their back to me: them that hated me, and I shall destroy them. 42 They shall cry, and there shall be none to save: to the Lord, and he shall not hear them. 43 I shall beat them as small as the dust of the earth: I shall crush them and spread them abroad like the mire of the streets. 44 Thou wilt save me from the contradictions of my people: thou wilt keep me to be the head of the Gentiles: the people which I know not, shall serve me, 45 The sons of the stranger will resist me, at the hearing of the ear they will obey me.

46 The strangers are melted away, and shall be straitened in their distresses. 47 The Lord liveth, and my God is blessed: and the strong God of my salvation shall be exalted: 48 God who giveth me revenge, and bringest down people under me, 49 Who bringest me forth from my enemies, and liftest me up from them that resist me: from the wicked man thou shalt deliver me. 50 Therefore will I give thanks to thee. O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to thy name.

51 Giving great salvation to his king, and shewing mercy to David his anointed, and to his seed for ever.


Chapter 23

The last words of David. A catalogue of his valiant men.

1 Now these are David's last words. David the son of Isai said: The man to whom it was appointed concerning the Christ of the God of Jacob, the excellent psalmist of Israel said: 2 The spirit of the Lord hath spoken by me and his word by my tongue. 3 The God of Israel said to me, the strong one of Israel spoke, the ruler of men, the just ruler in the fear of God. 4 As the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, shineth in the morning without clouds, and as the grass springeth out of the earth by rain. 5 Neither is my house so great with God, that he should make with me an eternal covenant, firm in all things and assured. For he is all my salvation, and all my will: neither is there ought thereof that springeth not up.

4 "As the light"... So shall be the kingdom of Christ.

5 "Neither is my house"... As if he should say: This everlasting covenant was not due to my house: but purely owing to his bounty; who is all my salvation, and my will: that is, who hath always saved me, and granted me what I beseeched of him; so that I and my house, through his blessing, have sprung up, and succeeded in all things.

6 But transgressors shall all of them be plucked up as thorns: which are not taken away with hands. 7 And if a man will touch them, he must be armed with iron and with the staff of a lance: but they shall be set on fire and burnt to nothing. 8 These are the names of the valiant men of David. Jesbaham sitting in the chair was the wisest chief among the three, he was like the most tender little worm of the wood, who killed eight hundred men at one onset. 9 After him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three valiant men that were with David when they defied the Philistines, and they were there gathered together to battle. 10 And when the men of Israel were gone away, he stood and smote the Philistines till his hand was weary, and grew stiff with the sword: and the Lord wrought a great victory that day: and the people that were fled away, returned to take spoils of them that were slain.

8 "Jesbaham"... The son of Hachamoni. For this was the name of this hero, as appears from 1 Chron. or Paralip. 11.-- Ibid.

8 "Most tender"... He appeared like one tender and weak, but was indeed most valiant and strong. It seems the Latin has here given the interpretation of the Hebrew name of the hero, to whom Jesbaham was like, instead of the name itself, which was Adino the Eznite, one much renowned of old for his valour.

9 "Dodo"... In Latin, Patrui ejus, which is the interpretation of the Hebrew name Dodo. The same occurs in ver. 24.

11 And after him was Semma the son of Age of Arari. And the Philistines were gathered together in a troop: for there was a field full of lentils. And when the people were fled from the face of the Philistines, 12 He stood in the midst of the field, and defended it, and defeated the Philistines: and the Lord gave a great victory. 13 Moreover also before this the three who were princes among the thirty, went down and came to David in the harvest time into the cave of Odollam: and the camp of the Philistines was in the valley of the giants. 14 And David was then in a hold. and there was a garrison of the Philistines then in Bethlehem. 15 And David longed, and said: O that some man would get me a drink of the water out of the cistern, that is in Bethlehem, by the gate.

16 And the three valiant men broke through the camp of the Philistines, and drew water out of the cistern of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and brought it to David: but he would not drink, but offered it to the Lord, 17 Saying: The Lord be merciful to me, that I may not do this: shall I drink the blood of these men that went, and the peril of their lives? therefore he would not drink. These things did these three mighty men. 18 Abisai also the brother of Joab, the son of Sarvia, was chief among three: and he lifted up his spear against three hundred whom he slew, and he was renowned among the three, 19 And the noblest of three, and was their chief, but to the three first he attained not. 20 And Banaias the son of Joiada a most valiant man, of great deeds, of Cabseel: he slew the two lions of Moab, and he went down, and slew a lion in the midst of a pit, in the time of snow.

21 He also slew an Egyptian, a man worthy to be a sight, having a spear in his hand: but he went down to him with a rod, and forced the spear out of the hand of the Egyptian, and slew him with his own spear. 22 These things did Banaias the son of Joiada. 23 And he was renowned among the three valiant men, who were the most honourable among the thirty: but he attained riot to the first three: and David made him of his privy council. 24 Asael the brother of Joab was one of the thirty, Elehanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem. 25 Semma of Harodi, Elica of Harodi,

26 Heles of Phalti, Hira the son of Acces of Thecua, 27 Abiezer of Anathoth, Mobonnai of Husati, 28 Selmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heled the son of Baana, also a Netophathite, Ithai the son of Ribai of Gabaath of the children of Benjamin, 30 Banaia the Pharathonite, Heddai of the torrent Gaas,

31 Abialbon the Arbathite, Azmaveth of Beromi, 32 Eliaba of Salaboni. The sons of Jassen, Jonathan, 33 Semma of Orori, Aliam the son of Sarar the Arorite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Aasbai the son of Machati, Eliam the son of Achitophel the Gelonite, 35 Hesrai of Carmel, Pharai of Arbi,

36 Igaal the son of Nathan of Soba, Bonni of Gadi, 37 Selec of Ammoni, Naharai the Berothite, armourbearer of Joab the son of Sarvia, 38 Ira the Jethrite, Gareb also a Jethrite; 39 Urias the Hethite, thirty and seven in all.


Chapter 24

David numbereth the people: God sendeth a pestilence, which is stopt by David's prayer and sacrifice.

1 And the anger of the Lord was again kindled against Israel, and stirred up David among them, saying: Go, number Israel and Juda. 2 And the king said to Joab the general of his army: Go through all the tribes of Israel from Dan to Bersabee, and number ye the people that I may know the number of them. 3 And Joab said to the king: The Lord thy God increase thy people, and make them as many more as they are now, and again multiply them a hundredfold in the sight of my lord the king: but what meaneth my lord the king by this kind of thing? 4 But the king's words prevailed over the words of Joab, and of the captains of the army: and Joab, and the captains of the soldiers went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel. 5 And when they had passed the Jordan, they came to Aroer to the right side of the city, which is in the vale of Gad.

1 "Stirred up"... This stirring up was not the doing of God, but of Satan; as it is expressly declared, 1 Chron. or Paralip. 21. 1.

6 And by Jazer they passed into Galaad, and to the lower land of Hodsi, and they came into the woodlands of Dan. And going about by Sidon, 7 They passed near the walls of Tyre, and all the land of the Hevite, and the Chanaanite, and they came to the south of Juda into Bersabee: 8 And having gone through the whole land, after nine months and twenty days, they came to Jerusalem. 9 And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people to the king, and there were found of Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword: and of Juda five hundred thousand fighting men. 10 But David's heart struck him, after the people were numbered: and David said to the Lord: I have sinned very much in what I have done: but I pray thee, O Lord, to take away the iniquity of thy servant, because I have done exceeding foolishly.

10 "David's heart struck him, after the people were numbered"... That is he was touched with a great remorse for the vanity and pride which had put him upon numbering the people.

11 And David arose in the morning, and the word of the Lord came to Gad the prophet and the seer of David, saying: 12 Go, and say to David: Thus saith the Lord: I give thee thy choice of three things, choose one of them which thou wilt, that I may do it to thee. 13 And when Gad was come to David, he told him, saying: Either seven years of famine shall come to thee in thy land: or thou shalt flee three months before thy adversaries, and they shall pursue thee: or for three days there shall be a pestilence in thy land. Now therefore deliberate, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. 14 And David said to Gad: I am in a great strait: but it is better that I should fall into the hands of the Lord (for his mercies are many) than into the hands of men. 15 And the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel, from the morning unto the time appointed, and there died of the people from Dan to Bersabee seventy thousand men.

16 And when the angel of the Lord had stretched out his hand over Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord had pity on the affliction, and said to the angel that slew the people: It is enough: now hold thy hand. And the angel of the Lord was by the threshingfloor of Areuna the Jebusite. 17 And David said to the Lord, when he saw the angel striking the people: It is I; I am he that have sinned, I have done wickedly: these that are the sheep, what have they done? let thy hand, I beseech thee, be turned against me, and against my father's house. 18 And Gad came to David that day, and said: Go up, and build an altar to the Lord in the threshingfloor of Areuna the Jebusite. 19 And David went up according to the word of Gad which the Lord had commanded him. 20 And Areuna looked, and saw the king and his servants coming towards him:

21 An going out he worshipped the king, bowing with his face to the earth, and said: Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? Arid David said to him: To buy the threshingfloor of thee, and build an altar to the Lord, that the plague, which rageth among the people, may cease. 22 And Areuna said to David: Let my lord the king take, and offer, as it seemeth good to him: thou hast here oxen for a holocaust, and the wain, and the yokes of the oxen for wood. 23 All these things Areuna as a king gave to the king: and Areuna said to the king: The Lord thy God receive thy vow. 24 And the king answered him, and said: Nay, but I will buy it of thee at a price, and I will not offer to the Lord my God holocausts free cost. So David bought the floor, and the oxen, for fifty sicles of silver: 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord, and offered holocausts and peace offerings: and the Lord became merciful to the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

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