2 Samuel 18
David viewing the armies in their march giveth them charge of Absalom.
2 Samuel 18:1 And the kynge nombred the people that were with him, and set captaynes ouer thousandes and of hundredes ouer them. 2 Samuel 18:2 And he sent one parte of them with Ioab and another parte wyth Abisai the sonne of Zaruiah Ioabs brother, and the thyrde parte with Ethai the Gethite. And the kynge sayde vnto the people shal I go with you? 2 Samuel 18:3 And the people answered: naye, for yf we fle, our aduersaries will not care for vs, nether thoughe halfe of vs were slaine, shal they regarde vs. But thou were worth ten thousand of vs. And therto it is better, that thou be ready to succoure vs out of the cytye. 2 Samuel 18:4 Then said the king: what semeth you best, that wil I do. And the Kynge stode vp the Gates syde, & all the people came out by hundredes and by thousandes. 2 Samuel 18:5 And the kynge commaunded Ioab, Abisai, and Ethai sayinge: intreate me Iently my sonne Absalom. And all the people hearde when the Kynge gaue all the capitaynes charge ouer Absalom.
The Israelites are sore smitten in the wood of Ephraim.
2 Samuel 18:6 And the people went out into the felde agaynst Israel, and þe battel was in the wode of Ephraim. 2 Samuel 18:7 Where the people of Israel were put to the worsse before the seruauntes of Dauid, and there was a great slaughter that daye, euen of twenty thousand men. 2 Samuel 18:8 And the felde was foughte in dyuerse places, al abroade vpon the earthe. And the wodes deuoured mo people that day then dyd the swerde.
Absalom, hanging in an oak, is slain by Joab, and cast into a pit.
2 Samuel 18:9 And it chaunced Absalom to come before the seruauntes of Dauid rydynge vpon a Mule whiche caryed hym vnder the thycke bowes of a great Oke. And his heade caught in the Oke, and he was left betwene heauen and earth, and the Mule that was vnder him, went his waye. 2 Samuel 18:10 And one that saw it tolde Ioab saying: beholde, I saw Absalom hangen in an Oke: 2 Samuel 18:11 and Ioab sayd vnto him that tolde him: lo, sawest thou hym? And why diddest not thou there smyte him to the ground, that I shoulde haue geuen the ten sicles of syluer and a soudyoures gyrdle. 2 Samuel 18:12 And the man answered Ioab: thoughe I had a thousand sycles of syluer tolde in my hande yet woulde I not stretche out myne hande agaynst the kynges sonne? For we hearde with oure eares when the kinge charged the, Absai and Ethai sayinge: spare me the lad Absalom. 2 Samuel 18:13 Moreouer though I had ieoparded my lyfe and done falslye therto, yet coulde nought of al the matter haue bene hyd from the kynge: ye and thou thy selfe wouldest be against me. 2 Samuel 18:14 Then sayde Ioab I may not stand taryeng with the. And therwith he toke thre speares in hys hand and thrust them into the hart of Absalom, whyle he was yet a lyue on the bodye of the tree. 2 Samuel 18:15 And ten seruauntes that bare Ioabs wepons, turned and smote Absalom and slue him. 2 Samuel 18:16 Then Ioab blewe a trompet, and the people returned from folowing Israel: for Ioab spared the people. 2 Samuel 18:17 And they toke Absalom & cast him into a great pit that was in the wood and cast a myghty great heape of stones vpon him. And al Israel fled euery man to his tent.
2 Samuel 18:18 And this Absalom yet in hys life time, toke and reared vp a pyler, whiche is yet in kynges dale. For he sayd: I haue no male chylde. And therfore to kepe my name in remembraunce do I it. And he called the piller after his own name. And it is called vnto this daye, Absaloms pyller.
Ahimaaz and Cushi bring tidings to David.
2 Samuel 18:19 Then sayd Ahimaaz the sonne of Sadock: let my runne I pray the, and beare the kynge tydynges, how that the lord hath iudged him quyte of the handes of all hys enemies. 2 Samuel 18:20 And Ioab said vnto him: thou art no man to beare tydinges to daye: thou shalt beare tydynges another tyme: but to daye thou shalt beare none, because the kynges sonne is dead. 2 Samuel 18:21 Then said Ioab to Chusi: go and tel the kyng what thou hast sene. And Chusi bowed him selfe vnto Ioab, and ranne. 2 Samuel 18:22 Then saide Ahimaaz the sonne of Sadock agayn to Ioab: come what come wil, let me run I pray þe after Chusi. And Ioab sayde: wherfore shouldest thou runne my sonne? for and thou runne, thou gettyst no rewarde: well come, what wyll let me runne. 2 Samuel 18:23 And he sayde vnto hym: runne. Then Ahimaaz ranne by the playne and ouerraune Chusi. 2 Samuel 18:24 And Dauid sat betwene the two gates. And the watcheman went vp to the rouffe ouer the gate vnto the walle, and lyfte vp his eyes and sawe: and beholde, there came a man runnynge alone. 2 Samuel 18:25 And the watcheman called, and tolde the kynge. And the kynge sayde: yf he come alone, there is tidinges in his mouth. And he came and drewe nye. 2 Samuel 18:26 And the watcheman saw another man runninge, and called vnto the porter and sayd: behold there cometh another runnyng alone. And the kyng answered: he is also a tydynges brynger. 2 Samuel 18:27 And the watcheman saide: me thynketh, the runnynge of the formost is lyke the runnynge of Ahimaaz the sonne of Sadock. And the king said: he is a good man, and cometh wyth good tydynges. 2 Samuel 18:28 And Ahimaaz called and sayde to the kynge: good tydynges, and bowed hym selfe to the earthe vpon hys face before the kynge and sayde: blessed be the Lord thy god whyche hath shut vp all the men that lyft vp theyr handes agaynst my Lorde the Kynge. 2 Samuel 18:29 And the kynge saide: is the lad Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered: I sawe a great a do when the kynges seruaunt Ioab sent me thy seruaunt. But I wote not what it was. 2 Samuel 18:30 And the kynge sayde: turne and stande here. And he turned and stode. 2 Samuel 18:31 And beholde Chusi came and sayde: tydynges my lord the king, the Lorde hathe quyte the thys daye out of the handes of all that rose agaynst the. 2 Samuel 18:32 And the kyng said to Chusi: is the lad Absalom safe? And Chusi answered: the enemies of my Lorde the kynge and all that ryse agaynst the, to haue the, be as thy lad is.
David mourneth for Absalom.
2 Samuel 18:33 And the kynge was moued and went vp to a chambre ouer the gate and wept. And as he went, thus he sayde: my sonne Absalom my sonne, my sonne, my sonne Absalom, woulde to God I had dyed for thy Absalom, my sonne, my sonne.