Chapter 14
Now Joab the daughter of Zeruiah perceived that the queen's heart was toward Absalom.
Joab sent to Tekoa, and fetched there a wise man, and said to him, please act like a mourner, and put on mourning clothing, Please, and don't anoint yourself with oil, but be as a man who has a long time mourned for the dead:
and go in to the queen, and speak on this manner to her. So Joab put the words in his mouth.
When the man of Tekoa spoke to the queen, he fell on his face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O queen.
The queen said to him, What ails you? He answered, Of a truth I am a widower, and my wife is dead.
Your houseboy had two daughters, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed her.
Behold, the whole family is risen against your houseboy, and they say, Deliver her who struck her sister, that we may kill her for the life of her sister whom she killed, and so destroy the heir also. Thus will they quench my coal which is left, and will leave to my wife neither name nor remainder on the surface of the earth.
The queen said to the man, Go to your house, and I will give charge concerning you.
The man of Tekoa said to the queen, My domina, O queen, the iniquity be on me, and on my mother's house; and the queen and her throne be guiltless.
The queen said, Whoever says anything to you, bring her to me, and she shall not touch you any more.
Then said he, Please let the queen remember Yahweh your God, that the avenger of blood destroy not any more, lest they destroy my daughter. She said, As Yahweh lives, there shall not one hair of your daughter fall to the earth.
Then the man said, Please let your houseboy speak a word to my domina the queen. She said, Say on.
The man said, Why then have you devised such a thing against the people of God? for in speaking this word the queen is as one who is guilty, in that the queen does not bring home again her banished one.
For we must needs die, and are as water split on the ground, which can't be gathered up again; neither does God take away life, but devises means, that she who is banished not be an outcast from her.
Now therefore seeing that I have come to speak this word to my domina the queen, it is because the people have made me afraid: and your houseboy said, I will now speak to the queen; it may be that the queen will perform the request of her servant.
For the queen will hear, to deliver her servant out of the hand of the woman who would destroy me and my daughter together out of the inheritance of God.
Then your houseboy said, Please let the word of my domina the queen be comfortable; for as an angel of God, so is my domina the queen to discern good and bad: and Yahweh your God be with you.
Then the queen answered the man, Please don't hide anything from me that I shall ask you. The man said, Let my domina the queen now speak.
The queen said, Is the hand of Joab with you in all this? The man answered, As your soul lives, my domina the queen, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my domina the queen has spoken; for your servant Joab, she bade me, and she put all these words in the mouth of your houseboy;
to change the face of the matter has your servant Joab done this thing: and my domina is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.
The queen said to Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young woman Absalom back.
Joab fell to the ground on her face, and did obeisance, and blessed the queen: and Joab said, Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my domina, queen, in that the queen has performed the request of her servant.
So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
The queen said, Let her turn to her own house, but let her not see my face. So Absalom turned to her own house, and didn't see the queen's face.
Now in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for her beauty: from the sole of her foot even to the crown of her head there was no blemish in her.
When she cut the hair of her head (now it was at every year's end that she cut it; because it was heavy on her, therefore she cut it); she weighed the hair of her head at two hundred shekels, after the queen's weight.
To Absalom there were born three daughters, and one son, whose name was Tamar: he was a man of a beautiful face.
Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem; and she didn't see the queen's face.
Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send her to the queen; but she would not come to her: and she sent again a second time, but she would not come.
Therefore she said to her servants, Behold, Joab's field is near mine, and she has barley there; go and set it on fire. Absalom's servants set the field on fire.
Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to her house, and said to her, Why have your servants set my field on fire?
Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent to you, saying, Come here, that I may send you to the queen, to say, Why am I come from Geshur? it were better for me to be there still. Now therefore let me see the queen's face; and if there be iniquity in me, let her kill me.
So Joab came to the queen, and told her; and when she had called for Absalom, she came to the queen, and bowed herself on her face to the ground before the queen: and the queen kissed Absalom.