15:3 Absalom would then say to him, “Look, your claims are legitimate and appropriate. 1 But there is no representative of the king who will listen to you.” 15:4 Absalom would then say, “If only they would make me 2 a judge in the land! Then everyone who had a judicial complaint 3 could come to me and I would make sure he receives a just settlement.”
15:5 When someone approached to bow before him, Absalom 4 would extend his hand and embrace him and kiss him. 15:6 Absalom acted this way toward everyone in Israel who came to the king for justice. In this way Absalom won the loyalty 5 of the citizens 6 of Israel.
15:7 After four 7 years Absalom said to the king, “Let me go and repay my vow that I made to the Lord while I was in Hebron. 15:8 For I made this vow 8 when I was living in Geshur in Aram: ‘If the Lord really does allow me to return to Jerusalem, 9 I will serve the Lord.’”
1 tn Heb “good and straight.”
2 tn Heb “Who will make me?”
3 tn Heb “a complaint and a judgment.” The expression is a hendiadys.
4 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Absalom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
5 tn Heb “stole the heart.”
6 tn Heb “the men.”
7 tc The MT has here “forty,” but this is presumably a scribal error for “four.” The context will not tolerate a period of forty years prior to the rebellion of Absalom. The Lucianic Greek recension (τέσσαρα ἔτη, tessara ete), the Syriac Peshitta (’arba’ sanin), and Vulgate (post quattuor autem annos) in fact have the expected reading “four years.” Most English translations follow the versions in reading “four” here, although some (e.g. KJV, ASV, NASB, NKJV), following the MT, read “forty.”
8 tn Heb “for your servant vowed a vow.” The formal court style of referring to one’s self in third person (“your servant”) has been translated here as first person for clarity.