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2 Samuel 18:19--19:7

Context
David Learns of Absalom’s Death

18:19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and give the king the good news that the Lord has vindicated him before his enemies.” 1  18:20 But Joab said to him, “You will not be a bearer of good news today. You will bear good news some other day, but not today, 2  for the king’s son is dead.”

18:21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go and tell the king what you have seen.” After bowing to Joab, the Cushite ran off. 18:22 Ahimaaz the son of Zadok again spoke to Joab, “Whatever happens, let me go after the Cushite.” But Joab said, “Why is it that you want to go, my son? You have no good news that will bring you a reward.” 18:23 But he said, 3  “Whatever happens, I want to go!” So Joab 4  said to him, “Then go!” So Ahimaaz ran by the way of the Jordan plain, and he passed the Cushite.

18:24 Now David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, 5  and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate at the wall. When he looked, he saw a man running by himself. 18:25 So the watchman called out and informed the king. The king said, “If he is by himself, he brings good news.” 6  The runner 7  came ever closer.

18:26 Then the watchman saw another man running. The watchman called out to the gatekeeper, “There is another man running by himself.” The king said, “This one also is bringing good news.” 18:27 The watchman said, “It appears to me that the first runner is Ahimaaz 8  son of Zadok.” The king said, “He is a good man, and he comes with good news.”

18:28 Then Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “Greetings!” 9  He bowed down before the king with his face toward the ground and said, “May the Lord your God be praised because he has defeated 10  the men who opposed 11  my lord the king!”

18:29 The king replied, “How is the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz replied, “I saw a great deal of confusion when Joab was sending the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was all about.” 18:30 The king said, “Turn aside and take your place here.” So he turned aside and waited.

18:31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, 12  “May my lord the king now receive the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today and delivered you from the hand of all who have rebelled against you!” 13  18:32 The king asked the Cushite, “How is the young man Absalom?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who have plotted against you 14  be like that young man!”

18:33 (19:1) 15  The king then became very upset. He went up to the upper room over the gate and wept. As he went he said, “My son, Absalom! My son, my son, 16  Absalom! If only I could have died in your place! Absalom, my son, my son!” 17 

19:1 (19:2) Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning over Absalom.” 19:2 So the victory of that day was turned to mourning as far as all the people were concerned. For the people heard on that day, “The king is grieved over his son.” 19:3 That day the people stole away to go to the city the way people who are embarrassed steal away in fleeing from battle. 19:4 The king covered his face and cried out loudly, 18  “My son, Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”

19:5 So Joab visited 19  the king at his home. He said, “Today you have embarrassed all your servants who have saved your life this day, as well as the lives of your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your concubines. 19:6 You seem to love your enemies and hate your friends! For you have as much as declared today that leaders and servants don’t matter to you. I realize now 20  that if 21  Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, 22  it would be all right with you. 19:7 So get up now and go out and give some encouragement to 23  your servants. For I swear by the Lord that if you don’t go out there, not a single man will stay here with you tonight! This disaster will be worse for you than any disaster that has overtaken you from your youth right to the present time!”

1 tn Heb “that the Lord has vindicated him from the hand of his enemies.”

2 tn Heb “but this day you will not bear good news.”

3 tn The words “but he said” are not in the Hebrew text. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joab) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “the two gates.”

6 tn Heb “good news is in his mouth.”

7 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the runner) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Heb “I am seeing the running of the first one like the running of Ahimaaz.”

9 tn Heb “Peace.”

10 tn Heb “delivered over.”

11 tn Heb “lifted their hand against.”

12 tn Heb “And look, the Cushite came and the Cushite said.”

13 tn Heb “for the Lord has vindicated you today from the hand of all those rising against you.”

14 tn Heb “and all those rising against you for evil.”

15 sn This marks the beginning of ch. 19 in the Hebrew text. Beginning with 18:33, the verse numbers through 19:43 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 18:33 ET = 19:1 HT, 19:1 ET = 19:2 HT, 19:2 ET = 19:3 HT, etc., through 19:43 ET = 19:44 HT. From 20:1 the versification in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible is again the same.

16 tc One medieval Hebrew ms, some mss of the LXX, and the Vulgate lack this repeated occurrence of “my son” due to haplography.

17 tc The Lucianic Greek recension and Syriac Peshitta lack this repeated occurrence of “my son” due to haplography.

18 tn Heb “with a great voice.”

19 tn Heb “came to.”

20 tn Heb “today.”

21 tc The translation follows the Qere, 4QSama, and many medieval Hebrew mss in reading לוּ (lu, “if”) rather than MT לֹא (lo’, “not”).

22 tc The Lucianic Greek recension and Syriac Peshitta lack “today.”

23 tn Heb “and speak to the heart of.”



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