15:2 Now Absalom used to get up early and stand beside the road that led to the city gate. Whenever anyone came by who had a complaint to bring to the king for arbitration, Absalom would call out to him, “What city are you from?” The person would answer, “I, your servant, 1 am from one of the tribes of Israel.” 15:3 Absalom would then say to him, “Look, your claims are legitimate and appropriate. 2 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 3 a judge in the land! Then everyone who had a judicial complaint 4 could come to me and I would make sure he receives a just settlement.”
15:5 When someone approached to bow before him, Absalom 5 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 6 of the citizens 7 of Israel.
2 tn Heb “good and straight.”
3 tn Heb “Who will make me?”
4 tn Heb “a complaint and a judgment.” The expression is a hendiadys.
5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Absalom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
6 tn Heb “stole the heart.”
7 tn Heb “the men.”
8 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.”